The New Charter

March 6, 1866


The Dispatch is encouraging Richmonders to vote for the New Charter amendment that the Dispatch believes "is one of absorbing interest".


The vote upon the amended charter of this city, which is to be given to-day, is the most important one that has taken place here for very many years. Every man who has a vote ought to give it. Those who desire to restore the conservatism, good order, faithful administration and accountability which distinguished our city government in former years, should not only not fail to vote, but to use all their influence to carry the charter. People who cannot make a sacrifice of time, or even of feelings, for one day for such an object, do not deserve good government. To absent themselves from the place of duty, and utter lamentations hereafter over mal-administration and official incompetency, should bring upon them the contempt of every one. The charter, by its annual elections of Councilmen, gives to the voters entire control over the administration of public affairs. There will be under it no room for the shifting of responsibility from an officer elected by the people to the Council, and by the Council back upon him. The Council will be responsible for all, and the public may apply the remedy for dereliction without hesitation and without doubt. The question is one of absorbing interest. Every man should vote upon it.
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Justin Barlow




“The New Charter,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 1, 2023,