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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: September 12, 1865

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-Page 01-

Railroad Accidents of This Year
(Column 04)
Summary: Offers figures from "the New York papers" that in less than eight months 266 deaths and 1109 injuries have been caused by railroad accidents. These figures include only those "recorded at the time of the accident," leaving an untold number who "died after weeks or months of suffering."

-Page 02-

Whom Shall We Elect?
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that while Southerners have the "right to choose any man who possesses the Constitutional qualifications," considerations of "duty and sound policy" suggest that they should avoid electing men who were "prominently connected with the rebellion."
Full Text of Article:

The question which seems to be perplexing the minds of the citizens a this time is: "What manner of men should be elected to represent them in the Halls of Congress?" Some maintain that they should elect only such as are willing to take the oath embodied in the Congressional act of July 1862, thereby swearing, "without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion" that "they have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility" to the United States -- that they "have not yielded a voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power or constitution within the United States hostile or inimical thereto." We showed in our issue of last week, by quoting the qualification of eligibility prescribed in the Constitution, that the act of Congress, is palpably unconstitutional, null and void. The object of the Constitution in granting to the people the privilege of electing members of Congress is that the sentiments of the people may be represented. It requires collections to be held every two years that Congress might always be true reflex of popular sentiment. No man who can conscientiously take the Congressional oath would be a fair exponent of the sentiments of the people, and any who would take it otherwise than conscientiously should not be respected, mush less chosen as the honored Representative and guardian of the public interests. If the people should elect men as their Representatives who can take that unconstitutional test oath, they would be responsible for the course they would pursue, however objectionable it might be to them. Rather than be represented by persons who have not entertained the sentiments of their constituents it would be better to have representatives at all; for it is far better not to be represented than to be misrepresented. The people should elect at this time their ablest, most conservative and most prudent and discreet men.

Whilst the voters have the right to choose any man who possesses the Constitutional qualifications, we believe that duty and sound policy now require of them to choose such as have not been prominently connected with the rebellion, and against whom no reasonable objection can be urged. Then if the radicals in Congress should deny them admission on the ground of their refusal to take an unconstitutional oath, the outrage would arouse all the latent conservatism of the North -- awaken it from its Rip Van Winkle sleep == and cause the radicals to be overwhelmed with popular indignation. We should do our duty to ourselves, boldly and fearlessly, and leave the consequence in protecting hands of a gracious Providence. We believe it would be better for us, if our chosen Representatives should find the doors rudely slammed in their faces, and admittance peremptorily denied them. If we should be denied representation, we should be exempt from taxation; for the great principle involved in the war of the revolution was, "that there should not be taxation without representation." The radical majority in the next Congress will be so great that our Representatives, if admitted, will not have the power to control legislation, but, by their ineffectual opposition, may only add increased hostility to the tyranizing majority. If we were allowed a choice between ineffectual representation with taxation, and exemption from taxation without representation, we would prefer the latter.

Virginia is either one of the United States or she is not -- she is either in the Union or she is out. If she is in the Union, she is entitled to be represented in Congress by such men of her choice as possess the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution; and if she is out of the Union, she is entitled to a free and independent Government of her own. She considers herself a member of the Union, and, as such, recognizes her obligations to the Constitution of the United States, and claims the right to be represented in Congress by persons possessing the Constitutional qualifications, and denies the right of that or any other branch of the Government to impose any restrictions upon eligibility other than those specified in the Constitution. She knows her rights and will maintain them. "Old Virginia, never tire."

Religious Meeting in Harrisonburg
(Column 03)
Summary: Reports on a series of religious meetings between two Methodist churches in Harrisonburg. These meetings followed the union of these two churches, which until recently were "widely separated" and are described as a "cause for rejoicing among all classes of our community."
Conduct of Virginians
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that while Confederate soldiers fought bravely and resolutely they were quick to resume "their business avocations" when "overwhelmed by superior power" and harbored no desire to question "the constituted authorities of the land." Nevertheless, the author contends, Virginians will not be "toadies and boot-licks" to those who defeated them.
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
Full Text of Article:

So long as there was any hope of a successful issue, says the Richmond Whig, the people of Virginia and the South continued their resistance to the Federal armies, and fought with bravery and resolution worthy of men deeply in earnest, and which should command for them the respect and admiration even of their most malignant enemies. But when the struggle was brought to a close by the surrender of the Confederate armies, they promptly and unanimously resumed their respective business avocations, with a sincere determination to accept and abide by the legitimate results of the war, and with no earthly thought of offering further resistance, in any shape or form, to the constituted authorities of the land. That they did not once fall to hugging and kissing those with whom they had been so long engaged in deadly combat, and playing the part generally of toadies and boot-licks, is to be ascribed to the fact that, though overwhelmed by superior power, they were still men and gentlemen, high-minded, honorable an sensitive, capable of enduring any amount of hardship, suffering and privation in behalf of their cause, but wholly incapable of doing or saying anything which would tend to diminish their own self-respect and disgrace them in the eyes of the world. It is not always those who talk loudest and biggest in regard to their loyalty and patriotism who can be most depended on. And consequently the people of this State, conscious of the rectitude of their intentions, do not consider it either appropriate or necessary to reiterate every hour in the day that they mean to conform to the oaths they have taken and the obligations they assumed as citizens of the United States. They very properly and pointedly argue that, if the people of the North refuse to believe them on oath, they will hardly believe them on their mere word; and hence they are naturally reluctant to indulge in repeated and profuse professions of patriotism and loyalty.

"Idiots or Knaves"
(Column 03)
Summary: This article quotes an 1859 speech delivered by Andrew Johnson in the Senate, where he argued that "'the man who deliberately and boldly asserts that Thomas Jefferson, when he penned the sentiment that all men were created equal, and the negro in his mind, is either an idiot or a knave." The author then suggests that Johnson "must believe that the number of persons in the North who are either idiots or knaves to be very great."
(Column 05)
Summary: Mary Beard and William Teawalt were joined in marriage by the Rev. Dice on September 7 at the home of the bride's father, near Mint Spring.
(Names in announcement: David Beard, William Teawalt, Mary Beard, Rev. Dice)

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Major J. M. McCue responds to allegations of wrongdoing made against him in the previous issue of the Spectator. McCue suggests that his accuser may be an "aspirant" to office with questionable motives.
(Names in announcement: Maj. J. McCue, Kinney, Col. William Bell)
Trailer: J. M. M'C
Tournament and Picnic
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports on a tournament held at an estate on the South River, where "politics and war are forgotten in the excitement incident to the duties of the gallant." James Wead won the contest and crowned Kate Estill Queen of Love and Beauty.
(Names in announcement: James Patrick, H. Sheffey, Col. McCune, James Wead, F. McComb, Samuel Whitmore, Dewitt Turk, Alexander Turk, Kate Estill, M. Brooks, Sally Mowry, K. Yount, Sally Wead, Ella Kennerly)
Trailer: X.
A Mysterious Providence
(Column 02)
Summary: Newton Denver, a 22 year-old Confederate veteran and local resident, met with an ignominious end when he inadvertently impaled himself on a kitchen utensil. The fork went through his eye and damaged his brain, leaving him in "intense agony" until he died more than thirty six hours later.
(Names in announcement: Newton Denver, Richard Dudley)
Trailer: M'C
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: In this letter, Nicholas Trout explains that, despite his "private interests and distaste for public life," he will accept a position in the state Senate if elected.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Trout)
Trailer: Nicholas K. Trout
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter endorses the candidacy of Alexander Stuart for Congress, pointing out his "rare genius, great experience and profound statesmanship."
(Names in announcement: Alexander Stuart)
Trailer: Rockbridge
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: A letter endorsing Nicholas Trout for state Senate, who the author argues "will make a careful, efficient, accurate, useful member of the Senate."
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Trout)
Trailer: One Who Knows Him
To The Voters of Augusta
(Column 03)
Summary: In this letter, Thornton Berry acknowledges the "very complimentary nature of the calls" nominating him for a position in the legislature. Berry has decided to "acquiesce in their wishes" and declares his candidacy.
(Names in announcement: Thornton Berry)
Trailer: Thonton Berry
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Referring to an earlier letter by "Citizen" that suggested impropriety in the nominations made in the public meeting held at the August Court, the author suggests a new nominee, Col. Archer Moore. Moore, the author points out, hails from a section of the county "which has not had a representative for more than twenty years."
(Names in announcement: Col. Archer Moore)
Trailer: N. W. Augusta
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter recommends Archer Moore for the House of Delegates. The authors' previous nominee, D.S Young, declined candidacy.
(Names in announcement: D. Young, Archer Moore)
Trailer: Many Voters of the Upper End of the County
The Legislature
(Column 03)
Summary: A letter suggesting that Joseph Addison Waddell stands out as a man "well informed on the important subjects to be considered" in the next legislature. The authors are confident that he will serve if elected.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Waddell)
Trailer: Many Voters
(Column 03)
Summary: A letter defending Nicholas Trout's eligibility against charges made by "Middle River" in a letter from the previous week.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Trout)
Trailer: Lewis' Creek
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: A letter form B.F. Hailman, in which he declines a nomination for the House of Delegates.
(Names in announcement: B. F. Hailman)
Trailer: B. F. Hailman
Opening of the Congressional Canvass
(Column 04)
Summary: An article detailing the speeches of A. H. H. Stuart and other candidates to an assemblage of men in Albemarle County. In the course of his speech, Stuart pointed out that "as a practical man, he accepted the abolition of slavery" and suggested that "the negro would become extinct or be removed." He also denounced "the cherishing of old prejudices" now that Southerners were "citizens of the Union."
Origin of Article: Charlottesville Chronicle
Full Text of Article:

Messrs. John R. Woods, of Albemarle, A. H. H. Stuart, of Augusta, and John F. Lewis, of Rockingham, presented themselves before the people of his county at Court, on last Monday, as candidates for their suffrages for the next Congress of the United States. There was quite a number of people at Court, and Dr. John R. Woods first addressed them.

Dr. Woods commenced by making a pass at the Resolutions of 1798-9, "Construction Construed," and all by-gone Virginia abstractions, and said he was rather for a development of the great material resources of Virginia. He passed a high eulogy on the government of the United States, which he said had been perverted by agitators and demagogues from a representatives republic into a democracy. African Slavery had been the common lever of fanatics at the North and fanatics at the South. He had been a Union men in 1860-1 -- had counseled moderation -- his counsels were unheeded, and Virginia cast her lot with her Southern sisters. He had clung to the Union, but after Secession was accomplished, his sympathies were with his own people -- with Lee and Jackson and our glorious soldiers. He prayed fervently for our success. When after three years of blood-shed, he perceived the cause was lost, he struggled and prayed as fervently, for an honorable settlement through negotiation.--Dr. Woods said he could not take the Congressional Oath -- he had taken three oaths, and wanted to taken no more. Those he had taken he meant to keep. (Looking at his friends Mr. Stuart) he said he had signed no ordinance of Secession, to prevent his taking his seat if elected. African slavery was dead -- let us accept the fact. Let it die: it had obstructed the material progress of Virginia. As for the negro, he is the chief sufferer, and we should treat him kindly; for he had behaved well during the war, considering the circumstances. He was if favor of getting rid of them by sending them to territories, or elsewhere. There was no cause for despondency or despair. We must go to work and build up the State. The speaker expressed his confidence in President Johnson, who he had no doubt would make himself the President of the whole nation. Parties in the South, he said, were dead.

When Mr. Woods had concluded, Col. T. J. Randolph introduced to the meeting the Hon. A. H. H. Stuart.

Mr. Stuart said that he had been brought out as a candidate in the most unexpected manner, and had felt it his duty to yield to the numerous and urgent solicitations which he had received. He regarded the time as involving the most momentous Crisis. He had been a member of the Virginia Convention in 1861. He had been educated to regard the Union as the great palladium of our liberties, and had clung to the Union, and cherished it with fondest affection. For its disruption he blamed North and South.--There were two antagonistic parties, and each contributed to work that dismemberment. They were the Fire-eaters and Abolitionists. If you want to break a string, said Mr. S., you catch it at each end, and pull them in opposite directions. The two parties that several the Union were antagonistic, and pulling in opposite directions -- but with a common object. He had no tolerance of either of these parties -- for the leaders -- the people had been their dupes and victims. He foresaw the danger in 1860, and was the first man to suggest the organization of a Union party. Subsequently as a member of the Virginia Senate he was active in getting up the Peace Congress. In the Convention he voted persistently against Secession. He resisted it with all his power to the end. His name stands recorded against it. Others changed their votes when a majority appeared for it, but he never did. At a later day, when people had ratified it at the polls, as their representatives, he signed the ordinance. He then declined a re-election to the Senate, because he felt that he was not in proper sympathy with the people. But he was not an indifferent spectator: he was a Virginian -- and as Ruth said to Naomi, he exclaimed, "whither thou goest, I will go:and where thou lodges, I will lodge; they people shall be my people, and thy God my God." He went with his sons and brothers, and nephews, and brothers-in-law. Now that the sword had decided the contest, he accepted the decision. If elected he could not state what he should do. It was impossible to foresee what questions would arise, or what measures should be adopted. He gave no pledges. He would be governed by circumstances, and do the best he could for the country and for Virginia.--Slavery was dead. It could not be restored. The negro would become extinct or be removed. As a practical man, he accepted the abolition of slavery. The next Congress will have great questions before it. It will be the grandest theatre ever presented to the statesman. As to the oath, it is unwarranted by the Constitution, and therefore null and void. He should despise himself, if he took it; he could not take without perjury. No one who had given a soldier a blanket, or a nights's lodging, could take the oath. Mr. S here argued the Constitutionality of the oath. The Constitution, and not Congress, foxes the qualifications of members of Congress, nor can one Congress prescribe rules of a succeeding Congress. The present dominant party will be certainly prostate in two years, and suppose their opponents require a member of Congress then to swear that he was never a Republican? The pledges of the Southern people, he said, must be fulfilled. They were now citizens of the Union. it was one country -- and its flag was henceforth, our flag. Let us discharge our full duty. The speaker then declaimed against the cherishing of old prejudices -- all that he urged should be buried.

Mr. Lewis followed Mr. Stuart in a very brief speech. He rested his claims to the suffrages of the people on this: that he could take that oath. If he was elected, he would take it. He only desired to go to Congress because he thought he could be of service to the people. Mr. Stuart could not take, and he knew it. Mr. Stuart and himself stood side by side in th Convention; but Mr. S. had signed the ordinance of secession he did not. He had nothing to retract. He was proud of his record. He was the only member east of the Alleghanies that refused to sign the ordinance. The question was one of eligibility: if you send Dr. Woods or Mr. Stuart, you will go unrepresented.--He would endeavor to have his test oath and all other restrictions, removed. Mr. L. here asked Mr. Stuart, if he had meant to denounce him in his remarks about neutrals? Mr. S. said, certainly not. Mr. Lewis was glad of it: he was no neutral. (Maj. Green Peyton in the crowd then asked, "Then, what were you, Mr. Lewis, if you were not a neutral?") Mr. L. said -- I believed that the Southern Confederacy, if established, could not last five years. L. was for the United States.

-Page 04-

The New Weapon of the South
(Column 03)
Summary: Predicts that Southerners, "wielding in their powerful grasp the weapon of intellect" will yet be able to stop the "political heresies" propounded in the North.
Origin of Article: Metropolitan Record
Editorial Comment: "In the course of an article under this caption the Metropolitan Record, published in the city of New York, and one of the staunchest and most able vindicators of Southern honor-- a journal that we can conscientiously commend to the support of our entire people-- holds the following language, alike complimentary to the intelligence of the South and correct in its conclusions:"