Treachery of Negroes
May 18, 1868
The Radical Republicans are only interested in "negro" suffrage for their own political gain.
Treachery to the Negroes. The Charlottesville Chronicle has recently expressed its preference of the negro Bayne to District-Attorney Chandler for Congress, and for Norton (negro), in the Williamsburg district, over any white Radical. Hunnicutt is indignant at the suggestion, and avers that the object of the Chronicle is " to prejudice the interest not " only of the colored people of the South at " the North, but the whole Republican par- " ty." What right has Hunntcutt to assume that the election of negroes to Congress will prejudice the interests of the negro at the North ? He is evidently alarmed lest some negro may be sent to Congress; and in his canting, hypocritical style declares that, " in the fear of God," he begs the negroes to " act with modesty, prudence, and wisdom ; " i. e., not to aspire to office-not, by any means, to go to Congress, lest the interests of the negro and the Republican party be injured thereby! This is treachery to the negro-down-right and impudent-and discloses the purpose of these dishonest men to make the negro a mere voter to elect them to officea mere beast of burden-an ass, to bear them and work for them. But he must never enjoy the rich pastures of official grass, never feed upon the sinecure corn, and repose upon the soft beds of the comfortable public stables. He must be a common ass, living upon the common, and must be the common carrier of the filthy burthens of carpet-baggers and white scallawags in general. A most convenient black ass indeed, which costs the wretched white hypocrites and renegades nothing, and is ever ready to be ridden and spurred by them. Hunnicutt and his set have no right to oppose the bestowing of office, high or low, on the negro. They have advocated his elevation to the ballot; and that gives him, per consequence, a claim to the offices. The corner-stone of republicanism is the election of public officers from the body of voters. And those who would make the negro a voter are traitors both to him and Republicanism who would withhold office from him. Botts considers the Constitution recently framed by the Radicals the best ever offered to the people of Virginia because it gives the elective franchise to the negro. And yet, false to his logic, he declares the negro unfit for office by imploring him not to demand it. Ah ! he is only to vote for Botts and Hunnicutt-that's all. No body of men are fit to vote unless there is capacity among them to fill public offices and govern the country. These hypocritical whites know this; and, by way of escaping the consequences of their own outrages, they are beseeching the negro not to ask for office, but only to elect them! The negro is not such an " idiot" as not to see the selfish and greedy purposes of the Hunnicuttites and "carpet-baggers." We agree with the Chronicle, that, in comparison with these unprincipled whites, the negroes might be preferred for Congress. Why should not Lindsey (mulatto) be preferred to Porter ? Lindsey is a more sincere, frank, and honest man than Porter, and would be more creditable to this district than Porter. Lindsey, with his fine impulsiveness and ringing voice, would make a grand forensic display in the great hall of Congress. How he would grind and hammer into the assembled wisdom of the nation the principles of equality! We repeat, he is a better man than Porter-his election would be more honorable to the district. And his political claim to elevation to the position is an indubitable deduction from his admission to the elective franchise. Botts knows this, and hence he begs such as Lindsey not to seek office. Oh no, it is not healthy for them! Only let them vote for Botts & Co., and continue to discharge the menial duties of the Republican camp. Poor negro! he has a great deal to learn. The day is rapidly coming when he will heap curses upon the wretches who now delude and use him.
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“Treachery of Negroes,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 1, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1039.