Richmond Dispatch, 9/27/1862

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From the Richmond Dispatch, 9/27/1862, p. 2, c. 1

Legislation for Removing Negroes.

The Federal invasion, especially in its relations to negroes, has thus far been a John Brown raid on a grand scale. Wherever the Federal armies have advanced the negroes have been swept off as clean as the Eastern locusts sweep a field of grain. Not one green or black thing is left in the line of the Yankee march, nor in the whole country for many miles around. The Piedmont, the Upper Valley, the Peninsula, the country watered by the Rappahannock and the Potomac, have been stripped of their negro population. This war has assumed the character of a grand Negro Hunting Expedition. Of victories the Yankees have gained few; negroes many. What becomes of the game, it is impossible to say, nor is that a matter of much consequence. - The loss, however, of so valuable an element of strength and prosperity is a matter of such moment that the Legislature of the State ought at once to take measures for the prevention of similar calamities in the future.--This can only be done by a law providing for the removal of negroes from all threatened districts to the interior. It will not do to leave this to the discretion or judgment of the masters. In some cases, they are too indolent to take the proper precautions for the security of their property. In others, they are deluded by implicit confidence in the fidelity of their servants, and, notwithstanding the experience which the war has furnished that the neighborhood of a Yankee army creates as complete a stampede among negroes as the approach of a locomotive among cattle, there are thousands of masters who continue to believe that their servants will not run under similar temptations, and foolishly to expose them to temptation. It is clear, therefore, that there is no security for the negro property of the State, unless the Legislature makes the removal of the negroes from districts exposed to invasion compulsory. We trust the necessary action will be taken promptly, for the State has already suffered enormous losses from this cause, which, by precautionary legislation, might all have been prevented.



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