Liberty, democracy, and constitutional government
Editorial in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, May 23, 1861.
On the day when the referendum took place to ratify or reject the Ordinance of Secession, Archibald W. Campbell, editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, urged voters in northwestern Virginia to vote against it. He wanted the vote to stand as a rebuke to some of the principal advocates of secession: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, former Virginia governor Henry Alexander Wise, Virginia Congressman Roger A. Pryor, and Georgia Senator Robert A. Toombs. "Secession will find no abiding place in these latitudes," Campbell wrote. "It will be utterly overthrown and crushed out by the vote to-day. . . . It is of great importance that the Union column be swelled to overshadowing dimensions. Let the demonstration in favor of liberty and democracy and constitutional government be so strong and so overpowering that the hideous rattlesnake will never show its head hereafter within our borders." The voters of Ohio County, of which Wheeling was the county seat, rejected secession by a margin of 3,368 to 157.