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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: October 01, 1867

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Negro Rule--Slander upon the Soldiers
(Column 01)
Summary: Argues that the purpose of the reconstruction plan "is to secure the rule of the Radical party by radicalizing the South through the instrumentality of negro suffrage." Consequently, any man who votes for a Convention legitimizes this plan. "The Southern people," the author argues, "are to be punished and bastinadoed like elephants till they are willing to kneel humble that their African masters may mount their backs to be guided and ridden at their sovereign pleasure."
Full Text of Article:

It is so plain that the whole object of the Radical plan of reconstruction is to secure the rule of the Radical party by radicalizing the South through the instrumentality of negro suffrage that the "wayfaring man, though a fool, cannot err therein." The purpose is to gain in the South a sufficient number of Radical votes to compensate for what the Radical party might lose in the North, by the reaction which the sober second thought of the voters in that section would bring about. This plan is still insisted upon though the returns of registration in many of the Southern States show that by it the sceptre of power will be transferred from the hands of the intelligent whites to those of the ignorant blacks. That such a policy should be approved by fanatical abolitionists of the most extreme and malignant type, and by those whose embittered enmity to the Southern people would make them delight in their degradation and misery, might not excite a very great degree of surprise, but that it should receive the countenance and approval of any, even in the North, who do not belong to the classes above mentioned, would very properly excite surprise. This being so, what is to be thought of those in the South, and particularly those who profess to be friends of the South, who avow their purpose to vote to consummate that plan of reconstruction? Are they friends of the South? Then may the South exclaim: "Save me from my friends!" The Southern people, helpless, bleeding in chains, are to be punished and bastinadoed like elephants till they are willing to kneel humbly that their African masters may mount their backs to be guided and ridden at the sovereign pleasure, and Southern men, who would fain be considered friends of the South, not only look on with patience, but help the sable riders to mount!-Was such a disgraceful spectacle ever exhibited before? No true son of the South could be guilty of such conduct. To treason to liberty, it adds treason to their race. Can any one who however wore the uniform of a Confederate soldier do this thing? There may be some, but we know that they must be "few and far between, like angels' visits," but by no means like the angels themselves. There may be just a sufficiency of exceptions to establish the rule. If we wished to offer the grossest insult to the soldiers, and to perpetuate the vilest slander upon their characters, we would say that they were in favor of voting willing compliance with the Radical plan of reconstruction by which the South was to be radicalized and the negroes were to become its future rulers.

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that "another colored man has sued the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, for non-admittance to a first-class car, upon a first-class ticket, purchased at New York. The company is determined to stand the suit as a test question for railroads South."
Radical Reconstruction
(Column 02)
Summary: The Spectator's editor uses extracts from a Northern Republican journal, the Round Table, to buttress his arguments that voting for a Convention means subverting the Constitution and betraying the white race. The Round Table contends that, once the Radical plan of Reconstruction is complete, "the liberty of death will be the only liberty secured to men whose crime is that they were born white."
Origin of Article: Round Table
Full Text of Article:

That our readers may see that the views which this journal has expresses-since the passage of the military bills submitting the Radical plan of miscalled reconstruction for the adoption or rejection of the voters of the Southern States-in reference to the objects which the Radicals expect to accomplish through its instrumentality, and the classes of persons who will vote for Conventions to effect them, coincide with those entertained by independent thinkers even in the North, we publish below an extract from an able article from the "Round Table," an independent Republican journal, and one of the ablest published in the North. It says that, "the white vote will be largely cast against Convention," because the present military rule is preferable to such re-construction as would be thereby effected. It says that, "the Radical whites and the negro voters, who are interested in subverting all decent rule and authority, will of course, unite in favor of Convention." It says that if a Convention be called it will be "practically a negro convention," and that "it will frame a constitution that will throw the whole power of the State into the hands of negroes and white men who hope to profit by the suffrages of negroes," and that then "the proscription of white men will be more sweeping than Congressional proscription," and that the "confiscation of the property of white men by their negro rulers will be sure to follow," and that such confiscation would be "more destructive" than confiscation by the Federal Government even granting that such confiscation would take place, of which, however, we have but little, if any, dread. It says that, by the Radical plan of reconstruction, "liberty of outrage will be amply secured," and than, "the liberty of death will be the only liberty secured to men whose crime is that they were born white."

Can any, except those "who are interested in subverting all decent rule and authority," and who are willing to see Liberty murdered in the "land of the free, and the home of the brave," hesitate for a moment in deciding whether they will vote for against a Convention? The following is the extract from the Round Table to which we have referred:

"The plain meaning of the pseudo-Reconstruction acts of Congress, now being pushed to their most merciless consummation, is simply this:--First-To register in the South the entire negro population and such whites as may unite with them in supporting the radical party in Congress. Second-To prohibit the registration of the vast majority of the whites who have a real interest in the quiet and prosperity of the country. Third-To submit to the voters of the States thus registered the question whether they will or will not hold a convention for the reconstruction of their States under the Congressional plan. Under this mode of procedure it may be seen what a hopeful future lies before the South and the whole country.-Either the States will vote for convention or for no convention. The white vote will be largely cast against convention; for the present military rule, with all its advantages, at least affords protection, while reconstruction such as has been perpetrated in the State of Tennessee gives little protection but to negro brigands.

The Radical whites and the negro voters who are interested in subverting all decent rule and authority will, of course, unite in favor of convention. Now, suppose-although the case is hardly possible-that the convention is by such a mockery of suffrage rejected. Then the radicals will avail themselves of the cry of Southern contumacy; Mr. Steven's "mild confiscation" is brought into play; the South is whole ruined by this villainous atrocity for merely saying, as our generous Congress has invited her to say, that she prefers the rule of military satraps to the harder rule of the uninstructed negroes and white brayoes. On the other hand, suppose-and this is the only supposition justified by the registration which is being made-that a convention is desired. Then it is practically a negro convention. It will frame a constitution that will throw the whole power of the State into the hands of negroes and white men who hope to profit by the suffrages of negroes. The proscription of white men will be more sweeping than Congressional proscription.

Confiscation of the property of white men by their negro rulers will be sure to follow; and the indirect confiscation will be more destructive than confiscation outright. The ruling call, having no property themselves, will look to their own possession as the one great end of government. With a penniless negro legislature to tax, and defenceless white men to be taxed, the issue cannot long be doubtful. In every county taxes will be laid in the same way by negroes upon white men.-In the towns and cities negro councilmen will vote themselves large salaries, create unnecessary offices for purposes of plunder, and for like ends undertake enormous jobs of fanciful public improvement. Justice administered by negro magistrates will be a farce; redress of wrong will be impossible. Liberty of outrage will be amply secured. The liberty of death will be the only liberty secured to men whose crime is that they were born white."

Who's to Blame?
(Column 04)
Summary: A group of citizens living near Churchville register a complaint about the "gross delinquency" of mail coming to Churchville from or through the Staunton post office. Post-masters, the authors contend, should not be permitted to "disregard the interests of the community for whose benefit they are supposed to be appointed."
(Names in announcement: James Heizer, John G. Stover, Patterson Fletcher, James Wilson, Isaac Myers, John H. Heizer, Littleton WaddellJr., Robert S. Hamilton, James M. Lickliter, C. Bear, Joseph WilsonJr., John Sanderson, George W. Fall, Robert Knowles, E. Geeding, Wm. J. Buritt, Saml. Myers, F. F. Sterrett, B. Walters, E. F. Dull)
Full Text of Article:

The undersigned, citizens of Churchville, and the vicinity, feel it due to the public interests, as well as to the interests of our own community to make the following statement in respect to the gross delinquency connected with the transmission of mail matter coming from, or through Staunton to our Post Office.

The mail from Staunton to this place arrives on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Very often, letters postmarked Richmond, Va., and due here by mail from Staunton on Monday, are held over till Wednesday, and so, those due on Wednesday are not sent till Friday. Sometimes letters are delayed for weeks. Occurrences of this kind might, perhaps, be said to form the rule instead of the exception.

Packages to the number of twenty or more, directed to places not on this mail-route, are frequently sent by a single mail to the post-office at Churchville only to be returned by our post-master to Staunton. Recently, fourteen letters reached the P. O. here from Staunton, thirteen of which were directed to Harrisonburg and one to Brocks Gap, Rockingham co., Va. Twelve of these letters were postmarked Staunton, Va. On this very day, Sept. 25th, fifteen packages of newspapers have arrived, all believed to be from Staunton and most of them from the office of the Staunton Spectator, directed as follows viz: Goshen, West View, Union Monroe co. W. Va., White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Mount Alto, Swoope's Depot, Craigsville, Hot Springs, Mountain Grove, Bath Alum, Nickells Mill, Green Valley Va., Healing Springs, Covington, W. Va. By the same mail, there have arrived four letters two of which are directed to Arbor Hill, Augusta Co, Va., one to Shenandoah Iron Works, Page Co., Va., and one to Harrisonburg Va. The Staunton Spectator, due here on the same day, has failed to come.

These are only specimens of delinquencies so numerous, that it would require pages to record them. We have for a long time been constantly subjected to grievous annoyances, and often to very great trouble, by this gross negligence of officers who are sworn to fidelity and promptitude in transmitting mail matter to the points for which it is intended. We have borne it, until the abuse of our forbearance renders it necessary to make a public exposure of such negligence. We are determined to prosecute the object until the evil to be remedied, or our failure prove that post-masters may, with impunity, disregard the interests of the community for whose benefit they are supposed to be appointed.

It is remarkable that the delinquency of which we complain has been observed only in respect to mail matter coming to this place from or through Staunton. We feel assured that it is not chargeable in any degree to the P. M. here, as we can fully testify to his fidelity and promptitude in distributing whatever mail matter is directed and sent to this office.

We respectfully request the Editor of the Staunton Spectator to forward to the Postmaster General a copy of his paper contain this article marked.

James Heizer, Joseph Wilson, Jr., John G. Stover, John Sanderson, Patterson Fletcher, George W. Fall, James Wilson, Robert Knowles, Isaac Myers, E. Geeding, John H. Heizer, Wm. J. Euritt, Littleton Waddell, Jr. Saml. Myers, Robert S. Hamilton, F. F. Sterrett, James M. Lickliter, B. Walters, C. Bear, E. F. Dull.

CHURCHVILLE VA, Sept. 25th, 1867.

Subscription to the Railroad
(Column 04)
Summary: "X." writes to encourage voters to reject the county subscription of $300,000 for the construction of the Central Railroad.
Full Text of Article:

The County Court of Augusta, at its last session, determined to submit to the vote of the people the question of a county subscription of $300,000 to the Central Railroad, or rather the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. I object to this whole system of county and town subscriptions to public improvements, as essentially wrong. The Legislature may properly appropriate money raised by general taxation for objects promotive of the general welfare. It is the constitutional duty of that body to consider and decide such matters. But upon what principle can the practice be justified of authorizing A, B and C to decide by their votes at the polls that D and E shall be taxed for any purpose whatever? The system is agrarian and vicious.

I, however, did not propose to discuss the question of principle. The important matter for us to decide is, whether we shall vote for the subscription. Three hundred thousand dollars is a large sum. If levied per capita each man, woman and child in the county would pay about $10. Have we not taxes enough present and prospective, without assuming this additional sum? Those who are flush of greenbacks need only wait till our new government is inaugurated, and they will be depleted to their hearts' content. I know it is said this is only a loan of credit, and the county will not be required to pay the amount subscribed,--be required to pay the amount subscribed.-But I am incredulous, and predict that, if the subscription is ordered, every dollar of the three hundred thousand will sooner or later be wrung out of the people by the tax collector.

And wherefore should Augusta county subscribe for building a Railroad to the Ohio river? What good will the road do us? Some gentlemen who are interested in West Virginia lands will undoubtedly be benefited. The State of West Virginia will derive great good form it. But how are the people of Augusta to be compensated for their expenditure? If it enhances the value of their lands, the only effect of that will be to increase the amount of taxes at future re-assessment. Our people have nothing but land left, and very few have more than they want to keep. The Railroad will not make the lands more productive, or the products more valuable. Far from it. The object of the proposed Railroad is to open a highway through the State for the teeming products of the Mississippi Valley. The farmers of Augusta will then come in direct and immediate competition with those of the Great West.-What good will that do them, or any body dependent upon them?

This enterprise is presented to us as something which is to promote our peculiar interests, and when I am asked to invest my money, I naturally ask how I am to be benefited thereby. As a citizen of Virginia I heartily approved in better times of appropriations from the public treasury to construct the Covington and Ohio Railroad; as a citizen of Augusta county in these latter days, when nothing future is certain except high taxes, I as heartily oppose the assumption of any additional burden. X.

Trailer: X.
[No Title]
(Column 05)
Summary: "M." reports on the "celebration and pic-nic" recently held by two local Sunday schools.
(Names in announcement: K. Craig, S. Paxton, T. A. Clayton, J. W. Ryland, Rev. Preston, Rev. Neal)
Trailer: M.

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Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: K. Craig held a celebration and picnic for the Sunday School of Deerfield, where Rev. J. W. Ryland delivered an address.
(Names in announcement: K. Craig, Rev. J. W. Ryland)
Local News--Fireman's Parade
(Column 01)
Summary: The Augusta Fire Company paraded the streets last Thursday night where they "made quite a handsome display."
(Names in announcement: Capt. Waters)
(Column 03)
Summary: Stanley Snyder and Lucilla Ann Calvert were married on September 21 by Rev. William Baker.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Wm. E. Baker, Stanley F. Snyder, Lucilla Ann Calvert)
(Column 03)
Summary: Garvis Mayers and Augusta Hailman, daughter of B. F. Hailman, were married on September 17 by Rev. J. D. Shirey.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. D. Shirey, Garvis F. Mayers, Augusta E. Hailman, B. F. Hailman)
(Column 03)
Summary: Ellen Shepherd, formerly of Staunton, died in Shepherdstown on September 5. She was 74 years old.
(Names in announcement: Ellen Shepherd)

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