How Long Yet is Virginia to be Kept Out?

January 24, 1870


Despite everything, Sumner is still trying to find a way to block the admission of Virginia.


The telegraph will give the Dispatch very full reports of the debate and results in the Senate to-day, which, of course, are not to be repeated in this correspondence; but some allusions may be made regarding the feeling with which the result is received; and here it is stated that the predictions which several Republican congressmen-of both houses-have made, to the effect that the damage the party will sustain by this continual procrastination in recognizing the rights of a State which had acted up to ALL the requirements of the Government will be disastrous, have, since 5 o'clock this afternoon, received several additional believers. The action of the Senate to-day has inspired the belief in some quarters that Virginia is not to be admitted (Sumner, and Drake, and Butler, et id omne genus, are afraid of Virginia,) until the first of March; although many others think that the bill, as it passed the Senate, will go through the House without delay. That, however, is what nearly every one here thought when Bingham's bill was adopted. Sumner's conduct in dodging the vote in the Senate to-day created very great surprise, and he was not required to vote when Kellogg called for the reading of the sixteenth rule of the Senate, which requires all its members to vote upon any question if they are on the floor when the vote is taken. Senator Trumbull, in refusing to allow Sumner to use his political lash over his shoulders, has received encomiums from all quarters excepting those in which the latter rules with absolute power. Trumbull is too smart a debater for Sumner, and the attempts of the Massachusetts autocrat to answer him always fall very short of any effect in convincing his hearers that he has vindicated his character from the excoriations of his more able opponent in debate. What does President Grant think of the war which Congress is making upon Virginia and upon that portion of his message relating to the prompt admission of her representatives? The extremists, in their objections to admitting the State, have given themselves no trouble whatever in relation to the question. They have learned to consider the Executive branch of the Government as in no respect worthy of attention if Mr. Sumner refuses his assent to the sentiments or recommendations thereof. It cannot be contradicted that President Grant is very much disappointed at the turn which affairs have taken. He was anxious for the admission of Virginia pure and simple, and takes the same view of the delay as does Messrs. Bingham and Trumbull and those who have voted consistently with them in opposition to imposing further conditions on the State. Great preparations are being made to receive Prince Arthur, and many a "fair lady" will be disappointed if she is not provided with a ticket to the ball to be given by Minister Thornton in honor of the scion of royalty-and many will be disappointed. The treatment the young gentleman will receive while in this capital will certainly impress him with the idea that the rulers here have the kindest feeling possible for the royal family of England. Such amiable diplomacy as will be used in the event of the royal visit may be very useful hereafter. The election of a negro senator from Mississippi creates quite a sensation here. Many are wondering whether he will be admitted to his seat or whether he will be ostracized by the Radicals, as was the negro who came here claiming to represent a district of Louisiana last year and not permitted to take his seat. A rather general point of speculation concerning this new dispensation from the Radical party of Mississippi is between what United States senators will the negro be seated. Timon.
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Charles Simmonds




“How Long Yet is Virginia to be Kept Out?,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 28, 2023,