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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: April 5, 1861

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-Page 01-

Speech of Vice President Stephens
(Column 3)
Summary: Text of a speech by Confederate Vice President Stephens in which he discussed the Constitution of the new government and compared that text with the Constitution of the Federal government.
A Patriotic Letter
(Column 5)
Summary: Letter from a Southern woman to her cousin in Virginia, in which she praises the Confederacy and questions why it has taken Virginia so long to leave the Union.
Full Text of Article:

A Patriotic Letter.

Robertville, Branfort District, S.C.

February 25th, 1861

My Dear Cousin: The reception of this letter will be so unexpected that it will astound you--but really I cannot help writing. I have for some time intended it, and now hasten to carry out my intentions. The great agitation of our once glorious Union fills the heart of every lover of liberty with gloom and dismay on the one hand, and determination and sacrifice, if needed, to retain that principle which inhabits every Southern heart--independence--on the other. O, could we, my Cousin, for one moment crouch to Yankee tyranny? No, never! never! I for one, woman as I am, would willingly spend my last breath, if need be, in behalf of the Southern Confederacy. I have three sons, whom God knows I would bid farewell and cheer them on to the field of battle, should their services be required; I [line illegible] A mother cannot help that tenderness of feeling with which God has endowed her. I know my heart would fill to overflowing--still I should commit them to Him alone who rules our destines, and trust to the final result.

What is my own native Virginia about? Why has she acted so tardily and shown such a lack of independence? I feel particular concern in her welfare, for within her borders are nearly all of my relations. Can there be one of them who intends to submit to Black Republican rule? I cannot, will not believe it, until I hear it direct from some one of you, for in my veins still runs that blood which has always been opposed to imposition and insult. Both of these we have been receiving from the Yankees for the last 35 years. I am surprised that Virginia should be so slow to act when she has been most injured and insulted.

I have read all the papers I have been able to get my hands on, but have seen nothing said of my brother, except that he has been detained at home on account of sickness. How does he stand in the midst of this momentous crisis? How do you all (I mean my relations) stand? Are you in favor of your independence, even if gained at the mouth of the cannon or the point of the sword? Come South, if you want to see noble spirits, not only in men and women, but in every child who reads and knows his rights.

Interesting Comparisons
(Column 6)
Summary: Compares figures from the censuses of 1850 and 1860, including total slave and free populations and slave and free populations in each region and state.

-Page 02-

This District
(Column 2)
Summary: The Vindicator argues that the key issue in the next Congressional election is whether the destiny of Virginia lies with the hostile North or the "sister States of the South." The paper criticizes Mr. Harris and the Spectator for their submissionist views.
Full Text of Article:

This District.

We anticipated that the lines of party, as heretofore existing, would be drawn in the approaching Congressional canvass, not only in this District, but the State, and hence we were in favor of a Convention of the Democratic party to nominate a candidate who would represent the principles of its organization, and the true interests of Virginia in this important crisis. The course of the present incumbent and the positions he has assumed, however, render it unnecessary and inadvisable to adhere to our original purpose of a Convention. The line of policy to be adopted is so very plain that he who runs may read. The question that looms up above all others and claims the paramount consideration of the people of the State, is, whether the destiny of Virginia shall be cast in future with the hostile section of the North, or, breaking asunder from her oppressors and enemies, plant herself firmly and eternally upon a basis of congenial fraternization with her sister States of the South, with whom she is linked by every tie of interest and blood. It is not, therefore, we are candid to admit, a discrimination in favor of any particular person on account of his past political associations, but a patriotic purpose to bury beneath the waves of oblivion party nomenclature, and elevate superior to the behests of placemen the momentous issues involving the honor, the rights and the peace of the country, which press upon the consideration of the people.

Mr. Harris, having enunciated his purpose, in effect, of unconditional submission to the aggressive and insulting policy of Northern abolitionism, as represented by Mr. Lincoln, and the Staunton Spectator, as the organ of the extreme submissionists, having indicated a purpose to support him, there is but one course for the friends of State Rights and the honor and equality of the South to adopt, and that is to unite upon some one man who represents their views to carry the flag and keep step to the music of the Constitution of our fathers.

With partiality for no man in this contest, but an earnest and determined purpose to support any one, be he Whig or Democrat, who is true to Virginia and the South, we call upon the friends of State Rights and the enemies of Federal and Black Republican oppression and tyranny, to rally as one man upon a proper person, and raising the banner of our faith to the breeze, march to victory.

The question involved is narrowed down to that of North or South. It is paramount to all others, and is the only living issue upon which the people are called to decide. We entertain not the shadow of a doubt as to what will be the judgment of the voters of this District, if left free to give expression at the ballot box to their honest opinions.

Who the person to be supported against Mr. Harris shall be is a matter of small moment to us, so he represents the principle of State Rights. In to-day's issue will be found calls upon two gentlemen [Samuel Goode and M.G. Harman]--one a Whig and the other a Democrat--either one of whom we would cordially support. There are many others in the District eminently entitled to the confidence of the people, whom it would afford us pleasure to co-operate with, in vindication and defense of the true interests of Virginia. We defer to other sections to suggest a proper person, promising however that if the partiality of no other county will bring out a candidate, old Augusta will furnish one upon whom all good and true men can rally with enthusiastic ardor and a reasonable assurance of success.

We are [illegible] then, to the people of the precinct, in whose hearts still linger a sentiment of devotion to the honor of Virginia, to indicate their purpose at once, so that we may present an unbroken front to the detestable positions of Mr. Harris and the Staunton Spectator--hostile as they are to Virginia and the South. That paper has taken Mr. Harris under its protection, and represents his views, and it is against such sentiments as it weekly sends forth to the public, and the policy it advocates, that the people must unite. Its positions are only important, as they represent Mr. Harris. Thus far and no farther, for the thick-headed editor never had an idea of his own in his life.

Let the People Speak
(Column 2)
Summary: Argues that the State Convention has overstepped its powers in its recommendation to send delegates to the Border Convention. If Virginia is to send delegates to the Border Convention, the Vindicator believes that Virginia voters, not the State Convention, should be allowed to chose who is sent.
Richmond Whig
(Column 2)
Summary: R. Ridgeway, the long-time editor of the Richmond Whig, has resigned from the paper because he disagrees with the paper's proprietors "as to the true policy for Virginia to adopt."
The Convention
(Column 3)
Summary: The State Convention continues to drag along slowly and accomplish nothing. The Vindicator criticizes the members of the Convention for being too concerned with building a party apparatus.
How Long?
(Column 3)
Summary: Criticizes the Virginia Convention for waiting and not taking any action, even though the North has used the delay to give more support to the Black Republicans.
Choose Ye!
(Column 3)
Summary: The people of Virginia need to decide whether they will unite with the Northern or Southern Confederacy.
The Ground Swell
(Column 3)
Summary: Claims that people throughout the State are holding meetings demanding that the State Convention pass an ordinance of secession.
Staunton Saving's Bank
(Column 3)
Summary: Mr. Christian has helped to pass a law to incorporate the Staunton Savings Bank.
Full Text of Article:

Staunton Saving's Bank.

Through the influence and energetic efforts of B. Christian, Esq., one of our representatives in the Legislature, a law has been passed incorporating the Staunton Saving's Bank, to be located at Staunton.

Corporation Election
(Column 4)
Summary: List of the newly elected members of the Staunton city government.
Full Text of Article:

Corporation Election.

The Election of officers for the Corporation of Staunton came off on the 3d inst., with the following results:

Mayor--N.K. Trout.

Sergeant--R.W. Stevenson.

Attorney--W.S.H. Baylor.

Commissioner--Jno. F. Smith.

Council--M.G. Harman, H.M. Bell, E.M. Taylor, Jno. D. Imobden, Jas. H. Skinner, Geo. E. Price, W.G. Sterrett, B.F. Points, W.H. Wilson, T.L. Harman and S.M. Yost.

The last three gentlemen are new members of the Council, superseding Geo. Baylor, S.F. Taylor and Benj. Crawford.

The Council met on Monday night, and elected as

Clerk--Jas. F. Patterson;

Recorder--M.G. Harman; 1st Alderman, Jno. D. Imboden; 2d, Geo. E. Price; 3d, S.M. Yost; 4th, W.H. Wilson; 5th, T.L. Harman; 6th, James H. Skinner.

Chief of Police--R.W. Stevenson.

Chamberlain--W.H. Harman.

A.H. Taylor, J.B. Evans and Dr. W.B. Young were elected a committee of safety.

H.M. Bell, Jno. D. Imboden and Geo. E. Price were appointed by the Mayor a Finance Committee, whose duty it is to report a tax bill, &c.

John Kurtz qualified as assistant police officer.

Patriotic Letter
(Column 4)
Summary: States that the "Patriotic Letter" printed in this issue was written by a sister of William Smith of Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

Patriotic Letter.

The letter which we published on our first page under the above caption, was written by a sister of the Hon. Wm. Smith, of Virginia. She is now living in the "Confederate States," and the breathings of her letter are those which come from all of her sex in the extreme South, and, we are glad to know, find a hearty response in the hearts of the fair daughters of Virginia.

The Union and Our Liberties
(Column 5)
Summary: Argues that preserving the Union will no longer preserve liberty, especially if the "ignorant and vicious masses" of the North come to predominate that region.
Full Text of Article:

The Union and Our Liberties.

The idea is entertained by many that the Union is necessary to the preservation of our liberties. In the conflict of the Revolution, when the Colonies were weak, Union, in a common cause, was essential to success. The necessity then, however, by no means makes it an axiom now. Our liberties are dependent upon ourselves. If we have the virtue and the spirit, we will not want the ability to maintain them.

In some remarks lately made by Mr. Moore, in the Convention, he intimated the opinion that the experiment of free institutions in the North was nearly run out. If so, (and there is reason to fear it;) separation is our safety. It is impossible that free institutions can survive when the ignorant and vicious masses obtain the preponderance--a point to which they are rapidly approaching. Seward boasted, in the last canvass, of the recruits they were gaining by foreign importation!--Seward, the bastard conservative, with whom some in our midst are willing to affiliate in a new party.

We do not doubt that, under the influences of our social system, if we are true to ourselves, Liberty will here find a home long, long after it has perished at the North. Well might Webster exclaim, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable." He spoke as a Northern man. Strike out the South, and the great conservative element, the balance wheel of the Union will be gone--and with it, ere long, the liberties of the North.

[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: Argues that the "ladies are always quicker in their apprehension than the men, and hence all of them nearly are in favor of Virginia uniting with the South." The Vindicator takes this as a premonition of the future course of Virginia.
H.L. Gallaher, Esq., Shot
(Column 7)
Summary: Mr. Gallaher was shot by Joseph Segar of Elizabeth City in the rotunda of the Exchange Hotel.
Destructive Fire
(Column 7)
Summary: The village of Mt. Solon in Augusta county was almost destroyed by a recent fire.
Origin of Article: Spectator
Full Text of Article:

Destructive Fire.

On Friday evening last, the village of Mt. Solon, in this county, was nearly destroyed by fire. We learn that thirteen buildings, including dwellings and stables, were burned. The fire commenced about 12 o'clock M. and burned all evening. The wind was blowing so violently that it was impossible to arrest the progress of the fire. It originated in a box into which ashes had been thrown.--Spectator.

[No Title]
(Column 7)
Summary: Petition calling upon M.G. Harman to make himself a candidate for U.S. Congress.
(Names in announcement: T.P. Peyton, H.L. Opie, Wm. D. Gilkesonjr., Wm. A. Burnett, Wm. H. Watts, R. Hawkins, W.A. Burke, T.B. Fuqua, B.T. Bagby, T.V.L. Davis, Sam'l Goode(of Bath county), Thos. E. Coleman, C.N. Kinney, G.H. Konklin, Jas. W. Crawford, A. Lynn(of Bath co.), J.D. Imboden, A.E. Bledsoe, Alex B. Cochran, U.V. Abney, James H. Skinner, Jas. Hannan, Jno. W. Bucker, Wm. Wholley, Jas. E. Carson, B.T. Bagby, A.K. Snapp, John Peer, J.F. Tannehill, John M. Hardy, Jas. N. White, J.C. Covell, Jno. Brown, F.T. Sheets, J. Baylor, W.H. Tams, H.E. Bryan, W.H. Garber, Benj. F. Fifer, John Wallace(of Rockbridge), J.H. Brady, Geo. Poage, J.B. Gilkeson, H.B. Michie, Samuel A. Hoshour, Wm. J. Hunter, T.A. Berkeley, G.H. Hunter, Thomas Killen, W.H. Peyton, Wm. R. Morriss, Wm. S.H. Baylor, Geo. E. Price, P. O'Donnell, Chas. H. Saupe, S.B. Brown, P.B. Hoge, Chas. S. Arnall, John B. Watts, W.A. Abney, John Beck, R.H. Fisher, J.S. Byers, C.R. Johnson, J.W. Hemp, Wm. Wilson, W.H. Wilson, J.B. Scherer, John P. Butterly, H.L. Opiejr., K.L. Points, Michael Carmody, S.H. Hilb, E.T. Albertson, John M. Croft, R.J. Hope, B. Crawford, Jno. L. Crawford(of Bath co.), B.F. Points, John R. Kurtz, Jas. A. Clinedinst, W.J. Points, John O'Hare)

-Page 03-

The Right Sentiment
(Column 1)
Summary: The Vindicator directs the attention of the Spectator to a recent article from the Richmond Whig. In it, the Whig argues that Lincoln cannot continue his "do-nothing policy" and think that the border states will remain in the Union. Virginia and the other border states are only delaying their secession to see if it is possible to "obtain from the North guarantees that will justify their remaining longer in association with that section."
Full Text of Article:

The Right Sentiment.

We commend to the careful and prayerful perusal of our amiable neighbor of the Spectator, the following very pertinent remarks from the Richmond Whig of the 2d instant:

But the conclusion to which we would, if possible, direct the attention of the President and his friends is that if it were possible for him to adhere to his do-nothing policy, without coming into collision with the seceded States--so far from accomplishing the restoration of the seceded States, the certain consequence will be the loss of all the remaining slave States. Virginia and her border sisters will not be content with being unmolested themselves, nor with having the Confederate States unmolested. If they have demanded peace and the status quo from the Federal government, it has been only for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is possible to obtain from the North guarantees that will justify their remaining longer in association with that section. And these guarantees must be of a nature that will necessarily disband the Republican party, and prevent hereafter any organization based upon such principles.--Republicanism, which is but another name for Sectionalism, must go down. There is no Southern State that will remain in any Union under the domination of a sectional party foreign at once to its politics and hostile to its institutions. It will not answer the emergency then for the Lincoln Administration merely to do nothing hostile or obnoxious to the South. The Southern people do not desire and will not be content with non action. On the other hand they demand that there shall be action--such action as will place their interests under their own protection--such as will take it out of the power of the North to do them injury.

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The Methodist Conference in Philadelphia repealed the new chapter on slavery and left to future Conferences the decision on the subject of slavery.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The Vindicator defies Augusta readers to "point to a single line in the Spectator defending South as against the North. On the contrary its theme is constant abuse of the South, and praise of the North."
The Late Rev. Thomas T. Castleman
(Column 3)
Summary: Lengthy obituary for Rev. Castleman.
(Column 5)
Summary: Miss Field, a student at the Virginia Female Institute, died on March 30.
(Names in announcement: Miss Field)
(Column 5)
Summary: Virginia Ball of Montgomery, Alabama, a student at the Virginia Female Institute, died on March 29.
(Names in announcement: Virginia Scott Ball)

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