Virginia on Secession

[From the Richmond Enquirer of December 10, 1806]

“On Thursday last the Electors of Virginia dined together at the Swan Tavern, in this city. The Madison Corresponding Committee and the Governor of Virginia were their guests. These gentlemen, coming from different parts of the State, and bringing with them the sentiments of the people, many of them distinguished Whigs of the Revolution, assembled in harmony and unity to interchange the emotions of friendship at this interesting crisis of our public affairs. Everything was conducted in the most orderly and dignified manner. It was all ‘the feast of reason and the flow of soul.’

“Spencer Roane, Esq., one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals, and Chairman of the Electoral College, presided. Robert Taylor, Esq., of Orange, Speaker of the Senate, acted as Vice President. After an elegant; and plentiful dinner the cloth was removed and the following toasts and volunteers were drunk.”

Omitting the preceding “sentiments,” the following was the 14th “regular toast” on this occasion:

“The Union of States: the majority must govern: it is treason to secede.”

Reprinted: Alexandria Gazette, Volume 61, Number 261, 1 November 1860

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