"The Union and the Constitution must be maintained"
Editorial in the Staunton Vindicator, November 9, 1860.
When it became certain that Abraham Lincoln had won a majority of the electoral college votes and would become president of the United States, some Virginia newspaper editors argued that Virginia and the other slave states should leave the Union. The editor of the Staunton Vindicator advised caution. "Let Lincoln be inaugurated," the editor wrote, "and so long as his administration gives no practical violation of the rights of the South, we are clearly and decidedly opposed to any insane movements, such as South Carolina has inaugurated. The Union and the Constitution must be maintained." In Staunton and the other towns and counties in the Shenandoah Valley, advocates of secession made few converts in the weeks and first months after Lincoln's election.