In 1858 Carson City was laid out, and in the following year the people of Carson county held a mass meeting and chose delegates to a constitutional convention, which met at Genoa on the 18th of July 1859, and in ten days drafted a constitution.
The immediate followers of Pretorius now became extremely incensed at the action of the Lydenburg party, and a mass meeting was held at Potchefstroom (October 1860), where it was resolved that: (a) the volksraad no longer enjoyed its confidence; (b) that Pretorius should remain president of the South African Republic, and have a year's leave of absence to bring about union with the Free State; (c) that Schoeman should act as president during the absence of Pretorius; (d) that before the return of Pretorius to resume his duties a new volksraad should be elected.
Almost immediately after the adoption of the ordinance a mass meeting at Clarksburg recommended that each county in north-western Virginia send delegates to a convention to meet in Wheeling on the 13th of May 1861.
A mass meeting of about 5000 citizens of the above-mentioned counties (many of them armed militiamen), at Braddock's Field, on the 1st and 2nd of August 1794, threatened to take possession of Fort Lafayette and to burn Pittsburg, but cooler counsel prevailed, and after voting to proscribe several persons, and marching in a body through the streets of the town, the crowd dispersed without doing any damage.
The sudden determination of those in power, who had hitherto advocated reform, to stereotype the existing system, closed the avenues of hope to those who had expected an improvement of their lot from constitutional changes, and the disaffected temper of the populace that resulted was taken advantage of by the London Corresponding Society, emboldened by its triumph in the courts, to organize open and really dangerous demonstrations, such as the vast mass meeting at Copenhagen House on the 26th of October.