What If Lincoln Had Worked With Virginia & North Carolina Prior To Calling On The State Militias To

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DanF

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I do not see that the meeting changed anything regardless of who thought what. The seceding states had already comitted acts of war against the union even before Lincoln took office. seizing federal property, forts,arsenals, etc as well as firing on the first relief ship sent by Buchanan.
 

OpnCoronet

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It would have been very difficult to reconcile Lincoln's Inaugural Address, with any speiific points of disputes between his administration and that of Jefferson Davis' first inaugural address. What could Lincoln offer Va. or NC that would not put those states solidly in the camp of either Unionists or Secessionists?
 
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16thVA

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It is always possible to do something. On the day that Baldwin met with Lincoln, April 4, the Virginia convention voted 90 to 45 against secession. When Lincoln asked Baldwin to adjourn the convention he was surprised and said that the convention was firmly in the hands of the Unionists and there was no danger. I'm sure that something could have been done by someone at that point. It was not inevitable.
 

NedBaldwin

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It is always possible to do something. On the day that Baldwin met with Lincoln, April 4, the Virginia convention voted 90 to 45 against secession. When Lincoln asked Baldwin to adjourn the convention he was surprised and said that the convention was firmly in the hands of the Unionists and there was no danger. I'm sure that something could have been done by someone at that point. It was not inevitable.
"It" meaning the Virginia convention voting to secede? or "It" meaning war?
 

wilber6150

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The Virginia convention was creating a list of changes they wanted to see made to the Constitution and for the protection of slavery in order for them to stay in the Union, they were planning on presenting it to Lincoln but hadn't done so by the time Sumter occured.. Lincoln had already spoke against similar changes before, so I still beleive that Virginia was going to seceed anyway..Virginia was also planning on calling a convention of the border slave states to discuss forming its own Confederation, so its not like they were very pro-Union, (the counties of West Virginia excpeted), they just didn't see themselves as pro-cotton states enough to seceed at the same time...
 
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rpkennedy

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The Virginia convention was creating a list of changes they wanted to see made to the Constitution and for the protection of slavery in order for them to stay in the Union, they were planning on presenting it to Lincoln but hadn't done so by the time Sumter occured.. Lincoln had already spoke against similar changes before, so I still beleive that Virginia was going to seceed anyway..Virginia was also planning on calling a convention of the border slave states to discuss forming its own Confederation, so its not like they were very pro-Union, (the counties of West Virginia excpeted), they just didn't see themselves as pro-cotton states enough to seceed at the same time...
I agree wilbur. I think Virginia's secession was almost inevitable since the changes that they wanted would have been rejected by many in the North. All Sumter did was speed up the timetable.

R
 

wilber6150

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I tend to think too much emphisis is placed on their first vote. In my opinion, the vote not to seceed wasn't so much a sign of their love for the Union but that they didn't see their best interest in joining the cotton states in Confederation.. Thats why their was so much discussion in holding their own meeting of other slave border states and free states that agrred with them..
 

CSA Today

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I agree wilbur. I think Virginia's secession was almost inevitable since the changes that they wanted would have been rejected by many in the North. All Sumter did was speed up the timetable.

R

North Carolina came within 651 votes, out of 93,995 cast in a February referendum of becoming the eighth Confederate state before the firing on Fort Sumter. Most of the state’s unionists were conditional, taking a “watch and wait” position. Although Fort Sumter was the last straw, most of the state’s unionists seemed more interested in what Virginia was going to do than anything Lincoln might have said.

Pre-war unionist, first colonel of the 26th NC infantry and for most of the war governor, Zebulon Vance wrote: :wrote that he “was pleading for the Union with hand upraised when news came down of Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops. When my hand came down from that impassioned gesticulation, it fell slowly and sadly by the side of a Secessionist.
 
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rpkennedy

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North Carolina came within 651 votes, out of 93,995 cast in a February referendum of becoming the eighth Confederate state before the firing on Fort Sumter. Most of the state’s unionists were conditional, taking a “watch and wait” position. Although Fort Sumter was the last straw, most of the state’s unionists seemed more interested in what Virginia was going to do than anything Lincoln might have said.

Pre-war unionist, first colonel of the 26th NC infantry and for most of the war governor, Zebulon Vance wrote: :wrote that he “was pleading for the Union with hand upraised when news came down of Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for troops. When my hand came down from that impassioned gesticulation, it fell slowly and sadly by the side of a Secessionist.
North Carolina was extremely interested in what Virginia did. If Virginia stayed in the Union, North Carolina would become the front lines in the coming conflict.

R
 

OpnCoronet

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A vote to call a convention to consider secession, was a vote for secession and almost everyone in those states that authorized them, knew it. It had been noted by various leaders during that time, that if there were not enough Union votes to prevent calling such a convention, there was little chance that there were enough to prevent secession, after it.
 

16thVA

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"It" meaning the Virginia convention voting to secede? or "It" meaning war?
Sorry I took so long to reply.

I meant that Virginia's secession was not inevitable. I don't know about the war, if Virginia hadn't seceded then perhaps Tennessee and North Carolina would have held back, it's hard to say. From my reading of William Freehling's "Showdown in Virginia", he seems to be of the opinion that Virginia was very reluctant to secede. This is from his introduction to the book, pages xv & xv1

"Contrary to popular myth, the outbreak of military hostilities at Charleston's Fort Sumter on April 12 did not itself turn most Virginia Unionists against the Union...The moment that shattered the Unionists' self-importance (and the Unionist majority) came instead when President Lincoln issued his April 15 proclamation.[for soldiers from Virginia]

When shocking verification swiftly arrived, important convention Unionists split two ways. William Ballard Preston, lately a Unionist, introduced a secession ordinance, to be submitted to Virginia voters for ratification on May 23. Then Robert Scott presented a substitute ordinance, giving the May 23 voters a choice between secession and a border conference.

On April 17, in the key test of the convention's response to Lincoln's proclamation, Scott's alternative to Preston's secession motion narrowly lost, 77-64. The tally showed that 45 percent of Virginia delegates still preferred other paths to a road straight to disunion. A shift of only seven votes would have at least temporarily deflected secession once again."

Mr. Freehling ascribes the passage of the secession ordinance to the extra-legal action taken by Henry Wise and his cohorts to seize the armory at Harper's Ferry. If Wise had not done that, the convention may have sat for some weeks more without taking further action.

Lincoln had summoned George Summers on April 4 for undoubtedly very good reasons, some way to defuse the Virginia convention. But Baldwin went instead, perhaps misunderstanding Lincoln's proposal. If Lincoln did indeed offer to evacuate Sumter in exchange for the adjournment of the convention it would have been very difficult for Baldwin to promise such a thing. I think it would have been very hard to dissolve the convention immediately. John Minor Botts, in his testimony after the war, indicated that Lincoln had knowledge of the convention's rejection of the secession ordinance as he was meeting with Baldwin. Perhaps Lincoln overestimated the solidity of Virginia's unionism and did not need to make any concessions. Many of the northern papers certainly overestimed the type of Unionism in Virginia. They overestimated the unionism of the West Virginia delegates especially. They generally were conditional unionists like Jubal Early. Most of them signed the ordinance of secession and stayed at the convention.

Virginia was in a very tough spot. It does seem that as time and the conflict enlarged it would be hard for the convention not to pass a secession ordinance. Only a week or so after the April 17 ordinance passed, Ohio Governor Dennison was granted special powers by the Ohio legislature and troops and supplies were being rapidly secured. Gov. Letcher, meanwhile, was supposed to sit on his hands and wait for the May 23 vote, while relying on an antiquated state militia for security. I sure wouldn't wanted to have been in that spot. I don't know what Letcher thought of Wise, but I can't imagine it was anything very charitable since Wise put him behind the 8 ball.

I forget just where I read it, but after the war when Pierpont was acting governor of Virginia, Henry Wise went to see Pierpont and during the discussion Wise complained that when he returned to his home he had found his former slaves had taken it over and were living there. Pierpont burst out laughing and a perplexed Wise sat there for a few seconds and then joined the laughter. It always seemed a rather macabre moment to me.
 
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OpnCoronet

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There was a cabal of highly placed secessionist conspirators in Va.(as in all the slave states), moving heaven and earth to secure immediate secession under any circumstance or pretext. Revolutions are seldom the result of spontaneous popular acts, but are usually the result of careful planning and preparation of popular support by overt and covert propaganda, over time, sometimes generations; so it was with secession.( such as, for instance, the splitting of the Democratic party in Charleston, in 1860, was not just a happenstance in the path to secession and war)
 

NedBaldwin

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Sorry I took so long to reply.

I meant that Virginia's secession was not inevitable.
Thanks. I wasnt sure what you meant.


I forget just where I read it, but after the war when Pierpont was acting governor of Virginia, Henry Wise went to see Pierpont and during the discussion Wise complained that when he returned to his home he had found his former slaves had taken it over and were living there. Pierpont burst out laughing and a perplexed Wise sat there for a few seconds and then joined the laughter. It always seemed a rather macabre moment to me.
Great story.
 
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OpnCoronet

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The part the illuminati had in the secession of the slave states is unknown, but that of the secessionist conspirators are quite well known in the history of the Civil War.
 
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unionblue

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You're very welcome. Some people think that Baldwin and Lincoln misunderstood each other at that meeting. I wonder what would have happened if George Summers, whom Lincoln first invited, had gone instead of Baldwin.

This is an interesting short examination of the Baldwin-Lincoln meeting.

http://www.tulane.edu/~sumter/FinalOrder/FApr4.1Comm.html
16thVA,

Excellent source, one I have used very often myself.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

OpnCoronet

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Lincoln, in his First Inaugural address, gave his minimum requirements for maintaining the recognition of the authority of the Constitution and its gov't.(it was minimum indeed, because outside of Ft. Sumter, that recognition was entirely lacking from SC.
Since we know Lincoln's minimum for avoiding war, what could the good offices of Va. and/or NC(if they were actually serious about trying to work out the crisis) get SC to agree to accept as their minimum demands for independence and meet Lincoln's minimum demands at the same time?
 
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