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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: May 03, 1867

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-Page 01-

Confiscation as a Political Agency
(Column 4)
Summary: The article condemns the efforts of scurrilous politicians who use confiscation of rebel property as a rallying cry to mobilize voters. The practice is particularly detestable when undertaken by designing "white extremists" who appeal to southern blacks as a means galvanize support for their schemes. Moreover, the article contends ominously, confiscation and its consequences will lead the South to the same fate that befell San Domingo sixty years earlier, and will result in "the extermination of whites or Blacks."
Origin of Article: Baltimore Sun
Jefferson Davis' Case
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that Jefferson Davis' trial, scheduled to take place in Richmond, will likely be postponed because Judge Chase "objects to holding a court whilst martial law exists in Virginia, and unless the Chief Justice is present no court can be held." If Davis is not tried before April 1868, however, the government must file a new indictment because the statute of limitations will expire.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Ledger
"I Have No People But The Southern People: I Have No State But Virginia"
(Column 4)
Summary: The article lauds the sentiments expressed by Claiborne Scott, an "African freedman," at a political rally in Salem, Va., last Saturday, and calls on blacks throughout the state to adopt similar views.
Origin of Article: Roanoke Times
Address to the Colored People
(Column 5)
Summary: In his speech, Lewis calls on blacks to ignore the pleas of white men who seek to undermine relations between blacks and "respectable" whites.
Origin of Article: Richmond Enquirer
Editorial Comment: "We publish below the address of Wyatt Lewis to his colored fellow-citizens. It contains many plain truths, and will be read with interest by the colored people, emanating as it does from one of their own number, who is well and favorably known to the entire community:"
Full Text of Article:

We publish below the address of Wyatt Lewis to his colored fellow-citizens. It contains many plain truths, and will be read with interest by the colored people, emanating, as it does, from one of their own number, who is well and favorably known to the entire community.

Fellow-citizens.--An attempt has been made to deprive us of your confidence and good will by ascribing to us improper motives in lately inviting certain white gentlemen of this city -- Mr. Macfarland, Mr. Johnson and others -- to address us on the subject of our political relations towards the white people of the South.

We had seen a very industrious effort going on to draw our colored people into a party organization, pledged to oppose the southern whites as such, and chain them to the leadership of a set of men, chiefly white, whose attempts to foster an antagonism and hatred between the two races we deemed unwise, unnecessary, and of dangerous tendency.

It was a very clear to us that our colored people were made to array themselves into a party of their own, led by a few white men of violent political feelings and temper, who indulged the habit of severely, denouncing that class of whites whom we had always thought at least as respectable as the one to which these men belonged, so far from promoting the interests of the colored race, they would seriously compromise those interests.

If we are citizens and freemen in truth, surely we ought to be allowed the right of free judging who are our real friends among the many professed ones bidding for our favor. If colored men surrender their wills and freedom of political action to leaders of any sort, and deliberately put away from themselves the prerogative of free, individual choice between political parties, the shackles which they thus voluntarily assume will be found more degrading to their minds than the slavery which the law once imposed upon them. We cannot conceive of a bondage more disgraceful than that imposed by freemen upon themselves in surrendering the right to act upon their own judgement and consciences; nor is there any use more base and vile that the colored man can allow himself to be put than the dirty work of party and faction. What is left of the freedom which we have so lately received from our country as a priceless boon if we have already lost the liberty of exercising so plain a right as that of hearing from respectable men, belonging to one party of the whites, explanation of their views on subjects vitally concerning us after listening hundreds of times, even unto fatigue, to the other party? We should be unworthy of our blessed freedom if we should consent to give up the right of hearing both sides of a discussion involving our highest interests, and if we should surrender our right of individually judging how we should act in an emergency so important as the present.

there could not be a more conclusive proof of the danger into which our new freedom has fallen that this bold attempt to deprive us of the right to meet in public to hear addresses from whomsoever we please on public questions. And this very attempt to deprive us of so valuable right shows that those who make it are afraid of free discussion, and ready to wage war upon those very political liberties which they boast of having under their own exclusive keeping.

These men require of us, moreover, a species of conduct positively dishonorable. Many of us are in the employment of gentlemen who, as we have reason to think, are disposed to deal towards us with fairness and honor in our business relations. But we are expected and required, after receiving employment from respectable gentlemen in the day-time, to go at night into political meetings and societies, where violent abuse of these employers, their class and race, are the principal theme of the speeches. If we are forced into this course of conduct, then the common instincts of honor require that we should quit our employments, leave homes which are pleasant to ourselves and families, in order that we may indulge, without the pangs of dishonor and ingratitude, in the new and unnatural hatred which violent men insist upon kindling in the breasts of the colored people.

The impolicy of this course is as palpable as its impropriety. In Virginia the colored race is in a minority. To band them together is to force the white race into a country combination, in which event our race must certainly be outvoted. It is claimed in opposition to this view that the white laborers and mechanics will unite with us against well-off whites. But you know there is less affection and sympathy between our race and the laboring whites them with the richer class. We want many things of the new State government. We want the new Constitution to provide for the education of all children, white and colored, out of the public taxes. We want this Constitution to level and obliterate all distinctions of color before the law. We cannot secure these most desirable and most vital and priceless objects by forming ourselves into a minority party of colored men, and forcing the white majority to vote us down. Our great aim should be, not to create enemies, but to make sure and safe our rights and liberties.

About Titles
(Column 6)
Summary: The article argues against using the word "female" interchangeably with "woman"; the term is "neither fit nor fine" and can be construed as "vicious and course."
Origin of Article: Exchange
Full Text of Article:

The word "female" applied to woman, is none the less, but all the more objectionable on account of its frequent use in speech and print. It is employed adjectively and substantively, when it can be, with propriety, only in the former sense; but in either way it is neither fit nor fine.--The world is rather general than specific, and is, at the best awkward and inelegant, if not vicious and course.

"Woman" is the one word of all words that we need and should adopt. "Woman" belongs to the same sweet Saxon class as "home," "heart," "happiness" and "heaven," and is at once the simplest and the most poetic term in the language to express gentleness and tenderness, the devotion and lovableness of the

"Fair daughters of old Eden's fairest Eve."

Nothing can be more suggestive and pleasant through association than 'woman,' which means what nothing else does or can convey.

"Lady," though beautiful in its etymology, meaning in Saxon, "bread-giver," is merely a term of society belonging to individuals, not a class or kind. It is a species of qualificative, a brief eulogy, a one word criticism -- generally conventional, manifestly private and narrow -- and far less wholesome and genuine than "we man" -- the floral crown of expression, the fresh, dewy, vernal word-growth of gentle and exuberant Nature.--Exchange.

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[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Gen. Scholfield has cautioned the editors of the "Richmond Times" that articles contained in the journal "'foster enmity, create disorder and lead to violence" and would "no longer be tolerated.'"
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that Sandford Conover, who was implicated in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for perjury.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: In New Market and the surrounding area, states the article, several cases of a new disease have turned up among the cattle, hogs, and dogs: Symptoms of the illness resemble "Hydrophobia."
Origin of Article: Shenandoah Valley
Meeting of Freedmen
(Column 2)
Summary: The article contains a lengthy extract from Gen. Echols's speech at the political rally held by Staunton blacks last Saturday. The piece also includes responses from several prominent members of the local black community.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Lawson, Henry Davenport, Benjamin Downey, Philip Roselle)
Full Text of Article:

Address of Gen. Echols

A meeting of the colored people was held in the Court House on Saturday night last to hear an address from Gen. Echols, who had accepted an invitation to address them.

Phillip Roselle was called to the chair and we were requested to act as Secretary. The chairman then introduced Gen. Echols, who delivered a very able, plain and candid address to the colored people.

We regret that we are unable to give this address entire, but give the main points, as fully as can from the hurried notes we took on the occasion.

He commenced by returning his thanks the colored people for the confidence they had reposed in him by inviting him to address them, and said that he would be untrue to himself and unjust to the colored people did he not speak to them plainly, candidly and truthfully. He alluded to the changed condition of whites and blacks, and said that the history of the world contained no record of such a change in the government of any people as had been wrought in that of this country. A most wonderful change to be wrought in so short a time. Four years ago there were four millions of slaves in the South. To-day they stand in as hight a grad as any in the land. By the result of the war the change has been wrought, which as raised them from the condition of slaves to the rights and privileges of freemen. This change brought not only rights and privileges but also responsibilities and duties.

He then proceeded to speak of the Congressional legislation, not deeming it necessary at this day to speak of the issues which led to the war. He believed his colored friends, who knew the part he had taken would him credit for sincerity. He had no regrets and came now to pour oil on the troubled waters and counsel them for their good, and ours and that of our common country.

He then read a portion of the Reconstruction bill and the bill supplemental thereto and explained candidly and truthfully their purport -- who were voters and who were eligible to the offices of the State and Convention, and explained to them that this was the act under which they were allowed to vote. He knew that the heart of every colored man leaped with joy that he was no longer the slave of another -- that he was free to vote and say who should govern him, but he came to impress upon them the responsibilities of their new position. If he could go with them on the sure way to success and happiness it would be one of the happiest reflections of his life. They could vote. He was worse off than they. He could neither vote nor hold office. The Government in its wisdom had disfranchised him, and forever. He did not complain. His colored friends, however, would thus see that he was unbiased and would understand that, having no office which they could give him, that there was no reason why he should deceive them, but that that he came simply to aid them in finding what was best for them. They would b e called upon to vote on the question of a Convention. He explained that a majority of all those registered would required to vote on this question, and that if a majority of those voting were in favor of a Convention it would be called, otherwise it would not, (and at the same time they would vote for delegates to a Convention.) He would advise his colored friends, and white friends also, "in good faith," as it is now so commonly expressed, to go to work and reconstruct the State Government according to the provisions of the Sherman Shellabarger bill. For himself, he said, he accepted the "situation as it is." Of course he would have preferred things otherwise, but we are all powerless and he thought it our duty, honestly and earnestly, to go work to restore peace and quiet and prosperity to the country. Matters might be worse, but let us hope and at the same time work for better times. He would say to all then, white and colored, register and vote for a Convention. Stand shoulder to shoulder in support of the best men. Do not rely on those who promise anything and everything to get your votes, but vote for men to whom you would go advice in any matter of interest to you. Go for honest men. Such as you would go to if you had money to lend or important business to transact. Such as you would go to to write your will or to whose care you would consign you children or their interests when you are about to die. He had no vindictiveness against any one, was anxious to restore peace and would despise himself if he stood there and did no speak to the course which he honestly believed the best.

He had heard of efforts being made to array the colored man against the whites of the South, who had ever been his best friends.--Is this politic? You are told that the Northern people emancipated you and that you should be grateful to them and hostile to the Southern people. Let us examine this. Mr. Lincoln and Congress declared that the war was waged not to free the colored people, but to preserve the Union and for three years after the war commenced there was no intention to emancipate the slaves, but the mighty result of the war brought it about whether desired or not. If they had belonged to New York or Pennsylvania they would not have been freed. The first slaves were brought to this country by Dutchmen. Massachusetts followed, because she could make money by it, and brought more slaves from Africa than any other State. No Northern State ever emancipated its slaves without compensation. When they found them unprofitable they adopted prospective emancipation would have freed them. The reproach then rests as much upon the North as the South -- upon those who brought you here and enslaved you as upon those to whom they sold you.

Presuming on your ignorance, some will tell you if you do not unite with the Radicals you will be enslaved again. This is a miserable bugbear and an insult to you. You can never be enslaved again and no sane man in the South desires, even if he could, to see you re-enslaved. Then what is your duty. Speaking candidly and feeling as nearly as I can as if I were a colored man, my advice is not to mingle with any party as a body. Act singly as freemen and determine, each for himself, for whom you will vote, and be not trammelled by being bound to vote for any party as a class. You can't make any thing by it, but must suffer. If you go as a body for the Radicals you draw the line distinctly between yourselves and the Southern whites and you alone will be injured. You have been raised in the South. Every hope clusters around this land and you want to live here still. Then why array yourself against the whites? There are in this State about 400,000 more whites than blacks. Are you going to array yourself against such odds? What could you make by that? Won't the whites have the decided advantage? If you say by your acts that you are unfriendly to the whites, what will they be forced to do? They must look elsewhere for labor. If you unite with the Radical party the sequel will be an influx of white labor, which must, as experience has proven, result in your expulsion. We must depend on each other for happiness. We are all in one family and for God's sake don't let us have a family quarrel. We are mutually dependent on each other -- the Whites for labor and you for the means of subsistence. You don't want to leave and we don't want you to leave. Here the speaker introduced the very applicable fable of the "Dolly and the members" and drew the sad picture of the result of like action on the part of any of the constituent part of community.

Are there no ties -- no affection -- no love for those by and among whom you have been raised? If you have not, than I mistake the colored man. He drew a feeling picture of the colored boy who raised with him and at whose bedside in the hour of death he was present, and the "old mammy," who had nursed him in childhood and whose last wish was to see, as she loved to call him, her "dear child" again, and expressed his utter inability to forget them or to fail to cherish their memories.

He then spoke of the subject of confiscation and explained the Stevens bill, and asked if they desired that. (Some one responded "yes," when another said "he don't belong to this community.") He showed that they would be most injured by it and that murder, theft, robbery, &c., would be the result and said that the infernal regions would be preferable to the horrors of this land in such an event. He then said that the Reconstruction bill was claimed by the Radicals as a finality and that confiscation was ignored and could not be obtained.

He again urged upon them not ally themselves with any party. Northern or Southern, as a body, but each to judge for himself as white people do, and said, you are not freemen if you are led, pulled, kicked or dragged into any party, and don't let it be said that you are like a flock of sheep and all follow where the bell-wether leads. don't respect any man who says he is going like the balance of them, but act from reason, judgement, and each for yourself. I am anxious to see you prosperous and happy, and desire to impress upon you other duties.--Your duty is the same that each man has owed to himself since the Savior first taught lessons of wisdom to a sinful world. Be honest with each other and the world. Establish a reputation, which is better than gold or silver. Be truthful. Let your word be as good as your bond. I agree heartily with Senator Wilson in regard to temperance. Don't spend your money for liquor which steals your sense while it wastes your earnings. Lay up your means for the use of yourself and family in the future, when sickness and age overtake you. Organize Savings Banks and deposit your savings in them -- even a quarter a week, and you will find it will gather like a rolling snow-ball. Support and cherish your Churches, and your ministers, a very worthy one of whom I see present, who labor for your temporal as well as your spiritual good. Let each get a little home for himself -- a fig and a vine under which he may recline and be free from the cares and annoyances of the outer world. Nothing so protects a man as the attractions and pleasures of home. Be true to your wives. Educate your children. Let the object be to make the coming generation better than the present. Educate them in religion as well -- the heart as well as the mind.

Now my friends your destiny is in your own hands, and no Northern or Southern man can work it our for you -- you must do it yourselves. I have endeavored frankly to advise you and as certain as you follow that advice with industry and economy, leaving politics alone, you will better your condition and be prosperous and happy. Political excitement will turn to bitter ashes. Let it alone, and vote when you are called upon for honest men and you will be far happier. If you do not follow this advice your fate is a sad one indeed and you will rush on but to misery and distruction. Your path is beset by snares and quicksands and you must be warned. There are men who hope and expect to mould you, on account of your ignorance, to suit their selfish purposes. Beware of them and advise rather with those whom you have long known as your friends, and work out your destiny for yourselves in the land that God has placed you, uncontroled by those who would lead you only as their selfish interests prompt.

The speaker then closed by reciting the beautiful allegory of Abou Ben Adam and returning his thanks for their marked attention.

On motion of Dennis Harris, the thanks of the colored people were tendered General Echols for his able speech and kind advice given them.

The following colored men were then called upon and responded:

Rev. Mr. Lawson, who very properly said he was no politician and did not wish to engage in politics. (A very good course and it severe rebuke to those ministers who preach politics and not Christ and him crucified.)

Henry Davenport, said he felt himself incompetent to return the thanks of the colored people to Gen. Echols, that he as no speaker but nevertheless would tender the kind thanks of the colored people to General Echols. He rejoiced that the time had come when the white people and colored people could meet and counsel together on equal terms.--God help us to live together as brethren! My brethren, my fellow-citizens, my fellow-travellers to the bar of God I greet you.

James Scott, complimented Gen. Echols but wanted to know how they were here. He knew his friends -- even a dog knew his friends. He applied the fable of the boys and the frogs to the speech of Gen. Echols and closed by calling on the colored people to stand firm and praise the bridge that carried them over safely.

Benjamin Downey said he was independent happy. Gen. Echols had drawn some mighty fine pictures, but while he looked on one side then on the other he wanted to "bust the picture open and look on the inside." The white people were mighty slow about their advice and the only objection he had to Gen. Echols' speech was that he commenced too late. Why did the Southern people wait so long before showing their friendship? He was about to bring the music out of it. The Northern ladies came down and taught us, but no Southern ladies had learned us to say A. B. C. Gen. Echols was a great orator -- great scholar and he didn't believe that some of the white folks understood it neither. The nigger had taken care of the families of the white families of the white folks during the war and the white people wasn't as thankful as they ought to be he didn't think.

Phillip Roselle -- Chairman, said that he was in favor of the colored people behaving themselves properly. He belonged to a set of people, who, if anybody troubled him, were very apt to whip them for it, but since he was free he had not been so rabid as he used to be, as he didn't have anybody to fight for him, but was particular to treat everybody with respect. Some said the North had set him free and some said the South did because if the South hadn't fit he wouldn't have been free, but for his part he was too glad to be free to quarrel about who set him free. Any how he used to belong to Maj. Garber and his father, and, looking at Maj. G.-- said, I don't think Mr. Garber would have fit if he'd a thought I was going to be set free." He didn't want no confiscation and voted against it in the Richmond Convention. He didn't want nobody's land. If any body was to tell him there was Gen. Echols' land -- it's yours now, go and take it, he'd sell him he didn't want it. But if it was a little slice of Mr. Garber's or Col. M. G. Harman's who had formerly owned him, he didn't know but what he might take it.

After he concluded the meeting adjourned.

The Court House was crowded with colored people and we never saw better attention paid to any speaker than Gen. Echols received. Everything passed off smoothly -- the large number of whites enjoying in a great degree the remarks of the colored speakers, who with one exception exhibited a very friendly feeling. Jas. Scott, however, exhibited a rather bad feeling, which we think can be accounted for by the presence of a white man, which served to stimulate him not to fall below his teachings.

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Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Noting that the residents of Harrisonburg, the county seat of Rockingham County, have taken strides to improve their town, the article applauds their efforts, but points out that they have a long way to go before their town can compete with Staunton.
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that a trunk belonging to G. L. Gibson was stolen from John J. Christian's Saloon last Saturday night. The trunk was found the next day near the depot, its contents strewn about J. Moran's hog pen. Although Gibson recovered most of the stolen property, much of it is damaged; Gibson's Colt revolver, which was contained in the trunk, is still missing, however.
(Names in announcement: J. Moran, John J. Christian, G. L. Gibson)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that James F. Hite sold his farm, located between Middlebrook and New Port in Augusta County, to William Stewart, of New York. On the property, there is a marble quarry, which Stewart intends on mining after he obtains capital from New York to finance the operation.
(Names in announcement: James F. Hite)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Informs readers that J. L. Timberlake has begun manufacturing tobacco in Staunton at the building that formerly housed the Valley Hotel. Prior to this endeavor, Timberlake engaged in the tobacco business in Richmond, where his work was well-respected.
(Names in announcement: J. L. Timberlake)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that Emily Taylor, "colored," submitted a complaint to the mayor against Marshall Bannister, "colored," for "striking her with a rock." Bannister was put on probation for six months.
(Names in announcement: Emily Taylor, Marshall Bannister)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Timothy Kelly was arrested for "being drunk and disorderly" in public and brought before the Recorder Kayser. Kelly was fined $2 and costs.
(Names in announcement: Timothy Kelly, Recorder Kayser)
(Column 2)
Summary: On April 24 William Kerr and Nannie, only daughter of Daniel Williamson, were married in Charlotte County, Va., at the residence of the bride's father.
(Names in announcement: William Kerr, Nannie Williamson)
(Column 2)
Summary: On April 30 Theodore A. Page, of Richmond, and Ella E., daughter of Major J. B. Watts, were married.
(Names in announcement: Theodore A. Page, Ella E. Watts, Major J. B. Watts)
(Column 2)
Summary: On April 18 Joseph Wilcher and Casendine E. Rediffer were married by Rev. R. C. Walker.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Wilcher, Casendine E. Rediffer, Rev. R. C. Walker)

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