Category Archives: Politics

Tenor of the Times in Alexandria (and elsewhere) – May 25,1889

From the leading newspaper of the city, The Alexandria Gazette, one day after the dedication of the confederate monument on May 24,1889.

“Ex-President Cleveland is a civil service reformer; so is President Harrison. And yet the former appointed negroes to office, not for honesty and competency, but “to recognize the colored element of the country’s population,” and the latter has appointed his brother to office, because “his plans of  life were broken up by the war.”  Charlatans in the olden times used to smile when they passed each other on the streets. The two conspicuous personages referred to, don’t do so, but that is probably because they never pass each other, and then, too, it is said Mr. Harrison never smiles, and his predecessor, only in the presence of those bound to him by hooks of favors.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 63, Number 168, 5 July 1862

Senator Hale [John P. Hale of New Hampshire] in answering a remark of Mr. Sumner [Charles Sumner of Massachusetts], reflecting upon his refusal to vote aye upon an amendment making Negro testimony admissible, said that he had long labored for that object, but that if incorporated in a law it would be rendered nugatory by the present Supreme Court, and he therefore regarded such action as utterly futile. He preferred to abolish the Court altogether.

Longworth Feeds Confederate Families

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 63, Number 155, 19 June 1862

“It is stated that Nicholas Longworth [Longworth House Office Building used by the U.S. House of Representatives is named for him], the Cincinnati millionaire, has contributed $500 to feed the families of Confederate soldiers at the South.”

Longworth later married the daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, and became Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Voter Suppression — Nothing New

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 102, Number 14, 16 January 1901

Governor Aycock of North Carolina says that while the good of all the people of his state depends upon restricting negro suffrage to the intelligent members of that race and to those of them who have some material interest in the welfare of the State, it is just as requisite and necessary to secure that race all their natural and legal rights, and to treat them kindly and make all proper allowances for the delinquencies. And he is right.

From Wikipedia page of Charles Brantley Aycock:

In 1898 and 1900, Aycock was prominent in the Democratic Party’s “white supremacy” Solid South campaigns.[1] Aycock’s involvement with the Wilmington insurrection of 1898 is chronicled in official state commission report. “Planned violence to suppress the African American and Republican communities grew into unplanned bloodshed. The frenzy over white supremacy victory, incessantly repeated by orators such as Alfred Moore Waddelland Charles Aycock simply could not be quieted after an overwhelming and somewhat anticlimactic election victory.”[2] Aycock was reportedly not present in Wilmington the day of the insurrection.

In 1900, Aycock was elected Governor over Republican Spencer B. Adams,[3] as part of a sweeping Democratic victory which included a suffrage amendment. Aycock was a supporter of the amendment and campaigned on the issue.[4]

Indeed it has become the fashion among Republicans and Populists to assert the unfitness of the negro to rule, but when they use the word rule, they confine it to holding office. When we say that the negro is unfit to rule we carry it one step further and convey the correct idea when we declare that he is unfit to vote. To do this we must disfranchise the negro. This movement comes from the people. Politicians have been afraid of it and have hesitated, but the great mass of white men in the State are now demanding and have demanded that the matter be settled once and for all. To do so is both desirable and necessary – desirable because it sets the white man free to move along faster than he can go when retarded by the slower movement of the negro.

— Charles Aycock, Address Accepting the Democratic Nomination for Governor, April 11, 1900 [5]

Racism in the Alexandria Gazette, Part 338

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 274, 23 November 1888

One of the negroes who were retained in office in Washington by the present administration in order to show that the colored element of the country should be recognized has been convicted of attempted outrage and robbery. Another one who was appointed to office in the same city for the same purpose is now under trial for robbing the mail. Negro recognition by a democratic administration did not have as satisfactory results as were anticipated by those who were so ignorant of negro character as to adopt such a silly idea.

Help Your [White] “Friends” by Not Voting

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 273, 22 November 1888

The only way a negro in the South can politically, assist his white friends and neighbors, the men upon whom he depends in his time of distress, if to stay away from the polls on election days. If he shall vote the democratic ticket he will surely be made “hot” for it by his own race; but there are so many ways by which he can avoid voting, that such delinquency is overlooked. If the Northern people could only realize this fact they could readily understand why it is that the ratio of negro votes to negro men is so small in the South.

Ex-Confederates are Human, Too

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 272, 19 November 1888

The Democrats saved Virginia and West Virginia by the skin of their teeth. Both States are full of ex-Confederates and their sons. Mr. Vilas, when Postmaster General told ex-Congressman Gibson, of West Virginia, that no ex-Confederate holding a minor place in his department should be promoted. Mr. Vilas, when Secretary of the Interior, refused to pension soldiers of the Mexican war because tbey had subsequently been ex-Confederates, and told Congresman Browne, of Virginia, that he would not reopen their cases. Secretary Vilas also told Mr. Frank Hume that none but ex-Union soldiers, consequently no ex-Confederates, should be appointed to minor places in the Interior Department as long as he should remain at the head thereof. As ex-Confederates and their children are human, and susceptible to the influences that affect other people, the small majorities by which the democrats carried the two States referred to are by no means wonderful. _