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Union or Secession
  • Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
  • Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
  • Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
  • Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
  • Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
Samuel J. Mullins, writing from Henry County on January 25, 1861, informed Christopher Yancy Thomas, a member of the Senate of Virginia, about politics in the county and the approaching election of convention delegates.
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Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia

Samuel J. Mullins to Christopher Yancy Thomas, January 25, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.

Samuel J. Mullins, writing from Henry County on January 25, 1861, informed Christopher Y. Thomas, a member of the Senate of Virginia, about politics in the county and the approaching election of Convention delegates. "As for saving the union," he wrote, "That I look upon as and absurdity as language without meaning that the present union is now among the things that ware; and the only hope now is to reconstruct to remodel upon such a fair and equitable basis as will induce the southern states to reunite upon it." Mullins, like many other Virginians who favored secession, opposed requiring the Convention to submit a decision in favor of secession to a ratification referendum. "I shall vote against the proposition to submit the proceedings of the convention to the people; simply for the reason the delay of time. Va: should do what she intends to do before Lincolns inauguration." At the election on February 4, Peyton Gravely, who opposed secession, defeated John T. Wootton, who favored it, by a vote of 705 to 335; and 77.9 percent of Henry County's voters insisted on requiring the ratification referendum.

Samuel J. Mullins to Christopher Yancy Thomas, January 25, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.

Mayo Henry County Va:
January 25th, 1861
Mr C. Y. Thomas
Dear Sir,
I received your letter in due time. It would be to me a source of satisfaction at any time to have your veiws upon important subjects; But at this particular juncture of affairs your letter gave me great pleasure. I have read your letter carefully, and reflected seriously upon its contents; and more doubtless than I should have if my veiws had coincided with yours fully. Had it been my opinion against yours I should likely have readily yeilded, but as it is a question upon which the most comprehensive minds differ and it being a conflict of your oppinion and theirs it caused me to seriously reflect and weigh all the testimony in the case, without coming to a satisfactory conclusion.
That your letter to some extent moderated my veiws I readily confess; That coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Va: is my honest conviction. They should at least assume that position until they are satisfied they are right; then go ahead.
But I must desent from your veiws about what may be the result of this confusion and probable seperation of Va: from the federal-government; I cannot for one moment beleive that a anarchial or despotick government could be formed with the generations now living (south) in america we know too well the value of liberty we prise it too high, we have lived under such a government too long to ever subject the people to such rule, every man would would sooner welcome his grave proudly meet death befor submit, a force might be brought strong enough to exterminate us and a generation might be raised up with fear, and faith in such a government and then and not until then can such a government live for one day upon southern soil.
As for saving the union That I look upon as and absurdity as language without meaning that the present union is now among the things that ware; and the only hope now is to reconstruct to remodel upon such a fair and equitable basis as will induce the southern states to reunite upon it. Which I must confess is from all the information I can gather is utterly hopeless at this time. All I should ask of a representative at this time is to attempt to avoid civil war. If that can be any fair and honerable means be avoided it should be done but that is my only hope. I readily endorse the proposition known as the Pryor proposition; But is there even a hope for such and ajustment;—
I shall vote against the proposition to submit the proceedings of the convention to the people; simply for the reason the delay of time. Va: should do what she intends to do before Lincolns inauguration.
No: 2. You will doubless tire on my long communication; but as I have failed to give any county news, I will now give you a short scetch. You doubtless have heard from our proceedings at Court, Jack Wootton was nominated by acclamation to represent us in the coming convention; The meetings was composed principally of men that have heretofore belonged to the democratick party. His veiws you are doubtless acquainted with. He will I think get a large majority of this Mayo country. There was I learn on monday last to have been a meeting at H. C. House to nominate a candidate to oppose Wootton I have not heard from it, Wootton speaks at H. P. Store tomorrow when I will hear, and will leave my letter oppen and inform you. Jack East died a few days ago, it is said killed himself drinking.
Money Matters are said to be very stringent, scarcer than it was ever known here before. If people in Henry ware forced to wind up and pay up at this time; I would say fare well vain world. We farmers though are making preparations to make Tobacco just as if it was as high and ready sale as it was 12 months ago. in fact I am trying to make a little more, so if I have to take a small price, I will have the more to sell.
Say to Mr John Staples his mothers family are well give him and Mr. Martin Dr: Scales and my respects and that we would like to hear from them. Dr. Scales also request me to give his best respects; You are a great favorite of his; and in a canvass he could do you as much good as any man in the county.
Horse Pasture
Peyton Gravely opposes Jack Wootton Horse Pasture will vote for Wootton. It is snowing and raining nobody is here.
Your Freind
Truly
SAML J MULLINS