I already described DocSouth’s online exhibit on antebellum students at UNC-Chapel Hill, but this letter from March 1861 provides an interesting example of the Upper South’s role in the secession crisis. Even though “Lincoln’s inaugural…amounts to coersion [sic],” John Halliburton believed that “[he could] hate him and still love the Union.” Pro-secession editorials were “absurdities,” as Halliburton noted. Of course many southerners reached similar conclusions. The Fayetteville Observer reported in February 1861 that Tennessee voters “not only [gave] an overwhelming majority for the Union candidates, but voted down the [Secession] Convention itself.” Yet their support for the Union was not unconditional. Disunion remained an option under the right conditions. While the Observer never expected any “violation of [the South’s] rights from [Lincoln’s] administration,” this conditional unionist newspaper considered secession a legitimate response. After Confederates attacked Fort Sumter and President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers in April 1861, North Carolina left the Union and Halliburton presumably changed his mind as he enlisted in the Confederate army later that year.