Restoration and Recuperation

December 21, 1869


To the annoyance of Virginia, admission will not take place until January. The case of Georgia is to blame.


Slightly delayed by annoying circumstances, the admission of Virginia will, notwithstanding, take place early in January. The case of Georgia has most inopportunely been intruded to block up the way to prompt action upon that of Virginia. Resentment and revenge are more powerful impulses than sympathy and a sense of Justice. Georgia will ride through Congress on the two first named, while Virginia must stand aside awaiting the slow-flowlng tide of the latter. The case of Georgia is without consolation. She has not only secured nothing to herself, but she has made the cases of some of her sister States-- so indiscriminate is prejudice-- but the worse. Plainly, since the war between Congress and the Executive in the pefson of Andrew Johnson, the States of the South were under duress, and refusal to concur in the reconstruction laws was but the folly of resistance where it was hopeless, and where it made submission to increased rigors inevitable. But all these things must be consummated, and the future left to fate and the people of the Union, under the direction of the motives inspired by tbe public interestand circumstances. We shall soon be in a condition to go on under our own civil Government, working quietly and securely to rebuild our fortunes and to increase the power and prosperity of the State. We shall then, without being the victims of special and partial legislation-- without being paralysed by personal disabilities, proceed along with all the nation to accommodate ourselves to the new order of things, and to take our part with entire equality in making the history of the country. Virginia has an important part to play as the conservator of good feeling and political harmony. As she has saved the Union at several periods when it was in the greatest peril, she will, by the force of her character and the geographical position she occupies, probably do more for tbe promotion of its duration and grandeur than any other State. But the people of Virginia must remember that to perform fully this high mission Virginia must now add to her mental and moral renown great physical strength and wealth. Her resources are adequate to the necessity. Nature has given her the means of becoming the greatest state in the Union, and it rests entirely with her citizens whether they shall be made available. Those resources, those great blessings of a beneficent providence, are not to be looked upon as conferring title and eminence without a proper use of them. They must be looked upon in the most practical sense as only inviting to industry and promising rich rewards to enterprise and labor. In the earth they are worth not as much as the dirt on its surface; because, even untitled, that will produce something. But taken from the earth, mined and manufactured, they turn to gold and diffuse wealth through the land. Let us not for a moment forget that not a step in advance can now be taken without well-directed industry and sagacious energy. We must expect to go ahead steadily and surely, but not suddenly or magically. The wealth and growth that will be solid and must be acquired gradually. That is the only sure way to accomplish the elevation. Every man must work for his own welfare, and the combined labor of all will create the grand total of the Commonwealth. An industrious and thrifty community never fails to attract population from without, and in this way the gradual accumulation of industry enterprise in all branches of labor and wealth will add in a few years immensely to the force and weight of the State in the nation. Early in the ensuing year so near at hand will the restoration take place; and our people, we are sure, will proceed with indomitable industry and perseverance to accomplish these great objects.
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Jermaine Reynolds




“Restoration and Recuperation,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,