Petition For New State Government in Virginia
January 3, 1867
While staying loyal to the federal government, the people of Virginia want to alter their government to avoid the injustices of the Union men in Virginia.
The following petition is being extensively circulated in Virginia, and receiving many signatures preparatory to being presented to Congress on its reassembling: To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: The undersigned, citizens of the State of Virginia, loyal to the Federal Government and cordially endorsing the action of Congress in refusing admittance to those claiming to represent this State in the national councils, respectfully petition immediate action on the part of your honorable bodies to give that protection to the Union men and the Union interests of this State which justice and policy alike demand, and which Congress alone can provide for. They respectfully state that they are actuated by desire to see the Government constructed as early as possible upon a loyal and permanent basis; that they are influenced by no spirit or revenge or history when they solemnly declare that their dearest rights and liberties are in the hands of those against whom they were arrayed in the late unfortunate strife, and whose feelings are too violent and vindictive to accord them those rights prescribed by their own pretended laws. They further represent that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Government, with a few honorable exceptions, are in the hands of those who were false to the Government in the late struggle for its life; that the judges appointed by the Executive are, without exception, composed of those who were notorious in their support of the rebellion. The Executive, in appointments, consisting of directors of public institutions, railroads, adjutant general, inspectors, officers of the state militia, &e., has, so far as we know, selected none save those who have been consistently disloyal. The Legislature has in all its actions manifested its injustice toward Union men. For these and many other reasons they respect the revocation of the power hither exercised by Governor Peirpoint; that a provisional governor be appointed to reconstruct the Government upon a loyal foundation, and that Congress grant such other relief as may seem fit. They further request that the Hon. John C. Underwoods, the faithful patriot and distinguished jurist, who has always adhered to the Government with a fidelity which no flattery could seduce, no bribery corrupt, nor fears intimidate, be selected as said provisional governor. [The asses who got up this petition evidently think that Peirpoint was appointed Governor by the President.]
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“Petition For New State Government in Virginia,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed October 21, 2021, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/481.