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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: May 11, 1860

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Description of Page: No Page Information Available

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Description of Page: Bad print--blurry and hard to read. More about slavery in the territories.

A Suggestion
(Column 1)
Summary: Article requests that people congregating on the depot platform make an effort to leave space for people, especially ladies, to exit the train cars and make their way to hotels.
Gen Wm. M. Harman
(Column 1)
Summary: Harman, subbing as editor for Yost, has been promoted to Brigadier General by Gov. Letcher.
(Names in announcement: General William M. Harman)
Unit Vote of Virginia
(Column 2)
Summary: Virginia needs to vote together to maintain influence at the Convention. The Vindicator urges friends of Hunter and Wise to unite.
The Charleston Convention
(Column 4)
Summary: Article about the Convention, including the walkout initiated by Yancey. The Vindicator is angry about the disruption, and argues that the delegates that walked out are hypocrites, since they offered no help to the territories earlier.
Full Text of Article:

The Charleston Convention.

Our readers are aware that the Democratic National Convention, which convened in Charleston on the 23d of April, adjourned on the 3d of May, without making nominations, to meet in Baltimore on the 18th of June next. The policy of this action, after the secession of several of the Southern States, cannot reasonably be questioned. It was possible, and even probable, Judge Douglas could have been nominated in a few more ballots, notwithstanding the arbitrary and unjustifiable ruling of the President of the Convention relative to the two thirds vote; but vacancies existing in several of the States, it was deemed advisable to adjourn, and thus afford the non-represented States the opportunity of appointing delegates. Had the Convention proceeded to the nominations, a potent lever would thus have been placed in the hands of the Opposition to attack the nationality of the Democratic party, and it might also have engendered bad feeling with the national men of the seceding States, who are anxious to be represented at Baltimore, and thus redeem their section from the taint of disunion and rebellion which might otherwise rest upon it. The seceding delegations clearly misrepresented the great mass of the unsuspecting people of their States, who, being aroused by the action of the agitators who nestle in their bosom, and have betrayed them, will rush gladly to the work of asserting their nationality, and attest their devotion to the Union by sending delegates to the Baltimore Convention, to fill the vacancies which have been created.

The disruption and secession at Charleston, occasioned by the action mainly of Alabama, was preconcerted, and not unexpected. The arch-agitator in the programme, W. L. Yancey, has directed all his thoughts and energies to bringing about a dissolution of the Union for the last 20 years. In 1848 he seceded from the Democratic Convention which nominated Gen. Cass. In 1858 he attempted to establish what he termed a "Southern League," the object of which was to "precipitate the cotton States into a revolution." The mask was effectually torn from him in this effort, by Roger A. Pryor, and the insidious attack upon the Union exposed. The plot and its author fell stillborn, and Mr. Yancey was heard nothing more of until he succeeded in getting into the Charleston Convention, the importance and respectability of which position enabled him to accomplish that which he had heretofore failed in accomplishing--the apparent disruption of the Democratic party. He and his followers went into that Convention for no other purpose. The resolutions adopted previously by them, and the arrogant and insolent demands made, precluded all possibility of harmony and unity.

They went out. They are out, and we hope and trust will ever remain out. We look upon such men as no better than Northern fanatics. They care not for the Union. They would tear down the temple of liberty itself to accomplish the ends of selfish ambition, and erect upon the ruins of our common country, "a Southern Confederacy!" It is for this they aim, and not intrinsically for an empty abstraction. What care they for the rights of the South, practically, in the Territories? When Missouri was bleeding at every pore--lavishing her money by the million in the practical assertion of Southern rights in Kansas, where then were these seceding States--these extreme friends of the slavery interest? Not one dollar did their Legislatures appropriate--not one company of men did they organize to help Missouri in her struggle for their rights. They were themselves secure for their rights. They were themselves secure from invasion and loss, with more territory than they could ever find negroes to populate, and hence permitted the hardy and gallant citizens of Missouri to spend their means and spill their blood, without a particle of aid from them. But now, when no rights are to be invaded, when no interests of the South are in fact suffering, these Gulf States are ready to rend the Union in twain, if Congressional intervention is not incorporated into the Democratic platform, when the doctrine of non-intervention has been proclaimed and adopted by the Democratic party a thousand times; and Judge Douglas is not defeated for the Presidential nomination, when Missouri, who has suffered more than all the slave-holding States in the Union, stands firmly for him! This is the consistency of these States. They skulk the issue when it comes to practice, and rant and rave when there is nothing at stake.

The Democratic party, this day, is stronger than it has ever been. The secession of this element of discontent from their ranks, will arouse the reflecting men both in the North and the South, and the party being relieved of the disunion faction, which heretofore, has been ambitious of mischief through the instrumentality of the Democratic organization, the conservative sentiment of the country will come to its support, and waft into power the man who may be put forward by the Baltimore Convention of June next.--The people are for the Union. They see the difficulties that stare us in the face, and they will determine, in the majesty of their might, to remove them. We are glad the Charleston Convention terminated as it did. The disunionists of South Carolina, who hissed down conservative speakers, and shouted hosannas to a "Southern Confederacy," will not disturb the harmony of the proceedings of the June Convention. The honest sentiment of the country will have a free channel of issue, and from the centre of the Union will go forth to every extreme a conservative doctrine, awakening a kindred feeling in every State until, factions and fanatics shall hang their diminished heads, and sink into oblivion.

The Territorial Question
(Column 5)
Summary: Provides a history of the conflict over the question of the proper role of Congress in the Territories.
Full Text of Article:

The Territorial Question.

The Spectator of the 8th closes a very moderate and sensible article on the Charleston Convention, with the following paragraph:

"With such an irreconcilable difference of opinion, the question arises whether there is no way of getting rid of the difficulty, or whether the peace of the country and the Union itself must be sacrificed to abstract theories. The only way we know of is to agree to disagree upon questions of really no practical importance. If let alone, the question of slavery in the Territories will settle itself to the satisfaction of all reasonable and patriotic men in both sections of the Republic."

That a difference of opinion has always existed among the great men of the country in regard to the power of Congress in the Territories, is a well known fact to every reading man. This difference has not only existed among members of the same party, but has been tolerated without impairing their political influence, or compromising their party fealty. In 1847 and 1848, when the agitation growing out of this very question shook our government to its centre, Senator Clayton offered his celebrated compromise, which, acknowledging the existence of a difference of opinion, referred the whole matter to the Supreme Court of the United States, whose decisions in any case involving the question were to be final and binding. This idea was incorporated into the Compromise of 1860 [sic: s.b. 1850], which compromise was endorsed by both the great parties of the Country in 1852--reindorsed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in 1854; and again re-affirmed by the Democratic party at Cincinnati in 1856. All of the leading Statesmen of the present day are committed to this solution of the difficulty--are bound as honorable men to stand by these several compromises, and observe in good faith the spirit and point they declare.

Up to 1857 the mere doctrine had been agreed upon that the adjudication of the Supreme Court was to be the peaceful arbiter between conflicting opinions, whose rulings were to be received as a settlement. The popular mind lay calmly reposed in this belief, although no case had been presented for adjudication by which the law was to be established. The Kansas-Nebraska bill especially provides for appeal from the decisions of the inferior and Superior Courts of the Territories, to the Supreme Court of the United States, not limiting at all, the amount in controversy, where slave property is involved. In l857 the question was brought to a practical test in the Dred Scott case. The Supreme Court ruled that the Territorial Legislature was merely the agent of Congress, and consequently could exercise no powers which Congress could not confer. Congress not having the power to prohibit or establish Slavery, it followed that such power did not vest in its creature, the Territorial Legislature. It is true, the opinion express by the Court is charged to be extra judicial. This may be so, and yet not impair the binding form of theopinion in a moral sense, for who doubts for a moment that the opinion of the Supreme Court deliberately given will not be its decision when the case arises.

Thus it is not clear that this whole subject matter of controversy has been referred by the legislation and compromises of the country, to which the common consent of the people has again and again been given to the Court? Then why should this vexed question be again opened? The declaration of the abstract right of the South to the protection of its property in the Territories can be of no possible practical good at this time, but which we are sure if insisted upon must result in the defeat of the Democratic party, and the rending asunder of this Union of States. No patriot, no true Democrat, who values the existent of our free government, can Lend his aid and counsel to the encouragement of an agitation fraught with so many fearful disasters. The North and the South have been educated to think differently, each honest in their convictions. That difference has been a subject of legislative compromise and judicial reference, a faithful regard to which cannot fail to be a peaceful and honorable solution of the difficulty. Let then the honest masses, the uncorrupted and incorruptible yeomanry come forth and rally around the compromises, the honor and the flag of their country, and in the exercise of an indisputable and irresistible majesty, crush out fanaticism both North and South. The time has come for the people to act, and not the politicians--the people, whose firesides and homes, whose domestic peace and tranquillity and national honor are in jeopardy, to rise up and rebuke rebellion and disunion. The great heart of the country is for the preservation of the Union--the great heart of the patriots of the South beats responsively to the noble defenders of the constitution at the North who are grappling hand to hand every day with Black Republicanism, and we will not forsake them now that our aid may strengthen them to strike the decisive blow which will break down the enemies of the country and yet more firmly establish our free system of government. Let immaterial and abstract isses be thrown to the winds, that we may address ourselves to the great practical work of preserving this Union, by sacredly regarding the compromise upon which it is based. It is no time for members of the great Democratic party, who have at heart the perpetuity of our government, to be solicitous about personal favorites for this or that station. The standard of revolt has been raised, the "three cheers for the Southern Confederacy" given. Let the infamous sentiment and yet more daring action be repudiated and rebuked, that the Star-spangled banner may continue to wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Crime Against Nature
(Column 5)
Summary: A man named Moyers was sent to jail charged with a "crime against nature."
(Names in announcement: Moyers)
Full Text of Article:

Crime Against Nature.

A young man named Moyers was committed to the jail of this County on the 8th inst., charged with sodomy, or crime against nature, by association with a horse.

Flag and Sword Presentation
(Column 5)
Summary: Harman, on behalf of the ladies of Staunton, is presenting the Staunton Artillery with a flag; the West Augusta Guards are presenting Baylor with a "beautiful" sword.
(Names in announcement: Gen. William H. Harman, Capt. W.S.H. Baylor)
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: Tenth Legion Democrats are standing behind the party, not the secessionists, and will continue to do so in Baltimore. They endorse popular sovereignty.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg Republican
First of the Season
(Column 6)
Summary: The American Hotel has begun serving strawberries to its guests.
Full Text of Article:

First of the Season.

Our friend Brown of the American Hotel, with his accustomed energy, surprised his dinner table and those who sat at it, on Thursday, with a handsome display of fresh Strawberries. This dilicious delicacy will be served up frequently at our Hotels now that we can get them from Richmond in eight hours.

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Description of Page: Candidates announcements in columns 1 and 2; Markets in column 3.

Union Constitutional Convention
(Column 1)
Summary: Report from the Union Convention in Baltimore.
(Column 3)
Summary: Mary Emma, an infant, died on May 6.
(Names in announcement: Mary Emma Rice, John Rice, Margaret Rice)
(Column 3)
Summary: Mrs. McCarty, wife of Rev. McCarty, died at the Western Lunatic Asylum on May 2 at age 30. Rev. McCarty was formerly of the Western Virginia Conference of the M.E. Church.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Minerva McCarty, Rev W.C. McCarty)
(Column 3)
Summary: Maria J. Coalter died on May 4 at age 77. She was the widow of the late Dr. Thomas J. Coalter and mother-in-law of William B. Crawford, at whose house she died.
(Names in announcement: William Crawford, Maria Coalter, Dr. Thomas Coalter)

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Description of Page: Advertisements