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The Southern States of America
The History of Virginia - Chapter VII


VIRGINIA IN THE NEW NATION, 1865-1909.

Reconstruction and Readmission into the Union.

From 1861 to 1865 two rival state governments claimed the allegiance of the people of Virginia. The regular state government with its seat at Richmond supported the Confederacy. The so-called "Restored Government of Virginia", with its seat at Wheeling and later at Alexandria, consented to the erection of the northwest counties of Virginia into the state of West Virginia and supported the Federal government.
After the evacuation of Richmond by the Confederate forces and the flight of President Davis and Governor Smith, martial law was declared and remained in force until May, 1865, when Gov. F. H. Pierpont, of the "Restored Government," moved from Alexandria to Richmond under instructions of President Johnson and undertook, to govern the state by the aid of the Federal military authorities. This recognition of the Pierpont government gave Virginia a status different from that of most of the secession states. The state had a government in a measure representative of the people until it was destroyed by the congressional reconstruction acts of 1867. A legislature composed of three senators and nine representatives met in Richmond in June, 1865, enacted several needed laws, and provided for the election of a legislature really representative of the white people of the state.

It was felt that Virginia was now virtually restored to the Union. Speaker Downey, of the House of Delegates, said: "Virginia is now safe. What ever they may do to other states, they can not force a provisional government upon her. Whatever they may do to other states, thank God, they can not saddle negro suffrage upon us."

The election was held in October, 1865, and only about 40,000 votes were cast. Of the eight men elected to Congress, not one was a Republican. The radical vote in the Alexandria district was 1,732, the largest in the state. Party contests took place in only a few counties. The people, stunned and dazed by the results of the war, were apathetic and manifested little interest in politics. Distinctions between Whigs and Democrats had been largely obliterated by the war. No new party organization had been created except the Republican party, which was insignificant in numbers and influence. Governor Pierpont labored to re-establish civil government and to restore the state to her former status in the Union. The appointments made by the governor were very generally commended. The press began to assume an independent tone, for which several papers were, by the military authorities, ordered to suspend publication. The Federal military authorities continued to exercise the privilege of declaring elections null and void and to show in numerous ways that they regarded the Pierpont government as a mere provisional makeshift.

When the legislature met it elected two United States Senators. Virginia now had a full state government and had elected Representatives and Senators in Congress. The slaves were free; no army hostile to the United States was in the field. The citizens accepted in good faith the results of the war and sought restoration to the Union. According to the Lincoln-Johnson plan, Virginia had done all that was necessary on her part. The acceptance of her Congressional Representatives at Washington would render her restoration complete. Congress refused to seat the Representatives from Virginia. The presidential plan of reconstruction was contemptuously rejected, and Congress undertook the work of "reconstructing the rebel states."

Early in December, 1865, the legislature convened in Richmond, repealed the disfranchising clause of the Alexandria Constitution, as it had been authorized to do by the popular vote in October, enacted vagrant and contract laws, wiped out of the statute books all laws relating to slaves and slavery, placed negroes on about the same footing as whites as regards civil rights, but did not grant them the privilege of voting and holding office.

The vagrant act in particular was much criticised by the radicals and a few of the military commanders who insisted that the ultimate effect of the act was virtually to re-enslave the freedmen and to hold them in a condition worse than chattel slavery. General Terry ordered that no officer, civil or military, should enforce this act. These laws were much milder than in some other Southern states and in some of the New England states. There was no effort or intention in Virginia to re-enslave the negroes through vagrant and contract laws. Although they were economically and socially justifiable, owing to the state of public opinion in the North, it was not wise to enact them. Moreover, it would have been prudent to concede to the negroes a few rights and privileges that were withheld.

The legislature, despite the advice of the governor, rejected the Fourteenth Amendment by a vote of 27 to 0 in the Senate, and 74 to 1 in the House. The refusal to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, the enactment of the so-called "black codes" of the South, the doctrine of equality in the North, the desire to punish and humiliate the South led, in March, 1867, to the passage of the Congressional reconstruction acts by which the Pierpont government was practically destroyed and the state made "Military District Number One." Gen. John M. Schofield was made commander of this district with power "to abolish, control, modify or supersede" the state government. The negroes were enfranchised. The most influential and intelligent whites were disenfranchised. Stevens's "conquered province" theory had been sanctioned by Congress. Virginia was in reality no longer a state but was merely a district. For more than two and a half years it remained a mere military satrapy.

The Reconstruction Acts gave the ballot to the negroes and provided for a convention to amend the constitution. The radicals had hesitated to enfranchise the freedmen, as it was feared that the traditional control of the negroes by the whites would enable them to control the votes of their former slaves. The relation between whites and blacks was quite cordial for about one year after the close of the war. The whites felt little or no hostility towards the negroes on account of their changed condition. Most of the negroes still respected and trusted their old masters.

Radical teachers from the North, demagogues, and carpetbaggers, soon estranged the negroes and arrayed them against the whites. The Freedman's Bureau and the Union League were the organized agencies through which this alienation was accomplished. The Bureau was established in Virginia in 1865, and rendered some good service in protecting and feeding the blacks who were, in almost every sense, unprepared for immediate emancipation. Its officials witnessed and approved labor contracts between whites and blacks, assisted the negroes in securing justice in the courts, supplied many of them with the means of making a crop, and established schools for the freedmen.

The officials were vested with great and ill-defined powers which were frequently abused. They often ignored the civil courts, assumed to administer justice, bullied the whites, ostentatiously exercised their authority and wantonly humiliated the leading citizens. They generally gave a ready ear to the negroes' stories of outrages, and encouraged them to prefer charges against the whites. Their presence encouraged the blacks in idleness and insolence and destroyed the friendly, confidential relations formerly existing between whites and blacks.

The Union League was a secret political society which undertook to instruct the negroes in their duties as citizens and to pledge them to act and vote with the Republican party. The League accomplished little in enlightening the late slaves but succeeded in alienating almost all negroes from their old masters and brought them under the influence of the radical Republican leaders.

The radicals and negroes had, in the summer of 1867, refused to "co-operate" with the representative white citizens in restoring political and social order. The election of delegates to the constitutional convention was held in October, 1867. About 94,000 negroes voted. Of this number only about 600 negroes voted with the conservative white element. One hundred and five delegates were elected, thirty-three conservatives and seventy-two radicals. The radical majority included five foreign born, twenty-five negroes, twenty-eight Northerners, and fourteen Virginians. Never before in the history of the state had negroes sat in a law-making body. The former political leaders were absent. The state had been revolutionized.

The convention was turbulent and garrulous. The negro members favored mixed schools for the races, heavy taxes on land, disfranchising and "test oath" clauses, and other radical measures; but the convention would not consent to mixed schools.

The new constitution was very unpopular and was not submitted to the people for ratification until July 6, 1869. The disfranchising and "test oath" clauses were submitted to a separate vote and rejected. The constitution was adopted. The nominee of the radicals and negroes, H. H. Wells, who had been made provisional governor of Virginia by General Schofield, commander of "District Number One," was defeated by Gilbert C. Walker, the nominee of the conservatives and liberal Republicans. The legislature was conservative by a large majority. The aim of the reconstructionists had failed; Virginia was not to have a radical and negro regime such as had plundered and disgraced several Southern states.

Virginia was fully restored to the Union in January, 1870, by the admission of her representatives to seats in Congress. No law-making body had existed in Virginia for almost three years. A provisional governor, in all respects subservient to the military, had exercised a shadowy authority. Nearly five years had elapsed since the close of the war; nine years since her withdrawal from the Union. In that time old Virginia and the old Nation had passed away. In 1870 she became a new state in a new Nation.
Since 1870 the political history of Virginia has been uneventful. No guerrilla warfare in Virginia had followed the surrender. She probably suffered less from political misrule of the carpetbaggers and negroes than any other Southern state.

The constitution, ratified in 1869, had never been popular. Several amendments had rendered it less objectionable; yet many felt that it was burdensome and did not meet the needs of the times. In 1901 a new constitution was formed and proclaimed without submission for popular approval. Many important changes were made. The time-honored county court was abolished. A corporation commission with very extensive powers was created. An educational qualification and the payment of a small poll tax were prescribed for voters. The suffrage provisions were ostensibly aimed at ignorant voters regardless of color. The actual result is the disfranchisement of a few whites and most of the negroes.

The State Debt.

About 1820 Virginia entered upon a policy of internal improvements. She was a large shareholder in several railroads, canals, turnpikes and other enterprises. She had also guaranteed bonds for industrial companies and municipalities. To pay for her shares in the railroad and canal companies she had issued bonds. The liabilities contracted in this way amounted to nearly $40,000,000 in 1860. The state as a partner or surety for the payment of bonds had developed her resources, but in the end she lost heavily from her shares in these improvements, as she abandoned, surrendered or released many of her claims without any remuneration.

At the close of the war most of these bonds were owned or held in the North or in Europe. Virginia had lost one-third of her territory, one-fifth of her taxable values, and more than 440,000 of her population by the erection of her northwest counties into the state of West Virginia in 1863. Her commerce and shipping were completely destroyed. Her transportation system was badly crippled. Many manufacturing establishments had closed. A large part of the state had been devastated by contending armies. Her financial system was ruined, her banking capital of $11,000,000 had .vanished, slaves worth $100,000,000 in 1860 had been set free, and the interest on the public debt from 1861 was unpaid.

In this wasted and depressed condition of the state, repudiation of the debt was suggested, but this did not appeal to the Virginians' sense of honor. The last legislature of the old regime met in December, 1865, and voted unanimously to pay the debt with the accrued interest. It was considered that one-third of this debt was West Virginia's fair share. She had obligated herself in her "ordinance" to assume an equitable share of Virginia's debt. In February, 1866, the legislature made provisions to pay 4 per cent. interest on the entire debt, leaving West Virginia to pay 2 per cent. As West Virginia took no steps to meet her share of the interest nor to pay any of the debt, Virginia, in 1871, refunded the debt for two-thirds of its face at 6 per cent. In 1870, Governor Walker, in his message, had estimated the total debt at about $46,000,000.

The funding bill of 1871 was very unsatisfactory to a large number, who considered excessive Governor Walker's estimate, both of the debt justly due and the resources of the state. This feeling brought into existence the readjuster party under the leadership of General Mahone. It was composed of negroes, most of the Republicans, and many white Democrats. Its object was to "readjust" the debt. This party gained control of the legislature and, in 1881, elected William E. Cameron governor. After a few years many of the white men returned to the regular Democratic party, but many remained with the readjuster party, which for several years disclaimed any sympathy with the Republican party. In 1881 General Mahone, as a United States senator, identified himself -with the Republicans. A large number of white men, especially in the Southwest, followed him.

Since 1886 the Democrats have controlled every branch of the state government. For more than twenty years the debt question was the chief issue in Virginia politics and absorbed almost exclusively the attention of the legislature. The debt was finally adjusted and bonded in 1892. This controversy is a very unsatisfactory chapter in Virginia history. In the bondholders' interest Virginia brought suit to compel West Virginia to meet her share of the debt. The United States Supreme Court, in 1908, appointed a special master to examine the claims, and though still undecided, the rulings indicate that West Virginia will be required to pay her portion.

Political Conditions.

The reconstruction acts in the spring of 1867 enfranchised the negroes and disfranchised many whites. The carpetbaggers flocked to Virginia and ingratiated themselves into the favor and confidence of the negroes. The number of carpetbaggers in Virginia was never large, but their influence was out of all proportion to their number for several years succeeding 1867.

Virginia had no state government from 1867 to 1870, but was governed through the military. The army officers usually strove to be just and moderate. A state government controlled by the carpetbaggers, scalawags, and radical leaders of the negroes would have been more burdensome and odious than military government. Fortunately Virginia was held as a military district until theoretical differences and factional quarrels had weakened the radicals and the conservatives had an organization that enabled them in 1869 to purge the constitution of the proposed "disfranchising" and "test oath" clauses, and to elect a governor and legislature in a large measure representative of the intelligence and property of the state.

The negroes of Virginia were superior to those of any other Southern state, yet they were not prepared for the ballot. They had been told that the land of the secessionists would be divided amongst them. To hasten this division of the land and to make sure of other rights and privileges, they eagerly entered politics.

For several years their unvarying practice was to find out what measures and candidates the conservative whites favored and then vote solidly against them. This made it impossible for the intelligent men of the state to cooperate with them. This refusal of the blacks to divide on political questions forced the whites to disregard national issues and stand as a unit for decent local government, which could be attained only through white supremacy.

In no country have English-speaking white people tolerated negro supremacy and it was not to be expected that Virginians would allow their civilization to be imperiled by allowing an ignorant negro minority, led by unscrupulous white demagogues, to plunder and betray the state. In the Valley and Southwest the negroes were only about 15 per cent. of the population. White supremacy was assured in these sections. East of the Blue Ridge more than 50 per cent. of the population was colored, In the South Side there were almost 220,000 negroes in 1865. In many counties the blacks constituted twothirds of the population. In the parts of the state where they were most numerous they were most ignorant and unfit to vote. The alien and renegade leaders of the negroes committed gross frauds in elections. This condition of affairs explains, if it does not justify, the use by the whites of the "tissue ballot" and other forms of fraud in elections. Great ingenuity and resourcefulness were manifested in circumventing the negro voters.

Probably the ballot has done the blacks some good, but it has also hurt them in many ways. They were debauched by their leaders and brought into antagonism to the whites. In the late 70's and 80's they exercised a considerable influence in the "readjuster party." The negro has been gradually losing influence as a political factor in Virginia and is now practically eliminated by the new constitution.

Virginia, as well as all other Southern states, has suffered from the subordination of all other issues to white supremacy, yet it has seemed to her that, in justice to her highest interest, she could not do otherwise. In the Southwest where the negroes are only a small part of the population the people have shown a disposition to ignore the race question and to divide on other issues. The elimination of the ignorant negro voter by the new constitution will probably bring about the same result in other sections. Before the war Virginians divided on national issues; since 1867 the race question has claimed the larger share of their attention.

Universal Education.

The establishment of an efficient system of public education in Virginia was one of the most important results of the upheaval attending the war.

Prior to 1860 there was no real public free school system. The state made an annual appropriation of $45,000 for the education of the poor white children and empowered the counties to establish free schools. The law was not compulsory, and free schools did not become general. In 1850 a capitation tax was levied for the support of schools. In 1850 there were, in all schools of the state, public and private, only about 52,000 children. In 1860 there were 67,000, of whom 31,000 were enrolled as paupers. There were no negroes in school. The conditions under which poor white children, in most places, could receive the benefit of the state's appropriation for schools, were destructive of self-respect. In the minds of most of the people a public school was a pauper school. Consequently it exerted little influence.

The white children of the middle and upper classes were educated in the "old field" schools. The teachers were often men of fine scholarship and gave sound instruction in English, mathematics, the classics, and history. There the sons of the leading families were prepared for the classical academies. Thence some went to the university; a large number, to their life's work. The "old field" schools and classical academies were reopened in 1865. They were inadequate and unsuited to the novel conditions existing after the war. Schools of these types are still to be found maintaining the best traditions of the past, yet their influence has declined, both absolutely and relatively.

It was universally felt at the close of the war that a complete system of state education should be established and popularized. The aristocratic framework of society had been destroyed. The state had been democratized. Social, economic and political life had been revolutionized. More than one-half million ignorant negroes had been injected into the citizenship. As long as they were slaves their masters had cared for their manual and moral training. As freedmen they could no longer receive this industrial and ethical discipline as formerly. They had been declared freemen and citizens and could justly claim from the state an education that would fit them to meet the responsibilities of freedom and to discharge the duties of citizenship which had been thrust upon them. The state, in self-defense, had to provide for their education.

The public free schools in existence before 1860 had been distasteful to the indigent whites. The aristocratic character of society in a large part of Virginia had not been favorable to free public schools in any form. It was, therefore, necessary, not only to establish a free system of education, but to overcome the prejudice against it. The constitution of 1870 provided for a system of public free schools to be administered impartially between the white and black races. This was to be supported by state and local taxes, and the income received from the Literary Fund. In 1870 the legislature passed an act creating a complete free school system for the entire state. Equal educational privileges were given white and black children in separate schools. The greater part of the taxes are paid by the whites; nevertheless the state school funds are distributed on a per capita basis and not according to the amount paid by each race. The state has undertaken in good faith to educate negroes. They have from the beginning manifested great interest in education. In some respects they have been disappointed. "Book learning" has not done for them all that they had hoped. Probably the kind of education they have received in both public and private schools is not the kind that best fits them for their station and work in life.

In 1870 there were only 59,000 children in school. Ten thousand of these were negroes in schools established by Northern societies and the Freedman's Bureau. The act of 1870 creating a complete free school system went into effect immediately. During the scholastic year of 1870-71, the number of children in schools rose to 158,00.0. This was an increase of 99,000 over the number in 1870 and more than twice as many as had ever before been in schools, public and private, in a single year.

For several years many white people stood aloof, but prejudice gradually wore away. The public schools have constantly grown in efficiency and popular favor. Practically all people of all classes now patronize them. Probably in nothing else is the contrast between antebellum and postbellum Virginia more clearly seen than in the changed estimation of free public education for all the people of all classes and races.

The institutions of higher learning and professional work before the war deservedly ranked amongst the first in the nation. These have been strengthened in their endowment and equipment. Their courses of study have been enriched and popularized. A very significant fact in the educational life of a state is the establishment of schools offering instruction in agriculture, mechanics, industry, teaching and commerce. Agricultural, mechanical, and normal schools have been established for the training of both races. The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute for negroes was opened in 1868. This school annually enrolls more than 1,000 students. It offers instruction in agriculture and the trades. Many of its graduates become teachers. The Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute at Petersburg annually trains the heads and hands of more than five hundred negroes. The Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg, for whites, opened its door in 1872. It has continually grown in favor and usefulness. The white female teachers receive training in the Farmville Female Normal established in 1883. Female normal and industrial schools are now being established at Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg. William and Mary College was opened as a normal school for white male teachers in 1888. Many other institutions offer agricultural, industrial, commercial and normal instruction.

New Industries and Wealth of State.

At the close of the war Virginia was more completely exhausted, economically, than any other southern state. She had been the chief theatre of the war from 1860 to 1865. More than five hundred battles and skirmishes had been fought on her fields. The valley had been completely devastated. Other parts of the state had suffered almost as much. Owing to the disordered and uncertain condition of society, industries revived slowly. Probably the state was poorer in 1870 than in 1865. At the close of the war the people returned to agriculture and stock-raising, which are still the fundamental occupations in Virginia. Great industries have developed, but their development has not been attended by a neglect of agriculture as has been the case in New England. Agriculture has grown each year since about 1870.

In 1907 the Jamestown Exposition, commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the state was held on Hampton Roads opposite Old Point, about ten miles from Norfolk. The variety and quality of the exhibits revealed the progress made by Virginia in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. The industrial side of the Southern seaboard states was also well displayed. The Exposition had the greatest display of American and foreign warships ever held in American waters. All of the thirteen original states were represented. A hall of history filled with relics, portraits and rare MSS. told, in concrete, the history of the development of the United States.

Market gardening in the tide-water region sprang into importance early after the war. In 1870 $1,048,000 worth of vegetables were shipped from Norfolk. In 1860 the total value of all market gardens in the state was about $500,000. Peanuts became popular in the North after the war. Millions of bushels of this profitable crop are now grown. Extensive orchards have been planted in the Piedmont and Southwest. Fruit growing is now a profitable business in many parts of the state. The quality of live stock has been improved. Some of the finest cattle and sheep farms in the United States are now in Virginia. The export cattle of the Valley and Southwest are unsurpassed.

Virginia is excelled by no state of equal size in the abundance and variety of her natural resources, Coal, iron, lead, zinc, building stones, cement material, and clays abound. She is unequaled in the variety of her mineral waters. A large part of her surface is covered with fine forests. The streams of all parts of the state except the tide-water afford abundant water power. The treasures of the Chesapeake Bay and the tide-water estuaries are inestimable. The soil and climate leave little to be desired. All the products of the temperate zone flourish within her borders.

During the last forty years Virginia has neglected her canals, most of which have fallen into disuse, She has always encouraged railroad building. Within the last twenty-five years railroads have penetrated all parts of the state. A remarkable development of manufacturing and mining has resulted. The quickening influence of improved transportation facilities has been felt in every section.

Before the war Richmond was a manufacturing and commercial centre. In 1870 she had fallen ii the value of her products to about one-half that of 1860. Her commerce, domestic and foreign, was almost ruined. The new Richmond now has shipyards, iron works, locomotive works, the largest cedar works in the world, the largest publishing house in the South, tobacco factories, and a great variety of manufacturing industries which employ a large part of her people.

The shipyard at Newport News is one of the largest in the world. Seventeen railways now have their terminals in Norfolk. Their piers are amongst the largest on the coast. Twenty-six steamship lines connect the city with home and foreign ports. Norfolk is the largest coaling station in the world. Many other cities have developed great industries. Danville has cotton mills, and is the largest market in the world for bright, loose tobacco. Roanoke has machine shops; Lynchburg, tobacco factories and pipe works. Every city in the state has large and profitable manufacturing establishments.

The state has many rich coal deposits. The Southwest coalfield, including Tazewell, Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan, Wise, Scott and Lee counties, is by far the largest and most productive. The coal-bearing area of that section comprises nearly 2,000 square miles, of which probably 80 per cent. is now productive. The two principal fields thus far developed are the Pocahontas and the Big Stone Gap. The construction of the New River branch of the Norfolk and Western Railroad through southwest Virginia in 1882, opened up the Pocahontas coal district. The extension of the same road through the Clinch Valley gave an outlet to the mines of Tazewell, Russell, Dickenson and Wise counties. Four railroad systems now penetrate this field. Most of the coal counties will soon have ample railroad facilities. The Pocahontas is the best steam coal known. It is used on the ocean steamers of the principal nations. It produces an excellent coke. Virginia ranks fourth in coke production. The coal interests are rapidly developing. In 1881 only 50,000 tons were mined in the state; in 1906, 4,275,815 tons. Almost all this comes from the mines in the Southwest.

Abundant ores, cheap coal, and ample transportation facilities have given the iron industry a phenomenal development in recent years. The output of pig-iron is yearly increasing. Many rolling mills have been established within the last few years. Stoves, cast-iron piping, car wheels, farming tools, machinery and general railway supplies are produced. Lumbering is one of the leading industries in many parts of the state. The new railroads have made accessible large tracts of practically virgin timber lands. Large quantities of forest products are shipped to the North or exported to Europe. Furniture factories and other wood-working establishments are found in all parts of the state, and are rapidly increasing in the capital invested and the value of the output.

Much of the crude negro labor has drifted away from the farm and has been absorbed in coal and iron mining and grading railroads. Virginia has made an earnest effort since 1865 to induce European immigrants to come to the state. In this she has been only partially successful. Very few unskilled foreigners have come to Virginia. The few that have come have been of the upper class, or skilled artisans.

Contrast of Old and New Economic and Social Conditions.

An economic and social system passed away with slavery. The old forms of industry and social life could not be restored in a large part of the state. East of the Blue Ridge slavery had entered so deeply into the warp and woof of life that immediate emancipation shattered social and economic institutions. For nearly two hundred and fifty years the people in the oldest and most populous sections had been accustomed to slave labor with all its attendant circumstances and consequences. The strangeness of the situation at the close of the war bewildered both whites and blacks. The whites knew little of the dignity and possibilities of free common labor. The blacks had less appreciation of the responsibilities and duties of freemen. Under these conditions industry and trade revived slowly. A new economic and social life slowly emerged from the chaos. Both races in time adjusted themselves to new conditions. A fairly efficient system of hired labor was developed. Many of the negroes became small farmers and renters. The peculiar grace and form of old Virginia's social life passed away.

In the Valley and the Southwest slavery had exerted comparatively little influence, economically and socially. Negroes, bond and free, were only about 15 per cent. of the population. The employers of labor were more accustomed to free labor and its worth than were the planters east of the Blue Ridge. Society and industry were not based on slavery as in some parts of the South; therefore little social or economic disturbance resulted in these sections from the destruction of slavery.

The Valley and Southwest had each been plundered and wasted during the war, but the old framework of society remained virtually intact. The social upheaval had not so radically unsettled industry and social life as in the other divisions of the state. Notwithstanding the waste and loss of war the people soon adjusted themselves to the changed conditions. The adjustment was slow and painful in the other sections.

The old Virginia plantations were little industrial communities in which the division of labor system was adopted. On each large plantation there were blacksmiths, tanners, harness and shoe makers, carpenters, bricklayers, masons, spinners, weavers and tailors. In consequence of this there was little incentive to establish shops or factories to supply the planters with such goods as their own artisans could produce. There were few white artisans working for wages. Shops or factories, producing goods for sale, were rare in the planting sections.

The destruction of the old plantation life scattered the plantation artisans. The household industries decayed both on the plantation and the small farm. To take their place shops or factories sprang up and a large number of artisans began to work for wages. The growth of manufacturing is one of the most striking facts in Virginia's history in the last twenty-five years. Very few people, white or black, in Virginia now use furniture, farming tools, harness, iron goods, clothes, or shoes made by their own households.

In the sections where blacks were once the chief artisans, whites have taken their place. Few young negroes now become workmen. Probably there are now fewer black handicraftsmen than in 1860.

The antebellum aristocracy dwelt in the country. Land and birth were the foundations of social eminence. The rural gentry was, in a large measure, unable to adjust itself to the changes brought about by the war. The plantation life was broken up. In many cases the plantation itself came into the possession of the former overseer or tenant. The rural gentry moved to the towns and cities and took up professions or went into business. The old baronial life is at present almost unknown in the country districts where it once flourished. A part of the refinement of the old days survives in the towns. West of the Blue Ridge the social framework was less seriously shattered, and the life of all classes remained about what it had been before.

Slavery is unfavorable to small holdings of land, intensive cultivation, and diversification of crops; and favorable to large holdings of land, extensive cultivation, and a single crop like tobacco or cotton. The plantation system with its corps of slaves absorbed the land and rendered it difficult for a man with small capital to become a landholder. The destruction of slavery crippled the plantation system. Many of the plantations were divided and sold to former tenants or overseers. In this way the number of landowners was increased. Intensive cultivation and diversification of crops have resulted from the decay of the plantation system and the division of the land into small farms.

In some sections the war set the poor whites free. They lost little or nothing by the war and gained in many ways. Their importance economically, socially and politically was greatly increased.

The plantation was a social settlement for the uplift of the negroes. Their health was carefully guarded. They suffered little from tuberculosis, typhoid, and venereal diseases. There was no drunkenness. Lunacy was almost unknown. They were given manual and moral training. Their masters and white ministers gave them careful religious instruction. Many of them attended the white churches. Negro meetings, noisy and turbulent, were held by preachers of their own race. There was virtually no race hatred. The blacks were considered a race, in every respect, inferior to the whites.

Tuberculosis, typhoid, and venereal diseases are making terrible inroads upon the freedmen. Drunkenness and lunacy are common. Few young negroes are becoming artisans. They now have separate church organizations and fail to receive the sound moral and spiritual instruction they formerly received from the whites. There is less cordiality between the races now than there was fifty years ago. Yet the negroes have made some progress. In 1900 they owned nearly one million acres of land in Virginia. Illiteracy is being reduced. The leading schools for negroes are giving more attention to industrial training than formerly. They are giving less attention to politics and are striving to become economically independent. The colored ministers of the Gospel are improving both in character and preparation for their work.

BIBLIOGRAPRY: - Avary, Myrta L.: Dixie after the War; Boyd, C. R.: Resources of Southwest Virginia; Bruce, P. A.: The Rise of the New South, and The Plantation Negro as a Freeman; Dunning, W. A.: The Civil War and Reconstruction; Eckenrode, H. J.: The Political History of Virginia during the Reconstruction; Fleming, W. L.: Documents Relating to Reconstruction; Herbert, H. H.: Why the Solid South; Hotchkiss, Jed: Summary of Virginia (1876); McConnell, J. P.: Negroes and Their Treatment in Virginia (1865-67); Page, T. N.: The Old Dominion; Ruffin, F. G.: The Negro as a Political Factor; Stuart, A. H. H.: The Committee o f Nine; Watson, T. L.: Mineral Resources of Virginia; Whitehead, Thomas: Virginia Handbook (1893).

JOHN PRESTON MCCONNELL,
Professor of History and Political Science, Emory and Henry College.


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