May 18, 1869
Walkers impending election is looking better amongst Virginians. As black citizens are coming to their senses, forgetting about the Carpetbaggers, and voting for Walker.
Encouraging Signs. On the side of the Conservatives the accounts from all directions are cheering. The prospect of harmony amongst the white voters and their combination upon the Walked ticket Is clear and satisfactory. The colored voters are steadily splitting off from the carpet-baggers, who have deluded them so long, and whose policy they begin to see threatens them with disaster, by alienating them from the men with whom they must live and upon whom they must depend for employment and support. With such an addition of strength as their accession to the Conservative party will give, its majority must be very large. On the other hand, the carpet-baggers are growing more and more despondent. Their plans are unsettled, and their calculations disconcerted. They are making no engagements, and they do not attend land sales, which they showed so much interest in heretofore. Wells sees that his coming over to the Walker platform but enures to the advantage of Walker. He loosens his hold upon the colored people, who he has taught to believe that the Underwood Constitution, without alteration, is necessary to their protection. Deserting that position, they see that he has played a double game--one of deception--and the more intelligent of them feel grossly offended at his course. These will exercise a great inlluence amongst their fellows, and an immense desertion is now going on from the ranks of Wells. It is impossible that he can escape the disastrous consequences of surrendering the ground upon which he had raised his issues for the campaign and deserting the large army of colored people he had already encamped upon it. He is doomed to defeat, and he keeps his horse saddled at the door to fly from the field the moment the battle is lost. The prospect is so bright that we should all work with the cheerfulness and energy that an assured victory should inspire--a victory over the worst enemies of the peace and social harmony of the State.
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“Encouraging Signs,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 25, 2018, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1349.