Ratification Meeting of the Radical Party

May 8, 1867


A controversial meeting took place among Republicans involving Radical proposals.The African church was filled with people, primarily colored, and a speaker gave an extremely Radical speech, claiming that black people are superior to white people.


Ratification Meeting of the Radical Party. -- A ratification meeting of the Radical party was held at the African church last evening, and in spite of the bad weather the body of the church was well filled with colored people. Dr. Mansfield was called to the chair, and J. P. Baldwin requested to act as secretary. Mr. Hayward, of Massachusetts, was called upon, and made an extremely radical speech, beginning somewhat thus: "Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of Richmond, F. F. V.'s." He said he was a Yankee, and believed a negro to be better than a white man, and was prepared to prove it. He went on to say something about education in Virginia, etc. He spoke of the high moral condition of affairs in Massachusetts, as shown by the scarcity of rum-shops there. There was scarcely any liquor sold there, while here drinking and playing billiards were all that seemed to be the occupation of the people, not to speak of the many baser and meaner forms of vice. He told his hearers that there was much left for them to do; among which was the elevation of a semi-barbaric condition of society in the South. He went on in a rambling style, enunciating the bitterest sentiments against the people of the South, and setting forth the necessity of a complete Massachusetts-Yankee reform. He was followed by "Colonel" Marsh, of Wytheville, who made a speech pretty much after the style of his predecessor. Cornelius Liggon Harris, colored, was next received amid loud cheers, who spoke for a few moments, advising his bearers to stick to their principles as good Republicans. Several other speeches were made, and the meeting dispersed.
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“Ratification Meeting of the Radical Party,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 28, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/594.