The Strife for Office

March 30, 1868


There is a split in the Republican party for offices. Hunnicutt leads one side of the party while an unknown leader controls the other. This is a war pinning Republican against Republican fighting for control of Virginia.


The Strife for Office. Never in the history of the State has there been such strife for office as that now going on in the so-called Republican party. There are individual rivalries of great bitterness, and there is a wide division of the party into two wings deadly opposed to each other. Hunnicutt-who was a devoted secessionist and rebel when secession and rebellion were in the ascendant, and who is, now that they are defeated, their unsparing defamer; who detested and denounced negroes when slaves, and who now adores them, since they are free and have votes-is the head of one of the great wings. The other is led by we know not whom. The one (Hunnicutt's) is wholly negro, and the other has a white element. One has some pretension to respectability; the other repudiates decency and soap, and is wedded to rags and strong odors. One runs the Union Leagues-these are the respectables ; the other manoeuvres the Political Aid Societies, which are under Hunnicutt, their High Priest. Bearing these things in mind, we can understand the furious assaults of Hunnicutt upon unnamed persons whom he sometimes sneers at as "respectables." The Priest considers himself strong as leader of the Black Army; but the "League" has command of the commissary department-the Bureau-which is seriously to the disadvantage of the High Priest. There will be hot times over the offices. Hunnicutt, like the King of Abyssinia, is endeavoring to burn his adversaries in their own houses. It is apprehended, however, unless he has reinforcements in the K. K. K.'s, he will be terribly routed. There is much treachery towards him. The truce between him and even Underwood is hollow-merely extending to his election from this city to the Convention-and he will very probably join the force that is about to overwhelm his ally of Hunnicutt Hall. Virginia is like a noble ship that's stranded on a barbarous coast. The barbarians are fighting over her rich freight.
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Mallory Haskins




“The Strife for Office,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 18, 2022,