Most deplorable event in the history of the country
Editorial in the Richmond Daily Dispatch, November 8, 1860.
The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency alarmed many Virginians, including James A. Cowardin, publisher of the ten-year-old Richmond Daily Dispatch. On November 8, two days after the election, Cowardin wrote, "The event is the most deplorable one that has happened in the history of the country. The Union may be preserved in spite of it. We think it will; but we are prepared to expect trouble. We have already one sign from South Carolina." In 1860 the Daily Dispatch had the largest circulation of any newspaper in Richmond, although the rival Enquirer and Whig had a broader influence by virtue of many decades of printing newspapers that circulated throughout the state and the South.