Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: April 12, 1861

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

Submission is Ruin
(Column 4)
Summary: Seeks to prove that slavery is an economically productive system for the South. The Dispatch argues that cheap immigrant labor serves the same purpose for the North that slave labor does for the South.
Origin of Article: Richmond Dispatch
Full Text of Article:

Submission is Ruin.

Nothing could be more preposterous, nothing more stupid, than the dogma that slavery is a curse to the country. On the contrary, the heaviest calamity that could befall any slave State on this continent, the greatest curse that an angry Providence could inflict upon the South, would be the destruction of its slave institution. The North ascribe its own rapid increase in population and wealth chiefly to the immigration of foreigners; and does so with reason. The foreigner comes over, in the general, destitute, obliged to work, and willing to labor with his own hands. The Yankee lives upon his wits; but the foreign laborer is a real producer--he works with his own hands, he digs the earth, and he produces food for his own consumption as well as for that of his Yankee taskmaster. Well may the North ascribe its prosperity in a great degree to the immigrant; for that individual becomes a producer from the outset, and not until he accumulates a little capital by his manual industry, does he imitate the Yankee, resort to his wits for a livelihood, and resolve himself into a consumer.

It is from immigration that the North derives its chief want, its most exigent desideratum--labor, manual labor; dirt digging, soil tilling labor; the labor decreed against man by the curse of Eden; the labor that brings to his brow the dust and the sweat. Various are the devices which the Yankee contrives to avoid, himself, this sweat of the brow--machines without number, factories where women and girls are made to work in droves; ligneous nutmegs and hams; protective tariffs, and like inventions. But the influx of penniless immigrants from Europe, was the Yankee's godsend--poor, necessitous, stout, sinewy immigrants, used to privation and toil, willing to labor with their hands, anxious to barter their service for mere bread. But the evil of immigrant labor is, that it is not permanent. Industry in our flourishing country soon brings its reward of accumulated means and easy competency. The humble, industrious immigrant soon grows too well-to-do to be willing or obliged to sweat and toil longer. His service at the shovel and the hoe is but an apprenticeship of a few years, at the end of which he becomes, in his turn, an imployer [sic] and consumer, rather than a laboring producer.

It is this windfall of labor by the millions, pouring into the North during the last twenty years, that has been the leading agent in the rapid development and great prosperity of that section. It remained at the North because it was wanted there. It did not come South, because we had it already.--The defect of this species of labor is its want of permanency--is the fact that it is not (as to the individual) a life time service, but a mere apprenticeship of a few years--Virginia contains half a million of life time laborers, descendants of Ham, doubly decreed to service by the divine edicts pronounced against Adam and Canaan--to service for life, service in perpetuity--Suppose that, by some fell decree, every laboring immigrant in the North were suddenly swept from that stiff necked land, who will estimate the thousand millions of loss that would be instantly inflicted upon all its busy interests? Labor, labor, is the jewel of great price in a nation's casket.--Labor is the bread and breath of a State.

It is proposed to bind Virginia to a political association that will impede her labor like a pestilence. It is proposed to chain her to a destiny that at once exiles from her borders the grandest body of productive labor to be found in any State upon the globe. It is proposed, by allying the mother of States to the emigrants of New England, not merely to make her an alien and an enemy to her daughters of the South, but to bereave her of her institution of African labor, a handmaid that was born and fostered with her, that has attended her from youth to age, and to whose faithful and efficient service she owes all her comeliness and comfort.

To show the productive value of this slave system to Virginia, we have only to contrast the property values of those counties within her borders which have few slaves, with those which have many slaves. There could not be a better exponent of the wealth of each than the taxes levied upon them by the Commonwealth; for except the inconsiderable stipend which is levied per capita, these taxes are all levied directly in proportion to the values existing in the counties, which values are the product exclusively of the labor operating in those counties. For the purpose of exhibiting this contrast we have coupled together in eight or ten pairs, a county from the nonslaveholding portion of the State and a county from the slaveholding, bringing together such as contain nearly equal numbers of white inhabitants. It will be found that in every one of the cases adduced below, (and we will extend the remark without fear of contradiction that in every case which can be adduced at all,) the amount of the taxes paid by the slaveholding county is more than double, often treble, that paid by the county having few or no slaves. In each couple given, the first is a Western, the second an Eastern county:

Counties Whites Taxation Harrison 18,182 $15,192 Halifax 11,066 51,617 Difference paid by slave labor in Halifax $36,425 Randolph 4,783 $8,592 Rappahannock 5,018 18,632 Difference paid by slave labor $10,040 Highland 3,890 $8,499 King & Queen 3,801 17,997 Difference, &c., &c. $9,498 Giles 6,051 $9,485 Buckingham 6,041 25,369 Difference, &c., &c. $15,884 Ritchie 6,809 $8,837 Mecklenburg 6,777 36,777 Difference, &c., &c. $27,914 Raleigh 3,291 $3,987 Sussex 3,118 14,075 Difference, &c., &c. $10,088 Tyler 6,489 $7,213 Nelson 6,656 21,197 Difference, &c., &c. $14,984 [sic] Wise 4,416 $8,582 Prince Edward 4,038 25,695 Difference, &c., &c. $14,608 Pleasants 2,926 $4,018 Nottoway 2,270 18,621 Difference, &c., &c. $14,603 Webster 1,552 $537 Middlesex 1,866 8,700 Difference, &c., &c. $8,163 Tucker 1,396 $2,267 Warwick, (half as any,) 662 3,577

Could there be a more striking illustration of the productive power of slave labor than the foregoing figures afford? Could there be more conclusive proof of their value to the State, and to every interest in the State? The taxes it pays are but the index of the property it has earned for the taxation to be levied upon. The taxes it pays are but a general fund annually contributed to the Treasury of the Commonwealth, in which every citizen, be he resident upon the Ohio or the Holston, has as direct an interest as the Eastern planter. And yet the submissionists of Virginia propose to fix her in a condition to be abruptly robbed of this labor. Worse than Abolitionists, they are willing to be parricides.--Richmond Dispatch

Letter from S.A. Coffman
(Column 5)
Summary: Coffman, in reply to an editorial that ran in the Virginia Citizen, states that, although he is a Union man, he is unwilling to "see Virginia submit to degradation."
Origin of Article: The Virginia Citizen
The Episcopal Church
(Column 5)
Summary: The Episcopal Church will not suffer any schismatical division as a result of the secession of Southern states from the Union because each State is its own sovereign and independent diocese in the Church.
Full Text of Article:

The Episcopal Church.

The New York Church Journal states that there will be no schismatical division of the Episcopal Church in consequence of the separation of the Confederacy. In the organization of that Church each State composes a Diocese, and each Diocese, like each State, is sovereign and independent. Their natural organization resembles the Federal organization, and consequently, according to the Journal, not only will the effects of State secession upon the diocesan relations of the Church in the seceded States be at once recognized, but where, as in the case of the Bishopric of Alabama, the concurrence of the National Episcopate may be necessary to fill a vacancy, the promptest measures will be taken by the Northern Bishops to give the requisite sanction to the election in Alabama, and to every other act necessary for the entire independence of all the dioceses in the seceded States. This is in perfect harmony with the noble attitude of the Episcopal Church in the North from the beginning, which has always and everywhere set its face as a flint against abolitionism, and every other ism, and which is composed of a body of clergy and laity which would have done honor to any age and any nation of the Christian Church.

-Page 02-

Wanted--A Policy
(Column 2)
Summary: The Vindicator discusses the New York Times and its critique of the Lincoln administration's seeming lack of policy.
Full Text of Article:

Wanted--A Policy.

Under the above caption, the N.Y. Times (Black Republican) devotes two columns to the discussion of the "policy" of the Lincoln Administration at Washington in keeping the country so long in suspense as to what course that government is going to pursue in the crisis in which our national affairs now stand. The Times first expresses great regret at the idea that there should be any embarrassment in the mind of the President at the course he should pursue in the Fort Sumter [sic] matter. Such things, it admits, "require grave and serious attention," but such attention should long ago have been given to so important a subject, and the country at large, set at ease upon the subject, one way or the other. The time that has been spent in apportioning the patronage of the administration to the greedy sharks of the "Carpet-bag Volunteers," would have been more profitably spent in devising some plan to avoid the horrors of civil war, which the Administration is determined to inflict upon our country. In a military point of view, we look upon the surrender of Fort Sumter as a necessity, according to a fixed rule of military affairs, which is, we believe, to give up a post that is either no longer tenable, or that cannot be reinforced, except by so great a sacrifice of life as to render its succor almost as disastrous as a defeat. Even if the attempt to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumpter were successful, (and it can only be so to a limited extent) does any one believe for a moment that the Carolinians would cease in their efforts for its reduction, even if the siege were prolonged to the extent of the famed siege of Troy, or the Thirty Years War? We do not--for well we know the gallantry of the brave sons of the Palmetto, and we feel satisfied that the last son of South Carolina will perish in the breach before they will give up the attempt to place the flag of the Confederate States upon its walls. Mr. Lincoln has, we fear, determined upon making the attempt "to hold all the Forts and Arsenals, and collect the revenue," proclaimed in that enigmatical production which he gave to the country on the 4th of March; and ere this reaches our readers, the telegraph may bring us the news of a bloody battle, upon the scene of that gallant defense of Fort Moultrie in '76, Charleston harbor.

The Times goes on to acknowledge that the "country" (Abolition-dom) has been very much deceived in the expectations conceived of the administration of Mr. Lincoln. It complains that affairs at Washington are managed with too great a display of "masterly inactivity"--that the country knows nothing of the future, and that commercial affairs are thereby greatly damaged,-- that there is no policy evinced, but only a "a listless waiting for something to turn up." After complaining that such a course at present is particularly unwise, it pays the following high complement to our young sister Republic:

The new Confederacy is moving forward, towards the consummation of its plans, with a degree of vigor, intelligence, and success, of which, we are sorry to say, we see no indications on the part of the Government at Washington. In spite of the immense difficulties with which they have to contend, --the poverty of the country, its utter lack of commerce, of an army and navy, and of credit,--the hostility of its fundamental principles to the sentiment of the Christian world,--the utter hollowness of its reasons for revolution, and the universal distrust which it encounters everywhere,--in spite of all these obstacles and discouragements, we cannot conceal the fact that the new Government of which Jefferson Davis is at the head, has evinced a marvelous degree of energy, and is rapidly assuming the proportions of a solid and formidable Power. Within less than six months they have adopted a Constitution, organized a Government, put all its machinery into working order, established a commercial system and put it in operation, laid the basis of a financial department, organized an army, secured enormous stores and munitions of war, and put themselves in a position to offer a very formidable resistance to any attempted coercion on the part of the United States.

The italicised portions of the above are our own. The poverty of the country--rather amusing that--the poverty of that portion of the country that by its single product of Cotton keeps starvation away from the doors of thousands upon thousands, both in our own and other countries--the failure of which crop would almost bankrupt England, both Old and New. "Lack of credit!" We have reason to know and believe that any amount of money required for the treasury of the Confederate States can and will be, raised by its own people--without their bonds being hawked about the markets of Yankeedom and Europe--as those of the United States have been, and still are. They are, it is true, without commerce now; but how long will it be before the necessities of Europe and the North will furnish her with that item of a nation's prosperity. Of the army and navy--if Mr. Lincoln carries out his "coercion policy," our friend of the Times will be very well satisfied before long that they are making tolerable progress in that line; and he, if he desires ocular proof, may find himself in a position that will require "faster time" than he made on the "Solferino" track to get out of the way of a Southern bullet.

The fact is that Lincoln's "peace policy" has been, in our belief, a sham--a miserable lie--from the first, and everything that has emanated from him or his Cabinet a tissue of falsehood and deceit, from the famous inaugural down to the letter of the Hon. Simon Cameron to Maj. McCue, in reference to the removal of the guns from Bellona Arsenal--and for the one sole purpose of defeating any attempt of Virginia to assume her sovereignty. How successful that is to be, a few days must show us--for we do not suppose that the "Grand Council" can prolong its sessions beyond the end of next week. What effect the "warlike movements" of the past week may have upon their deliberations, we know not; but from their past we do not augur much good in the future. The Commissioners appointed a few days since to visit Washington and enquire of Mr. Lincoln his "policy" will, we have no doubt, be very blandly received by that Arch Priest of Abolitionism, Seward, and be as completely hoodwinked by him as the various members of the Convention, who have visited Washington, have heretofore been. They will no doubt call upon "King Abram," who will amuse them prodigiously with "flat boat yarns," and again assure them that "nothing hurts anybody"--"nobody is going wrong"--gracefully bow them out, adding, by way of a parting assurance, the fact that if the "policy" is enquired of when they return to Richmond, they can "tell 'em you don't know!"

We pray we may be mistaken, but we do not see a hope--a ray of light--a straw to grasp at-- nothing but war will satisfy the intense hatred that is borne at the North to the institutions of the South--nothing can satisfy their hatred but the shedding of "their brother's blood." It is too late now to talk of "Compromise," "Conference," or "Commission." The golden hour, when all this train of horrors could have been avoided has been lost, by the miserable submission policy that rules in the Convention at Richmond. If Virginia, or rather that Convention, had have fearlessly told the Administration--"you shall not make war upon our sister States--you shall not shed a drop of Southern blood--that moment the match is applied to the first gun to be fired upon the South, that moment Virginia goes out and unites herself with them, to conquer or die"--there never would have sailed the first man from New York against the South. Separated those States would have been, 'tis true, (for nothing will ever bring them back,) but the country would be saved what is now inevitable--internal war. And at whose hands but those of the Submisssionists of the Virginia Convention, can every drop of blood that is shed in this contest be demanded?

The Alternative--North or South
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that, if Virginia stays in the Union, slavery would ultimately be destroyed, with disastrous consequences for the "industrious white man" of Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

The Alternative--North or South.

A dissolution of the Union on the slave line, it is contended, would destroy the institution in Virginia. We do not think so. But admit it did. In that case, the slaves would be gradually removed South, and the change would not so seriously affect the private fortunes of individuals, or the general prosperity of the State.

Suppose, however, Virginia should become a Border State of the Northern Confederacy. How then? Could we hope abolitionism would be more considerate of our interests? Assuredly not. Fanaticism never relents. Then what would be our condition? With six hundred thousand Negroes amongst us, denied all outlet, and rendered worthless and uncontrollable, a nuisance and a pest, not only their whole value as property would be annihilated, but Virginia herself, ere long, would cease to be a house for the decent, industrious white man. Her lands and houses would rapidly depreciate, a degraded race of negroes and mixed bloods would huddle into the deserted homes of her people, and a desolation and ruin spread out around them, like that which, under British emancipation, has blasted the most fruitless isles of the Indies.

What son of Virginia can hesitate as to his duty, when such a choice is presented to him? Nay, is it not an insult to our manhood to speak of it as a choice? War is an evil, but not the worst. Life itself has limits to its value. And he must be a dastard indeed who will not defend his friends and his home.

High Water
(Column 3)
Summary: Details some of the damage done in the County during the recent flooding.
Full Text of Article:

High Water.

Owing to the recent heavy rains, the various streams in this county have been very much swollen, and some of our farmers have sustained considerable damage in consequence. A correspondent, living near West View, writes as follows:

Mr. Editor:--I hasten to drop you a line to give you the true details of our destructive flood of this week. Middle River was higher than it was ever known to be by the "oldest inhabitant--it was 3 1/2 feet above high water mark. Our damages cannot be ascertained at this time. I have lost considerable fence, and it did me much damage in and about my foundry. Most of the farmers have lost all their low-ground fence--some say they have lost 10,000 rails.--Mr. O.C. Morris has suffered much. His dam, in part, is gone, and much fence.--Mr. Geo. Cook lost a fine Spring House, which went about a mile before it fell to pieces. I hope you have full information of the damage lower down the river, which I fear is considerable.

Yours, &c.


The Concert on Thursday Night
(Column 3)
Summary: The Staunton Musical Association gave a very successful concert on Thursday night.
Full Text of Article:

The Concert on Thursday Night.

The Concert of the Staunton Musical Association, on Thursday night last, was, as usual, attended by a large and fashionable audience of ladies and gentlemen. All the performers acquitted themselves admirably, and the Concert was in every respect a decided success. We have always regarded these Concerts as among the most entertaining ever given in Staunton, and are glad to see that they are so well appreciated by our citizens. An additional attraction in this Concert was Prof. J.E. D'Alfonce, of Charlottesville, who had kindly volunteered his services for the occasion. He is a singer of remarkable power, and sang several pieces, including the celebrated "Marseilles Hymn," with great effect, and was rapturously applauded and encored.

[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: A telegram was received in the Vindicator's office stating that U.S. vessels were waiting for flood-tide to attempt to reinforce Fort Sumpter. "Collision certain and imminent!"
The Convention--Peace or War?
(Column 4)
Summary: The Vindicator calls for the State Convention to decide on a policy before it adjourns.

-Page 03-

The Wealth and Power Offered by Secession
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that the slaveholding South holds tremendous wealth, especially in terms of its exports.
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on April 9.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Joseph R. Wheeler, William F. Powers, Ellen C. Bennett)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on March 28.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C.B. Hammack, John Yago, Jane Y. Joseph)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on March 30.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C.B. Hammack, J. Houseman, Mary Teaford)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on April 5.
(Names in announcement: Rev. D.W. Arnold, B.F. Whitmore, Sarah J. Hamrich)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Advertisements