What Richmond Wants

November 6, 1866


The Dispatch endorses the idea that a Board of Trade should be created by the city that be a group of respected individual men dedicated to increasing the role of Richmond in the nation, with a specific focus on trade. The paper is realizing that connectivity and trade are the keys to future prosperity and regaining their pre-Civil War prominence.


What Richmond Wants.--There is in this city no organization to give efficacy to enlightened public sentiment on the vital matter of the local interests of the community. Never in the history of the city was there so much need of such a thing. Never was its fate so critical, its welfare In such peril. There should be now be Board of Trade, an Exchange, and the leading men should be devotedly engaged in considering the interests of the community and the best means of not only protecting them, but of increasing the commerce and general prosperity of this the largest town in the State. For the want of the organisation and this conference amongst the more Intelligent and influential of our citizens we are in danger of being continually kept In a false position and in the attitude of helplessness in the midst of hostile elements which have been steadily obstructing tha growth of Richmond and retarding her prosperity. There is no community on earth more industrious and persevering than that of Richmond. Each man attends faithfully and with Indomitable energy to his individual Interests, and upon an old-fashioned principle, some think it the best way to promote the welfare of all. But the new inventions and engineries for conducting trade and keeping up social intercourse make a very serious inroad on this old-fashioned idea. Men who in cities now delete themselves to their Individual interests, and look not out upon the world, and take no care to preserve and extend their communications with the productive regions that contribute the only means of maintaining trade and commerce, will most assuredly suffer from a falling off of trade and a blight of all their hopes, and be left to decline and decay. Industry will not save them. They will be conquered in detail by wiser and more sagacious communities, and when too late they will diccover the great error In following in this day of our's a very wise maxim of our grandfathers.
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Nat Berry




“What Richmond Wants,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed October 19, 2018, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/402.