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Excitement in Accomack

Union or Secession
  • Political Excitement in Accomack County
Following the election of an opponent of secession, William Henry Bagwell Custis, to the Virginia Convention, some residents of Accomack County burned him in effigy on February 9, 1861.
Related documents:
  • "My most solemn protest against the passage of this ordinance"
Related Biographies:
  • William Henry Bagwell Custis (1814–1889)
    William Henry Bagwell Custis
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Political Excitement in Accomack County

Report from the Norfolk Argus printed in the Richmond Daily Dispatch, February 15, 1861.

On February 4, 1861, voters in Accomack County, on the Eastern Shore, elected an opponent of secession, William Henry Bagwell Custis, to represent the county in the Virginia Convention. Supporters of secession were so disappointed that they requested former governor Henry Alexander Wise, a native of the county, and Miers W. Fisher, a member of the convention from neighboring Northampton County to represent their interests, instead. In the town of Pungoteague five days later, Custis and three other men were burned in effigy, one of them being the noted African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Report from the Norfolk Argus printed in the Richmond Daily Dispatch, February 15, 1861.

POLITICAL EXCITEMENT IN ACCOMAC.– At the election for a member of the Virginia State Convention in Accomac county, Mr. Custis, Conservative, was chosen. His opponents have since held a meeting expressing their want of confidence in their delegate, and requesting Hon. Henry A. Wise and M. W. Fisher to act as their representatives in the Convention. The Norfolk Argus, which states the above facts, adds that there was great excitement at Pungoteague on Saturday last; W. H. B. Custis, (the Union candidate,) Judge E. P. Pitts, Dr. Geo. Tyler and Fred. Douglass were burnt in effigy, by the people.