Flagrant war rages within our borders.
The enemy has laid a tyrant's hand upon the green bosom of dear old Virginia
He is threatening her lovely fields with devastation; weak, aged, and defenceless women with outrage, and their protectors with ruin.
A terrible crisis is upon our beloved Commonwealth.
She is called upon to put forth all her energies; and while her sons are rushing to her defence, it becomes not her daughters to stand idle.
Yielding to the impulse to be up and doing also, this association has been formed.
Its object is told by its name, and explained by the war.
Where are defences most needed?
We asked; we were told; "Upon the water." --There we are weak and exposed; the enemy strong and threatening.
To check him there and defend our beautiful city from the guns of his ships and from the ruthless hand of a ruthless foe, it was decided that the first efforts of the association should be directed to the building and putting afloat in the waters of the James river
a steam man-of-war, clad in shot- proof armor.
Her panoply is to be after the manner of that gallant ship, the noble "Virginia
Committees were appointed to solicit subscriptions.
The response told at once that we had, as we knew we should, struck the right cord.
Our solicitors received such encouragement that the managers felt themselves authorized forthwith to wait on the President
of the Confederacy
, with a request that he would permit the association to furnish the means for building the first shot-proof vessel that can be put afloat on the Jamesilver.
He received the proposal gladly, and at once gave the most gratifying evidence of his desire to help and assist in the good work.
The Association has the farther pleasure to announce to its friends that in a few days the keel of their vessel will be laid.
, an experienced officer of the Navy, has been placed in charge of the work.
He is to be assisted in the construction by one of the most celebrated ship-builders of the country--Mr. Graves
--who is also on the ground.
Advertisements are out for two hundred mechanics — a considerable force of them has already been engaged — and vessels have been sent down the river to fetch up timber ready cut to our hands by the enemy.
The Secretaries of Navy
and War are also heartily with us. They are ready to speed the work; and that it may not lag for funds, the Association appeals to the women of the land, and the men of the State
, especially the non-combatants, to come forward — the rich of their abundance and poor with their mites, and do their diligence quickly.
Time is precious.
This powerful means of defence has been delayed already too long.
Not a moment is to be lost; and if a working force sufficient can be raised, it is desirable that the sound of the workman's hammer upon this vessel should not cease day or night until she has her armor on and is ready for the battle.
This will increase the cost, but quicken her for defence; therefore, we call upon our friends to come to our help, and to come quickly.
, when she sent her sons into this war, gave up her jewels to it. Let not her daughters hold back.
Mothers, wives, sisters!
What are your ornaments of silver
in decoration, when, by dedicating them to a cause like this, you may in times like these strengthen the hand, or nerve the arm, or give comfort to the heart that beats and strikes in your defence?
Send them to us.
We want materials and tools and money to build this vessel.
We want iron for boilers, engines and armor.
Contributions in any of these, or of anything which may be converted into these, will be acceptable.
The metals, especially iron and lead, are scarce.
, old and new; scrap iron
about the house; broken plough-shares about farms, and iron in any shape, though given in quantities ever so small, will be thankfully received, if delivered at the Tredegar Iron Works, in this city, where it may be put into the furnace, reduced, and wrought into shape, or turned into shot and shell.
Subscriptions in money, plate, or jewelry, should be sent to Mrs. R. H. Maury
of the Association; if made in building materials, or tools, they should be sent to Capt. Farrand
; and if in grain, or kind, to--; all in the city of Richmond
All papers please copy.