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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: October 03, 1865

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-Page 01-

Candidates for Congress
(Column 06)
Summary: Lists the Congressional candidates in all state districts. Jno. Lewis and A. H. H. Stuart are the only two candidates from the Sixth District, which includes Augusta.
(Names in announcement: Jno. Lewis, Alexander Stuart)

-Page 02-

Duty of Voters
(Column 01)
Summary: This editorial castigates "the Press of the State" for urging voters to only elect men who will be able to take the test oath. The editor contends that voters should elect whoever they think can best represent them because the test oath itself is unconstitutional, and, he concludes, if the "radicals in Congress" deny those men their seats it will destroy the radicals and "strengthen the conservative party of the North."
Full Text of Article:

In our issue of September the 5th, we showed that the Constitution imposed no other restrictions upon eligibility to the House of Representatives in Congress than that the Representative should be 25 years of age, seven years at citizen of the United States, and, when elected, an inhabitant of the State in which he shall be chosen. These are the only Constitutional restrictions, and any others which have been imposed by Congress are palpably unconstitutional. The only oath which the Constitution requires members of Congress to take is, that they shall support the Constitution of the United States, and the imposition of any other is without Constitutional authority. There is no Constitutional authority for requiring persons elected to Congress to take the test oath imposed by Congress in July 1862.

No one can vote now who has not taken a solemn oath to "faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," and, consequently, it is the sworn duty of every voter to the Government to vote for those only who will "support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," and it is their duty to themselves to support those only who will defend all rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

The course of the Press of this State in urging the withdrawal of all candidates for Congress, who cannot take the unconstitutional Congressional test oath, is wrong both in its principle and policy. It is wrong in principle, because it acknowledges the right of Congress to impose restrictions upon eligibility which are without Constitutional authority; and wrong in policy, because if we do not assert and claim our rights they will never be granted to us.

We maintain that, under the obligations of the solemn oaths which all voters have taken to "faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," it is their duty to support those only who will not submit to unconstitutional requirements. The people can effectually "support, protect, and defend the Constitution" only by electing Representatives who will oppose all unconstitutional legislation.

If we acknowledge the right of Congress to prescribe qualifications of eligibility, Congress can prescribe any it may choose. It may prescribe any it may choose. It may prescribe that the Representatives shall be made a man of color, that he shall be six fee high, that he shall weigh 200 lbs., that he shall have red hair, or any other qualification equally absurd. It is a monstrous proposition, and "tis strange, passing strange" that any sensible man should believe that it was designed by the wise authors of the Constitution to invest Congress with such a right.

We should elect men who deny this right, and who would refuse to take an unconstitutional requirement. Those, even, who could take the Congressional test oath without any violations of conscience, should refuse to do so, upon the ground that it is an unauthorized and unconstitutional requirement, and that it is their duty, under their sworn obligations to "faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," to refuse to do any act which would recognize, in the slightest degree, the right of Congress to impose such a test. Every friend of the Constitution who may be elected a Representative, whether from the North or South, should peremptorily and persistently refuse to submit to such a requirement. They should take their stands boldly upon the firm and solid basis of the Constitution, and each be willing, like Fitz James, to exclaim:

"Come one, come all! this r[unclear] shall fly

From its firm base as soon as I."

Suppose the citizens of this State should elect only such men as would take the oath, and that they should move in Congress the appeal of the Congressional test oath, would not the members from the North say that the people of this State showed their approval of the test oath by electing only such as would agree to take it? They would say that such was the sentiment of Virginia, that all candidates who could not take the oath were either compelled to withdraw from the canvass before the election, or were defeated at the polls. Should Virginia elect such only as could take the oath, and they would agree to do so, she would be playing the very game which would suit those who wish to keep Representative men out of Congress.

If we elect men who were opposed to secession, who merely acted with their States and who cannot take the oath because of their sympathy with their own people whilst engaged in a mighty death struggle, and they should be denied admittance, it would do more than anything else that could happen to strengthen the conservative party of the North.

It should be borne in mind that loyal men are entitled to be represented by men of their choice, and that no man can vote who is not recognized as a loyal man -- whence it follows that those who are entitled to vote have the right to be represented by those they may elect. Would Congress dare to reject the Representatives of loyal citizens who possess the Constitutional qualifications, and who are in wise responsible for the inauguration of the rebellion? If the radicals in Congress should deny admittance to such Representatives, of loyal citizens, it would break down their party, build up a controlling conservative party, and finally result in the restoration to us of all our Constitutional rights. It is our duty to maintain our rights firmly. If our Constitutional rights are to be denied to us, let it be against our earnest protest, and not with our consent. We may be overpowered, but we cannot be debased and degraded except by our own conduct. We should so comport ourselves as to maintain our own self respect, and to deserve the respect of others. As we said on a former occasion, "The people of the South have lost nearly all save honor. Their honor and manhood, they should, by all means, preserve."

(Column 03)
Summary: A list of the citizens of Augusta who have been pardoned by President Johnson.
(Names in announcement: Thomas McCue, John McCue, Jacob Bowman, Dr. John McChesney, Dr. William McChesney, William Dunlap, Nathan Blakemore, Hugh McClure, Jas. Stout, Arch. Sproul, Zach. McChesney, John Churchman, John Stover, William Tate, Benjamin Cochran, Isaac Hall, P. Schmucker, Benjamin Crawford, Alexander Kinney, Franklin McCue, Elijah Hogshead, Johnathan Hendren)
The Congressional Election
(Column 04)
Summary: In this letter "Rockingham" urges voters to elect Mr. Lewis instead of Mr. Stuart. Electing Stuart, "a gentleman notoriously unable" to take the test oath, would be "fatal folly," he warns, creating "an attitude of antagonism, not only to the republicans of the North, but to the conservative party itself."
(Names in announcement: John Lewis, Alexander Stuart)
Origin of Article: Rockingham Register
Trailer: Rockingham

-Page 03-

"The 1st National Bank of Staunton"
(Column 01)
Summary: This article reports the formation of a new National Bank in Augusta. Alexander Stuart was elected by the directors to serve as the new President of the Bank.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Stuart, Charles Cochran, Hugh Sheffey, Claiborne Mason, Briscoe Donaghue, William Allan, William Tams, James Crawford, M. Harman)
In The Wrong Place
(Column 01)
Summary: This article reports on "two colored persons," who, "presuming equality," seated themselves in the lobby of the American Hotel near "white ladies." The proprietor demonstrated to the "'gemmen ob color'" in "a striking and forcible manner that he had wholly mistaken his social status."
Full Text of Article:

On Friday evening last, two colored persons, a man and woman, got out of the stage at the American Hotel, and, presuming upon social equality, went into the sitting room of the Hotel and seated themselves upon one of the sofas, whilst another was occupied by white ladies who had just arrived. As soon as the Proprietor discovered the unwarrantable liberty taken by this "gemmen ob color," he showed him in a striking and forcible manner that he had wholly mistaken his social status. The negro sought redress by reporting the case to the Provost Marshal, who, after hearing the facts, told the negro that he had received the kind of treatment he deserved, but not to the degree to which his improper conduct justly entitled him. We suppose that negro doubts whether "de bottom rail be on de top now."

Sewing Society
(Column 01)
Summary: This article reports the formation of a Sewing Society, aimed at raising enough revenue to procure a new roof for the Presbyterian Church.
(Names in announcement: McGuffin)
House Burnt with an Infant in it
(Column 01)
Summary: An accidental fire consumed a house owned by Jno. Trimble, burning a six month old "colored infant" as well.
(Names in announcement: Jno. Trimble)
Col. George H. Smith
(Column 01)
Summary: Col. George Smith, who commanded the 62nd Virginia Regiment, has established his law offices in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Col. George Smith)
American Hotel
(Column 01)
Summary: The editor reports that the proprietor of the American Hotel, referred to in another article on this page, "seems determined to show the public that he is one of the few who 'know how to keep a Hotel.'"
(Names in announcement: Charles O'Ferrall)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: In this letter, Alexander Cochran reveals himself to be "A Citizen," the letter writer who battled with Maj. J. M. McCue in previous issues of the Spectator. Cochran defends his conduct during the war against charges McCue has made against him.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Cochran, Geo. H. Smith, Powell Harrison, J. McCue)
Trailer: Alexander B. Cochran
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter from Jno. Lewis, congressional candidate, responds to allegations made by his challenger, A. H. H. Stuart. Lewis also asserts his ability to "conscientiously" take the test oath if elected.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Stuart, Jno. Lewis)
Full Text of Article:

Mr. Editor

Please publish the following paragraphs, written in reply to one or two points, made in the Hon. A. H. H. Stuart's last card to the voters of the District.

Mr. Stuart accuses me of quoting from private letter of his to prove that he was opposed to reconstruction as late as February last. This I did not do. i never saw the letters; but Dr. Woods, at the Albemarle Court, upon the hustings, charged Mr. Stuart with having written -- letters in which he said, "we could never live with the Northern vandals again; that the Southern members would have to legislate with bowie knives and pistols." Mr. Stuart being present, did not deny it.

I have heard that some of Mr. Stuart's friends are circulating a report that my loyalty was questioned by the Confederate Government; that my contract was about to be annulled, and that I went to Richmond to prove my loyalty. I am certain that Mr. Stuart can have given this report no countenance, as it is entirely false.

The firm of Lewis, Crawford, & Co., had contract with Jos. R. Anderson & Co., that paid handsomely. The Government forced us to relinquish this, and make one with them that did not pay.

I here repeat, with emphasis, that, if elected to the U. S. Congress, I can, conscientiously, and will take the oath. Mr. Stuart says he cannot take it, and that he would despise himself if he did.

Jno. F. Lewis

Trailer: Jno. F. Lewis
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter reports on revivals at South Mountain and North River, which lasted nearly two weeks. At North River alone "some 22 professed conversion."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Hill, W. Stringer)
Trailer: W. R. Stringer
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: In this letter, B. F. Hailman, who had previously declined candidacy for the House of Delegates, now announces himself a candidate.
(Names in announcement: B. F. Hailman)
Trailer: B. F. Hailman

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