Excerpt from speech of Peter Bock Borst in the Virginia Convention on February 23, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861 (Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1965), 1:150–151.
Speaking in the Virginia Convention on February 23, 1861, Peter Bock Borst, a New York native who represented Page County, in the Shenandoah Valley, warned the other delegates about the consequences of the federal government's reinforcing its forts and arsenals in Virginia. The delegates were then debating a resolution to investigate why the United States government was likely to reinforce the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, the garrison at Fort Monroe at the mouth of the James River, and the navy yard near Norfolk. Borst accurately predicted that "if this Convention should determine during its deliberations here that it is right and proper to pass an Ordinance of Secession in order to secure the rights of Virginia and to maintain her interests, that then the Federal Government will be in a position to coerce her." Borst voted for a motion to secede on April 4, 1861, when it failed, and again on April 17, when it passed the convention.