This Week in Reconstruction, May 16-22, 1869

Dublin Core


This Week in Reconstruction, May 16-22, 1869


Governor Wells is looking increasingly less appealing for reelection as he proves to be untrustworthy. Contrastingly, Walker is looking increasingly more credible. White Virginians want to vote separately on the disenfranchisement and on the County Organizers clauses from the rest of the Constitution; Wells' opposition to this strategy stirs criticism from white Virginians. This division of opinion furthers their commitment to Walker as a candidate over Wells because Walker does support the separate vote for these clauses. Amidst this political debate, more "carpetbaggers" are migrating to Virginia for economic opportunities. They are finding employment in the government-- as they can pass the test-oath and most Virginians cannot-- and in agriculture. However, these Northerners are taking jobs that black men previously held, causing the black men to look for employment elsewhere. Also, the Commercial Convention was held this week, the participants are trying to determine how best to rebuild the infrastructure in the South. The South wants to regain its economic competitive edge. They are accomplishing this goal by building railroads across the southern part of the country and improving their steamboats. Ultimately, this week many people are grappling for power. The historical dominance white Virginians held is being challenged, and now white Virginians, white Northerners, and black Virginians are all striving for more power.


May 16-22, 1869


Ali O'Hara