Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Charleston Free Press (Virginia), October 11, 1860

October 11, 2010

news of the day

A Trap for Douglas

W. W. Lamb, a Breckinridge elector at Norfolk, who put the question to Senator Douglas as to the course to be pursued in case of resistance  by the South to Lincoln’s  election, and who received the prompt and emphatic reply that the laws must be enforced, even to the hanging of rebels, promised that the same question should to put to Mr. Breckinridge. This has not been done, and the Secessionists boast that Douglas  has lot friends by his reply. They make a great clamor about the use of force, although Polk and Dallas both voted for Gen. Jackson’s “force bill,” and were afterward supported by the whole Democracy.

TheNorfolk Argos (edited by the Breckinridge elector) boasts that Douglas is losing friends in Virginia since he “be fell into the trap” set for him. It seems to be forgotten that it is a two-edged sword. A few men may fly off, and allege this as an excuse, but Breckinridge is losing friends by not answering. He loses character for frankness, and thereby leaves it to be inferred that he is afraid to speak out on that point.

Tho writer of this has recently had an opportunity to know the sentiments of the people of the ‘Tenth Legion’ on this subject, and the Douglas men are not only firm in his support, as a friend of the Union, but are more than ever determined to beat the Disunionists. Yancey’s speeches inflame the leaders of the Douglas party, and disgust the rank and file. They find that this “champion of Southern rights,” as he is called, has one speech for the South and another for the North. In the Valley of Virginia he talks much about a “Constitutional Union,” but is as gentle as a dove in regard to secession. He does not say a word about his project to “precipitate the Cotton Stares into a revolution.” He knows such talk does not suit this meridian, and therefore he does nothing more than appeal to the pride of Virginia, as ‘the Mother of States and of Statesmen,’ a very original idea —found in every school-boy’s vocabulary. He tells us most pathetically how much we are oppressed by our government.

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