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The Crisis--National Convention. The Staunton Vindicator, November 23, 1860, p. 2, c. 2

What does this article suggest about Virginians' views of the consequence of Lincoln's election? Why did Governor Letcher think that the South could minimize the effects of Lincoln's election without taking the drastic step of seceding from the Union? What does Letcher's unwillingness to be "'hitched'" to the course of the Deep South say about the public opinion in Virginia?

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

By the time the Deep South states began to secede, the western part of Virginia was advocating a plan which called for white population to be the sole basis for determining legislative representation in the state house. The western counties also were calling for all property, including slaves, to be subject to equal taxation. Does this article, reprinted from a paper in western Virginia, suggest that these Virginians would consider secession should their demands be met?

For the Spectator. The Staunton Spectator, January 22, 1861, p. 1, c. 5

The author of this article seems to value a united Virginia above all else and thinks that the state could prevail in demanding concessions from the North in order to remain in the Union. Does the author address the issues which created divisions between the western and eastern parts of the state? Are his demands upon the North reasonable?

To the People of Augusta County. The Staunton Spectator, January 22, 1861, p. 2, c. 3

Given Alexander Stuart's faith in a public referendum on any resolution made by the Virginia Convention, does he believe the majority of Virginians to be for or against secession in early 1861?

To the Voters in Virginia CONSERVATISM -- WHAT IS IT? The Richmond Enquirer, February 1, 1861, p. 1, c. 4

Why did this "conservative" oppose referring the actions of the Virginia Convention to the people? Was the reference to "Black Republicanism" in Virginia substantive or just a tactic to sway voters?

Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech, March 4, 1861, Lincoln's Inaugural. The Staunton Spectator, March 12, 1861, p. 2, c. 3

How can one construe Lincoln's First Inaugural address to be both a message of peace and a message of war? Give examples to support your answer.

THE REAL POSITION OF THE BORDER STATES. The New York Herald, April 8, 1861

The fear that western Virginia would form a new state which would remain in the Union, the writer of this article asserts, is the only reason why Virginia had not yet seceded from the Union by the spring of 1861. Is there merit to this view, or, based on the information gained from the film and this website, did Virginia have other reasons for staying in the Union at this point?

Nathaniel Beverley Tucker to Richard Cocke, January 10, 1861

Does the author of this letter believe that Lincoln's election is reason enough to secede from the Union? Why or why not?

Waitman T. Willey Addresses the Convention on the Loyalty of Western Virginia, February 21, 1861

How does Waitman Willey explain to the Virginia Convention that the western portion of the state supports the rest of the state or is loyal to Virginia yet is unwilling to secede under the present circumstances?

Abraham Lincoln on the Admission of West Virginia, December, 1862

According to President Lincoln, what is the Constitutional basis for admitting the new state of West Virginia into the Union? What practical reasons does he put forth in support of its admission? Is his differentiation between secession "in favor of the constitution" and "against the constitution" convincing? Why or why not?

Presidential Election of 1860

Look at the 1860 election results map. Is there a pattern of voting results which separates the western part of the state from the eastern part?

After viewing this map and the accompanying chart, is there evidence that the western part of the state supported Lincoln and "Black Republicanism" as some easterners alleged? Support your answer.

How does this map relate to the course that Virginia would take during the secession crisis?

Virginia Convention of 1861

After viewing both maps and reading Waitman Willey's speech before the Convention, what can be said about support for Virginia and the South on one hand and an unwillingness to secede on the other? Do the maps suggest the distinction as Willey seems to in his speech?