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.
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
, Mr. Morton
of the Convention
, and Mr. Douglas
of the State Senate.
was introduced to the audience by Thos
, T. Cropper
, who in a brief speech, alluded to the remarkable change of sentiment in Petersburg
, Mr. Pryor
's place of residence.
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
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
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.
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 made allusions of a somewhat different nature to Summers
. 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.
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
, 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.
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.