"Pass the Ordinance of Secession"
Excerpts from speech of George Blow, April 17, 1861, printed in George H. Reese and William H. Gaines, Jr., eds., Proceedings of the Virginia State Convention of 1861 (Richmond, Va.: Virginia State Library, 1965), 4:85–88.
Delegate George Blow, of the city of Norfolk in southeastern Virginia, voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Like many other men who had originally opposed secession, he changed his mind after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. "I came to this Convention, sir, representing a Union constituency," Blow told the other delegates on April 17. "The last two days, sir—the last forty-eight hours—have been filling with events which, if they have not produced impressions upon the minds of others, have produced a profound impression upon my mind. . . . I am now looking upon it as a military question." Blow voted for secession later that day.