The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fort Sumter 1861: ‘Strike a Blow!’

Posted on | April 12, 2011 | 27 Comments

Today, a most momentous anniversary is the subject of my column at The American Spectator:

Visitors to Princeton, New Jersey, may find there the grave of a former New York state judge who died in 1919 at the advanced age of 90. Judge Roger Pryor was not from New Jersey, however, nor was he a native of New York. A Virginian by birth, as a young man Pryor had been one of the Old Dominion’s foremost secessionist “fire-eaters.” Impatient with Virginia’s reluctance to secede from the Union, Pryor traveled to South Carolina in April 1861 and gave a speech urging the newborn Confederacy to resist Abraham Lincoln’s attempt to reinforce the U.S. Army contingent holding the fort that commanded Charleston harbor.
“Strike a blow!” Pryor cried, assuring his “immense and enthusiastic audience” that if the crisis led to war, Virginia would secede immediately — “within an hour by Shrewsbury clock,” he said. . . .

Please read the whole thing. And by all means, sing along!

And here, by the way, is that grave in Princeton, N.J.:


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