September 24, 1869
Virginia should consider electing Senators at the next meeting of Legislature, where represenatives will ratify the 15th Ammendment.
While it is not expressly provided that Virginia shall do more at the meeting of the Virginia Legislature than to pass the fifteenth amendment, yet it would he much better for her interests if that body should elect senators also. We have already elected congressmen, to none of whom can any objection he raised on the score of eligibility. We should also elect our senators, and present ourselves to Congress with a full representation in both Houses. What can be the object of wishing the election of senators delayed we cannot see. Whoever is sent to the Senate must be able to take the iron-clad oath, which will be required of him a month from now as much as at this day. It is idle to suppose that Congress will relax in its exactions; for it will never recede from its present position on this point. As for any aspiring politician hoping to get to the Senate by having his disabilities removed, such a man may surrender such vain expectation ; for we think that no more disabilities will be removed until Virginia is fully represented in both houses of Congress. Very soon after that time we trust that they will be taken off all our citizens. We can see no just reason for apprehension as to our early readmission if we do our duty in the premises. Nevertheless, we must say that the desire expressed in some quarters that the Legislature should delay the choice of senators has been interpreted against us, and if still persisted in, this course may furnish to Butler and such men a dangerous argument against us. We wish the State to come in at the very earliest possible day ; for her material interests are suffering immensely as long as her restoration is kept back. To prevent any possibility of opposition to her restoration we consider that it is the duty of every true friend of Virginia to urge the early election of senators. She can then present herself with a full corps of unobjectionable representatives in both Houses, so-that even Butler shall not dare to say one word in opposition to her, and early in December the bill for her restoration will be brought in and passed the same day.
About this article
“Virginia Senators,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 19, 2017, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1489.