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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: September 9, 1859

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Editorial Responsibility
(Column 1)
Summary: Article expounds on significance of editorial responsibility and criticizes the editor of the Spectator for forgetting this lesson in his editorial about the Methodist Church.
Full Text of Article:

The editors of the Spectator and ourselves must agree to differ on the question of the duty and responsibility of editors. - Nor do we perceive that the examples quoted of the editors of the National Intelligencer, and three exchanges, illustrate the question between us, even by precedent, (which is always a bad mode of argument in ethics, equally condemned by reason and scripture.) We suppose no one will deny that the editor is responsible for his own editorials. Nor do we understand that the Intelligencer and the other papers referred to having noticed the subject editorially, question their responsibility to the advocates of Camp-meetings, and to the public, for the sentiments they have seen fit to utter against the propriety of such meetings. Our proposition is, simply, that the editor of a newspaper, who admits into his columns an anonymous production, assailing individuals or communities (especially without comment,) is just as responsible for it as for his editorials, either legally or morally. That he is so legally no one who knows the law of slander or libel doubts, and it is proper that the press should be cognizant of the fact. That he should be held so morally, deeply concerns the purity of the press and the peace of society. Without such responsibility, the freedom of the press would degenerate into licentiousness, and the characters of the purest men, and the most innocent ad useful association, would be no protection from insult and abuse. The illustration put by the Spectator, showing its own course in reference to a piece signed "Justice," published in its columns the week before, contains no argument. It is a mere comparison of itself with itself - a justification of one by another - and we can only reaffirm the opinion, (not assailed by the illustration,) that the editor was just as responsible for that publication as if it had been his own. The question between us would be greatly simplified, by the separation of it from other questions, with which the Spectator continually confounds it. The question is of responsibility - not of propriety or of public necessity. We do not pretend to determine what an editor should or should not do--that is a matter for every free agent to decide for himself. We only affirm that for what he does he is and ought to be responsible. His paper being his, he must answer to individuals and the public for its contents.

As to the piece signed "Conservator," if we misconceived it, we did so after very careful perusal and while we would be very happy to believe the author meant no attack on the Methodist Church, we can only express the belief that ninety-nine of an hundred readers would be apt to fall into the same misconception that we did, and those of that church who did so misconceive it ought not to be held to the severe accountability that the Spectator visits on "Parnassus," and others, who have naturally written under a sense of injury. But these are matters that we have nothing to do with further than, with all good men, to desire an end of such strife.

The Virginia Index
(Column 1)
Summary: Ellis and Goode sold their interest in the Virginia Index to DeWitt.
(Names in announcement: Charles Ellis, J. Edwin Goode, B.M. DeWitt)
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Last Tuesday, Gov. Wise caused a sensation at the American Hotel here by staying overnight.
(Names in announcement: Gov. Wise)
Messrs. Tombs and Soule
(Column 2)
Summary: These two men have come out in support of Douglas's squatter rights.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Tombs, Mr. Soule)
(Column 2)
Summary: There was a brush between Democrats and Republicans in Leavenworth, but nobody was hurt.
Full Text of Article:

"What could the 'Republicans' do in Kansas without a row?"

Humphrey Marshall
(Column 2)
Summary: Marshall has committed himself to vote for Democrats in 1860 presidency; it appears the election will be between the Democracy and the Black Republicans.
(Names in announcement: Humphrey Marshall)
Full Text of Article:

"In that case, every true Southerner, whose love of party does not over reach his patriotism, will be found on the side of the Constitution and the Union."

Iowa and Missouri Railroad
(Column 2)
Summary: H.C. Lessley, son of James C. Lessley of Augusta County, has been made one of the directors of the Iowa and Missouri Railroad.
(Names in announcement: James C. Lessley, H.C. Lessley)
Fine Mutton
(Column 2)
Summary: There was a fine mutton of 130 lbs. exhibited by Messrs. Wm. F. Ast. & Bro. last Saturday.
Full Text of Article:

We have rarely, if ever, seen a finer mutton than was exhibited on Saturday last, at the stall of Messrs. Wm. F. Ast & Bro. It weighed about 130 lbs. and was so fat that a lean steak could hardly be found about it. We hazard nothing in saying that for fine Beef and Mutton the Staunton market cannot be beaten.

(Column 2)
Summary: Doom of the Public garden left a cabbage big enough to feed 12 hungry men at the Vindicator's office.
(Names in announcement: John Doom)
The Slave Trade
(Column 3)
Summary: An article from the St. Augustine Examiner asserts that cargoes of Africans are constantly landing in the United States.
Emancipation in the West Indies
(Column 4)
Summary: Article gives a history of the disastrous effects of emancipation in the West Indies.

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(Column 2)
Summary: Married on August 31, 1859.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Mr. Wingman, Sansford H. Steem, Francis Pannel, John Pannel)

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