The Radicals Organizing
May 20, 1867
The Radicals are increasing their holds in the South and have officially established the Republican party in many southern states, making the upcoming election unstable for some conservatives.If the conservative party is not strengthened with the help of monetary donations from the public, the country could be ruined through the rule of the Radicals.
The Radicals Organizing. The Executive Committee of the National Union Committee (a wheel within a wheel) has issued an appeal to the Republicans or Radicals of every state for their assistance and cooperation in what is termed "this auspicious crisis of our country." What makes this "crisis" so "auspicious" is the fact that the negroes of the southern States have been enfranchised, and are expected to vote the Radical ticket. The end in view is Radical success in the next presidential election, and the means proposed contemplate "a systematic and thorough canvass of the southern States by the most efficient speakers of both races." So that we are not only to be afflicted with white orators, but with black ones. The negroes will, it is supposed, be more ready to hearken to the appeals of shakers of their own race than to those of "white men with black hearts." The committee proposes to establish in the southern States "Free Thought, Free Speech, and a Free Press." "Free thought" if doubtless indulged in very extensively in every country in the world, and we know no means of preventing even a conquered people from thinking what they please, whether their thoughts turn upon the wrongs they suffer at the hands of their oppressors, or upon the every-day affairs of life; but "Free Speech" and a "Free Press" are at the present time unknown in these provinces, and are supposed to have fled the country in obedience to the behests of a Radical Congress. It would be a singular proceeding to expatriate a man by act of Congress, and then get out a writ of ne exeat reguo against him; but not more singular than for a Radical Congress to abolish by law "Free Speech" and a "Free Press," and then declare that "it is most "essential that WE should now establish "in those States Free Speech and a Free "Press." The necessity is one of their own creation, and we shall be rejoiced when they shall have succeeded in loosing our bonds and setting our tongues free. "In times past," says the committee, the Republican party was reproached as sectional, but now it is no longer so. It has by force of arms established a Republican party in the South, "three-fourths" of whom have never voted. The committee might have said nine-tenths. There is no Radical party in the South except the negroes and a few whites who lead them. And if we of the white race are to be excluded from office while these intelligent, newly-made Radicals are to rule our several States, the result will be not only "Free Speech," a "Free Press," and "Free Thought," but "Free Love," "Free-Negro" Government, and a ruined country. The committee makes a strong appeal for money. "If you are rich, give generously. If poor, whatever you can." How much better for both negroes and whites, and for the peace, prosperity, and happiness of the country would it be for these men to appropriate their spare money to the relief of the thousands of suffering poor of both races. These sufferers ask for bread, and the Radicals give them speeches. It is evidently the purpose of the Radicals to secure the vote of every southern State in the next presidential election if that result can be accomplished by fair means or foul. This fact renders it the duty of all who are not disfranchised to register their names, and to initiate and perfect such measures of reconstruction as will free our State from that absolute control which Congress will always exercise over it so long as it shall remain unrepresented in that body.
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“The Radicals Organizing,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed October 5, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/605.