--According to adjournment, a meeting of the mechanics of Richmond
was held at the City Hall on Saturday night last.
At the hour of half-past 7 o'clock Mr. Benjamin Bragg
took the chair, and was assisted by Mr. Adolphus Gary
The report from the committee appointed at the last meeting to memorialize the Legislature on the subject of reducing the prices of provisions and of adopting some measures against speculation, was then called for when.
Mr. E. B. Robinson
, stepped forward and read the memorial which had been prepared and adopted by that committee, as well as the bill reported by the Legislative committee to put town extortion and protect the men of salaries from the heartless attempts of those traitorous traders who are every day trying to grind them to the very dust.
After the adoption of the report of the committee, Mr. Robinson
offered the following resolutions, which were adopted.
Mr. Samuel Huffman
Resolved, That it is with pleasure we have seen a disposition on the part of Messrs. Warwick & Barksdale to relieve the wants of this community by agreeing to sell their flour at the Government price, thus evincing a feeling in consonance with the wishes of the country, engaged as it is for its independence.
Resolved, That we duly appreciate the motives of the butchers in their desire to reduce the price of beef, if they are sincere in their professions; but we desire to see everything regulated by law, and not dependent upon the caprice of any class who are dealers in the actual necessaries of life.
Resolved, That we tender our sincere thanks to our worthy Mayor for the kindness he manifested in our behalf by kindly offering the committee the use of his office to transact the business entrusted to their care.
Resolved. That we feel deeply indebted to the Common Council for the use of their Hall for the transaction of the business of the meeting."
then offered the following, which was adopted unanimously.
"Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due, and are hereby tendered, to the special committee of the House of Delegates for their exertions in carrying out our wishes."
It was here suggested that a committee of three should be appointed to wait on Mayor Mayo
, and request him to come forward and address them, which committee consisted of the following gentlemen: Messrs. John Tyler
, Robert Scofield
, and Henry Dyke
In a short time the committee entered the hall accompanied by His Honor, who delivered an address of about a half hour's length, in which he expressed his heartfelt sympathy with the objects of the meeting, and promised all the aid in his power to further their plans.
Although he was not in one sense of the word a mechanic, yet he was a laboring man, and had been such from his infancy; he always had earned his bread by the "sweat of his brow." The Mayor
expressed proud gratification that the working men — the oppressed — of Richmond
had gone about eradicating the evil of extortion in the manner they had. The Legislature was the proper tribunal to appeal to first, and he sincerely hoped and believed that body would take hold of the subject in earnest, and would ferret out and adopt some remedy against the oppressive evil.
He commented with great severity upon what he conceived to be the main impetus to the extortion prices now asked for the necessaries of life, and asserted that, in his opinion, blockade running was the prime originator and sustainer of the evil.
In reference to the subject of blockade running, the Mayor
very justly asserted that it had had its birth and growth at the corner of 9th and Broad streets. He stated that he had himself, not long since, seen a passport which had been given a man by the Confederate
authorities to go North, and the same man had returned to this city with a passport from the Yankee Government
, bringing with him a lot of Yankee goods, on which an outrageous profit had been realized.
Such things looked rather dark, and while it might
be all right for the Confederacy
to pass one of these blockade runners through our lines and the Yankee Government
to pass him back, with a full stock of goods, he confessed he could not feel altogether satisfied that it was proper and just.
The Mayor advocate
d a rigid prosecution of the move which had been set on foot by the mechanics of Richmond
to put down the prices, and hoped it would be carried out as it had been begun, upon orderly and law-recognizing principles.
In conclusion, he exhorted all to stand by the Commonwealth
and the Confederate Government, and expressed the belief that our independence would
be attained by the strong arms of the soldiers in the field, in despite of the Shylocks and traitorous cormorants who had their substitutes and stayed at home to make what could be made out of the war.--The Mayor
's speech was received with great satisfaction by the meeting, and when he left the stand it was amid loud and continued applause.
Mr. Adolphus Gary
offered the following resolution.
"Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to act as a standing committee, whose duty it shall be to further the objects of this meeting by such action as they may think proper for the good of the cause, and that said committee shall be empowered to call future meetings, if in their opinion it be necessary."
The following gentlemen were announced by the Chair as the committee called for in the above resolution: Messrs. Adolphus Gary
, Samuel Huffman
, John P. Tyler
, Wm. D. Pemberton
, Thomas J. LaPrade
, James Sherry
, and John Whiteford
The meeting then adjourned.