"Defend the cause of Constitutional Liberty"
Resolution of Citizens of Elizabeth City County, December 22, 1860, Executive Papers of Governor John Letcher, Acc. 36787, State Government Records Collection, Record Group 3, Library of Virginia.
The secession of South Carolina on December 20, 1860, was popular among white men and women in central and southeastern Virginia, where the largest concentrations of enslaved people lived. In some counties and cities citizens met to adopt resolutions supporting South Carolina or advocating that Virginia also secede. On December 22, citizens of Elizabeth City County assembled and announced "to the people of the North our wish for peace, but our determination to meet the issue of war, if they persist in enforcing upon any Southern State the despotism of force."