A Good Beginning.
March 17, 1868
White citizens are fighting for themselves as they showed up in large numbers to register. A white majority in Virginia is almost guaranteed as there are no black citizens moving to Virginia from abroad while countless white citizens from Europe and the northern US flood the state. The Dispatch will not let white Richmonders and Virginians forget that Virginia is a white man's State.
A Good Beginning. The results of the now registration in Richmond, which we gave in full on yesterday, should open the eyes of the negroes and their allies in the Convention to their real strength in Virginia. Our people will no longer refuse to register and vote, but will do all they can to protect themselves. The white men of this city who refused or neglected to register last fall have nearly all now done so. The gain in this city, notwithstanding that the blacks also registered more names than they did last year, amounts to over one thousand. Richmond constitutes less than one-twentieth of the State, and as the whites of the country registered even less generally last year than did those of Richmond, it may be safely assumed that when the lists are again opened we shall add twenty thousand to the white majority in the State thus making that majority between thirty and forty thousand. We have consistently maintained all the while that there could be no danger as to the future of Virginia. A white majority of thirteen thousand was sufficient assurance that the whites must have the rule in this State; for while no negroes are coming to this country from abroad, there are many whites constantly coming hither from both Europe and the northern United States, and the natural increase of the whites will be much more rapid than that of the negroes, who take little or no care of their offspring. But with a majority of FORTY THOUSAND VOTERS-which indicates a majority in population - of two hundred thousand-this assurance is rendered "doubly sure." We already have the State. The fortunate result in Richmond is due to untiring exertions upon the part of the white men to bring out every voter of their own color. We trust that this example will be imitated throughout the State when the lists shall be opened again. There can be no excuse for supineness. The way to victory lies plain before us. Let us walk in it. Negroes have great respect for physical power. Where they preponderate in numbers they have a very different deportment from that which characterizes them in communities in which the whites are known to be the more numerous. For this reason, among others, we rejoice over the result in Richmond ; and for this reason, among others, the whites in the country should all register. If they want to be respected by the negroes, they must register their numerical strength. The negroes last fall registered here eleven hundred more votes than the whites; and although every white man might have felt certain that his own race was the more numerous, yet apparently the figures were against them. But now, when we know that although there are two or three hundred disfranchised whites and several hundred non-naturalized foreigners in this city, neither of which classes could register, besides the whites who would have done so but could not, yet the whites registered more good votes than the blacks, we have the very best reason to know that there are hundreds more white men in Richmond than negro men. This assurance is worth something. There are many reasons why every white man in Virginia should register, and none why he should not register. We have mentioned some of them-not that we believe the people of the country to be less vigilant than those of Richmond, hut because we may induce some few to register who have been hesitating as to whether they should do so. Virginia is a white man's State. Foreigners, northerners, capitalists, and all others, will please make a note of it. Come and see us, and invest your money.
About this article
“A Good Beginning.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed January 17, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/916.