This Week in Reconstruction, January 17-23, 1869
The Committee of Nine continues to propose its constitution. A letter from the Virginia committee to the Senate Judiciary Committee says that Virginians' do not agree with universal suffrage because the recent freedmen "in their current uneducated state, are unsafe depositories of political power." White Virginians, though, are willing to accept universal male suffrage as an offering of peace. They wish to strike out any of the disqualifications or disenfranchisement intended as punishment for former Confederates. Governor Wells fights back to try to retain his power. He fears the "Nine," since he knows that he was elected by carpet-baggers and would not be reelected if all those disqualified could vote. Therefore, he pleads to congress not to listen to the "song of the nine."