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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Vindicator: November 4, 1870

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Plan of Organization for the Formation and Distribution of a Relief Fund for the Sufferers from the Late Flood
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper prints a plan for flood relief. Each county should form committees to solicit donations. Public meetings will also be held to form relief committees and raise funds. The clergy and the Young Men's Christian Association are also called upon to help. The money raised should go to the governor who will distribute it where needed.
To the Voters of the Sixth Congressional District
(Column 02)
Summary: Prints an announcement from Corbin Reynolds announcing his entering the Congressional race as an independent candidate. Believes the nomination of Judge Harris was not the true wish of conservative voters and so wishes to give the voters an alternative. Spells out his issues and policies and promises to do his duty for the Valley if elected.
Full Text of Article:

FELLOW CITIZENS:--In coming before you as an independent candidate for the next Congress, it is necessary that I state some of the reasons which have influenced me in assuming the position which I have thought proper to take; and as the shortness of time between this and the day of election renders it impossible for me to visit all the counties in so large a District, I beg leave also to say something of myself through this medium.

I should cheerfully have submitted to the decision of the Harrisonburg Convention which nominated Judge John T. Harris, if I believed he was the choice of a majority of the Conservative votes of the District;--but as several of the counties were not represented at all, and others misrepresented in that Convention, and from what I know of the wishes of the people in a large portion of the District, I am forced to the conclusion that he was not their choice, and in a properly constituted Convention would not have received the nomination. Holding these views, I claim the right which belongs to every citizen, who is freed from political disabilities, of offering myself as a candidate for your suffrages; and it is for you to say whether or not I am entitled to your confidence and support. WIth Judge Harris I am not disposed to make either personal or political issue, desiring that the people decide kindly and peacefully between us as to whom they prefer for the office which we both seek. In speaking of myself I will simply say, that I am a farmer, and have never been in political harness; that before the war I was a Whig, and am now what is termed a "Conservative Whig," and am opposed to Radicalism in all its forms. I joined the army in defence of Southern rights in the beginning of the late war, and served in the field as long as I had the physical ability to do so; and for the remainder of the four years, I devoted myself, with all the force and energy I possessed, in raising supplies for the soldiers and their wives, which they received. I was born and raised on Virginia soil and yield to no man in devotion to her; and, if elected, will do all in my power to promote her interests.

I am more disposed to exert myself in behalf of the material interests of Virginia, than to meddle with Federal polititics, but whenever political issues are forced upon me, I expect to co-operate with the great Democratic party of the North as being the only party that is likely to favor the South. If you elect me, I give you the honest pledge of an honest man, that I will serve you and my State with an earnest devotion, striving hard to do credit to my constituents and to myself as the representative of our lovely Valley.

Very Respectfully,



To the Conservative Voters of the Sixth Congressional District
(Column 02)
Summary: Prints another article from Reynolds outlining his reasons for seeking Congressional office. Reiterates his status as a staunch Conservative and if elected will carry out the will of the Conservative majority in his district.
Full Text of Article:

HARRISONBURG, VA., Oct. 31, 1870.

Fellow-Citizens:--A few days since I announced myself as an independent candidate for Congress. Since I issued my first address I have visited various portions of the District and have been received with the warmest manifestations of favor by the people. Gentlemen, I have but little more to say to you. I have already told you that I am not a politician and have never worn political harness. I have offered myself as a candidate because of the outrageous frauds perpetrated on the people by the so-called Convention, held at Harrisonburg on the 13th inst. That body admitted representatives without authority from the people and manufactured delegates who had no authority to bind the people.

In Botetourt, my own county, the wishes of my people were outrageously misrepresented and the true representative men of the county were prevented by the flood from attending the Convention. I believe that the farming, laboring and practical interests of the District have a right to representation, and I know that it is their wish to discard broken down professional politicians. I refer to my record as a Southern man as a guarantee for my conduct, should you elect me as your representative. The people have a right to choose and to them I appeal! I have always been true to my people and section and have "no recantations to make nor palinodes to sing." I neither ask or expect Radical support and the enormous Conservative majority in the District--nearly 12000--precludes the possibility of the election of an OPEN Radical candidate with but three candidates in the field.

I come before you as an out and out Conservative, and as such am willing to stand or fall.

I am of Virginia, with Virginia, for Virginia, first, last and all the time.

If I cannot be elected as a true and uncompromising representative of the best interests of our native State, I do not desire to be elected at all.


To the Conservative Voters of the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia
(Column 02)
Summary: Explains why Harris should not be considered the true nominee of the Conservative voters of Virginia. Gives many examples of delegates who did not show up to the Convention for whatever reason and others who voted for Harris despite the instructions of their counties. Endorses Reynolds as the true Conservative man to represent the Sixth District.
Full Text of Article:

If you wish to know how John T. Harris got to be the Candidate of the Harrisonburg Convention, read the following facts:

You all know that the Convention was held at a time when the great flood had compelled the people of our unfortunate Valley to forget politics for the time, and when all the ordinary means of travel were broken up, and that many counties could not hold meetings, and others were deprived of representation in the Convention by the high water and broken communications.

Botetourt county had elected six delegates to the Convention, only one of whom came, and contrary to the sentiment of his people, voted for John T Harris, though he was instructed by his five colleagues to vote against Harris under all circumstances.

Rockbridge selected five Delegates, who were committed to vote against Harris, none of whom succeeded in getting to the Convention. But when two gentlemen from that county presented themselves and asked to be admitted as Delegates, the Convention passed a resolution that they were not entitled to their seats; and in the next breath admitted them into the Convention; thus creating delegates for an entire county. And the result was, that while one of them voted against Harris on every ballot, the other voted one half of Rockbridge county, 1060 votes for John T. Harris.

Alleghany was represented by the same one man, Dr. Graham, of Rockbridge, who voted the entire county for Harris, by what authority the people of Alleghany will answer at the polls.

Bath county was not represented at all.

Highland was not represented at all. Although a gentleman from that county asked admission on the same principle and rule that had admitted the two gentlemen from Rockbridge. This Highland man was excluded, he was not a Harris man.

From one Township in Rockingham, a double delegation was admitted, one anti-Harris, the other principally for Harris.--The first named was reported by the committee on credentials as the regular delegation, the other by being admitted, killed the vote of that Township, and gave Harris a strength to which he was not entitled.

Page was represented by a delegate appointed by a warm Harris man, on the recommendation of four gentlemen appointed by this same Harris man to recommend delegates. This gentleman, who appointed the Page delegates was himself a delegate in the Convention, nominated Harris, and voted on every ballot for John T. Harris.

But two delegates from Warren reached the Convention, and they on the final vote cast the entire vote of Warren for John T. Harris and against Giles Cook, the most popular citizen of Warren county.

Two delegates from one township in Shenandoah who participated in the Convention were appointed without authority from the people, by a gentleman who had acted as chairman of a meeting held some time before. They were admitted, however, into the Convention and voted for Harris.

Two Townships from this county were not represented at all.

Clarke had but two delegates in the Convention; they voted on every ballot the wishes of their people, and against Harris, but were powerless.

Frederick sent four delegates, three of whom faithfully represented that county, as shown by the last election, but they were unable to resist the flood tide of Harris men who had gotten into the Convention.

This then, gentlemen, is the Convention whose action you are asked to endorse, and whose nominee you are asked to support in the face of the fact that his name was on the Radical Wells negro ticket only two years ago for Congress in part of this District, at least and he was beaten overwhelmingly by a stranger from Pennsylvania, who although unknown, was less objectionable than this man John T. Harris to the Conservative people of the Valley.

Without the vote of any one of the counties that voted for him, Harris could not have been the nominee; he is, therefore, the candidate not of the Districts, nor of a majority of it, but a minority nominee in every sense of the word.

This man Harris, in 1868, ran against the Democratic nominee of a regular Convention of the party he claimed to belong to. Will the people now hesitate between Harris and Col. Corbin M. Reynolds, a true Conservative Virginian who has never deceived them, and a gallant soldier who has shown his devotion on the battle fields of Virginia.


For the Vindicator
(Column 03)
Summary: Issues another plea for Conservative voters to vote for Reynolds over the official nominee Harris for Congress. Tells them not to be scared about dividing the Conservative vote because they would still outnumber Radicals, and gives stats to prove it.
Full Text of Article:

Conservatives: vote for Corbin M. Reynolds. If you do not wish to send John T. Harris to Congress as YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, you can easily avoid it by coming to the polls and voting for Corbin M. Reynolds, of Botetourt county, who, we are assured by those who know him well, is a gentleman of high order of character, and one to be relied upon when clouds may most wildly lower over the destinies of a down-trodden race of gentlemen.

Do not allow yourselves to be driven or FRIGHTENED into the support of Harris by the cry that if you do not vote for Harris, Douglas Gray, the Radical candidate will be elected. Such is not the fact, as any child can see by a glance at the figures. The Conservative vote of this Congressional District, cast for Governor Walker last year was sixteen thousand eight hundred and ninety six (16,896.) The radical vote cast for Wells being only five thousand three hundred and fifty three (5,353) when the entire strength of the Radicals was exhibited.

Then we see at once that Conservatives outnumber the Radicals by more than three to one. If then the Conservative vote should be exactly split as between Reynolds and Harris, each would receive 8,448 votes, and if Gray should get the whole radical vote, that is 5,353 votes, the majority of either Reynolds or Harris over Gray would be three thousand and ninety-five votes(3,095).

It is then obvious, beyond question, that although both Reynolds and Harris are in the field, there is not the slightest danger of Gray being elected.

All that the Conservatives have to do is, to rally to the polls, and vote for their choice.

If fealty to a nominee is regarded the watch-word of Harris and his friends in this instance, to whom may his opponents look for a startling precedent of utter disregard of the action of a fully organized Convention, held in the town of Harrisonburg in the Spring of 1859, in which Col. James H. Skinner was triumphantly declared the choice of that Convention?

Answer. To John T. Harris is due the honor of such precedent, and to John T. Harris is due all of the consequences resulting from his treachery to a party to which he had theretofore declared eternal fidelity.

Upon that occasion the present DISTINGUISHED nominee boasted that, "he had throttled and killed King Caucus." Now in all charity I ask, will he and his supporters not allow a like privilege to others? Oh, consistency! consistency! what a jewel thou art, and how I would that the world could embrace thee as with "hooks of Steel" to her inmost bosom. May God send the day when honest men may at last look for consistency upon the part of their fellows.

By the removal of disabilities the Conservative vote of the District has been increased some 1500 or 2000.


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A Good Citizen Removed from our Midst
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. George W. Campbell, "an old and highly respected citizen of Staunton," left town to settle in Mississippi. "Mr. Campbell has been for many years a citizen of this place and numbers, white and colored, went to the train to bid him farewell. His departure was the cause of a most affecting scene; men unaccustomed to tears weeping over the removal of such a man from their midst. He is one of the most exemplary Christians and one of the best men."
(Names in announcement: George W. Campbell)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper regrets to report the death of Mr. E. M. Taylor. He held a prominent position in a Staunton bank for many years. He "came to our midst many years since, an entire stranger, but, by his amiable and sociable disposition, his urbanity of manner and uprightness of character, won the friendship, respect and confidence of the entire community."
(Names in announcement: E. M. Taylor)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 02)
Summary: John Echols and N. P. Catlett pass resolutions of sympathy and respect on behalf of the National Valley Bank of Staunton upon the death of former cashier E. M. Taylor.
(Names in announcement: John Echols, N. P. Catlett, E. M. Taylor)
(Column 02)
Summary: Dr. David W. Hanger and Miss Sallie A. Crawford, daughter of Maj. James Crawford, both of Augusta, were married near Staunton at the residence of the bride's father on November 1st by the Rev. Dr. Handy.
(Names in announcement: Dr. David W. Hanger, Sallie A. Crawford, Maj. James Crawford, Rev. Dr. Handy)
(Column 02)
Summary: Jerome Keller and Miss Addie McCutchen, both of Augusta, were married at Churchville on October 24th by the Rev. J. J. Engle.
(Names in announcement: Jerome Keller, Addie McCutchen, Rev. J. J. Engle)
(Column 02)
Summary: Edwin F. Taliaferro and Miss Lizzie Stover, both of Augusta, were married at Jenning's Gap on October 27th by the Rev. J. J. Engle.
(Names in announcement: Edwin F. Taliaferro, Lizzie Stover, Rev. J. J. Engle)
(Column 02)
Summary: W. F. Acord and Miss Annie E. Yago, both of Augusta, were married at West View on October 19th by the Rev. P. Fletcher.
(Names in announcement: W. F. Acord, Annie E. Yago, Rev. P. Fletcher)
(Column 02)
Summary: Edwin M. Taylor died at his Staunton residence on October 29th. He was 57 years old.
(Names in announcement: Edwin M. Taylor)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Lelia Hendren Wilson, wife of D. N. Wilson and daughter of W. M. Dudley, died at Aspen Hill, Augusta County, on September 22nd. She was 25 years old.
(Names in announcement: Lelia Hendren Wilson, D. N. Wilson, W. M. Dudley)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Ann Brunt died on September 27th. She was 26 years old. "Mrs. B. left a husband, two little girls, and many friends to mourn her loss. But their loss is her gain, for she died in the full confidence of blissful immortality."
(Names in announcement: Mary Ann Brunt)

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