This Week in Reconstruction, May 8-14, 1868

Dublin Core


This Week in Reconstruction, May 8-14, 1868


The week began with the appointment of a new Mayor, John Brown Wells, who planned to enforce a radical platform to create equality in Richmond. This was met with extreme political criticism with the Conservatives asking for the Mayor to respect their rights as well as the "negroes" newly appointed freedoms. There is a massive earthquake in Virginia this week that takes up a lot of the local news. The news on the National level is dominated by the ideas of Wholesale Reconstruction and General Amnesty. If the ex-Confederate states agreed to allow "negroes" the right to vote, and agree to never inflict a law that took away "negro" suffrage, then the southern states would be awarded General Amnesty for all ex-Confederates, the southern states would be accepted back into the Union, and they would have representation in Congress. While the ex-Confederates agreed that "If Congress would really declare a general amnesty, and at once restore every disfranchised and disqualified man to his rights, it would perform an act which would do more to bring about a real restoration of the Union than would all the reconstruction measures of a punitive kind that it could devise in fifty years" it was surprisingly met with wide disdain from the Conservative party stating that the claim to never deprive "negroes" the right to vote again was absurd (General Amnesty May 14).


May 8-14, 1868


Joshua Hurlburt