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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: August 23, 1867

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-Page 01-

The Southern Clergy and the Governor of Virginia
(Column 6)
Summary: In response to Gov. Pierpont's allegations that the "'Southern pulpit is thoroughly disloyal,'" several clergy members from Virginia issued a circular contradicting the governor's assertions.
Origin of Article: Enquirer
Editorial Comment: "The subjoined vindication of the Southern clergy from the aspersions lately made by Governor Pierpont, as heretofore noticed by us, would have appeared in our paper of Saturday but for its accidental omission.--The publication, as will be observed, is signed by a number of the leading, most highly respected and influential clergymen of this city and State, embracing all the orthodox denominations, and will be sure to attract attention and receive the highest consideration:"
Full Text of Article:

The subjoined vindication of the Southern clergy from the aspersions lately made by Governor Pierpoint, as heretofore noticed by us, would have appeared in our paper of Saturday but its accidental omission.--The publication, as will be observed, is singed by a number of the leading, most highly respected and influential clergymen of this city and State, embracing all the orthodox denominations, and will be sure to attract attention, and receive the highest consideration:

To the Public, North and South

In a circular recently published at the North, and copied into our city papers, appealing fro pecuniary aid to erect a Northern Methodist church in the city of Richmond, is a paragraph of endorsation written by U. H. Pierpoint, Governor of the State of Virginia, in these words:

"There is great need of the church building just referred to. The spirit of the Southern pulpit is thoroughly disloyal; active in the propagandism of rebel sentiments, and in cherishing the hope that the "Lost Cause" may be regained by the destruction of a republican government in the country."

It is the unanimous opinion of the undersigned, minsters of the Gospel, speaking in behalf of ourselves, and representing, as we believe, the sentiment of our Southern pulpit that the relation which we sustain to the allegations of Governor Pierpoint, our fidelity to the cause of God, and our sincere desire for the peace of the country, require hat we should promptly and firmly assert our actual position in the premises; and for the following special reasons:

These allegations are made, not by a private individual, but by the highest officer in the State, and carry with them, to those abroad, the influence of his official station. They are reported, nota s the utterances of an incidental conversation, but as the deliberate and mature convictions of a resident amongst us, whose position is presumed to entitle him to credit; they inculpate thousands of pulpits and hundreds of thousands of Christians, many of whom are the constituents of the Governor. Besides, inasmuch as Governor Pierpoint, transcending the properties of his office, has represented the pulpit of the South as peculiarly antagonistic to the pacification of the country, it is our solemn duty to vindicate our sacred from so unwarranted an aspersion, and to repel so unjustifiable an attempt to throw the responsibility of the existing political disquietude upon our impracticability as ministers of the Gospel.

As to the propriety of the erection of churches in the South by Christian denominations in the North, we have here simply to say that the country is open and they people are free to sustain religious institutions of their own choice. But we do object to the protest against the manner in which he has arraigned the Southern pulpit before the Northern public.

In the charge quoted above, are three distinct specifications:

First--That "the spirit of the southern pulpit is thoroughly disloyal,"

Second--That it is "active in the propagandism of rebel sentiments:"

Third--That it is active "to cherishing a hope that the 'lost cause' may be required by the destruction of a republican government in this country."

These are graven allegations, an were evidently designed so to be. If they were true, we should be implicated, not only in the crime of positive and outright disloyalty to the Government of the United States, but in the far greater sin of prostituting our calling to political purposes. We do not propose at present to argue the injustice of these allegations. The burden of proof obviously does not fall on us.

In the meantime, we take the Christian liberty of saying that to each and to all of these allegations we offer a unanimous and unequivocal denial. Further, we affirm that scores of unimpeachable witnesses are ready to testify that they are totally without foundation in fact -- viz: that since the restoration of the Government of the United States over the Southern States, we have in no instance exhibited disloyalty in our pulpits, or used them as political agencies against said Government; that we have in no instance propagated from them what are termed "rebel sentiments;" that least of all, have we, in the discharge of our ministerial duties, expressed directly or indirectly a hope of the establishment of any other than a republican form of government in this country. In a word, we assert that the pulpit of the South, so far as we know, is not liable to the charge of either disloyalty or sedition against the Government of the United States.

On the contrary, we are conscious of having adhered strictly and constantly to our ecclesiastical functions, and have studiously avoided all complication of our pulpits with the political issues of the day.

This is our testimony and our record, and we calmly submit the declaration thereof to the world.


George Woodbridge, rector of the Monumental Church;

Nelson Head, pastor of Centenary Methodist Church:

J. L. Burrows, pastors First Baptist Church; Ch. H. Bead, pastor United Presbyterian Church;

E. M. Peterson, pastor Clay Street Methodist Church;

William Brown, editor Central Presbyterian:

E. T. Baird, secretary of Presbyterian Publication;

D. S. Doggett, one of the Bishops Methodist Episcopal Church South;

T. V. Moore, pastor First Presbyterian Church;

F. M. Baker, rector of Grace Church;

E. H. Rutherford, pastor First Presbyterian Church, Petersburg, Va.;

P. A. Peterson, pastor Union Station Methodist Episcopal Church, South;

R. N. Sledd, pastor of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, South;

T. A. Ware, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Va.;

Leroy M. Lee, pastor Granby Street Methodist Church, Norfolk, Va.;

Leonidas Rosser, presiding elder Richmond District.

It is proper to say that when these signatures were obtained a number of the ministers of Richmond were absent.

The newspapers of the country, secular and religious, are respectfully requested to publish this document.--Enquirer.

Read It, Colored Men
(Column 7)
Summary: The letter calls on blacks to reconcile with whites because it is in their best interest to do so; he reminds them that they were all "born on Southern soil," after all.
Origin of Article: Columbus Enquirer
Editorial Comment: "Of Columbus, Ga., 'Uncle' Aaron Hurt, who as a slave was universally respected in that city for his fine sense and his good behavior, has recently written a letter for the Columbus Enquirer, which we commend to the thoughtful perusal of colored citizens."
Trailer: Aaron Hurt. Colored, (A Carpenter)
A Negro Nominated For the Convention in North Carolina
(Column 7)
Summary: The article notes that a black man, Jerre Bollock, was nominated to represent several eastern counties at North Carolina's constitutional convention.
Origin of Article: North Carolinian

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Even northerners, contend the editors, are beginning to see that reconstruction is a bad idea. Congress' decision to disfranchise the South's "best citizens" and grant suffrage to "an unlettered and ignorant class" may have initially seemed an good way to reclaim control over the rebellious region, yet, in practice, the policies have failed dramatically.
Full Text of Article:

In these times we can scarcely cast about us for grains of comfort, so muddled and indefinite are the ideas of all on all subjects, we should not be exclusively selfish, but should divide the atom among the greatest possible number, satisfied that it will cheer and enliven all whom it reaches. This is the case at present with the political situation. In the various efforts to humble our unfortunate people, it has been suddenly found that there are two sides to the question of humiliating the South by disfranchising their best citizens and enfranchising an unlettered and ignorant class, who, as recklessly desire to seize the reins of government as did the fabled Phaeton to mount and drive the chariot of the sun, and with a like effect politically. Northern men are more generously beginning to count the cost of the extravagant and ill advised legislation of the past and to determine whither it is leading. One of the most noted and widely extended journals in the North, which not only moulds political sentiments, but has ever been a sort of shadow of coming political phases in this country, has just spoken out boldly against Reconstruction legislation, its concomitants and its probable results. It now sees that the effort to throw off the "slave-holding power of the past has but ingrafted upon the country "Freedman" power, greater by odds and more to be dreaded on account of its numbers and its want of reasoning power.

Others, of equal boldness, declaim daily and weekly against the "bond-holding" power, built up likewise by reckless and extravagant legislation and find a concordant sympathy among the masses.

The grain of comfort we draw is, that the representatives of these opinions, the one restless over the probably entire overthrow of Constitutional Republican government, by running the length of the Radical tether, the other ill content with its condition of overburdened taxation, are endeavoring from different stand points to restore the equilibrium and seem converging to the same ultimate good, from which at no distant day we may hope the goal of peace and prosperity will be reached. We are still powerless, however, to act for ourselves, but our course thus far has been amenable to little censure from those even who sought occasion to find fault. Let us then continue the even tenor of our way, acting fairly with all and trust the causes are at work that will bring order of political chaos and make country and people once more prosperous and happy.

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The editorial predicts that the attempt to extend universal suffrage into the North will prompt a backlash, and offers little sympathy: "We are trying the experiment here and can see no reason why it should not be tried there also."
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: It is reported that President Johnson ordered Gen. Grant to re-assign several district commanders in the South: Maj. Gen. Sheridan will take over the Department of the Missouri; Maj. Gen. Hancock will assume command of the Department of the Cumberland; and Maj. Gen. Thomas will take charge of the 5th Military District, which includes Texas and Louisiana.
Not A Convention
(Column 1)
Summary: The article maintains that the convention recently held in Richmond "was not a State Convention in fact, but a disorderly mob of Richmond negroes." By contrast, a "real State Convention, in which the whites and blacks shall be represented by equal delegates" has been proposed by soldiers. That convention will most likely take place in December.
Origin of Article: Springfield (Mass.) Republican
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: The article contains a diatribe against Reconstruction and claims that even the Radicals acknowledge their policies are not based on the Constitution.
Origin of Article: New York Herald; Exchange
Editorial Comment: "The New York Herald is getting a little over against Radicalism. That astute papers says:"
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: According to the article, the New York "Nation," a radical journal, recently warned southern blacks "against the suicidal policy of banding themselves into a party exclusively against whites." Only in South Carolina, where blacks represent a clear majority of the population, would this tactic have a chance at success. In all other southern states, particularly Virginia, blacks will have to cooperate with whites in the near future, avows the "Nation."
Origin of Article: New York Nation; Alex. Gazette
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Judge H. W. Thomas was arrested in Richmond, charged with violating the Civil Rights bill after he refused to hear testimony from blacks, reports the article.

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Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates that the performance of John Robinson's combination Menagerie and Circus last Saturday "was attended by the largest crowd" ever "assembled" in Staunton. The crowd was so large that the management had to halt ticket sales.
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that "another large crowd" attended Dan Castello's Combined Menagerie and Circus last Wednesday.
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Contains the revised registration results for the various districts in Augusta County. The county's white majority of 2,278 was reduced by nine to 2,269.
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Rev. Barnes Sears, of Providence Rhode Island, purchased Dr. Madison's residence on the hill above the Railroad Depot for $4,000. Sears "is the agent of the Peabody Educational Fund and a gentleman of distinguished reputation."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Barnes Sears, Echols, Bell, Catlett)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: States that three Marylanders bought the Esteline Furnace from Burke and Kunkle for $35,000. It is believed the new owners "propose carrying on these works extensively."
(Names in announcement: Burke, Kunkle)
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that one of the "Arabs connected to Castello's Mammoth Circus" suffered "a horrible death" after he was bitten by a rattlesnake he caught at White Sulphur Springs.
Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: James Kerr will replace Capt. Charles S. Arnall as Depot Agent of the Virginia Central Railroad in Staunton, states the article. Arnall resigned his post to become an Assistant Clerk in the National Valley Bank.
(Names in announcement: James Kerr, Capt. Charles Arnall)

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