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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 02, 1867

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-Page 01-

The President's Message
(Column 04)
Summary: Text of President Johnson's veto message of the Supplementary Reconstruction Bill.
Negro Suffrage
(Column 05)
Summary: Argues that if blacks are indeed enfranchised it will be the duty of white Southerners to "lay aside prejudice, which was based upon a vanished order of things," and begin to "elevate the minds and improve the temporal condition of this other element of our community."
Origin of Article: Petersburg Index
Editorial Comment: "In assuming that negro suffrage is inevitable, the Petersburg Index says:"
Full Text of Article:

"It is our reason that recoils, not our sensibilities. We had rather the Southern negro would vote than not; if he would vote intelligently-obviously because, thereby, the influence of this section upon national legislation would be immensely enhanced.

Being confronted, therefore with this matter, it is the duty of the South to lay aside prejudice, which was based upon a vanished order of things, and deal with the present thoughtfully and resolutely, bravely too, for moral courage is necessary to the adoption of this course; to labor earnestly and diligently to educate this race up to capacity for right discharge of this new duty, right to exercise of this new privilege. It behooves us, as guardians of the interests of the present and coming generations of our own people, so to elevate the minds and improve the temporal condition of this other element of our community, that they shall recognize in their midst the wisdom, and feel in their pockets the importance of so voting to secure tranquility and prosperity for the State and section in which they live, and for those people with whom their lots are unavoidably cast.

They have shown their willingness, under trying circumstances to abide by law neither unquestionably established, nor strongly administered. When we regain the power to legislate, if ever, let such regulations be put in force as will convince them that our interests are identical and not antagonistic.

It is problematical whether their minds be capable of the culture and development necessary to the formation of what should be, in this century of civilization considered a good citizen, but let the experiment be made. We can lose nothing by trying and may lose everything by neglecting it."

The Colored People of Virginia
(Column 06)
Summary: Praises the "general demeanor of the colored people of the Commonwealth during and since the war" and offers three "facts" that the "colored people" should remember: the "war was not waged by the North to set them free," that the "pretended friendship of the Republican party" is filled with "hollowness and hypocrisy," and that "for generations to come" blacks in the South "must be dependent for employment on their old masters and hirers."
Origin of Article: Richmond Examiner
Full Text of Article:

There must be something radically wrong in the head or heart of any man who could view without much admiration, the general demeanor of the colored people of this Commonwealth during and since the war. We merely express the feeling of every fair-minded man, when we pay a willing tribute to the fidelity, honesty and diligence with which they discharged their duties as slaves, while their masters were absent in the field, and to the extreme moderation with which, when let alone, they conducted themselves, in the change from their servile condition to their present state of freedom.

When we remember these facts, we gather confidence that, in the discharge of the new duties thrust upon them by the late action of Congress, they will disappoint the hopes of those who are now desirous to see that conflict of races begun which the war failed to excite. The good conduct, to which we have alluded, entitles the colored people of Virginia to expect, at the hands of the whites, fair-more fair-treatment in the new civil relation. It justifies them in expecting a generous and friendly confidence, a frank and open dealing, and the best and most disinterested counsel.

To that end, it behooves both races to recall some facts which will go far to show how each stands to the other:

1. The colored people should remember that the late war was not waged by the North to set them free. This is capable of the clearest proof. Mr. WADE, the present president of the Senate, and the man relied on to take Mr. JOHNSON'S place, in the event of impeachment, said on the 18th of December, 1860, after South Carolina had seceded:

"I do not blame the people of the South, because I think they have been led to believe that we, to-day, the dominant party, are their mortal foes, and stand ready to trample their institutions under foot."

Mr. LINCOLN, in his inaugural address, on the 4th of March, 1861, said:

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no inclination to do so."

Immediately after the first battle of Manassas, Congress passed, almost unanimously, the following resolution:

Resolved , That the war is waged by the Government of the United States, not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions of the States."

These extracts might be largely multiplied, but they suffice to prove that the North did not enter this war to free the slaves. It is historically true, that no attempt was made at general emancipation until it was discovered that the whites could not be enslaved without freeing the blacks.

The Yankees simply made use of the Southern negro to help them out of a difficulty that they had not the skill to deliver themselves from. The North, therefore, deserves no credit for the act, nor does Mr. LINCOLN, who reluctantly, and only after much protest, agreed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

2. The colored people should remember that in a majority of those Northern states in which the Republican party controls the government, the blacks are denied the rights of citizenship to-day. And they should remember that four Northern States have recently resolved, by large votes, not to extend suffrage to the colored people-to keep them out of the pale of citizenship, although their numbers are so few that they could have not influence in the elections-and although the negroes thus disfranchised have long been free and educated, and in some cases wealthy. This shows the hollowness and hypocrisy of the pretended friendship of the Republican party.

3. The colored people of the South should remember that for generations to come, probably forever, the great majority of their brethren must be dependent for employment on their old masters and hirers, the resident white people of the South; that these will be their neighbors and friends; as for many years they have been, when the few soldiers that are here shall be withdrawn, and the reign of law shall be resumed. The strangers that may come among you, endeavoring to excite hostility between you and the whites, have no interest in you, or in the State of which the act of Congress declares you voters. They come to ask your help to maintain in power a party which imposes in one year more taxes on you, than your true friends levied in the past fifty. When they have used you, they will turn their backs on you-like these Freedmen's bureau officers, who tempted you to work on their plantations and cheated you out of your wages.

And the whites will do well to remember that for all the infamies of existing legislation, the negroes are as little accountable as they are for their freedom; that the blacks are now, and must long continue to be the fixed laboring population of the State; that if the good people of Virginia do not instruct them in their rights to inform the as to their duties and convey to them such intelligence as to current questions as they are capable of receiving, the incendiaries who thirsted so eagerly, during the war, to see a war of extermination waged by the blacks on the whites, will fill their minds with their fatal poison, in the hope that their taste for our blood, not yet satiated, may be gratified abundantly.

Both parties can easily see that nothing but mischief, the suspension of employment, the decay of agriculture especially, poverty, distress, and the ultimate destruction of one party or the other, can follow a fixed resolution to substituted enmity for harmony between them.

He who counsels this, is no friend to either race.-Rich. Examiner.

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Register and Vote
(Column 01)
Summary: Urges readers to vote for delegates who will "faithfully represent them" at the convention while at the same time voting against calling a convention.
Full Text of Article:

All who are not excluded by the restriction of the supplementary bill should register, so that they will be prepared to vote or not as they may choose. We think that all, who can do so, should vote, and that they should vote for such persons as delegates to the convention as would faithfully represent them, and, at the same time vote against calling the convention-the only mode the people have of recording, their protest against the unconstitutional and outrageous legislation of the Radical Congress enacted for the oppression, humiliation and degradation of the Southern people.

If a convention shall sacrifice the rights and barter away the liberties of our people, let it not be done with the consent , but against the protest, of the people in this section of the State. We have but little, if any doubt that the Convention will be called, but we hope that none of the responsibility will rest upon the citizens of this and the surrounding counties. We hope that this good old country will not be numbered in that class of easy virtue which,

"Vowing they would ne'er consent, consented ."

How is It?
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that convening a convention would "do violence to the honor of Virginia" since the Sherman-Shellabarger bill calls for state conventions to adopt the constitutional amendment to be recognized by Congress.
Full Text of Article:

We would like to be informed how it is that it was impossible for the Legislature to adopt the proposed Constitutional amendment (Article XIV) without doing violence to the honor of Virginia, and that would not be doing such violence for the people of Virginia to vote for calling a Convention under the provisions of the Stevens-Sherman Shellabarger bill which provides not only for the adoption by the Legislature of that same amendment, but in addition, requires the incorporation into our State Constitutions of the right of suffrage to all "male citizens of the State twenty-one years old and upwards, of whatever race, color or previous condition, who have been resident in the State one year previous to election," and exception such persons as may be disfranchised for participation in the rebellion. If it would do violence to the honor of Virginia, to adopt the Constitutional amendment, it follows, a fortiori, that it would do so to comply with the provisions of the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger bill.

Those voting "for the Convention," will vote for it to do what is required in the S. S. S. bill, for if the Convention shall not comply with the provisions of that bill, there is no use in calling it at all. That bill requires the adoption of the Constitution which, will disfranchise many of our best and most valuable citizens whilst it will grant suffrage to every male negro twenty-one years of age. When such a Constitution shall have been adopted by the Convention, and when that Constitution shall have been ratified by the vote of the people-under the restricted suffrage of the whites and unrestricted suffrage of the negroes-and when the radical Congress shall have approved it, and when the Legislature, elected under such Constitutional Amendment, and when said amendment shall have become a part of the Constitution of the United States, then the State may be represented to Congress, if she will elect such representatives will take the iron clad oath in other words, send Radicals to Congress. This is the feast to which we are invited, after complying with the terms mentioned.

To reject with disdain, as the people of Virginia did, the Constitutional Amendment, and then to vote for a Convention to carry into effect the provisions of the S. S. S. bill, would be; it seems to us, "to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel."

The President's Message
(Column 01)
Summary: Praises President Johnson's veto message of the Supplementary Reconstruction Bill as a "noble effort in defence of constitutional liberty."
Full Text of Article:

On the first page we publish in full the able message of the President vetoing the supplementary reconstruction bill, for such a document, as the Alexandria Gazette says, deserves to be read and preserved, as it is another noble effort in defence of a constitutional liberty. The arguments are unanswerable and irresistible.-And yet it was of no more avail with the dominant party in Congress than so much blank paper. The Veto, is practically, a nullity. The message was read, and although it proved that the bill was unjust, unconstitutional, and oppressive, the measure was instantly adopted, just as if no reasons had been given whatever to cause even a pause in Radical legislation.-The last Veto is probably one of the best and ablest of the series of attempts made by the President, in behalf of the constitution, the rights of the States, and civil freedom of the people. Though unsuccessful, he is to be honored for his many and independent course, in reference to these subjects.

Radicals on Sandy Foundation
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that Radicals are on the verge of losing their hold on power and that Southerners will only help the Radicals by calling a convention.
Full Text of Article:

It should be borne in mind that whilst the Radicals have a large majority of Representatives-the districts being Gerrymandered to accomplish that purpose-the popular majority is very small in many of the Northern States.-The margin of popular majority being small, it would not require much change in popular sentiment to overthrow the Radical party. They are conscious of this fact, and moreover of the fact that the changes which are now taking place are from the Radical to the Conservative party. The Radicals feel that the supremacy of their party is based upon a sandy and slippery foundation, and that it is in danger of being overthrown at the next elections. Murmurs of impatience and mutterings of dissatisfaction already strike their ears, and they fear that they forebode the approach of a storm of popular indignation. This accounts for the fact that the present Congress, though it contains a larger majority of Radicals, is less violent than the last. Two years have elapsed since the termination of the war which was waged on the part of the North professedly for the preservation of the Union, and yet the Union is not restored. The Radicals have prevented restoration, and the people, who desire restoration, are becoming impatient at the delay, and will soon resolve to supply their places with those who will labor to restore the Union, instead of legislating to prevent it, as the Radicals have done. The open violation of the fundamental principle of republicanism-that Governments should rest upon the consent of the governed-by establishing military Government over the Southern States and of that other great principle, a corollary of the first, upon which Government was originally established-that there should be no taxation without representation-by taxing us heavily whilst denying us representation, has caused the more sober and reflecting people of the North to pause and think, and the result of that pause is, that the masses are becoming aroused to a sense of the danger of their own liberties, and the importance of a change of their representatives.

To relieve themselves of the embarrassment they are now suffering, the Radicals in Congress have adopted the ingenious device of submitting to the vote of the Southern States the question whether or not they will vote to call Conventions to adopt Constitutions in accordance with the provisions of the unconstitutional acts which they have adopted. They threaten much worse terms if these be not adopted, call upon Stevens to beat his Chinese gong, labeled "confiscation," and suppose in that way to frighten the people of the South to vote for conventions. If they do vote for them, then their consent is given , and the responsibility of forcing a government upon the people against their consent is removed from the shoulders of the Radicals. They have woven the web and set the net-will the Southern people walk into it.

"Walk into my parlor

Said the spider to the fly."

Will the Southern people go to the rescue of the Radicals by voting for Conventions?-Whilst we fear they will, we earnestly hope they will not

White and Colored
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that the Radicals are playing "a cold political game in which the whites are to be injured and the negroes sacrificed to promote a party success." The article urges "the people of the South" to convince "the negroes of the South" that they "are their real as well as their natural friends."
Origin of Article: Richmond Enquirer
Editorial Comment: "The Enquirer very properly urges that:"
Full Text of Article:

The Enquirer very properly urges that "our citizens should take special pains to explain to the colored people, that their happiness, even more than ours, is imperiled by these sewers of dissension for interested purposes; that no community, divided against itself can be prosperous or tranquil, that in such collision the weaker party will always be the chief sufferer, and will ultimately be destroyed, that it is their interest and duty to cultivate kindly and co-operative relations with those among whom they live, and on whom they are greatly dependent, rather than with strangers who are at a distance, and whose professed friendship is wholly selfish and unreliable. The common destitution of both whites and blacks as compared with the former abundance, and the inability of one person to help another, brought about by outside interference, ought to teach the dullest that nothing but misery for all can flow from a continuance of such interference.

As extraordinary pains are and will be employed to incite the colored people to hostile relations with the whites, so unusual pains should be taken to expose the wickedness of the attempt and the hollow professions of friendship on which it proceeds. The colored people deserve great kindness and consideration at our hands for the admirable behavior of nearly all of them amid the trials of the war. From long association our people feel a personal kindness and sympathy for them which no other white people entertain. The Yankees are professing a wonderful tenderness for them just now; but it is merely a spurt of at a distance sympathy, or a cold political game in which the whites are to be injured and the negroes sacrificed, to promote a party success.

A man is badly off if his friends are at a distance, and his enemies close at hand. The person who should choose such a condition of things, would, by every one, be pronounced a simpleton. Such a choice is now presented to the negroes of the South, by the politicians of the North. The Southern people ought to take care that before the choice is made, it should be fully explained to them. They should also take more than usual pains to convince them that we are their real as well as their natural friends, and to engage them to unite with us in resenting the interference which would produce a mutually injurious alienation and hostility."

-Page 03-

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the residents of Deerfield have killed seven large bears and captured four young ones during the winter.
Local News--Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: Last Monday the Staunton Lyceum met to discuss the question: "'Was the Revolution of 1776 a mistake?'" The debate was not completed, but postponed to the meeting last night.
(Names in announcement: Jas. Bumgardner, Powell Harrison, Col. Bolivar Christian, Prof. Pike Powers, Prof. Jed. Hotchkiss, Y. Howe Peyton, Dr. C. R. Harris)
Full Text of Article:

On Monday night, the 25th ult., the following question was able discussed in the Staunton Lyceum:

"Was the Revolution of 1776 a mistake?"

It was discussed by the following members:

In the affirmative, Capt. Jas. Bumgardner, Powell Harrison, Esq., and Col. Bolivar Christian-in the negative, Prof. Pike Powers, Prof. Jed. Hotchkiss, Y. Howe Peyton, Esq., and Dr. C. R. Harris.

The discussion upon it was not concluded, but postponed till the meeting of last night.

Local News--Cancerous Tumor Removed
(Column 01)
Summary: A cancerous tumor weighing half an ounce was removed from the nose of Mrs. Margaret C. McCue. She is reported to be recovering quickly.
(Names in announcement: Margaret C. McCue, Dr. C. R. Harris, Dr. John E. Lockridge, Dr. W. H. Davis, Dr. Jas. S. Curry)
Local News--Corn for the Starving
(Column 02)
Summary: Urges farmers to bring corn to local agent William Poole for transportation to locations further South where it is reported that some areas on the verge of starvation because of crop failures.
(Names in announcement: Wm. M. Poole)
(Column 04)
Summary: Maggie Runnels and Samuel Myers were married on March 28 by Rev. Wm. A. Harris.
(Names in announcement: rev. Wm. A. Harris, Samuel D. Myers, Maggie J. Runnels)
(Column 04)
Summary: Isabella McLaughlin and William Ayers were married on March 27 by Rev. Wm. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. E. Baker, William L. Ayers, Isabella D. McLaughlin)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mary Frances Laughlin and Leander Wright were married on March 26 at Hebron Church by Rev. Thomas L. Preston.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Thomas L. Preston, Leander Wright, Mary Frances Laughlin)
(Column 04)
Summary: Sarah Frances Livick and Alexander Dull were married on March 28 by Rev. Thomas L. Preston.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Thomas L. Preston, Alexander Dull, Sarah Frances Livick)
(Column 04)
Summary: George Paul Scheker died on March 28 at the residence of his father. He was 26.
(Names in announcement: Geo. Paul Scheker)
(Column 04)
Summary: David Showalter died in Rockingham on March 25, leaving a wife and three children.
(Names in announcement: David Showalter)
(Column 04)
Summary: Johnny, the infant son of J. W. and Kate Hilbert, died on March 23. He was 27 months old.
(Names in announcement: Johnny Hilbert, J. W. Hilbert, Kate Hilbert)
(Column 04)
Summary: Thomas Robert Lee Herring died on March 26. He was three years and one day old.
(Names in announcement: Thos. Robert Lee Herring, Wm. T. Herring, A. M. Herring)

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