September 18, 1868
For the first time in any article, this has a optimistic look at the future.The shift is away from complaining how much reconstruction screwed them over (despite the fact it was the first thing they mentioned.Instead the article talked about how Richmond is on the verge of becoming a top manufacturer in the US due to its abundance of iron and coal.The Dispatch said that all this success is waiting for Richmond as soon as they get their government in order
When we pass through through the present gloom - when we traverse the dark forest in which we now grope, filled with monsters in human form - what a grand time there will be for Old Virginia ! Radical reconstruction is death to confidence, poison to enterprise, and a plague to all the interests of the community. It must have its end here in Virginia, as it will in our sister States; but it will die here first. That dead, confidence will he restored, enterprise will be lifted up out of the grave and brought to life, industry will be encouraged, peace reestablished, and contentment and joy take the place of discontent and misery. Millions of dollars intended for investment in Virginia only await this auspicious moment. There is no country which at this time is so widely reputed as a field for enterprise as Virginia. Her mineral riches, fertile lands, water-power, and gentle and genial climate, have excited the admiration of the people in this country and abroad. There will be a two-fold influx of men and capital, and the State will take a new start on her new destiny to power and prosperity. The moment the present uncertainty is dispelled Richmond will be the centre of the projects and enterprises in the line of manufacturing - it will bp the centre from which will radiate the speculations in real estate and schemes for improvement. Her river shores will become alive with industry. They will be dotted with factories, and at night her horizon will be illumined with the beaming fires of a hundred forges. These manufactories will bring their thousands of operatives to swell our population and increase the demand for all the means of subsistence, increase the demand for houses, and enhance the value of lands. This is no fancy picture. It is a prophecy based on facts. The best-informed and most practical of northern manufacturers, from their knowledge of the resources of Virginia and her extensive advantages for manufacturing, especially at this locality, have predicted this. One of the greatest, iron-mongers of Pennsylvania said a few weeks since that Richmond was the most eligible spot for manufacturing in the Union and there were millions of dollars ready to come down here for investment as soon as the political status of the State was settled. We can command the great elements of iron and coal in a larger degree than any other Atlantic State, and we have the ready means of communication both with the interior and the ocean. For manufacturing and for the shipment of our fabrics to any direction Richmond has facilities not equalled anywhere else. Iron and coal are the vital agents of national power, and are no less the means of local thrift. So, with an unlimited supply of these, and the best lines of intercommunication and foreign shipment, who can doubt that Richmond is to become one of tho greatest inland towns in the Union?
About this article
“Richmond Dispatch,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 1, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1128.