And we’re not even looking for a federal job
No final decisions were made, but 150 years ago today members of the Virginia secession convention debated a resolution to send three commissioners to meet with President Lincoln to find out definitely what his policy toward the seceded states was going to be. From The New-York Times April 8, 1861 (The New York Times Archive):
IMPORTANT PROCEEDINGS OF THE VIRGINIA STATE CONVENTION.
RICHMOND, Va., Saturday, April 6.
The Virginia State Convention reassembled this forenoon.
Secession resolutions from the people of Charlotte and Norfolk Counties were presented.
MR. HALLADAY said that the signers to the latter constituted a small minority of the people of the county. …
In Convention, Mr. PRESTON, a conservative, offered a resolution (supposed to have been occasioned by the late war movement) declaring that the Government has no power to subjugate a Southern State, protesting against any such coercive policy, and authorizing the appointment of delegates to wait on the President, present him these resolutions, and respectfully ask him to communicate to the Convention the policy the Government intends to pursue.
The resolution was modified on the suggestion of Mr. BALDWIN, and accepted by Mr. PRESTON, as follows:
Whereas, In the opinion of this Convention the uncertainty which prevails in the public mind as to the policy the Government intends to pursue towards the seceded States is extremely injurious to the commercial and industrial interests of the country, and tends to keep up an excitement which is unfavorable to an adjustment of the pending difficulties, and threatens the disturbance of the public peace; therefore.
Resolved, That a committee of three delegates be appointed to wait on the President, &c.
Mr. CARLILE offered, an amendment, to include a desire to know the policy of the seceded States toward the General Government. Rejected.
Mr. PRESTON’s resolution was then adopted as modified.
Mr. JACKSON moved a reconsideration. He did not vote.
The Convention agreed to take a vote again.
Mr. JACKSON made a venement speech against the proposition, declaring his constituents would never consent to join South Carolina.
Lieut. Gov. MONTAGGE made a spirited speech in reply.
Considerable feeling was manifested on all sides.
Some of the Unionists consider that the adoption of Mr. PRESTON’s resolution will annihilate all hopes of adjustment.
Without taking a final vote the Convention agreed to adjourn, hoping for a more calm session on Monday. …
Apparently the Virginia delegates were as uncertain about Lincoln’s policies as The New York Times.
Like John Jay Jackson, John Snyder Carlile was a delegate from a county currently in West Virginia
William Ballard Preston was the Secretary of the Navy during the Zachary Taylor administration.