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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: January 17, 1860

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

Description of Page: Letter to the editor in column 7 about Capt. Dold's Troop of Cavalry is obscured by damaged page.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Weekly proceedings of State Legislature, column 4; Congress, column 5.

Fighting for the Union
(Column 1)
Summary: Editorial argues that secession would be a foolish way to remedy Southern grievances and praises congressmen of both parties who are attempting to preserve the Union.
Full Text of Article:

It is a matter of surprise that any serious apprehensions as to the stability of the Union should now be felt in any quarter. With the exception of the insignificant faction of ultra abolitionists at the North and a few equally insane gentlemen of the fire-eating stripe at the South, nobody seems disposed at the present to tolerate dissolution. On the contrary the prominent men of all the great parties, of both sections of the confederacy, are bold in the declaration that the "Union must and shall be preserved." The Democratic party, it is gratifying to perceive, are taking the true ground here at the South, that dissolution is no remedy for the evils under which we have naturally become very restive, and we are waking up to an appreciation that the Union and the Constitution belong to the South as well as the North, and that the rights and privileges guaranteed to us by the Constitution, which is the bond of the Union, may and ought to be maintained within the Union and under the Constitution.--It seems now to be the general opinion that it is not only unwise and ridiculous, but absolutely cowardly, to think of abandoning our rights under the and retreating ingloriously from the glorious American Union, because some of the parties confederate are disposed to trample upon and abuse us; but that, on the contrary, the true and manly position to assume is, that we have rights in the Union, guaranteed by the Constitution, which we mean to assert and maintain "at all hazards and to the last extremity," Gov. Wise placed his foot upon this solid ground first, in his speech to the medical students at Richmond, and following his lead many of the prominent men and presses of the Democratic party have taken the same sensible position. Mr. Pryor, well known to be a champion par excellence of Southern rights and interests, has made up his mind to save the Union, and declared in Congress that the South does not intend to abandon the Union, but will vindicate her rights in the Union, "peaceably if possibly, by force if necessary." Heretofore, says the Baltimore American "Southern politicians seem never to have thought it possible for the South to do anything but run away from Seward and his fanatics-- dissolution (in other words, backing out) being the only resource of the "despoiled nationalities" below Mason and Dixon's line. But Mr. Pryor, for the first time in the history of Southern Eloquence, takes a more courageous stand. He thinks it just as easy for the South to whip the North as for the North to whip the South in.--At all events, the South, according to Mr. Pryor rather than secede under any provocation, is fully bent upon violence--"force if necessary." Instead of backing out, it is going to fight to keep in.

While this strong position is taken by Southern Democrats, Mr. Hickman, of Pennsylvania, an anti-Lecompton Democrat who has been voting with the Republicans, and therefore a representative of both, is equally positive that the Union shall not be dissolved. "No matter what the antagonism between sections," says that gentleman, "the Union must and shall be preserved."

In addition to these developments of a determination to preserve the Union, on the part of two great parties, both of which have heretofore been inclined to its destruction, we find a movement in progress under the lead of such men as Crittenden and Broom and Stuart, having for its object the organization of another great national party, to aid Messrs. Pryor and Hickman in their patriotic intentions.

In view of all of these facts who can apprehend any danger to the Union? Who is to accomplish the work of dissolution. As the American remarks, if Mr. Hickman shall resort to arms to prevent the South from leaving the Confederacy, and Mr. Pryor is resolved that the South shall urge war to keep from leaving, it is pretty clear that the Union is tolerably safe--we confess to like the idea of the South's fighting to keep in, while the North is fighting to make the South stay in.

Northern Free Negroes and Southern Slaves
(Column 2)
Summary: Compares the conditions of free blacks and slaves and claims that slaves receive better treatment in the South than free blacks do in the North.
Full Text of Article:

The New York Herald publishes the speech of one of the "clerical agents," relative to the runaway slaves in Canada, together with an account of the unfortunate fugitives in Nova Scotia. The condition of both, says the Herald, is miserable and degraded in the extreme, and really demands far more sympathy from the humane and philanthrop- [illegible] -an the most exaggerated descriptions of the condition of the negro while in slavery. The wretched lot to which these poor fugitives are abandoned by the abolitionists, after they are stolen away from their comfort and the protection of their Southern homes, is the most pitiable to which their race is condemned, outside of the original savage state from which they have been rescued.

In August last a difficulty occurred in Green county, Pennsylvania, between the blacks and a portion of the white population, in consequence of an attempt of the latter to drive the negroes off. Believing that the presence of the negroes tended to lower the price of labor, the whites gave them notice to leave, and this led to a collision in which one white man was killed and another wounded. Eight negroes were arrested, and a few days ago six of them were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to the Penitentiary for five years. No doubt the sentence was a just and proper one, but the assault upon the negroes in the first instance shows what sort of sympathy the blacks receive in the free States.

On the other hand, in regard to the treatment of Virginia slaves, the Norfolk Herald mentions a fact or two. It states that a gentleman of Norfolk county, whose name is given, lately paid to his servants $550, for corn raised by them for their own benefit on his land. Another gentleman paid to his servants $600, earned in the same way; and another paid $300. Such treatment of slaves is not peculiar to Norfolk county, but is practiced more or less all over the State. We know it is not uncommon in this region.

The negroes alluded to, says the Herald, like millions in the Southern States, are not only plentifully provided for in every way, but they are saving money to use as they may find best in coming years--and withal they seem as happy as lords. They work well and cheerfully in the day, and at night, during the holidays they sing, dance and smoke, eat sweet potatoes, drink hard cider, sit around big kitchen fires, "laugh and grow fat," regardless of all the "tomfoolery" and nonsense about the "poor oppressed slaves."

Gov. Letcher's Message
(Column 2)
Summary: Disagrees with the Governor's call to amend the Constitution to preserve the Union. Rather, the Spectator advocates upholding the Constitution as it exists.
For the Spectator
(Column 3)
Summary: Partial meeting of the Volunteer Companies of Augusta County.
(Names in announcement: Captain Keaton Harper, Captain J.D. Imboden)
The Southern Opposition
(Column 3)
Summary: Item from Richmond Enquirer praising the fidelity of the Southern opposition and arguing that they would rather support a Democrat than give "aid and comfort" to the "Black Republicans" in Congress.
Origin of Article: Richmond Enquirer
To Many Farmers
(Column 5)
Summary: David Fultz responds to the call from the previous issue for him to run for Circuit Court Judge. He accepts the challenge.
(Names in announcement: David Fultz)
Alexander H.H. Stuart, of Virginia
(Column 6)
Summary: Suggests that Stuart be nominated by conservatives for President or Vice-President in 1860.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Stuart)
Origin of Article: Pittsburgh Journal
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: Writer calls on citizens to petition the State Legislature to build a work-house next to the county prison so that prisoners can work off the cost of their imprisonment.
Trailer: A Tax-Payer of Augusta
In Council for the Town of Staunton, Jan. 7, 1860
(Column 6)
Summary: Town ordinance authorizing punishment and fines for damage to lamps, lampposts, or gas fixtures.
(Names in announcement: Clerk J.F. Patterson)
(Column 7)
Summary: Robert Dabney McCue died on January 17, age 3 months.
(Names in announcement: Robert Dabney McCue, John McCue, Ellen S. McCue)
(Column 7)
Summary: John Strayer died in New Market on January 27 at age 36.
(Names in announcement: John Strayer)
(Column 7)
Summary: Col. Alexander Givens died near Mt. Meridian on December 26 at age 79.
(Names in announcement: Colonel Alexander Givens)
Trailer: "T"
To the Col. of the 100th Regiment Va. Militia
(Column 7)
Summary: Notice of placement orders for local militia units.
(Names in announcement: Captain George Imboden, Captain O'Brien, Captain Otis, Jacob Spither, Captain J. Sanderson, Captain Irvine, A.J. Sillings, William Sillings, Captain J.M. Rimel, Captain A.G. Fulton, Simon Resmisel, J.S. Rodgers, T. Rieves, Nath Rieves, Sol Wine, Morgan Hogsbend, Captain B.F. Mors, Captain Alex Horn, Captain Joseph Cline, Com. Rev. J.G. Stover, Captain B. Horn, Colonel William Anderson)

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Description of Page: Mostly advertisements, especially for office candidates and land sales

The Re-Interment of Coppic
(Column 1)
Summary: Reinterment of the remains of Edwin Coppic, one of John Brown's henchmen.

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Description of Page: Advertisements