Ill-Behaved Negroes

June 17, 1869


There are some "better-bred... negroes" however most of them are causing unwarranted uproar in the city. "The white people of this city have exhibited since the war a degree of self-control" that does not warrant this aggression.


Ill-Behaved Negroes. It is very apparent to all that there is amongst a part of the negroes of this city a growing disposition towards tumult and offensive ness. These negroes, of course, do not belong to the better-bred and better behaved portion of the blacks. There is as great difference between blacks as there is between whites. There are colored men who have many of the graces and instincts of. gentlemen. They show that education in not all gotten inside the walls of the school--it is questionable whether the better part is not obtained outside. These men were raised amongst good people, and were favored by their intercourse. They have nothing to do with the swaggering mob which has lately shown both bad manners and had feeling. Now this mob Is a very bad one, and it ought to receive this information at once. It is doing injury more to its own race than to the whites; but quite enough to both. The white people of this city have exhibited since the war a degree of self-control and forbearance which is wonderful. The negroes have had full swing in all their public proceedings and demonstrations. They have flaunted their banners and rattled their drums, and cavorted through all the streets of the city day and night--often at times when the city was weighed down by woes and oppressions of which their jubilation seemed only a mockery--and yet have they ever been molested or disturbed in any manner? Has any white man ever so far forgotten himself as, in the moment of passion, to assail them ? Never. It is a wonder; for there has been a great deal of irritation in the last four years. Now, this should be remembered. It is plain enough to be considered by even the less intelligent of the blacks. It suggests a lesson to them which they should profit by. They may rely upon it that any aggressiveness on their part will react in time to their injury.
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Ali O'Hara




“Ill-Behaved Negroes,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,