previous next


Southern demonstration at the African Church--large delegation from Petersburg — speech by Mr. Pryor, &c.

The African Church was crowded last night at an early hour, in consequence of an announcement that the Hon. Roger A. Pryor would address the people, and we noticed in one of the galleries a goodly number of ladies. Mr. Pryor was greeted with hearty cheers when he entered the house. The stand was occupied by several distinguished gentlemen, including, the Maryland Commissioner, (whose names are given in our local column) Rev. Geo. W. Carter of Texas, Mr. Morton of the Convention, and Mr. Douglas of the State Senate.

Mr. Pryor was introduced to the audience by Thos, T. Cropper, Esq., who in a brief speech, alluded to the remarkable change of sentiment in Petersburg, Mr. Pryor's place of residence.

Mr. Pryor labored under considerable difficulty from hoarseness, but this did not prevent him from taking up the subject of the National troubles with his accustomed energy. He said he came to advocate secession — immediate secession and eternal separation. The Union was gone--seven States had gone — the proudest and most precious of the Confederacy — had consolidated themselves against Black Republicanism.-- He alluded to Lincoln as a misshapen ape, now occupying the pedestal where once stood the great Washington. Gen. Scott was spoken of as an apostate chieftain, in command of troops occupying the Federal Capital. He thanked God that the Union was gone forever. It was an eternal separation, and never would the spirit of Liberty again find shelter in the corrupt mass that remains. The Southern States would never come back, even though Lincoln and Hamlin are to abdicate, and give the South a carte, blanche for all that she could take. He said this by authority.-- Whether Virginia sides with them or not, they are gone irrecoverably. This was the issue, then, presented to the people. It was for Virginia to decide whether she would be the dependent tail of a Black Republican Confederacy, or the chief of a glorious Southern Confederacy.

He maintained that there was no protection for Virginia in the Union. He would rather be dragged at the tail of South Carolina, than be led in chains after the triumphal car of Massachusetts; and, in continuation, spoke in glowing terms of South Carolina, and her prompt secession from the Union, which was received with prolonged cheering. He would be willing, he said, to lay down his life, if Virginia stood where South Carolina did today. If she had taken her position three months ago, the Union might have been reconstructed upon the basis of the Constitution. But she would not listen to the warning voice sent hither from Washington, and now she was compelled to take one side or the other.


Arrival of the Petersburgers.

Mr. Pryor was going on to speak of the Black Republican measures in Congress, when the sound of music was heard in the distance, and it was announced that three hundred citizens of Petersburg, who had just arrived in an extra train, were approaching, and theirentrance was greeted with thundering cheers. They had with them a large flag of the Southern Confederacy, a branch of Palmetto, and exhibited cockades and devices in abundance.The house was now literally ‘"filled to overflowing,"’ and for some time it was found impossible to proceed. The reporter's position was indifferent enough at best; and the reader may imagine the difficulty of taking notes, with a heavy foot on each shoulder — for the sovereigns were absolutely piled upon, above and around the individual who represented this newspaper.

Order was at length restored, and Mr. Pryor went on with his remarks, paying his Petersburg friends a handsome compliment at the outset. The Congressional review was then resumed, and from this he went on to refer to the efforts of Virginia to save the country by inaugurating the Peace Conference, the propositions resulting from which he emphatically repudiated. He complimented Messrs. Seddon and Tyler, and made allusions of a somewhat different nature to Summers and Rives. The "waiting" policy of Virginia was also descanted upon with sarcastic severity, and Lincoln's Inaugural address came in for a sharp criticism.--The "submissionists" of the Virginia Convention were rebuked by the speaker in scathing terms. He accused them of political intrigues, and said that after bargaining away the country they were gambling for the spoils. He denounced the suggestion of a border State Conference, and paid a glowing tribute to the Southern Confederacy, its President, and its flag of seven stars. He did not believe that Western Virginia was faithfully represented in the Convention. He would deplore a severance of the State; but if the West were to attempt, by brute force, to drag the East after the car of Black Republicanism, he himself would raise the flag of revolution.

Mr. Pryor was enthusiastically applauded throughout. We are unable, in consequence of the difficulties mentioned above, to give more than a faint outline of his argument.--He spoke about an hour and a half.

The crowd manifested a desire to hear from the Rev. Dr. Carter, but the Chairman announced that he declined speaking. He would, however, address the citizens next Monday night.

B. B. Douglas, Esq., was then called upon, but he regretted that a severe cold prevented his compliance. Other popular speakers were shouted for, but no one responding, the Chairman adjourned the meeting. A suggestion was made that a serenade be given to the young ladies of the Baptist Institute, who had raised the secession flag; but the band happening to be elsewhere, the project was abandoned.

The Petersburg delegation marched up Main street shortly after 10 o'clock, to the tune of "Dixie," on the way to the railroad depot.

A petition to the Convention for an ordinance of secession, was circulated during the evening. We were informed that it had 1700 signatures.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Roger A. Pryor (9)
Lincoln (3)
Douglas (2)
George W. Carter (2)
G. W. H. Tyler (1)
Thos (1)
George W. Summers (1)
Seddon (1)
Scott (1)
Timothy Rives (1)
Morton (1)
Hamlin (1)
T. Cropper (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1700 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: