February 7, 1868
Due to the high volume of unemployed black citizens Lieutenant Hambrick has set up a program to connect white citizens who need employees with these black citizens.
Employment Wanted. Lieutenant Hambrick has given notice that there are a number of able-bodied negro men applying to him for employment, and that persons who need laborers can get them by calling on him and giving proper assurances that they will be well treated. It is rather a sharp reflection upon a people noted for their liberality, kindness, and humanity, that assurances of this kind should be deemed necessary. Nevertheless, we suppose no one would object to giving such references as the Lieutenant might require. On the other hand, however, what guarantee can be given on the side of the laborer? How long will he remain at work-how many days together can he be relied upon, in the midst of the party agitations of this year? Will he not leave his employment the first day a missionary from the Radical party at Washington comes preaching and declaiming through the country? And will he not leave, no matter what is the critical condition of the crops ? The question of labor under the new state of things has yet been hardly touched, so far as any development of the tendencies of the new relations between capital and labor, from practical results, can be seen. There has not been a period of quiet and order of sufficient length to allow them to give any true indication of what that would be if the laborer and the employer were left to manage in their own way their mutual interests. The country has been kept in a state of perpetual turmoil and apprehension by the vile agitations of vile agitators, whose occupation has been to imbue the minds of the colored people with the idea that they are capable of filling positions in society for which they are not at all qualified; impressing upon them that they have rights to these positions; aud inspiring in their breasts hatred for the whites, who are charged with being the enemies of the negro and with unjustly endeavoring to reduce him again to a state of slavery. This sort of agitating and teaching has widened the breach between white and black, the laborer and the employer. Naturally, many negroes, under the feelings, the deadly poison instilled in their hearts, have refused to work, and sought support amongst the mobs and their leaders of the cities. The soup-house and the rations have decoyed them from the fields, which have gone uncultivated while they have been attending night meetings, voting, going to dance-houses, and otherwise following Jives that lead to pauperism and misery. It is not surprising that the crowd led to abandon the honest pursuit of a livelihood where they would be comfortable and independent has been swollen to an unwieldy size, and that their supporters are becoming tired of the drafts made upon them by men fully able to support themselves; and the announcement of Lieu, tenant Hambrick but a consequence of the train of events in this State. He will, we are sure, use his best efforts to find places for those willing to go to work; and if all who are unemployed will accept situations,and honestly discharge their duties, they will not again be out of work. While hoping that a great many may be induced to return to the fields, and thus increase the products of the farms, we have no idea that much will be done in the way of systematizing labor until the States are restored to equality, and that wretched Presidential election, which, like a curse, comes once in four years to derange the nation, is over.
About this article
“Employment Wanted,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed July 4, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/829.