From the Richmond Dispatch, 11/12/1860, p. 1, c. 4


A British View - Our Vulgarity - Brutal Crowds, &c.

The London Times' correspondent, who visited this city with the Prince of Wales, and received a variety of friendly attentions from members of the press and others, has written the following cheerful views of our city.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, Oct. 8. – The Prince has paid a lying visit to some forty hours to this legislative capital of the Old Dominion, as it is called, for Virginia was the first English colony in North America. Here the first slaves were imported in 1620, and at this hour Virginia remains on of the most uncompromising supporters of pro-slavery in all the Union. The Royal party left the White House on the morning of the 6th....[two paragraphs not transcribed which describe the Prince's trip down the Potomac and through Fredericksburg. Author laments Virginia's "lack of veneration or gratitude, perhaps both" towards the sites associated with George Washing (Mount Vernon, Fredericksburg)]

The train reached the fair grounds, some two miles distant from Richmond, at 6 in the evening. They Mayor and a committee of citizens were in waiting to welcome his Royal Highness to the capital of old Virginia. - There was an immense concourse of people who blocked up all the avenues leading to the Ballard Hotel, so that the carriages could scarcely force a passage. The cheering, or rater howling, was villainous. There was to have been a ball in the evening, but that greatest of all difficulties - financial difficulties - stood in the way of its being carried out on a proper scale, so the idea was abandoned.

Richmond is not a little altered from the time when Madame Esmand reared her young Virginians here. Seen from a distance, it looks a very handsome town, both for grandeur and far larger than it really is. Its population is only about 40,000, of which nearly one-half are blacks and slaves. The Capitol is a bizarre Graeco-American building, which runs much to windows, as is generally the case with all the public buildings of this continent. In the hall of this building is noble statue of Washington, the first erected to that great patriot, with a simple, dignified inscription, worthy of the hero it commemorates. The sculptor's legend in the corner reads, "Fait par Houdon, Citoyen Francais, 1788." Like all other slave State capitals, there are slave pens for the public auction of these miserable beings in this city.

During all the night of the arrival, very room and stairway in the Ballard Hotel was crammed with a low, wretched mob, each striving and hurtling to get some look into the apartments where his Royal Highness was staying. There were cat-calls, shouts and whooping, with cries for him to show himself - invitations with which I need scarcely say, his Royal Highness did not comply, for the rough, howling, brutal mob that had swarmed round his carriage on arriving at the hotel, had given him a pretty good insight into the general tendencies of a Richmond crowd.

Next day (Sunday) he attended divine service at St. Paul's Church, nearly the whole congregation rising to gape and stare at him when he entered. After service, contrary to the practice which the whole party have rigidly adhered to of resting on Sunday, the Prince, with the Duke and a few members of his suite, walked out to see the Capitol. While here a rough, dirty crowd collected, who crowded in upon the party most unceremoniously, making all sorts of coarse, vulgar remarks upon the personal appearance of its members in a loud conversational tone, audible to every one. - while the Prince stood looking at the statue of Washington, to which I have already alluded, some called out, "Guess he whipped you Britishers;" "Oh, you like him, don't you? Sartain;" with other insulting observations of a still coarser nature. The Prince took not the least notice of this ruffianly ill-taste, but, after a while, went to the Senate Chamber, and then quitted the building. In the street, of course, they were all followed by a still larger crowd, which at last grew so great that to avoid it the whole party turned into the house of Governor Letcher, where they remained for some time, escaping at last by a private door to their carriages, in which they drove out to Hollywood Cemetery, returning to their hotel in the evening.

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