The Staunton Vindicator, November 30, 1860, p. 2, c. 4
Virginia and South Carolina
The spirit of cringing subserviency to the behests of the Cotton States manifested by a few of the Democratic press, is totally at variance with the sentiments of the people of Virginia. We were much surprised, and no little fretted at a suggestion in the Alexandria Sentinel a few days ago, to the effect that the State should go to South Carolina, "apologise" for not yielding to her proposition for a Southern Convention last Winter, and implead her to counsel with us now.---The idea of Virginia apologising to South Carolina or any other State for doing that which she believed to be right, is a proposition so ridiculous in itself and so suggestive of a spirit of conscious inferiority, that we can hardly think our able contemporary meant that which his language conveys. We are one of those who believe Virginia did what was precisely right in refusing a conference with the Southern States on that particular occasion, and under those peculiar circumstances. John Brown had invaded Virginia, violated her laws and insulted her sovereignty. Virginia believed she could vindicate her violated laws, and defend her honor by her own inherent agencies. While she treated the commissioner South Carolina was pleased to send with the courtesy and dignity due his mission, she respectfully declined the aid of her sister States in that emergency, believing that she knew her rights and knowing dared maintain them. This she did most triumphantly in bringing the chief offender and his confederates to a speedy trial and a just and significant punishment. John Brown and his party were hung, the violated law was satisfied, and the honor of the State vindicated. Virginia then saw, as she now sees, a remedy within the Union for the defense of her constitutional rights and the maintenance of her sovereign character unimpaired. Whilst the tender of South Carolina on that occasion was doubtless designed in the spirit of sisterly affection, still we cannot dismiss from our mind that it had the appearance of an insult, or of a covert attempt to take advantage of the excited state of public sentiment to carry out her purposes of dissolution. Virginia acted with that dignity, character and self-reliance--that proud sense of self-reliance, which rises above the craven sensation of danger when honor and right are at stake--which have ever distinguished her. She would have been untrue to herself--false to her sons, her honor and her history, had she listened to any offers of aid in that hour of her trial. It seems to us, therefore, that any allusions adverse to and condemnatory of the action of the State on that occasion are unjust, and made without due reflection. It is enough for such outlawed and revolutionary sheets as the Charleston Mercury to pour their streams of foul-mouthed abuse on her, without the press within her own limits taunting her with the insulting suggestion of apologising to South Carolina! Shame on the thought.
South Carolina and her confederates of the Cotton States in their scheme of precipitating a revolution, meet with but little sympathy in Virginia. In her character as a Sovereign State, nothing, we believe, is farther from her purpose than to affiliate and coalesce with them in their reckless and criminal purpose to break up, without sufficient cause, this, the greatest and best government the world has ever seen.