To Colored Votes of the Third Congressional District

November 3, 1870


In an attempt to gain more black voters, the Conservatives have sent a message to the blacks of the district to think about who they really want to be representing them.


Fellow-Citizens: - The white and colored Conservatives of this Congressional district, in convention assembled, where all were fairly and fully represented, have nominated as a candidate for Congress Colonel Albert Ordway; and we here, in his behalf, and in behalf of the people whom we represent, earnestly solicit your suffrages for him. In doing this we claim a right to your attention and favor from the fact that it is in some measure to conciliate your prejudices that the Conservatives have put forward a gentleman who, while fully acceptable to them in character and ability and well-known political sentiments, commends himself to your confidence because he was a Union man in the late war and fought on the side that achieved your emancipation. This record might induce you to give him an impartial hearing. This much frankly avowed, for we know that in political, as in other affairs, honesty is the best policy. Now, we ask you if you cannot and will not meet your Conservative fellow-citizens half way in this proffered compromise? You talk of our prejudices, but how bitter and unreasoning you must be if you refuse to join us in electing Colonel Ordway simply because he is the Conservative nominee, when you know that by birth, education, association, record, and principle, he is committed to the platform of equal rights. Moreover, you have but to know him to find, as we have found, that he is an honest man, a good man, and one in whom we have the utmost confidence. We have nothing to say against Hon. Charles H. Porter, for you know him quite as well as we do. His loud professions please you; but you know him, we repeat. It may be proper, however, to ask what has he done for you or us that we should again send him to Congress? Has his career reflected honor on himself, or on anybody, or on anything? Has he done anything for anybody's rights but his own, as in the Pat Woods case? And whose prosperity has he increased, except his own? In point of fact he has added to our burdens, has lessened our common liberties, and has brought us all into contempt. We need, and you more especially need, a man like Colonel Ordway to redeem this district from the injury, wrong, and reproach which have been brought upon it by Sir. Porter. You may, if you can, accord the best intentions to Mr.Porter; but the truth is plain that he is powerless for good, and only brings evil on those whom he represents. In Colonel Ordway we will all have a representative pledged to do us all impartial justice, whose character will command respect everywhere: whose labors will be unceasing, not for himself, but for his constituents; whose abilities will prove equal to any task we may set him, and whose integrity is above suspicion. He knows the wants of Richmond, of this district, and of the whole State; and he is a practical man, who can devise the ways and means to supply those wants. In conclusion, we beg of every colored man who values his liberty and personal independence to shake off that political bondage which is attempted to he fastened upon them, and at this election vote regardless of threats or promises, and be freemen not only in name, but in action. Respectfully, Joseph Louis, Abrham Hall, Jno. Cooley, Meade Cooper. John Jackson, Frederick C. Coles, Richard Chiles. Wm. Young, R. C. Hobson, D. W. Fraysher, Jr., Horace Johnson, Jas. H. Clarke Dawson Gardner, Robert Cooper, Walker Howard, Robert Hamilton, William Mundy, Richard Jacksos, Joseph B. .Mason, Jas. Storrs, Samuel Harris.
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Travis Terry




“To Colored Votes of the Third Congressional District,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 5, 2022,