Coolness and calmness and moderation should govern the councils of Virginia
Samuel J. Mullins to Christopher Yancy Thomas, January 25, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.
Samuel J. Mullins, writing from Henry County on January 25, 1861, informed Christopher Y. Thomas, a member of the Senate of Virginia, about politics in the county and the approaching election of Convention delegates. "As for saving the union," he wrote, "That I look upon as and absurdity as language without meaning that the present union is now among the things that ware; and the only hope now is to reconstruct to remodel upon such a fair and equitable basis as will induce the southern states to reunite upon it." Mullins, like many other Virginians who favored secession, opposed requiring the Convention to submit a decision in favor of secession to a ratification referendum. "I shall vote against the proposition to submit the proceedings of the convention to the people; simply for the reason the delay of time. Va: should do what she intends to do before Lincolns inauguration." At the election on February 4, Peyton Gravely, who opposed secession, defeated John T. Wootton, who favored it, by a vote of 705 to 335; and 77.9 percent of Henry County's voters insisted on requiring the ratification referendum.