The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad

October 17, 1868


Talks about the ongoing progress of the building of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Blame the slowing in progress on Africans Americans who they claim are to dull to learn the work and that they are failing there test to society at how there freedom is going by instead of performing at jobs, being unsuccessful at them and that they still result to robbery when they could just get a job.


The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. - The western end of the Red Hill tunnel, five miles west of Covington, has been reopened, and the timbers and work found in good condition. The work of driving will be resumed where the workmen left off seven years since. It was apprehended that this end, as well as the eastern, had fallen in: but the mass of material which had slipped from the approach cut and closed the mouth of the tunnel seems to have excluded the air, and thus the timber and props have been preserved. This fortunate condition of the work saves the company much time and expense. We regret to learn that the negro labor employed on the road is giving trouble. It is very unreliable. This is bad - bad for the negro, who is now on trial as a freedman. Here is a work where a thousand may find employment at good wages ; and yet while there are so many idle in this city, and so many hundreds who are living by stealing, the company cannot get the numbers it needs, and those they do hire are so fickle and unsteady that little reliance can be placed in them. This is, indeed, unfortunate for the negro. There is every disposition to be kind to him and employ him ; but if he won't work he will have to stand out of the way, and companies and individuals will have to introduce labor from abroad to take his place. If the negroes have any leaders capable of appreciating their true situation they should use all their influence to impress upon them a knowledge of their interests and their duty to themselves. We hope the company will take immediate means to secure white labor enough to push the road through to the White Sulphur by next summer.
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Jacob Markman




“The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 25, 2019,