"I shall never despair of the Republic."
Excerpt from John Minor Botts's announcement in the Richmond Daily Whig, January 28, 1861.
Late in January 1861, former Whig congressman John Minor Botts announced that he was a candidate in the February 4, election to represent the city of Richmond in the Virginia Convention. One of the city's most outspoken opponents of secession, Botts was typically bold when he informed the city's voters, "I am ready to hazard my life, if necessary, in fighting the battles of Virginia in a just cause, but I am not willing to sacrifice the best interests of my State and my country, and the hopes of oppressed mankind throughout the world, in upholding South Carolina in a bad cause." Botts received 1,606 votes and placed fifth of seven candidates for the city's three seats in the convention. Richmond voters elected one advocate of secession and two opponents.