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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 23, 1867

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-Page 01-

The Ugly Club of the University
(Column 07)
Summary: Frank Wilson, of Augusta, was recently elected "The Smallest Man" by the Ugly Club at the University of Virginia. Wilson "will receive the Pyramid of Candy."
(Names in announcement: Frank C. Wilson)
Origin of Article: Charlottesville Chronicle

-Page 02-

A Word to Freedmen
(Column 01)
Summary: Referring to a meeting of freedmen held in Staunton last week, the editor characterizes the course set forth in their resolutions as "folly approximating madness" and warns that "if they throw down the gauntlet of defiant opposition, they may rest assured that it will be taken up by the whites."
Full Text of Article:

If the resolutions adopted by the Freedmen in the meeting held in this place on Monday night, the 15th inst., express the views and purposes of that class in our midst-which we very much doubt-the adoption of them, if they adopted them understandingly, indicates that they will draw the line of demarcation distinctly between themselves and the great mass of the whites in the elections. This course, on their part, would be folly approximating madness. They should have sense enough to know that if they assume a position of antagonism to the whites, that they, the colored people, will be the sufferers. The whites have the advantages of numbers, of capital and property, of intelligence and education. The whites constitute the employing, and the blacks the employed class. The whites are now disposed to affiliate politically in a friendly spirit with the blacks, and the blacks should meet them in the same spirit. If the blacks should, however, organize for the purpose of acting in solid phalanx against the whites, as their action in that meeting would seem to indicate, they must know that the inevitable consequence will be that the whites will unite against them. Then the weaker party would be pushed to the would be pushed to the wall, and the blacks would repent of their mad folly when too late to repair it. Their true course is to rely upon and to act with those whom they have known for years to be their friends, and to avoid taking counsel from strangers, however plausible, and however loud in their professions of friendship. They should be careful not to make enemies of the persons among whom they live, and upon whom they must remain dependent. If they throw down the gauntlet of defiant opposition, they may rest assured that it will be taken up by the whites.

Meeting at the Richmond Theatre
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that "the more intelligent and respectable colored men of Richmond" held a meeting last week in which the speakers delivered "wholesome counsel," admonishing them to "avoid arraying themselves in opposition to the masses of the white people among whom they live."
A Disgusted Delegate
(Column 02)
Summary: E. L. Houff, a delegate from Augusta to the loyalist convention in Richmond, returned home after discovering "that the convention was got up and controlled by corrupt and designing (white) men for their own selfish ends."
(Names in announcement: E. L. Houff)
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
Full Text of Article:

We have been called on by Mr. E. L. Houff a delegate from Augusta to the African Church pow-wow, at whose request we publish the subjoined, preamble and resolutions which were offered by him in that body and were unanimously and contemptuously voted "under the table." Mr. H., who seems to be a sensible and well-meaning person, is satisfied that he was entirely out of place in any such body, and that the convention was got up and controlled by corrupt and designing (white) men for their own selfish ends. He will take care, in the future, not to be caught in any such company. The following is the paper which was submitted by Mr. H., and which expresses his own sentiments and, as he assures us those of the "Union" men of Augusta.

"Whereas, The State of Virginia, as well as the whole of the Southern States, saw fit to secede from the General Government of the United States; and as the result of the secession involved in the country in four years' war, the most terrible that has ever been waged on this Continent, and as the States thus seceded are at this time held by the United States Government as conquered provinces; therefore be it.

"1. Resolved , That we, a portion of the citizens of Virginia in convention assembled, for the purpose of bringing back our State to the faith of our fathers while differing with the advocates of secession from the commencement of the political strife to the present time, yet we recognize them as friends and fellow citizens of a common country; and as all classes should work harmoniously together for the purpose of building up our dilapidated country and perpetuating the interests of our beloved State, we do hereby ask the Congress of the United States, in the name of the loyal citizens of Virginia, and in behalf of our misguided friends, that no portion of their property be confiscated on account of the part taken by them in the late rebellion.

"2. Resolved , That as Union men, we are desirous of fostering harmony in our beloved land, and intend to uphold the Union party and perpetuate its success by all legitimate means.

"3. Resolved , That we abide by the laws made by Congress to govern the State of Virginia, and we deem it our duty to uphold the Union now and forever one and inseparable.

"4. Resolved , That we, the Union of men of Virginia, throw to the breeze our banner with the inscription: 'The Union, the Constitution, and the Enforcement of the Laws.'"

Conservatism vs. Radicalism
(Column 03)
Summary: Ridicules the Valley Virginian for characterizing the resolutions of the recent meeting of freedmen as "conservative" when in fact they appear to the author as "radical." Includes a copy of the preamble and resolutions produced at the meeting.
(Names in announcement: Rev. N. C. Brackett, Philip Roselle)
Full Text of Article:

The Valley Virginian, in its notice of the proceedings of the meeting of freedmen, which was held in this place on Monday night, the 15th inst. Stated that "conservative resolutions were adopted unanimously," and, in commendation, said: "The colored people have done well, as we expected-white men, do your part." We were pleased to see it stated that the freedmen had unanimously adopted "conservative resolutions," and were consequently surprised to find, when the preamble and resolutions appeared in the Vindicator , that they were so different from what we had expected. We expected "conservative " resolutions, and lo! They were radical . We suppose that the editor of the Valley Virginian had neither seen the resolutions, nor heard them read, and that he had been misinformed as to their character.

We will not comment upon the character of these resolutions at this time, but merely publish them as we find them in the last Vindicator . The preamble and resolutions are as follows: PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.

We, the freedmen of Augusta county, in mass meeting assembled, do recognize in the events of the late war the judgment and mercies of Divine Providence in sweeping, as with the bosom of destruction, the foul wrong of human bondage from the face of our country, and trusting to Him for guidance, we will strive to use our personal and political freedom for the glory of His name, and the advancement of the moral and material interest of all. And, whereas, we are called upon to exercise the great privilege of the franchise, it is due to our friends in other States, as well as to our fellow-citizens in Virginia, that we define our political belief on the great questions of the day, and seek such national political association as will add strength to freedom, and, also, see to it that in the Constitution about to be framed for the government of ourselves and posterity, we ask no more than justice, nor accept less than safety.

Therefore, be it

Resolved , That our grateful thanks are due to the gallant armies of the United States who, under Providence, followed the flag of Liberty and Union until victory crowned their efforts.

Resolved , That we hold in reverent remembrance the memories of those who fell in the cause of freedom, and especially, of Abraham Lincoln, "the good," the signer of our deed of emancipation, and the last martyr.

Resolved , That our profound gratitude is due to those friends in the 39th Congress who, step by step, have perfected for our security the legitimate fruits of successful contest. Resolved , That, as our late masters were not themselves legally responsible for withholding from us our natural rights, so we enter upon the exercise of them "with malice towards none, with charity towards all."

Resolved , That, as we believe the principles dominant in the 39th Congress to be just, as well as necessary for our future security, we identify ourselves, and seek affiliation with the National Union Republican Association at Washington, and elsewhere.

Resolved , That, believing in principles before men, we will not support by our votes, at the coming elections, any candidates who will not pledge themselves faithfully to advocate our wants, and insist upon what we believe to be our wants and shall enforce strict responsibility to such pledges.

Resolved , That we demand,

1st. That all elections. National, State and Local, shall be by secret ballot.

2nd. That no man shall be ineligible to office by reason of sect or color.

3rd. That trial by Jury of peers is a right not to be withheld from any man, and we demand admission to the Jury list, as well as the Poll list.

4th. That thinking Major-General Schofield for his General Order, No. 2, March 15th , 1867, we demand that the "prohibition of whipping or maiming as a punishment of any crime, misdemeanor, or offence," be made part of organic law of the State.

5th. That while we are willing, to the utmost of our ability, to bear our share of the necessary burden of taxation, we demand equal distribution between person and property, and that careful provision be made in the State Constitution, and Legislatures hereafter assembled under its provisions, to prevent absolutely, and forever, the payment, by taxation, directly or indirectly, or any debt contracted by any State, or Corporation, for the support of the late Confederacy, or the armies thereof.

6th. That, believing ignorance to be, the fruitful parent of crime, wrong and discord, we demand extraordinary State provision for the free education of the young of all classes.

7th. That we deprecate the attempt, wherever or however made, to deter us from the free and untrammeled exercise of the franchise, and look with contempt upon any who are willing to sell this dear bought right for "a mess of pottage."

8th That; believing we ask no more than justice and safety demand, we pledge ourselves to support, by our votes, men committed to the principles set forth herein, and no others-and firmly realizing that union is strength, we will lay aside all private dissensions, and unite as one man in support of those candidates whose nominations are ratified at mass meetings, to be held at the call of the Executive Committee.

On motion, an Executive Committee was appointed, with power to fill vacancies, and it was made part of the duties to wait upon General Echols, and other prominent citizens, and request them to address the freedmen at such time and places as may be convenient. Delegates were also appointed to the Convention to meet at Richmond, April 17th. Rev. N. C. Brackett, Superintendent of the Freedmen's Schools, and Philip Roselle, (colored), were chosen delegates to said Constitution.

-Page 03-

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: William Marshall was jailed last week in Staunton, charged with raping Mrs. Elizabeth. White of Fishersville.
(Names in announcement: Wm. Marshall, Eliz. M. White)
Full Text of Article:

On Wednesday last, the 17th instant, a man by the name of Wm. Marshall was committed to the jail of this place charged with having committed rape upon the person of Mrs. Eliz. M. White, living near Fishersville in this county.

Local News--Child Found
(Column 01)
Summary: The remains of an infant were plowed up on a lot near Burke's Foundry last Saturday. The body was so decayed that the child's race could not be ascertained.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. S. Baird)
Full Text of Article:

On last Saturday, the remains of an infant were plowed up, on the lot formerly owned by the Rev. Wm. S. Baird, near Burke's Foundry. It had been buried there by some unknown individual, and was so badly decayed that it could not be ascertained whether it was a white or black child, but from the appearance of the hair on its head it was supposed to have been white.

(Column 03)
Summary: Joseph Wilson and Margaret Wilson were married on April 4 at the home of Alex. Brownlee, the bride's father, by Rev. Pinkerton.
(Names in announcement: Alex. Brownlee, Rev. Pinkerton, Joseph Wilson, Margaret Wilson)
(Column 03)
Summary: William Miller and Mary Brownlee were married on April 4 at the home of the bride's father, Alex. Brownlee, by Rev. Pinkerton.
(Names in announcement: Mary S. Brownlee, Wm. C. Miller, Alex. Brownlee, Rev. Pinkerton)
(Column 03)
Summary: William Vance Jr. and Helen Jenkins, formerly of Rockingham, were married at the home of George Vance on April 11 by Rev. S. F. Butts.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. F. Butts, Geo. Vance, William VanceJr., Helen M. Jenkins)
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert Phares, of West Virginia, and Phebe Jane Waybright were married on April 11 at the home of Capt. John Waybright by Rev. S. F. Butts.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John Waybright, Robert Phares, Rev. S. F. Butts, Phebe Jane Waybright)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mary Hanrahan, the widow of Patrick Hanrahan and originally from Ireland, died at the home of W. H. Tams on April 21. She was 55 years old.
(Names in announcement: W. H. Tams, Mary Hanrahan, Patrick Hanrahan)

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