"I do not think that the Union should be dissolved"
Extract from public announcement of Leonidas Baugh, a candidate for a vacant seat in the Virginia House of Delegates from Washington County. Abingdon Democrat, October 12, 1860.
Leonidas Baugh, of Washington County, in southwestern Virginia, published a public letter in October 1860 while he was a candidate for a vacant seat in the House of Delegates. Baugh expressed his attitudes about the candidates for president and indicated that he favored Democrat John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for president, and Senator Joseph Lane, of Oregon, for vice president. "Yet should Lincoln and Hamlin unfortunately be elected," he wrote, "I do not think that the Union should be dissolved; but would say in the language of Gen. Joseph Lane, 'we must content ourselves with the thought that four years will quickly pass, and at the expiration of that time the people will rise in their might and place a man in the Presidential chair who will stand by the principles of the Constitution as now explained by the Supreme Court.'" His quotation from Lane referred to the Supreme Court's 1857 ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Congress could not forbid slavery in the western territories. Like most other white Virginians of the time, Baugh referred to Republicans as "Black Republicans," a commonplace phrase that condemned the party as too favorable toward the interests of slaves and hostile toward the interests of slaveowners.