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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: November 26, 1867

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Conservative Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: A Conservative Meeting was held at the Court House on November 25 to select local delegates to attend the upcoming Conservative Convention in Richmond.
(Names in announcement: Col. Bolivar Christian, Wm. M. Tate, Major Marshall Hanger, A. H. H. Stuart, Col. John B. Baldwin, Richard Mauzy, Judge John Kenney, James Bumgardner, Col. M. G. Harman, Jacob Baylor, Col. John D. Lilly, Geo. A. Bruce, J. D. Craig, Gen. K. Harper, J. G. Fulton, Col. F. F. Sterritt, Thos. J. Michie, W. H. H. Lynn, A. M. Garber, Col. Jas. H. Skinner, Maj. H. M. Bell, Dr. W. S. McChesney, R. W. Burke, R. Cowan, Hugh G. Guthrie, Dr. S. Kennerly, R. Emmet Guy, Maj. John A. Harman, Maj. J. M. McCue, Capt. E. W. Bayley, Dr. B. F. Walker, Dr. Robt. Hamilton, J. Dorsey Hanger, Wm. F. Smith, Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, Gen. J. D. Imboden, T. G. Stout, Dr. T. W. Shelton, Y. H. Peyton, Judge John Kenny, Gen. Kenton Harper, Col. Rudolph Turk, G. M. Cochran, Lewis Bumgardner, C. R. Mason, Saml. X. Kerr, Wm. Withrow, D. N. VanLear, J. W. Bell, Dr. J. M. Tate, John B. Watts, Col. George Baylor)
Full Text of Article:

As per previous announcement, a Conservative Meeting to appoint delegates to represent this county in the Conservative Convention to meet in Richmond, on the 11th of December, was held in the court-House of this place on yesterday, Monday the 25th inst. A large number of persons were present, and considerable interest was manifested.

On motion of Col. Bolivar Christian, Wm. M. Tate, Esq., was called to the Chair. On motion of Major Marshall Hanger, the editors of the Staunton papers were appointed Secretaries.

Col. Christian explained the object of the meeting, and moved that the Chairman and four others to be appointed by the chair constitute a committee to select twenty delegates and the same number of alternates to represent this county in the Conservative Convention to assemble in Richmond, on the 11th of December. The motion was adopted, whereupon the Chair appointed Col. Bolivar Christian, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, Col. John B. Baldwin and Richard Mauzy to constitute that committee.

On motion of Judge John Kenney, the members of the above committee were added to the delegates provided for in the previous resolution.

James Bumgardner, Esq., moved that a central committee of twenty-five to be appointed to organize sub-committees in every magisterial district in the county.

Col. Baldwin moved as a substitute, which was accepted by Capt. Bumgardner and adopted by the meeting, that the central committee be composed of ten, one of whom shall be superintendent of organization for the county, and one as superintendent in each of the nine magisterial districts in the county.

The meeting recommended that the system of organization by tens in each neighborhood be adopted.

The Chair appointed the following superintendents of organization:

For the County .-Col. John B. Baldwin. Magisterial Dist. No. 1. -Col. B. Christian. " " " 2. -Col. M. G. Harman. " " " 3. -Jacob Baylor, Esq. " " " 4. -Col. John D. Lilly. " " " 5. -Geo. A. Bruce, Esq. " " " 6. -J. D. Craig, Esq. " " " 7. -Gen. K. Harper. " " " 8. -J. G. Fulton, Esq. " " " 9. -Col. F. F. Sterritt

The committee to select delegates appointed such as they had reason to believe would attend. The appointed the following delegates and alternates: DELEGATES.

Thos. J. Michie, W. H. H. Lynn, A. M. Garber, Col. Jas. H. Skinner, Maj. H. M. Bell, Dr. W. S. McChesney, R. W. Burke, R. Cowan, Hugh G. Guthrie, Dr. S. Kennerley, R. Emmet Guy, Maj. John A. Harman, Geo. A. Bruce, Maj. J. M. McCue, Col. George Baylor, Capt. E. W. Bayley, Dr. B. F. Walker, Dr. Robt, Hamilton, J. Dorsey Hanger, Wm. F. Smith.


Joseph A. Waddell, Powell Harrison, Gen. J. D. Imboden, Jacob Baylor, T. G. Stout, Dr. T. W. Shelton, Y. H. Peyton, Judge John Kenny, Gen. Kenton Harper, Col. M. G. Harman, Col. Rudolph Turk, G. M. Cochran, Lewis Bumgardner, C. R. Mason, Saml X. Kerr, Wm. Withrow, D. N. Van Lear, Dr. J. M. Tate, J. W. Bell, John B. Watts.

The meeting was addressed by Col. George Baylor, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, Col. John B. Baldwin and Col. James H. Skinner. We have not the space or time to speak of the character of the speeches as they deserve-they were able, eloquent and directly to the point, and impressed all with the conviction that none should fail to vote at the election upon the adoption or rejection of the Constitution. The simple issue now is whether the white race is to be ruled or not by the colored race.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that Radicals can never accomplish their objectives "while there is a Southern or a Northern sword left to defend Caucasian blood" and explains that Caucasian blood is "progressive" while the blood of blacks is "retrograde and naturally barbaric in its impulses."
Origin of Article: New York Herald
Editorial Comment: "The New York Herald declares that,"
Full Text of Article:

The New York Herald declares that "the Radical politicians in the South are teaching the colored race to expect what it can never realize where there is a Southern or a Northern sword left to defend Caucasian blood-blood originally purer than that of Africa, and purified still more by long centuries of arduous labor towards the summit of civilization; blood progressive, in contradistinction to retrograde and naturally barbaric in its impulses.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports that "negro suffrage" has been defeated in Minnesota where there would have been 52 new voters and asks how Northerners can "force one hundred thousand voters on Virginia" and "pretend to fairness or right thinking."
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports that female and black suffrage were both defeated in Kansas, the former by a vote of 503 to 13,498.

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Local News--Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum met on November 19 to discuss the question, "Was the Naochian deluge universal?" After debate, the question was decided in the affirmative by a vote of 9 to 8.
(Names in announcement: Jed. Hotchkiss, Y. H. Peyton, Pike Powers, Rev. J. A. Latane, Rev. Geo. B. Taylor, Powell Harrison, J. H. Hewitt, Rev. Jno. L. Clarke, A. M. Pierce, Rev. J. L. Miller, H. L. Opie)
Full Text of Article:

On Monday night, the 18th, inst., the following question was discussed-"Was the Noachian deluge universal?"

The following members participated in the discussion: In the affirmative, Jed. Hotchkiss, Y. H. Peyton, Pike Powers and Rev. J. A. Latane; in the negative, Rev. Geo. B. Taylor, Powell Harrison and J. H. Hewitt. The vote stood as follows affirmative 9, negative 8.

The following question was selected for discussion on of the night the second of December-Monday night next:

"Is the right of suffrage a natural right under a republican form of Government?"

The following members were appointed to discuss it: In the affirmative, Rev. Jno. L. Clarke and A. M. Pierce; in the negative, Rev. J. L. Miller and H. L. Opie.

For the benefit of the members, we publish the following lines:

Whene'er you speak, remember every cause

Stands not on eloquence, but stands on laws.

Begin with dignity, expound with grace,

Each ground of reasoning in its proper place;

Let order reign throughout-each topic touch,

Nor urge its power too little or too much.

Give each strong thought its most attractive view-

In diction clear, and yet severely true.

And as the arguments in splendor grow,

Let each reflect its light on all below;

When to the close arrived, make no delays

By pretty flourishes or verbal plays,

But sum the whole in one deep, solemn strain,

Like a strong current hastening to the main.

Local News--Robbery
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports that someone stole $238 and a pair of pantaloons from the home of Franklin Koiner while he and his family were butchering near the house.
(Names in announcement: Franklin Koiner)
Full Text of Article:

We have been informed that a short time since whilst Mr. Franklin Koiner and family were butchering near his house, some rogue entered the house and stole $238 in money, and a pair of pantaloons cut out but not yet made up. He untied a bundle containing eight pairs, and selected the one he thought would fit him. Robberies have become quite common. We would suggest to our farmers and others that it is not prudent to keep much money about their houses or persons. They should deposit their money in the Banks, where it would be safe, and where they can use it as they need it by giving checks upon the banks.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Argues that "the blood line has been drawn. It is color against color--race against race--blood against blood" and declares that "negro supremacy cannot be, and will not be tolerated in a government made by Caucasians."
Origin of Article: Laurensville (S. C.) Herald
Full Text of Article:

Negro supremacy, the late Northern elections show, will not be tolerated in this country; though, by the unlawful disfranchisement of white men, and the discriminating rendition of Congressional Acts by military satraps, who construe and reconstrue these same, until it is seen that the negroes have a majority of votes yet the Anglo Saxon race never yet succumbed to an inferior race.

Here the blood line has been drawn. It is color against color-race against race-blood against blood. Though a few deluded white men are with the negroes, and have deserted their own color from cowardice, or some other improper motive still they are beginning to slough off, and the negroes are gradually but surely replacing them on their tickets with men of their own color. It will soon come to this, and those white men who deserted decency and their race for any purpose will find that they will be thrown overboard, puked up and disavowed by their would be black friends. The line is being drawn according to blood.

Negro supremacy cannot be, and will not be tolerated in government made by Caucasians.

Laurensville (S. C.) Herald.

(Column 03)
Summary: John Beard, of Staunton, and Emma Grabbin, of Richmond, were married in Richmond on November 14 by Rev. Burrows.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Burrows, John F. Beard, Emma T. Grabbin)
(Column 03)
Summary: Col. Charles Peyton, of Staunton, and Sallie Bramham were married on November 21 at the home of Isaac Garth in Albemarle by Rev. William Farish.
(Names in announcement: Isaac W. Garth, Rev. Wm. P. Farish, Col. Charles S. Peyton, Sallie E. Bramham, Nimrod Bramham)
(Column 03)
Summary: David Argenbright died at his home near Deerfield on November 17. He was 45 years old.
(Names in announcement: David Argenbright)

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An Impending Servile War
(Column 02)
Summary: Contends that blacks across the state are organizing and plotting to take possession of the "property of their late masters." Their efforts, the author promises, will be unsuccessful as whites in both sections will unite against them. He laments that "these poor negroes are hastening their own destruction by their truculent conduct."
Origin of Article: Richmond Enquirer and Examiner
Full Text of Article:

It is very far from our purpose needlessly to excite the public apprehensions. Rest and quiet are absolutely necessary for the resuscitation of our impoverished Commonwealth, and we hold that hand most useful in this exigency which shall best succeed in pouring oil on the troubled waves of the commotion around us. Yet we should be recreant to a high public duty, if this day we failed to declare our solemn conviction that a servile war is impending in the South. The information which we receive from all parts of Virginia, from our own correspondence, and from the columns of our cotemporaries in interior towns, furnishes positive, emphatic and irrefragable proof that the negroes are everywhere banded in secret, sworn leagues, which hold almost continuous sessions daily, nightly hourly, debating, discussing and preparing for an open atrocious and merciless war of violence, rapine and pillage upon the whites.

Under the instigation of the handful of white wretches who lead them, the objective point of the negroes has been all along the possession of the negroes has been all along the possession of the lands, the houses, and, in general terms, the property of their late masters. The plan of the Radical congress to put these negroes into power as the political masters of the South opened up a way for the attainment of their object, under the forms of law, by ordinances of "Convention," "Legislatures" and such like bodies, composed of negroes. It was intended that the enactments of these bodies under the names of "confiscations," "disfranchisement," etc., should deprive property-holders of their vested rights and turn their possessions over to the negroes under the shadow of numberless pretexts. The great re-action in Northern sentiment, and the plainly expressed determination of the Northern people no longer uphold Congress in its diabolical undertaking to make political masters of our late domestic slaves, and thus degrade white men for the crime of being white, has only infuriated the fierce passions of the negroes, and they are now preparing to siege by force what they have hitherto hoped to acquire without open violence as the fruits of the punitive policy which has characterized Congress in dealing with the white "rebels" of the South. This is the philosophy of the present situation.

The bitterness of the negroes now contrasted with their previous docility and tractability, presents no phenomenon in either the political or social aspect. It is but the effect which follows cause. The seed of hostility between the races took root in the feculent soil of an avaricious greed for the possessions of other people, which was implanted in the breasts of the negroes by the miserable wretches who hoped thereby to serve their own purposes. Such plants spring up with marvelous fecundity, and, like all noxious plant, are difficult to eradicate when they once germinate. It was impossible but that negroes should continue to entertain the notions with which their minds had been filled, and when the re-action in Northern sentiment blasted their hopes of the early realization of their legislative schemes for the plunder of their former masters, it would have been a marvel had that circumstance altered their wishes in the premises. On the contrary, it only created a vengeful desire to repair that disappointment by the appliances of violence. And accordingly they have proceeded to organize for violence.

In their secret political leagues they have found the ground already broken for their purposes, and in the nightly meetings of these conclaves, they openly discuss their schemes of violence, and gloat over the feast of rapine and pillage to which they invite themselves. So far do they carry these things that they even, as near Lynchburg, mark out each individual white man for death, and determine the method of his destruction; or, as in Mecklenburg county, concert measures for the early seizure of the white men's possessions and name the day on which they will "occupy the land"; or, as in this city, make open threats to shed the blood of white men until the "streets shall run knee deep in blood"; or, as in all parts of the State, procure arms, ammunition, knives, pikes and bludgeons, and proceed to organize into companies, regiments and other military formations.

A pregnant fact connected with these atrocious proceedings is that the leaders most truculent and boldest are some of the "delegates" lately elected to the Convention soon to assemble in this city. These men instinctively perceive that they must return to the base obscurity from which they have risen only as the turbid stream throws up mire an filth, unless they can make the negroes permanently masters in the South, and they seek to avert their doom by these measures of violence.

It is not necessary here to discuss any further the causes which have led to the present alarming situation. We have only to meet the facts as they stand. It is scarcely worth while either to predict the result of these proceedings if they continue in operation. No white man can take any pleasure in the thought that these poor negroes are hastening their own destruction by their truculent conduct.

History furnishes no example of a successful servile war, and this is not the age in which teachings can be disregarded with impunity.-The first gun fired from a negro regiment, the first drop of white blood spilled in such a contest, will unite the white people of America in the indissoluble bonds of a common race or color. It will exemplify in a twinkling that "blood is thicker than water," and the people of the North will rise in a solid phalanx, unparalleled, except when they received the news that Fort Sumter had been captured.

But it is better to prevent crime than to punish it. The atrocious designs of the negroes would never have been conceived, or if conceived, would have been nipped in the bud, but for the fact that they know the defenceless condition of the whites against whom they entertain these designs. The negroes are all armed, and well armed. The whites have scarcely a fowling piece among them. This is the secret of negro truculence. In view of this we call upon Gen. Schofield, in the name of the white people of Virginia, instantly to take measures for the public safety. We most solemnly and earnestly call upon him to garrison the towns and villages of the State with reliable and well armed troops, who will be on hand to suppress the first attempt at an outbreak. Let him do this without a moment's delay, or it may be too late.