The Negro Enfranchised
February 5, 1868
The freedmen are not thriving but instead are starving and ridiculously poor. These black Virginians are unable to find real jobs and resort to begging while white citizen's farms and plantations are decaying. As the Dispatch would say this situation is terrible with no wins for black nor white citizens.
THE NEGRO ENFRANCHISED. "Slavery, thanks to Exeter Hall, is eradicated forever from American soil. We have killed slavery by nearly killing the slave. But revolution is the result-revolution in work, thought, action. Intelligent English travellers on board our steamer say gaunt famine stares the freedmen in the face. No hats, no shoes, clothes worn out; no chickens to steal, hogs eaten up, corn all gone; no rice, no potatoes, shanties roofless; no fire, no coal or wood; furniture sold, children half naked, women starving; no chance to work, plantations running to waste. Every little railway station is filled with the half-starved wretches, waiting for some passing passenger to throw them a bone or a crust of bread. Another West Indian picture. Planters, having no capital, overdraw their accounts with factors, and cotton which cost twenty cents to produce only netting eight cents, it has failed the factors, that as January is the month to plough, February to sew, and nobody having money or seed, they cannot employ, hence ruin and disaster has wrecked the once happy South. Black and white alike involved in the general ruin. And Train begs her ladyship and the British aristocratic abolitionists to contribute something for the relief of these poor people!
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“The Negro Enfranchised,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/826.