The Convention

January 22, 1868


Hunnicutt criticizes the systematics of the Convention and tells how inefficient their meetings are. He reveals how stubborn the members of the Convention remain and their focus on insignificant matters such as whether they should hold afternoon or night "sessions," while important issues remain undiscussed.


The Convention. Hunnicutt acquiesces in the plan of the Radical party as developed by that pure and honest patriot Mr. B. F. Butler. He appreciates the situation. He knows how important it is to bring in the southern Africanized States at once, that their moral and physical force may at once be brought to bear on the Presidential election. But the Africans and some of the "mean whites" of the Convention prefer to make haste slowly, and, as Hunnicutt says, waste time in discussing the question" whether a man has an inherent right to vote or whether he has not" [sharp on Hawxhurst] ; and, furthermore, in the words of the same good authority on the subject, devoting "nearly whole days" "in discussing the question whether there shall be afternoon or night "sessions." So Hunnicutt essays to whip up the Convention-declares this delay "a shame and a sin," while the people are anxiously waiting for something to be done-while "they are groaning under the weighty "burthen of taxation-debt is crushing "out all their remaining energies," &c. Meantime the Africans and mean whites are quite contented with their bowls of Treasury pap-having already drawn $392 each for doing next to nothing, being pay for forty-nine days, although they have been in actual session only thirty-one. Like a hungry army which has just captured a well-supplied camp, they are intently engaged in feasting, and will pay no attention to the command to " advance." Brigadier-General Hunnicutt will not easily arouse his men from the long-sought elysium in their lives, with a plenty of money and nothing to do!
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Mallory Haskins




“The Convention,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022,