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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: Feburary 18, 1868

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-Page 01-

Subscription to the Covington and Ohio Railroad
(Column 05)
Summary: E. Fontaine, President of the Virginia Central Railroad, responds to "A Farmer" who wrote discouraging Augusta citizens from voting to subscribe to the stock of the Covington and Ohio Railroad. The move would not cause an oppressive tax burden, but would generate revenue for all involved.

-Page 02-

The Mongrel Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper notes the Convention's decision to reject the repudiation of Virginia's debt as a positive action, but claims it is the only example of a commendable action by the State Constitutional Convention.
Full Text of Article:

As the funds of the treasury are getting low, and the money appropriated for the Convention approaches exhaustion, that delectable body is becoming quite economical, and has entered upon retrenchment. It will be seen that the services of the stenographer, and the clerks of committees have been dispensed with. The stenographer, it seems, has already drawn from the treasury the sum of $4,395.60. -- With the exception of repudiating repudiation, that body has done but little, if anything, worthy of a word of commendation. In reference to this unexpected action upon the subject of the repudiation, the Lynchburg News says:

"Let no one hereafter assert that the Convention has done nothing -- let none aver that all its deeds are evil. One oasis blooms amid the arid desert of Radical laborers, one bright star illuminates the darkness of the Bones and Banjo Convention. We bow, with cap in hand, to the wisdom, the reverence for the Constitution, and the regard for the obligations of commercial and personal honor, which the vote indicates. Let their memory descend to posterity,

"Linked with one virtue and a thousand crimes."

Lo! The Poor Negro
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper claims that the Radicals have made slaves "free to starve, freeze, go naked, and die".
Full Text of Article:

A negro standing on the streets of Lynchburg bare-foot on one of the coldest mornings of this Winter, in reply to the inquiry why he went bare-foot in such cold weather, said : "Ise free now, and does jest as I d-----n please." That's the kind of freedom that emancipation has conferred upon the poor negro. He is free to starve, freeze, go naked, and die. This is the boon, so-called, conferred upon the negroes of the South by the policy of the Radicals of the North. They have no sympathy with the negroes in the distress brought upon them by their policy. They witness their sufferings without an emotion of pity. They say to them, "you are free, now root pig or die" -- cherishing, doubtless, a secret wish that they would die. The sins of the Radicals are great and numerous. They are piled up like Pelion upon Ossa. The devil in time will get his own. He has a pre-emption right to most of the Radical party.

President Johnson and Gen. Grant
(Column 02)
Summary: Article asserting that General Grant is guilty of insubordination in his dealings with Johnson.
Full Text of Article:

We published last week an abstract of the correspondence between President Johnson and Gen'l Grant which was called for by Congress and submitted before the ink was dry upon Gen'l Grant's letter of Feb. 3rd - the object being to get the correspondence before Congress and the country before the President could reply to Gen'l Grant's most important letter.--This was a scurry trick, and so transparent that the people cannot fail to see it. As sure as there is virtue in the great mass of the people, it will have the effect to injure Grant instead of the President. Grant has reason to exclaim: "Save me from my friends!" The Radicals have effectually entrapped Grant. No man of prominence ever before occupied a more embarrassing position.

Since our last issue, the reply of the President to Grant's letter of the 3rd inst., has been published, together with the letters of the five members of the Cabinet who were present at the interview between Gen'l Grant and President Johnson on the 14th ult., all of whom sustain the statements of the President. As the New York World says, "it is not easy to conceive of a position in which a man who values the good opinion of the world would be placed, more mortifying to his pride of character than that in which General Grant is placed by his correspondence. In the first place, he was charged with violating an understanding between himself and his superior officer. That this charge touched him to the quick is proved by his emphatic, resentful denial, made in a form which conceded that he was inexcusably culpable if the charge were well-founded.

In the next place, after General Grant's confession that he acted dishonorably if the alleged facts were true, and after denying the facts in such a way as to stake his veracity, their truth is established by a concurring body of overwhelming testimony proving his own admission of them. Probably no man was ever before placed in so unenviable a position. He is self-condemned on the point of honor, and self-condemned on the point of veracity. He stands exposed to the country, first, as admitting that he had acted dishonorably if the facts were true, and then, as proved to have admitted, in the presence of the Cabinet, the facts which he had the effrontery to deny in the correspondence. The question of honor being too plain for controversy, nothing remained but the question of fact; and in sending his veracity to the rescue of his honor, he parted with both. On his side there is nothing but his unsupported statement, contradicted by intrinsic probabilities, contradicted by admissions made in his own letters, and crushingly contradicted by the testimony of six gentleman as high in position as himself. Such are the humiliating penalties General Grant has incurred by walking in the crooked ways of politics and prevarication. President Johnson's last letter is a document which General Grant's reputation can ill afford to have pass into history."

We publish below the crushing reply of the President, and regret that we have not the space to publish the letters of the five members of the Cabinet who were present at the Cabinet meeting on the 14th ult., at which the conversation between the President and Grant occurred, about which they are at a positive and direct issue of veracity. As the Intelligencer says: "Four of the five who were there sustain the statements of the President, point by point, and word for word; the fifth (Seward) confirms all the President's statements; but with officious kindness feebly attempts to suggest some sort of excuse for the probable or possible misapprehension of the situation on the part of General Grant. Their accumulated testimony justified the President in dismissing the question of veracity with the simple presentation of this overwhelming evidence. They fully sustain the President, and leave General Grant convicted of the basest misrepresentations.

The letter of the President, however, proceeds to expose, in a scathing and unanswerable manner, the arrant duplicity and inexcusable insubordination of General Grant. 'Out of his own mouth he is condemned'

The insubordination of General Grant is plainly and strongly put by the President. -- There is no escape from this charge. It is thrust home with irresistible force."

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Mrs. Powers, wife of Prof. Pike Powers, fell into a paralysis and died on Monday.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Powers, Pike Powers)
Presbyterian Revival
(Column 01)
Summary: The Presbyterian Church in Churchville held a large revival led by the Rev. P. Fletcher and Rev. Bell. 30 or 40 people "have manifested deep interest, and quite a number made professions of a change of heart." A religious movement is also underway at the Augusta Female Institute, with Rev. Mr. Stuart holding meetings for spiritual instruction, and a number of the students have converted.
(Names in announcement: Rev. P. Fletcher, Rev. Bell, Rev. Stuart)
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper favorably reviews a rehearsal of Prof. Hewitt's new cantata of the "Fairy Bridal" at the Wesleyan Female Institute. "Let the listener close his eyes, and, while listening to the music, the fairy scene so beautifully depicted in Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' will loom up before him with all its poetry and magic."
(Names in announcement: Prof. Hewitt)
Staunton Lyceum
(Column 02)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum debated whether or not the rise of sects in the Christian Church has been unfavorable to the progress of true Christianity. The Rev. J. I. Miller, R. Mauzy, and Rev. J. A. Latane spoke in the affirmative; Col. James Skinner, S. Travis Phillips, Prof. Pike Powers, and Capt. James Bumgardner in the negative. The participants decided 12-6 in the negative. George B. Taylor will speak on Friday on "The Thinker."
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. I. Miller, R. Mauzy, Rev. J. A. Latane, Col. James Skinner, S. Travis Phillips, Pike Powers, Capt. James Bumgardner, George B. Taylor)
(Column 04)
Summary: William H. Bull and Miss Susan Ann Mackey were married near Waynesboro on February 12th by the Rev. W. R. Stringer.
(Names in announcement: William H. Bull, Susan Ann Mackey, Rev. W. R. Stringer)
(Column 04)
Summary: William Henry Geeding, son of Henry Geeding, died on February 8th of brain fever. He was 4 years old. "The death of this interesting little boy has wrought such grief in the hearts of his parents and friends as no human sympathy can relieve. His peculiarly docile spirit and obedient conduct made him an object of their deep and tender affection. They also recall with melancholy pleasure his conscientiousness in never lying down to sleep at night without repeating the little prayer which he had learned from parental lips. These are precious memories to his weeping parents, even though they make them more conscious of their loss."
(Names in announcement: William Henry Geeding, Henry Geeding)

-Page 04-

Condition of the South
(Column 02)
Summary: B. F. Perry, ex-governor of South Carolina, gives a "graphic and deplorable picture of the present condition and future prospects of the great Southern section." He complains of military despotism, violation of civil rights, poverty, hunger, the Freedmen's Bureau, and the difficulty of inducing African Americans to work on plantations.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Sun
What We Must Do
(Column 03)
Summary: An article by the Enquirer arguing that Southerners should resist every act of "negro power" and authority, unless it is enforced by the military.
Origin of Article: Enquirer
Full Text of Article:

As the Supremacy of the negro is to be propped up and defended by Federal bayonets, the course which we should pursue can no longer be a matter of doubt. We must oppose to every act of negro power and authority the most defiant and resolute hostility. We must render no tribute to the negro Caesar, unless he comes with the glittering bayonets of his military flunkeys to enforce his authority. We must resist, trample in the dust, and punish every attempt of a degraded and inferior race to administer the State government in Virginia, unless he is supported by Federal soldiers. -- Treated as a conquered people who have lost all our political and civil rights, we can save our honor untarnished only by making the soldier do all the dirty work of their African masters. If the negro imposes taxes, let every black tax gatherer know that no Virginian will "render tribute" unless forced to do so by the soldier. The spirit of our noble people must flame forth so fiercely at every attempt of our late slaves to rule over us, that the administration of the negro governments in the South must require a standing army of not less than 200,000 men. If we are not only to be ruined, but also to be put to the sword through Radical agencies for resolute resistance to negro domination, let the work be completed by the muskets of the white renegades of that General to whom the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered upon a pledge of security for the lives and rights of our people. Enquirer