Humbug conferences and conventions
Editorial in the Abingdon Democrat, March 8, 1861
"For the life of us," the editor of the Abingdon Democrat wrote in an editorial on March 8, 1861, "we are unable to decide whether the late Peace Conference in Washington or the Virginia Convention is the greatest farce and humbug." He denounced the members of both as foolish old women or impotent amateurs. The Peace Conference met in Washington, D.C., from February 4, through February 27, 1861, and recommended that Congress submit a comprehensive constitutional amendment to the states to settle the sectional crisis permanently. Congress failed to act on the proposals. The Virginia Convention met in Richmond beginning on February 13 and by March 8 had also failed to bring the two sections of the country back together or to take any action for or against secession. Among the references the editor made is one to Horace Greeley, the antislavery editor of the New York Herald and one of the most influential journalists in the United States at that time.