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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: May 25, 1866

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-Page 01-

The Mitten
(Column 06)
Summary: Discourages young women from marrying rich young men without a "calling by which he can make a living if he were thrown on his own resources."
Full Text of Article:

About seventeen years ago, there was a fair girl, so pure, so lovely, so refined, that she rises to my mind, as almost akin to angels. She was wooed and ultimately won by handsome young man of considerable wealth. He sported a fine team, delighted in hunting, and kept a pack of hounds.-He neither played cards, drank wine, nor used tobacco. He had no occupation, no calling, no trade. He lived on his money, the interest of which would have supported a man handsomely. I never saw the fair bride till a few days ago. Seventeen years had passed away, and then her beauty and her youth, her husband's fortune, and his life, during the latter part of which they lived in a log cabin on the banks of the Ohio, near Blennerbassett's Island-a whole family in one single room, subsisting on water, fat bacon and corn bread. The husband had no business capacity. He was a gentleman of education, of refinement, of noble impulse; but when his money was gone he could get no employment, simply because he did not know how to do anything. For awhile he floundered about-first trying one thing, then another; failure was written on them all.

He, however, finally obtained a situation; the labor was great, the compensation was small-it was that or starvation. In his heroic efforts to discharge his duties acceptably, he over-worked himself and died, leaving his widow and six little children in utter destitution. In seventeen years, the sweet and joyous and beautiful girl had become a broken-hearted, care-worn, poverty-stricken widow, with a house full of children.

Young woman! if a rich young man asks you to marry him, and has no occupation, or trade, or calling by which he can make a living if he were thrown upon his own resources, you may give him your respects, but give him the mitten.-Dr. Hall.

Trailer: Dr. Hall

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Attacks the "so-called Convention of the Union Republican Party of Virginia," which met in Alexandria last week, arguing that their "resolutions and doings bear the unmistakable mark of self-aggrandizement." The author expresses particular displeasure with the resolution that would disfranchise former Confederates.
Full Text of Article:

Since our last issue the so-called Convention of the Union Republican Party of Virginia met in Alexandria and adjourned. It was composed, according to the Washington Chronicle of eighty members, pretending to represent only ten counties out of one hundred. Of the number, twenty-six were from the city of Alexandria and forty-one from the adjoining county of Fairfax, leaving only thirteen representatives of the remaining eight counties. We have heard of no meetings to select delegates to this so-called Convention and presume that, like Botts and the delegates from Lynchburg and Rockingham, the vast majority of the members were self-constituted delegates and represented no body but themselves. In truth it seems to have been gotten up entirely on the selfish principle, and its resolutions and doings bear the unmistakable mark of self-aggrandizement. For the purpose of getting possession of the State Government and offices, they would enfranchise the negro and disfranchise the whites who disagreed with them during the war. The resolution to this effect is singularly inconsistent with another passed, which declares "that if any considerable portion of the community is denied a vote in elections, that portion of the people will be denied such perfect protection as ought to exist in the rights of person and property." The one would disfranchise a large portion of community while the other sanctions their right to vote. These may have been intended to secure the endorsation of the President and Congress (as set forth in another resolution,) by eliding the radical resolution in one case and the conservative (if w emay so term it) in the other. Without such an arrangement it would be difficult to "ride both sides of the sapling," as the Convention desired, by securing the endorsation of the President and Congress. Viewed in any other light than as a strategic movement against both Congress and the President, these resolutions, as do the others, show a want of brain and purpose not to be equaled by an assemblage of men in any community, "without regard to color,: and exhibit the so-called Convention of the Union Republican Party of Virginia as the greatest farce of the day.

This is the last, in all probability, that will ever be heard of the Union Republican Party of Virginia, and we suggest as a suitable epitaph, "Born to satiate an inordinate selfish appetite, it died of Botts."

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Relates the locally controversial Dews petition, which called for the return of Federal troops to protect loyal citizens, to recent developments in the House of Representatives, where the Reconstruction Committee will soon consider imposing the cost of such a measure on the seceding states.
(Names in announcement: Todd, Dews)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Letters from "signers and pretended signers of the Dews-Todd petition," who all try to distance themselves from the petition. One of them, William Armstrong, attacks Dews and Todd as "perjurers and slanderers."
(Names in announcement: R. T. Whitlock, W. J. Dews, Z. F. Calbreath, Wm. A. Burnett, John Shank, James Todd, Geo. W. Fauber, Wm. Armstrong)
Full Text of Article:

We publish below a few more statements from the signers and pretended signers of the Dews-Todd petition.

Mr. Editor:--In your last issue I noticed a petition presented to Congress by a number of the citizens of Augusta County, and was surprised to find my name in the list.-That petition I never saw until it appeared in your paper. The facts are these. Sometime in the month of January, Mr. R. T. Whitlock came to my house and made some inquiry respecting the loss I sustained during the war. He said, to receive any thing from the authorities at Washington, it would be necessary for me to enrol myself as a Union man, on a paper to be found in Mr. Dews' office, as none would be paid except such as were found registered there. I replied that I did not know that I would pass muster as a Union man. I thought I would pass a conservative as I had taken no part in any election from the time Virginia seceded to the election in 1865, and had done nothing but detailed service and by substitute, but if putting my name there would get pay for my horses taken by the Yankees I would do it, as I did not consider it any more inconsistent, than to see a Confederate officer and a Yankee riding together, which I had seen in Staunton. He said nothing about a petition asking for armed soldiers to protect horse-thieves and corn-stealers, which class it appears, gives Mr. Dews more trouble than the Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau has with all the little negroes. It so happened that I was in Staunton on the first day of the March Court, and went to Mr. Dews' office and asked for the paper containing the names of Conservative or Union men, glanced over it and saw the names of several persons I knew, I put down my name in the presence of no one in particular and went out. It was near the bottom of the list-not at the top as in this petition. Some one has put it there.

Why, sir, while I was a faithful supporter of the old Government and hope to be of the new, if the work of re-construction don't end in destruction, yet I would be the last man in the world to pray Congress to send a pack of blue-devils here, if such as I have seen (a few officers excepted) is a sample. They looked as if hell had been raked with a fine toothed comb and their service is as little needed here now as before the war. If I had my way with the Yankees that took my horses during Hunter's raid-June 1864-in place of praying Congress to send them here I would ask Congress to send them to the Infernal Regions and placed under the command of "Old Nick" that they might snuff brimstone through the cracks of the bottomless pits through the endless ages of eternity.


May 15th, 1866.



County of Augusta

I, Wm. A. Burnett, a Notary Public for the County of Augusta, in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify that John Shank, a citizen of said county, this day voluntarily appeared before me and made oath that he was solicited to sign a petition setting forth that threats were being made against the lives of loyal men, that neither justice nor protection could be obtained at the hands of the officers of the civil law or through the civil courts and asking the return of troops to this point to obtain the same, and that affiant did this under an entire misapprehension of its meaning, it never having been explained to him, that he has seen an affidavit made by one James Todd, to the effect that affiant singed said petition in his presence. So far from this being the fact, affiant has not seen Mr. Todd to speak to him for the space of four or five years, and has not otherwise had any communication with him upon any subject that affiant now declares that no threats are being made against any person on account of his or their sentiments, or to his knowledge have been made heretofore, that he believes that he believes justice and protection can be obtained through the civil courts and at the hands of the civil officers by all classes of persons in this community without regard to past or present opinions, and that there is no necessity for the return of the troops to this community to furnish protection or afford justice to any class of our people whatever, and that affiant believes one Wm. J. Dews was the solicitor for his name to the paper referred to, and I further certify that this statement under oath, was made before me at the request of affiant and of his own accord, having applied to me for the purpose.

Given under my hand this 16th day of May 1866.


Mr. Editor:-- I find my name among a list of signers to a petition which you published week before last. It is due to myself that the matter should be explained. Having had some property pressed and desiring to get pay for the same I was told by Wm. J. Dews that the matter would have to go before a military court and it would be necessary to enrol myself as a Union man. This and this only, I thought I was doing and was surprised to see it attached to a petition with the statements of which, from reading I disagree, in ever particular, and did not believe that I was signing such a paper and never would have signed it had I known its purport.


May 19th 1866


To the public generally, and to Todd, Dews & Co., particularly

Whereas, my name has appeared among the list of signers to a secret petition praying the return of Federal troops to Staunton for the protection of the interests of the loyal citizens, "so-called," of this county, I take this method to inform the public that I never signed any such paper, nor did I authorize any one to do so for me, and furthermore that I never was solicited to do so by any one. As Messrs. Tedd and Dews have made affidavit to the statement that all the names to said petition were signed in their presence, I deny that I signed it in their presence, or at all; and I denounce them as perjurors and slanderers, and utterly unworthy the confidence or esteem of any respectable community.


May 23, 1866 Churchville, Va.

-Page 03-

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the local Freedmen's Court has been suspended pending further orders.
(Names in announcement: Tukey, Risk)
Full Text of Article:

WE learn from a member of the Freedman's court, that by late orders received, the Court is suspended until further orders, and no new cases will be tried by the Courts. The cases now being investigated will be continued until completed.-As far as Messrs Tukey & Risk, members of the courts, are concerned, we are pleased to state that they have discharged the duties imposed on them to the satisfaction of all parties.

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Rebecca Brown has been appointed Post-Mistress at Moffett's Creek and H. N. Terry Postmaster at Middlebrook.
(Names in announcement: Rebecca A. Brown, A. W. Anderson, H. N. Terry, E. Hogshead)
Full Text of Article:

MRS REBECCA A. BROWN has been appointed Post-Mistress at Moffett's Creek, Augusta Co., vice A. W. Anderson, who cannot take the oath.

H. N. Terry has been appointed Postmaster at Middlebrook, Augusta Co., vice E. Hogshead declined.

Stewart Taylor has been appointed Postmaster at Rockbridge Baths, Rockbridge Co., vice Thomas Woodward, who cannot take the oath

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Lieut. G. T. Cook, of the Veteran Reserve Corps, will soon replace Mr. Tukey as Assistant Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau. The author praises Tukey's "fairness to all parties."
(Names in announcement: Lieut. G. T. Cook, Tukey)
Full Text of Article:

LIEUT. G. T. COOK, of the Veteran Reserve Corps, has been sent to this place to relieve Mr. Tukey as Assistant Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau. The District formerly embracing Augusta and Highland is now extended to include Rockingham. Mr. Tukey has discharged his duties here faithfully and with fairness to all parties, and will carry with him the best wishes of our entire people.

Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: William Burnett of Staunton was recently appointed Commissioner for Virginia to take proof of deeds and contracts relating to West Virginia lands.
(Names in announcement: Wm. A. Burnett)
Local Items
(Column 01)
Summary: S. D. Humbert's home near Christian Cline's Mill was destroyed by fire last Monday. It is supposed to have caught from the chimney.
(Names in announcement: S. D. Humbert)

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