"The Union Party is stronger now"
Christopher Yancy Thomas to Peyton Gravely, March 18, 1861, Gravely Family Papers, Acc. 34126, Library of Virginia.
On March 18, 1861, Christopher Yancy Thomas, a member of the Senate of Virginia, wrote to his brother-in-law Peyton Gravely, a member of the Virginia Convention from Henry County, about local politics. Thomas reported that "the Union Party is stronger now than it was" when Gravely was elected on February 4. Two weeks after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States, Thomas reported, "The general feeling seems to be, to give Mr Lincoln a trial." He also related a debate that he had had with an advocate of secession and mentioned John T. Wootton, the Henry County candidate who favored secession and whom Gravely had defeated for a seat in the Convention.