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Union or Secession
  • "Lincolns message is war enough"
On July 9, 1861, tobacco merchant William T. Sutherlin, of Danville, wrote Benjamin Franklin Gravely, of Henry County, about the tobacco market and political news.
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"Lincolns message is war enough"

William T. Sutherlin to Benjamin Franklin Gravely, July 9, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.

On July 9, 1861, tobacco merchant William T. Sutherlin, of Danville, wrote Benjamin Franklin Gravely, of Henry County, about the tobacco market. He mentioned "lugs," the poorest quality marketable tobacco leaves. "No war news to day," he wrote. "Lincolns message is war enough." On July 4, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln sent a formal message to a special session of Congress that met that day. In it, Lincoln reported on his attempts to prevent the secession crisis from evolving into a civil war and how he planned to prosecute the war that had begun. Lincoln also recognized the Restored government at Wheeling as the legitimate government of Virginia. Sutherlin had represented Pittsylvania County in the Virginia Convention, where he voted against secession on April 4, 1861, and for secession on April 17.

William T. Sutherlin to Benjamin Franklin Gravely, July 9, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.

[on letterhead]
Wm. T. Sutherlin,
Danville, Virginia, July 9th 1861
B. F. Gravelly Esq
Dear sir
I drop you a line to let you know how things are going on. No war news to day. Lincolns message is war enough. I think Tobo must sell low, but I hope you have carried out our arrangement if not you had better do so at once There is evidently a stiffening in this section for good crops, W. T. Law sold today one of his crops at 15$ above the Lugs, and some large prices have been paid in Richmond I think the article will be stiff for some weeks to come probably during the best working season, but it is a ficticious rise, but it will effect us a much in buying as if it was from any real cause. I think you had better buy what you intend to at once. Write me.
Yrs
W. T SUTHERLIN

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