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

Staunton Spectator: October 22, 1867

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

-Page 01-

Rail Road Subscription
(Column 06)
Summary: "Farmer" decries the subscription of $300,000 for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad that will soon be submitted to the voters of Augusta. He urges readers to vote against it, arguing that it will benefit Ohio but not Augusta. If it does pass, the author expresses his hope that those with "manly fortitude, heroic patriotism, and enlightened regard" will "resist its collection by every lawful means."
Full Text of Article:

I learn from a communication in a Spectator of recent date over the signature of "X," that the County Court at its last term made an order submitting to the voters of the county, the question of a subscription of three hundred thousand (300,000) dollars, to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. I have not a copy of the act of the Legislature conferring this authority upon the Court, and am therefore unacquainted with its terms, or the date of its passage.-But whatever may be the provisions of the act, or whenever it may have been enacted, it is obvious that a state of things exists at this time in Va. neither contemplated nor foreseen by the Legislature.

The law under which this proceeding is to take place, doubtless authorizes the Court to submit the question to the qualified voters of the country. At the passage of this act of the Assembly, "the qualified voters" were a portion of the citizens of the State clearly ascertained and accurately distinguished, by the Constitution, as possessing certain qualifications which entitled them to the exercise of the elective franchise. And to the citizens of the State, resident in the county, possessing these qualifications, and to none others, was the Court authorized to submit such questions. An act of the Legislature authorizing the Court to submit a certain question to the vote of one class of citizens, can confer no authority upon it to submit the question to an entirely different class. And, this question of subscription will be submitted to, and decided by, the votes of persons to whom the Legislature never designed to grant such authority; whilst a large number of the persons by whose votes the law intended this question to be determined will be excluded from any voice or influence in its decision. It is perfectly evident that the Legislature never intended the decision of such persons except those authorized by the Constitution and laws of the State. It, therefore seems to me that the legal authority of the Court to submit this question to the represents voters of the county is extremely doubtful.-This order of the Court will, however, afford an opportunity to a large number of persons to bind heavy burdens for other people's shoulders, whilst they will not touch them, with so much as one of their fingers.

If this subscription should be carried, I hope there will be found a goodly number of the people possessing enough of that manly fortitude, heroic patriotism and enlightened regard to legal rights which animated John Hampden, to make them resist its collection by every lawful means. A tax imposed in this way is as much in contravention of justice and the constitutional rights of the citizen, as was the imposition of "ship money" by Charles the First.

It is incumbent upon the advocates oft his subscription to show, that the county has some special and peculiar interest to be advance by the completion of this railroad. Will it open a new market for its surplus products? It certainly will not. Because it penetrates a country having a large surplus of just such products as Augusta county wishes to sell. The State of Ohio will not want to purchase our wheat, corn, hay, apples, whiskey or pork, for the reason that these are the very products she has for sale. The road, however, will accomplish one result, it will bring Ohio products into direct competition with us at our very doors.-But, if it will open to us no new market it will, doubtless, increase our facilities for reaching our present one. It will be borne in mind that the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad is merely an extension of the Central. We will, therefore only have our present facilities of getting our surplus to market, burdened with all the increased transportation consequent upon the extension of the road to the Ohio river. Those persons who live along the line of a railroad can tell whether the transportation of the way freight is ever postponed to through . Or if they cannot at present, perhaps they will be able to do so when the Central cars are flying "onward to Richmond," freighted with Ohio what and flour, whilst theirs moulds and rots in the depots, and the tax collector sells milch cows and plough horses, to meet the county subscription of $300.000.

But if it will not increase the facilities of getting to market, perhaps it will cheapen the cost. It may do so, but I can see no reason why it should. When the Central reaches the Ohio river it will have to compete for freight and travel with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. And to do this successfully the charges upon through freight and travel will have to be reduced to the lowest figure, which is the mere cost of transportation to the Railroad.-This will obviously be a great advantage to Ohio. But wherein will it ensue to the benefit of Augusta? I can see but one advantage she can derive from it, and that is one highly honorable to her disinterested and enlarged liberality. The already high charges upon her surplus products will have to be kept up, if not increased, in order to enable the road to carry Ohio products at a low rate. Noble, generous, magnanimous Augusta!!

But if it will not cheapen, immediately, the cost of transportation, perhaps it will establish a rival line, the natural competition between which and the Central will eventually reduce freights to a reasonable amount. Certainly it will not, for being a mere extension of the Central, it will only enlarge the sphere and lengthen the field for the display of the admirable administrative and executive abilities of the present Directory.

But if the completion of the road to the Ohio river will neither increase our facilities of getting to market, nor reduce the cost, the subscription of $300,000 will surely so reduce our taxes, and make the payment so facile , that it will be a real pleasure to meet Towberman and Lightner with their ticket bags. And even if this small subscription should unexpectedly increase our taxes, the prospects ahead, both politically and financially, are so bright and encouraging, that we ought not to hesitate at increased pecuniary undertakings. The advocates of this subscription can safely assure the people that the "clouds," which, at present, hang so portentously over their heads are "big with mercies," and to guarantee that they shall "burst in blessings on their heads."

Some hundreds of years hence, as some antiquarian son of "old Augusta" examines her must records, how his heart will swell and exult, as he reads her history, and learns that whilst she paid twenty thousand dollars for bringing the railroad to her county seat and geographical centre, with a generosity and magnanimity unparalleled, she taxed herself three hundred thousand dollars to make a road for the benefit of the people of Ohio!


October, 12.

Trailer: Farmer

-Page 02-

Be Sure to Vote
(Column 01)
Summary: Urges "every white voter" to vote the Conservative ticket solidly while also voting against the Convention.
(Names in announcement: Waddell, Harrison)
Full Text of Article:

We regret exceedingly that the election occurs on the day of our issue, for we would like to appeal to every subscriber to turn out and vote AGAINST the Convention, and for the Conservative candidates-WADDELL, HARRISON, and SOUTHALL. This is an important election, and we regret that there is not time to impress upon the voters the importance of seeing that every Conservative voter be induced to go to the polls and to cast his vote for the Conservative ticket. No voter should split up his ticket, but vote the Conservative ticket SOLID. As most of our readers cannot receive this issue till after the election, an appeal to them now to RALLY to the polls, would be like sounding the bugle note to charge after the battle was fought.

Were it not for this, we would write a stirring appeal, such as the importance of the election demands. Every white voter in the county should vote the whole of the following



Delegates for Augusta count,



Delegate for District composed of Augusta,

Albemarle and Louisa Counties


Those who vote for a convention vote for universal negro suffrage.

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Urges "voters in town" to vote early and then "see that all other white voters are brought to the polls."
Wm. F. Gordon's Speech
(Column 01)
Summary: William Gordon, a candidate for the proposed Convention, addressed an audience at the Court House last Friday. The article reports that he "delivered a long, tedious and disjointed speech" and that "his chief effort seemed to be to secure the negro vote."
Full Text of Article:

On Friday night last, W. F. Gordon, Jr., the Radical candidate for the Convention to represent this District, delivered a long, tedious and disjointed speech in the Court House of this place. His chief effort seemed to be to secure the negro vote. He charged that his opposing candidate, James C. Southall, was inconsistent, and in doing so proved himself equally inconsistent. He said he would get the negro vote of Albemarle and Louisa, and expected to get the negro vote of this county.

PETER INDEPENDENCE KURTZ arose to reply, and soon Gordon, esteeming "discretion the better part of valor," vamosed.

A full report of Mr. Kurtz' remarks will be found on the fourth page

Reaction Against a Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: Expresses satisfaction that most newspapers in the state, "except avowed Radical ones," have now joined the Spectator's opinion, urging their readers to vote against the Convention. The author also argues that if the election were postponed for a month while public opinion continues to shift, the Convention would be defeated "notwithstanding the negro vote in favor of it."
Full Text of Article:

Nearly all the papers in this State, except avowed Radical ones, are now earnestly calling upon the voters to vote against the Convention. For many months the Spectator occupied this position "solitary and alone." The policy advocated by the Spectator from the beginning, without "variableness or shadow of turning," is now endorsed by a large majority of the white voters of the State, and if the election were postponed a month longer, the Convention would be voted down, notwithstanding the negro vote in favor of it. The course of the Spectator has been satisfactorily vindicated.

This is but another illustration of great truth that principle should never be discarded, and that the right , if persistently maintained, will ultimately triumph. The people should never cease to cling to the right, and to hope for its success. In the language of Buckle, whom we have several times quoted recently, "in any country which pretends to be free let no one be disheartened by the temporary overthrow of the Right. Weak, vain, and vicious theories soon perish when brought forth into that strong current which makes Truth only the more robust. There is no device nor cunning which can long delay the march of Public Opinion-and Experience soon tears to pieces and tramples under her feet those flimsy disguises and stratagems by which bold and bad men seek to pervert or mould to their own benefit the destinies of a great, free and enlightened people."

Against a Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: Disparages the Petersburg Index's "complacent assumption" that they were the first paper to urge readers to vote against the Convention. If credit is to be given to the journal that began the call, the author argues, "that credit is certainly due to the Spectator."
Full Text of Article:

Our readers will remember what a cold reception greeted us when, about a month since, the Index was fairly and squarely committed to the opposition to the calling of a Convention.

* * * * * * *

Promptly in response to our call upon the press answered the Lynchburg Republican , the Norfolk Virginian , the Winchester News the Warrenton Index , the Staunton Spectator , the Fredericksburg News and Herald , and in fact all the papers of Northern Virginia against a Convention.-Petersburg Index, Oct 17th.

The complacent assumption of the Index that the Staunton Spectator responded to its call to oppose a convention, made "about a month since," will excite the responsibilities of the readers of the Spectator who know that it has been opposing the Convention not only "about a month" but for about seven months-ever since it has been presented for the action of the people.

Since we commenced our opposition to the call of the Convention, the editor of the Index constructed what is known as the Petersburg Platform, mounted it, and earnestly called upon the people to rally upon it.

If there be any credit due to the journal which was first to oppose the call for a Convention, that credit is certainly due to the Spectator , for it did not hesitate at all, but took that position as soon as the bill was passed, (four or five months in advance of any other paper) and has maintained it earnestly and consistently to the present time. If all the other papers had been as prompt, decided, and earnest in opposition to it, the call for a Convention would have been defeated. The Spectator has done its duty faithfully.

[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Argues that recent elections in Northern states indicate that Radicalism is on the wane there and that now the South must do its part. The "vulgar and ignorant and vindictive Radicalism" that has appeared in the South "must be strangled in its infancy."
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
Editorial Comment: The Richmond Whig says:
Full Text of Article:

The Richmond Whig says: "Radicalism, it is believed, has received its death-blow at the North, and Conservatism is to be installed in its place. We have now our part of the general task to perform at the South. Here a vulgar and ignorant and vindictive Radicalism has reared its head, which is the more despicable and would be the more dangerous from these qualities of vulgarity and ignorance. It must be strangled in its infancy. If it once seize upon power it will hold it for years. If we stifle it now it will not annoy us again. Here, too, as in the North, conservative men, whether Unionists or Confederates, white or black, must get together and work together and vote together. There are but two tickets, in fact, before the people of this city, the one representing Conservatism and the other Radicalism of the vilest description. There is nothing between. One or the other must be chosen. If any one is content to be considered a Radical or the character represented by the Radical ticket, there is no doubt how he will vote. But those who make the least pretension to moderation and conservatism cannot escape the obligation to vote for the ticket the Conservatives have put out."

What Will be the Effect?
(Column 03)
Summary: Argues that the recent Democratic gains in the North will have far-reaching effects, causing "the white citizens of the South to stand resolutely aloof from the bastard governments thrust upon them at the end of a bayonet." Ultimately, the author predicts, the Republicans will crumble since "great majorities in Congress amount to little, when great majorities of the people are of a contrary way of thinking."
Origin of Article: New York World

-Page 03-

Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: An unnamed black man was arrested and committed to jail, charged with assaulting J. Wayne Spitler, "a white man."
(Names in announcement: J. Wayne Spitler)
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Lieut. E. Stribling Trout, the eldest son of N. K. Trout, died on Sunday night at his father's home. His funeral will take place today at 11 a.m. at the Episcopal Church.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. E. Stribling Trout, N. K. Trout)
Local News
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that five men from Augusta "are progressing finely" at the Medical School at the University of Virginia.
(Names in announcement: C. R. MasonJr., Jas. Tate, Wm. H. Gilliam, J. Harrison, C. B. Berry)
Local News--Bold Rogues
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that acts of daytime theft have occurred recently at the homes of two of the county's most prominent citizens, A. H. H. Stuart and J. A. Waddell.
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. Stuart, J. A. Waddell)
Full Text of Article:

A short time since, a colored person, in the day time, went into the house of Hon. A. H. H. Stuart and picked up some cut-glass goblets and walked off with them. Mr. Stuart met him with the goblets in his hands, but supposed he had been sent for them.

A few days since, an overcoat was stolen from the hat-rack in the hall of Mr. J. a Waddell's house. Our citizens should be on their guard against thieves.

A Word to Freedmen
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that the white men of the South want "the negroes" to remain among them as their servants while "the poor white men of the North and of the world want this fertile region and will occupy it, if they have to exterminate the negro to get it." From these assertions, the author argues, blacks should look "to their own interest which is to stay with us as friends."
Origin of Article: Fredericksburg News
Editorial Comment: "We published an editorial last week, containing some wholesome counsel to the colored population. The Fredericksburg News of the 14th contained a communication upon the same subject and with similar views written by R. R. Collier, from which we extract the following:"
Full Text of Article:

"The whites of the South need labor , and will have it. It is with us, as with all people, that the well-to-do in the world, will have others who are not well off to do their work.--The country must have laborers. The question is: are they to be white or black in these States? The question opens a wider field than I have time just now to explore, or your paper space to spread out in print. I will state two facts. The negroes know that the white people with whom they have been raised, prefer black servants to white ones. Then, we whites desire the negroes to remain amongst us. The white people of the North desire these broad acres to dwell on and to cultivate. If the negroes will not gratify our tastes to have them for our servants, white laborers from the North and all Europe will come in and take their places.-That is not only certain to be so, unless negroes make and keep us their friends by taking sides with us, but it was avowed twelve years ago by leading men of the North, that the poor white men of the North and of the world want this fertile region and will occupy it, if they have to exterminate the negro to get it. And that is the other fact. We prefer the negro, and the poor of the North say they will come and take his place. Who is the friend of the negro? We, who prefer his presence, or they who would exclude him? Every negro has sense enough to see how it is, and if they are not cheated by the Yankees, they will have an eye single to their won interest which is to stay with us as friends."

(Column 04)
Summary: Martha Bunch and J. F. Wright were married at the residence of the bride's father on October 8 by Rev. H. H. Hawes.
(Names in announcement: Rev. H. H. Hawes, J. F. Wright, Martha J. Bunch)
(Column 04)
Summary: Rev. H. H. Hawes conducted a double wedding ceremony on October 16 at the home of George Patterson, where William Bell was married to Mary Patterson and J. F. McClung to Maria Patterson.
(Names in announcement: Rev. H. H. Hawes, George C. Patterson, Dr. Wm. J. Bell, Mary A. Patterson, J. F. McClung, Maria Va. Patterson)
(Column 04)
Summary: Ella Van Lear and E. G. Fishburne were married on October 10 by Rev. C. S. M. See.
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. S. M. See, E. G. Fishburne, Ella L. Van Lear)
(Column 04)
Summary: J. Colin O'Rork, formerly of Staunton, and Mollie Murphy, of Brown, Ohio, were married in Ripley, Ohio on July 4 by Rev. Father Louis Shriver.
(Names in announcement: Father Louis Shriver, Capt. J. Colin O'Rork, Mollie E. Murphy, Thomas Murphy)
(Column 04)
Summary: James Tate and Margaret Shaver, formerly of Augusta, were married in Faquier County on October 17 by Rev. L. B. Madison.
(Names in announcement: Rev. L. B. Madison, James A. Spears, James T. Tate, Margaret S. Shaver)
(Column 04)
Summary: George Thrift, of Madison, and Bettie McCue were married at Belvidere, Augusta county, on October 15 by Rev. F. H. Bowman.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. H. Bowman, George N. Thrift, Bettie K. McCue, Thomas W. McCue)
(Column 04)
Summary: Margaret Scott died at her home on September 28. She was 64 years old.
(Names in announcement: Margaret C. Scott)

-Page 04-