The infamous Underwood Publishes a Letter

January 9, 1869


Virginia must defeat the Underwood constitution. It disenfranchises all "respectable men in Virginia, and gerrymanders the state so to give control to the 'negros.'"


The infamous Underwood publishes a letter in Forney's Chronicle of yesterday telling Congress that the Virginia Constitution disfranchises only between four and five thousand persons, and intimating that the opposition to its ratification is based upon its provisions in regard to education. Fortunately, the members of Congress have the Constitution before them, and can see for themselves that Underwood would deceive them. It prescribes an oath which disqualifies nearly every respectable man in the State. It gerrymanders the State so as to give the negroes the control of the Legislature, allowing to the whole region west of the Blue Ridge but eighteen members of the House of Delegates. It violates the Federal Constitution in exempting from sale for debt property already bound for that purpose. It undertakes to give many of our churches -to a northern and alien organization. In fact, it contains so many intolerably outrageous features that no decent man ought to vote for its ratification. Congress may compel us to vote upon it as it is, but cannot compel us to ratify it. It will be defeated, whatever Underwood and his backers may do.
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Joseph McEachon




“The infamous Underwood Publishes a Letter,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 1, 2023,