September 24, 1869


It has been suspected that the Radicals, under the lead of Boutwell, Butler, and Sumner, were preparing a scheme by which to nullify the recent election in Virginia. Their only goal is to keep Virginia out of the Union.


For some time past it has been more than suspected that the Radicals, under the lead of Boutwell, Butler, and Sumner, were preparing a scheme by which to nullify the recent election in Virginia. These suspicions have found their way in several of the papers of the country, but so improbable did they seem that they met with neither credence nor attention. Recent developments, however, prove that these suspicions were well founded, and fall far short of the facts. Night before last two men (of the ultra Radical type) arrived in this city from Virginia. Where they had been on "reconnoitering" tour in the employment (as is now positively known) of the worthies mentioned above. Their mission to Virginia was to organize committees of the Union Leagues in various sections of the State, and to instruct them how to do it; to get up evidence proving frauds in the recent election, and intimidation and coercion of the freedmen, by which they were forced to vote the Conservative ticket or not vote at all. These affidavits-- for the instructions were that the Leagues should secure aftidavits--are to accompany a petition which is to be presented to Congress early in the session, and referred to the Reconstruction Committee, where, under the management of Butler and his friend Bingham, it is to sleep until the end ot the session, which will keep Virginia unreconstructed at least until the first Monday in December, 1870. The next being a short session, it is supposed there will be little difficulty in "staying'' the consideration of "affairs in Virginia" off until the adjournment of Congress. This petition is not to be presented until alter notice has been received that Virginia yielded to the crowning act of Radical insurpation imposed upon her--the adoption of the fifteenth amendment. Then the mine is to be sprung, and Virginia--Virginia, who gave to the nation a Washington, a Madison, a Monroe; Virginia, whose people have complied with all the demands which the Radicals could invent to degrade her, until her submission amounted almost to dishonor--is to be subjected two years longer to military rule, surveillance, dictation, and tyranny. This programme is not only to apply to Virginia, but to Mississippi and Texas, should a majority ot the people of those States in the coming elections vote for the Conservative candidates. Numerous have been the crimes of Radicalism exposed in this correspondence, but there are none which equal this in cool, calculating vil rainy. Its enormity is evidenced by the fact that it required the united genius of three of the most unscrupulous men in the nation to concoct and initiate it, and the agents selected by them to do this dirty work in Virginia (who have just returned here after having completed their disreputable mission) were in every way lilted for the task. One is from Pennsylvania, and was dismissed from office on a charge of appropriating property of the Government to his own use; the other, who hails from Illinois, was peremptorily dismissed from the army by President Lincoln for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. These men seek every opportunity to try and excite prejudice against the people of Virginia by the circulation of the basest slanders. They state that the same spirit that produced the rebellion is still rampant in Virginia--that the people of Virginia are the least reconstructed of any in the South. On the frauds committed to secure Walker's election they are very eloquent, and assert the most improbable stories. Strange to they, they find men to listen to them and believe their lies. The plan of Boutwell, Butler, Sumner & Co., disgraceful as it is, is of easy accomplishment, and will be carried out to the very letter, and neither Virginia, Texas, nor Mssissippi, be allowed representation in Congress or freedom from military rule unless they accept just such terms as these men may dictate. They have the power during this Congress. Will the next be different?
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Jermaine Reynolds




“THE PLOT AGAINST VIRGINIA-- RADICAL EMISSARIES,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022,