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The Environment

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 260, 3 November 1888
Saturday Evening, November 3

There are only two days between this and election day. If there be any white man in Virginia in whose mind a single doubt yet remains concerning the ballot he shall cast, let him reflect that to every Virginian who has any interest in the welfare of his State, the result of the election will be of the greatest importance. To every such man the tariff, the internal revenue, the Blair bill, and the refusal of Mr. Vilas to appoint ex-confederates to watchmen’s places, are insignificant when compared with the injury that would be inflicted upon every industrial interests in Virginia by the almost necessary effect of a republican victory. The republicans themselves avow their intention, in case of success, of reopening the Southern question, and that, of course, would at once revive all of the now almost settled sectional and race animosities in the South; and all men of common sense know that business could not prosper under such a condition of affairs. And besides, so ignorant are the vast majority of the negroes, that they would look upon a republican victory as a complete license for any impudence of which they might choose to be guilty; and it would be but a step from such impudence to actual outrage. The impudence would naturally be resented, and the outrage certainly be prevented, and the whole State be thrown into confusion and trouble, and a general depression in all kinds of industry be the inevitable result. The condition of the people of Virginia is bad enough as it is, in all conscience, but it would be infinitely worse if the South hating party should regain control of the government. Better bear the ills we have than fly to those worse ones, which we know of by bitter experience.

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An intelligent and thrifty foreign born resident of the city told the writer of this article yesterday that he had always, heretofore, been a republican, but that he had lived to see the error of his way, and had learned that so far as the Southern States are concerned, it is for the interest of every one of them, and of that of all their people, black as well as white, that every white man in them should vote the democratic ticket. The issue in the South, he said, is white or black supremacy, and when reduced to that, every white man should vote the same way, for blood is thicker than water. He had found, he said, by long experience, that if the negroes be given an inch they will demand an ell, and that the best way to get along with them was to keep them in their place. He had, he said, recently seen groups of young negro men on the outskirts of the city, either gaze insultingly at young white women, or else so obstruct the sidewalk as to make them take the roadway in order to pass. Some native born residents of the city would do well to follow the example set them by their foreign born fellow citizen referred to.