The Richmond Enquirer, March 16, 1861, p. 2, c. 4
Enthusiastic Secession Meeting.
The African Church, in Broad street, was crowded to its utmost capacity last evening, with an enthusiastic audience, assembled to hear an address from the Hon. Roger A. Pryor, on the subject of secession. The Commissioners appointed by Maryland to confer with Virginia, having arrived in Richmond in the afternoon, were greeted with loud cheering when they entered the building, and were conducted to seats on the platform. Although laboring under considerable indisposition, Mr. Pryor spoke for an hour and a half in his usual fluent and eloquent strain. He argued that the Union was now in reality dissolved, and the separation of the States was eternal.
He reviewed the course of the Republicans in Congress, and pointed out the policy of the present Republican Administration. Pouring out the vials of his invective upon the submissionists in the Convention, he disclosed the procrastinating programme of that body. Doubting the sincerity of the proposition of their Majority Report recommending a border State Convention, he said Virginia must either submit to humiliation at the footstool of the North, or unite her fortunes with the Southern Confederacy; and he said he would rather be dragged at the tail of South Carolina than to be laid in chains on the triumphal ear of Massachusetts. In speaking of Eastern and Western Virginia, he said he did not think Western Virginia was faithfully represented by the delegates from that section in the State Convention. If it should be the demonstrated purpose of Western Virginia, by the despotism of brute force, to hold the Eastern portion of the Commonwealth under the bondage of a Black Republican majority, he for one would raise the standard of revolution. His address was received with great enthusiasm.
An episode, during its delivery, caused by the entrance of a large delegation from Petersburg, bearing a beautiful flag of the Southern Confederacy, the sight of which was the signal for rapturous cheering, produced a fine effect.
It was announced that the Rev. Dr. Carter of Texas would address the citizens of Richmond on the subject of secession at the same place on Monday evening.