never of a Massachusettensian.
The word somehow does not lend itself to the mouth, any more than the thought to the mind.
was strongly attached by sentiment as well as interest to the Union
The birthplace of Washington
, the mother of States, as well as of presidents, ‘The Old Dominion,’ as she was called, and fondly loved to call herself, had never been affected by the nullification heresies of South Carolina
; and the long line of her eminent public men, though, in 1860, showing marked signs of a deteriorating standard, still retained a prominence in the national councils.
If John B. Floyd
was secretary of war, Winfield Scott
was at the head of the army.
Torn by conflicting feelings, Virginia
, still clinging to the nation, was unwilling to sever her connection with it because of the lawful election of an anti-slavery president, even by a distinctly sectional vote.
For a time she even stayed the fast flooding tide of secession, bringing about a brief but important reaction.
Those of us old enough to remember the drear and anxious winter which followed the election and preceded the inauguration of Lincoln
, recall vividly the ray of bright hope which, in the midst of its deepest gloom, then came from Virginia
It was in early February.
Up to that time the record was unbroken.
Beginning with South Carolina
on December 20, State after State, meeting in convention, had with significant unanimity passed ordinances of secession.
Each successive ordinance was felt to be equivalent to a renewed declaration of war. The outlook was dark indeed, and, amid the fast gathering gloom, all eyes, all thoughts, turned to Virginia
She represented the Border States
; her action, it was felt, would largely influence, and might control theirs.
was then governor—a States Rights Democrat, of course; but a Union man. By him the legislature of the State was called together in special session, and that legislature, in January, passed what was known as a convention bill.
was to vote on the question at issue.
Events moved rapidly.
had seceded on December 20; Mississippi
on January 8; Florida
on the 10th; Alabama
on the 11th; Georgia
followed on the 19th; Louisiana
on the 26th, with Texas
on February 1.
The procession seemed unending; the record unbroken.
Not without cause might the now thoroughly frightened friends of the Union
have exclaimed, with Macbeth
What! will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
If at that juncture the Old Dominion by a decisive vote had followed in the steps of the cotton States, it implied consequences which