Citizens Border Meeting
April 25, 1861
[First shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter was April 12] The citizens of Madison met at the Court House on Wednesday, the 24th of April at 10 o’clock a.m. to consider matters pertaining to the present crisis. Committees from Indiana and Kentucky were previously appointed to confer together and report their deliberations to the meeting. A large crowd assembled and the Court House was filled to it’s almost capacity. Before the meeting was called to order, Mr. Howard Watts rose and announced that the Committee had not completed their work, and by unanimous consent the meeting adjourned to meet at 2 p.m. At 2 p.m. the Court House was again crowded. On motion, Col. John Preston of Kentucky, was called to the chair and William Samuel appointed Secretary. Col. Preston, in a very brief manner, explained the object of the meeting. He counseled harmony and unanimity in action. He said that the people of the counties of Trimble and Carroll Ky., and the people of Madison and Jefferson, Ind, had sent up their delegates to and in preserving the harmony and good feelings that had heretofore existed between the two states bound together with the ties of interest, friendship, and consanguinity, and now was not the time to be misled by the acts of unauthorized persons that committed acts of hostility on either side of the river, when such persons had no sympathy with the great mass of people. He made some further remarks, in which he was loudly cheered. A.W. Hendricks, Esq. moved that a subcommittee be appointed to report a preamble and resolutions, which motions prevailed.
The chair appointed Messrs. Howard Watts, J. h. Cunningham, Judge Walker, A. W. Hendricks, and Capt. N. Powell of Madison, and Messrs. George Farran, J. Roberts, F. Willis, M. T. Abbott, and George F. Young, of the counties of Trimble and Carroll Co., Ky.
The committee retired and after some time reported the following preamble and resolutions:
WHEREAS, the people of Kentucky and Indiana, now represented in the meeting, have long been associated together as friends and brothers, and are connected together by many ties of consanguinity and interest, and are mutually desirous, in view of the fearful calamities and civil commotions which are now disturbing the peace and happiness of our beloved country, to adopt such measures of precaution as will secure quiet and good order on either side of the Ohio River, thereby to protect, as far as practicable, the good people on the immediate border from all apprehension of danger to person and property, and secure to each the continuance of peaceful relations; therefore:
RESOLVED: That we the citizens of Madison and Jefferson County, Indiana, and those of Trimble and Carroll Counties in Kentucky, through their delegates appointed in general mass meeting, do hereby pledge our sacred honor to mutually protect the rights of each other, in abstaining from and preventing as far as practicable every species of hostility or lawlessness circulated in the remotest degree to affect the rights and property of others.
RESOLVED: That it shall be the duty of the people of Madison and Jefferson County, Indiana and the people of Trimble and Carroll Counties, Kentucky to communicate at the earliest practicable moment to each other all and any information they may have of unlawful combinations or conspiracies forming on either side of the Ohio River for the purpose of invasion or lawless raids either upon the people of Kentucky or the people of Indiana.
RESOLVED: That should any lawless demonstrations or lawless designs on the part of irresponsible persons against the rights and persons and property of citizens on either side of the river become known to the people here represented, that prompt measures be taken by the people on either side to communicate to the other the apprehended danger, and take immediate steps to suppress the same.
The Committee also submitted the following resolution adopted by the citizens of Hanover on the 19th of April:
RESOLVED: That a committee be appointed to confer with the authorities of Carroll and Trimble Counties, Kentucky, to assure them that in any preparation which we make for our defense, we do not desire to injure them either in their persons or property; that we pledge ourselves, so far as is in our power, to prevent the harboring of any fugitive from justice or service, and we ask for similar assurance and pledge from them respecting their future conduct towards ourselves.
On motion, the resolutions of the committee, together with the Hanover resolution, were submitted to the meeting and were unanimously adopted.
RESOLVED by them, That the citizens of Trimble and Carroll Counties reciprocate the sentiment of the above resolution and pledge their counties to act in conformity with its spirit.
On motion of Judge Walker, it was resolved that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the papers of Madison, Cincinnati, and Louisville.
On motion, the meeting adjourned
from the Madison Courier, April 25, 1861