Disunion Movement – Alexandria Gazette, Nov. 1, 1860

John C. Breckinridge

In the last issue of the Atlantic, Ga., American, we find some account of a Democratic meeting held in Appling county, in Georgia. It is reported to have been one of the largest and most enthusiastic political gatherings ever witnessed in that portion of the State, and hence the resolutions adopted on the occasion may be supposed to reflect the views and opinions of the Breckinridge leaders in Georgia.  The following are the resolutions which were unanimously adapted:

“Whereas. The oft-repeated and continued aggressions of the anti-slavery party of the North leave us no hope that the “irrepressible conflict” is to have an end, or that we can ever again “dwell in unity;” be it, therefore,

Resolved, That for the future we spurn all offers of compromise. and unhesitatingly and unequivocally  declare it to be the duty of every slave State, in the event of Lincoln’s election to the Presidency of these United States, without a moment’s delay — peaceably if we can,  forcibly if we must — to sever the bonds which bind them to the Union and hoist the flag of a Southern confederacy.

That with John C. Breckinridge as our leader, and Toombs, Davis, Rhett, Boyce and Yancey as his aid-de-camps. we have nothing to fear. Though we may be compelled to follow them from the arena of politics to the more exciting and, to us, more agreeable one of the soldier — they promise us equality in the Union or independence out of it.

That we recommend to our brethren in each county in every slave State to call meetings without delay, to organize companies of cavalry and infantry, to arm and equip themselves, if necessary. at their own expense, and hold themselves in readiness to march at the call of their leaders.

That in thus publicly proclaiming to our enemies the course we intend to pursue, we warn them we have been so long goaded by their aggressions, their repeated violations of the most solemn compromises, that forbearance on our part has ceased to be a virtue, and can only be considered so by the craven wretch who would refuse to smite the hand that would destroy him. and that we are in sober, solemn earnest.”

Here we have clearly and bolding set forth the recklcss and revolutionary designs of a portion of the supporters of Breckinridge. We invite attention most particularly to the following points in the above resolutions, viz: That it is the duty of the Slaves States, in the event of the bare election of Lincoln, “without a moment’s delay” to sever the cords which bind them to the Union, and hoist the flag of the Southern Confederacy; that the second resolution couples the names of Mr. Breckinridge and Senator Toombs and Davis, and Messrs. Rhett, Boyce and Yancey, with such a movement, by asserting that with them as leaders and “aides decamp,” they have nothing to fear, though they “may be compelled to follow them from the arena of politics to the more exciting, and, to us, more agreeable one of the soldier:” and that they recommend their “brethren in each county of every Slave State, without delay, to organize, arm and equip themselves,  and hold themselves in readiness to march at the call of their leader, whom they declare to be John J. Breckinridge and Toombs, Davis, Rhett, Boyce and Yancey.

Now, how many patriotic, honest, old line Democrats of the Jefferson, Madison, Jackson school endorse such traitorous doctrines, as those above enunciated, or will participate in measures so well calculated to produce civil war, by “precipitating the Cotton States into a revolution?” No, the true Democracy of the land are no more ready for such arming and equipping with a view to seceding in the event of Lincoln’s election, in accordance with the recognized forms of our Constitution, than are the Constitutional Union men: and if the masses in the South of those who will vote for Mr. Breckinridge believed that his views and his purposes were reflected or set forth by these resolutions, they would leave him by hundreds of thousands, and he would be left without a corporal’s guard in every Southern State where the people are permitted to vote.  We call upon those who intend supporting Mr. Breckinridge as the candidate best calculated to preserve a Democratic government, to read and ponder the above resolutions.

Note: This article, originally from the Richmond Whig, was reprinted in the Alexandria Gazette, November 1, 1860 — five days before the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Ohio Congressman Proposes to Prohibit Confederate Monuments – May 24, 1890

Alexandria Gazette, p.2

And so an Ohio republican Congressman thinks the exhibition of Confederate flags and the erection of Confederate monuments in the South must be prohibited, and is consulting his colleagues about the advisablllity of introducing a resolution to that effect in the U.S. House of Representatives. If he shall, it will probably be adopted, and be followed by another, prohibiting Dixey[sp.] and other southern songs from being sung, and gray cloth from being worn, throughout the limits of the South. Well, the South has stood worse things. After awhile restrictions will be put upon northern democracy. When judges are removed because their decisions are not in accord with the policy of the President, and when U.S. vessels are sent to take possession of southern towns, and their marines to search southern homes, nothing else that may be done under a republican form of government can be surprising. It is what the republicans don’t do that evokes the emotion of surprise.

Virginia Committee Kills Bill to Allow Local Control of Confederate Monuments

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D)

Senate Bill 444, the Memorial for Veterans bill, introduced in the Virginia Senate by Senator Jennifer T. Wexton:

Provides that a locality may remove, relocate, or alter a war monument or memorial, regardless of when erected.

The Committee on Local Government, comprised of 7 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted along party lines to “Pass by indefinitely” Wexton’s bill.  The 7 Republicans voting to kill the bill were Senators Stanley, Hanger, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Chase, Sturtevant, and Carrico.  Voting “no” on the motion to kill the bill were Democrats Marsden, Favola, Lewis, Surovell, McPike, and McClellan.

SB 444 would have stricken language passed in the Virginia legislature in 1890.

If such are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same. For purposes of this section, “disturb or interfere with” includes removal of, damaging or defacing monuments or memorials, or, in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings or monuments on previously designated Confederate memorials or the placement of Confederate markings or monuments on previously designated Union memorials.

Wexton, a Democrat, represents parts of Fairfax and Loudon counties, and was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2014. Wexton is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, challenging the incumbent, Republican Barbara Comstock.

Alexandria Gazette on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

Appalling Tragedy

This whole community was startled this morning, early, by reports trom Washington, of the murder of the President of the United States, and the attempted assassination of the Secretary of State and his son. So astounding was the intelligence, that the rumor was at first discredited. No one believed that such an awful tragedy did or could happen. The idea of such an occurrence is abhorrent to the minds ot the American people? Assassination is foreign to the habits and disposition of our race. Not even the excitements of the fiercest political passions, not even the fires of civil or sectional war, can alter or chango public feelings on such a subject. All felt and thought alike, in reference to such an atrocity. As the  particulars became known, men, gathered in groups — heard with wonder and amazement —  and expressed their indignation. Nothing else was thought of or talked of. War, is what brave and good men, can and do enter into; actuated by honorable motives, and conducted in an honorable manner. But all good men — all brave men — all honorable men, abhor murder and assassination — cowardly and atrocious as they are.

Note: This editorial (minus the artwork) appeared in the Alexandria Gazette on April 15, 1865. Lincoln died earlier that morning after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth.

Alexandria Ex-Confederates Organization Meeting – July 7, 1884

Meeting of Ex-Confederates

Pursuant to call, there assembled at the Council chamber last night a large and enthusiastic number of ex-Confederates for the purpose of organizing a camp, similar to those which have been formed in all the large cities and towns of the State. The meeting was called to order by Capt. R. F. Knox, temporary chairman, who stated the object of the meeting and the progress already made. The committee on by-laws appointed at the meeting held last week made their report, and by-laws suitable for the government of the camp were adopted. A permanent organization was effected by the adoption of a name for the camp and the election of officers, and the enrolment of over fifty names for membership. After the appointment of several committees and the transaction of other business, the camp adjourned until it’s next regular meeting — the first Monday in August. The organization will be known as the “R. E. Lee Camp No. –  Confederate Veterans, of Alexandria, Va.” The following were elected officers to serve for the ensuing year: Commander, Capt. P. B. Hooe; 1st Lieutenant, W. A. Smoot; 2d do., Lieut. Frank Power; 3d do., Captain K. Kemper: Adjutant, Edgar Warfield ; Quartermaster, R. M. Latham; Chaplain, Rev. G. H. Norton; Surgeon, Dr. R. C. Powell ; Treasurer, Capt. R. F. Knox ; Officer of the Day, F. A. Howell; Vidette, E. H. Hawkins. Executive Committee — John R. Zimmerman, Geo. Wise and Thomas W. White.

This report appears on page 3 of  the Alexandria Gazette, July 8, 1884.

Note: Meeting was held in Council chambers.  I guess it’s no surprise that further actions of the camp were all approved by council. Allowing them to meet in council chambers gives the impression that they enjoyed the support of Alexandria’s leading politicians.

Alexandria City Hall