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Union or Secession
  • "I fear that our glorious Union will soon be no more."
  • "I fear that our glorious Union will soon be no more."
  • "I fear that our glorious Union will soon be no more."
Writing to her friend, Callie Anthony, on October 15, 1860, Sue Ragsdale related her fears that the Union might break apart.
Related documents:
  • "I am a secessionist per se"
« Return to July 1860 to January 1861
My Dear Callie

"I fear that our glorious Union will soon be no more."

Sue Ragsdale to Callie Anthony, October 15, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My friend, Sue Ragsdale, flattered me on my character. She's really quite silly, but you know I love the compliments!

Sue is afraid that the Union might break up. Disunion is a word that has been used in the newspapers a lot lately. I think Sue has a good point that none of our current political men are as wise as some of the famous patriots and politicians of history, such as George Washington, Patrick Henry, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Edmund Randolph. It really sounds like Sue is a Unionist. She thinks the people talking about secession are only concerned with their own glory. I'm not sure that is the case, but I think everyone agrees that there are some really big decisions coming soon.

Sue Ragsdale to Callie Anthony, October 15, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Cottage Home, Oct. 15th 1860
Monday Night.
My dear Callie,
Altho. it is now quite late, yet I cannot longer delay in answering your kind and welcomed letter of the 5th ult. I must again beg your pardon for my negligence, and trust to your kindness of heart for forgiveness. I know that your communication has been shamefully neglected, and I owe you many apologies; but I believe you will do me the justice my dear Callie to think that my silence did not proceed from a want of that pure, deep, strong, and lasting affection, which your generous and amiable disposition will ever awaken. You seemed to doubt the sincerity of my sentiment, or rather thought that I was mistaken in your character; I know what I said to be true, And you cannot make me believe otherwise, I not know your qualities.—I, who was so intimately associated with you, and that too at a place where our true characters are disclosed. M: Callie, I will never believe you, other than the generous, kind, affectionate, truthful, noble, and highminded girl, which every act and word of yours proved you to be. I hope, and believe you will not take this as flattery; for you must atleast have seen that I did not deal in the article. I admire candour, have been taught it from my infancy, And truth is beautiful at all times, the Palladiam of all that noble and ennobling within us. So I hope that you will believe what I say, I think, and that I don't do it merely for the compliment of the thing.
I received a long letter from Cordelia not long since, she writes, that her heart and hand are now both free. I think, she ought not to have treated Mr. P so badly, for I reckon he was very much devoted to her. I should be most happy to write you something, which would interest you, but have not the material upon which to work. Politics seems to be the all engrossing theme— when I, (who am not allowed an interest in such things) cant help from feeling excited, the ominous signs in the political Heavens, have aroused my patriotism, I fear that our glorious Union will soon be no more. The spirit of disunion is abroad, dark and threatening clouds have gathered over our heads, and will one day burst forth in all their fury. We have no Washington to disperse them— No Henry to arouse the people by his eloquence,—No Clay, Webster, Calhoun, or Randolph to preserve and perpetuate the Union, they were devoted to freedom and liberty, appreciated their blessings and advantages. If our politicians were of a high, understanding spirit, honestly attached to the principles of the constitution, firm and indefatigable in maintaining them, there would be some hope, but they will sacrifice the welfare of their Country to their own vain glory and personal aggrandizement.
My kindest and best regards to your Pa and Ma. I will write to you again soon, and will then tell you whether I can visit you Christmas. All send love to you. Write soon. Good-night, and if the assurance that I love you can give you sound sleep you will not need a lullaby.
Yours affectionately,
S. R