No Speech From Gen. Patton

June 26, 1867


General Patton, from Pennsylvania, was set to give a speech at the African church emphasizing that black people should not distrust their former owners and encouraging them to accept the Sherman bill as it is.Judge Underwood and other Radicals heard of his plans and went to the African church before General Patton arrived and told the audience that there would be no meeting.By the time General Patton arrived, the crowd was dispersed and no meeting took place.


No Speech From Gen. Patton. Underwood Disperses the Crowd Before His Arrival. A Political Thick to Interfere With the General. We announced a day or two since the arrival of General T. W. Patton, of Towanda county, Penn., at the Ballard House. The General, who occupies a high place in the esteem of his people, came hither, on his way southward, with the intention of using his efforts to bring about harmony of action and brotherly feeling between the races. He spoke on Saturday afternoon from the monument on the Square, and as the weather was rather inclement, he had to be brief. He announced, however, that he would speak to the colored people at any place and at any time they desired. On Sunday a committee of colored men called on him, and asked him to meet them at the African church on Monday night, promising him a good audience. The General in the meantime prepared a speech advising the blacks not to distrust their former masters, giving a history of slavery and its authors, and arguing against confiscation and such like extreme Radical measures. In fine, he urged that the Sherman bill be taken, as it is, as the true basis of reconstruction. The Radical leaders in the interval got wind of the sentiments that the General would likely utter, and his intention to speak that night, and determined to defeat him. Underwood himself went to the church a few moments before the General arrived, and announced that there would be no meeting. The crowd dispersed, and when General Patton arrived there were but few persons present, and the lights had been partially extinguished. The General returned to his room disgusted with the idea that a man occupying the position of a United States Judge should have condescended to so mean a political trick. He addressed a card to the immaculate Judge, stating his reasons for coining here, and denouncing him as a factionist and partisan, who, by the colored vote, expects to get himself into the United States Senate. General Patton occupied the position of clerk in the United States Senate for twenty-six years, and was displaced by Forney.
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“No Speech From Gen. Patton,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed August 8, 2022,