"I see no safety for Va in the union."
Anselm L. Haden to Charles Anthony, December 17, 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.
Callie Anthony says: My uncle, Anselm Lynch Haden, is my ma's brother. He wrote to my Pa in response to a letter I wrote to him, which Pa had attached as a postscript.
Uncle Anselm was sure that most of the Southern states would secede. It turns out his prediction was right on track. South Carolina left the United States on December 20, 1860. Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama seceded during the second week of January, and Louisiana and Texas followed soon after.
Uncle Anselm wonders what border states like Virginia and Kentucky will do, because he thinks that slavery in Virginia will no longer be protected in the Union. He's afraid that if Virginia doesn't secede quickly, it might not be able to join the cotton states of the lower South in leaving the Union. It seems to me that protecting slavery is foremost for many Virginians in deciding whether our state should leave the Union or not.