MEDIA
Electing Delegates to the Virginia Convention of 1861
Original Author: Unknown
Created: 1861
Medium: Campaign ticket
Publisher: Library of Virginia

Electing Delegates to the Virginia Convention of 1861

In this campaign ticket, a bald eagle—the symbol of the United States—holds a pennant in its beak endorsing F. W. M. Holliday and William L. Clark Sr. as delegates from Frederick County to take part in the Virginia Convention of 1861, a political gathering called to consider whether the state should secede from the Union. The candidates, who were staunch states' rights advocates, identified themselves as both "Friends of the South" and of "A Constitutional UNION of Equal Rights." Born and raised in Winchester, Virginia, and its environs, Holliday had experienced Northern life while a student at Yale and later grew to fear that the North would "convert this fair garden of ours into a gloomy wilderness." After Abraham Lincoln's election as U.S. president in 1860 and the subsequent secession by seven states of the Deep South, the Holliday/Clark ticket opposed compromising with the new Republican leaders "whose sole object is to destroy … our property" and "incite our slaves to insurrection," according to Holliday. During the campaign Holliday pledged his belief in "a Union under the Constitution" but if "we cannot have such a union, I am for wheeling right out of line at once, and … fall[ing] back upon our own strong hands and earnest hearts to protect us … The time has come for us to declare not what the Union has done for the South but what the South has done for the Union." Frederick County's voters, however, did not support the secession-leaning views of the Holliday/Clark ticket and the opposing Unionist candidates won handily.

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