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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 09, 1867

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A Colored Man's View of the Situation
(Column 04)
Summary: Includes a copy of a speech Beverly Nash recently delivered in Columbia in which he explained that "it is not our desire to be a discordant element in the community, or to unite the poor against the rich." Nash expressed his belief that, "in public affairs," blacks "must unite" with their "white fellow citizens."
Origin of Article: Charleston Courier
Full Text of Article:

We published yesterday, (says the Charleston Courier , a condensed report of the proceedings of a mass meeting of the colored people, which was held in Columbia on Monday last. For the edification of that class of "philanthropists" in the North, and their sporadic missionaries in this military district, who hug the delusion that the changed relations of the two classes of our people will engender irrepressible conflict, we take pleasure in reproducing from one of our Columbia exchanges a full report of the speech of Beverly Nash, a colored citizen, with the brief reportorial introduction as follows: "As a matter of curiosity, we give his speech verbatim , merely smoothing the rough edge, and dropping the peculiarities of accent and pronunciation."

Fellow-Citizens-I have been taken somewhat by surprise, and am not prepared to say all that I want to on this occasion: but we know what we have come here for. We have come to celebrate the right of suffrage-the one thing needful to place us on a common platform as citizens. The question has been asked whether we are prepared for this condition of things or not. I do not blame our people for their doubts on this subject, because our former condition was calculated to make them doubt, but whether we are prepared or not, we are now entitled to vote under the recent law. I must confess that I do not like that law in all respects, because it disfranchises gentlemen in whom we have more confidence than anybody else, and forbids them to represent our country as it should be represented in the councils of the people. My doctrine is that every man, whether ignorant or not, who is compelled to pay taxes, is entitled to vote. It is a matter of public policy what we should be, because there is a discontented element in our midst, composed of the ignorant people of both classes, which would be greatly disturbed if they were prevented by a convention of the State from exercising the right to vote, and we should have a revolution in a tea-kettle. For the purpose of peace and quiet, therefore, in our State, I want to see everybody vote except the women. I believe, my friends and fellow-citizens, we are not prepared for this suffrage. But we can learn. Give a man tools, and let him commence to use them, and in time, he will learn a trade. So it is with voting. We may not understand it at the start, but in time, we shall learn to do our duty.

It has been said that Calhoun was master of South Carolina, Clay the dictator of Kentucky, and Webster the emperor of Massachusetts.-But hereafter we are to vote for principles not men. And we have good men in our midst; men who are our friends, and have proved, by their acts, that they are the friends of the State. In these gentlemen we have confidence, until they have proved that they do not deserve it. I do not believe that there is a man in this district who, if you will reason with him about these things; will not agree with what I say. We recognize the Southern white man as the true friend of the black man. You see upon that banner the words "United we stand, divided we fall," and if you could see the seal of the society which that banner represents, you would find the white man and the black man standing with their arms locked together, as a type of the friendship and the union which we desire. We feel that the white man has not understood the black man as the black man has understood the white man; and if the citizens of South Carolina had all acted after the close of the war as these gentleman have done to-day, and spoken their kind sentiments as freely, our State would not regret the loss of twenty-thousand colored citizens, who have gone abroad because they had not sufficient confidence to stay.

After the remarks we have heard to-day, we believe there is a better time coming. Twelve months ago Mr. Gibbes said: "Fellow-citizens, we are willing to meet you half way;" and we are glad to say that the representatives and public men of Richland district have done so on the present occasion. We feel that we are understood here, and we believe that colored me will hereafter enjoy the rights and privileges which now belong to their race. There is less prejudice here, less prejudice everywhere South of the Potomac against the colored man, than is North of it. I saw in Washington, a few days ago, men more violently opposed to our advancement than any gentleman here; and we knew that the States of New Hampshire, Ohio, and perhaps some others have refused that political equality which exists and has been accorded in South Carolina. It is our duty, therefore, to identify ourselves with this soil. Here we have grown from childhood to manhood. Many of us, white and black, have been brought up together; we love the people; we respect their honor; we know their worth; and I ask whether, under these circumstances, having the power to do so, we ought not to petition Congress to remove the disability which shuts out that portion of our people from the elective franchise in whom we have such long-tried confidence?

If we are to have a convention in the State for the purpose of changing its constitution, let it be a convention full of intellect and power.-If the black man is to cast a vote, let him rest that vote upon a standard of ability, and not be contented to see a body of men who are not competent to discharge the high duties that will be required of them. We know the old saying, that "fools rush in where angles fear to tread." If, therefore, you elect ignorant men, you will have a bad constitution. Give us, then, the good men of the State. I would rather trust men who took up arms and went to the battle-field, and has come home with his honorable sears, believing in the justice of his cause than he who skulked from duty, and now claims to be a Union man[Cheers.] Such a one is unworthy the contempt of even a negro. I would rather trust General Hampton riding at the head of his column, shouting to his men to follow, than any man who has stayed at home, and, when his country was in danger, hunted for an iron-clad or rat-hole. [Cheers.] And so would you. [That's so."] We don't believe in those people who, since the war, have dodged around the corners, declaring they were "Union men." ["No, no."] When I hear a Southern man say he was a "Union man," I know he is a traitor. When I heard a Northern man say he was a Southern man during the war, I know he is a traitor. But when I hear a colored man say he was a Union man, I believe him from my heart. Whenever the telegraph announced a Southern victory the black man trembled; but whenever the tidings came of a northern victory we rejoiced, because we felt that we were that much nearer freedom.-To-day, thank God, we enjoy the result of that freedom. We stand before the world invested with a political equality with the white man.-We can vote.

Hon. Edward Arthur, "sotta voce.-You are more than our are equals, Nash, in one sense, because we are disfranchised.

The speaker.-Yes, sir, and we are not going to let the halls of Congress remain silent until you are permitted to vote. It is the men of your class and your ability who recognize our wants and whom we desire to see reinvested with the power of doing good. It is with the men of your class with whom we want to vote on the great questions of the day, and by whom we wish to be counseled and directed.

It is not our desire to be a dis-cordant element in the community, or to unite the poor against the rich. We want to live together in harmony-to go to work and restore the lost credit of the State. As General Hampton has said "our destinies depend upon each other." The white man has land, the black man has labor, and labor is worth nothing without capital.-We must help to create that capital by restoring confidence, and we can only restore confidence by electing proper men to fill our public offices.

There are said to be sixty thousand colored voters and forty thousand white voters in South Carolina. Look what a power you have for good or for evil. But, fellow citizens, be sure that you use that power with intelligence, and to the end that South Carolina, with which your interests are all identified, may enjoy the prosperity which it gives. When citizens come forward and meet us as gentlemen have done to-day, we have no right to doubt the future I look upon today as our Fourth of July. And if we do our duty, we shall prove ourselves worthy of the great privilege with which we have been invested. It is true, the majority of colored men may not be able to vote intelligently, but you will be educated. In the four weeks preceding the first election in this district you will be taught more about voting than the people of Ireland or England ever did know.-There never was a people who have gained so much as we have done. But a little while ago we were slaves. Now we are freemen. It has been declared that we shall have a voice in public affairs. In these public affairs we must unite with our white fellow citizens. They tell us that they have been disfranchised, yet we tell the North that we will never let the halls of Congress be silent until we remove that disability. Can we afford to lose from the councils of the State our first men? Can we spare judges from the bench? Can we put fools, or strangers in their position? No, fellow-citizens, no! Gloomy would be that day, indeed. We want in charge of our interests only our best and ablest men. And then, with a strong pull, a long pull and a pull together, up goes South Carolina. [Cheers.]

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The Connecticut Election
(Column 01)
Summary: Finds cause for optimism in the results of recent elections in Connecticut, where Democrats and Conservatives won victories, and suggests that "the disastrous flood-tide of Radicalism has reached its height."
Full Text of Article:

In the elections which took place in Connecticut, last week, the Democrats and Conservatives carried the State and defeated the Radicals in one of the most hotly contested canvasses which ever occurred in that State of "steady habits." The Democrats and Conservatives elected their candidates for Governor, and the whole State ticket save one, and three out of four of their candidates for Congress, which will subtract six from the Radical majority in Congress, as it will take three from the Radical party add three to the Conservative opposition. The majority for Governor was 967 and the majority in the elections of members of Congress was about 1800.

We have entertained the belief for some time and so expressed ourselves through the columns of this paper, that the disastrous flood tide of Radicalism had reached its height, and that we might soon expect to witness evidences that the refluent ebb was about to take place. Our belief has been confirmed by all the elections which have recently taken place. The municipal elections in the Northern cities, the reduced Radical majority in the State election in New Hampshire, and the triumphant victory in Connecticut, all testify to the important fact that the reaction in the North, so devoutly wished, has truly begun most auspiciously.

We would repeat the hopeful sentiment we expressed in our issue of the 19th ult: "The people of the South should be of good cheer-they should not yield to despair, for there are signs that the destructive tide of Radicalism is about to ebb. The Ark of the Constitution may find an [UNCLEAR] to rest upon sooner than we expect. We are now looking out with hope to see the return of the dove with the olive branch of peace."

We cherish the hope that the potential voice of the great mass of the people will be heard proclaiming, to the surging sea of Radicalism so thickly strewn with wreaks of Constitutional Liberty, "thus far shalt thou go, and no farther!"

Whilst in hers despaired, we continued to hope. Though the night was dark, we believed we saw a few rays of light which betokened the approach of dawn. That belief has been confirmed, and our hopes strengthened and we think we can confidently say with John Milton:

"I did not err, there does a sable cloud

Turn forth her silver-lining in the night."

We conceive it to be true wisdom to turn our eyes from the sable folds to the silver lining which brightens its edge-to cease to peer painfully into the deep darkness and to look at the grey dawn of a more auspicious day.

For or Against the Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Urges readers to vote against calling a Convention to comply with the requirements of the Sherman-Shellabarger bill, an act "of such outrageous character" that it swept the Conservatives to victory in Connecticut.
Full Text of Article:

In the election on the 1st inst., in Connecticut, which resulted in the defeat of the Radical party, the battle was fought, and the Conservative victory was won upon the issue of Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger act. This act is of such an outrageous character, so volatile of the Constitution and the principles of republicanism that a New England State, at the first election after its passage, stamps it was the seal of her condemnation, and yet we, the people of Virginia, whose rights it violates, are recommended by some of our own people to give our consent to it, by voting for a Convention for the purpose of doing what that act thus unconstitutionally prescribes.

Was such a spectacle ever presented before in the whole history of the world?

It is left to our option to vote for or against the Convention. We are as much at liberty to vote against it as for it. If we are in favor of the provisions of that act, we should vote for the Convention; but if we are opposed to them, as is the case with an overwhelming majority, we should vote against it.

The supplementary act to the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger act submits the question whether we will vote for or against a Convention, to comply with the unconstitutional provisions of that act, to the choice of the people. At the polls, they will give an authoritative expression of their choice. If they vote for the Convention, it will be understood that they desire to comply with the provisions of the S. S. S. bill, for that desire will be thus expressed and recorded in the most potential form. Those who are opposed to the S. S. S. bill should vote against the Convention

Beverly Nash's Speech
(Column 02)
Summary: Refers to Beverly Nash's speech, found on the first page of the Spectator, as evidence "that the best class of the 'loyal blacks' of the South fully understand the great fact that they and the white folks of the South" must come "together to work out their own destiny."
Full Text of Article:

We publish on the first page the speech delivered at Columbia, S. C., a short time since by the colored man namely Beverly Nash. In the language of the Norfolk Virginian the speech is pervaded by a tone of candor, and the sentiments and opinions of the speaker entitle him to our respect.

It shows that the best class of the "loyal blacks" of the South fully understand the great fact that they and the white folks of the South have together to work out their own destiny; and evinces a clear understanding on his part of the motives of those who are seeking to sow dragons' teeth among us in order to advance their own bad and selfish ends.

Disastrous Explosion
(Column 02)
Summary: An explosion in the coal mines outside Richmond last week killed "about seventy" men. The cause of the explosion remains a mystery.
Local News
(Column 02)
Summary: The Governor recently appointed Staunton residents Thomas Michie, Nicholas Trout, David Fultz and John Hendren as Visitors to the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind until January 1868.
(Names in announcement: Thos. J. Michie, Nicholas K. Trout, David E. Fultz, John N. Hendren)
(Column 06)
Summary: Members of the House of Delegates recently presented Mrs. Jno. Baldwin with a "large Crayon photograph of her husband."
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Baldwin, Col. Baldwin)
Origin of Article: Richmond Examiner
Full Text of Article:


Some of the members of the House of Delegates, presented Mrs. Col. John B. Baldwin, with a large Crayon photograph of her husband the popular Speaker of the House, done in Anderson's best style and handsomely mounted. Although the matter was entirely private and unceremonious, it was none the less acceptable to the surprised recipient. It was accompanied by the following note from the givers:

RICHMOND, VA. March 14, 1867. Mrs. John B. Baldwin:

DEAR MADAM-The undersigned members of the House of Delegates of Virginia, beg that you will accept the accompanying portrait of your husband, as a mark of their kind regard for yourself and their high admiration of the honored original.

Our intimate, personal and official relations with Colonel Baldwin raise far above the level of unmeaning compliment the professions of esteem which we tender with this trifling gift, and which constitute its chief value. We can offer him no higher or more acceptable eulogy than in claiming for him the praise of being a true Virginia gentleman.

May his country have many honors yet in store for him, and may the day be far distant when this portrait shall have any more tender interest in your eyes than the fidelity of its likeness, and the evidence it affords of the sincere respect of

Yours, very faithfully,

__________ __________

[No Title]
(Column 06)
Summary: "Citizen" announces that the so-called "'Indian Doctor'" has returned to Staunton after an absence of 8 or 10 years. Dr. Terril, according to Citizen, "combines in one person the superior qualities of three races" in addition to being a superior physician.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Richard Terril)
Full Text of Article:

MR. EDITOR:--Will you permit me to call attention to the claims of a venerable and experienced physician, who has recently returned to us after an absence of eight or ten years?-I refer to Dr. Richard Terril, commonly known in this community as the "Indian Doctor."

Dr. Terril on one side is of Indian extraction; the other is a cross of the white and black man, and he thus combines in one person the superior qualities of three races.

The Doctor's botanical acquirements have placed at his disposal an immense number of vegetable medicines of great potency, many of which are unknown to the other members of the profession; and have long residence at the University of Va., has supplied him with that anatomical, physiological and general theoretical knowledge, considered so necessary to the accomplished physician and surgeon.

To those unacquainted with Dr. Terril, it might be supposed that he is privy to the complimentary notice; but I am happy to say that none of our city physicians would court less such a notoriety. His graceful modesty, sense of professional dignity, and above all his sensitive propriety, would shrink from what he might consider an undue advantage over his professional brethren; but those who know his ability to restore that "suppleness and humectation of the parts upon which good health depends" cannot sit quietly by when humanity so urgently indicates another course.


Trailer: Citizen

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Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: M. J. Ackerman has opened a new dry goods store across from the Valley Bank.
(Names in announcement: M. J. Ackerman, Wm. M. Poole)
Local News--Philomathesian
(Column 01)
Summary: Last Saturday the Philomathesian debating society addressed the question, "Are the young men of the South justifiable in emigrating?" The final vote was 10 to 6 in the negative.
(Names in announcement: A. U. Kerr, H. Kerr, Tom Nelson, A. G. Points, Ed Kinney, O'Ferrall, Moore, Effinger, Chewning, Cook, Wayt)
Full Text of Article:

This society had a very interesting debate last Saturday night, upon one of the most important questions it has yet discussed-a question exceedingly pertinent to our times and circumstances-"Are the young men of the South justifiable in emigrating?" Some eight or ten gentlemen participated very ably in representing the respective merits of the question. We notice on the affirmative Messrs A. U. Kerr, H. Kerr, Tom Nelson, A. G. Points and Ed Kinney, and on the negative Messrs O'Ferrall, Moore, Effinger, Chewning and Cook. These gentlemen thoroughly dissected and analyzed the subject. We were very much interested and edified by the amount of information brought to bear upon this theme, mutually important as it is to all of us at this time. The question was decided in the negative by a vote of 10 to 6.

The question for next Saturday night-"Should we bestow our charities upon the widows and orphans of soldiers for the erection of monuments to their memory?" Will be opened by Messrs. Nelson and Wayt. A very pleasant time is expected.

The Philomathesians are still flourishing-their motto is still "Excelsior." We wish them all success. The day may yet come, if they can become sufficiently reconstructed and Stevens-Sherman-Shellabargerized, when their debating talents and eloquence may be of use in our halls of legislation.

Local News--Col. Christian's Lecture
(Column 01)
Summary: Col. Bolivar Christian delivered a lecture at the Staunton Lyceum on Monday night on "the character of the people of the Valley of Virginia," arguing that the conduct of the region's men in the war demonstrated that its "sons are worthy of their patriotic and heroic sires." The author then wonders whether the men of the Valley "had so degenerated in moral courage" that they could be coerced into calling a Convention.
(Names in announcement: Col. Bolivar Christian)
Full Text of Article:

On Monday night, the 1st instant, Col. Bolivar Christian, delivered a lecture before the Staunton Lyceum to a very large and appreciative audience. For an hour and a half the audience. For an hour and a half the audience was deeply interested by the eloquence of the lecturer and the entertaining and amusing incidents mentioned by him illustrating the habits and customs of the early settlers of this Valley. His subject was the character of the people of the Valley of Virginia, and especially that portion of them in this part of the Valley who descended from the "Scotch-Irish," who, at an early period, settled in this portion of the Valley. He showed conclusively from their history that they have been distinguished for moral and physical courage. The former was shown by their firmness and persistence in what they believed to be right, and the latter by their brave conduct in their contests with the savage foes of the forest, and by their distinguished heroism in the battles of the American revolution. The conduct of the "Stonewall Brigade" in the recent war, composed in great part of the descendants of the class of citizens alluded to by the lecturer, shows that the sons are worthy and their patriotic and heroic sires. Their physical courage, at least, has not degenerated, and we do not believe that their moral courage-a much higher quality-has depreciated. We believe that the moral courage of the present generation of these people will establish that they are worthy descendants of their illustrious sires. Whilst the lecturer was depicting so truthfully and graphically the moral courage of the ancestors of our people, we wondered if it could be possible that they had so degenerated in moral courage as that they could be coerced by threats or seduced by blandishments to vote for a convention to yield compliance to a congressional act not only unconstitutional but subversive of their cherished rights-the inheritance of their noble ancestors. We could not then, and do not now, believe it. Credat Judaeus Apella.

(Column 04)
Summary: Margaret Gearheart and James Greaver were married on April 4 by Rev. Thomas L. Preston.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Thos. L. Preston, James H. Greaver, Margaret E. Gearheart)
(Column 04)
Summary: Julia Grove died on April 7 at the residence of John Schmitt. She was 13.
(Names in announcement: John R. Schmitt, Julia Grove)
(Column 04)
Summary: Nancy Houff went to bed in usual health on March 17 and was found dead on the morning of the 18th. She was 75.
(Names in announcement: Nancy Houff, Benjamin Houff)
(Column 04)
Summary: Elizabeth Stover died on the morning of March 28, leaving behind a husband and eight children. She was 45.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth J. Stover, Simon P. Stover)
(Column 04)
Summary: George Mowry died on March 29 at his home near New Hope. He was 53.
(Names in announcement: Geo. W. Mowry)

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