The Richmond Conference

January 7, 1869


While the authors of the Virginia constitution do not believe in "negro" suffrage in their "present uneducated position", they do believe that they need to make some concessions to the Union so that they can also pass universal amnesty and facilitate a smooth and peaceful transition back into the Union.


The Richmond Conference.- We publish to-day the result of the recent conference of leading Virginians held in Richmond. If not entirely acceptable, their action is certainly the best that could be taken under existing circumstances, and meets our views. Having been already badly scorched, they concluded not to burn off their hands in the fires of sentiment. They say that, while they do not believe the negroes' in their present uneducated, condition are fitted to exercise the right of suffrage, yet, in view of the expression of public opinion in the recent national election, and in the hope of restoring harmony and union, they are willing to accept universal suffrage coupled with universal amnesty. In that conference were such men as Alexander H. H. Stuart, Thomas S. Flournoy, John L. Mavre, Jr., Wyndham Robertson, George W. Boiling, James T. Johnson, Frank G. Ruffin, John Echols, and W. T. Sutherlin. There is something practical in the action of the Virginia conference. But the talk about "going to the stake" and "burning hands off" don't suit the times. - Wilmington ( N. C.) Star.
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Joseph McEachon




“The Richmond Conference,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023,