The Number and the Purpose of the Radicals in Richmond
June 14, 1866
There are approximately 250 perfectly loyal friends of the Union among Richmond natives. About one-fifth of this party would give their life to the Union, all would favor black suffrage, and most would do anything for rebels to be disfranchised.
Greeley's Richmond correspondent, who may be presumed to know whereof he affirms, gives us the following information as to the numbers and designs of the Radicals in this city : "A census of the loyalists of Richmond would reckon not more than two hundred and fifty sincere and perfect friends of the Government among the natives. Fifty of them would dare to risk their lives for the the Union ; all would be ready to vote at a fair opportunity for negro suffrage, for no other reason than self-defence and the desire to establish a balance of power. Some of them approve the terms of " amnesty for suffrage ;" others can see no good in any event in giving the franchise to the bitter rebel. They regard the negro as a better citizen to all intents than the white rebel. They think that the black man has rights, certainly ; but their need to have him vote is still stronger than their sense of his right to it. They can see a hundred reasons why the Government should allow the freedmen to vote, which they cannot see in the cheap political license exercised now by the rebel who persecuted Unionists and trod on the flag. This sterling class, to which the two Underwoods belong, is of more value to us than ten times their number of the ill-reconstructed.
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“The Number and the Purpose of the Radicals in Richmond,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 28, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/214.