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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 17, 1860

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-Page 01-

John M. Botts and his Traducers
(Column 5-6)
Summary: Author sings the praises of John Minor Botts as a politician of principle who has spent his career fighting the corrupt politicians of both major parties despite the consequent aspersions cast upon him by those he has fought. Calls for Botts to run for and receive the Presidential nomination of the Constitutional Union movement, in a national and conservative spirit.
Trailer: Publius
For the Spectator
(Column 6)
Summary: Author blasts "Junius" and "A Countryman" for their malicious, uncivilized and dishonest attacks on Judge Thompson. Defends Judge Thompson against the "slanderous" charges of various sorts and asserts that he will emerge victorious in the election.
(Names in announcement: Judge Thompson)
Trailer: "Z"
The Negro Fever
(Column 6)
Summary: Report that in Georgia slaves are being sold quickly and the demand is outstripping the supply in the Southwest, driving up prices and potentially producing a crisis situation.
Origin of Article: Federal Union
Full Text of Article:

There is a perfect fever raging in Georgia now on the subject of buying negroes. Several sales which have come under our eye within a month past, afford an unmistakable symptom of the prevalence of a disease in the public mind on this subject. In view of the fabulous prices offered for this species of property, reflecting men are led to the inquiry, what is to be done to supply the deficiency which is produced with us by the great demand for negroes in the Southwest? We are unable to give any satisfactory answer. But, so far as the effect which these high prices are to have in our own State is concerned, we think we can truthfully say the fever will soon abate in a very natural way. Men are borrowing money to day at exorbitant rates of interests to buy negroes at exorbitant prices.

The speculation will not sustain the speculators, and in a short time we shall see many negroes and much land offered under the Sheriff's hammer, with few buyers for cash, and then this kind of property will descend to its real value. The old rule of pricing a negro by the price of cotton by the pound--that is to say, if cotton is worth twelve cents, a negro man is worth twelve hundred dollars, if at fifteen cents, then fifteen hundred dollars--does not seem to be regarded. Negroes are twenty-five per cent. higher now, with cotton at ten and a half cents, than they were two or three years ago, when it was worth fifteen and sixteen cents. Men are demented upon the subject. A reverse will surely come.--Federal Union.

For the Spectator
(Column 7)
Summary: Author argues that farmers are capable of judging Judge Thompson's abilities as well as any lawyers, despite the assertions of "R.L.J." and "Z." Claims that Thompson is slow and inefficient, and while knowledgeable in the law, is not the best judge. Rhetorically asks how many times farmers have had to leave their farm work and travel to court only to have the court be closed or be forced to wait and return the next day. Condemns authors such as "Z" who defend Thompson.
(Names in announcement: Judge Thompson)
Trailer: A Countryman

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Weekly proceedings of Congress, column 3. Large ink blotch toward bottom of column 6.

Henry Clay
(Column 1)
Summary: Tribute to Henry Clay; a statue of Clay was unveiled and dedicated in Richmond.
Admission of Kansas
(Column 1)
Summary: Report on the admission of Kansas as a state under the Wyandotte Constitution; Southern Congressmen almost universally opposed it.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: William Guy declines to run for Sheriff of Deerfield.
(Names in announcement: Esq. William Guy)
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: A vote of the people of Staunton at a town meeting was largely in favor of extending the town borders. Also at the meeting, John F. Smith was elected Commissioner of the Revenue.
(Names in announcement: John Smith)
[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Report from the Vindicator on the passage of a relief bill for heirs of Robert and Charles Porterfield, both Revolutionary War veterans.
(Names in announcement: Gen. Robert Porterfield, Col. Charles Porterfield, Mr. Harris)
Origin of Article: Staunton Vindicator
Sunday Trains
(Column 4)
Summary: Author discusses the meeting of stockholders of the railroad and the reasons why train traffic was stopped west of Gordonsville (not west of Charlottesville, as the Vindicator had written) on Sundays.
Trailer: A Stockholder
A Card
(Column 4)
Summary: Committee appointed by the Staunton Baptist Church to arrange entertainment for the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which will meet in Staunton at the end of May.
(Names in announcement: P.B. Hook, C.R. Mason, R. Summerson, S.F. Taylor, W.D. Candler)

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Mostly advertisements, land sales, etc.; bottom right illegible.

(Column 2)
Summary: Sallie Douglas died at the home of John McCue on April 6.
(Names in announcement: Esq. John McCue, Sallie Douglass)
(Column 2)
Summary: Martha Lewis, widow of William Lewis, died on March 16 near Port Republic at age 72.
(Names in announcement: Martha Lewis, William Lewis)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Advertisements; bottom left illegible.