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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 16, 1867

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The Convention Question
(Column 01)
Summary: Urges white readers to vote against calling a Convention because "the honor of the State" forbids it.
Full Text of Article:

But a few months since the Legislatures of every Southern State, by almost unanimous votes rejected most emphatically, the proposed amendment to the Constitution on the ground chiefly that it would not be honorable to disfranchise those who had been acting with and for the masses of the people. Our own Legislature, with only one dissenting voice, rejected it, and chiefly for the reason that the honor of the State forbade its adoption. Now, by act of Congress, the question is submitted to the vote of the people at the polls whether they will vote for or against a Convention to comply with the provisions of an unconstitutional act of Congress which requires, not only the adoption by the Legislature of this same Constitutional amendment which the Legislature rejected for the reason stated, but also the incorporation into the Constitutions of the Southern States, of the right of universal negro suffrage.

If the honor of the State forbade the adoption of the Constitutional amendment two months ago-and that was the position of all the presses and people save the Radical presses and their supporters-how can the people now, consistently with honor, vote for a Convention to comply with an act which requires the adoption of the same amendment?

The act containing these requirements is palpably, grossly, unmistakably, confessedly, unconstitutional. We are under sworn obligations of fidelity to the Constitution. Can we, consistently with our obligations, recognise the validity of, or yield our acquiescence to, such unconstitutional legislation?

It is submitted to the vote of the people at the polls whether they will vote for or against a Convention to adopt a Constitution in compliance with the provisions of this unconstitutional legislation. They are as free to vote against it as for it.

The Richmond Whig , in noticing the views of this paper in reference to voting for or against a Convention, presents but two considerations in opposition to them-one the groundless dread of the Hunnicutt faction, and the other the fact that the negroes will vote for the Convention. Hunnicutt inspires contempt, but not dread in the minds of the masses of the people.

That the other consideration-that the negroes will vote for a Convention-furnishes any reason, much less a conclusive one, as the Whig seems to think, why the whites should do so, strikes us, and will strike the masses of our people, "as a most lame and impotent conclusion." The negroes, the Whig assumes, will vote for the Convention because the constitution, which is required to be adopted under the act calling it, will grant them the right of suffrage. To many whites this will furnish a strong reason why they should vote against the Convention.

New England and the Negroes
(Column 02)
Summary: Indicts New Englanders for their complicity in slavery and the slave trade, contending that "the great mass of the Republican party are not now and never were the enlightened, liberal and true friends of the negroes."
Origin of Article: Petersburg Index
Full Text of Article:

We hold and believe we can demonstrably prove, says the Petersburg Index , that those who constitute the great mass of the Republican party, are not now and never were the enlightened, liberal and true friends of the negroes. Who are they? Where do they live and from whom did they spring? They are New Englanders, or of New England descent, almost without exception; for it is well known that the great body of the Western people are descended from New England emigrants. And now consider what has always been the policy of those Eastern States towards the colored race? Who brought them from their native land to this country? Chiefly New Englanders, in New England ships. Who sold them into perpetual bondage? New Englanders. Who bought them and worked them in those Northern States as long as their labor was profitable? New Englanders-the fathers of the present Abolition Republicans. Who sold them and removed them to the South after their labor had become unprofitable in the North? Abolitionists and their fathers. Who continued to bring them from their native land in Northern ships and to sell them to the West Indies and elsewhere for gain-purely for money-long after they had ceased to be profitable as laborers in New England? Northern Abolitionists and their fathers. And it was proposed by Congress to stop the salve trade, and put an end to the wicked traffic, who voted against its continuance? Mark this: Virginia! And who voted for its continuance? Mark this: Massachusetts-the Abolitionists and their fathers!! These are facts which can neither be ignored nor gainsaid; for history has them in her faithful record.

What a Colored Preacher Said
(Column 02)
Summary: A "colored gentleman" in Wytheville delivered an address to a meeting of Radicals in which he explained that blacks "would have to live among and must cultivate the friendship of the better class of Southern white people."
Full Text of Article:

At a recent meeting of Radicals, or "Red Stings," as they are called in that section, at Wytheville, Va., a tall good looking colored gentlemen by the name of Wilson Leewood, a preacher, arose and spoke earnestly to his brethren for some time; he stated that he was in favor of seeing his race conduct themselves as Christian men, polite and respectful to all, honest and truthful; and he knew if they would do this they would receive the respect of all; that he knew they were now ignorant and they would have to be careful who they selected as their friends; that in selecting men for office they must select gentlemen who were respectable, and competent and could be relied upon, and not suffer themselves to be duped by those who wanted to make tools of them to get into office and then discard them. He cautioned them too against men who had nothing but false promises and deceit to offer them, and told them that their true friends were those to whom they had to look for employment-that they would have to live among and must cultivate the friendship of the better class of Southern white people. Altogether his speech was very sensible and well received by the decent portion of the audience "without distinction of color" as was sufficiently evinced by the encouraging plaudits which he received.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that "the best portion of our colored friends will stand by the white people whom they know to be friendly disposed to them."
Origin of Article: Lynchburg Republican
The Whites and Blacks
(Column 03)
Summary: Praises the conduct of blacks during the war, claiming that "nine-tenths of them were staunch Confederates" and that "three-fourths of the able-bodied blacks would have volunteered in the Confederate army had it been permitted." Also castigates those who "are inclined to impose upon the negroes, or to treat them in such way as to engender strife ... under present circumstances especially."
Origin of Article: Houston Telegraph
Full Text of Article:

We have always been kindly disposed to the blacks, and have believed that such was the case with most of our people, and, consequently, have uniformly maintained that the best friends they have are the people of the South. None but friendly feelings should exist between the whites and blacks of the South. We concur with the Houston (Texas) Telegraph that it is all important in view of the new right of suffrage conferred upon the negroes by Congress. Those among us who are inclined to impose upon negroes, or to treat them in such way as to engender strife between them and the whites are, without thinking of it, the worst enemies of the country. We have but few such men, but we have some, and we owe it to ourselves to discountenance them. It is true, the conduct of some negroes is often vexatious in the extreme; so is the conduct of many white men. And our own theory, that the negroes are an inferior race, should cause us to treat them with forbearance. It is no credit to any white man to have quarrels with negroes, under present circumstances especially. And, then, there are many things to be said in favor of the negroes. Nine-tenths of them were staunch Confederates during all the war, except where armies of invasion demoralized them. Three-fourths of the able-bodied blacks would have volunteered in the Confederate army had it been permitted. And they are not at all responsible for their emancipation, nor for the effort to place them upon an equality with the whites. Whatever their faults-and all races have faults-they are the most docile people in the world, and are as true as steel to their friends. Those of the Southern people who manifest kindness and friendship for them can exercise a stronger and better influence over them than any other class. And it is now the highest patriotic duty, as it was a humane and Christian duty before, that every Southern man should be a friend to the negroes; and to have influence with them, and seek to guide them for good in their new position. Otherwise, they will fall into the hands of bad men, and mischief will be the result. "A word to the wise, etc."

Sensible Remarks
(Column 05)
Summary: Quotes a speaker at a recent meeting of "'colored loyalists'" who urged his audience to avoid being led by "intemperate men" into "a political course which you can only regret afterwards from hasty and passionate action."
Origin of Article: Lynchburg News

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Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: The home of Samuel Parent near Hermitage was burnt last Tuesday morning. It is suspected that a spark landed on the roof, igniting the blaze.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Parent)
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Referring to the Ready Rifle company which was formed in Sangersville in April 1861 and lost two-thirds of their men in the war, the Register asks "has any little country town among the hills of the South a fairer, purer, nobler record?"
Origin of Article: Rockingham Register
Editorial Comment: "In speaking of the little village of Sangersville in this county, the Rockingham Register says:"
Full Text of Article:

"On the 13 of April, 1861 the Ready Rifles, an infantry company of sixty-four members, commanded by Capt. O. F. Grinnan, was formed in Sangersville, and reported for duty. Of this company, composed of the flower of the town and its vicinity, forty-five-more than two-thirds-were killed and wounded during the war for Southern nationality and independence. Has any little country town among the hills of the South a fairer, purer, nobler record?"

Local News--Philomathesian
(Column 01)
Summary: The Philomathesian society last Saturday debated the question: "'Should we bestow our charity on the widows and orphans of soldiers or expend it in the erection of monuments to their memories?'" After the debate, the question was decided in favor of widows and orphans.
(Names in announcement: Wayt, O'Ferrall, Effinger, Cooke, Nelson, Hanger, Points)
Full Text of Article:

This society met on last Saturday night, when the following question was ably discussed:

"Should we bestow our charity on the widows and orphans of soldiers or expend it in the erection of monuments to their memories?"

Messrs. Wayt, O'Ferrall, Effinger and Cooke spoke on the side of the widows and orphans, and Messrs. Nelson, Hanger and Points on the side of the erection of monuments. It was decided in favor of the widows and orphans.

The question for next Saturday night is-"Are compulsory oaths binding?"

Local News--Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: After a lecture on science and progress, members of the Staunton Lyceum discussed the question, "'Was the Revolution of 1776 a mistake?'" After the debate, the question was decided in the affirmative by a vote of 13 to 12.
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, Capt. James Bumgardner, Col. Bolivar Christian, Col. James H. Skinner, Bernard Peyton, Y. Howe Peyton, Prof. Pike Powers, Dr. C. R. Harris)
Full Text of Article:

The interest in the discussions and lectures delivered before the Staunton Lyceum has been steadily on the increase since it was organized.-The audiences have increased and the discussions have been more and more interesting. On Monday night, the 8th instant, the hall was crowded with an appreciative audience, who exhibited great interest in the lecture and discussion with which they were favored on that occasion.

Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy delivered an interesting lecture upon "Science, it's progress and influence." The subject was one of interest, and the lecture was worthy of the subject.

After the lecture, the discussion of the question, "Was the Revolution of 1776 a mistake," continued from a previous meeting was resumed. The following members participated:

In the affirmative, Capt. James Bumgardner, Col. Bolivar Christian and Col. James H. Skinner; in the negative, Bernard Peyton, Esq., Y. Howe Peyton, Esq., Prof. Pike Powers and Dr. C. R. Harris.

On submitting the merits of the question to the vote, it was decided as follows: affirmative, 13; negative, 12.

The speeches delivered were able and eloquent.

Amicably Adjusted
(Column 02)
Summary: A feud between R. Mauzy, the editor of the Spectator, and N. K. Trout was amicably settled by the arbitration of a group of men recommended by A. H. H. Stuart.
(Names in announcement: R. Mauzy, N. K. Trout, A. H. H. Stuart, Thos. J. Michie, John B. Baldwin, John N. Hendren, J. A. Waddell)
Origin of Article: Valley Virginian
Full Text of Article:

STAUNTON. April 1st 1867.

Messrs. N. K. Trout & R. Manzy,


I have been deeply pained to learn that a controversy, arising out of differences on political questions has spring up between you. Being persuaded that this difficulty has been the result of some misunderstanding, and cherishing for both of you sentiments of cordial friendship and esteem, I earnestly beg that you will consent to refer all matters in difference between you, to the arbitrament of mutual friends, and would respectfully suggest as referees, Thos. J. Michie, Esq, J. B. Baldwin, John N. Hendren, Esq., and Joseph A. Waddell or any of them.

In the present disturbed condition of our country, I should regard a political difference between two gentlemen, who enjoy so large a share of public confidence as peculiarly unfortunate.

Very Respectfully, yours &c.,


We hereby agree to refer all matters in difference between us to the arbitrament of T. J. Michie, Esq., Col. J. B. Baldwin, John N. Hendren and J. A. Waddell or any of them.



April 1st, 1867.


After careful examination of the correspondence between Mr. Trout and Mr. Mauzy and of the editorial to which it refers, we are of opinion that while the editorial was characterized by a severity of criticism which we do not approve, yet it does not contain any reflection on the motives or conduct of Mr. Trout which was intended to be offensive to him personally.

We think, therefore that the remarks of Mr. Trout in reference to Mr. Mauzy on Friday last ought to be withdrawn. We are further of opinion that as the interruption in the friendly intercourse between Mr. Trout and Mr. Mauzy had its origin in a misapprehension, which no longer exists, there is no reason why their former relations shall not be restored.




We hereby accept the above adjustment.



April 1st , 1867

(Column 05)
Summary: A. A. Crawford, of Augusta, and Lucy Hiner, of Highland, were married on April 9 by Rev. W. T. Price.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. T. Price, A. A. Crawford, Lucy Hiner)

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For White Folks and Colored Folks
(Column 02)
Summary: Praises the conduct of the "colored people of this State" since the end of the war and urges whites and blacks to "try and get on together," but also warns the colored population against "forgetting" its "position in society," that of "the laboring class of the country."
Origin of Article: Charlottesville Chronicle
Full Text of Article:

For many years to come the destiny and happiness of all the people now living in the South are bound up together. We have here a very uncommon thing, two different races living together. A great change has suddenly come upon both races. The white race is no longer a race of masters. Formerly rich, they are now poor. The colored race by one bound became in a moment free . Every colored person may now go where and when he pleases. He is a free man, and a full citizen. This is not all; by another bound they have become voters .-They will take part in the government of the country. No people was ever so suddenly, so rapidly lifted up.

Shall we live happily together? Or shall we hate each other, and quarrel, and bear malice?

Let us all try and get on together. The land is big enough. Let the whites accommodate themselves to the new state of things. Let them be polite and kind to all, and be always ready to accord to every man whether white or colored, his full rights. Kindness is the most powerful engine in human society; haughtiness, bitterness, and anger, accomplish but little. We will warrant that an employer who is kind and considerate with those who work for him, will have their respect and get on in his business. Pay them punctually what you owe then. Let them see and feel that you are scrupulously just . Bear with their harmless prejudices; have not we (the whites) ten thousand vanities? Does not a hoop turn the head of a white woman as well as a colored woman? Does not the same poor human heart beat under the most snowy and the most jet-black bosom? Is a colored man or woman sick? Visit them. Are they in want of shelter, lend them a vacant cabin. Are they hungry? Give them bread. Is your servant high-tempered? Bear with it-for, it may be, you have a temper of your own. Is he lazy?-mayhaps, you are lazy. Is he a church member, and very inconsistent? Perchance you are a church-member, and with ten fold inducement to a consistent christian life, you excite the surprise of your neighbors by your sharp practices, or your love of meat and drink, or your bad temper, or your facile conscience.

Now we make bold to say, that the behavior of the colored people in this State, since they were set free, has surprised all fair-minded white people. We do not believe the white people under the same circumstances, would have behaved so well by twenty per cent. They have shown the greatest moderation . They have passed from plantation hands to freedom and the ballot without outward excitement. They still touch the had, and call us "master" when they pass us. By a kind word you can engage them to anything. What crimes have they committed? They have stolen a good deal, we admit; and how much would white folks have stolen under the same circumstances? The perpetual wonder with us is, that there is so much honesty among the colored people. What chance have they had? What mother taught them to pray in infancy? Taught them about the Savior as they grew a little older? sent them to Sunday School? took them to Church? gave them the example of her beautiful life? What father laid upon them the spell of his restraining influence? What public sentiment kept them in the path of duty and of upright life?

Consider what appeals have been made to them by designing Northern friends. Consider what prejudices have been played upon. Consider how they have been preached to about their "rights" by those who kick them at home. Poor creatures, it seems to us as if God had helped them to keep within bounds.

We just say this-that if we had been a born nigger-reared out in a mud cabin, with no knowledge of God, with no knowledge of anything, surrounded by a public sentiment that tolerated dirt, swearing, Sabbath breaking, stealing, lying-we should have been hung long ago.

But a word to our colored friends: you are ignorant, you are poor, you are helpless, you are surrounded by many temptations. You have been suddenly elevated so high that you are in great danger of having your heads turned. Designing people are seeking to use you to help forward their own schemes. Some of you-more particularly those who have lived in towns-have picked up some knowledge of the world. The great body of your race know no more than little children.

There are about three millions of you in the South proper. There are about six millions of white people in the South. In this State there are about 500,000 colored people, and about 700,000 white people. In the fourteen Southern States (counting Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri) you outnumber the whites in only two States-South Carolina and Mississippi.-In all the other old slave-holding States, the whites are in a majority. By white people coming here from the North and from Europe, the white population will steadily, perhaps rapidly, increase; your race will not increase; it may fall off in numbers. You will see therefore that you cannot afford to quarrel with the whites.-Besides that, the whites have all the property and have education. It is as much your interest as that of the whites that we should get on pleasantly together. If the two races quarrel; both will suffer-the whole South will suffer.-If we have good government, and peace, and quiet, all will prosper. If we make good crops, all will be fed. If we wrangle and jar; if the whites oppress the laborer, or if the laborer does not do his part by his employer, both will suffer.

By the right to vote, you have acquired and immense power to protect yourselves. If you use this power without abusing it, if you are prudent, the legislatures of the States will pass kind laws to protect you, and the courts of the country will enforce them.

Remember that although you are free, and although you will vote, you are still the laboring class of the country. Do not abuse the freedom which God has given you by forgetting your position in society. Do not undertake to be a fine gentleman. Do not put on airs. Attend to your business, do your daily work, do it well, deal honestly and uprightly; and you will command respect. Live peaceably with the whites. Make them your friends. They can do you infinite harm, if you make them enemies. They can persecute you to death in a thousand ways which no laws can reach. Remember that in the late convulsions of the country all the fruit has been gathered by you; all the dregs of the cup have been drained by the whites. Be contented with the blessings which God has bestowed upon you, and do not by a grasping spirit blast the prospects which lie before you. What you want is to gather your families together, to reap the fruits of honest labor, to have protection from injustice. Beware of the loud-mouthed babblers that would pit you against the whites. If you become pitted against the whites, it is a game which two can play at: the whites will become pitted against you . It will be a death-struggle. The stronger race will overpower the weaker. Let there be no strife between the races, let them work together for the whole country. Do you attend to your business and let politics alone. What you want is bread and meat and decent clothing and a neat little house or room to live in. Try and lay by something and have your children taught to read and write, and make them go to Church and to Sunday School and keep them clean. When you learn to read, read the Bible , and learn from the fountain-head what Religion is.

Don't be suspicious of the white people: be frank and open with them: speak your mind.

Charlottesville Chronicle.