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Ordinance of Secession (William Flegenheimer parchment)
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Accession Number: 20228
Genre: Manuscript document
Date: Virginia Convention (1861: Richmond)
Description: Historical Context - The Convention of 1861 met from 13 February 1861 to 1 May 1861 (when they voted for session); the convention adjourned to wait for the results of the referendum and returned 12 June to 1 July 1861. The second adjourned session met from 13 November to 6 December 1861. The firing on Fort Sumter, on 12 April, ignited the confederates to action. On 17 April 1861, the Virginia Convention voted eighty-eight to fifty-five to secede from the United States of America. The Ordinance of Secession, which repealed the ratification of the United States Constitution, was ratified on 23 May.
Restoration Needs: The Adopt Virginia's History program has a very special opportunity to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. For our new exhibition, Union or Secession: Virginians Decide, the Library has remounted, reframed, and built new casework for Virginia's signed Ordinance of Secession (the William Flegenheimer parchment), one of the rarest and most valuable documents in our collection. The ordinance was reframed in Lexan, a lightweight, virtually unbreakable polycarbonate resin thermoplastic that protects against extended light exposure and enhances visibility of the document. This work ensures that the ordinance will remain safe and stable when it is exhibited periodically throughout the years.

For an adoption gift of $500, your name (or the name of a person you choose) will be entered into the Library's catalog record as having helped restore this rare piece, one of the cornerstone documents in Virginia history. In addition, you will receive a high-quality reproduction of the ordinance, a personal viewing of the document with Special Collections staff members, and a certificate acknowledging your support. We have a limited number of slots available for this adoption opportunity. For more information or to adopt this piece, please call Dan Stackhouse at 804.692.3813.


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