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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: May 18, 1860

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-Page 01-

[By Request]; From the Spectator; Judicial Election
(Column 4)
Summary: Long and involved letter about the Circuit court election.
(Names in announcement: Judge Thompson, Mr. Fultz)
The Master-Spirit of the Charleston Secessionists
(Column 3)
Summary: Provides proof that Yancey and his followers were planning to walk out of the Democratic convention from the start and argues that their disaffection was prearranged.
Full Text of Article:

The Master-Spirit of the Charleston Secessionists.

The re-production of the notorious "Scarlet Letter" in our columns yesterday, is producing a profound sensation here in sober-minded circles. Its appearance has furnished a key to the unsuspecting, of the attempt at Charleston to demoralize the integrity of the Democracy. The disaffection of Alabama, as represented by Mr. Yancey and Mr. Walker, was assuredly premeditated, if it was not studiously pre-arranged. The delegates seem to have gone to the convention for no other purpose than to sow the seeds of dissension in an heretofore harmonious body. This is manifest, as will be seen by the extract below from a letter written by the latter to a brother of Senator Clay, on the 7th of June, 1859, in answer to the three following questions:

"1st. Is it the duty of Congress to intervene for the protection of slavery in the United States?

"2nd. Are you in favor of a repeal of the laws of Congress, which declares the foreign slave trade to be . . . [text missing]?

"3rd. What position should Southern Democracy assume in the Charleston Convention?"

In the concluding paragraphs of his letter, Mr. Walker says:

"In answer, first--we should insist upon adopting a platform before making the nominations. 2nd,--This platform must embody the first of the foregoing propositions, and should embrace, in principle, the second, also--3d,--If the first of these propositions--viz: protection of slavery in the territories, is not adopted, the South should withdraw from the convention, and make its own nominations, and enunciate a platform of principles consistent with the dignity of sovereign States and the great right of self-protection. In adopting this course, we must expect defections from our own ranks. Old Saturn himself never devoured his offsprings with more faculty and apparent relish, than do some men of their opinions and professions, for the sake of the emoluments and honors of office; forgetting that, in after life, the recollections of their treachery will remain only like demons upon that memory, to taunt them with the cost at which they purchased them. But our ranks will be reinforced by the good men and true of what is now called the 'Opposition.' And I, for one, will hail them as brothers, whatever may have been their antecedents. When the South is beleaguered by enemies, at home as well as abroad, let us remember the Christian precept, "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim."

"We have a mission to fulfil, 'ennobled by its danger, and purified by its isolation,' and we may well afford to cultivate that Corinthian spirit in which each one is allowed to have a doctrine, or an interpretation of his own, upon questions and issues having no present importance, but long since buried in the Past.

With this spirit, let the crisis come!

Be bold, united, firmly set,

Nor flinch in word or tone;

We'll be a glorious people yet--


I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,



It must be borne in mind that Mr. Walker, the ardent coadjutor and collaborator of Mr. Yancey, was the chairman of the Alabama delegation--the first delegation that ever seceded from a Democratic convention.

Is Delaware, or Maryland, or Virginia, or North Carolina, or Tennessee, or Kentucky, or Missouri, or Arkansas, or Texas, or Louisiana, or Mississippi, or Florida, or Georgia, or South Carolina, or even a considerable portion of the citizens of Alabama, prepared to coalesce with such wild disorganizing spirits? No, a thousand times no; we will undertake to say will be the prompt and definite answer of each. Let them stand resolutely shoulder to shoulder in the irrepressible conflict which is to be determined in November, and, if Sewardism shall be triumphant, there will then be an inseverable bond of union between the Democracy of the North and the South sufficiently strong to efficiently protect the latter against Abolition aggressions. The patriotic men of the slaveholding States desire nothing more than this. Factionists cannot persuade or frighten them into a change of this true policy.--Washington States.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Print isn't very good. Report on "Black Republican" convention in Chicago. District convention reports in column 7. Also candidates announcements.

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Harman has appointed Col. Hanger his aide-de-camp.
(Names in announcement: Gen. W.H. Harman, J. Marshall Hanger)
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The recent frost has damaged the wheat crop throughout Augusta and Rockingham. The weather has been favorable for the corn crop, however.
Tennessee Resolution
(Column 2)
Summary: Discusses the popular sovereignty resolution presented at the Charleston Convention. Article argues that the Tennessee Resolution on popular sovereignty is acceptable to Southern Democrats, but the Yancey followers rejected it because they sought above all else to defeat Stephen Douglas at the convention.
The Opinion of a Distinguished Southern Statesman
(Column 3)
Summary: Opinion of a distinguished, anonymous, Virginian. He approves of popular sovereignty, but disapproves of the walkout in Charleston. He argues that southern security lies with non-intervention. He discusses the Wilmot Proviso and the Compromise of 1850.
Methodist General Conference
(Column 4)
Summary: The General Conference of the M.E. Church has adopted a policy on slavery that states that the evil of slavery should be extirpated. The Vindicator argues that the Methodist Church should not have entered the political sphere.
Full Text of Article:

Methodist General Conference.

From the proceedings of the General Conference of the M.E. Church, on the 12th, now in session at Buffalo, N.Y., we take the following:

The report on the slavery question has been agreed upon, and it said they will report the following general rule:

Q--What shall be done for the extirpation of the evil of slavery.

A--We declare that [we] are as much as ever convinced of the great evil of slavery, and we believe that the buying, selling, or holding of human beings as chattels is contrary to the laws of God and nature, inconsistent with the Golden Rule and with that rule in our discipline which requires [illegible] desire to continue among [illegible] "do no harm" and to "avoid evil of every kind." We therefore affectionately admonish all our preachers and people to keep themselves pure from this great evil, and to seek its extirpation by all lawful and christian means.

This report is said to have received the sanction of thirty one of forty-seven members of the committee.

It is much to be regretted that any ecclesiastical body has so far departed from the legitimate sphere of its legislation, as to intrude itself into the political arena, and thus sectionalize and damage a great moral and religious enterprise. The Methodist Discipline assumes a postulate which, in our belief, is erroneous in ethic and unconstitutional in theory, when it brands slavery as an evil, and intimates that it can be "extirpated," in propounding the question, "what shall be done for the extirpation of the evil of slavery?" That slavery is purely a political question is sufficiently attested by the early legislation of the country, and its recognition as such in the Federal Constitutional itself. The separation of Church from State was a cardinal consideration with the founders and expounders of our system of government, and any legislation, either ecclesiastical or political, whose tendency is to fuse these two separate and distinct features of our free institutions, is clearly a contravention of the whole scope and spirit of our governmental organization. We think the denunciatory spirit of the Methodist Discipline, in pronouncing slavery an 'evil,' is a clear departure from the appointed province of the church, and destructive of the great moral end contemplated in the christian dispensation. So long as this declaration remains unrescinded, the religious sect that subscribes to it must necessarily be subjected to suspicions and criticism in Southern communities, inasmuch as it is an offensive assumption contradicted by the Apostles themselves, and belied by the usage and history of the country ever since its first settlement at Jamestown.

The true policy of the Methodist Church, as we conceive, is to erase this offensive clause in their Discipline, and instead of declaring slavery to be an "evil" calling for "extirpation," substitute the crowning doctrine and philosophy of all orthodox creeds, that Christ died for the salvation of sinners, and that the application of his blood is sufficiently efficacious to "extirpate" all evils from the human heart, and enlighten the human understanding both to discern and correct the "evils" to which flesh is heir. Instead of a crusade against the institution of slavery, let there be a siege of the kingdom of Satan; and an honest effort to propagate the great truths of the Bible, instead of sowing broad cast the seeds of dissension, heart-burnings, jealousy, anti-Christ, and the doctrine of abolition fanaticism.

Fire Company
(Column 4)
Summary: Election of officers of the Staunton Fire Company.
(Names in announcement: James H. Waters, John M. Hardy, Owen Keefe, John Beck, Paul Scherer, John Peer, Jacob Pellits, George F. Elisk, John H. Hilbert)
Full Text of Article:

Fire Company.

At the recent election of officers for the Staunton Fire Company, the following were chosen: Jas H. Caters, Captain; John M. Hardy, 1st Lieut; Owen Keefe, 1st Eng.; John Beck, 2nd Eng; Paul Scherer, 3rd Eng.; John Peer, 4th Eng.; Jacob Pellitz, Secretary; George F. Elick, Treasury; John H. Hilbert, 1st H. D.

There are now about one hundred members of this company. It is one of the most essential organizations of the city, and cannot be too kindly fostered and supported. There are a number of subscriptions due to it from our citizens, which the Secretary is desirous shall be paid in immediately.

The 11th Electoral District
(Column 5)
Summary: Report on the district, but mostly obscured by ad column.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Moffet, Mr. Yost)
(Column 6)
Summary: Report on local military training. Discusses the presentation of a sword to Baylor and a banner to the Artillery. Compliments Baylor for being brave and chivalrous. Also thanks the women of Staunton for making these gifts.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Baylor, Gen. William H. Harman, Capt. John D. Imboden)
Full Text of Article:


Our city has been enlivened during the week by the presence and military training of the officers of the different volunteer and militia companies in the county, under the direction of Col. J. W. Massie, of Rockbridge. A finer looking corps of officers we have never seen. The General Muster of the 160th Regiment took place at Spring Hill on yesterday. The 32d will parade at Fisherville to-day; and the 93rd at Middlebrook to-morrow.

On Wednesday evening the ceremony of presenting a sword to Capt. Wm. S. H. Baylor, by his company, the West Augusta Guard, and a banner to the Staunton Artillery, by the ladies of Staunton, took place in front of the American Hotel. Both companies made their appearance in full uniform and numbers, and truly the exhibition was handsome. Not in Virginia is there a military organization that surpasses in soldierly appearance, perfect discipline, and intrinsic and substantial worth, the military organizations of Augusta County. Col. Massie addressed the officers present in a patriotic strain for a few moments, after which the presentation of a beautiful Damascus steel sword to Capt. W. S. H. Baylor, was made on the part of the West Augusta Guard, by Lieut. James Bumgardner, in a [word missing] and beautiful address, and received by Capt. Baylor in a few eloquent and appropriate remarks. The scabbard bears the inscription--"A token of affection and confidence from the West Augusta Guard to their Commander, Capt. Wm. S. H. Baylor, May, 1860." The blade is inscribed with the sentences--"The Citizen Soldier." "Vel [word missing], vel bello, clarum fieri licet." There are various devices on the scabbard, beautifully arranged, which contribute in making it a most becoming and complimentary testimonial of a brave soldiery to a brilliant, chivalrous, intelligent, and competent commander. Capt. Baylor's company is sincerely attached to him both in the capacity of citizen and soldier, and justly so, for he merits the confidence and esteem of his sterling company.

After the sword presentation, Gen. Wm. H. Harman, on behalf of the ladies of Staunton, presented an elegant Banner, wrought by their hands, to the Staunton Artillery, in a strain of unaffected eloquence and feeling, which was received by Capt. John D. Imboden, in the name of his company, in a speech inspiring in historical incident, that excited a genuine glow of patriotism in every heart. The banner is marked on one side with--"From the ladies of Staunton, May 16, 1860." "Nemo me impune lacessit." On the other--"Staunton Artillery, Organized Nov. 28, 1859." On the top of the stuff is a handsome bronzed eagle, with wings out- spread, indicating the onward tendency and destiny of the stars and stripes. Indeed, it was a most significant evidence of the patriotic impulses of the beautiful and accomplished ladies of our city, and a pleasing assurance that their "hearts must be easy, for they're in the right place." Could the patriotic daughter of the war of 1812, who bid even her fair-haired boy go, and never return until the polluting feet of Tarleton and his men had been driven from the soil of Augusta, have witnessed the smiling, beaming, bright, beautiful countenances of her sex as they glowed under the impulse of patriotic love on this occasion, she might have felt that the spirit that animated her still survived in the hearts of the fair daughters of West Augusta.

The concourse assembled to witness the ceremony was very large, consisted of men, women and children, and everything passed off most delightfully and harmoniously--the companies closing the exercises with three cheers and a tiger, a salute from the Artillery, and a parade through the principal streets of the city.

Although dating its organization much later than the Guard, the Artillery promises to equal it in the elegance of its uniform, the discipline of its officers, and the worth and high character of its men. Both companies are a credit and honor to the county, and distant be the day when the shall slacken in their spirit and enterprise, or diminish in their numbers.

(Column 6)
Summary: Ewing, who had been imprisoned for passing counterfeit money, has been recaptured and put back in jail.
(Names in announcement: Allen Ewing, Mr. Armentrout)

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Description of Page: Candidates announcements in column 3; Markets in column 4.

(Column 4)
Summary: John J. Straughan married Sarah M. Oates, both of Staunton. The marriage was performed in Washington, D.C. on May 14.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Byron Sunderland, John Straughan, Sarah Oates)
(Column 4)
Summary: Married on May 12.
(Names in announcement: C. Beard, Henry Ward, Martha M. Daniel)
(Column 4)
Summary: Nancy Britton of Staunton died on May 12 at age 77.
(Names in announcement: Nancy Britton)

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Description of Page: Advertisements