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[39] civil war, the brunt and burden of which would fall upon her more heavily than upon any other State. But as the views of the people were changed by Lincoln's call, so were those of a majority of the members of the convention. As soon as the President's call for troops was known, the convention met, with closed doors, and within two days thereafter, on Wednesday, April 17, 1861, adopted an ordinance of secession, in these words:
An ordinance to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution:

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whenever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the South or slaveholding States,

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain, That the ordinance adopted by the people of this State in convention, on the twenty-fifth of June, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the general assembly of this State ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignity which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

And they do further declare, That said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this state.

This ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon, on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Done in convention in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the commonwealth of Virginia.

This ordinance was adopted by a vote of 81 for and 5 against. Subsequently, after the will of the people was made known by a vote taken on May 23d, which by an overwhelming majority ratified the act of the convention, others signed the ordinance, until the signatures of 146 members of the convention were attached to it, leaving but few, mainly from Trans-Appalachian Virginia, who refused to sign.

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