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 convention. The vote was taken on the 28th of February, 1861, and resulted in 46,671 for and 47,333 against holding a convention. In Tennessee, on the 8th of February, 1861, the people voted against calling a convention, 67,360 against and 54,156 for the measure, the total vote being nearly 24,000 less than that cast at the presidential election in November, 1860. In Virginia a convention assembled on the 13th of February, 1861, and devoted itself mainly to effect a peaceful adjustment of the troubles of the country and prevent the permanent disruption of the Union. The records of the convention abound with evidence of the devotion of the great body of its members to the Union, and of their earnest efforts to avert a resort to force as a means of preserving it. As late as April 4, 1861, the convention refused to submit an ordinance of secession to the people for their approval by a vote of 45 for to 80 against the proposition. On the 6th of April the convention rejected a resolution declaring that Virginia considered that the Federal Government ought to recognize the independence of the seceded States and enter into treaties with them. As late as April 11th three resolutions containing declarations in favor of the withdrawal of Virginia from the Union under certain conditions were rejected by decisive and significant majorities. Without going into the details of the action of Kentucky and Missouri during the same time, it is enough to say that prior to April 15, 1861, the people of those States were, if possible, more decided in their opposition to secession than the people of Virginia. In Maryland, before the date I have mentioned, practically the whole population was opposed to the action of the cotton States and desirous of a peaceful solution of the public difficulties and the maintenance of the Union. You will thus see that the people of the border States were far from accepting the mere fact of Mr. Lincoln's election as a sufficient reason for a dissolution of the Union, and that their attachment to it was not seriously affected by the secession of the cotton States. The border States contained——of the whole slave population of the South, and nearly double as many voters as the cotton States. The force and significance of their unbroken adhesion to the Union will become more apparent when it is remembered that they had a far greater and more immediate concern than the people of the cotton States, in any influence unfavorable to the South which the election of Mr. Lincoln might exercise upon interests connected with slavery.
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