previous next
Wm. C. Rives, a delegate from Virginia to the Southern Congress, on his way to Montgomery, was called on by the people at Atlanta, Georgia, for a speech. He made the following pointless response:

I feel highly complimented by this call from the citizens of Georgia to say a few words. I suppose you do not want to hear a speech from me, but that you do want to hear from Virginia. [ “That's it,” and cheers from the crowd.] She is all right, I am most happy to inform you. She is heart and hand with Georgia in this struggle, and will faithfully do her part. You have been accustomed, in political matters, in times past, to follow our lead; but now we will follow your lead in this great movement for the maintenance of the rights and independence of the South and her institutions. Our rights and liberties are assailed, and must be defended. Our cause is a just one, and brave hearts are rushing to uphold it. In the mean time you may rely upon Old Virginia. Whether she is to lead or to follow, she will be along and give a good account of herself.

I am happy to meet with you, my fellow-citizens, for though it is the first time I ever had the pleasure of looking on your faces, I feel in Georgia like I was at home in my own State. Many of your citizens are emigrants or the children of emigrants from our State; among whom are the Gilmers, Lumpkinses, Forsyths, Earlys, Meriwethers, and many others.

I hope you will excuse me from making any further remarks, out of respect for the day. I suppose you only wanted to hear a word about Virginia. [Here some one in the crowd asked him if there were any Federal troops in Alexandria.] No, my friend [said Mr. Rives] there are none at that point. There are no Federal troops on any part of the soil of Virginia, except Fortress Monroe. I will not say they are afraid to come into Alexandria; but I will say that we have a trap for them into which they will fall whenever they attempt to come into that city. Thanking you for this manifestation of your feelings towards Virginia, I now bid you adieu.

While he was uttering these last words, the train was moving, and he retired amidst the applause of the crowd.--Richmond Examiner, May 18.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William C. Rives (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 18th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: