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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: February 20, 1866

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-Page 01-

Interview Between Mr. Johnson And The Virginia Delegation
(Column 02)
Summary: Summary of a meeting between President Johnson and a delegation of white Virginians who urged the President to continue his current course.

-Page 02-

The Prospect Before Us
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that "a collision" between Johnson and Congress "seems imminent" and urges Johnson to crush the rebellion of "Danton, Marat, and Robespierre--re-incarnated in the persons of Stevens, Sumner, and Howe."
Full Text of Article:

Matters are fast tending to an issue at Washington. The President is determined to stand by the Constitution and the Radicals are equally determined to disregard it. A collision, therefore, between the Executive and Congress seems imminent -- one or the other must back down, or a fearful contest must ensue. The President cannot back down. His oath of the office forbids it. He has sworn to support the Constitution, and all his measures, heretofore, have been directed to that end.

On the other hand, the Radicals are obstinate and ferocious and fatally bent on mischief.

We must confess we can see the peaceful solution of the difficulty. Slighter disagreements have, in other countries, been referred to the arbitrament of the sword.

How do matters now stand? The President assume -- and properly assumes -- that the Southern States did not succeed in getting out of the Union. They made the attempts, but failed. Their rights, as members of the Union, were suspended, but not annihilated. When they conform to the coalitions required of them, they are entitled to be restored to all their rights as co-equal States.

This they have, in good faith, done, and the President, carrying out the pledges given both by Mr. Lincoln and himself, will shortly issue his proclamation declaring that the rebellion is over the Union restored -- and that the Southern States are entitled to all their rights and duties as co-States, including the right to be represented in Congress.

The Radicals deny the President's theory.--They say that the Southern States were out of the Union, and have been conquered. That they now stand as conquered provinces, with no constitutional rights, and subject to such terms sa the dominant party may impose of them.

It is easy to see the motive which prompts the Radicals to falsify their own declarations, and assume a position so much at war with the Constitution, with justice and with common sense.

Their object is to perpetuate their own power. They wish to retain a two-thirds majority in Congress so as to override the action of the President, and, if need be, to override the President himself. They are unwilling to let Southern Representatives into Congress because they know that Southern members would stand by the President and frustrate their unhallowed and revolutionary plans.

What is to be the next act in the grand drama? Time only can disclose the answer to this question.

Suppose the President issues his proclamation declaring all the States in the Union and entitled to representation in Congress -- what next?

Congress will refuse to admit them. Will it not then be the duty of the President to refuse to acknowledge the authority of this "rump parliament," which persists in disregarding the Constitution, by excluding men having as good a right as themselves to seats in Congress?

The Constitution provides for representation of all the States. Is Congress properly organized until it yields obedience to this provision of the Constitution?

What is rebellion but resistance to the Constitution, and laws of the U. S. passed in pursuance thereof? Rebellion may be made by Congress as well as by common people.

One of the highest duties of the President is to suppress unjustifiable rebellion, come from what quarter it may.

He has fulfilled what he conceived to be his duty in regard to the Southern States. Their rebellion has been put down.

Is he now to stand by, and see rebellion raise its head in other quarters, without seeking to crush it? We think not. We think it is his duty to suppress unjustifiable rebellion, come from what quarter it may, and to employ such agencies as are necessary to accomplish the end.

Suppose this "rump-parliament" were, in a moment of reckless desperation, to seek to impeach, and remove the President? By their constitutional exclusion of Southern members, they may have the numerical strength to do it. Would the President fulfill his duty to the country, by standing by, passively, and allowing himself to be made the victims of Danton, Marat and Robespierre -- re-incarnated in the persons of Stevens, Sumner and Howe?

We think not. We think it is his duty to protect himself, as the embodiment of the Executive government.

If no milder means will avail, the Constitution gives him, as commander-in-chief, the right to employ the military power to save the Constitution and preserve the Union.

Possibly if some of the Congressional rebels were indulged with quarter, free of charge, in the case-mates of Fortress Monroe, their health and possibly their manners, might be benefitted. This may be a new phase of the "Monroe doctrine," but we think it would prove more wholesome to the body politic than the original pronunciamento.

We are for equal and impartial justice. Rebellion has been whipped out of us of the South by force of arms. We have knocked under.--We have thrown secession and rebellion to the winds. We recognize our duty and allegiance to the government of the U. S. But we wish the same measure of compulsion -- the same salutary discipline extended to other offenders.--We are for putting down rebellion come from what source it may, and show itself in what form it may. The rebellion of 1861 was hatched in Congress. By delaying the suppression too long, time was given for the brood to spread itself over the whole South. President Johnson had better profit by experience and crush this second rebellion in the nest.

The Freedmen-$125,000
(Column 03)
Summary: Uses a Philadelphia Quaker subscription to establish a freedmen's school as a pretext for encouraging emigration. The author asks "why should our Israelites not go to the land of promise in Massachusetts?"
Nominations for Judges
(Column 03)
Summary: A list of nominations for judgeships, including Hugh Sheffey for Augusta county.
(Names in announcement: L. P. Thompson, Hugh Sheffey)
A Good Shot
(Column 03)
Summary: A debate between the Spectator and the Rockingham Register over the issue of which county is home to greater marksmen, since men in each county have recently downed bald eagles.
(Names in announcement: Robert Byers)
Origin of Article: Rockingham Register
(Column 04)
Summary: Henry Loyns and Harriet Cease were married on Feb. 15th by Rev. J. I. Miller.
(Names in announcement: Henry Loyns, Harriet Cease, Rev. J. I. Miller)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Greiner and Susan McGuffin were married on February 8th by Rev. William Pinkerton.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John Greiner, Susan McGuffin, Rev. William Pinkerton)
(Column 04)
Summary: Parmelia Hester died at the residence of her father on January 5th.
(Names in announcement: Parmelia Hester, Capt. J. H. Ast)

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Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Julia Painter, of Greenville, was charged with hog stealing and placed in jail.
(Names in announcement: Julia Painter)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: James Levell was committed to jail last Wednesday, charged with knowingly passing counterfeit money.
(Names in announcement: James Levell, John O'Hare)
Local News--A Sad Death
(Column 01)
Summary: James Mayse, "an old citizen," froze to death last Friday.
(Names in announcement: James Mayse)
Local News--Baptist Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the Baptist Fair held at the Virginia Hotel in Staunton was a success, raising over 500 dollars for the repair of the Baptist church.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Hiden, Prof. P. T. Barnitz)
Local News--A Debt To Departed Soldiers
(Column 01)
Summary: Calls for subscriptions to improve the status of "cemetery hill," where the graves of Confederate soldiers are in an "exposed condition."
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Proceedings of the Churchville Agricultural Club, which convened last week.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. B. Davis, John Hamilton, William Tate, Jacob Baylor, E. Geeding, B. F. Hailman, B. Walters)
Mass Meeting of the People of Augusta
(Column 02)
Summary: Calls for all "citizens" of Augusta to assemble on the next court day to express their support for President Johnson.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Crawford, S. M. Woodward, Francis Stribling, W. H. Garber, George Price, John Smith, A. S. Kinney, John Pitzer, P. H. Trout, Davis Kayser, F. M. Young, A. S. Lara, J. L. Timberlake, Alexander Stuart, George Harper, Henry EidsonSr., William McChesney, Edwin Taylor, A. D. Trotter, Samuel Baskin, N. P. Catlett, L. L. Stevenson, C. R. Mason, W. Allan, William Burke, Thomas Bledsoe, M. G. Harman, I. Witz, J. W. Crawford, A. F. Kinney, Bolivar Christian, Thomas Michie, T. W. Shelton, H. M. Bell, William Bell, J. Wayt Bell, Thomas Burke)

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