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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: September 18, 1866

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-Page 01-

Staunton in Old Times
(Column 03)
Summary: The latest in a series of letters from "Oldest Inhabitant" detailing the history of Staunton in the years between the Revolution and 1800.
(Names in announcement: William Ward, Louis Baker, Elijah McClanahan, Alexander St. Clair, Alexander McClanahan, Thomas Adams, James Trimble, Sampson Sawyer, Violet , Gen. Porterfield, Smith Thompson, Baillie Nichol Jarvie, Tom Evans, Gabriel , Mary Waugh, Mary Lendon, Capt. James Tate, David Steele, Samuel Steele, Wilson, Archibald Stuart, William McCutchen, William Davis, James Bell, Lieut. Francis T. Brooke, Long, Col. William Bowyer, Heiskell, Crawford, Isabella Burns, Jacob Swoope, Dr. Asher Waterman, Daniel Smith, Robert McClanahan)
Trailer: Oldest Inhabitant

-Page 02-

The Proposed Tax
(Column 01)
Summary: Encourages voters to approve a proposed tax that would support the construction of the Valley Railroad, arguing that the tax burden will be light and that farmers "could not make a better investment." The vote will take place on October 25.
Gloomy Views
(Column 01)
Summary: The results of recent elections in the North and Western attitudes toward President Johnson lead the author to suggest that "we are on the verge of disasters that will end in a bloody civil war between the parties in the North, and a war of races here."
Origin of Article: Richmond Examiner
Full Text of Article:

The result of the recent elections in the New England States, and the outrageous conduct of a considerable number of the people in the Western States towards President Johnson, have had the effect of causing many persons in the South to take a gloomy view of the situation. The Richmond Examiner says that "the country is the prey of hastening ills. The profligacy of the times admonishes us to hope little and fear much. the war for the Union seems to have resulted in the perpetration of disunion. The Constitution has been saved only to be condemned and trampled upon. Liberty has ceased to be anything but a name, or realized only by Radicals and negroes. The spirit of John Brown is rife in the North. It is "marching on," conquering and to conquer. It will down at no one bidding, and stalks onward with an aspect presaging inconceivable horrors.

It is, indeed, a stupendous outrage upon the American people that their President is so silenced and insulted; but that is a comparative trifle to the animus of which it is the alarming exponent. A licentious party dominates the nation, and in a reckless career of excesses of all kinds is hurrying us all to a catastrophe that shall whelm everything that is justly held dear. We believe that we are on the verge of disasters that will end in a bloody civil war between the parties of the North, and a war of races here. It is worse than folly to attempt to disguise matters. Never in the history of the United States have all omens been so portentious. Our malignant star is in the ascendant, and horrors brood over us."

Disgraceful Scene
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that "Disunion ruffians" instigated a riot in Indianapolis while protesting President Johnson's planned speech there.
Strength of the Radicals
(Column 03)
Summary: Admits that "the disintegration of the Radical party will not take place during the present year" and that even lowering the Radical majority below two-thirds is "a matter of painful doubt and uncertainty."
Origin of Article: Richmond Times
Editorial Comment: "The Richmond Times says that:"
Full Text of Article:

The Richmond Times says that "the fear of defeat at the approaching elections has changed the programme of the Revolutionists in but one respect. They dare not press negro suffrage at this time, but nobody questions their determination to force it upon us if the approaching elections demonstrate that the Northern people sustain the flagitous conduct of the last Congress. And the men who advocated the most aggressive policy and the most oppressive treatment of the South have been in every instance renominated, and their course meets, it would seem, the approval of their constituents.--Thaddeus Stevens has just reiterated his former views with reference to confiscating our property for they payment of the national debt, and he declares that confiscation and disenfranchisement are the measures which he shall press upon Congress with renewed energy if he is re-elected to that body. The Southern people must not, therefore, cherish the delusion that outside of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and California among the original free States, there are any indications of the demoralization of our enemies.

In those States and in Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, in spite of the infamous "registry laws," we believe the Conservatives will send unbroken delegations to Congress, and we may hope for gains in the four States which we have named. But it is, we think, now very evident, that the disintegration of the Radical party will not take place during the present year. The utmost the Conservatives can now rationally hope for will be the reduction of the Radical majority in Congress sufficiently to prevent the passage of odious and unconstitutional laws, over the veto of the President. But even this is still a matter of painful doubt and uncertainty.

While no one anticipated the defeat of the Radicals in any of the New England States, we have been startled by their enormous gains in States where it was anticipated that they would elect their candidates for Congress by decreased majorities. Far from gaining a Congressman in Maine, the only district which was reported as doubtful has returned a Radical Congressman by nearly four thousand majority."

(Column 05)
Summary: A correspondent from the Winchester Times praises the "energy and enterprise" evident during a recent trip to Staunton.
Origin of Article: Winchester Times

-Page 03-

Local News--Concerts
(Column 01)
Summary: Two concerts will be held in the local Methodist Church on Tuesday and Friday of next week.
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Sunday School Union held their monthly meeting in the Baptist Church last Sunday.
Local News--Subscriptions for the Baptist Church
(Column 01)
Summary: The local Baptist congregation is currently soliciting subscriptions to repair a damaged wall in their church.
Local News--Change of Schedule
(Column 01)
Summary: The Central Railroad is planning a change in their schedule that would eliminate the stop in Staunton, a move the editor condemns for the "inconveniences upon the travelling public."
(Column 02)
Summary: Mary Johnson, of Monroe county, West Virginia, and J. D. Beard, of Augusta county, were married in Monroe county on August 23 by Rev. J. W. Ewan.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. W. Ewan, J. D. Beard, Mary M. Johnson)
(Column 02)
Summary: Eliza Hutchens and Jacob Carwell were married on September 13 by Rev. William McClanahan.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. S. McClanahan, Jacob B. Carwell, Eliza Hutchens)

-Page 04-

The Mongrel Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: An account of the proceedings of the recent Philadelphia Convention, which the article refers to as a collection of "Southern mongrels" participating in "an impotent farce."
Letter of A. H. H. Stuart
(Column 03)
Summary: Alexander H. H. Stuart expresses his belief that "we can, without sacrifice of honor or principle, ratify the proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention" and is optimistic that "retribution" will overtake the Radicals at the upcoming elections.
Editorial Comment: "In response to an invitation to attend a meeting held in Winchester on the 3rd inst., to endorse the President and to ratify the action of the Philadelphia Convention which assembled on the 14th of August, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart wrote the following letter:"
Full Text of Article:

In response to an invitation to attend a meeting held in Winchester on the 3rd inst., to endorse the President and to ratify the action of the Philadelphia Convention which assembled on the 14th of Augusta, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart wrote the following letter:

Staunton, Va., August 29th, 1866

Messrs. N. B. Meade, J. T. Wall, r. W. Hunter, P. Williams, H. Kyd Douglas and W. T. Bent -- Gentlemen: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 25th instant, in which you invite me to attend and address a meeting of the people of Frederick, which is to be held in Winchester on the 3d of September "to endorse the action of the President, as opposed to the Radicals, and to ratify the proceedings of the late Philadelphia Convention.

Important business engagements render it impossible for me to accept your kind invitation, but although I cannot be present in person, my sympathies will all be with you.

I was one of those who, from the first, approved the call of the Philadelphia Convention, and though it important that the Southern States should be represented in it, so as to give to it the impress of nationality. I thought, too, that the South owed the President a large debt of gratitude for his noble and manly defence of their power to strengthen his hands in the great contest in which he was engaged.

I think that the Philadelphia Convention did its work quite as well as we had any reason to expect. It is true that there are some things in the platform and address which we would have preferred to have omitted, but we should remember that the battle for constitutional liberty is to be fought in the North, and we certainly ought not to quarrel with our Northern friends for choosing the weapons best adapted to secure a victory. When we are sick, we select medicines that will be most efficient to eradicate disease -- not those that are most palatable.

I think we can without sacrifice of honor or principle ratify the proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention. I believe the actions of that body is destined to exert an important. I may say a controlling influence in the permanent restoration of sound constitutional principles. I am hopeful of the future. I have an abiding faith in the patriotism and sober second thought of the people. I think I see the hand writing on the wall which announces to the Radicals that they have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Retribution, swift and sure will overtake them at the coming elections, and when the next Congress assembles the Southern States will be restored to their constitutional rights and positions in the Union.

With thanks for the honor you have done me by your invitation.

I am very respectfully,

Your ob't serv't,