Augusta County: Alex Rives to Alexander H. H.
Stuart, May 13, 1861
Rives asks Stuart's opinion on the upcoming May referendum on secession.
13th May 1861
My Dear Sir,
Affliction and loss of health have so abstracted my attention from public affairs, that I really stand in need of information and counsel to regulate my vote on the 4th. Thursday in the month. I hope I may presume so far on our friendly relations & past concurrence of opinion as to invite in confidence a brief expression of your views.
You can well conceive that I am not favourably inclined to our unceremonious
& unexpected transfer to Jeff. Davis & Co. I did not like the
Convention's adoption of Judge Allen's sophism in the preamble to the Act of
Secession;--it is a false gloss and unworthy of the State; I do not like the
secrecy resting upon the vote for Secession
I do not like the Terrorism that now reigns through the land; I do not like the bribe to the West in the ad valorem tax on slaves &c. &c.
But still I may have to gulp all these dislikes, if nothing can be accomplished by struggling against manifest destiny. We are perhaps now driven to accept separation, peaceable or forcible, as 'in fait accompli.'
Pray, now, what will be your course, and what your counsel to your friends. I have a letter from McKenzie of Alex a. stating, a great reaction is going on in that city, Fairfax, Loudon, Frederick &c. and a large vote will be polled against secession in that quarter of the state.
Hon. A. H. H. Stuart