Hunnicutt Defines his Position

October 13, 1868


Hunnicutt, a Republican politician in a long speech, gave his support and position to the African American community how in return supported him.


Hunnicutt Defines His Position - The Negroes Support Him. - Mr. Hunnicutt addressed a large crowd of the Republicans of Richmond on the Capitol Square yesterday afternoon. His purpose was to explain his position, which he did in a speech about four hours in length. He reviewed his course during the first years of the war and since the surrender of General Lee, claiming to be the John the Baptist of the Republican party of Virginia. In those days, little did he expect ever to stand on the capitol steps to defend his policy. But he was a living monument of the ingratitude of republics. The vipers (i. e., carpetbaggers) that his own bosom had warmed into life were now trying to sting him to death. "Would his hitherto faithful colored adherents allow him to meet such a fate? .[No! No!] "Would they "go back upon " the man who first dared to brave popular prejudice and come out flat-footed for universal suffrage ? [Dat we won't.] He had been blackguarded by the press, scorned on the street, tabooed by society, even ruled out of the Church of Christ ? all for the sake of the colored man. Would he forget the friend and hero ? [Never ! Never I] As to the Capital Square meeting denounced by the Central Committee, he appealed to the crowd to answer whether he had anything to do with getting it up. [" No !" from the steps.] He had been invited to speak, and did speak. For the action of that meeting he had been read out of the party by a set of carpet-bag office seekers. Washburn and Painter are pretty men to attempt to control the party. Washburn came from Washington without visible means of support. Painter came from Fairfax to Richmond in search of an office, and got it from George Rye. Humphrey, another of the committee, was a man who had imposed himself as a delegate upon the Republican Nominating Convention, and as many more had done the same thing. The nominations of that Convention should not be respected by the people of Virginia. The speaker then paid his respects to Samuels, the negro 'speech-reporter from Baltimore, who in that Convention represented a county which he had never been within a hundred miles of. Now this fellow claimed to read the editor of the New Nation out of the party. " Great Heaven, boys, what is the country coming to ?" After Hunnicutt closed, The following resolutions, offered by Fuller, the chairman, were unanimously adopted : " Whereas the series of resolutions offered by Mr. Painter and adopted by the Republican Central Committee of the city at a regular meeting held by them on the evening of the 25th of September, 1868, and published in the Alexandria Slate Journal and some few other papers, denouncing the meeting held on the Square on the 21st ultimo and the editor of the New Nation as disorganizes are deemed unfair and unjust ; therefore " Resolved, That we censure that portion of the Central Committee that voted for those resolutions, and earnestly request them to have the resolutions struck from the minutes of their meeting. " Resolved, That we recognize in James W. Hunnicutt, the editor of the New Nation, a true, tried, firm, and unflinching friend and patriot? one who, since his arrival in this city in 1866, has battled as none other dared battle for the equal rights of all men before the law, without regard to race, color, or caste." A third resolution expresses- unbounded confidence in Hunnicutt's paper, " it having been first to commence the work of building up the Republican party in Virginia," and swears renewed allegiance to its editor
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Jacob Markman




“Hunnicutt Defines his Position,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 26, 2022,