National Workingmen's Convention
Alexandria Gazette, February 26, 1861
Newspapers during the winter of 1860–1861 reported on a large number of meetings in many parts of the country at which workingmen adopted resolutions about the secession crisis. The National Workingmen's Convention that met in Philadelphia on February 22, 1861, George Washington's birthday, included representatives from the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio. The report of the first day's proceedings as published in the Alexandria Gazette quoted one of the representatives of Pennsylvania as saying that he represented 52,000 workingmen and that "these 52,000 men would be satisfied with nothing but the Crittenden compromise as a settlement of our national difficulties." He referred to the proposals that Senator John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, had introduced in December, including a constitutional amendment that prohibited Congress from abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia without the consent of Maryland and from interfering with slavery in the states where it then existed.