Category: Political Issues and Controversies


“The President, Again” by James Thomson Callender (September 1, 1802)

In “The President, Again,” published on September 1, 1802, in the Recorder; or, Lady’s and Gentleman’s Miscellany, a Federalist newspaper in Richmond, James Thomson Callender turns on his former patron, accusing U.S. president Thomas Jefferson of having fathered children with a slave named Sally (presumably Sally Hemings). Some spelling has been modernized. The transcription has been aided by The Papers of Thomas Jefferson.


“The Richmond Freedmen,” New-York Tribune (June 17, 1865)

“The Richmond Freedmen,” published in the New-York Tribune on June 17, 1865, describes the meeting between five prominent African American men from Richmond and President Andrew Johnson, which took place at the White House, in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 1865. The men met with Johnson to complain about “the wrongs, as we conceive them to be, by which we are sorely oppressed.”


“The Riot in Danville,” Staunton Spectator (November 6, 1883)

In “The Riot in Danville,” published on November 6, 1883, the Staunton Spectator reports on racial violence in Danville that left at least five people dead. The paper assigns partial blame for the deaths to a speech given by W. E. Sims, the Pittsylvania County chairman of the Readjuster Party, who denounced the so-called Danville Circular, which had complained of Readjuster rule in Danville in general and African Americans in particular. The Spectator‘s reporting came on the day Virginians went to the polls to elect members of the General Assembly. The Democratic Party swept the Readjusters out of power in both houses.


“The Sun Do Move” by John Jasper (1878)

John Jasper, prominent slave preacher and founder of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond, gave this sermon in 1878. The dialect representations are part of the 1882 publication.


"Rev. Dr. Hatcher's Surprising Assertions," Richmond Planet (June 23, 1894)

In "Rev. Dr. Hatcher's Surprising Assertions," published on June 23, 1894, the Richmond Planet responds to a defense of lynching made by the Baptist minister William E. Hatcher, of Richmond. Hatcher was president of the Education Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (1875–1901), and a trustee of Richmond College. In 1898 he founded Fork Union Academy, in Fluvanna County.

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