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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: September 20, 1859

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-Page 01-

For the Spectator: Priest tried for murder
(Column 6)
Summary: Report of meeting of Catholics of Staunton. Downey, a priest, had been charged with murder in Albemarle, but was acquitted.
Full Text of Article:

Messrs. Editors:--In sending you the report of the meeting held at my place on Sunday last, it is perhaps due to the persons present there to state, that owing to the advice of certain judicious friends, I have suppressed certain resolutions that were then and there passed, as they reflected strongly on the deceased, but I will reserve them for future use, should it be necessary. DANIEL DOWNEY.

At a meeting of the Catholics of Staunton, Augusta County, Va., held at the house of the Rev. Daniel Downey, Sep. 11th, 1859, John B. Scherer, Esq., being called to the chair, and John Beck appointed secretary.

The Chairman having briefly explained the object of the meeting, Mr. Downey then rose and said:

Mr. Chairman:--"The dangerous malady that I am subject to, is the sole cause why I have delayed so long after my acquittal in Charlottesville to make the due acknowledgments, and advert to the exciting subject of my grievances. As my health is now partially restored, I wish to begin at home and lay my complaints before you, the members of my late congregation, as you know the whole matter, can give indisputable testimony, and act as you may deem advisable. You talk now that I have received unmerited abuse, and bad treatment from certain persons, who should rather have protected me and my house from reproach, and who, after Mullin's death, did all in their power, by crafty and false statements, to excite the public mind against me, and to bring all the prejudices of a Protestant community to bear on me; but there was too much honesty and love of truth among the Protestants to be long deceived by such a lewd set. There are too many noble, fearless and liberal minds in old Augusta County for falsehood to succeed in its evil designs against innocence. I have many other matters to settle but they will be brought before other audiences, perhaps before certain Tribunals."

Mr. Downey having concluded, the Chairman then read the following Resolution, which after proper examination were passed unanimously:

Moved by H.D. Noon--Seconded by Wm. Whooley: That by the full, free, and honorable acquittal of the Rev. Daniel Downey of the murder of Wm. Mullins, by the unanimous verdict of a jury of Albemarle County, that county has stamped an everlasting character of liberality, unbiased honesty and justice on itself, has given a good name to the whole State of Virginia, to bigots everywhere a valuable lesson, and proclaimed over the world that a Catholic Priest, when upright and on the side of morality and injured innocence, need not fear the Criminal Courts of old Virginia.

Moved by Robt. Knightly--Seconded by Thos. Hargan: That we view with deep indignation the conduct of those base Catholics, who did all in their power to excite the liberal portion of the community against Mr. Downey. We think such persons should be shunned by all good Catholics of every class.

Moved by E. Roach--Seconded by M. Quinlan: That we admire the skill and ability with which Robt. L. Doyle, Esq., Mr. Downey's Lawyer, conducted his case from the time he took it in hand, and we give him our warmest thanks.

Moved by John Gear--Seconded by Thos. Barret: That the very honorable acquittal of Mr. Downey, has been a source of unspeakable joy to us, and the unblemished character that he maintained through the whole ordeal entitles him to the admiration and profound respect of every pure minded virtuous Catholic. Especially when we consider, that Mr. Downey sustained an intensely severe prosecution from Gen. Harman, the Prosecuting Attorney, who left no hole or corner unsearched for charges against Mr. Downey, yet this same General Harman gave him an excellent character both here and in Charlottesville, and actually defended him from some false charges that some of Mullin's female friends wished to fix on him.

In view of these facts, and of many others too numerous to be now mentioned, we are sorry and grieved to see that Mr. Downey is not exercising his clerical functions as usual.

After the usual thanks to the Chairman the meeting adjourned.

Trailer: J. B. SCHERER, Chairman. John Beck, Secretary
For the Spectator; Thoughts on the Renewal of the African Slave Trade [concluded]
(Column 6)
Summary: More on the need for Virginia to oppose the renewal of the African slave trade.
Trailer: Alpha

-Page 02-

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Still more about the Camp-meeting debate, which has been going on since August 2. Tebbs wants the Spectator to stop making fun of him. Spectator also refuses to review Tebb's article.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Mr. Tebbs)
Manganese Mining
(Column 2)
Summary: Visit to Alexander and Hanger's manganese mine at Turk's Gap.
(Names in announcement: Dr. C. Alexander, J. Dorsey Hanger)
For the Spectator
(Column 4)
Summary: Long reply from Rev. Tebbs regarding his other letter and the Spectator editorials on the Camp-meeting controversy.
Laying the Cornerstone
(Column 3)
Summary: Schedule for cornerstone ceremony at new Methodist church, which will be held on September 27. The procession during the ceremony will include a number of different orders and companies, including Turner's Silver Cornet Band, Clergy, Military, Fire Company, Sons of Temperance, Odd Fellows, and Masons.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Mr. J. McKendre Reilly, E.R. Veitch, Rev. W.G. Brownlow, James Cochran)
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Copy of a Vindicator article praising A. H. H. Stuart.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Stuart)
Origin of Article: The Vindicator
Editorial Comment: Compliments the Vindicator for its favorable article about A. H. H. Stuart.
(Column 3)
Summary: Heyden's livery stable, near the American hotel, was destroyed by fire, but all the horses got out.
(Names in announcement: T. Heyden)
For the Spectator
(Column 6)
Summary: Report of meeting of Catholics of Staunton, Virginia. Downey, a priest, had been charged with murder in Albemarle County, but was acquitted. Seems to be the feeling that the charges were trumped up because of anti-Catholicism, but that people in Augusta County don't feel this opposition to Catholics. The meeting included a series of motions praising Downey and his lawyers.
(Names in announcement: Daniel Downey, John Scherer, John Beck, William Mullin, H.D. Noon, William Whooley, Robert Knightly, Thomas Hargan, E. Roach, M. Quinlan, Robert Doyle, John Gear, Thomas Barrett, General Harman)
For the Spectator
(Column 5)
Summary: Letter calling for a police officer to stop "drunken rowdies in the streets."
Full Text of Article:

Messrs. Editors:--"Have we a Bourbon among us?" is, I believe, no longer a mooted question; but have we a police officer among us? is a question which will, perhaps, admit of some debate. It is, however, one that many of our citizens do not hesitate to take the negative side. The writer of this remembers to have heard last spring that an officer was elected whose duty it was to preserve the peace of the town, but he thinks there must have been a mistake about it. The quiet, orderly citizens of our town are frequently aroused from their slumbers at a late hour of the night by the noise of drunken rowdies in the streets. Now it is reasonable to suppose that had we a Police Officer among us, this thing would not occur quite so often; for certainly such an officer would be aroused himself sometimes by the noise, and would as a matter of course jump up and be out in time to arrest some of these disturbers of the peace, and bring them to punishment. Were this the case the slumbers of our citizens would not be quite so often disturbed in the manner they were on a recent Friday night. With the foregoing view of this important question, I for one take the NEGATIVE.

Trailer: Negative

-Page 03-

(Column 2)
Summary: Hannah Taylor, fifteen-year-old orphan, died on September 9.
(Names in announcement: James Ervine, Hannah Mary Taylor, David Taylor, Mary Taylor)

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