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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: July 17, 1860

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Description of Page: Column 5 has a story titled "The Origin of 'Hail Columbia'" purporting to tell the story of the origin of the national song. Most of page is taken up by morality tales, literature, poetry, and agricultural tips.

Oakland Seminary
(Column 7)
Summary: Author gives a report of proceedings at an exhibition and picnic at Oakland Seminary at the Old Providence Church in honor of the seminary's first anniversary. The morning exercises were conducted by Miss Pringle, the school tutoress in the presence of Rev. Dr. Thompson and Rev. William Pinkerton, among others. Robert L. Doyle, Esq., delivered an oration and Rev. Dr. Thompson delivered a few remarks.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. Thompson, Miss Pringle, Rev. William Pinkerton, Esq. Robert Doyle)
Trailer: "A Spectator"

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Description of Page: Report of an upcoming solar eclipse, column 1. Short political articles scattered on the page.

The Duty of Democrats to Support the Union Ticket
(Column 1)
Summary: Spectator argues that Democratic voters who are truly for the South and the Union have a duty to vote for Constitutional Union candidates. Voting for Douglas is treason to the South, and voting for Breckinridge is treason to the Union.
Full Text of Article:

If there be truth in the positive asseverations of leading Democratic politicians, and their most influential presses, and patriotism in the masses of that party, the vote of this State will certainly be cast for Bell and Everett, it matters not what determination they may arrive at in reference to the Democratic electoral ticket. A portion of the Democratic politicians and presses of this State affirm with earnestness that to support electors favorable to the election of Douglas, would be treason to the rights and institutions of the South, destructive to the Constitution and subversive of State equality. Whilst, on the other hand, nearly an equal number as earnestly and positively maintain that to support electors favorable to the Breckenridge or Secession ticket, would be treason to the Union, as that ticket is the representative of a disunion party, organized for the purpose of effecting a dissolution of the Union. Democrats cannot vote for Douglas; for by doing so (if the authority of Democrats be of any value) they would be traitors to the rights of the South, enemies of State equality and heedless violators of the Constitution. They cannot vote for Breckenridge for good Democrats would affirm that, by doing so, they would be voting for a disunion ticket, which was nominated for the purpose of involving the North and the South in a sectional contest, which would lead directly and inevitably to disunion and civil war. They cannot vote for Lincoln, for both wings of their party unite in determined opposition to that Northern sectional party of which he is the nominee. There is then but one ticket for which they can vote, and by their votes remain true to the Union, the Constitution, the South and the equal rights of all the States, and that is the Constitutional , National, Union ticket--Bell and Everett.-- Those Democrats who object to the disunion Breckenridge ticket should vote for Bell, the nominee of a party organized chiefly for the purpose of preserving the "Union one and in separable, now and forever." He represents a party whose chief object is the antipode of that which they ascribe to the secession ticket--the preservation of the Union being the object of the one and its destruction that of the other. If then they are really the friends of the Union, they should cast their votes for the Union ticket. Those Democrats who oppose the election of Douglas, because he occupies a position hostile to the institutions of the South, should vote for Bell, who is a firm and true a friend of the "peculiar institution" of the South as any man who was ever born upon its soil or breathed its atmosphere. He believes that it has the sacred sanction of the Bible--that it is religiously, morally, socially, and politically right--that it is the fountain from which springs the vast stream of our national wealth and prosperity--that it is the Midas which converts all it touches to gold.

As it is the duty of both wings of the Democracy to support Bell and Everett, (as has been shown by their own statements) if they possess sufficient patriotism to perform the duty incumbent upon them, it is pretty evident that the vote of this state will be cast for the only national, constitutional, Union ticket. We believe the masses of the Democracy to be honest, patriotic, Union-loving men, and that they will vote accordingly on the day of the election. They will see before that time arrives that the Bell and Everett ticket is the only one that avoids the Scylla of Squatter-Sovereignty on one side and the Charybdis of disunion on the other. They will be convinced that safety resides in the middle way between the dangerous extremes.

Arrest of Horse Thief
(Column 1)
Summary: Report of the arrest of Elijah Hunter for stealing horses from John Churchman. Spectator reports that they and most of the town are surprised, as Hunter had a reputation as an honest man in the county.
(Names in announcement: Esq. John Churchman, Elijah Hunter)
Organize and Rally--Victory in View
(Column 2)
Summary: Spectator calls on all citizens in Augusta County to rally and organize behind the Constitutional Union party.
(Column 2)
Summary: Report of a buggy accident involving William Howell of Spring Hill, who was injured but not critically.
(Names in announcement: William Howell)
The Prospect in Virginia
(Column 3)
Summary: Spectator argues that the Constitutional Unionists can seize control of Virginia, which is ripe for the picking. The Democrats should be overthrown. Former Whigs who have been locked out of office for so long by the Democrats in power will emerge victorious. Urges people to rally behind the Constitutional Unionists.
Full Text of Article:

Never before in the history of the Old Commonwealth, says the Baltimore American, was there so glorious a chance for the Opposition to redeem Virginia from the iron thraldom of Democracy. Fettered, bound down, prostrated, the Whigs of the Mother of States and Statesmen have for many decades presented to the world the attitude precisely of the Tyrant in the State's coat of arms. But the facts reverse the picture. It is not Liberty trampling Tyranny under foot, but Party rioting in irresponsible power over the outstretched form of Conservatism, for surely there was never in any State so courageous, so steadfast, long-suffering and invincible a band of patriots, true to every just sentiment of nationality and to every portion of the Union as the Whigs of Virginia, nor was there ever in any part of the enlightened world a party more unrelenting in the exercise of power than the Democratic party of the same State. The story of the wrongs endured on the one hand and the high handed outrages inflicted on the other, is not unfamiliar to our readers. For years and years seventy thousand gentlemen, comprising the pith and flower of the Virginia population, have been virtually disfranchised.--Men of wealth, of learning, of influence, of the first order of ability in all things pertaining to public affairs, they have nevertheless had no more lot or part in the State government than if they had lived in China or Timbuctoo. They were not permitted to hold the lowest office within the gift of the Executive. They were ousted from the Boards of the Colleges, the University, the Banks, and even the Railroads.--Party lines were drawn where they ought never to have existed, and political tests were made where politics ought to have been rigidly excluded.

To be a Whig was to be incompetent for any public position however insignificant. To be a Whig in Virginia was to be no citizen. To be a Whig was for the young man to cut himself off from all chance of a career. To be a Whig was, save in the barren exercise of a franchise rendered purposely null and void, to be an alien. The Congressional districts were so altered as to make it next to impossible to return a Whig to the National Legislature. The same tyrannical system was resorted to in the formation of new counties, and all the old counties would have been re-arranged if the Democracy had dared to attempt a thing so monstrous. Wherever the Democratic party could obtain control they obtained it without regard to consequences, and without a thought as to the baneful effects of thrusting politics where politics in no manner belonged. In a State claiming to hold above all others sound views of government, in a State boasting to be the special guardian of State Rights, in a State blatant about constitutional limitations, a tyranny was practiced in exact accordance with the theory of Divine Right, Unlimited Monarchy, and without a parallel in the annals of the Republic. To the credit of the Old Dominion be it said, that one bright spot appears in all the long and dark expanse of partizan [sic] misrule--the Judiciary, made elective, was, nevertheless, high, pure and undefiled from the pollution of the party.

The time has now come when the oppressed may throw off the shackles and once more stand free. The sufferings of years may now be avenged. The State may be redeemed. The redemption of the State may be the salvation of the Union. A glorious hour is at hand for the Whigs of Virginia. A noble work, a great work, a task worthy so unselfish, so unconquerable, so patriotic a band, is to be done. The State divided against itself by the fends of Wise and Hunter was nearly won a year ago. But the feud between the friends of Douglas and of Breckenridge is a more serious, indeed a fatal thing. The Valley goes almost en masse for Douglas, the Tide- water region declares for Breckenridge. Yet this does not tell the tale entirely. Douglas has hosts of friends in the Cis-Allegheny country. He is known to be the stronger man. Papers have hoisted the Breckenridge flag that make no secret for their preference for his opponent. Papers remain silent which intended ere long to come out for Douglas. The Central Executive Committee of the Democratic party has been called together. The sigh is ominous. Douglas emissaries are pouring into the State, and are enthusiastic. The friends of Breckenridge are slow and unwilling in their work. Douglas wants the State to go for the Union party.--Money will not be spared. Intrigues are thickening daily. The wires that once worked so smoothly and effectively are all crossed, tangled, intertwisted. The wire workers are out-of-sorts, at logger-heads, undecided, stunned, paralyzed. The rank and file of the party are in like hapless condition. The fissure widens hourly--the breach yawns welcome to the Whigs. On, on gallant gentlemen, the citadel is yours!

Successful Invention
(Column 4)
Summary: The car-coupling invention of L. and W.H.H. Waddell, owned by Mr. Imboden, has been put into use on the Central Railroad and has been found to work successfully. It will be placed into use on other roads soon.
(Names in announcement: W.H.H. Waddell, L. Waddell, Mr. Imboden)
"The Pacificator" Again
(Column 4)
Summary: Article and letter from Secretary of War John Floyd to Messrs. Sibert and McCue indicating the favorable impression for their new gun, the "Virginia Pacificator," received in Washington.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Sibert, Mr. McCue)
State Democratic Convention
(Column 4)
Summary: Article from the Staunton Vindicator indicating that the Douglas Democrats of Virginia will never attend the State Democratic convention planned for Charlottesville, which will support the Breckinridge ticket. The Douglas Democrats will meet in Staunton instead. Article is followed by a letter from John Harman to Douglas Democrats calling them to meet in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: John Harman)
Origin of Article: Staunton Vindicator
Public Festival
(Column 5)
Summary: Public invitation to citizens to attend a public picnic at Brown's Spring near Fishersville. Submitted by W.W. King and J.D. Hanger, President and Secretary, respectively, of the committee created to arrange the picnic.
(Names in announcement: W.W. King, J.D. Hanger)
Trailer: W.W. King, President, J.D. Hanger, Sec'y

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Description of Page: Advertisements, land sales, etc.

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Description of Page: Advertisements.