May 1, 1869
If all white, male Virginians are on the same voting bloc, they can carry the election. Additionally, because they are more powerful than they think: they are the employers of the state. They can occupational blackmail black men into voting for the "right" side.
Reconciliation--Restoration--The Ticket The reconciliation of the opposing wings of the Conservative party--The dissipation of their funds and discontents--insures the restoration of the State upon a basis of practical utility and healthy recuperative energy. A united white vote alone is enough to secure for the cause of FREEDOM a grand triumph; but we shall do better. Better for labor, better for capital, better for society. A large colored vote will be cast for this side of the struggle. As the colored people have the political privileges they demanded settled upon them, they no longer have any cause of difference upon a question of color with the white people, who are their employers, whose prosperity is their prosperity, and whose misfortune is thier's. This the colored man must see, however much the "adventurer" and depraved native white man may endeavor to delude him. The moment he does see what is so clearly his vital interest, the division on a line of color with reference to political questions must cease. And when that kind of division is ended the State will be relieved from a strife that must be destructive to thrift and order as long as it may be continued. This will be a grand achievement for the general welfare. The laborer will be content, and there will be no cause of difference between him and his employer. Laborer and employer will alike be governed by views of public policy in the vote they cast, and there will be no distrust between them to work its dangerous consequences upon the industry and hopes of the people. As for the people--the white people of Virginia-- whose FREEDOM is now the question--their restoration to eligibility to the offices of the State is but to enable the State to select the experience, wisdom, and integrity of her people to manage her important affairs. Without these she cannot prosper--cannot be happy. With these we can have good and reliable government, and liberated and active enterprise, a trusting adventure and an assured spirit of commerce. Industry will flourish, and labor will receive its highest reward. The effect of such a restoration--political, commercial, and social--in its local relations, cannot be over-estimated, white in a national point of view nothing could be more beneficial in the mutual political relations of the States, nor more advantageous to the national welfare. Now, then: Under the expurgated Constitution this--all this--may be most assuredly accomplished. Nor is this all. The appearance of Virginia once more in the national councils must revive the recollections of her career in the history of former days, and soften the asperities engendered by the war. The Congress has already showed signs of a change of feeling and policy towards the southern States, and the effect of the introduction of the remaining States, with Virginia at their head, may be to prompt Congress, in a generous moment, to abolish the last vestige of the horrible test--oaths, and make us again one nation. As Gilbert C. Walker and the gentlemen with whom he is associated are clearly in favor of that restored freedom and personal independence and confidence which are to produce these glorious results, they merit the undivided support of all who earnestly desire these blessings, whether they be white or black. Commended by their principles and generous sympathies, they are gentlemen of irreproachable personal character, and worthy of the entire confidence of the Virginia people. Mr. Walker is a native of New York, a talented lawyer, and estimable gentleman. We know what we say; for we would not lightly recommend anyone for that seat which has been honored by the greatest and best of men, and which has never been disgraced by any man who was chosen for the position by the vote of the people of Virginia! We know Mr. Walker to be a gentleman of excellent judgment and enlightened forecast. Therefore, in the matter of integrity, as well as prudence, he can be trusted most implicitly. It is true that it would be more agreeable with us all to take up a man of our own state and place him in the chair. What people would not prefer it? Bat it is very clear that we cannot do this now. It is, therefore, a matter of high gratification that we find just such a gentleman, of so generous and well balanced a mind, at this juncture, to assist in solving our difficulties and bringing the State into the Union upon the only basis which affords us any hope. He has been guilty of no obtrusiveness in this matter. He was prevailed upon by those who conceived that he could be of service at this critical moment to become a candidate for this office, which we are satisfied he had not till then dreamed of. With this platform and this ticket, the expurgated constitution and the moderate nominees, our way is clear to triumph, to restoration, to freedom, to prosperity, and to tho re-building of Virginia according to a new style of architecture, but with greater power and a more flourishing prosperity than she has ever known.
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“ReconciliationRestorationThe Ticket,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 19, 2019, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1327.