The State of the Case

March 14, 1871


General Mahone believes the control of the Richmond-Petersburg Railroad should be in his hands to protect Richmond's interests. He is incorrect, for there is a committee of nine that will truly protect Virginia's interests. This will also lead to more profit than Mahone would provide for Virginia.


General Mahone's whole argument to'show why the Richmond and Petersburg'road should be turned over to him is.'1st. That unless it is turned over to him'it will not be operated " responsive to Virginia interests."'2d. That the gauge of the Danville road'will be changed to 4 feet 8.M inches, and that'then Richmond will be cut oft", unless he'has this Richmond and Petersburg road,'from the southwestern trade.'In answer to the first argument, it is quite'sufficient to say that nine gentlemen, tither'of whom is as reliable in the matter of good'faith to Virginia as General Mahone himself, pledge themselves, if the road is left to'its present management, it shall be worked'in the interests of Virginia, and they offer'fifty per cent, more than General Mahone is'expected to pay for the State stock in the'road if he gets it. Therefore, besides a better pledge than General Mahone can give'that the road will be run in the interests of'Virginia, these nine men, in the mere price'of the State stock, make a "response" to'Virginia interests fifty per cent, better than'Mahone's price.'In reply to argument number 2, the Richmond and Petersburg Company propose'the most satisfactory guarantees that Gen.'Mahone shall have every facility by their'road that he could possibly ask at their'hands. The men who are ready to stand'for this pledge with their honor and their'means are men who are as reliable as any'in the Commonwealth.'Are not these answers sufficient? The'arguments in behalf of the demand that the'Richmond and Petersburg road shall be'handed to General Mahone are merely'based upon suspicion and conjecture. Yet'they are answered by solid and substantial'provision against the dangers that are only'imaginary, and have the added advantage'to the State of nearly $300,000 clear gain'over and above the proposition to hand the'road over to General Mahone.
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Megan Wiora




“The State of the Case,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed February 1, 2023,