Misrepresentions of the Times

June 1, 1869


Carpetbaggers should stop migrating to Virginia. They are only exacerbatingthe problems because they cannot possible understand the complexities in Virginia that native Virginians can.


Misrepresentations of the Times. We have no idea that any man bred and born at the North can gather a just, idea of the condition of affairs in this State from observations made during a hasty journey through it. We doubt whether he could have done so at any time since the war. There are apparent inconsistencies and things inexplicable or not to be well understood by any person not raised here. Then there is a rancorous hatred ascribed to us by adventurers who come hither for plunder, whose game is to win over the negroes to their support, and whose tactics consist of unjust imputations upon the public character and social dispositions of our people, and the meanest and most scoundrelly efforts to set the colored voters against the whites. This inspires a state of fecliug which is not understood, and is taken for uncompromising sectional hate, when it is meant only for the immediate saturnine agents of Hie discord and passion which disturb our peace. The adventurer has generally little to commend him to confidence or respect (indeed often leaving his own land on account of his want of merit), and, seeking the higher offices, he shrewdly determines that he must succeed by the demerits of others; and if those others are not what it is necessary they should be to insure his success, why, they must be made so by lying. Thus originated the lies which have been sent broadcast over the northern States, and that have either excited Congress(or affordcd it a pretext) to impose most rigorous measures upon the southern people. Thus the plunduring stranger shave stirred up bate towards themselves amongst our white people, and bv cunning, dark, and midnight plottings, set the blacks against the whites. The adventurers have been exceedingly , wary in their mode of plying the minds of the colored people with suspicion and hate towards the whites. They never said to a colored man " your old master is a thief," or that "he is cruel and stingy' That would till thousands of colored minds with ; instant resentment. But the insinuations touch the rights and future of the black man. " Your old master wants to make you a slave again," and " be never wanted " you to be educated, and don't mean that "you shall be," are much better. Prone to suspicion and credulity the colored man easily falls a prey to the whispered imputations such as these, and, looking upon his informant (who is but a serpent in the garden) as a friend, he readily seeks every opportunity of conferring with him and scheming to defeat "old master," who is the best friend of his late slave, and, owning the land, is the only man who can give him employment and support. Now, these are things to arouse the deepest indignation. The low schemes of the unprincipled new-comers are just such as would excite the bitterest feelings of all generous minds. The northern man who comes amongst a people so circumstanced does not understand all this. He says the " press is bit-: ter." So writes a travelling correspondent of the New York Tribune in a letter from this city. We grant that it is "bitter"--very "bitter." When was it that a political campaign in this country was not " bitter?" And what campaign was ever imbued with such fruitful causes of " bitterness?" But towards whom does this bitterness exist? The office-hunting adventurers are ever seeking to impress upon the northern mind the idea that it is towards northern people generally. And so the unthinking, and uninformed may be misled by the bold assertion of men whose lives arc a fraud, and who depend altogether upon misrepresentation lor success in their office-getting and treasury-plundering schemes. There could not be a greater falsehood promulgated. The people of this State are welcoming, and will continue to welcome, those who come to buy land, go into business, and take their lot with Virginia. Of these new comers the northern men are especially welcome. They are so energetic, so skilful, and they can do so much to diminish sectional prejudices and advance the general welfare by their sagaeitv and industry. " But the stranger is ever in danger of being deceived, because he is so ignorant of the social condition of Virginia so ignorant of the provocations we suffer so ignorant of the effects wrought upon the system of labor and the peace and order of the land by the evil people who are now seeking to get possession of the Government and grow fat upon its corrupt administration
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Ali O'Hara




“Misrepresentions of the Times,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 17, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1370.