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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: February 3, 1860

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-Page 01-

A Just and Well-Timed Rebuke
(Column 3)
Summary: Response to Victor Hugo's praise of John Brown.
Origin of Article: New York Express
Trailer: Ann S. Stephens; New York, Dec. 27, 1859.
For the Vindicator; What Should be the Policy of the South Towards Free Negroes?
(Column 7)
Summary: The author, prompted by a debate in the Arkansas legislature, argues that the good free blacks shouldn't have to suffer for the bad ones. Free blacks in the South need protections not afforded them in Free states. The author proposes a registration law for Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

What Should be the Policy of the South towards Free Negroes?

Through the public journals we learnt that by a recent act of the Arkansas Legislature free negroes have been left by two alternatives, to be sold into slavery or to be banished from the State. To the unprejudiced and well meaning mind, this set, at first view, will seem to rigorous; upon the second sight, it will appear hostile to every feeling of kindness and philanthropy. We see persons, who, though degenerate in color and in mind, have, by their industry and morality, rendered themselves worthy of the society in which they moved, forced from the soil that they love and the homes that they cherish, merely because they belong to that species whom God, in his mysterious providence, has cursed with a darkness of skin, and whom He, in His great wisdom, hath, for the purposes of civilization, subjected to the will of superior beings, and whom, I may add, these superior beings have cursed with freedom. We see the innocent suffer for the guilty. We see those who are industrious and law-abiding, compelled to suffer the penalty along with those who are indolent and vicious.

Men are apt to be prejudiced in these sectional times, and when persecuted to persecute in turn. They are apt to apply severe remedies to great evils; and, what is more, that remedy which first suggests itself, let it be, "traced in blood and tears," or the offspring of kindness and philanthropy.--This act of the "wise men" of Arkansas seems to have been performed without premeditation, and upon the very spur of the moment. They say that free-negrodom was . . . [text missing] . . . and it should be abolished. They saw, as every one sees, that among that mongrel race, cursed with freedom, there were some black in crime as well as in color, and spotted in immorality, who tampered with their slaves; and made their bondage as bitter as that of the Israelites upon the plains of Egypt. They saw this, and concluded that the only remedy was to leave them two uncompromising alternatives, viz: slavery, or expulsion from the State. And from this stern decree of exile not one is excepted.

Now, I am sure that I have no more sympathy than any other philanthropist for. that unfortunate class of beings, whom God in his Providence has made black, and whom man in his improvidence has made free; but I am sure, too, that if the majority of them are degenerated, degraded creatures, without the least knowledge of virtue or the least awakening of morality, there are some who deserve the approbation and encouragement of every friend of civilization, who are far better in their personal character and mode of life than the majority of the lower white class, and whom to drive from friends that they love and a country to which they are attached, would be in opposition to every feeling of our better nature. Within the confines of our own county--aye, within my own immediate neighborhood--there are free negroes, who, by their industrious and upright life, have amassed considerable money, and have gained the applause of every good and honest man. To make such persons exiles from their native State, would be like driving them into a city of the plague or a den of robbers. They would be morally as well as pecuniarily ruined. The state of inferiority in which they are held by our better citizens, and the honorable and honest manner in which they are dealt with, is the secret of their success amongst us. But send them to a free State, and they have no such bulwark to protect them. They are placed upon an equality with the highest, which renders them haughty and indolent. They become the prey of the subtle, are stripped of their . . . [text missing] . . . want or in crime. How many a disconsolate wail has come back to us from that land of freedom(?)! How many must still come, if the remaining Southern States follow the example of Arkansas!

It is to be hoped, then, that the Virginia Legislature, if this subject be again brought before that body, will take the wisest course and consult not only our own safety and the safety of our property, but also the feelings of goodness and humanity. One of the best remedies seems to be this: Let a law be passed to the effect, viz: That every free negro must depart the State before a certain time, or bring to the County Court of the county, in which he or she resides, a certificate signed by at least six responsible men, of his or her neighborhood, certifying to his or her good moral character and industrious habits. Let this certificate be placed upon record and renewed regularly within a certain given time; and, if this does not remove an evil of which many complain--if this does not purge our society of the dross of this species, while the purer metal remains, then I say take the severer remedy used by our sister State.

In conclusion, and as a proof of what I have asserted, that there are some free negroes worthy of the "Old Dominion," I would point to the conduct of several during the momentous events which grew out of "Old John Brown's Raid." It is said that when the soldiers were about to depart from Richmond for Charleston, a number of free blacks came forward and wished to volunteer as soldiers, and when this was, of course, denied them, offered themselves to go with the soldiers and attend them as servants. Such a sentiment of patriotism was shown by the better part of the free blacks all over the State; and it is rumored that even in our own County town of Staunton, the contributions raised for the volunteers were greatly swelled from the purses of free negroes. Is not such conduct praiseworthy, even in a negro? Is it not almost incredible? And would it not be cruel, inhuman, and unphilanthropic and un-Christian, to drive such men to ruin. Thus I have discarded the name of "WAR," and plead in the name of PEACE.

Jan. 30, 1860.

Trailer: Peace; Jan 30, 1860

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Congressional report and State Legislature report

Direct Trade With Europe
(Column 1)
Summary: In light of recent events, it is in Virginia's best interests to increase direct trade with Europe. Argues that the South should not have ceded commercial primacy to the North.
Full Text of Article:

Direct Trade with Europe.

It has been a well settled opinion, for years, of some of the best thinking men of Virginia, that a direct trade with Europe should be re-established and fostered by the people of this State. Recent events have more powerfully impressed the subject upon the public mind. The patriotic merchants of Richmond and Alexandria have resolved to commence a large and brisk foreign trade, in the confidence that an intelligent and loyal people will sustain them in their laudable enterprise. Will their noble purpose meet with a hearty and energetic second from every good citizen of the Commonwealth? This is a practical question which addresses itself to every one, and which must now be answered. The work has been commenced and cannot be successfully prosecuted without the united and zealous co-operation of the whole people--The city merchants may import goods, but unless they are bought by the retail dealers they will lie on their hands and rot. Whether the country merchants will buy of Virginia importers depends upon the will of their customers--the people.

The will of the people should be, that Virginia shall resume her former position of a principal commercial State. Norfolk is a monument of the folly of Virginia in abandoning the flourishing trade which she enjoyed in the better days of the Republic, which has been basely turned over to the hands of our Northern neighbors, upon which they have grown proud and arrogant. Virginia has suffered herself to become the customer of other States instead of retaining them as hers. She has become content to carry her rich produce and pour it into the lap of others, thereby indirectly admitting an inability to turn it to any further profitable account, when, in fact, she possesses noble rivers, bays and harbors of ample capacity to float the commerce of the whole country. As if it were not enough to give others a rich profit to export her produc[line illegible] centum to the importer, and superadded the costs of a transhipment at Northern ports; thus paying, substantially, the costs of two transhipments and two profits to the exporter and importer, in sending away her produce and getting what she needs in return,--as if she were not capable to doing the writing and financeering necessary to the transaction of her own business. Her policy is analogous to that of the man, who cannot write a letter to a merchant at Richmond to sell his produce, but allows a profit to some one possessing no greater facilities for sending.

This state of affairs is utterly in conflict with true economy, or the independent spirit of our people. Will Virginia be herself again? Shall the grass covered streets of Norfolk groan under Virginia tonnage for the future, or will it still afford employment for the capital and drays of New York? It is for you, Virginians, to say. The importance and necessity of a change of policy is so palpable that it needs no discussion.

Let a prompt and determined declaration be made by the people in public meetings throughout the State, that they will not encourage or support any merchant who does not import or buy of Virginia importers. Let this declaration be now made before the Spring trade commences, and it will be found that our retail dealers will cheerfully and promptly conform to the wishes of their patrons.

The people of the whole State should feel an interest in her prosperity and greatness. The importers have a right to assurances of support, and they expect it. In other words, they want to know whether the people will discard that accursed pride which will not suffer many to purchase any article of which it cannot be said that it was purchased on "Broadway" or Chestnut streets. This feeling of wicked pride has had much to do with our bondage to the North. To gratify it, everything had to be bought at the "Devil's principal place on earth," (as it has been denominated by a distinguished citizen of an adjoining county)--New York.

Let it be published that this soul and country destroying lust for fashion and extravagance shall, now and here, have an end and be supplanted by modesty and frugality. Let it be remembered that "pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty look before a fall;" that a self- reliant and economical policy is essential to prosperity in individual and State affairs.

A brisk direct trade from the waters of Virginia would inure to the advantage of almost every remote corner and citizen of the State.

Commerce in almost all ages and countries has been the highway to wealth and greatness. It is so still. Why is it that Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore are large and wealthy? It is because of their commerce, and just in proportion to its extent has been their growth.

Let any one analyze the multifarious operations of commerce and they will see how it lengthens, widens and deepens. Here capital yields a heavy profit and draws in its train thousands of well paid laborers.

Take, for instance, the profits which were lost to Virginia on the $41,154,000 worth of goods reported by the Auditor to have been sold in the State within the last two years, at 20 per centum, would give $8,230,800. The same per centum upon the exports with which goods were bought, would double that amount. Add thereto the charges for the transhipment of the exports and imports, which are paid into Northern hands and to Northern profit, and you will have a sum about equal to the per centage upon the capital, making an aggregate loss to the State in two years of about $32,920,000. If this statement approximates the truth, it will at once be seen what an immense sum Virginia pays to others to do that which she can do for herself.

The effect of $32,920,000 saved to the State bi-ennially upon her wealth, power and influence would be immense. Her rivers, canals and railroad are reaching out their mighty arms to embrace not only her own trade, but a large portion of Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

We will not dwell upon the advantages to be derived from the establishment of a center of trade at home by which the large sums which are annually paid on Northern exchange would be saved to the State. The hints which have been given are sufficient to show the immense importance of the subject. Let prompt action be immediately taken to redeem the State from her commercial thraldom, before the Spring trade commences.

May we not appeal with confidence to the intelligent and patriotic merchants of the State, who perhaps enjoy a greater influence, as a class, than any other, to take the lead in this important measure. They will rid themselves of much inconvenience, annoyance and expense by buying at home and in the consequent prosperity of the State, will lay the foundation for a greatly increased and more prosperous business.

Nullification of the Fugitive Slave Law
(Column 2)
Summary: Complains that three Northern states have passed Personal Liberty bills that virtually nullify the fugitive slave law. The Vindicator argues that such laws are a "flagrant violation of the Constitution."
Full Text of Article:

Nullification of the Fugitive Slave Law.

While the country is being agitated from center to circumference by the John Brown raid, the underground railroad, the "irrepressible conflict," &c., the Southern press and people seem to have overlooked, or silently acquiesced in, the most flagrant violation of the Constitution and good faith between the States, that has ever been perpetrated since the formation of this Government.

Congress, carrying out the provision of the Constitution, has passed a law making it incumbent upon each State of the Union to render back to the master any slave who may have escaped from service. It is evident that without such a law, the slaveholding States could not, with safety, continue longer in the Union, and it is equally self-evident that unless this just provision of the Constitution is carried out in good faith, [line illegible] from the Confederacy, and seek that protection for her property which the Union does not give. Has that law, made in accordance with an expressed provision of the Constitution, been carried out in good faith by the Northern States of this Union? Our answer is to be found on the statute book of at least three of the Northern States; and the recent case of Myers, who was tried in Pennsylvania for kidnapping, shows that even that conservative State has virtually nullified the fugitive slave law. Myers, as the agent of the owner, had returned several fugitive slaves to servitude in Maryland; after having been inveigled into Pennsylvania, he was arrested and put on trial for kidnapping. Now the only question which the Courts of Pennsylvania were competent to decide, was, whether the slaves rendered back to servitude, were, according to the decision of the Court of Maryland, legally held in slavery. It is evident that a Court of Pennsylvania has no right to decide, in the face of the decision of a Court of Maryland, that the slaves were not lawfully held in bondage. But in vain the counsel for Myers demonstrated the monstrosity of such a position. The Judge, from the bench, instructed the jury that they were competent to investigate as to the legality of the decision of the Court of Maryland, and, if, in their opinion, that decision was wrong, they were to bring in a verdict of guilty! And they did bring in a verdict of guilty, and Myers was sentenced to eight years in the penitentiary. What think the people of the South of this? Why slumbers the indignation of the conservatives of the Union? Where is the enthusiasm which animated their breasts when South Carolina dared to nullify a law of the Union? Why is the Federal Executive silent? Where is that army with which the iron-willed Jackson would have marched into a Southern State and enforced obedience to a law of the Union at the point of the bayonet?

To Long Glade and Mossy Creek
(Column 4)
Summary: Response to letter published a few weeks ago, signed by Long Glade and Mossy Creek. Begins by complaining about the use of pseudonyms. Lilley, one of the Sheriff's candidates, pledges that he is free from all obligations and personal encumbrances.
(Names in announcement: James M. Lilley)
To Long Glade and Mossy Creek
(Column 4)
Summary: Response to Long Glade and Mossy Creek's queries, similar to above. Peck claims that he is free of all obligations and is prepared to serve as Sheriff.
(Names in announcement: Henry H. Peck)
Messrs. Editors
(Column 4)
Summary: Larew's response to Long Glade and Mossy Creek: no obligations.
(Names in announcement: John J. Larew)
Wedding Cake
(Column 4)
Summary: Palmer brought the editors some delicious wedding cake--any gifts are appreciated.
(Names in announcement: Capt. P.O. Palmer)
Full Text of Article:

"We would take occasion here to say most appropriately, that we are condescendingly and kindly open to the reception of all kinds of presents."

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Ads for state Lotteries.

(Column 1)
Summary: Candidates announcements. Clerk of Circuit court: John B. Watts; William A. Burnett; James Cochran; Alex F. Kinney; John Paris; Sheriff: Col. James M. Lilley; John J. Larew; Henry H. Peck; Peter G. Steele; Capt. P. O. Polmer; William G. Sterret Judge of Circuit Court: David Foltz Commissioner of the Revenue: Thomas S. Coalter Town Sergeant: James H. Waters; R. W. Stevenson; William Craig
(Names in announcement: John B. Watts, William A. Burnett, James Cochran, Alex F. Kinney, John Paris, Col. James M. Lilley, John J. Larew, Henry H. Peck, Peter G. Steele, Capt. P.O. Polmer, William G. Sterret, David Foltz, Thomas S. Coalter, James H. Waters, R.W. Stevenson, William Craig)
(Column 3)
Summary: Married on January 26.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William Brown, David B. Henton, Elizabeth L. Wilson, Thomas P. Wilson)
(Column 3)
Summary: Married on February 2.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William Brown, Capt. Philip O. Palmer, Mrs. Eliza A. Liney)
(Column 3)
Summary: Died on January 23.
(Names in announcement: Dr. William K. Blair)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 3)
Summary: Tribute to Coiner from the Union Debating Society.
(Names in announcement: James Coiner, John C. Patrick, W.A. Freed)

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Description of Page: Advertisements