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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: November 20, 1866

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-Page 01-

The Difference
(Column 06)
Summary: "H." relates a tale of a Swiss woman who had formed an erroneous opinion of the nature of Southerners because of the influence of the "abolition population," many of whom had come from the Valley. Her opinions were changed during a near shipwreck, when Northerners were "wild, frantic and terrified" while Southerners were "calm, composed and resigned."
Trailer: H.

-Page 02-

What's the Use of It?
(Column 01)
Summary: Responding to an article in the Lexington Gazette and Banner that argued there was no reason to elect representatives to the next session of Congress since they would not be seated, the editor of the Spectator instead encourages people not only to vote, but "to elect the right kind of men." The article argues that taking the course proposed by the Gazette would play in to the Radicals' hands.
Full Text of Article:

Some of the papers announce that members of Congress are to be elected next Spring in this State. Why elect them? There is no earthly probability that they will be admitted to seats, and it is a useless, not to say foolish, consumption of time, to go through the forms of an election. No members of Congress will be admitted until after the next Presidential election, and we are therefore decidedly opposed to an election for such officers, until we have some assurance that we are not doing "a vain thing." We went through the farce once. Let us not enact it again.--Lexington Gazette and Banner.

We do not concur with the Gazette and Banner in its decided opposition to the election of Representatives to Congress, and do not consider that such an election would the enactment of a "farce," or the perpetration of "a vain thing," and think that the Gazette and Banner has expressed such sentiment without due reflection. To refuse to elect Representatives to Congress would be to yield seeming assent to the theory of Thad. Stevens and other extreme Radicals that the Southern States have forfeited the rights and lost the character of States -- that they are outside the pale of the Union, and have not the rights of States in the Union.

President Lincoln apprehended that the great difficulty to a restoration of the Union consisted in the fact that the Constitution did not provide for requiring the States to elect Representatives to Congress, and he supposed the citizens of the Southern States might refuse contumaciously to elect Representatives, and thus practically prevent a restoration of the Union.

He favored an amendment of the constitution to remedy this difficulty. Had the citizens of the South acted as he apprehended, they would been to blame. As it is, the want of restoration is due to the Radicals in Congress who refuse to admit the Representatives chose by the South. The whole blame now rests with them -- none attaches to the people of the South. The South is anxious, and has been since the surrender of its armies, for an immediate and thorough restoration of the Union on the basis of equal constitutional rights, and should do nothing which could, by any possibility, be construed as being inconsistent with this position. If the conservatives of the South should fail to elect Representatives, all may rest assured that the Southern Radicals would not fail to elect mis-representatives. On the 4th Thursday in May elections for members of Congress will be held, and if the Conservatives or true Union men will not vote, the Radical disunionists will, and the result will be that Radicals -- Southern Radicals worse than Wendell Phillips -- will be elected. Shall this burning shame be inflicted upon Virginia? No. Virginia, God bless her, Virginia will do her duty. She will elect good, sound, pure representative men. She will not enact a "farce," but will perform a solemn duty.

The past session of Congress, with the Representatives from the South excluded, was not, in the meaning and intent of the Constitution, a Congress at all. Congress is composed of the Senate and House of Representatives, and the Constitution says that, "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State," and that "no State shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate," and that, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States."

The President would be justified, (indeed, it would seem, acting in compliance with his duty, under his sworn official obligations of fidelity to the Constitution) in refusing to acknowledge that body, with the Representatives from a portion of the States excluded, as a Constitutional Congress. He may, in the circumstances surrounding, feel it his duty to do so, and, to make it a Congress in the Constitutional sense, may call together the Representatives elect of all the States. What would then be the sad predicament of the South, if she had failed to elect Representatives, or worse, if she had allowed the few Radicals in the South to elect such as would represent them! It is important not only to have an election, but to elect the right kind of men. It is no time for the people of the South to be sleeping upon their posts when the enemy are at her gates. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Signs of War
(Column 02)
Summary: The author claims to "scent brimstone and saltpetre" in the plans of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Union and anticipates "Armageddon" soon. The article also suggests that General Butler is "at the bottom of this revolutionary project."
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
Editorial Comment: "We publish on the fourth page the address of the committee of the Radical 'Soldiers' and Sailors'' Union under the caption--"Revolutionary Plot"--calling upon the Radical soldiers to assemble en masse in Washington city on the 1st of December to greet the Radical members of Congress, and, in the language of the call, to 'assure protection to the loyal majority in Congress,' accompanied with the comments of the National Intelligencer and the Richmond Dispatch. In an article in reference to this matter the Richmond Whig says that:"
Full Text of Article:

We publish on the fourth page the address of the committee of the Radical "Soldiers' and Sailors' Union" under the caption -- "Revolutionary Plot" -- calling upon the Radical soldiers to assemble [unclear] in Washington city on the 1st of December to great the Radical members of Congress, and, in the language of the call, to "assure protection to the loyal majority in Congress," accompanied with the comments of the National Intelligencer and the Richmond Dispatch.

In an article in reference to this matter the Richmond Whig says that "where there is so much smoke there must be some fire. When we hear hostile threats from so many quarters, and see preparations for a conflict in so many Northern localities, and then read their solemn appeals to all the disbanded soldiers and sailors of the North, black and whites, to assemble at the national capitol, when Congress meets, to protect the Radical majority, we scent brimstone and villainous saltpetre.

If the signs of the times are not meaningless, one of tow things will be likely to happen before six months shall roll by: The Radicals will either butt their brains out against the Government, or they will seize upon it with violence, and administer it in their own interest.--We have ceased to shudder at any contemplated contingency. for our part, we are tired of being suspended between heaven and earth. We want our status fixed and destiny determined, and if the battle of 'Armageddon' is to be fought, we would rather, Massachusetts consenting, see it fought at Washington at the opening of Congress than have it in the South at some more distant period. If this battle is to be fought, we want to have no part or lot in it. We beg to be counted out.

We shall not speculate as to the probable arrangements that the President and General Grant will make in view of this formidable demonstration against the Government and the regular army. We take it for granted that they will be prepared for any and every contingency that may arise. There is but little doubt that General Butler is at the bottom of this revolutionary project. Should it succeed, he would stand a good chance for the Presidency."

Constitutional Amendment
(Column 02)
Summary: The legislature of Georgia overwhelmingly rejected the proposed Constitutional Amendment, 36 to 0 in the Senate and 131 to 2 in the House.
Valuable Lessons
(Column 03)
Summary: Argues that "the war has taught the people of the South some valuable lessons," among them that "an agricultural people must always remain more or less a dependent people" and urges Southerners to cultivate industry to make themselves "more self-reliant and more powerful."
Origin of Article: Baltimore Gazette
The Effects of a Financial Crash
(Column 04)
Summary: Argues that the "signs of commercial and financial ruin" in the North are "ominous" and that if the signs become a reality then "the political tempest will no longer rage."
Origin of Article: Richmond Times
Editorial Comment: "As the Richmond Times believes that it will require war, foreign or domestic, or a terrible financial crash, which will inflict keen suffering upon them, to mollify the indurated hearts of the Northern people and make them have some feeling of sympathy for the Southern people, it prays, in preference, for the financial crash. It says:"

-Page 03-

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: James Carson was fined $250 for assault and battery against John Spitler. The judgment against his brother, Robert Carson, set aside because of insufficient evidence.
(Names in announcement: John Spitler, James E. Carson, Robert N. Carson)
Local News--Fireman's Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: The "ladies of this place" will hold a fair tomorrow to fund equipment for the Augusta Fire Association.
(Names in announcement: John W. Hardy)
Local News--Federal Cemetery
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that federal soldiers are in the county seeking to establish a cemetery for the federal soldiers in the area.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John Byers)
"Peter Puff" Puffing
(Column 03)
Summary: A satiric letter from a correspondent of the Lexington Gazette and Banner that suggests the Staunton newspapers have been engaging in extravagant boosterism.
Origin of Article: Lexington Gazette and Banner
(Column 04)
Summary: John Tribbet, of Rockbridge, and Sue McGuffin, of Greenville, were married on November 8 by Rev. Flournoy.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Flournoy, John Tribbet, Sue McGuffin)
(Column 04)
Summary: Hugh Reagan, of Staunton, and Mollie Sandford, of Rockbridge, were married at the Lexington Hotel on November 8 by Rev. P. H. Whisner.
(Names in announcement: Rev. P. H. Whisner, Hugh L. Reagan, Mollie A. Sandford)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Reed, of Frederick, and Tabitha Myers, of Augusta, were married on November 8 by Rev. C. Beard.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. Beard, John W. Reed, Tabitha G. Myers)
(Column 04)
Summary: Sue McCutchen and J. M. Johnston were married on November 15 by Rev. Wm. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. E. Baker, J. M. Johnston, Sue R. McCutchen)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mary Parrish, of Augusta, and J. T. Little, of Alabama, were married at the residence of Rev. C. F. Fry on November 13 by Rev. A. B. Woodfin.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. F. Fry, Rev. A. B. Woodfin, J. T. Little, Mary M. Parrish)
(Column 04)
Summary: Margaret Tate, of Augusta, and Cyrus Creigh, of Greenbrier, were married at the home of the bride's father on November 14 by Rev. W. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. E. Baker, Cyrus Creigh, Margaret Tate, Wm. P. Tate)

-Page 04-

Revolutionary Plot--The Radicals Convoke a Force to Back Congress
(Column 03)
Summary: Includes the proclamation of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Union calling on the "loyal majority" to assemble in Washington and support the Radical Congress as well as commentary which casts the document as "the most hideous phase of the worst passions and designs of Radicalism."
Origin of Article: Dispatch