[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Washington, Feb. 17, 1861.>
‘"Give yourselves no concern about Virginia
, She will be true to her ancient fame. --Sir Semper Tyrannis has
always been, and always will be her motto — whether the tyrant be a king, or a despotic majority of Black Republicans.
You will find that the Convention
, which is now so disposed to peace and compromise that you fear it will quail before the firm front of the Coercionist, will, in the end, assume the attitude of a dictator; and having laid down the terms to which the North
must yield — terms which will not only vindicate the honor and spirit of the Old Donation, but justify the Gulf
States in returning to the Union
--will not abate one jot or title of these terms, but maintain them at the point of the sword.
The men who compose the Convention
have in their veins the blood of the Revolution, and they will choose death rather than disgrace the proud name bequeathed them by their fathers."’
This spoke a high-hearted old gentleman to a party of us assembled last night in a Virginia member's room.
I can hardly tell you how much we were comforted by his unflinching confidence in the pride and spirit of our mother State; for since the election, we have been almost overwhelmed with despair, lest the infamy of becoming the provincial subject of an abolition despotism should, by reason of the trickery of selfish politicians, be the fate of the noblest people on the earth.--The old gentleman added that his sons and daughters, with their children, numbered sixty souls, every one of whom should find another home in a summer clime, in case Virginia
remained in the Union
as it is. This, I could not, is the feeling of every man of spirit in the State
I have heard already of several families, some of them wealthy, who are preparing to leave.
The Peace Congress is not dissolved, as was reported last night.
Southern members are still deluded with the belief that a compromise of some sort will be made, but I have it from a reliable source that the Republicans have abandoned all idea of compromise, and an anxious only to keep the Congress
in session to the 4th of March.
They have been assured by such men as Etheridge
, that the border States want merely a pretext for staying in, and they think the calling of a National Convention will be pretext enough.
It is rumored that Seward
has resigned his place in Lincoln
's Cabinet, but the rumor kicks confirmation.
He is certainly disgusted at Lincoln
A letter has been received here from a gentleman who has been traveling with Lincoln
The writer says that so far from Lincoln
's being a nose of wax in anybody's hands, (as was asserted to me some days ago,) he is a second edition of John Brown
— just as fanatical and estimate.
It is idle to hope that he will not be as good as his word in the matter of coercion.
It turns out that Mr. Dejarnette
, whose able speech on Friday last I commend to your readers, is the unwitting cause of the base fabrication started by the New York Times
about the stealing of books by Southern members.
Needing a number of books for consolation and reference, he requested a friend men in his room to write an order for them.
The discrepancy between the hand writing of the order and Mr. D's signature excited some suspicion in the mind of the librarian, and out of this trifling circumstance was manufactured the prodigious falsehood which appeared in the Times
--the same paper which had so outrageously about the Prince