Wednesday, May 11, 2011
150-Years-Ago -- Richmond touted as new capital of the Southern Confederacy
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 11, 1861
We understand there is considerable favor shown to our beautiful and advantageously situated city by the Provisional Congress, as the permanent Capital of our Southern Confederacy. We say advantageously situated, for if Washington was a suitable location for the Capital of the United States, we think that, as we cannot hold that city, the next best selection would be the Capital of Virginia, which has so many historical associations, and around which cluster so many National recollections.
For beauty and centrality of situation, facility, convenience of access, polished society, and perfect healthfulness — summer and winter — surely no city in our fair Southern land can vie with Richmond. There is no lack of suitable sites for a National Capitol, and there is abundance of accommodation for the deputies in Congress, and visitors on business or pleasure.
Washington had nothing to recommend it as the seat of government, except, perhaps, that it stood midway between the Northern and Southern States on the Atlantic coast, which then composed the Confederacy. It has always been considered unhealthy in summer, and we are very much disposed to concur with our confreres of the Charleston Mercury, in believing the odor of corruption hangs around it in too great measure to make us willing to start our pure and virgin Government in a city which has been so polluted, even could we obtain possession of it.
There may be difficulties, indeed, in the way of ceding the jurisdiction to Congress of the necessary "ten miles square," but we trust they can be overcome, should the choice be made in our State. At the same time, until we know precisely of what States our Confederacy will be composed, it is probable Congress will defer selecting a permanent seat of Government.
We think it quite likely that the Provisional Government will temporarily remove to Richmond, from reliable information which has reached us from Montgomery. If this decision be arrived at, our State Executive and citizens of Richmond will heartily welcome the distinguished gentlemen now administrating the Government at Montgomery, and we are sure every facility will be afforded by our people to induce them to came and make their residence agreeable.
Even now, we learn that Richmond will, in a few days, be the headquarters of the Confederate Army, it being announced that general officers to command the Southern troops are about to be appointed and sent to Virginia, to direct the movements of the Confederate troops.
Posted by Michael Jones at 5:16 AM