April 4, 1870
Radicals still have a hold in Richmond and Virginia and they are compared to a cancer that arrived after the war.
After five years of the war of blood we have had five years of the war of passion and vindictiveness, thewar of penalties and punishments, and the prevalence of the low and vile instruments of malice, and hate, and greed, and plunder. In the latter five a cancer has grown upon the Virginia body politic, which sunk its radicals deep into her vitals. Our newly-constituted State authorities, in a spirit of generous confidence, faded to employ the knife vigorously to extirpate the fungus, and at the moment when they thought it had sloughed by natural process they find it clinging by a malign root-the Chahoon root-defying all State power for its excision! It clings here in this city of calamity, of hope, of energy, and of ultimate triumph. It will be burnt out, and while it gives annoyance it should give assurance that but for its resistance there would have been a relapse into a fatal sense of security which would have permitted the cancer to grow until it overspread the body. Now, however, aroused to the danger, the knife, we are sure, will be used vigorously, and the State will be saved from the general gangrene of carpetbaggery and the scallawag mango which would entail for years torture and utter prostration.
About this article
“The Cancer.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 17, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1615.