Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: May 22, 1866

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: An account of a geological survey of Rockbridge, Amherst, and Augusta counties.
(Names in announcement: Lorenzo Sibert)
Trailer: Lorenzo Sibert
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: "Old Mortality" calls for the erection of a monument to Augusta's Confederate dead in the Court House square.
Trailer: Old Mortality
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: Referring to a months-old controversy involving local Bishop Glossbrenner, "How-E" questions whether the church still desires to "place the negro over and above us."
Trailer: "How-E"
[No Title]
(Column 06)
Summary: Referring to the recent petition from loyal citizens of Augusta to Congress, "Bremo" calls on members of the community to "expose all those who signed this petition," arguing that "forbearance is no longer a virtue with this class."
Trailer: Bremo

-Page 02-

Filching Money From Negroes
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that W. J. Dews, who apparently initiated the controversial recent petition sent to Congress, used his position as a member of the Freedmen's Court to "filch money from the negro," making him "worse than a chicken thief."
(Names in announcement: W. J. Dews)
Full Text of Article:

The report of Gens. Steedman and Fullerton shows that a number of men connected with the Freedmen's Bureau are using their positions to make money out of the negroes whom they are pretending to protect. In the South, it has always been considered the very meanest of acts to take advantage of a negro. A man who will cheat or in any way take advantage of a negro to "put money into his own pocket" is worse than a chicken thief, and if he occupies an office the duty of which makes him the guardian of the negro's interest, and uses it to filch money from the negro, he is worse than a highway robber. That some who are connected with the Freedmen's Bureau are making money out of the negroes, whilst they hypocritically pretend to be acting the part of their best friends, there can be no doubt. That we would not have to go far to find a case of this kind will appear from the following:

A negro has $30 stolen from him. A member of the Freedmen's Court proposes, for a consideration, to recover it. The negro does not agree to employ him. The judge of the Freedmen's court proposes a second time, and importunes the negro till he consents to employ him, the negro agreeing to give him $8 on the condition that he recover a single cent of the money, but makes the negro pay him $3 any way.

In another case, a negro wishes to have some State Bank notes exchanged for Greenbacks.--He went to the same Judge in the Freedmen's Court and requested him to have the exchange made for him. The Judge took his money, walked to the Bank, but a short distance off, and received $17 in Greenbacks in exchange for the negro's State bank money, and for this service required the negro to pay him $3.00.--These facts have been reported to us by a respectable gentleman. The place where these nice operations were effected is the town of Staunton, and the individual who performed them is W. J. Dews, Judge of the Freedmen's Court, Notary Public, author of the slanderous petition to Congress, and applicant for the office of Commissioner under the Civil Rights Bill.

Denials of the Signers
(Column 02)
Summary: Some of the men who apparently signed the recent petition to Congress now claim that they never signed it, while others claim they signed it "under misapprehensions of its character." The article also argues that Dews and Todd, the men who circulated the petition, should be indicted for perjury by the Grand Jury.
(Names in announcement: John A. Harris, Jno. K. Keiser, Benj. M. Lines, Thos. K. Durboraw, Samuel Driver, Samuel H. Weaver, R. B. Moore, A. B. Roadcap, Samuel L. Wampler, W. J. Dews, Jas. Todd)
Full Text of Article:

The last Vindicator contains the cards of Messrs. John A. Harris, Jno. A. Harris, Jno. K. Keiser, Benj. M. Lines, Thos. K. Durboraw, Samuel Driver and Samuel H. Weaver, who say that they did not sign the petition to which their names were attached, and also the cards of Messrs. R. B. Moore, A. B. Roadcap and Samuel L. Wampler, who say that they signed it under misapprehensions of its characters.

W. J. Dews and Jas. Todd have sworn that these names were signed and that they were signed in their presence. These men, whose names are upon the petition, swear that they did not sign it. Both parties cannot be telling the truth. "North to put too fine a point upon it," but to express it in the plain vernacular, "there is a lie out." Who are the liars? We will not pretend at this time to determine. As these parties deny signing whilst Dews and Todd swear away they did sign, it devolves upon Dews and Todd to prove the affirmative. The onus probandi rests upon Dews and Todd.--There is a very general belief in this community that Dews and Todd have sworn to two falsehoods. 1st. That the signers to the petition were citizens of Augusta, as it is known that a number of them -- twelve, we believe -- were citizens of Rockbridge. 2nd That they signed their names in their (Dews' and Todd's) presence, whilst it is believed that a number of them never saw Dews and Todd.

Under the circumstances, the simple denials of any man, whose character has the least claim to credibility, will outweigh the affidavits of Dews and Todd. It is the opinion of this community that Dews and Todd have sworn falsely, knowingly and wilfully, and that it is the duty of the Grand Jury to indict them for perjury. It is the duty of those who have been wronged to bring the wrong-doers to justice. It will not do for them to say, with Othello,

"You told a lie: an odious, damned lie;"

Upon my soul a lie; a wicked lie."

whilst they nothing to establish the charge.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: A two month old infant was recently left at the residence of George Keiser near Waynesboro with a note asking he and his wife to please care for the infant.
(Names in announcement: Geo. K. Keiser, C. G. Miller, Sampson Pelter)
Origin of Article: Staunton Vindicator

-Page 03-

Local News--The Lee Club
(Column 01)
Summary: The Junior Base Ball Club has organized as the Lee Club.
(Names in announcement: R. Skip Taylor)
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the "colored people" of the town began a Fair at Town Hall on Monday for the purpose of raising funds to pay for their Church.
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: An English nobleman traveling through America recently stayed at the Virginia Hotel in Staunton and stated that he had not stayed at a better hotel in all America.
Local News--Freedmen's Court Suspended
(Column 01)
Summary: The local Freedmen's Court has been suspended. No new cases will be tried pending further orders.
(Names in announcement: Capt. F. S. Tukey, Harvey Risk, W. J. Dews)
Local News--Police Items
(Column 01)
Summary: An account of recent police activities, including the arrest of a group of white boys apprehended for swimming in a local creek.
(Names in announcement: Thos. Ellis, Jno. H. Snapp, Bob Shean, Sergeant Parent, Justice Hardy, Justice Evans)
Message From The President--Veto of the Bill Admitting Colorado as a State
(Column 02)
Summary: Transcript of President Johnson's most recent veto, refusing Colorado admission as a state.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Thomas Durboraw denies signing the recent petition sent to Congress, though he says he did sign a petition for Dews to be made Notary Public.
(Names in announcement: Thomas K. Durboraw, W. J. Dews, Todd)
Full Text of Article:

Editor of the Spectator:

Sir:--I observe in your issue of the 15th inst., my name attached to a petition praying for a return of U. S. troops to this section on a plea that loyal citizens could not get justice done them in civil court, and that threats were made against their lives and property. I was not aware that justice could be obtained or that threats had been made, and, therefore, had no reason for signing that petition, and most emphatically deny signing or authorizing any one to sign what I understood was a petition. I did sign my name to such a petition for Mr. W. J. Dews to be appointed Notary Public, but none other. I never saw Mr. Todd but twice in my life, and never signed any paper or petition for him. I want it distinctly understood, however, that if I had signed that petition, or in any way laid myself liable to manipulation of Messrs. Todd and Dews I would not be afraid to own it; and when I am satisfied that the presence of troops is needed in this county to preserve the lives and property of loyal citizens and that no other force can accomplish that end, then, and not until then, will I allow my name to be put to such a petition.--Be kind enough to give this a place in your next issue, and request the "Virginian" to copy, and oblige.

Very respectfully,

Your obt. servt.,

Thomas K. Durboraw

Trailer: Thomas K. Durboraw
A Card
(Column 03)
Summary: Jas. F. Davis admits signing the recent petition, but claims that Dews misrepresented the sentiment toward Union men and now does not believe Federal troops are needed.
(Names in announcement: Jas. F. Davis, Wm. J. Dews, Todd)
Full Text of Article:

The undersigned acknowledges that he signed the petition praying for the return of Federal soldiers to Staunton for the protection of the lives and property of Union men, and that he took one of the petitions and got some signatures to it. He was doing business at the time near Goshen, in Rockbridge, and, about the time the soldiers were withdrawn, W. J. Dews represented to him that the lives and property of Union men had been threatened and would not be safe unless troops were kept in the county for their protection, and under the impressions made upon his mind by the representations of Wm. J. Dews, he signed the petition in Dews' presence -- no Todd's -- and interested himself in getting others to sign it. All the signatures he got were the names of citizens of Rockbridge. He relied upon the representation of Dews because Dews occupied a position which would enable him to know, and he did not suspect, at the time, that Dews was misrepresenting the state of feeling of the citizens towards Union men. He is satisfied now that Dews did misrepresent, and does not believe there is any necessity for the presence of Federal troops for the protection of the lives or property of Union men.

Jas. F. Davis.

Trailer: Jas. F. Davis
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: James Sheets denies signing the petition, and claims he would sign a petition for the opposite purpose.
(Names in announcement: James W. Sheets, Todd, Dews)
(Column 03)
Summary: Virginia Bishop and Thomas Spitler were married on May 17 by Rev. J. W. Kiracofe.
(Names in announcement: Thomas S. Spitler, Virginia Bishop, Rev. J. W. Kiracofe)

-Page 04-