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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 14, 1868

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-Page 01-

Unconstitutional Convention
(Column 03)
Summary: Proceedings of the state constitutional convention.
Is he Dictator Yet?
(Column 05)
Summary: The article suggests General Grant is overstepping his duties and assuming the role of military dictator in his support for the removal of Andrew Johnson from office.
The Penalties for a New Crime
(Column 06)
Summary: Quoted a Richmond paper which warned Virginians of the consequences of collaborating with Republicans and thus putting blacks in power. Called anyone who did so a traitor to the white race, and called on the majority of Virginians to keep Virginia in the hands of whites.
Full Text of Article:

In Virginia less than in almost any other State, are the whites divided in political sentiment, and the efforts to brand patriotic devotion to our section as "treason," and to render it "odious," have simply rendered the vile apostates who have tried to play this game themselves so "odious" that they are shunned like lepers by nine-tenths of their old associates.--Indeed, to avoid the infamy which is likely to attach to the memory of those renegades, their descendants will some day be petitioning the courts to be allowed the privilege of changing their names.

After having exhausted all the effots of malice, vindictiveness and slander, the Radicals find that the people of Virginia cling to their disfranchised civil and military leaders with an affection which has been intensified by the persecution to which they have been subjected.

And as long as this noble spirit pervades our people, the negroes and their wretched parasites can inflict nothing more than a little temporary annoyance upon us. All that we have to do is to oppose to every act of these creatures a resistance, either passive or active, which can only be overcome by a standing army. Let the negroes and the carpet-bag adventurer learn that when the bayonet is withdrawn, down topples their power, and up again go the old standards of the white man as in days gone by.

The traitors to their race who are advocating the disfranchisement of our best citizens, must be taught that the penalty of their crime is utter and complete excommunication by the race which they have betrayed. If the soldiers who defended Virginia are unworthy of association with the proscribed.--Let them have their fill of the negroes and of the unwashed, codfish-eating scallawags to whom they would give all the offices and power in the State. Let them eat with them, sleep with them, intermarry with them, live and die with them, for they cannot expect the countenance of those who do not believe that a negro is as good as a white man. What right has any apostate Confederate, who would disfranchise General Lee, and make a suffragan of his black hostler, to associate with the gentlemen upon whom he openly wars.

The crime proposed by such men is a far graver one than that for which offenders are sent to another hill than that upon which stands the Capitol. The Romans regarded the crime of parricide as impossible, and for a time enacted no law for its punishment. The offence of giving Virginia to the negro and to the rapacious mercenaries who laid waste her soil and ruined her people, was, until recently, a sin, which seemed too hideous to be possible. ALthough the laws do not punish it, yet every reflecting white who thinks of the consequences of negro rule, knows that it is the blackest crime ever contemplated. It is nothing less than the murder of the State and the dishonor of a noble race by putting the foot of the late slave upon the neck of his old master.--Enquirer

-Page 02-

Arouse to Action
(Column 01)
Summary: Called on the Conservative men of Virginia to campaign vigorously in the upcoming elections for the interests of the South. Gave the example of speeches and energy in North Carolina as the perfect model for Virginia to follow.
Full Text of Article:

We repeat our admonition to the Conservatives, that they should be at work. There is no time to be lost. When the Convention shall adjourn it is probabale that but little time will be allowed--the object of the majority of its members, looking to the interests of the Radical party, will be to have the election as soon as possible after the adjournment of the Convention. The Conservatives should not postpone action till after the adjournment of the Convention. They should take time by the forclock, and go at once to work. Speakers should be appointed, and should enter at once upon a vigorous canvass. All that we hold dear will be at stake. Every man should do his duty. There should be no drones in the Conservative hive.

The "Old North State" is acting nobly, and setting an example which our good State would do well to follow. "In that gallant Old Commonwealth," says the Norfolk Virginian, "her sons are moving forward to the rescue of her interests and her honor in three solid columns, which sweep her territory from east to west with a fire of irresistible eloquence. It is a grand spectacle to see her hoary-headed patriots, her mature statesmen, and her youthful orators dedicating themselves to the service of their State with an unselfish and heroic devotion which is above all praise. From her mountain gorges down to her spreading coast, from her centre to her uttermost boundaries, her children are working with head and heart for her salvation. It is a sublime spectacle! Each day two hundred noble speeches, noble in sentiment, noble in design, noble in pluck, and noble in unselfish devotion are made within her borders. The 'fiery cross' is borne aloft within her borders by the swiftest runners of her Clans, and from high land and lowland they rally to the rescue. We repeat, it is a sublime spectacle, and the most bitter Radical in Congress must admire the heroic force of the Anglo-Saxon spirit which glows with such rare brilliancy in so dark a night as that which now gathers over the orators of North Carolina. We accord them our admiration and salute them with honest pride, from Vance and Graham, and Ashe down to the merest tyro among them all, and we say to the people of Virginia that we should observe our sister State and emulate her example. Let the Central Committee give the signal for the men of Virginia to be up and doing, like the men of the Old North State. It is time we were at work!"

The Great Issue--Norfolk Virginian
(Column 02)
Summary: Quoted extensive passages from a Norfolk newspaper outlining the horrors that would follow passage of the proposed constitution. Talked about blacks taking over the government and subjecting whites to humiliation. Urged all whites to save the white race by voting down the Constitution.
Full Text of Article:

It is no disparagement to the other able journals of the State to express the opinion that the Norfolk Virginian, edited by the distinguished poet, Jas. Barron Hope, is doing more efficient service at this time than any other journal. It is a favorite with us. It appreciates the magniture of the issue, and labors energetically to save the State from Radical rule and negro domination. We quote from it frequently as our readers have observed. It is an efficient co-laborer. From various numbers we have clipped the following paragraphs:

The issue before the people of the State in the coming election is a single one--negro equality. Will all men, Whigs, Democrats, Rebels and Union men unite on that one issue and vote down the Constitution?

If you do not believe in letting the negroes do all the voting and pay none of the taxes, vote against the Constitution.

No time for sleeping or dreaming. The work before us is a serious one. Come out white men, on the day of election, and vote down the Constitution.

White Men, remember that all persons now registered can vote on the Constitution. Let every man in the State who has not registered do so when the opportunity offers, and vote against the Constitution.


"For him we preach

For him we pray,

For him we labor night and day

That colored cuss from Africa

VITAL QUESTIONS.--Shall negroes and knaves rule and ruin Virginia, or shall her own true sons, the representatives of the intelligence, the worth and the property of the State, save her from such shame. This is the question for every citizen who has not registered to ask himself. Every vote is important, and no man can fail to secure his right to vote without being criminally derelict.

VOTE IT DOWN.--The ratification of the odious negro constitution will entail negro equality on the people of Virginia beyond hope of redemption. Come out on the day of election, and defeat Radical dreams of personal aggrandisement by voting down the Constitution.

THINK OF THIS.--Shall white men be enrolled in the militia with negroes--perhaps under negro officers? This is one of the results for which those who refuse to register will be held responsible.

White Men, read, ponder and weigh well, what the Radicals demand from the Southern States, and then, if you can, stand with folded arms and see the negro Constitution carried by default in Virginia:

1. A national debt.

2. Increased taxation.

3. Untaxed bonds for capitalists.

4. High protective tariffs for New England manufactures.

5. Shinplasters for the poor.

6. Gold for the bondholder.

7. Negro mongrelism at the polls and in the jury box.

8. Disfranchisement of a large proportion of our citizens.

9. Confiscation of Southern lands.

10. Military satraps at an expense of one hundred million dollars annually to the government instead of civil officers paid by the States.

11. Negro Senators and negro Congressmen.

12. Negro judges and negro jurors.

13. Negro Vice-President.

14. Trials by military commissions instead of civil courts.

Keep it before the people, that the policy of the hybrid Republicans is to impoverish the country, centralize power, paralyze industry, multiply taxation and elevate the negro while degrading the white man.

Keep it before the people, that the ringed, streaked and striped negro constitution allows white children to be bound servants to negro masters, and allows negroes to become guardians of white children.

Keep it before the people, that the carpet baggers' constitution allows white men in the militia to be commanded by negroes.

WHICH IS BETTER, a Government administered by intelligent and virtuous WHITE MEN, or a Government administered by needy squatters, ignorant Africans and impudent allies of mixed blood?

Unless you are in favor of requiring voters to swear never to oppose the equality of the races, go to the polls and cast your vote AGAINST Constitution.

The proposed Constitution once adopted, any man who opposes negro equality will be laughed at. It will then be too late. VOTE IT DOWN!

Unless you are in favor of COMPELLING the little children of the country, whose parents are too poor to educate them, to associate with little negroes, go to the polls and vote AGAINST the proposed Constitution.

Do you want a negro guardian for your child when you are dead and gone? This is a searching question and one which you should answer to yourself, for it may happen that a court of negroes may decide so to dispose of your little flaxen-haired girl, or your bright eyed boy. If the new Constitution is adopted it will be competent for the negroes to do this very thing, i.e. give the daughter of John Stokes, white carpenter, to Mumbo Jumbo, black reprobate, as his ward. There is no fancy in this picture. It is grim truth. Who wants to see it painted in reality? We answer the question, and say that the White Man who can register and does not, is the fellow. Mark him! Hunt him!--Brand him! Make him an outlaw!

Railroad Elections
(Column 02)
Summary: The vote on the proposed subscription by Augusta County for $300,000 in Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad stock will be held on Saturday.
The Negro--What is to Become of Him?
(Column 03)
Summary: Editorial from the Richmond Whig advocating distribution of funds to African-Americans to allow them to emigrate to Liberia.
A Trap to Catch Voters
(Column 03)
Summary: Article suggesting that the proposed Homestead exemption in the new state constitution is merely a trap to entice voters to ratify the radical document.
Origin of Article: Norfolk Vir.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Federal Tax collector will be in Staunton at the end of the month.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Joseph Adkins and Charles R. Gilbert were released for insufficient evidence in the murder case of Christopher Stover. The accused proved they were elsewhere at the time of the killing.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Adkins, Charles R. Gilbert, Christopher Stover)
The Protestant Eclectic
(Column 01)
Summary: Y. H. Peyton of Staunton is proposing to begin a magazine entitled "The Protestant Eclectic." It will be devoted to "diffusion of moral and religious truth."
(Names in announcement: Y. H. Peyton)
Augusta County Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: John B. Baldwin, president of the fair committee, announces the completion of the purchase of the fair grounds. The paper applauds the move and celebrates the importance of holding a fair to show the industrial and agricultural output of the county.
(Names in announcement: John B. Baldwin)
Ladies' Fair
(Column 02)
Summary: Letter encouraging the citizens to attend the fair held by the ladies of Trinity Church. The proceeds will go to construction of an iron railing to surround the church yard.
K. K. K.
(Column 03)
Summary: Printed the goals, signs, and actions of the Klan, started nearly every word in the article with a "k" to boost the emphasis.
Full Text of Article:

The Kuklux Klan are kalled upon to kastigate or kill any kullered kusses who may approve the konstitution being koncocted by the kontemptible karpet-baggers at the kapitol. Each Klan is kommanded by a karniverous kernel who kollects his komrades with kare and kaution kommensurate with the magnitude of the kause. Whenever konvened, they must korrectly give four kountersigns. Those are: Kll the kullered kuss; klean out the karpet-baggers; krush the konvention; karry konservatism; konfusion to kongress; konfederates will konquer. Of kourse the klan kreates konsiderable konsternation among the Kongos and their kunning konducters, who kalculate that their kareer may be kut short by katasrophies.--Kowardly kurs, they kan't komplain.--Dispatch.

(Column 04)
Summary: James M. Argenbright and Miss Elizabeth W. Ward, both of Augusta, were married at Elizabeth Furnace on April 5th by the Rev. H. Getzendanner.
(Names in announcement: James M. Argenbright, Elizabeth W. Ward, Rev. H. Getzendanner)
(Column 04)
Summary: Samuel N. Giles of Staunton and Miss Mary C. Dunlap of Augusta, daughter of William R. Dunlap, were married at the residence of the bride's father on April 8th by the Rev. William E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: Samuel N. Giles, Mary C. Dunlap, William R. Dunlap, Rev. William E. Baker)
(Column 04)
Summary: H. L. Opie of Staunton and Miss Sue W. Simmons of Bardstown, KY, were married in Kentucky on March 31st by the Rev. J. V. Cosby.
(Names in announcement: H. L. Opie, Sue W. Simmons, Rev. J. V. Cosby)
(Column 04)
Summary: Jacob B. Zirkle of Shenandoah County and Miss Sarah M. Coiner, daughter of Franklin Coiner of Augusta County, were married near Fishersville on April 9th by the Rev. C. S. M. See.
(Names in announcement: Jacob B. Zirkle, Sarah M. Coiner, Franklin Coiner, Rev. C. S. M. See)
(Column 04)
Summary: Lewis V. Hupman and Miss Mary E. Anderson, daughter of Capt. Alex Anderson, were married on April 9th by the Rev. P. C. Walker.
(Names in announcement: Lewis V. Hupman, Mary E. Anderson, Capt. Alex Anderson, Rev. P. C. Walker)

-Page 04-

(Column 02)
Summary: The paper used the example of Poland as way to criticize Republican reconstruction policies. Cited how Northern papers denounced Russia for subjugating Poland and asked how the subjugation of the South by Republicans was any different. In fact, the editor said it was worse because the Republicans put blacks in power over whites in the South.
Origin of Article: Charlottesville Chronicle
Full Text of Article:

The kind-hearted philosopher, H.G., is working himself up into a great state of indignation at the wrongs of Poland. "The decree for the absorption of Poland into Russia is an act of monstrous iniquity, which has hardly a parallel in the history of the nineteenth century."

It is very well indeed that this assertion should be qualified for one can hardly conceive how the impudence even of the Tribune, could lead it to consider this "monstrous iniquity" as without a parallel in view of the history which its Radical friends are making at the South.--The Tribune but expresses the unanimous judgment of the civilized world, when it denounces the course of Russia towards Poland, as monstrous in its inquity. There is but one crime, which one nation can commit against another, (except total extermination.) greater than that of overwhelming a brave and free born people by force of arms, and subjecting them to the absolute rule of a foreign Military authority, and that has been discovered and put in force on the Southern people by the criminal ingenuity of the Radical Demagogues--in their attempt to put the whites under the rule of the negroes--their former slaves. The Poles complain of the very Military Despotism which the people of the South ask as a boon instead of the deep degradation with which they are threatened by the so-called Philanthropists of the North. In the view of the Tribune, the Czar of all the Russians is guilty of a monstrous iniquity, but the Congress of the United States in its course towards the unreconstructed States, using its power to hold them down, to be oppressed by half civilized blacks, urged on by the most utterly depraved white men that ever cursed any country, is only doing what is just and right.--Nothing is more suprising than the manner in which men, who, in their private relations, are honest and even benevolent and humane, when they become politicians are blinded by fanaticism and self-interest, and commit without hesitation the greatest crimes and outrages, on humanity. Almost every word that Mr. Greely has written with the pretence of virtuous indignation, of Russia and Poland can be made to apply with double force, to the case of the South. "It is difficult to see how a Government in many respects so far sighted as that of the United States should ever have conceived the idea of suppressing by decree ten nationalities."--Charlottesville Chronicle.