CHARLES CITY COUNTY, APRIL 1st, 1861.
To the People of New Kent, Charles City, James City, York, Warwick, Elizabeth City and the City of Williamsburg:
I published, during the month of October last, in the Richmond Whig, a card, indicating that I would be a candidate, at the ensuing election, to represent you in the Senate of Virginia.
Since that time, the whole political aspect of the country has changed, and it becomes me to announce to you my position as to the course that Virginia should have taken in the crisis which is upon her. I conceive that there is but one practical question in all this matter, to-wit: Where will she go? There are two Confederacies. One is her natural ally – with equal sympathies, similar institutions, and interests alike – the other is the avowed enemy of her domestic peace. One invites her with open arms and a full heart; the other repulses her overtures of conciliation and compromise with insult added to injury. She must decide – not which she will serve – but which she will encourage, protect end defend. For myself, I do not hesitate. I would have her unite her destiny, for weal or woe, with that of her Southern sisters and briefly, for these, among many reasons:
- The prosperity and progress of the Southern States depend upon the permanency of the Institution of African slavery.
- The permanency of this institution depends upon a present and final settlement of the question by placing it entirely under the control of the South.
- That control can never be acquired in a government, a large majority of whose people have been tutored to believe that slavery is a curse, and that they are responsible for its existence.
- The whole moral power of the State will be thrown into the scale of the institution. Her people will be united in its defence, and the question of Virginia emancipation left to be discussed when many generations have passed away.
- The commercial depression that afflicts a country will continue and culminate in rule if an adjustment is not speedily effected. Can Virginia hope for this by temporizing with those of whom she seeks redress?
- Many of the advantages of the old Government will be secured by treaty, etc…, whilst the cause of strife will be removed.
- The honor of Virginia, her past fame, her present high character, and promise of future power demand that she shall take this step.
She will by so doing preserve the peace of the country. A united South will not be warred upon by the Republican horde at Washington. Virginia will carry with her the border States, and when they, with her, shall have added eight more stars to the flag at Montgomery then will the question of peace or war, of prosperity or depression have been settled.
I hope to be able to discuss this question throughout the District. Allow me to add, in yielding to the wishes of my friends by thus announcing myself as candidate for this important post, that, if elected, I shall strive to reward your confidence by an earnest devotion to your interests and Virginia.
Very respectfully, etc…,
Isaac H. Christian
April 16, 1861
Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective
, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury
and the Richmond Enquirer
, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.
According to the 1860 census, Isaac H. Christian owned three slaves. After the war he was nominated as and appointed judge of the county courts of New Kent and Charles City counties in Virginia.
Collection: The Civil War
Publication: Richmond Enquirer
Date: April 18 , 1861
Title: Charles City County, APRIL 1st, 1861.
Top image: View in Virginia Senate Chamber, looking from the north – Virginia State Capitol, Bank and 10th Streets, Capitol Square, Richmond