November 5, 1864
The Rev. J. M. Thoburn, brother to our late lamented fellow citizen, Col. Thoburn, speaks to night for the union cause, at the Court House. As the breaking out of the war he was a missionary in India, and since his return some month ago he has engaged a good deal in delivering public lectures descriptive of his experiences abroad – especially in that distant and fabled land which was the field of his missionary labors. Among other things, his effort has been to convey to the hearer an impression of his feelings on learning that his country was plunged into civil war, and that the Union and the flag which was his boast and pride among strangers, were menaced by a most formidable rebellion. This feature in his public lectures we have seen highly commended in our exchanges and we can readily imagine that the simple recital of a loyal American’s feelings under such circumstances, must be very impressive. We hope to see a large turn out this evening. It will be an interesting and instructive occasion. Provision will be made for seating a number of ladies, and the Committee of Arrangements would be pleased to see as many of them in attendance as possible.
November 7, 1864
Union Meeting at the Court House – Address of Rev. J. M. Thoburn. – A very large and respectable meeting was held at the Court House on Saturday evening. We have never yet attended a political gathering at which there were so many ladies. They came in such numbers that all the rooms in the Court House were drawn upon for chairs. The ladies occupied the entire space inside the bar, the sterner sex being compelled to take back seats or resort to ___________tickets.
The President, John McLure, jr., introduced the Rev. J. M. Thoburn, brother of the late Col. Joseph Thoburn, who proceeded to address the meeting at some length. After some preliminary remarks he spoke of the pride which he felt when _________at having such a great, grand country to go home to. With your little passport in your pocket you can travel anywhere in Europe and are always honored and respected. If there was a man in the house who did believe in the restoration of the Federal Union in its integrity, all he had to do to make him a Union was to go abroad as the speaker had done. – He believed that the only way to arrive at peace was to fight the war out. A division of the county will result in endless war, to be entailed upon our children and our children’s children. He spoke of his brother’s opinions upon this subject. He (Col. Thoburn) had predicted years ago that there were elements in this country which would bring about war. The speaker had received a letter from him in India after the war commenced in which he spoke of the fulfillment of his prophecy and expressed the opinion that the war must be fought out by the present generation, or it would have to be done by those who will follow us.
The speaker proceeded to notice some of the objections and exaggerations used and urged by the opponents of the Union party. He spoke particularly of the public debt and asked what nation that had ever occupied a prominent position before the world ever talked about debt when her honor was at stake? England with half the taxable property of this country had shouldered a debt twice as large as ours. There was gold enough in the Rocky Mountains _______ to pay not only our debt but the debt of the entire world.
At a public meeting up in Washington the other day he had read upon a transparency: “Old Abe jokes and the widow mourns.” He could hardly repress his imagination when he thought of the kind of sympathy the men of this party were showing to the widow. He had yet to hear the first soldier’s widow ask these men for their crocodile tears. There is scarcely one of them, notwithstanding all they have suffered, who would cast a vote for anything but an unconditional suppression of the rebellion.
There was a great deal of talk about subjugating the south. Why, that is just what we want to do. It is what we are fighting for. We want to subjugate them until they return to their allegiance and obey the laws of this nation. We ask nothing more and we will take nothing less. It may be a very unpleasant thing for the rebels but it will be the best thing for this nation and the best thing for the world.
Mr. Thoburn after an able discussion of the issues involved in this contest, said that those who voted for George B. McClellan on Tuesday, would do a thing which would rejoice the heart of Jeff Davis more than anything you could do. You will do a thing which will be applauded by every rebel soldier in the confederacy, every foreign nation that hates America, every secessionist in the world and every enemy of this glorious nation everywhere upon the face of the earth. He spoke hopefully and confidently of the final issue of the great struggle, paid a glowing compliment to the little star of West Virginia and concluded amid much applause.
A. W. Campbell, being called for, made his way through the crowd and responded in a speech of half an hour, addressing himself particularly to the subject of the local interest of this people in connection with the great public decision to be rendered on Tuesday.
The 4th Ward Glee Club sang two or three songs during the evening thus adding to the interest of the occasion.
The meeting was one of the best and most effective of the campaign.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1861