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"To the People of Wake County," May 8, 1861


"To the People of Wake County," May 8, 1861


W.W. Holden was the owner, editor, and publisher of The Standard so he wrote the people who would be voting to him to tell him he would be running for a seat on the convention to consider secession. He explained to them what he had been doing to learn about opinions on the sectional crisis. He also went on to discuss what his ideas were about seceeding from the Union.  Holden supported seceeding since the Union had used force to try and bring the states that left back together. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of Virginia and Tennessee and leave the Union behind because he felt as if the Union did not respect the rights of the South. However strong he felt about seceeding, he still saw that he needed to be elected and there needed to be a vote among the people.


W. W. Holden


"To the People of Wake County," The Standard, Raleigh NC, May 8, 1861




Samantha Copeland




Wake County, North Carolina

Original Format

Newspaper Article


Fellow-Citizens: In The Register and The Standard of Saturday last I briefly announced myself a candidate for the State Convention. I did so at the solicitation of friends, and because of the flattering vote by which I was elected in February last My business engagements are such as to prevent me from appearing before you in person; besides, the time between this and Monday next, the day of the election, is too short to admit of any thing like a thorough canvass of the County. In addition to this I will add that I have already recently canvassed the County, and that my views and opinions, as set forth twice a week in the Standard, are well known to the people. I have the fullest confidence in the intelligence of the people of Wake. I believe they know their own minds, and will vote quite as understandingly without as with speeches from roe. Besides, a canvass by me at this time, while it could do no good, would inevitably force me in self-defence to discuss the past course of parties. This would revive and embitter old party feeling, and impair that fortunate unity of sentiment which now prevails. I would rather bear misrepresentations, and trust to the people to correct them and to do me justice, than, by replying to them and assailing others in turn, divide and injure my State. It shall never be said of me that I made party capital out of the misfortunes of my country. Fellow-citizens, we are in the midst of war. The time which we all feared, and which many of us labored to avert has arrived. I told you in February that I would resist all attempts by the federal government, "under any pretence whatever," to maintain the Union by force. The proclamation of calling for troops to make war on Southern States, dissolved the Union so far as we are concerned, and summoned every true Southern man to arms. It is idle now to speculate upon the past. The proclamation referred to, as by a 6troke of lightning, made the North wholly North and the South wholly South. There is no issue before us for discussion. We are now a unit in defence of our rights and liberties. I am for a union of the South for the sake of the South, and for all of Constitutional liberty that yet remains. If elected to the Convention I will vote to disconnect North-Carolina from the old federal Union; and I will also vote to make North Carolina a member of the Confederate States. As I told you in February last I will go with Virginia and Tennessee. Virginia has already cast her fortunes with the Confederate States, and, even if any could wish to do otherwise, a stern necessity impels us in the same direction. But I am willing to vote, and I would prefer to vote, to submit the ordinance proposing to connect this State with the Confederate States to the people at the polls, for their approval or rejection. I repeat I have all confidence in the intelligence of the people and in their capacity for Thanking you for former expressions of your confidence in me, I am your fellow-citizen. May 6, 1861. W. W. HOLDEN



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W. W. Holden, "To the People of Wake County," May 8, 1861, Civil War Era NC, accessed May 21, 2024,