Delay and Ruin

March 22, 1869


Govenor Wells is trying to postpone elections in Virginia in order to keep his own posiiton of power. Well "is wholly mercenary, governed by mere selfishness, and strives to make his place sure at the expense of the people of Virginia and the nation."


Delay and Ruin. It is well known that Governor Wells has just returned from Washington, where he has with all the ingenuity and argument of which he is master, endeavored to induce Congress to postpone elections in Virginia for twelve months ! This is what we suspected and charged several days since. For four years this State has been chained down in a eondition of obstruction, with no indication as to how long she was so to remain; and when the hour of deliverance would come. Uncertainty checked enterprise and repelled immigration; it destroyed hope and trammelled energy. Industry was disorganized, and in the absence of enterprise and thrift there has been a scarcity of employment for labor and scant compensation for it when employed. The great object has been to live, and beyond that little has been accomplished in Virginia during the hapless four years. Out of such a condition it had been the hope and prayer of the people that we should emerge when General Grant came into power. He had shown much practical good sense, and his motto had been "Let us have peace." Now, no people can be happy who are enterprising and intelligent and who are kept in the condition that is now wasting the substance and the energies of the "people of Virginia. They cannot be contented in that condition, and without contentment there cannot be peace . We had supposed that this was one of the facts, recognized by General Grant, and that one of his most determined measures would be the early restoration of Virginia to the Union that she might be free in mind, in limb, and address herself to the restoration of her comfort and abundance, and to the rebuilding of her prostrate fortunes above all, that she might be again a powerful contributor to the wealth and glory of the nation. We do not mean to predict disappointment of these expectations. General Grant has not acted. But we do mean to express our execration for all men who are now exerting themselves to induce the Congress to prolong the dreadful paralysis which weighs down Virginia and robs the nation of her valuable contributions to the general wealth. Governor Wells, who is fed by the people of Virginia, has been engaged in this work. He desires to hold his office and draw his pay from the people he is reviling and endeavoring to ruin. He prefers to hold it rather than peril his prospects by an election. He is wholly mercenary, governed by mere selfishness, and strives to make his place sure at the expense of the people of Virginia and the nation. Of course it is all the better for the strangers who fill the offices, who govern this greatly slandered and oppressed people, that the elections should be postponed as long as possible. This day had Governor Wells the power to decide this matter he would decree that there should be no more elections as long as he lived. Likely as not, conforming to that propensity of Vice to pay a tribute to Virtue by assuming the garb of Hypocrisy, he would say that the people of Virginia were not yet cured of rebellion, and were unfit to govern themselves, as he has so unscrupulously and impudently already stated to Congress. Let us hope that the specious scheming of this cunning, bad man will not prevail in Washington, and that there may be enough of descernment and fairness there to see the vast difference between tho low, personal interests of the men holding office in this State and the great and dignified concerns of a large community of people whose welfare is but the welfare of the whole nation! If there is such discernment, and the policy of the Government is governed by it, we shall see all the small trickery of Wells brought to discomfiture, and the broad interests of the nation crowned with success. General Grant has frequently of late given us to hope that this would be so. He has continually said that Virginia would soon be restored to the Union. Possibly it is this which has led the party here who wish to hold office permanently by keeping Virginia out of the Union to address themselves to Congress to influence that body to take action and save them from General Grant's policy. We shall continue to hope that they will fall, and that General Grant, knowing the importance of peace and the enlarging of the resources of the nation to meet the national debt, will restore the States of the South with all possible expedition. Some.
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Joseph McEachon




“Delay and Ruin,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 1, 2023,