Confiscation - Virginia Lands
June 10, 1867
Northerners trying to buy cheap land or material from Virginians should be embarrassed for doing so.In order to Virginia to regain its dignity and prosperity, Virginians need to make money, and to accomplish this, Virginians need to be allowed to cultivate their land and be prosperous in their own occupations.This is not possible if Northerners depress the Southern people or take advantage of them.Virginians welcome outsiders who wish to invest or work alongside them, not those who wish to treat Virginians unfairly or improperly.
Confiscation - Virginia Lands. Some designing people are trying to make much of confiscation in order to depress the southern people and buy their lands for little or nothing. A very pretty game, perhaps, but perfectly well understood by us; and we hardly think there is any one so blind as to be intimidated by such fears. However much such a course might meet the hearty approval of monsters who seek to get the property of others unfairly, and who are too lazy to procure an honest livelihood, it is manifest that to rob our people of what is justly their own would be unpopular in and contrary to the interest of the North. We have seen what we trust is the entire burden of oppression to be imposed upon us, and we look now with confidence to the coming of better days very soon. The North must see that it is of the highest importance to them for the South to get regularly and fully at work to produce from the soil what is necessary to pay the debt and save the currency of the country. We shall have no real wealth until we procure it by our labor; and, say what we may, legislate and financier as we can, the pecuniary salvation of the people must and does depend upon the products of the soil: upon our making more for export than we spend in imports from foreign countries. The war is over if it ever is to be. The South has yielded, accepted everything offered by the Congress, and is eager for restoration to her original industry. The malicious and malignant growls of depraved partisans in regard to the release of Mr. Davis are not surprising - the ultras work through sensational excitement diffused among the people. But the day is not far off when even his property will be restored to him. He is no more culpable than are we all, and mere vindictiveness cannot be perpetuated in the public mind of any but a barbarous people. We have a better opinion of the northern people than to suppose for a moment that they will always remain under the delusions which have influenced them since the termination of the war. There is no apprehension whatever of confiscation of anybody's land, and the idea should not be thought of for a single moment by anyone. Wise men at the North do not wish it, and we shall see before very long positive evidences that they do not by their coming among us to buy our lands for agricultural and manufacturing purposes. Let us use every means to induce them to come. Formerly there were reasons why this latitude did not suit them, and very few northern people knew anything about Virginia. Now there are no obstacles, and it is to their interest to come, for they can buy lands, mill-sites, and mineral property equal to any in the world for very low prices. Virginia is not going to remain poor. Her people have too much enterprise for that, and her resources will be more fully developed in a few years than ever before. Virginians have no fears; but if buyers are distrustful, sales, we are sure, can be made with a proviso to guard against all danger. Great bargains are to be had in Virginia lands now, because the people need money; and we have reason to believe that our neighbors see it, and are looking over the border constantly for investments among us. We shall welcome them; and expect them to prosper with us as Virginia rises from her present prostration to her former dignity and greatness.
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“Confiscation - Virginia Lands,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 28, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/627.