Manchester and the Free Bridge.
April 26, 1871
There will soon be a celebration for the free bridge between Manchester and Richmond. The Dispatch is excited about the unofficial expansion of Richmond, and wants the next step to be an officially annexation through the government.
Preparations are being made for a brilliant celebration of the laying of the cornerstone of the free bridge between Richmond and Manchester, which will take place early in May. The occasion will be one of the most interesting that has called together the people of this locality for years. The establishment of free and unrestricted intercourse between the two shores of the river is a public necessity. It. should have been accomplished twenty years since. It will infuse much spirit and enterprise into the public mind, and do a great deal to help on the improvement and solid prosperity of the locality. The next great step to make the free bridge completely available to the public advantage on both sides the river will be the consolidation of Richmond and Manchester in one corporate government. We are satisfied that the people of both shores are nearly unanimous in favor of this most important step. It will bring into active use and value all the natural advantages of the southside with many times greater efficiency than if they arc left to development by separate governments. All disputes of the corporations will lie quieted, and the public administration and execution of plans will not be obstructed by cross-purposes and local pride and prejudice. The best that can be done on both sides for the general good will be done. The ceremony and its attending scenes will be a proof of the general interest felt in the event. Quite a large body, consisting of various societies, will join in the celebration, and an immense multitude will assemble to witness the proceedings. The motive power of the progressive improvement of this city will be very much increased by this step. Cities go by stages in their advancement, and often a circumstance like that of laying this corner-stone is the suggestion and the stimulus of measures of great power in promoting the growth and increase of a city that were not anticipated or not a part of any preceding plan. The event cannot be over-estimated in its importance. It will constitute an epoch in our history from which will in alter times be dated some of the most remarkable strides of this city towards greatness.
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“Manchester and the Free Bridge.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed July 16, 2018, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/2034.