Doc. 101.-Union meeting at Portsmouth, Va.
A large and enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Portsmouth, was held at Oxford Hall, Thursday afternoon, May twenty-second, 1862. Capt. Johannes Watson was unanimously chosen to preside, and R. G. Staples Secretary of the meeting. The following gentlemen were appointed a Committee to draft suitable resolutions, to be acted upon by the meeting: Messrs. James Clements, George R. Boush, Philip Thomas, Henry Burrows and Robert Petitt. During the absence of the Committee, the Michigan brass band enlivened the occasion with the National airs, Hail Columbia, and The Star-Spangled Banner. The Committee, through its Chairman, Mr. Clements, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted: Whereas, A convention of delegates, elected by the people of Virginia, assembled in Richmond, did, in secret session, contrary to the expressed desire of their constituents, pass certain resolves, declaring the people of the State absolved from their allegiance to the Federal Government, and connecting them with a so-called Southern Confederacy; and Whereas The so-called Southern Confederacy has waged a treasonable war upon the Government of the United States, without just cause or provocation, forcing our citizens, contrary to their desire, to take up arms against their country, involving us in ruin, and bringing destruction on our families and friends, causing wide-spread desolation in our midst, and mourning at our firesides; therefore, 1st. Be it Resolved, That we do unhesitatingly condemn the heresy of secession, as being destructive of the liberties of the citizens, tending to demoralize the community, and the subversion of civilisation and religion, and if successfully carried out, would be a death-blow to republican institutions; and, 2d. Be it further Resolved, That we look upon the Constitution of the United States as a sufficient guarantee of liberty and protection to all the citizens throughout the country, and have seen no indications of any attempt, on the part of the United States Government, to subvert the Constitution, or set aside any of its provisions; consequently we feel it our duty to yield the Government a hearty support in its effort to suppress insurrection, and put down “rebellion” most effectually and in the shortest time; and, 3d. Resolved, That we believe a majority of the people of Virginia are loyal to the United States, but have been deceived by ambitious leaders at home, and driven into rebellion by an armed mob from abroad; consequently we earnestly invite them to join us in the effort to get rid of the horrible oppression from which we have suffered for the last twelve months; and, 4th. Resolved, That we earnestly appeal to our brethren in our midst, who have adopted the heresy of secession, to return to their allegiance, feeling confident that our Government has no desire to deprive them of any of their former rights and privileges; and, 5th. Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting the true interest of the State of Virginia demands that her citizens in the East should, without delay, enter into a recognition of the government established in the western section of the State; and, 6th. Be it further Resolved, That we appeal to the Government, to extend a support and protection to us in this period of distress; and, 7th. Resolved, That a Committee of two be appointed  to carry out the provisions of the sixth section of these resolutions. In accordance with the last resolution, Messrs. Clements and Collins were appointed a Committee to proceed to Washington and present a petition, which was read by the Secretary, and opened for signers. During the signing of the petition the band played National and other airs, to the great satisfaction of all present. On motion it was Resolved, That Government be requested to administer the oath to our city authorities, and in the event of refusal by them to subscribe to the same, that legal steps be taken to remove them. On motion the meeting adjourned, and, headed by the band, a large concourse of citizens formed in procession, and marched through the principal streets.