Staunton Spectator: May 26, 1868Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 |
Specch of Col. John B. Baldwin
(Column 03)Summary: Col. Baldwin declines a nomination for the Conservative ticket in Virginia. He feels that it would be better to nominate a man who is not disfranchised and barred from office in advance, though he recognizes that any candidate must eventually be asked to swear a test oath.
Full Text of Article:The Homestead Provision of the New Constitution
The following is a synopsis of the excellent speech delivered by Col. Baldwin in the recent Conservative Convention which nominated the State ticket. Want of space has prevented its publication in this paper heretofore. It will be read with interest. He said:
Mr. President. -- I am well aware that I appear before this Convention under very embarrassing and difficult circumstances. I should be more or less than a man if I could be insensible to the manifestations of kindness and confidence which I have received so frequently not only from here, but on many occasions in my past life, from my friends and fellow citizens in Virginia. I am, indeed, profoundly sensible of the kindness that has been manifested towards me; but as my friends become more and more kind and confident in me, I feel the duty of dealing with them fairly and honestly increase until it becomes absolutely imperative. I feel myself under obligations to return for this kindness and confidence perfect candor and straight-forward integrity in dealing with them. When I was brought to the notice of this Convention last night I stated at the first opportunity that I was earnestly and honestly convinced that I was not the proper person for this nomination. I said then what, upon more careful and calm consideration, I am satisfied was true and correct, that I am not the man. There is no nomination in this Commonwealth that could be bestowed upon me that I would regard as a higher honor or a more flattering testimonial than the nomination of this Convention. -- None whatever. And I beg to assure my friends that nothing of disinclination for the labor, or the time, or the sacrifices that might be necessary on the campaign mingles in this conclusion to which I have arrived. I am willing to do and suffer anything or everything in such a cause and at such a crisis. [Applause.] But I am persuaded into absolute conviction that I am not the man for the occasion, and I feel bound so to say to this body. In conveying to you the reasons which have induced this conviction on my part, I hope the Convention will indulge me while I make some remarks of a personal character. Whatever of favor I may have gained from the people of Virginia I think is founded to some extent upon some peculiarity of character, temper, and disposition on my part, which while they gain me friends, occasionally leave behind me enemies. I have been ever conscious that at every turn in the history of my life I have been greatly indebted to the kindness and forbearance from friends, who have overlooked faults and mistakes in my public career in the confidence that I meant to do what was honest and right. I have received this marked forbearance and high confidence from friends; but if I am put up as the standard bearer of the Conservative party of Virginia I could not expect such courtesy from our opponents; and every fault and every mistake of my past course would be brought forward, not against me as an individual, but against the party which put me in nomination, and would furnish a means of diverting the attention of the people from the enormities and villainies of the Constitution to the personal motives of the candidate. I have never carefully preserved my record, but I feel convinced of the plain fact that there may be that in it which though my friends would overlook, my enemies would not. I say again, I don't believe I am the man. My friends from Halifax (Mr. Edmunds) and from Pittsylvania (Mr. Sutherlin) have truly presented the views with which I came to this Convention. I don't think that we ought to recognize, as these gentlemen say, the idea of such a thing: but, in the first place, a prudent regard for the exigencies which might arise requires the selection of men who will be ready for any turn things may take. We are going into a contest with a wily and unscrupulous foe. Whatever we can do without a sacrifice of principle, that we are bound to do in this emergency. Now, if there is a sacrifice in principle between the selection of two persons, one who is eligible under the constitutional amendment, and the other is not -- both true to their State -- I cannot see it. I know of no sacrifice of principle in this. -- There would be a sacrifice of self-respect and principle, however, in the selection of a man who could take the iron clad oath. I can readily see a line of demarcation here. But as between two gentlemen, alike true Virginians, who are with us in sentiment, feeling, opinions, and action -- between two such persons one of whom is disfranchised under the constitutional amendment and the other is not. -- I say, I can see no line which divides them. It is a mere question of expediency, involving no sacrifice of principle in any shape that I can see. Now, take this case: I am disfranchised. For what? Not because I held a position referred to by my associate in that act (Mr. S. McD. Moore) in the Confederate Congress; not because I commanded a regiment in the Confederate State army; but because, some twenty-odd years ago, I was an alderman in the town of Staunton.--[Laughter.] That is the ground of my disfranchisement. I could point to men in Virginia who are not disfranchised who have committed higher crimes and offenses than that of being an alderman of the town of Staunton.--Take, for instance, my friend Colonel Withers, who has, I think, committed several larger offenses than that; and General Walker also; yet both these gentlemen, earnest as they are, determined as they are to make resistance to any infringement upon the peace and honor of the State, it so happens have not fallen within the prohibition of any amendment to the Constitution gotten up on purely artificial principles. I see no principle which divides or discriminates between them and me; but I do see expediency in such discrimination. In Georgia, where a gentleman came forward who was obnoxious to the Howard amendment, General Meade -- who, I suppose, is no less respectable than General Schofield -- at once announced that he should not run. Why not? Because he could not hold office if elected, and no votes cast for him would be counted. What was the result? He had to withdraw from the contest. Then came forward General Gordon, a man who had been most conspicuous in the Confederate service -- a young officer who had rendered gallant and distinguished services in the war. -- He came, and was subjected to the same scrutiny, was found not to fall under any constitutional amendment, and was allowed to run, and run he did. There is a precedent. Suppose I was nominated -- accepted the nomination of the Convention, and started upon my travels canvassing, and it was announced to me that I was not a proper candidate, and I should receive from some absolute Yankee soldier or official notice that if I undertook to run General Schofield would have me locked up in the Libby. [Laughter.] I should be placed under circumstances that would be somewhat awkward, and the Convention would be placed in awkward circumstances, and the party also.
It would not do any good to say it was an outrage, because the fact that it was an outrage would make no impression. All impressions from new outrages have been exhausted. They have power, will, and purpose to insult and outrage us in every way they can. This would be giving them a pretext not for a new outrage, but for one already resorted to.
Mr. Menefee -- Could you not say that you were not canvassing for office, but against the Constitution?
Mr. Baldwin -- Yes: and if logic could avail anything against a Yankee, it would do.-- [Laughter.] But we have been trying that long enough. Nothing answers except power, numbers, and force [applause], or the motive of money. [Laugher] As we have neither power, numbers, nor money, there is no use in talking of argument. Suppose, then, that instead of nominating me you nominate some other man. I say nothing of those now before this body. I esteem both highly. Virginia is a large place, and I don't intend to discuss whether either is the right man or not; but suppose you get a man who is not obnoxious to the objection which applies to me, and yet could not take the oath! It could not be said that he was disfranchised under the reconstruction acts, because he is not. If it is said that he cannot take the oath, he can reply that no obligation exists for doing so until elected, and no man can whether he can or not, until that time comes. In that way will be avoided any interference on the part of the military authority. -- There is the difficulty we avoid. It is true, the thing may turn out as my friend from Halifax (Mr. Edmunds) says -- there may be a change of front, a new shuffle and a new deal, and no doubt the cards will be "stocked"; but the question will arise whether a man who is not disfranchised under the constitutional amendment may be competent to hold office -- not merely competent to run, but competent to hold office if elected. I would ask if there is any deviation from principle in this matter? If, in electing a man, you elect a true, honest, sound Virginian, I can see nothing degrading, nothing unworthy, but everything discreet and politic in having regard to this question. We must observe the fact that in this question there are distinctions which will make one man available in all circumstances and another man unavailable under all circumstances. -- These, gentlemen, are my views, and I know they will meet the concurrence of Mr. Stuart, the "brother-in-law," who has been spoken of here. I had determined at the proper time to withdraw his name as well as mine, believing that neither of us were suitable for candidates. To my friends who have shown their kind feelings for me, I can only say again that this fact has but increased my sense of the obligation imposed upon me to deal fairly and honestly with this body; and entertaining these views, I must insist that my name be withdrawn from the nomination. [Applause.]
(Column 06)Summary: Article denouncing the Homestead Provision of the new constituiton as a "humbug."
Origin of Article: Richmond Dispatch
Conservative Mass Meetings
(Column 01)Summary: Article giving a list of scheduled mass meetings in towns throughout the Valley. Gubernatorial candidate Robert E. Withers will be speaking.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The paper declares that any white man who votes for the constitution is a "traitor and miscreant."[No Title]
(Column 02)Summary: Extract from the Enquirer asking Conservatives to redouble their efforts for the upcoming election, lest the Radicals steal a close vote.
Full Text of Article:Gold Run, Placer Co. California
The Enquirer is right in saying that it is all important that the Conservative canvassers, candidates, presses, and party appliances all should rather redouble instead of relaxing their efforts during the next two months. The State can be saved, and will be, but it cannot and will not be unless every man does his duty, and his whole duty. Every single vote now registered should be brought out to the polls, and when the registration lists are re-opened every name should be enrolled which is not now enrolled, but is entitled to be. Our friends must remember that we shall have to overcome not only the negro and scallawag vote really and lawfully polled, but that our victory will have to be so decided and overwhelming that we cannot possibly be cheated out of it in the count. These are plain words, but the times demand plain speaking, and the experience of our fellow citizens further South has shown that the suspicions which our words imply are by no means groundless.
(Column 02)Summary: A reader of the Spectator sends a letter from California praising the newspaper's views.
(Names in announcement: C. C. Pauly)Full Text of Article:[No Title]
April 30th, 1868.
Messrs. R. Manzy & Co., Staunton, Va.:
DEAR SIRS -- I have just been reading your excellent paper of March 24th, and how I wish that every white man in the South could have it to read, and would profit by the excellent advice which it gives.
Some of my friends write me that they take no part in politics, but let matters take their course. In return I write and tell them that, as long as I can walk or speak, I intend to vote against the destroyers of our peace. With you, I hope that every white man who has a spark of honor in him will do his whole duty. I hope this Fall will dethrone the Rump from Vice President to Poundmaster.
The political signs are bright for the Democracy of this State, and we hope to prove it by a good round majority for Pendleton, or some other good Democratic President.
The Spectator has come regularly since my brother subscribed for me. I am so thankful for it. It contains many things of great interest to me. It comes as an old friend and feels a warm welcome. I have been absent from Dear Old Virginia twelve years and five months, and know well how to appreciate a paper which speaks as the Spectator does in favor of the South and against her oppressors.
I think it would be a blessing if "some chosen curse" &c., would "blast" the lives and souls of such old renegade bastards, as J. M. Botts, and some others in the South. The old gray headed traitor, is lost to every sense of honor.
Hoping your good paper may continue its good work, and that it may visit many of its Old Virginia friends now in California, and that the people of the South may soon shake off the tyrant's chains, and be again a happy people. I close by wishing the Spectator folk all the happiness they may desire.
(Column 02)Summary: Extract from the Dispatch urging the men of Virginia to take action to save the State.
Full Text of Article:The Chicago Convention
The exigency and peril of Virginia demand that her sons shall come to her defence with all their might and with all their spirit. All that we hold dear -- the honor and glory of the State -- the peace, order, and dignity of society -- the public welfare and general prosperity of the community -- are at stake. If for their preservation we cannot give our labor and means, then are we unworthy of the blessings of freedom and good government. Men of Virginia, to arms! To the rescue of your honored mother, whose renown is unequaled on this continent! Vindicate your rights, and your title to predominance in public affairs. To these objects, worthy of the noblest exertions, give your hearts and hands with a devotion equal to the exigency, and you will triumph. You will secure peace and prosperity to yourselves, order and dignity to the State, and restore Virginia to her proud eminence among the States of the Union. Fail in this, and public dishonor, private misfortune, State decay, social humiliation and disgrace, must ensue -- and the proud Commonwealth of the Ancient Dominion will decline into insignificance, leaving no trace of her former glory! --Dispatch
(Column 03)Summary: Account of the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
Augusta County Fair
(Column 01)Summary: John B. Baldwin announces that the money has been raised to pay for the fair grounds, and now more is being raised to pay for improvements. The fair will go forward in the fall.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: John B. Baldwin)
(Column 01)Summary: The "fly is in the wheat in portions of this county."[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: Court day brought a large number of people, reapers, mowers, and threshers to Staunton.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: Bolivar Christian and S. Travers Phillips will speak on politics at Hall's School House.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian, S. Travers Phillips)
(Column 01)Summary: The Staunton Musical Association will close the season by performing "Esther" and "Belshazzar's Feast" in the Chapel of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute. Admission is 50 cents.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The county court appointed E. W. Bayly, Rudolph Turk and Robert S. Harnsberger to replace P. O. Palmer, J. M. McCue and S. B. Finley as Directors of the Augusta County Fair.Hon. J. H. Ela of New Hampshire
(Names in announcement: E. W. Bayly, Rudolph Turk, Robert S. Harnsberger, P. O. Palmer, J. M. McCue, S. B. Finley)
(Column 01)Summary: J. H. Ela, member of Congress from New Hampshire, has been on a speaking tour of the state by invitation of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Republican Party. In Staunton he debated A. H. H. Stuart, who the paper declares the unquivocal victor. Ela "was a subject of amusement for the whites and of mortification to the negroes, who felt ashamed of their Congressional Champion. There were several negroes in the audience who could make better speeches and speak better English." Stuart responded with an eloquent speech, "addressed chiefly to the colored portion of the audience."The Old Cemetery
(Names in announcement: J. H. Ela, A. H. H. Stuart)
(Column 02)Summary: The paper praises the ladies of the Episcopal Church for raising money to put an iron fence around their cemetery, the oldest in town. The editors also suggest other needed improvements.The Spirit in Augusta
(Column 02)Summary: Relates signs that show that the people of Staunton are preparing to defeat the proposed state constitution.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
Those efficient speakers who have been so industriously engaged for the past several weeks in making Conservative speeches in nearly every part of this county, report that the people are becoming properly impressed with the imperative duty of rejecting the tax and negro Constitution. They report that those white men who voted for the Convention will vote against the Constitution, as they did not vote for the Convention to frame such an abominable Constitution, and report also that some of the negroes are beginning to appreciate the fact that they too should vote against the Constitution. This good old county, we are assured, will acquit itself nobly on the day of election. The offices of registration will be opened 14 days before the election, when all who failed to register before should be sure to register.
(Column 02)Summary: A number of prominent local conservatives made speeches in towns throughout the county.Memorial Day
(Names in announcement: Col. Bolivar Christian, S. Travers Phillips, Gen. Echols, William Gilman, Col. George Baylor, Y. H. Peyton, Capt. James Bumgardner)
(Column 02)Summary: June 13th will be the day for decorating the graves of "our loved and lost soldiers" in Staunton. The holiday had been postponed because of the impossibility of obtaining flowers sooner.Marriages
(Column 03)Summary: B. F. Cochran and Miss Mary Hall, daughter of Dr. I. N. Hall, were married on May 20th at the residence of the bride's father by the Rev. C. S. M. See. Bride and groom are both from Augusta.Deaths
(Names in announcement: B. F. Cochran, Mary Hall, Dr. I. N. Hall, Rev. C. S. M. See)
(Column 03)Summary: Mrs. Margaret A. Wheeler, wife of Joel Y. Wheeler, died near Hermitage, Augusta County, on May 6th. She was 88 years old.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Margaret A. Wheeler, Joel Y. Wheeler)
(Column 03)Summary: Annie H. Hanger, daughter of H. Miller Hanger, died at the Augusta County residence of her grandfather Col. George C. Robertson on May 14th. She was 12 years old.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Annie H. Hanger, H. Miller Hanger, Col. George C. Robertson)
(Column 03)Summary: James S. Supple died near Greenville on May 15th. He was 34 years old and suffering from pneumonia. "His friends have the consolation of believing his soul is at rest with the Redeemer."Deaths
(Names in announcement: James S. Supple)
(Column 03)Summary: William Kerr, a resident of Staunton, died in Wytheville at the residence of Major Joseph C. Sexton. He was about 70 years old, and suffered a 3 month long illness.
(Names in announcement: William Kerr, Maj. Joseph C. Sexton)Origin of Article: Wytheville Dispatch