From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/10/1861, p. 2

Secession. - This subject was very ably and prettily handled before the public at the First Baptist Church on the occasion of the last annual commencement of the Female Institute, by Miss M. Lou Macfarlane, one of the graduating class, in an essay which evinced no inconsiderable amount of research and acquaintance with the political history of the country. A correspondent says that a passing notice of it "might stimulate our young men to extra exertion in the country's cause." They do not, however, require any additional stimulus than the present condition of the country and the approving smiles of the ladies to nerve them to do their best. On the delivery of the essay spoken of, such was the popularity of secession, when advocated by a young lady, that the author was, as she deserved to be, rapturously applauded, besides receiving floral tributes enough to satisfy even Patti. God bless the women.

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