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[281] The members were elected, and the convention met at the time and place appointed, the whole number of the members being one hundred and fifty-two.

Remarkable body.

As the list of the names of this convention will show, it was a very remarkable body of men, and in every respect worthy of the trust that the people of Virginia had confided in them.

The political sentiments of the Virginia Convention of 1861, on its assembling, were strongly Union, and this was the true reflection of the feelings of the people of Virginia at that time; but events were occurring outside of the State of Virginia, over which the Virginia people had no control, that were calculated to destroy the peace of the country.

By this last remark special reference is made to the increased manufacture of arms and munitions of war by the Northern States, and the threatening attitude of the National Government towards the seceded States.

Abraham Lincoln had been elected President of the United States in the fall of 1860, and on the 4th of March, 1861, was inducted into office. His inaugural address on this occasion greatly excited the Virginia people, and the convention appointed three eminent men to confer with Mr. Lincoln at Washington in regard to his intentions towards the seceded States.

To this commission no satisfactory reply had been made, when events that were occurring at Fort Sumter, S. C., engrossed the public attention.

On the 12th day of April, 1861, the garrison at Fort Sumter surrendered to General Beauregard, commanding the Confederate forces.

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