[Augusta County, VA? Augusta County Whigs?], Monday Morning, Aug. 26, 1844. Broadside. 30.5 x 45 cm. Contemporary ink markings on verso. Old fold lines, some browning to paper, but very good. OCLC: Clements, NY Hist. Society, Univ. of VA, VA State Hist. Lib., Lib. of VA. Item #64529
"The formation of the Whig Party was more than simply a rebuke of Jackson, however. Its development in Virginia, for one, reflected social and political changes in the state's burgeoning commercial economy. Party members embraced the political ideology of "positive liberalism," which favored government action on behalf of the common good. In practice, this meant promoting internal improvements, public education, strong banking, and high tariffs. The party's at times moralistic belief in a government that could affect positive change was evidenced in its support of the temperance movement.
On the issue of slavery, however, the Virginia Whigs floundered in ambiguity. The party never concretely articulated a position on the controversial issue and among its members opinions varied by region and political view, with plans ranging from gradual emancipation to colonization to leaving slavery alone. While the party contained both supporters and critics of the "peculiar institution," nearly all of Virginia's vocal opponents of slavery came from Whig political backgrounds. These antislavery advocates based their arguments on the party's economic philosophy, asserting that slavery contradicted their broader plan of diversified commercial prosperity through internal improvements, central banking, and industrial development.
Whigs were strongest in urban areas, appealing to voters in the growing commercial class, such as merchants, businessmen, and bankers. Their rural support, meanwhile, tended to come from owners of large numbers of slaves whose interests, as planters, were closely tied to the market economy. Whig bastions included the Tidewater, the Shenandoah Valley, and several counties in the far western part of the state, but the nerve center of the party was located in Richmond. " [see: Encyclopedia of Virginia].