This Year-Virginia

February 10, 1868


The Dispatch acts as a strong advocate for a hopeful Virginia. Using a tone of optimism, the return to peace after the passing of a new Constitution seems imminent.


This Year-Virginia. The Virginia Convention has proceeded very slowly with the work of tinkering the Constitution. It is plain that they are determined to consume all the money in Treasury accessible to them. It had been supposed that the authorities at Washington had plainly intimated to this body that it was important to hurry up the work of reconstruction. Whether this instruction came from the whole Radical party or not, outsiders are enable to say; but as Ben. Butler was particularly impressive on this point, it may be supposed that at least the Chase party earnestly desires this expedition. There is much reason for conjecture just now that the Grant party may not wish to see any haste in reconstruction. From the indications recently given in the large northern States it is plain that Chase cannot possibly receive the nomination at Chicago unless he can bring southern negroes into that body; and as their introduction there may put Grant in some danger, we apprehend there will be a determined opposition to any such influx of colored representatives from the South. By delaying reconstruction beyond the 1st of May the South will be excluded, and we suspect that this delay will be effected by the party whose interests may be promoted by it. "Whether Virginia is to be admitted or not under the Constitution now being framed remains to be seen; but, admitted or not, it is not likely that during the present year there will be much rest from agitation and excitement. Nevertheless, as time advances there must be a growth of resolution and faith among our people. It is impossible that a race of manly and self-reliant people shall continue in a state of inaction and irresolution. We are sure, as the spring dawns, some new light will break in upon us, and invite us to a renewal of those efforts which, we are proud to say, have not yet entirely failed. Everybody in Virginia knows who are to govern Virginia. We are mutually assured, all of us, on this point, and no man doubts. Nothing short of the complete enslavement of the white population to a continued military occupation, and the perpetration of frauds in elections, can subordinate the true people of Virginia to an inferior race. As all know this, and as all know the resources of this State,-the bright fields there are here for prosperity-it is impossible that public enterprise can long be restrained. There is every reason here, outside of the political questions, for faith and confidence in the future; and the political stains must be settled in a short time. The year of Presidential campaigning and excitement will soon pass away, and after that, comes peace. Restoration of Virginia will certainly come before then in some form; and come in what form it may, the future can be controlled by the right people. Give Virginia but the privilege of managing her own affairs-of directing her own industry-and in a brief while she will lift herself up again to the position she once held in national consideration, and acquire for herself more of the power of numbers and money than she ever possessed. It will be all the better for our people to make their plans and advance their projects as early as possible.
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Mallory Haskins




“This Year-Virginia,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed August 8, 2022,