What the Virginia Carpet-Baggers are After

July 18, 1868


The carpet-baggers don't care about the Virginian people. They only care about gaining control, and it seems like that mission might not be accomplished.


"What the Virginia Carpet-Baggers are After." Under this caption the National Intelligencer of yesterday administers a severe rebuke to the self-appointed committee that went from this city to Washington to endeavor to induce Congress to perpetrate another wrong upon the people of Virginia. These unprincipled carpet-baggers, however, having neither reputation nor property to lose, and being ready to migrate at any moment to some more promising locality, care no more for the censures of that journal than they do for the opinions of the respectable people of Virginia. They will, if possible, work out their scheme for placing the offices in this State in their own hands, and then laugh to scorn all reputable men who oppose their pretensions. We have no confidence in the honesty of Congress. It is impossible that any man should have. We are therefore fully prepared for any act of infamy which that body has it in its power to perform. As to the particular purpose which the carpetbaggers went to Washington to effect, it may be said that Congress is expected to adjourn so soon that there is not time left for the rascally bill proposed by them to be made a law in spite of the President's veto. This is not the only consideration with Congress. That body does not know what to think of the result of the recent election in Mississippi, and has come to the conclusion that if Mississippi negroes can be induced to vote the Conservative ticket, there must be but a slim chance of carrying Virginia for Grant next November, even with the aid of the Freedmen's Bureau and corrupt officers of elections. James II. is said to have lost the battle of the Boyne because he was too anxious to preserve the lives of his people. "Take care of my English subjects," said he to his army, which was trying to kill them. Congress is in the same predicament. It is over-anxious as to the fate of its negro subjects, and may lose the Presidential battle in all of the States of the South. It has enfranchised a class of people whose votes may be the means of working out a just retribution upon the infamous Radical party. Surveying the whole field, and at a loss where to strike, Congress will probably allow Virginia to rest in inglorious case until after the Presidential election. They are not so anxious to have us in the Union as that they will remain in Washington two weeks longer in order to over-ride a veto of the bill ordering an election in Virginia. On the whole, we are inclined to believe that the Virginia carpet-baggers now in Washington will hardly accomplish the purpose of their visit.
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Joshua Hurlburt




“What the Virginia Carpet-Baggers are After,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 28, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1083.