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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: November 10, 1865

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-Page 01-

Four Idle Daughters
(Column 07)
Summary: The article mocks young women who pretend to be "ladies" by refusing to do household work and dressing in fine clothing. The paper advises young men to marry only those women who are "ministering angels, lightening the cares of the over-taxed mothers, not ashamed to be seen with unrolled sleeves and solid fingers" and are "always busy at some sweet, agreeable task."
Full Text of Article:

Yes every one of them, idle, slothful, and, consequently: sensual and unrefined. Dress in exquisite taste do they? No doubt, and show white fingers as they crotchet or play the piano. And what if they do shine in the opera box, or the concert-room and theatre, as the pretty B's?--everybody who knows them at all, knows them as four idle daughters. The gentlemen who, captives of a passing fancy, call upon them at times, know that from morning till night they pass inactive, silly lives; that their mother lives in the kitchen till her face is careworn, and her feet ready to drop with fatigue. Oh! it must be a bad thing to have four idle daughters, not one of whom is willing to lessen the burden of expense by even a trivial employment; not one of them willing to wash a muslin, or prepare a meal. Useless cumberers of the ground are they, and nobody would miss them were their foolish, unreasonable lives to be cut off to-morrow. They pretended to be educated, can tell probably that London is the metropolis of England, and France is a sunny clime; but the best of education, good, practical common sense, genuine self-respect, that would make them blush for their ignoble dependence, these four idle daughters lack. It is not genteel to wash for themselves--it is not lady like to sweep a room, except for those coarse, commonplace persons who have been brought up at work. And what, pray, are they? The children of commonplace people who labor as God means every son and daughter of Adam should labor, or pay the penalty of idleness. Now they are four great animals, feeding, lounging and sleeping. They will never be either respected or beloved by anybody whose love or respect is worth a farthing. As long as their foolish mother lives she will slave for them, humor them, and please herself with the imaginary belief that they are ladies; for "they never did a stitch of work." When she dies, how maliciously the lookers on will say: "Now these four girls have got to work; I'm glad of it." They will never find the sympathy or respect they might have looked for, if they possessed common sense enough to employ themselves. Idleness is the nurse of sin, and it is not possible for men or women to be pure and virtuous, if they lead lives of laziness and inactivity. These four idle daughters are consequently, to be looked upon with some suspicion. It is a hard saying, but the truth, that strict purity is incompatible with laziness. Many a fair-browed girl, with sparkling eyes and engaging smile, is sadly wanting in mental innocence. Watch the deportment of the daughters you know. If at home they are ministering angels, lightening the cares of the over-taxed mothers, not ashamed to be seen with unrolled sleeves and solid fingers; if they are always busy at some sweet, agreeable task, even in what they deem their idleness, the outward beauty of the shadow of the soul, pure, quiet, gentle, womanly. Marry one of them.

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper calls for a "farmer's convention" to meet to discuss the South's labor problems. The editors argue that though some white labor can be procured through immigration, Virginians must face the truth that the freedmen will remain in the South for good or ill. Consequently, they must be made to labor to "prevent vagrancy" and "the acquisition of idle habits." The editors argue that African American labor was profitable under slavery, and can be made so again with the proper laws.
Full Text of Article:

One of the practical questions with which the people of the South have to deal is that of labor. Our old labor system, which has existed for years, to the advantage of the entire country, by the aid of which we have grown into a first class commercial nation, has been lately swept away. With it destroyed we must endeavor to maintain the position acquired through a long and prosperous existence. To do this, shall we essay the reorganization of the labor system of the South, adapted to the change of circumstances, from our old material, or introduce new and white labor? The withdrawal or removal of the freedmen en masse would relieve us of the necessity of solving this question, but with them still among us and to remain among us, for their removal, if ever accomplished, must be gradual and will take years to consummate it, we must needs solve the problem at once.

They, as we have stated above, will remain among us for years, perhaps forever, and since they must of necessity be consumers they likewise must be induced or compelled to produce. They have heretofore been excellent producers and with the enactment of proper laws may still be as useful as ever. We are not of those who would cast them aside, whether they are willing to labor or not, yet we confess their action on the announcement of their freedom was anything but promising of future utility as a laboring class. They sought the towns, as many do yet, and refused to contract to labor in the country, but in a short time they will learn that they can not sustain themselves by the precarious vending of Cakes, Candies, Lemonade &c, and must betake themselves to useful employment.

A cotemporary, who shows a desire to see the freedmen still made useful as laborers, and at the same time advantaged, recommends a "farmers convention" to meet at some accessible and central point in the State, to take into consideration this matter and determine the best means, with reference to the interests of all parties, of securing the end desired, and to influence the Legislature, by the result of its deliberations, to pass such laws, alike equitable to white and black, as shall compel a rigid adherence to contracts, prevent vagrancy on the part of the older, and the acquisition of idle habits on the part of the younger freedmen &c., &c.

We submit this to the consideration of our people, as a matter worthy of their interest, and which will be productive of good to whites and blacks.

In our desire to see the consumers among us made producers, we do not oppose the introduction of white labor, simply desiring to call attention to the fact that we must make producers of those who are to remain with us as consumers, knowing well that there is abundant work for white immigration. Indeed the vast fields of productive industry in the South, still in their undeveloped infancy, offer to them inducements far greater than the densely populated and more developed North and West. We believe that there will be labor enough to occupy the freedmen, and immigrants who may come among us for years, but that in our desire to introduce white labor we must remember that we have a large laboring class among us, which must not remain idle consumers, to their own and the great disadvantage of the South and the whole country.

-Page 03-

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports the results of the criminal cases heard by the Circuit Court of Augusta. James W. Huffman, charged with three counts of horse stealing, was sentenced to the penitentiary for three years. William Grove was acquitted of horse stealing. Ralph Marshal was also acquitted of horse stealing. John Kuhn, accused of obtaining goods under false pretences was sentenced to the penitentiary for two years.
(Names in announcement: James W. Huffman, William Grove, Ralph Marshal, John Kuhn)
Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that the town council is MaCadamizing Augusta Street between the corner of New Court House and Augusta and the bridge across Lewis Creek. "This was much needed, as there is a good deal of hauling over this street and at that point it was getting very bad. We trust that the Council will not weary in well doing until our streets are all put in good order."
Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that Ben Booker, "an old freedman of 73 years who formerly belonged to the old stage proprietor Bocket," was found in "an insensible condition" at the home of Joseph N. Woodward, where he had been staying. Booker died at six o'clock in the evening last Tuesday, "having had a stroke of paralysis." "He had been in his usual health up to that time."
(Names in announcement: Ben Booker, Bocket, Joseph N. Woodward)
Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that Capt. Collins has been relieved from duty as Provost Marshal in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Collins)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mr. James P. Hawkins of Staunton and Miss [unclear] W. Lumpkin of Danville were married on November 7th at the residence of the bride's mother by the Rev. C. C. Chaplin.
(Names in announcement: James P. Hawkins, Lumpkin, C. C. Chaplin)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: This page contains advertisements.