Meeting of citizens.An immensely large meeting of citizens was held at the African Church last night, to take into consideration the condition of the national affairs. The meeting organized by electing Wyatt M. Elliott, Esq, President, fifteen Vice Presidents, and five Secretaries. A Committee on Business, composed of Geo. W. Randolph, Esq., and twenty-five other gentlemen, to prepare and report business for the meeting, was appointed. After retirement, Mr. Randolph reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were discussed at length, and finally adopted: Virginia having manifested her appreciation of the benefits of the Federal Union, not only by her active agency in its formation, her sacrifices to maintain it, and her unswerving fidelity to the Constitution, but more emphatically still by her endurance of long-continued aggression upon the constitutional rights of herself and her sister States of the South, we deem it unnecessary to reiterate the declaration, often made, of her desire to maintain that Union, so long as its essential conditions are fulfilled. A period has at length arrived, however, when acquiescence in the existing condition of things ceases to be patriotic, and sound conservatism demands a revision of the constitutional relations of Virginia with the sister States of the Union, for the purpose of providing more effectual guarantees of her rights. We recognise as the chief source of our evils the anti-slavery sentiment of the North, which denies to the Southern States their rights in the Territories; nullifies, by legislative enactments, the Fugitive Slave law; poisons the schools, the pulpit, the press, the literature, and, to some extent, the administration of justice in the Northern States; paralyzes the action of Congress for all useful purposes, and has at length, under the form of a Presidential election, seized the Federal Executive, with the avowed intention of so administering the Government as to circumscribe slavery, and to place it where the Northern mind shall rest satisfied that it is in the course of ultimate extinction. We deem it, therefore, no longer compatible with the safety of this State or of the South to endure assaults, though made under constitutional forms, which can only be checked by constitutional guarantees so plain that they cannot be evaded, and in default of obtaining such guarantees in the Union, it behooves this State and the South to look elsewhere for safety: Therefore, resolved,
- 1st. That we approve of the call of a State Convention, for the purpose of considering and adopting such measures as are necessary to secure the rights of the State in the existing Confederacy or out of it, and in the event of the dissolution of our Union, to provide for her assuming her just share of the debts and obligations, and for securing to her just share of the property, privileges and muniments of the United States.
- 2d. That we reprobate in the strongest terms, as wholly unjustifiable, any attempt on the part, of the Federal Government to coerce a seceding State, and declare that such attempt will, in ouropinion, lead to war between the North and the South, and entail unparalleled calamities upon both.
- 3d. That we deprecate the commencement of hostilities by any seceding State, for the purpose of capturing forts in her territory, before the formation of a new Confederacy, should one be be adopted, unless in the opinion of each State such hostilities be essential to her safety; and hold that the question of peace or war, involving, as it does, the rights and safety of all, should be committed to the General Government of such Confederacy; and that a retention of military posts, for a limited time, by the United States Government, within the territory of a seceding State, no more stains her honor than the continued occupation of British posts within our territory, after the Revolution, tarnished the honor of the Old Confederation.