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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: December 11, 1860

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Entire page consists of printed text of Buchanan's State of the Union Address.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: First two columns are conclusion of Buchanan's message, continued from previous page. Columns 4-6 consist of an exchange of letters between an unidentified Augusta County man and John Minor Botts. The Augusta man seeks advice about secession, and Botts rejects the secessionist impulse.

President's Message
(Column 3)
Summary: Spectator gives a brief comment on the President's address, writing that it was "able" and "patriotic," but wishing that Buchanan had taken a stronger position against secession.
Vote of Virginia for Bell and Everett
(Column 3)
Summary: Virginia cast its electoral votes for Bell and Everett.
Nothing to Regret
(Column 3)
Summary: Editorial arguing that those who supported and voted for the Union ticket have nothing to be ashamed of, and that a conservative force is needed now more than ever to save the country.
Full Text of Article:

Though the country is enveloped in gloom and darkness, and the minds of the people oppressed with anxiety and dread, those who supported the Union ticket have done nothing for which they can reproach themselves. They did all they could to avert the dangers which at this time threaten the Government with destruction. If they had succeeded in the election of their ticket the country would now be at perfect peace with a bright and hopeful prospect for continued happiness and prosperity. They predicted the evils which would ensue in the event of their defeat, but the people turned a deaf ear to their entreaties and expostulations. They are now, though in a great minority, doing all they can to save the country. The train which contains all the vast interests of this great country is now on a descending grade, driven with an excess of steam, and it is time the conservative "brakes" were put down with vigorous force, else there will soon be a general smash up.

They Know Not What to Do
(Column 3)
Summary: Editorial claiming that the people are looking to Congress to lead the nation out of the peril in which the Union now stands, but it seems that there is no one in that body who has any idea how to find a solution.
Full Text of Article:

The members of Congress, like the people generally, seem to be at a perfect loss to know what to do in the present perilous condition of the country. They are like persons groping their way in a dark cave where not a ray of light penetrates, and where there is constant danger that a misstep may precipitate them over a fearful precipice. All is gloom, darkness, danger and dread. They feel that it will not do to stand still, and yet they know not in what direction to move, for fearful dangers environ them on every side. The people look to Congress to lead the way out of this labyrinth of dangers, but it seems that that body does not possess an Ariadne who can furnish the clue by which that object can be attained.

(Column 7)
Summary: James Glass married Eliza Jane Ransbottom on December 6 near Middlebrook.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J.D. Shirey, James Glass, Eliza Jane Ransbottom)
(Column 7)
Summary: Washington Hoss married Mary Hutchens on December 4 at the Staunton Hotel.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J.D. Shirey, Washington Hoss, Mary Hutchens)
(Column 7)
Summary: Obituary for three children of the Crockett family, all of whom died of diphtheria.
(Names in announcement: William Crockett, Gustavus Crockett, Estill Crockett, Gustavus Crockett, Elizabeth Crockett)
Trailer: "S"
(Column 7)
Summary: Mary Ann Ryan died in Port Republic on November 22 at age 44.
(Names in announcement: Mary Ann Ryan, Thomas Ryan)
Trailer: J.W.P.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Proceedings of Congress, column 1. Remainder of page is advertisements, auctions and sales, etc. Bottom right is illegible.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Advertisements; bottom left is illegible.