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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: July 19, 1859

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Work for the Charleston Convention
(Column 1)
Summary: Looks ahead to the 1860 Democratic convention in Charleston. The big issue at the convention will be slavery in the Territories.
Lamp Posts
(Column 1)
Summary: The lamp posts ordered by the town council will be erected at various spots around town, including Gospel Hill, the National Hotel, Court House squre, and fifteen other locations.
Terrific Storm
(Column 2)
Summary: Account of a bad thunderstorm that hit Staunton on July 15. Both houses and people were struck by lightning.
(Names in announcement: E. M Cushing, Mrs. Cushing, Washington Swoope, John Brown, S. F. Clarke)
Full Text of Article:

On Friday last, about 7 o'clock in the evening, our town was visited by the most terrific thunder-storm we have ever witnessed. Indeed the oldest inhabitants of Staunton say that they never have known such a storm before. The rain came suddenly and in torrents from an angry looking cloud in the North-west, and continued to pour down for thirty minutes, during which time the heavens and the earth were illuminated by incessant flashes of the most brilliant lighting, followed by stunning peals of thunder. The large drops of rain descending in the twilight looked like brilliant diamonds as they sparkled in the glare of the electricity. The wind blew a hurricane for a short time, but we have heard of no damage being done by it. The lightning, however, struck a tree near the residence of Mr. E. M. Cushing, thence glancing to the dwelling-house, passing down the chimney, and shivering the mantels. Mr. C. received a severe shock and Mrs. C. was slightly burned, but neither of them were severely injured. We have heard of no other damage done by the lightning in town. In the afternoon of Friday, however, we regret to learn that a valuable negro man belonging to Mr. Washington Swoope was killed by lightning.--A colt on the farm of Mr. John D. Brown, near Staunton, was also killed, and one of the Messrs. Hawpe, near Greenville, lost 28 sheep.

We usually contemplate a thunder-storm with admiration and delight, as one of the most sublime manifestations of Omnipotence, but we confess we felt some trepidation during the storm of Friday evening. Our friend Mr. S. E. Clark, whose advertisement will be found in another column, thinks such would not have been the case if we had permitted him to put for us a good copper lightning rod, as he proposed before the storm. We have no doubt that rods protect houses, and that Mr. Clarke's rods are superior to the old fashioned iron rods.

The Gas Works
(Column 2)
Summary: A stockholder and consumer of the gas works writes to thank Mr. Bowes and the contractors for giving him a tour of the works and for the excellent job the contractors did in building the works.
Trailer: Stockholder
Opposition State Convention
(Column 2)
Summary: Agrees with the Richmond Whig's call for an 1860 Opposition state convention because it will allow Virginia the most flexibility in maneuvering between the North and the South.
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
For the Spectator; "Wesleyan Female Institute"
(Column 4)
Summary: Account of commencement week at the Wesleyan Female Institute. Praises the Institute for being extremely well-run and for turning out well-trained young ladies.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Jame McCauley, B.F. Brooke, Prof. Turner, Benjamin Argobast)
Full Text of Article:

Messrs. Editors:--The Commencement exercises of the above-named Institute were brought to a close June 30th at 12 o'clock at night. The entire week preceding the Commencement proper, was one of unusual interest to the friends of the Institute.

On Sunday the 26th of June, a Baccalaureate Sermon was preached before the Graduating Class, by the Rev. James A. McCauley, A. M., formerly a Principal of the Institute, and now pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Fredericksburg, Va. This gentleman's popularity in Staunton, where he is so well known, secured a large and intelligent audience, and his masterly treatment of the subject--"The relation of Christianity to woman,"-- what it has done for her, what it is doing for her, and what it is yet destined to do for her, as well as the bearing of Christian education upon the whole subject, so captivated his hearers as to leave nothing necessary to be said in this place in commendation of her merit as a chaste, pure,and impressive speaker. We do most cordially commend his purity of style and elegant diction to those who wish to attain to a mastery of our mother tongue.

On June 27th, 28th and 29th the Examination of the several classes was conducted in the presence of an intelligent Committee, and high compliments were passed upon a number of the pupils for the critical and thorough acquaintance with their text books which they evinced.

The graduating class, especially, acquitted themselves with great credit; just at this point we may be allowed to say, high as has been from the beginning of this educational enterprise, the grade of scholarship here demanded, a more completely trained class of young ladies has never gone forth from this classic enclosure to reflect honor upon their instructors and the cause of truth.

On Wednesday night, June 29th, at 8 o'clock, a Literary Address was delivered before the entire school by the Rev. B. F. Brooke, A. M., of Baltimore. The accomplished lecturer gave proof not only of an enviable mental culture, but a wise appreciation of what he fitly named the exelsor age" in which we live, and urged the claims of solid learning strongly upon his auditors.

The Commencement exercise proper, took place on Thursday night June 30th, and in which all the young ladies having part therein acquitted themselves with great satisfaction.

Composition has always engaged a marked attention in this school, and the evidences of a very careful training in this acknowledgedly important department were manifest in many of the highly [illegible] essays of the evening.

The rich musical entertainment of the evening was presided over by Professor Turner, and the mere mention of this gifted gentleman's name in such connexion is a sufficient guarantee for elegance in the performance of music.

Prof. Turner has a wide fame--a deservedly high reputation as an instructor in this refining, ennobling, purifying act, and the kill of his pupils as exhibited on this occasion, evinced the faithfulness and ability with which they had been taught, and showed how justly he is entitled to the estimate in which he is held.

During this festive week a large number of the graduates of former years, nearly a score of ministers, and more than that number, perhaps, of parents and other patrons from distant points, were in attendance; these, with the fast friends of the Institute here resident, gave universal expression of satisfaction.

The "Wesleyan Female Institute," be it known, is no longer an experiment; its infancy has been passed through. It has encountered and overcome difficulties potent enough to have crushed an ordinary enterprise. To the indefatigable labors of a former Principal--Rev. James A. McCauley, A. M.--let it be said in all justice, it owes its present well defined character as a Church enterprise; others, and not a few, have given of their money, labor, talent and zeal for the promotion of its welfare; and, now under the management of the present scholarly and energetic Principal, Rev. Benjamin Arbogast, A. M., a native Virginian, and a member of the Baltimore Conference, assisted by such a board of teachers as the Catalogue sets forth, much may be reasonably hoped for; already, it seems to be lifting itself above difficulty, and we hazard little in predicting that its future history is destined to be as bright and prosperous as its past has been full of difficulty and discouragement.

Its finances are at last in a healthy condition. The Trustees, relieved from embarrassment in this direction, have turned their attention to such repairs and improvements as seem to be required by the increasing prosperity of the school.

Nearly five hundred dollars have been this year expended for repairs, Chemical and Philosophical Apparatus, new musical instruments, and furnishing the entire building with gas light; so that no convenience shall be wanting to make the school all that its most sanguine friends could desire.

We call upon friends of this cherished Church enterprise, to rally still more warmly to its support, that no proper effort may be wanting to to make it the equal, if not the superior of any school of similar grade in the land.

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(Column 1)
Summary: Married on July 17.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W.C. McCarty, Joshua Sutton, Sarah Robson)
(Column 1)
Summary: Married on July 7.
(Names in announcement: Rev. X.J. Richardson, Edward Huxler, Rebecca Almarode)

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