Staunton Spectator: 07 03, 1866Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Public Meeting in Augusta--Important Resolutions
(Column 05)Summary: Resolutions propounded by a public meeting at the court house on June 26, denouncing the course of Congress, praising President Johnson, and vowing that Virginia will never "be placed in the position of a political prostitute, by giving consent to her own degradation and dishonor."
(Names in announcement: Alex. H. H. Stuart, J. Marshall McCue, William WithrowJr., John Merritt, J. G. Fulton, Thos. J. Michie, Wm. M. Tate)Full Text of Article:
At a meeting of the people of Augusta, held at the Court House of the County, on June 26th (Court day) -- on motion of Hon. Alex. H. H. Stuart, J. Marshall McCue, Esq., was called to the Chair, and Wm. Withrow, Jr. appointed Secretary.
The Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, in a speech of great ability, explained the object of the meeting.
Mr. Stuart moved the appointment of a committee, and submitted some remarks which were substantially as follows:
It having been made known to the public, through official channels, that the body of men now assembled in Washington, and which claims to be the Congress of the United States, had adopted an article, proposing several important amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which they have caused to be communicated to the authorities of the several States, for ratification and adoption, as part of the organic law, we, the people of Augusta county, Virginia, feel that it is alike our right and our duty to assemble, at our Court House, in public meeting, and express our earnest and deliberate protest against this action of the so-called Congress.
we maintain that the body to which we refer is not organized in conformity to the letter or spirit of the Constitution, but in derogation of both, an is, in no just sense, a Congress of the United States.
The Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 1st, provides, that "All legislative powers herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The Constitution then prescribes the mode in which these two bodies shall be organized.
"The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen, every second years, by the people of the several States" -- Art. I., Sec. 2, Cause 1.
The fifth article of the Constitution, which prescribes the mode of altering and amending the Constitution, provides that it shall not be competent, even by amendment to the Constitution, to deprive a State of its equal representation in the Senate. The clause is in these words, "no State, without its consent, shall deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate."
In view of these plain requirements of the Constitution, we have no hesitation in expressing our conviction that the body now assembled in Washington, and from which the representation of eleven States of the Union are excluded, and by which those eleven States are deprived, not only of equal, but of all suffrage in the Senate has no just claim to be recognized as the Congress of the United States.
We maintain, further, that the unworthy device to which that body has resorted, under the name of a "concurrent resolution" is a mere subterfuge, to evade a plain provision of the Constitution which requires, (Art. I, Sec. 7, Clause 3,) that every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of the SEnate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment,) shall be presented to the President of the United States, and, before the same shall take effect shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
Notwithstanding this imperative mandate of the Constitution, the President, in his recent message, has informed the Country that the resolution of Congress, above referred to, was not submitted to him for his approval.
If an evasion like this be tolerated, an important provision of the Constitution will become a dead letter -- the Executive will be stripped of one of his most important prerogatives, and the people deprived of an indispensable safeguard of liberty.
The amendments which are proposed to be incorporated into the Constitution, are worthy of the source from which they emanated.--Stripped of the flimsy disguise by which their deformity is sought to be concealed, they are substantially:
1st. Negro equality in all respects.
2nd. The disfranchisement of every Southern man, who obeyed the authority of his State and proved loyal to the instincts of humanity.
To the third amendment we can have no objection, except that it is unnecessary and tend to mislead the public mind; because it was well known to the authors of this amendment, that the several States had anticipated their action, by adopting efficient measures to prevent the assumption or payment of any debt contracted in aid of the war.
To the other two amendments we are inflexibly opposed. They involve flagrant violations of the reserved rights of the States; tend to inflame sectional animosity and to retard the restoration of union and harmony in the Country, and were manifestly intended to degrade and humiliate the people of the South.
We, therefore, indignantly protest against their adoption, as leading inevitably to new troubles, and to the disturbances of the just revelations between the States and the Federal government, and ultimately to the consolidation of all power in the government of the United States; and we earnestly invite the people of our sister counties, and all of the Southern States, to assemble promptly, at their respective Court Houses, and pronounce a similar judgement of condemnation of this mischievous attempt to undermine the Foundation of Constitutional liberty.
As for ourselves, we could not sanction any such amendment without personal dishonor, and the basest ingratitude and injustice to those of our fellow citizens who merit the largest share of our esteem and confidence.
We prefer not to be represented at all, in the National Councils, rather than to be represented only by those whose past history gives no assurances that they will be true to their trusts.
We are determined, at all hazards, to maintain our self-respect unimpaired, and therefore we must withhold our sanction from measures which necessity involve a sacrifice of high moral principle.
We have been overwhelmed, but not yet been degraded. That can be done only with our own consent, and that consent never will be given.
Our rights may be ravished from us by violence, but we will never agree that Virginia shall be placed in the position of a political prostitute, by giving consent to her own degradation and dishonor.
Whereupon, on motion a committee of five persons were appointed to report resolutions for the meeting.
The following were appointed, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, John Meritt, J. G. Fulton, Thos. J. Michie, and Wm. M. Tate.
On motion, the meeting adjourned to half-past 3 o'clock.
At half-past 3 o'clock, the meeting resumed business, and the following preamble and resolutions were reported, and on motion, as the sense of the meeting, unanimously adopted.
Whereas, on the 8th day of May, 1865, the people of Augusta, in general meeting, assembled "to take measures looking to a re-organization of the government of Virginia in conformity to the Constitution of the United States," with a just appreciation of the duties enforced on them by the results of the war, and of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States, pledge themselves, in good faith, to co-operate with others for the restoration of the Union; and announcement principles and opinions which have since been sanctioned and illustrated by the acts and declarations of Andrew Johnson, the President of the United States; and, whereas, the people of Virginia have sincerely, and in good faith, resumed their relations to the Union, with the approval of the Executive, and the recognition of the judiciary department of the Government of the United States, and have been and are discharging, with scrupulous fidelity, the duties of citizens, obeying the laws, paying taxes, and bearing other burdens of Government; and, whereas, notwithstanding, that the right of taxation has heretofore been deemed, inseparable from the right of representation, the Congress of the United States in the absence of Senators and Representatives from the eleven States of the Union, propose deliberately to continue the imposition of taxes on the people of the South, without their consent or voice in the enactment of laws for the purpose; and not only so, but against the protestations of the President and the judgment of the President and the judgment of all just men, to propose, for ratification by the States, amendments of the Constitution of the United States, which never could have been matured and passed, if all the States had been in Congress by their representatives; and not this only, but, as is alleged, looking upon the Union as dissolved in fact, as to the eleven Southern States, and upon these as States still out of the Union, the said Congress propose, that the ratification of the amendment recently propounded, through the Secretary of State, not by an "act of Congress," to which the approval of the President would have been necessary, but by a "concurrent resolution" to avoid the effects on the country of a vote of the act -- that the ratification of this amendment, so devised and propounded, by each of the eleven Southern States shall be a condition precedent to the restoration of the Union -- and, whereas, apart from the fact that said amendment was passed by the two houses of Congress in violation of the Constitution itself; and, apart from all else, in the article propounded, unjust and oppressive to the people of the South, Virginians can never ratify, without self-imposed dishonor and degradation, an amendment of the Constitution which, notwithstanding professions of sincere loyalty, and acts of patriotism, the President's pardon, and the rights of persons elsewhere guaranteed in the Constitution, seeks to degrade and disfranchise the ablest and purest men of the State fort the discharge of the duties imposed on them by the suffrage of the people, or for sympathy and co-operation, during the recent struggle, with an overwhelming majority of the people of Virginia; and, whereas, whilst it is the unalterable purpose of the people of Augusta county, to obey the laws, to bear patiently the burdens of Government, even though denied the right of representation, and cordially to sustain the wise and patriotic policy of the President of the United States, it is as equally their fixed determination, to take part in no act which will deprive them of a proud sense of self-respect or bring shame upon them and their posterity.
Thereupon be it resolved.
1. That the people of Augusta County cannot too warmly express their gratitude that God placed in power, as President of the United States, a citizen who, having the wisdom to discern, has the moral courage to act upon principles, which a people, who love liberty and appreciate the Constitution, must sooner or later sanction and adopt.
2. That, whilst we recognize our duty as good citizens to obey the laws, and to bear the burdens of the Government -- as freemen we enter our earnest protest against the violation through us, of the fundamental principles of free Government evinced by the refusal of the two houses of Congress to admit our Senators and Representatives to vote for or against the taxes we are to pay, the burden we are to bear, and constitutional amendments to be propounded to the States for their ratification.
3. That the people of Augusta can never authorize their Senator and delegates in the General Assembly to vote for the article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States propounded, as before stated, by the two houses of Congress; and that in their opinion, it is far better for Virginia to maintain her position, as a State out of the Union, and at the same time discharge the duties of a State in the Union, than to enter the Halls of Congress with the brand of self-imposed degradation upon her brow and the object of the just scorn of mankind; and that therefore it is the fixed purpose of the people, without passion or excitement, and with no view to disturb the order or harmony of the country, to decline even to consider any proposed amendments of the Constitution until, to use the words of President Johnson in his recent message to Congress, "after the admission of such loyal Senators and Representatives of the now unrepresented States as have been or may hereafter be chosen in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States."
4. That the people of Augusta are prepared patiently to await the results of the contest, now to be waged between the friends and the enemies of the conservative principles of free government in the North, and for the time when those who hold the power now shall be removed from the public trusts they have abused; and in the meantime by such means as are left them, by their cordial approval and their prayers, they will endeavor to uphold the hands of Andrew Johnson, the great leader of their deliverance, as from his high eminence, he looked upon and directs the struggle which must result either in a revolution not only in the forms of Government, but in the principles of the Constitution itself, or in the vindication of its ancient doctrines and the consequent prosperity and Union of the States.
5. That the people of the other counties of Virginia, and of our sister States, be requested to hold public meetings and unite with us in endeavoring to defeat the proposed amendment.
6. That the newspapers of Staunton and Richmond, and other towns of the State, be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting and that a copy of the same be sent to the National Intelligencer.
On motion the meeting adjourned.
J. MARSHALL McCUE, Chairman.
Wm. Withrow, Secretary.
Public Meeting--Constitutional Amendments
(Column 01)Summary: Praises the individuals who attended a recent public meeting at the Court House for refusing "to give their consent to such outrages" as those embodied in the Constitutional Amendments. The people of the South can bear the deprivation of their Constitutional rights with "philosophic fortitude," but they will "maintain their honor inviolate, for that cannot be sullied without their consent."
Full Text of Article:University Commencement
Several weeks since, we published the amendments to the Constitution of the United STates passed by two-thirds of the present Congress, so-called, and therefore need not, at this time, as they have been read and studied by our readers. They will be submitted to the Legislatures of the States for ratification or rejection. The people of this county, who have the sagacity to discern the character of important questions affecting their interests or honor and the independent spirit to speak their sentiments freely, held a public meeting in the Court House on Monday, (court day), June the 25th, and adopted preamble and resolutions expressive of their indignant protest against the adoption, by the Legislature of Virginia, of the proposed amendments, and affirmed, in the language of one of the resolutions, that, in their opinion, it was far better for Virginia to maintain her position, as a State out of the Union, and at the same time discharge the duties of a State in the Union, than to enter the Halls of Congress with the brand of self-imposed degradation upon her brow, and the object of the just scorn of mankind; and that therefore it was the fixed purposes of the people, without passion or excitement, and with no view to disturb the order of harmony of the country, to decline even to consider any proposed amendments of the Constitution until, to use the words of President Johnson in his recent message to Congress, "after the admission of such loyal Senators and Representatives of the now unrepresented States as have been or may hereafter be chosen in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States."
Our people may have their constitutional rights unjustly withheld from them, or ruthlessly violated and trampled upon, when they have not the power to prevent it, but in this there is no dishonor as it is without their consent, and they can bear it with philosophic fortitude, but they cannot be coerced or seduced to give their consent to such outrages, for in that which they prize more highly than life itself. The people of Virginia have the power and will maintain their honor inviolate, for that cannot be sullied without their consent.
We invite attention to the proceedings of the meeting referred to, found on the first page of this paper.
We hope that the people of every county in the State will hold similar meetings, and speak, in thunderous tones, their indignant protest against the adoption of the proposed amendment.
(Column 02)Summary: A summary of closing proceedings at the University of Virginia, including the report that "all the students from Augusta did well and fully sustained the reputation of our county."Lynch Law
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. StuartJr., Francis T. StriblingJr., L. T. Phillips, DeW. C. Gallaher, N. Van Lear, Alex. H. H. Stuart)
(Column 02)Summary: A black man in Nelson county allegedly "followed and assailed" a white woman, prompting "excited and incensed citizens" to castrate him and hang him from a tree. The woman was "slightly injured on the neck."
Local News--Presbyterian Choir
(Column 01)Summary: Staunton's Presbyterian Choir recently performed in Charlottesville to glowing reviews.Local News--Randolph Macon College
(Column 01)Summary: Based on reports that Randolph Macon is searching for a new location, the article lobbies to bring the college to Staunton.Local News--The Fair
(Column 02)Summary: The recent fair held by the Ladies of the Parsonage Aid Society of the M. E. Church was quite successful, bringing in $405.Local News--Serious Accident
(Column 02)Summary: The Mayor's son, Nick, fell down a flight of stairs last Saturday. The fall was initially thought fatal, but his condition is improving.Marriages
(Column 03)Summary: Maggie Jamison and Nathan Anderson were married on June 28 by Rev. J. I. Miller.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Nathan H. Anderson, Maggie M. Jamison, J. I. Miller)
(Column 03)Summary: Martha Potter and Josiah Crews were married on June 21 by Rev. R. H. Phillips.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Josiah J. Crews, Martha M. Potter, Capt. Balthis, Rev. R. H. Phillips)
(Column 03)Summary: Agnes Long and Jason Wilson were married on June 28 by Rev. Preston.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Jas. A. Wilson, Agnes A. Long, Alex. H. McComb, Rev. Preston)
(Column 03)Summary: Bettie, the daughter of Philip and Margaret Miller, died of "Dyptheria" on May 7. She was 12 years old.
(Names in announcement: Bettie H. Miller, Philip Miller, Margaret Miller)