Meeting of the Citizens of Jefferson Ward

July 2, 1867


Several citizens of Jefferson Ward held a meeting at Old Market Hall on July 1 to address several issues with registration among black people. Only 537 black men over the age of 21 live in Jefferson Ward, however, 2,003 black people have registered, a very serious discrepancy. All people need to come forward if they have registered incorrectly and the frauds will be corrected.


Meeting of the Citizens of Jefferson Ward. - A meeting of the citizens of Jefferson Ward for the purpose of considering the importance of registering was held at Old Market Hall last evening. A large number of citizens of both colors were assembled. John M. Higgins, Esq., was called to the chair, and Mr. James P. Cowardin was requested to act as secretary. The meeting having been called to order, a paper setting forth the great discrepancies existing between the lists of colored persons on the commissioners' books and those on the books of registration was read. The books of the commissioner of the revenue in Monroe Ward showed that there were in that ward of male persons over twenty-one years of age: whites, 1,676; colored, 537; while the registration lists showed 1,280 whites and 2,003 colored, being an excess of 1,556 of colored voters more than there are in the ward. Allowing even a sufficient addition to make up for errors which might arise, there must have been wholesale frauds in registering. The paper closed with the following resolutions: 1. Resolved, That the Chair appoint a committee to wait on the commanding general and lay the above matters before him for such remedy and correction as may be proper. 2. Resolved, That we earnestly appeal to all the white voters who are entitled to register to come forward and do so without further delay. R. T. Daniel, Esq., arose, and addressed the meeting in brief upon the importance of registration, and pointed out in strong terms the disastrous results that must follow a failure on the part of the people of Virginia to do their duty. The vote was next taken on the resolutions offered, and they were unanimously carried. Mr. Thomas W. McMahon was next called on, and responded in a spirited appeal to the citizens - those of his own nationality especially - to come forward and do their duty to the old Commonwealth. The meeting then adjourned.
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