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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: September 10, 1869

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Summary: The paper applauds the decision of Attorney General Hoar to allow the Virginia Legislature to meet without requiring all members to take the test-oath.
Full Text of Article:

The test-oath agony is, at last, over in this State. The opinion of Attorney General Hoar, published elsewhere in this issue, gives a final quietus to it. He decides that the test-oath cannot be required of the members elect to the Legislature, but that they must be allowed to meet to carry out the provision of the reconstruction acts--viz: the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.

This far they can proceed under the reconstruction acts, but further they cannot go, as they are only Legislators, in the event Congress approves the Constitution and admits the State.

To simply meet to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment, is only carrying out the reconstruction acts, and does not require the members elect to subscribe to the test-oath, but to attempt any legislation, until Congress approves the constitution and admits the State places them in the attitude of acting under the provisional Government and would require the test-oath at their hands.

This is more than we expected and for which we are thankful. For our Legislature to meet is something, and in these days of arbitrary rule we are exceedingly thankful for small favors. It is a step to the restoration of Virginia to her rights. The manner, the forced ratification of the XVth Amendment, we can never consider as just, but as the majority in these days are for expediency, we can only demur and trust the end, in this instance, may justify the means.