Green Springs Slaveholders Join a Mobilization Against Abolitionists and and Warn of Civil War, 1836

[Richmond Enquirer,September 25, 1835:]



On Monday, 14th September, it being Court day, agreeably to previous notice, a large and respectable portion of the citizens of Louisa, without distinction of party, convened at the Court-house, for the purpose of taking into consideration the recent measures of the Northern Abolitionists. A neat, appropriate and short address, explaining the object of the meeting, was delivered by Lucian Minor, Esq., when Richmond Terril, Esq. was called to the Chair, and Capt. James Michie appointed Secretary. Lucian Minor, Esq. then read sundry resolutions, which he offered for the adoption of the meeting. Dr. W. A. Gillespie then read sundry other resolutions as a substitute for Mr. Minor’s.—A motion was now made and carried, that a committee should be appointed, to revise and select from the various resolutions offered, such as should fairly express the sentiments of the meeting. Whereupon, Lucian Minor, Esq.[,] Dr. W.A. Gillespie, Col. O. Cross, Thomas Woolfolk, Esq., John R. Quarles, Esq., Dr. Benj. Francisco, Hiram Saunders, Esq., Dr. Joseph Pendleton, Richmond Terril, Esq., Hugh Goodwin, jr., Esq., Thomas Johnson, Esq., and C. B. Hopkins, Esq. were appointed said committee—who reported the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

1st. Resolved, That we regard the Union of this country as inseperable from its freedom, greatness and glory; and look, with awful forebodings upon every thing that is calculated, in the most remote degree, to endanger or impair it.

2d. Resolved, That we view with indignation and horror, the course of the Northern Abolitionists, which is calculated with unerring certainty, if not speedily checked, to result in disunion, and the awful calamities of civil and servile war.

3. Resolved, That this unholy interference between master and slave, by a portion of the people at the North, is a direct violation of the Federal Constitution, and cannot, and will not be tolerated by us; and further, that we recognize no better right in them to interfere with our domestics, than they have to preach up doctrines of rebellion and bloodshed among the white slaves of Great Britain, Ireland, or any other foreign country—we being to them, as respects the Abolition Question, a foreign nation to all intents and purposes.

4. Resolved, That the Foreign Emissary, Thompson, supported by foreign money, preaching up disorganizing and insurrectionary doctrines among us, is an enemy of our institutions, and a base, unprincipled intruder.

5. Resolved, That the Abolitionists fatally deluded themselves in imagining, that what they deem their good motives can lessen their guilt, or screen them from just reprobation for the miseries they are likely to create: it being scarcely doubtful, that all the blood and crime with which the hands of Fanaticism are stained—the tragedy of Mount Calvary—the myriads of Martyrdoms under the Roman Emperors—the ravages of Mahometanism, forcing upon whole nations the Koran or the sword—the fires of Smithfield—the hosts of human sacrifices to Juggernaut—all, equally with the scenes of butchery and conflagration which Abolition opens to the view, may plead the merit of GOOD INTENTIONS.

6. Resolved, The we have a right to call upon the Legislatures of the different non-Slave-holding States to enact wholesome and effective laws to restrain all further interference by the Abolitionists; and although we have great reason to be gratified with the recent demonstrations of public opinion at the North, by the great mass of the people, yet we are satisfied that nothing less than absolute legal restriction can retard or avert the awful consequences of a wild fanaticism which heed not the voice of reason or humanity.

7. Resolved, That in their avowed determination to pursue their fanatical course, reckless of results,—and with hypocritical abstractions, adding the solemn mockery that they must do (what they call) their duty, and “that God alone is responsible for consequences,” we recognise a sprit of an unholy and horrible conspiracy—while they hesitate not to set public opinion at defiance.

8. Resolved, That we consider the printing, publishing and circulation of the different Abolition papers as an unwise, impolitic and dangerous measure, even among the people of the non slaveholding States, calculated as it is to enlist a large portion of honest, well meaning and good citizens in a fanatico-political crusade against the South, and her domestic concerns.

9. Resolved, That the fanaticism of the Abolitionists, has spread like the contagion of the small-pox, and that we believe nothing will eradicate it, but a total destruction of the seeds of the disease, which can be found only in legal enactments by all the States, putting in jeopardy the persons and property of all who persevere—As a proof of this conclusion, they all fear to come personally and openly in the South, to make converts upon the theatre of action, where they would be in the way of the just rewards of their labors.

10. Resolved, That we will suffer no emissary or distributor of the publications or doctrines of the Abolitionists to pass unmolested among us.

11. Resolved, That when we wish advice or instruction respecting our own matters, from foreign pseudo-philanthropists, we will apply to them for the same; and that we cannot agree to discuss the abstract question of slavery with a people who are in no degree implicated in it—and that we intend to manage our own matters in our own way, and will brook no dictation or interference from others.

12. Resolved, That we will sustain all Postmasters in detaining and publicly destroying all Abolition papers which may arrive at their respective offices; and that all those who refuse to do it, be considered accomplices of the crime, and subject to popular indignation and to absolute personal peril.

13. Resolved, That we highly approve of the course and sentiments of the Postmaster-General, respecting the transmission of incendiary matter through the public mails; and that we recognise in his letters to the Postmasters at Charleston and New York, a noble sprit of enlightened patriotism.

14. Resolved, That the Merchants of this county, and of this State, ought to avoid all dealings, direct or indirect, with Merchants or Manufacturers in other States, who favor the view of the Abolitionists: and we exhort all our fellow-citizens, to purchase no goods which are ascertained to have been made or sold by persons favoring those views.

15. Resolved, That in case the remonstrances of the South be disregarded, the Merchants of the entire Southern country ought, and they are hereby requested, to hold a Convention to take this matter into consideration, and they ought to resolve not to trade with any city that sustains an Abolition print.

16. Resolved, That it be recommended to the people of all the Slave-holding States, to withdraw their subscriptions from all newspapers or other publications, whether political, literary or religious, which advocate, tolerate or encourage the view of the Abolitionists.

17. Resolved, That Congress has no constitutional right to discuss the subject of slavery at all, so far as it exists in the slave-holding States; and that its abolition even in the District of Columbia would be abhorred by this meeting, as full likely to lead to a dissolution of the Union.

18. Resolved, That should Congress vote to consider or discuss the abolition of slavery at its next session, our representative, James Garland, Esq., be instructed, so far as this meeting can instruct him, and all the representatives of slave-holding States, be requested, to vacate their seats pending such discussion.

19. Resolved, That all unlawful assemblages of slaves, especially those so frequent near taverns, groceries and places of worship, ought to be carefully prevented: and that we will not only countenance, but approve and aid, all magistrates, sheriffs and constables in a strict enforcement of the laws for that purpose.

20. Resolved, That we sincerely approve the resolutions adopted by our fellow-citizens in Richmond and elsewhere, appointing Committees of Vigilance; and in accordance with their suggestion a similar committee be appointed by the Chairman; who appointed the following gentlemen: Jos. K. Pendleton, Col. E. Pendleton, Wm. Waddy, Wm. Woolfolk, Hugh Goodwin, Sr., Joseph Talley, Charles Barret, Nelson Burruss, Elisha Melton, Dr. A. Anderson, Henry Burnly, Maj. Wm. Harris, Thos. Shelton, Benj. B. Duke, Charles Y. Kimbrough, Capt. P. M. Daniel, Nath’l Mills, Jno. Chiles, Waddy Lipscomb, Charles S. Jones, Wm. Stont, James Michie, B. T. Winston, Capt. Jno. Graves, Jno. Graves, Jr., — Ellis, Rev. Wm. Crawford, William Shelton, W. D. Mansfield, Capt. G. C. MeGehee, L. Minor, Fountaine Meriwether, Cole Dickinson, William C.Nelson, George Harris, John O. Harris, Jno. L. Collins, Hugh Goodwin, Jr., David Lipscomb, Jno. R. Quarles, Chas. B. Hopkins, Thomas Woolfolk, C. Valentine, Capt. R. Chewning, Dr. Jas. Watson, Joseph Morris, Col. O. Cross, Nath’l Perkins, Col. Jas. Poindexter, Jas[.] Christwell, Dr. B. Bramham, David Richardson, Dr. W. A. Gillespie, John T. Quarles, William Ragland, Capt. P. Hackett, Richmond Terril, Thos. Johnson, Col. Toler, Charles Dickinson, Lancelot Minor, Jr., Oswald M’Gehee, Dr. B. Francisco, Hiram Saunders, and Rob.Hart.

Voted, That a copy of these proceedings, signed by the Chairman and Secretary, be sent to the Richmond Enquirer and Whig for publication, and others be requested to copy them.


JAMES MICHIE, Secretary.

[abstract selection and notation by Noel G. Harrison, NPS]

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