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The Staunton Spectator, January 8, 1861, p. 1, c. 6

Western Virginia

A correspondent of the Alexandria Gazette, writing from the county of Marion, under date of December the 22nd says:

Western Virginia is becoming aroused on the great question of disunion. Groaning under a burden of unequal taxation, the people are wide awake to their interest. The forum of the Legislature at Richmond this winter will present an interesting scene for demanding and conceding rights, long withheld, to the west, and long cherished by our eastern brethren in their enjoyment. The west is uncompromisingly in favor of the Union, not merely for the sake of the Union, but for the sacred and inestimable rights it guarantees to the people.

"If a State Convention is called, the first question to be settled is the basis of representation. The west will accept of nothing but the white basis as now represented in the lower House.

"The Convention, when called, must have power to amend the Constitution of the State, at least in that part which exempts a large portion of the slave property from taxation.

"If delegates are to be appointed to a Southern Convention, those delegates must be appointed by districts, arranged on the basis of the white population of the State.

"The obvious justice of these demands must commend them to the approval of all just thinking men. If our eastern brethren withhold these rights from the west at this juncture it will take one hundred thousand bayonets from a Southern Confederacy to force western Virginia into a union with the Cotton States. We want all these questions settled before we join co-partners with South Carolina."