Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 30, 1867

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

The Freedmen and Abraham Lincoln
(Column 02)
Summary: Contrasts a resolution praising Lincoln that was passed at the April 15 Freedmen's meeting in Staunton with a quote from Lincoln's 1858 speech in which he denounced social and political equality of the races.
Full Text of Article:

In the meeting of Freedmen here, on Monday night, the 15th inst., among other resolutions, adopted the following:

"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."

In a speech delivered at Charleston, Illinois, September, the 18th, 1858, Abraham Lincoln said;

"I will say that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making VOTERS or JURORS of NEGROES, or of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say, in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which, I believe, will FOREVER forbid the two races living together on terms of social and POLITICAL EQUALITY. * * * I; as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that "colored persons" have attempted to force their way inside street cars in cities throughout the South, including Richmond, and suggests that their purpose is to create a conflict between the races to make political capital for the Radicals.
Full Text of Article:

In the street cars in the cities the colored people are required to ride on the platform and are forbidden to ride inside. Attempts have recently been made in Richmond, Charleston and Mobile by colored persons to force themselves inside. The object seems to be effect a collision between the whites and colored people, that capital for the Radical party may be made. The Radicals will be sure to make casts' paws of the colored people to effect their purposes, however much the colored people may be injured by it. They care nothing for the interests of the black man. Political capital is their object. So they strengthen their party they care not what becomes of the black man.

S. S. S. Bill--Reconstruction!
(Column 02)
Summary: Rejects arguments that contend that "the Southern people" should participate in the reorganization of state governments "or the work will be done for them by the negroes and the worst class of the white population," suggesting that the North would be so "disgusted and shamed by such a spectacle to bring about a revolution in Government." The author expresses confidence that "the irritation and exasperations which originated in the war will be modified and ameliorated by time."
Origin of Article: Louisville Courier
Editorial Comment: "In discussing the plan of reconstruction embraced in the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger bill, the Louisville, (Ky.) Courier gives the argument advanced by those who favor compliance with it, and then forcibly replies to it as follows:"
Full Text of Article:

In discussing the plan of reconstruction embraced in the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger bill, the Louisville, (Ky.,) Courier gives the argument advanced by those who favor compliance with it, and then forcibly replies to it as follows: "It is argued that the adoption of this scheme is not left to the option of the Southern people, but that it will necessarily, and from the very nature of the pan itself, be forced upon them, and that if they refuse to participate in the re-organization of the State governments, the work will be done for them by the negroes and the worst class of the white population, and that they cannot afford to take this risk. They can better afford to take it, as we conceive, than they can afford to take this risk. They can afford to lend their sanction to and put their indorsement upon such proceedings. Infinitely better would it be to let even the military authorities do the detestable work than for the Southern people to cut themselves off from all hope of future relief from the injustice now being practiced upon them by acquiescing in what all of them condemn and abhor. The reign of radicalism cannot be perpetuated.-The irritation and the exasperations which originated in the war will be modified and ameliorated by time. A returning sense of magnanimity and justice in the Northern mid will correct the errors of the present, and then, when the wretches, who are now triumphing in Southern weakness and exulting over its inability to resent or resist their oppression, shall be swept from the places which they now disgrace in a whirlwind of popular indignation, then, if those people have been true to themselves, they can make their appeal for justice with confidence and hope. But, if they have themselves voluntarily run their wrists into the handcuffs and placed the chains upon their own limbs, they will have no alternative but to endure the evils they have brought upon themselves.

Suppose that the negroes framed the governments and carried them on, does any sane man believe that a sufficient number of people in the North would not be disgusted and shamed by such a spectacle to bring about a revolution in the Government, and at once remove such reproach to republican institutions? Most assuredly such would be the consequence. There are enough right-thinking men in the North who would not tolerate such a state of things to make, with the Democratic party, such a majority as would put an end to radicalism promptly and forever. Common sense teaches that no such outrage upon decency, no such perversion of the purpose of government would be permitted to endure.

It is the apprehension that the remedy suggested would be too long delayed, and that in the meantime all would be doubt, uncertainty and degradation, which is no driving the Southern people to accept the reconstruction plan proposed. But, on the other hand, there is not the slightest assurance or guaranty that when they have complied with all of these onerous and insulting conditions, when they have made the negro their political equal, admitted him to assist in passing their laws and constitutions, when they have placed the brand of shame and inferiority on thousands of their noblest men, that they will have found any relief or advanced on step in the road of restoration. Under no possible circumstances will they be admitted until after another Presidential election, and every humiliating concession they make will dispirit their Northern friends, deprive them of their sympathy, and result in the election of a Radical candidate for the Presidency."

-Page 03-

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Four local teachers will be creating a new institution "where young men may qualify themselves for the various business pursuits of life."
(Names in announcement: Hotchkiss, Powers, Phillips, Wheat)
Full Text of Article:

We understand that Messrs. Hotchkiss, Powers, Phillips & Wheat-four of our well known Teachers-have associated themselves together for the purpose of conduction an Institution long needed in the Valley of Virginia, where young men may qualify themselves for the various business pursuits of life. The course for the present will embrace: Penmanship; Commercial Arithmetic; Commercial correspondence; Forms and Customs; Book-keeping-by single and double entry; Natural Philosophy; Chemistry; Geology, and Engineering-embracing surveying by the various modes now in use. This course will be ultimately extended, and they will be aided by competent assistants. They will retain their present positions in their respective schools.-Their advertisement will appear in our next issue. We wish success to this important enterprise.

Local News--Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum met last Monday and held elections for officers, followed by a lecture entitled "Hints to the Ladies," which was "greatly enjoyed" by the ladies in attendance.
(Names in announcement: Col. Bolivar Christian, Col. James H. Skinner, Robert M. Guy, Leonidas Points, Prof. J. H. Hewitt)
Full Text of Article:

In the Lyceum on Monday night, the 22nd instant, the semi-annual election of officers took place with the following result:

Col. Bolivar Christian was re-elected President; Col. James H. Skinner was elected Vice-President; Robert M. Guy, Esq., Secretary and Leonidas Points, Esq., Treasurer. All of these officers were unanimously elected.

After the election, Prof. J. H. Hewitt delivered to a crowded house his lecture, the subject of which was: "Hints to the Ladies."

The lecture was in the highest degree satirical and humorous, and was really enjoyed by the audience, especially by the ladies, who constituted a considerable proportion, if not a majority of the auditors. The lecture was as full of hints as an egg is of meat, which were presented in the disguising garb of irony; but the "optics keen" of the ladies present did not fail to see them in their true characters, and to appreciate their just merits. It is not often that the ladies have the fortune to be addressed in such plain frank and candid terms. Young single men usually address them in honeyed and candied phrases, but the lecturer, being a married man with the frosts of many winters on his locks, could afford to venture to address them in honest and candid terms. Though his remarks were more candid than candied, we have no doubt but that the ladies will preserve and keep them for use in family jars.

Local News--Staunton Musical Association
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the Staunton Musical Association will give their first performance on May 10 and encourages readers to become honorary members.
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. L. Brown, Prof. Ettinger, D. W. Drake)
Full Text of Article:

We call the attention of our readers to the fact that the Staunton Musical Association, which is composed of the Professors of music and amateur singers of this place, will give their first entertainment on Friday night week, May 10th, in the Chapel of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution. Bradbury's highly pleasing Oratorio of "Esther, or the Beautiful Queen," will be rendered on this occasion, in addition to which there will be two grand classic choruses by Mozart and Rossini. The solos, duets trios, quartettes and choruses will be well sustained and rendered with fine effect. None should fail to attend this grand entertainment, as it will afford a rich and rare musical feast. The programme has been in rehearsal for some time, under the direction of Dr. J. L. Brown, the accomplished base singer, which will ensure its being rendered in the best style.-The grand organ-one of the finest in the State-played by Prof. Ettinger, will add greatly to the effect of the heavy choruses. Under the constitution of this society persons can procure a certificate of honorary membership, by applying to the Treasurer, Mr. D. W. Drake, on payment of $3, which certificate will entitle the holder to admission to all concerts and rehearsals of the society. We would suggest this as an appropriate time for persons to become honorary members.

General Echols' Address--Meeting of the Freedmen
(Column 02)
Summary: A summary of the speeches made last Saturday night to a meeting of freedmen by Gen. Echols and three "colored men." The author reports that "the meeting on the whole was a treat as rich as it was novel" despite the obviously Radical inclinations of the black people in attendance.
(Names in announcement: Henry Davenport, James Scott, Benj. Downey, Phillip Roselle, W. H. H. Lynn, Dennis Harris, Rev. Lawson, Maj. A. M. Garber, Col. M. G. Harman)
Full Text of Article:

In the meeting of the freedmen in this place on Monday, the 15th inst.,, at which delegates wee appointed to the Radical Convention which assembled in the African Church in Richmond on the 17th inst., on motion, it was made part of the duties of the executive committee to invite Gen. Echols to address them. In compliance with this invitation, Gen. Echols addressed them in the Court-house on Saturday night last. The Courthouse was filled with persons of both colors who were anxious to hear the address to be delivered under such novel circumstances. After Gen. Echols, the following colored men addressed the the meeting:--Henry Davenport, James Scott, Benj. Downey and Philip Roselle.

Our limited space prevents us from reporting the speeches and proceedings as fully as we would like to do. We have space only to notice the main points made by the Speakers.

On the nomination of Philander Ransom (colored), Philip Roselle (colored) was elected to preside as chairman. On motion, Mr. W. H. H. Lynn, Editor of the Vindicator , was requested to act as Secretary. The Chairman introduced Gen. Echols, who then addressed the meeting.

He expressed his thanks for the compliment implied in the invitation to address them. He would frankly tell them what he conceived to be the duties of both the whites and the blacks. The history of the world had no record of such a change as had recently taken place in the government of this country. Three hears since, there were four millions of slaves in this country; now they are free in all their actions, personal and political. A monstrous change to be wrought in so short a time. That change not only confers privileges to be enjoyed, but also imposes duties to be discharged. He explained the legislation by which this change had been effected. He read the supplementary bill to the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger bill, and explained its several provisions. He said that he knew their hearts leaped with joy that they were free, no longer slaves, and had the right to vote for men to make the laws. This right has its responsibilities, and they should exercise it aright. He would not flatter them, but would tell them frankly that they are ignorant-he knew and would confess their ignorance. He was disinterested, as he belongs to the disfranchised class, and they cannot by their votes, confer any office upon him.-What is best for them is best for him. He advised them to vote for the Convention, and to vote, for delegates to that Convention, for honest and intelligent men, such as they know to be their friends, such as they would entrust their money to, and get to write their wills. He cautioned them against such as would remind them of real or imagined past wrongs. He entertained no vindictive feelings towards any one, was anxious for peace, and desired to see the blood-stains blotted out. He warned them against such as would seek to array them in hostility to their former masters. They would be told that the Northern people emancipated them, and that they should be grateful to them, and should vote with the Radicals. It was not the purpose of the Northern people to emancipate them-for three years after the war commenced the intention was not to do so, but the natural drifting of the war brought it about whether they desired it or not. No Northern State ever emancipated their slaves without compensation. When slavery was not longer profitable, they adopted prospective emancipation. They sold their slaves to the South before the arrival of the time when they would be free under their acts of prospective emancipation.-Massachusetts brought more slaves from Africa than any other State. The reproach of slavery rests upon the North as well as the South. Some presuming upon your ignorance, will tell you that, unless you support the Radical party, you will again be reduced to slavery. This is a miserable bugbear, an insult to your common sense.

Don't mingle with any party as a body-don't draw a line of demarcation between yourselves and the whites-don't array class against class-each should act for himself upon his own judgment and choice. Don't bind your consciences by pledges in secret meetings. If you array yourselves against the whites in your State, you must be the party injured. The whites have the advantage of property, money, education and numbers-there being 400,000, more whites than blacks in this State. The State is as large a family, and the members should live in peace, and they are mutually dependent the one upon the other. If you unite with the Radical party, your places will be filled with the German and Irish immigrants, which would finally result in the destruction of your race. In Rochester, N. Y., they destroyed the hack of a son-in-law of Fred. Douglas, because they would not allow a colored man to drive a hack in competition with them.-In illustration of the mutual dependency of all branches of society, he read Aesop's fable of the belly and the other members of the body. If all the members shall not work in peace and harmony, gaunt famine with emaciated frame, skinny fingers, and cadaverous countenance will stalk through the land. Have you no love for those with whom you have been raised? He, the speaker, felt the warmest affection for his servant boy and for the old colored woman who nursed him. You have been told that confiscation would come if you would enable the Radicals to succeed. Would you desire that [One responded, "yes." A voice said, "he don't belong to this community." In the event of confiscation, this country would be intolerable. It would uproot all society, would encourage robbery, murder &c. You don't desire it, but you can't get it if you do. Wilson says the S. S. S. Bill is a finality.

The true course to adopt is, not to unite as a class with any party-let each one think and act for himself as a freeman should. Every tub should stand on its own bottom. Don't act like a flock of sheep, and all jump as the bellwether jumps.

In reference to their social duties, he advised them to be honest, truthful, sober and faithful to their marriage vows. He advised them to be industrious and economical-to get homes where they could repose beneath their own vine and fig tree-to support their ministers and churches-to educate their children and to impress the virtues of honesty and truth upon their minds. Let politics alone as much as possible. Organize a Savings Bank, and deposit your savings in it. They will increase with time, like the rolling snow-ball. Follow the course recommended, and you will be happy and contented-if not, you will be ruined. Make friends and not enemies. Your destiny is in your own hands. Thanking them for their attention, the speaker concluded. On motion of Dennis Harris, (colored), the meeting unanimously voted thanks to General Echols for the delivery of his address.

Rev. Mr. Lawson, (colored) said, was then called for, but he declined to speak as ministers should not make political speeches. HENRY DAVENPORT, (colored), said, "speaking is teaching that's certain." He was happy to say the day had come for the first time for the colored and white man to meet together upon equal terms. God help us to live together as brethren! My brethren, my fellow-citizens, my fellow-travelers to the bar of God, with a warm heart and a welcome hand I great you.

JAMES SCOTT, (colored), enquired how it was that they were there. He complimented General Echols, but said his speech reminded him of a fable-that of the boys and the frogs. He was for praising the bridge that carried him over safely. He was for the party which made him free. He knew his friends-even a dog knew his friends.

BENJAMIN DOWNEY, (colored), said he was "independently happy to-night." He would look not only first on one side of the picture and then on the other, but would "bust the picture open and look in the middle of it." He knew the black man well, but not the white man, though he had lived with him 64 years. Why did the Southern people wait so long before becoming such good friends? He was about to "bring the music out of it." The only objection he had to General Echols was, he commenced to late. He was a great orator, fine scholar-he did not understand all he said and some of the white folks did'nt understand some of it neither. White folks, South, never taught them A. B. C.-the Yankees did. White folks not as thankful as they ought to have been to nigger for taking care of their families whilst they were in the war.

PHILIP ROSELLE, (colored), --Chairman of the meeting--said that, since he had been free, he had been more careful in his conduct towards others than before, because when he was a slave he had a master who would protect him and whip anyone who would mistreat him-now he had not. Some said the North set him free, and some said the South, for if the South had not "fit" there would have been no war, and if there had been no war they would not have been free. He did not care who set him free. Looking at Major A. M. Garber, he said: "I belonged to Maj. Garber's father, and I suppose if he had known that fighting would set me free, he would not have fit . He thought rents were too high and wages too low. He would not receive Gen. Echol's land but if a slice of Col. M. G. Harman's would be surveyed and allotted to him he would take it, as he had belonged to and worked for him a number of years. At the conclusion of his remarks, the meetings adjourned.

The drift of the feelings of the freedmen was clearly exhibited, as every Radical sentiment expressed by any of their speakers was applauded to the echo. The meeting was highly enjoyed by all present. The happy hits made by the colored speakers were greatly enjoyed by the whites.-The tone of all the speakers was friendly with the exception of James Scott. The tone of his voice, which cannot be disguised, betrayed embittered feelings towards the Southern people.-The meeting on the whole was a treat as rich as it was novel.

(Column 04)
Summary: Ella Watts and Theodore Pace, of Richmond, were married on April 25 in Cedar Hill at the residence of the bride's late grandfather, John Seawright, by Rev. Hensel.
(Names in announcement: Theodore A. Pace, Ella R. Watts, Maj. J. B. Watts, John Seawright, Rev. Hensel)
(Column 04)
Summary: Casendine Redifer and Joseph Wilcher were married near Parnassus on April 18 by Rev. R. C. Walker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. R. C. Walker, Joseph Wilcher, Casendine E. Redifer)
(Column 04)
Summary: Catherine Turner, of Henrico, and William Ayres, of Charlottesville, were married in Staunton by Rev. E. M. Peterson.
(Names in announcement: Rev. E. M. Peterson, Wm. P. Ayres, Catherine E. Turner)
(Column 04)
Summary: Isabel Carlile Vest, the only child of Joseph and Emma, died on April 23. She was almost 22 months old.
(Names in announcement: Isabel Carlile Vest, Joseph T. Vest, Emma C. Vest)

-Page 04-