Disorder and Confusion

October 19, 1867


Large Republican opposition towards Hunnicut led to means of persuasion to get all the black voters to vote for Hunnicutt.


Disorder and Confusion. A paper was circulated on the streets yesterday calling upon all Republicans opposed to the " Hunnicutt ticket " to meet at the City Hall at half-past 7 o'clock P. M. Before 7 had arrived, the mob from a mass meeting on the Capitol Square, inflamed to the highest pitch of excitement by speeches from Hunnicutt and Danner, surrounded the City Hall, and rapidly tilled the spectators' seats in the Hustings Courtroom, prepared to defeat any measure brought up by any but the most Radical men. Quite a number of ex-officers and soldiers of the United States army were in attendance, but awed, we suppose, by the evident character of the packed assembly, hesitated to take the initiatory steps towards organizing the meeting. The hour appointed arrived and passed, and the negroes continued to push their way in until at last the whole room and entries were packed to overflowing. Still no one ventured to move. There were whisperings among the "few faithful," but no one could be found to take the chair in the face of the evident political complexion of the largo assemblage. At length, as the clock struck eight, a tall man, whose name no one seemed to know, moved that Major Clinton take the chair, but that gentleman did not appear. Captain Bohannon was then called upon, but "being a spectator," declined, amid the wildest cheers. And now began a scene of disorder, a description of which would hut. disgrace our columns. In the midst of it Major Reed ascended the platform and began to denounce Hunnicutt as a demagogue, an arch villain and traitor, appealing to his colored friends to hear him as a Republican. These sentiments were received with hootings and groans by the mob of negroes, and the chairman was obliged to abdicate his post. Radical radicalism then began to reign. Several of the most violent men in the party seized the opportunity to harangue the crowd, and unable to stand the pressure, Conservatism vanished from the field. Fitchett and Banner proclaimed undying attachment to the Capitol Square nominees, and threatened with vengeance and everlasting infamy all colored men who dared to go against the party. The speeches were hut repetitions of those with which Republican Hall has echoed again ami again, and which have been recorded in the Dispatch until our readers must be weary of the sickening stuff. The object of the meeting was of course defeated, and the cheers which arose from the streets until nearly midnight proclaimed that a Radical mob still reigned in Richmond. Later in the evening General Washburn, V. Sawyer, and Ulysses Mercer, of the Congressional Committee on Railroads, addressed the meeting. These speeches were of the most Radical character?all advising the Republicans of the city to be united, ami vote the Hunnicutt ticket.
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“Disorder and Confusion,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 28, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/738.