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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: September 24, 1867

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The Object of the Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that any "conservatives" who vote for a convention "will vote in company with Radicals and negroes." Such men, the article suggests, may be "judged by the company" they keep.
Full Text of Article:

The Radical plan of reconstruction was devised by the Radical Congress for the purpose of ensuring the rule of the Radical party by Radicalizing the Southern States, and that was to be accomplished chiefly by incorporating in both the State and Federal Constitutions the privilege of universal negro suffrage. All who are in favor of accomplishing these objects, and who wish to do so even in gross and palpable, yea confessed, violation of the constitution, will vote for a Convention called for those purposes. That extreme Radicals and negroes will so vote may be expected, but that conservatives should vote with them may well excite surprise. It will be hard for a professed conservative to vote that way without exciting the suspicion that he has an axe to grind. Those who vote that way will vote in company with Radicals and negroes, and those who contemplate doing so may profit by reflecting upon the fate of the stork in the fable which was found in company with the geese, and which had its neck wrung in spite of its protestations of innocence-being judged by the company it kept. Those who vote that way may have cause to regret it as long as they live.

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that skirmishes between U. S. soldiers and freedmen have occurred in Georgia during the last few days. The soldiers are said to be "the aggressors."
Reaction--Stand by the Right
(Column 02)
Summary: Summarizes the editorial position of the Spectator since the promulgation of the Radical reconstruction plan: white southerners should remain "firm and steadfast" in anticipation of a "reaction of sentiment" among the Northern population against the proposed scheme. The article claims that this reaction is now under way, and will ultimately "overwhelm in righteous ruin the usurping, despotic, oppressive, unconstitutional Radical party."
Full Text of Article:

It will be remembered that when the Radical Congress, which was not, in fact, a Constitutional Congress at all, but merely a fraction of a Rump Radical Congress, adopted the Radical plan of re-construction, so-called, and submitted it for adoption or rejection to the vote of the suffragans of the Southern States, that this journal earnestly maintained that both principle and expediency demanded that they should reject it. Principle demanded it, because it was in violation of the Constitution which all were under the most solemn obligations to support, maintain, and defend, and because it was subversive of every principle of Constitutional liberty, an designed for the humiliation and degradation of the Southern people. Expediency demanded it, because if the Southern people should remain true to themselves, true to the Constitutional rights of the whole people of the country, North and South, cling to the constitution as the mariner clings to the last plank of the shipwreck when night and the tempest close around him, and the people of the North had not so degenerated as to have lost all respect for Constitutional obligations, all love for Constitutional liberty, and all regard for justice and equality of rights, it would follow, in the course of time, as surely as that the day succeeds the night, and that reason triumphs over passion, that a reaction of sentiment would take place in the minds of Northern people-that, at first, it might be so small as hardly to be perceptible, but that it would continue to increase in force an swell in volume till, like a might flood, it would over flow the whole North, and overwhelm in righteous ruin the usurping, despotic, oppressive, unconstitutional Radical party.

Entertaining these views and animated by these hopes, we counseled our people to remain firm and steadfast, to exercise heroic fortitude and patient endurance, to suffer with philosophic stoicism and christian resignation such evils as might be forced upon them, nolens volens, but not, for any consideration, to become particeps criminis to their own vile degradation and base humiliation. We exhorted them to remain true and faithful to the pure and bright record which illumines and illustrates their glorious history-not to sacrifice, through the want of moral courage, that enviable and glorious fame which it required so much time, and the exercise of so many noble and virtuous qualities to attain.

We entertained and expressed the belief that, however the people in other parts of the South might act, the large majority of the white voters of the great and noble Augusta, gallant little Highland, and patriotic Bath would enter their solemn protests against the unconstitutional radical plan of reconstruction by voting "against the Convention," called for the purpose of carrying that plan into effect, and that too, by the voluntary action of the voters of the South. Our confidence in the patriotism and firmness of the voters of these counties is as great now as it was months since, when we first gave expression to it.

Believing that the restoration of the South to constitutional rights was dependent upon a reaction in the sentiments of a portion of the Northern people, and believing that reaction would certainly take place if the people of the South should have the moral courage to plant themselves firmly and steadfastly upon the platform of their constitutional rights, and believing that reaction would be expedited by extreme, oppressive and unconstitutional legislation on the part of the fraction of the Rump Radical Congress, we did not lament the passage of the military bills which placed the Southern States under the rule of bayonets, for we felt that an appeal from under the bayonets would be the strongest that could be made to any liberty-loving people, and that, if the people of the North retained any just sense of the value of liberty, and of their own interests, such as an appeal would be heeded, and a wholesome reaction would be the result. That our views were correct has been attested by every authentic expression of opinion which has been given in the Northern States since that time. No election, municipal or State, has taken place in any of the loyal States, so-called, since that time, which has not confirmed the views we entertained and expressed, and endeavored to impress upon the minds of the Southern people.

The reaction we anticipated has commenced, and that, too, more rapidly than we had allowed ourselves to expect.

Not long since we inquired of a distinguished Confederate General, whose heroism and patriotism are equaled by his piety and christian virtues, and had spent most of his time since the war in the Northern and Western States, what were the views entertained by the friends of the South in those States and what course they desired the Southern people to pursue in reference to reconstruction, and were gratified to learn from him that the friends of the South in the North concur exactly with the views maintained by this journal and desire the South to act as it has recommended.

A friend who has had a conference with one of the ablest and most distinguished conservative divines of the Empire State of the North informs us that the distinguished minister corroborates the statements made to us by the Confederate general in reference to the views and wishes of the friends of the Constitutional liberty in the Northern and Western States.

We have mentioned these facts for the encouragement of those who are resolved to remain true to the principles of the Constitutional liberty, and who cannot be induced either by persuasion or intimidation to make a voluntary sale of their birthright for less than a mess of pottage. There may be some who, not controlled by principle and acting upon mistaken views of expediency, would advise a different line of conduct. "Hearken not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely," Be true to the right.

The Situation
(Column 03)
Summary: Argues that the Radical plan of Reconstruction, if carried out, would mean that "vice, ignorance, and rapacity, inflamed by the animosities of race and caste, will be enthroned." The author also excoriates "co-operationists" for "servilely hugging our unconstitutional, intolerable, ruinous chains."
Origin of Article: Richmond Enquirer and Examiner
Editorial Comment: From an article of the Enquirer and Examiner, under the above caption, we extract the following:
Full Text of Article:

"The purpose of the Radicals is to put the Southern States under negro control. The proscription of whites, military rule, and universal negro suffrage, are the expedients. The scheme is now in process of execution. If successful it envelopes the South in the blackness of night. It puts the government in the hands of utterly incapable persons, led by depraved mercenaries. It puts the power of taxation in the hands of paupers, who would thus have the means of confiscating, for their own advantage, the property of the people under the forms of law. In short, vice, ignorance, and rapacity, inflamed by the animosities of race and caste, would be enthroned; while intelligence and virtue would be doomed to retirement and persecution, and industry and property to spoliation.

"Some of our people have been proposing to 'co-operate' in establishing the domination that is thus to destroy us. This, which would in the best view be gratuitous and monstrous, is under the actual facts of the cease utterly astounding! If the registration rolls revealed an irresistible majority for those on whom the Radicals rely, 'co-operation' would be idle.-But when the figures which have been published in this paper, disclose the contrary; when it is abundantly manifest that it is only necessary for the assailed class to stand together, in order to secure the control of the State; the policy which would, by co-operation,' transfer power to the minority, and inflict the precise evil which it should be a special and absorbing anxiety to avert,--it is nothing short of insane!-It is impossible to comprehend it, as the deliberate conviction of a balanced intellect and straightforward purpose.

"We desire to say to the New York Herald , that while the people of the South, in submission to superior force, are compelled to obey, and do obey, the violent and unconstitutional decrees of which they are the victims,--yet they do not approve them, do not endorse them, and look forward not with hope, but with terror , to their consummation in the 'reconstruction' which the Radicals contemplate. We believe that such reconstruction will be the gigantic horror which the Herald describes. We believe it is the duty of every good citizen, and of every selfish citizen, in whatever section of the country he may reside, to interpose to avert evils in which, though unequally, all will share. Dragged along to our fate by a power we may not dispute,--like a helpless vessel towed by an insane pilot to Niagara's fatal plunge,--we hail with joy the recognition of our peril by the Herald and its co-auditors, and the hope of relief which it inspires. Let them not relax their efforts nor soften their cries, through any representations made by any here, that the people of the South are stupidly insensible to the approaching terrors, and even desire a settlement on that basis, as preferable to the present unrest!

"We appeal to our people to support this effort, to avert the doom predestined for us by the Radicals. To 'co-operationists' we would say, here is a 'co-operation' that is wise and legitimate and honorable. Let us not be insensible to these exhibitions of interest in our unhappy condition, and of a desire to rescue us from some of its chief calamities. Let us not discourage them by severely hugging our unconstitutional, intolerable, ruinous chains, in the eyes of the world, and expressing impatient pinings for the day when, under the name of 'reconstruction,' they are to be forever riveted! Let us rather implore the relief of which the hope is excited, by earnestly, anxiously, persistently testifying to its vital and indispensable necessity, and to our full sense of the horrors which otherwise impend!"

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Local News--Drowned
(Column 01)
Summary: The daughter of G. W. and M. S. Lilly drowned on September 13 after wandering away from her mother's care and falling into a small spring.
Local News--Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum met on September 16 to debate the following question: "'Resolved, That it is inexpedient for Churches to enact rules to prohibit dancing.'" After discussion the question was decided in the affirmative by a vote of 8 to 4.
(Names in announcement: Bumgardner, Hewitt, Coleman, H. Y. Peyton, C. R. Harris, Rev. Miller)
Full Text of Article:

On the 16th inst., the following question-"Resolved, That it is inexpedient for Churches to enact rules to prohibit dancing,"-was advocated in the affirmative by Messrs. Bumgardner, Hewitt and Coleman; negative, Messrs. H. Y. Peyton, C. R. Harris and Rev. Mr. Miller, which was decided by a vote of 8 in the affirmative and 4 in the negative.

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that J. Hotchkiss sold a lot near the railroad bridge to Mr. Hendry. Hendry plans to open a Sash and Blind Factory, a Planing and Sawing Machinery, and a Coal and Wood Yard.
(Names in announcement: J. Hotchkiss, Hendry)
(Column 04)
Summary: St. Clair Coiner and Sallie Mowry were married near New Hope on September 15 by Rev. J. J. Engle.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. J. Engle, St. Clair Coiner, Sallie M. Mowry)
(Column 04)
Summary: On September 18, William Brand and Amanda Armentrout were married at the residence of the bride's father near Greenville by Rev. Wm. Pinkerton.
(Names in announcement: Thomas Armentrout, Rev. Wm. Pinkerton, William F. Brand, Amanda C. Armentrout)
(Column 04)
Summary: Hallie Wills and R. M. Guy, of Staunton, were married in Lynchburg on September 18 by Rev. Sutor.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Sutor, R. M. Guy, Hallie G. Wills, C. T. Wills)
(Column 04)
Summary: James Crawford died of Dropsy on September 13 near Deerfield. He was 79 years old.
(Names in announcement: James E. Crawford)
(Column 04)
Summary: Anna Laura, daughter of G. W. and M. S. Lilly, died on September 13 near Churchville. She was almost two years old.
(Names in announcement: Anna Laura Lilly, G. W. Lilly, M. S. Lilly)
Full Text of Article:

Died, on the 13th, on Middle River, near Churchville, ANNA LAURA, daughter of G. W. and M. S. Lilly, aged one year, nine months and twenty five days.

She was the second child of her parents and much beloved by them, and all who knew her.-But she was dearer to her Heavenly Father, so He took her from this world of sorrow to Himself where she will grow in loveliness, and be caressed by a greater circle of friends. Her youth will never decay; her beauty never fade; nor will the blighting influences of sin effect her innocent soul. She drinks at the fountain of the "water of life" freely. She wears a robe made "white in the blood of the Lamb." She bathes ever in the "pure river of water of life," and under "the tree of life, on either side of the river," she securely abides, singing the song of heaven, learned by none but the heavenly choir. Much happiness did she afford her parents while she lived, and now they should rejoice that she is forever happy. As a heavenly messenger, she soothed many of their cares, and delighted them with her innocent company; but, at a moment they least expected, she took her flight

To a world of light,

Beck'ning as she sped

To follow the dead,

From a world like this

To a world of bliss

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