Admission of Virginia
December 20, 1869
The Reconstruction committee this past Saturday was bogged with manufactured testimonies from ultra Radicals. The tactics of the Radicals have been so dishonest, even Wells himself has disowned the group.
The Reconstruction Committee was deluged on Saturday with the manufactured testimony (so called) of the ultra Radicals, intended to prove intimidation at elections, partiality in the administration of justice, cruel treatment of Union men, and general persecution of all loyalists in Virginia. We can well Imagine the nature of this testimony-- its extravagant representation of facts and its fraudulent manufacture of incredible stories, so completely falsified by the peacefulness and order that have prevailed in Virginia ever since the war that no intelligent person could consider them with any patience. The better part of the Republican party have separated themselves from the desperate men who have made up the lying budget to spread before the committee. Even Governor Wells has felt it due to justice and truth that he should oppose them by his name, his influence, and his argument. General Candy's former report gave the lie to their statements, and we can hardly suppose that which he has just sent to Washington is inconsistent with his first. Yet the rather loose way of taking testimony that has prevailed in the Committee of Reconstruction forces the committee to listen to these people; and they have, according to accounts, availed themselves of their opportunity with a vengeance. If they gain nothing, they will at least gratify their passion for maligning the people of this State. This of course burthens the case and produces delay, but cannot alter the result. A flaw cannot be found in the ease of Virginia unless, indeed. Congress is determined not to admit her save through a government of such beings as, under the lead of Porter, are now seeking to have us oppressed with further afflictions. If they are determined to do so cruel a thing, why, they will do it no matter what sort of testimony they have, and whether or not they had any testimony at all. But even the fear of that has no ground to stand upon. Congress cannot take the testimony of the ultras in preference to that of Governor Wells and every really intelligent gentleman with whom he acted. We have the world to nothing in favor of the admission of Virginia. The Administration earnestly urges that it be promptly none, and it has been understood that an immense majority of both houses of Congress heartily concur with the Administration. When the admission takes place it will be by a sweeping majority--as we believe, amounting almost to unanimity. People are anxious to know when this will be. Shall we eat our Christinas dinner in the Union? Possibly, General Grant thought a short time since that we would. But there has been some unexpected delay. "There are but three days this week for the work. Congress adjourns on Wednesday for Christinas. Should Virginia not be in before this holiday, then slip will not be admitted before the 1st of January. There will be no such houses as would likely take up so important a matter until after that day--members not generally returning to the capital sooner. But we have been a long time out, and ran endure patiently a few more days of disfranchisement. We shall soon be in. Our only anxiety is that the manner of admission shall be free from anything that will mar the good feeling it should impart. There is no earthly excuse fur any further vexation of this people. Therefore, they should be admitted without any gratuitous and disagreeable conditions. The whole nation needs quiet and rest from distrust, imputasion, prejudice, aud complaint. There is a general demand for harmony. This old State has conformed to the very letter of congressional requirements, and cannot justly be the victim of further harassment. "Let us have peace."
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“Admission of Virginia,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed July 4, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1550.