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

Staunton Spectator: April 21, 1868

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

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

Canvass--Short, Sharp, Decisive
(Column 01)
Summary: Called on all Virginians to get out and prepare to campaign and vote against the proposed constitution. The editor said that anyone who failed to vote did not deserve to be called a true Virginian.
Full Text of Article:

The canvass upon which we are now about entering will be short--let it also be sharp, energetic, and decisive. There will be but few weeks in which to work, but few as they are, they are pregnant with the fate of Virginia and the liberties of Virginians. The Virgininan who shall fail to do his duty from now to the day of election, and especially on the day of election, is unworthy to be the sone of the State which gave him birth.

His mother, Virginia, should curse him as Eve cursed Cain, and drive him from her presence with the malediction:

"May the grass wither from thy feet! the woods

Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust

A grave! the sun his light! heave her God.

This is no time for mincing words and hesitating action, but for plain language and honest, bold, manly conduct. To hesitate is to be lost, to doubt is to be damned. Those who fail in their duty now are traitors not only to liberty but to their race--they are unfit to die and should live in the agonies that other men die with. No decent man should speak to them, nor should any notice them save by pointing the finger of scorn at them. The time for plain language and honest conduct has arrived. Our canvassers should be on the hustings--their voices should be ringing clear and loud. It is not the soft tones of the lute, but the clarion notes of the bugle that we now need. Let the bugles be sounded, and the conservatives rallied to the rescue of all that freemen, and Virignians especially, hold dear. If any dastards fail to respond, or hesitate to take position in alignment, let the brand be put upon them.

Next Monday will be court-day in this county. Several speeches from our number of eloquent speakers should be made in the court-house on that day. Stuart and Baldwin and others should speak. It is not too soon to begin. Col. Baldwin opened the canvass in Rockbridge last week in good style. Let him do the same here on next Monday. The people must be aroused. They are apathetic, and some, like the terrapin, need to have fire put upon their back to make them move. Now is the time for the "thoughts that breathe, and the words that burn." Let no one be able to plead the excuse that he did not know his duty. Let all be informed in time, so that if any fail in the performance of duty it will be not from the want of knowledge but from the want of will, and the judgment, "ye knew your duty, but ye did it not," will be pronounced against them.

Those who shall fail to do their duty at this time will live to pray for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them. As we used to say, "register and vote, and vote against the Convention," so we now say, "register and vote, and vote against the Constitution"--that concentrated quintessence of diabolical iniquity.--Live to cast that vote, and cast that vote that you may live freemen.

P.S.--Since the above was written, we have been authorized to state that Col. Baldwin will address the people at the Court-House, on Monday next on the dangers and duties of the hour. Come one, come all. Other speeches will probably be delivered.

Good News
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper breathes a sigh of relief at the adjournment of the "mongrel" convention. A Radical Convention will be held on May 4th to nominate candidates for state office and congress. The Conservative State Executive Committee will meet on May 7th for the same purpose. The vote on the constitution will be held on June 2nd. A number of prominent citizens of Augusta were appointed Conservative canvassers for the 6th Congressional District.
(Names in announcement: John B. Baldwin, John Echols, George Baylor, James Bumgardnerjr., Bolivar Christian, Alexander H. H. Stuart)
Frederick S. Tukey
(Column 02)
Summary: Incensed that a former conservative white man, Fred Tukey, accepted a nomination from a Republican convention in Caroline county to run for the legislature alongside a black man.
Full Text of Article:

We learn from a correspondent of the Richmond Dispatch that, at a Radical meeting of negroes and carpet-baggers at the Court-house in Caroline county, on the 13th inst., "Fred. S. Tukey and a vile mulatto named Crockett" were nominated as candidates for the Legislature to represent the county of Caroline. As Old Will Boniface would say, Fred. S. Tukey "is pretty well known in these parts, as the saying is."--He spent some time here in connection with the Freedmen's Bureau, and whilst here claimed to be quite conservative. He illustrated his idea of conservatism (?) by becoming the candidate of the Loyal League for the Convention for the District composed of the counties of Augusta, Albemarle and Louisa. As there are more negroes in Caroline than Augusta his chances for election to office are more promising than when he lived here.

Prepare for Action
(Column 03)
Summary: Sounded a call to all white men to work to defeat the "negro constitution", as the editor called it. Claimed anyone who refused was a traitor to his race and state.
Full Text of Article:

In a few days, says the Lynchburg Republican, the battle on the negro constitution will open in Virginia, and the moment has now come for every white man who is worthy of his race or color to buckle his armor on and prepare for the conflict. There is no time for delay, no room for hesitancy, no time for faltering. The white people of Virginia can defeat the Constitution by thirty thousand majority, and they must do it. Every man who has not registered must register when the books are again opened, as they will be in a few weeks; every man who can work must work; every one who has influence must exert it; and every one who has a vote must give it whether sick or well. Many did not vote in the last fall election for delegates to the Convention for some cause or other; but any who refuse to vote in the coming struggle for self preservation, will incur the merited indignation and lasting dishonor of the men and women of the present and future generations. Virginia and her people must be saved from negro rule at all hazards and the white people who do not help to save her are enemies of their race and color, and will be so treated. Radical speakers, whether black or white, must be met on the stump, and boldly and successfully combatted and overwhelmed in argument. They had the whole field to themselves before, and propagated their falsehoods without limit.--They must not be permitted to do so again, and thus impose upon negro credulity. Let every speaker, therefore, put on his armor and prepare for the conflict which will open in a few days.

Be on your Guard
(Column 03)
Summary: Demanded that every qualified white voter make whatever sacrifices necessary to register and vote down the proposed state constitution.
Full Text of Article:

Our readers may rest assured that every possible device will be adopted to prevent the whites from defeating the iniquitous Constitution which will be submitted to the voters of this State by the Mongrel COnvention. The whites should be upon the qui vive, and should remember that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Every white voter should be impressed with the fact that no sacrifice of time is too great to be made to defeat that Constitution.--None should fail to vote, however distant the place of voting, or however bad the weather may be. The Dispatch says that it has the best authority for stating that the registration lists, which, as our readers are aware, the law requries to be re-opened fourteen days previous to every election, will be opened only at the various County-seats or Court-houses. This is an unfortunate decision for the white voters, large numbers of whom neglected to register their names last fall. They must, however, make the necessary sacrifice of time and money, and have their names registered. This is an important matter, and should be remembered by the leaders of the Conservative party in the several counties.

Attempt to Bribe
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper again denounces the $2,500 exemption clause in the new constitution as a trick to entice the voters of Virginia to ratify a radical document. "People of Virginia! can you stand this? Are you going to be kicked by negroes, and then take sixpence to heal the sore?"

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that a car load of African-American convicts passed through Staunton on their way to work on the turnpike between Covington and Healing Springs.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Colonel Baldwin will speak at the Court House on the "duties and dangers of the hour." The paper urges people to attend.
(Names in announcement: Col. Baldwin)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of Staunton's Trinity Episcopal Church raised $600 at their fair. The money will go toward erecting an iron railing around the church yard.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Those who attended the concert at Staunton's Baptist Church enjoyed the music very much. The event raised $100.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Staunton jailor George Harlan recently discovered that the imprisoned horse thieves Blanton, Harris, and Connell nearly escaped by sawing out the steel window frames.
(Names in announcement: George Harlan, Blanton, Harris, Connell)
Robbery-Nearly Murder
(Column 01)
Summary: Henry Miller was knocked in the head and robbed near Deerfield, Augusta County. "A negro man who had a stout cane was with him a short time before the occurrence and was upon the spot shortly after. Suspicion very naturally attaches to him."
(Names in announcement: Henry Miller)
Industrial Enterprise
(Column 01)
Summary: An 8 foot, 2000lb wheel for the mill of George Seawright was cast at William A. Burke's Foundry. The paper hails Burke as an "avant courier" of expected industrial innovation in and around Staunton.
(Names in announcement: George Seawright, William A. Burke)
R. R. Election in Staunton
(Column 01)
Summary: Reported on the vote in favor of subscribing stock in the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Despite the favorable vote, insisted the vote be voided because otherwise it would implicitly recognize the right of blacks to vote in the state, something the editor considered "unconstitutional".
Full Text of Article:

On Saturday last, the vote of Staunton was taken on the question of subscribing the town's proportion of the proposed subscription of $300,000 by Augusta County to the 8 per cent preferred stock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The election resulted as follows:

For Against Whites 254 32 Colored 59 1

Majority of whites 222. Majority of colored 58--combined majority 280 Whole vote cast, including the 60 unconstitutional votes of the colored voters, 346.

Should the subscription for the county, like that for the town, be carried by the required majority of the legal tax-paying voters, it would be a consummation greatly desired, but if it should be carried by the votes of those who not only pay no taxes, but have no legal right to vote, it would be an outrage upon every principle of right and justice. The recognition as valid of such a decision at the ballot-box by our people would be a surrender of the great principle at issue between the Radicals and the Conservatives. It would be the most emphatic recognition of negro suffrage which could be exhibited. If Conservatives recognise the validity of negro suffrage they are estopped from complaining of the Radicals for doing the same thing. Our anxiety for the Railroad should not be allowed to betray us into the commission of a fatal blunder.

Staunton Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum debated whether the signs of the times forcast the approach of the millennial era. The question was decided in the negative. Members were chosen to debate the groups' next question.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. A. Latane, Marshall Hanger, A. M. Pierce, Col. George Baylor, Rev. John A. English, Joseph N. Ryan, Col. James H. Skinner, Capt. James Bumgardner)
Chesapeake and Ohio Rail Road
(Column 02)
Summary: The president of the Virginia County R.R. Company gave a detailed argument for why adopting a small tax to pay for the Chesapeake and Ohio R.R. subscription would result in great benefits in the long run. He also printed stats to back up his argument.
Full Text of Article:

To the Citizens of Augusta County:

A tax of $2,750 per annum, will pay in 28 years the whole principal of the bonds which will be given at 90 cents on the dollar to meet the subscription of $250,000, which you are asked to make.

It has been demonstrated to you in a former address that the passenger fare and freights, (taking the business of 1867 from the Books of the Company) which will be saved by shortening the Road, will be more than the average interest to be paid on the Bonds. Assuming this to be correct, and it is so beyond any reasonable doubt, then the 8 per cent Guaranteed Dividends on the stock will be a clear gain to reduce the taxes of the county; or the Dividends may be used to pay the interest after the road is finished, and then the saving from the short track will be a clear gain.

Putting out of view the saving to result from getting rid of the circuitous route by Gordonsville--I now propose to show you that the trifling sum of $2,750 per annum raised by taxes, put to interest at 8 per centum per annum, and reinvested annually, will in 28 years raise the whole sum of $275,000, for which the bonds of the county will be given. I will not go through the whole calculation, but will give you a brief illustration to show how rapidly any given sum increases at compound interest:

Tax 1st year $2,750 Interest 220 2,970 Tax 2nd year 2,750 5,720 Interest 457.60 6,177.60 Tax 3rd year 2,750.00 8,927.60 Interest 714.21 9,641.81 Tax 4th year 2,750.00 12,391.81 Interest 991.34 13,383.15 Tax 5th year 2,750.00 16,133.15 Interest 1,290.65 17,423.80 Tax 6th year 2,750.00 20,173.80 Interest 1,613.90 21,787.70

It thus appears that $2,750, paid annually and put to interest at 8 per cent, will in six years amount to $21,787.70 and if continued for 28 years the whole $275,000 of bonds will be paid off with only a tax of $2,750, per annum.

Is there a man in Augusta who is not willing to pay his share of the trifling sum of $2,750 to accomplish so great a work as the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Remember you are furnished nearly 10 times the amount of this tax, in the saving from the short track between Charlottesville and Richmond; but if there was no such saving the benefits you will derive in many other ways, from making the road, would far more than compensate you.

Your Court can issue their bonds payable in 30 years, appoint a Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, and before the bonds become due, you may have in hand every dollar to meet the principal of the bonds at maturity.

I cannot believe if the people of Augusta understood this question they would hesitate to vote for the proposed subscription. A consideration of the foregoing view of the subject, shows that there is nothing in the apprehended taxation to alarm them.

Respectfully. E. FONTAINE

Presd't. Va. C.R.R. Co.

Richmond, April 16th, 1868.

Col. Baldwin's Address
(Column 02)
Summary: Highly praised a recent speech by Col. Baldwin condemning Republican rule in Virginia and urging all Virginians to vote down the new constitution. Editor remarked that even many "freedmen" attended to hear the speech.
Full Text of Article:

In accordance with the announcement in our paper of last week, Col. Baldwin addressed the people of Rockbridge, in the Court-house, on Monday last. The house was crowded with a most intelligent audience, and the gallery was filled with freedmen who listened respectfully and attentively to the able and eloquent speaker, as he glowingly depicted the present deplorable state of affairs in our country. To all who have had the pleasure of hearing Col. B. on former occasions, we need not say that a more forcible presentation of the wrongs and outrages which the Southern people have suffered, and are still suffering at the hands of the Radicals, could not have been made, and his stirring appeal to all who have not yet done so, to come forward and register and vote against the New Constitution, we deeply regret was not heard by every white voter in the county. We know that every one who heard it will feel his heart stirred with a new and a holier zeal, in doing all that he can, to preserve himself, his children and his brethren of the old Mother Commonwealth, from the degradation and disgrace of Radical domination through the ascendancy of the negroes. We think that great good will result from this address to the Conservative cause, and that its influence will be seen and felt in every section of the county. We regret that we have not a full report of the speech, that we might publish it, so that every one in the county could read and digest it for himself. A synopsis of it would do injustice both to the speaker and his subject, but it has furnished us with texts which we hope to use hereafter in our efforts to awaken the people to a full sense of their danger and their duty.--Lexington Gazette & Banner.

(Column 04)
Summary: William Childress and Miss E. Mildred Marion were married near Fishersville on April 9th by the Rev. W. R. Stringer.
(Names in announcement: William Childress, E. Mildred Marion, Rev. W. R. Stringer)
(Column 04)
Summary: D. W. Drake of Staunton and Miss Kate Murat Slaughter of Rappahannock County were married on April 15th at the Episcopal Church in Little Washington by the Rev. Mr. Brown.
(Names in announcement: D. W. Drake, Kate Murat Slaughter, Rev. Brown)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Elizabeth Gibbons died at the residence of Samuel Paul. She was 75 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Gibbons)

-Page 04-

K. K. K.
(Column 02)
Summary: Printed an account from a black man in Abingdon who recounted his conversation with a squad of KKK men. Related the KKK's mission, which was basically to keep whites superior to blacks and punish anyone who advocated otherwise. The whole account was printed in dialect.
Full Text of Article:

Mr. "Meshach Horner" thus describes the K.K.Ks as he saw them in the middle of the night in Abingdon, Washington county, Va., a few weeks since:

"On lookin down from the winder, the fust thing I saw was a great big black flag, with a white skull and two cross-bones painted on it. Lookin a leetel lower, seed a great company of black hosses marchin along silently two and two, and on each hoss was a pale lookin rider dressed in a long white robe, and each held in his boney fingers a bright two-edged sword, with drops of blood sprinkled about on 'em.--As I was lookin strate down on 'em, a great big skeleton lookin feller as big as the giant David killed, raised his blood-shot eyes rite in my face, and puttin his finger on his lips, he ses in a whisperin tone, "these silent riders are the Ku-Klux-Klan, and I'm the head giant." "What if you are," ses I, "you haven't got nothin to do with me." "That depends on whether we have or not," ses he. "If you're a true man, honest in your dealins, just in your politicks, in favor of your own race, above hunnyfuggling with niggers, divide your bred and meat with the widders and orfants of soldiers, and aint for makin niggers better than white people and givin 'm land that don't belong to you, you're not the sorter man we're after; but, if you're a Radical or a nigger--and one is about as good as tother, and better too--you'd better keep your eye skinned, or we'll have you, and then you may call upon the Lord to have mercy on your soul."

"Well," ses I, "I've heard a heap over in Bear Cove about these Ku Klux Klans, but I never seed enny before--will you tell me who you are and where you come from?"

"Yes," ses he, "we have no secrets on that pint. We are the sperrets of the Confederate ded, come back to see our livin comrads right-who have jined the niggers agin their own kin and color, and to protect all who are sufferin from the meanness and maliciousness of bad men, both black and white. We started in Tennessee, where we intend to return as soon as we have finished the work we have to do in ed, and to punish the bad white men Virginny."

As he finished talkin, they all marched on their horses along the street, makin no more noises than if they had bin walkin on feather beds, and in a few minutes I went to sleep and saw no more of the awful lookin company.

Yourn till deth,