Staunton Spectator: June 9, 1868Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Letters of Acceptance
(Column 03)Summary: Acceptance letter of Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax for the Republican nomination.The Constitution
(Column 05)Summary: An article from the Charlottesville Chronicle, arguing against those who would vote for the state constitution because they fear that Congress will simply impose a worse alternative. Claims that the Convention has already produced the worst possible constitution, because it will lead to universal suffrage, improper county elections, and mixed schooling.
Full Text of Article:
Occasionally you hear some poor, timid, whining wretch suggest, "if we do not take this, they may put something worse" on us.--Well--let them put "something worse" on us!
What else can they put on us? They can put us to the sword, and is that any worse? It is better if we should have to continue any long time under such a state of things that will exist when the proposed Constitution goes into operation.
"Something worse." Here is a State in which the Whites number 740,000, and the Blacks some 520,000. The whites outnumber the blacks more than 200,000. Now let us see how the State is to be governed under this "Constitution." It would be bad enough if the Blacks constituted only a potential element in the government of the State. But let us see how things are "fixed" under this "Constitution" --which, we are told, "might" be "worse."
First, the Negroes have a majority of twenty-one in the Legislature. This in a State where the whites are to the blacks as 7 to 5. They have the Legislature by an irresistible majority to begin with. They can pass what laws they please. They can tax at pleasure. Of some three millions to be raised under the Constitution by taxation, it is estimated that about $40,000 will come out of the negroes.
Secondly, they have allowed all negroes to vote, even paupers. They have disfranchised some 15,000 white votes. All negroes are eligible to office. There is no qualification whatever.
Thirdly, the counties are cut up into Townships, and the Townships into Road and School districts. With two exceptions, all county officers of every sort (some two hundred, perhaps, in Albemarle) are to be elected by popular vote. The negroes would have about two thirds of these officers. In Louisa, they would have all. In Buckingham, across the river, they would have all. In Orange, they would have all. On the Southside of the James River, in nearly every county, they would have all. As they would lay the taxes in the Legislature, so they would lay the taxes in the counties where they ruled. They would build school-houses and poor-houses to be paid for by the whites. We should have negro sheriffs, negro constables, negro magistrates, negro supervisors, negro assessors, negro collectors, negro school trustees, negro overseers of the poor, negro overseers of the roads -- in the towns, negro mayors, negro councilmen, negro sergeants, negro policemen.
Just here: at present a proportion of white scallawags will get office; but when they have made a sure thing of it, do you suppose they are going to bother themselves with mean white folks? Do you suppose that the negroes are going to vote for a white man to represent them, when they know that they can safely elect a negro? The Legislature of South Carolina just elected stands 64 whites to 92 blacks.
Fourthly: They thus have the Legislature, and a majority of the counties and towns -- and we have not yet come to the Test Oath. By this oath out of the 2700 white males in this county, twenty one years of age, 2690 are excluded from office. Thus the whites, at one sweep, are pushed out of the government altogether -- and we are governed entirely by the negroes. We can vote, but we must vote for a negro: so that in reality, we can neither hold office nor vote, because there is no voting unless there is some choice.
"Afraid of something worse?" You mean hound, what could be worse? If the Federal Government proposes to cut away the tail of your cat, and to remove the seat of your breeches, and to make you pass through life in these accoutrements -- would you "accept" it for fear they might put something "worse" on you?
We have said nothing of "mixed schools." They are going to have schools, and a plenty of them, and you are going to be made to pay for them, if your property does not lose all value. With twenty-one majority in the Legislature and the whole matter remitted by the Constitution to the Legislature, what is to prevent them from having mixed schools? Perhaps they wouldn't put mixed schools on you? You admit you are at their mercy -- the tender mercies of Lewis Lindsay and Bayne and Peter Jones with all the power in their hands.
But if we do not adopt the Constitution, "Congress will put it on us." Then, let Congress do the foul deed. Are you going to jump into the well of a privy, because if you don't jump there freely, somebody may throw you in?
You do not know that Congress will put the instrument on us. The State, if admitted into the Union, might, and could, vote for the Democratic candidate for the Presidency. Will Congress help it to do so?
Again, if we ratify such a Constitution, will the Northern people help us to get rid of it? -- Will they not say -- "Oh, they voted for it -- it can't be so bad!" -- Charlottesville Chronicle.
Grant's Letter of Acceptance
(Column 01)Summary: Mocks Grant's letter of acceptance of his nomination for President. Claims that the letter proves that Grant is ignorant and uncaring.
Full Text of Article:Conservative Mass Meetings
We publish on the first page, as a part of the history of the times, the letters of acceptance of Gen. Grant and Mr. Colfax. Those who expected much from Grant will be disappointed, for he has furnished another illustration of the mountain's laboring and bringing forth a mouse. He is a small man intellectually, and but small things should be expected of him.
As the Lynchburg News says, "Gen. Grant is unwilling to declare his opinion as to any of the vexed questions which disturb and divide the public mind. He appears without any policy and platform of principles. He openly avows that he has no principles and does not recognize any great principles of right, in themselves immutable and immortal. According to Grant, the fickle voice of the people alone regulates government policy, dictates to the administration and expounds the law. And, with a degree of shameless subserviency, utterly unparalleled, Gen. Grant offers to be the mere tool of the party in power, to execute their behests, without remonstrance, and to oppose no policy of his own against "the will of the people." It is this mere brainless automaton who aspires to the chair once occupied and adorned by Washington, Madison and Jackson -- by the great statesman and patriots of the better days of the Republic, when public men led and controlled public sentiment, and did not blindly follow in its wake.
The negroes will not fail to remark that the chosen champion of the Radical party ignores them wholly in his formal declaration of principles. There is not the slightest allusion to negro suffrage, negro equality or rights in the whole of the letter. While he avows his adhesion to the platform of the Chicago Convention, and praises the harmony and patriotism of its proceedings, the wrongs and claims of the African race are not even most distantly and casually referred to. It thus appears plainly and palpably that the Republican party has dropped the negro, and prudently retired from the advanced position it recently occupied in regard to negro equality. It is necessary negroes should be permitted to vote in the South, to overcome the solid opposition of the Southern whites to the Radical programme. It is conceded to the negro here, not as a right that belongs to him, but because of the requirements of party interests. In the North, among his pretended friends, he does not exercise the suffrage; and Gen. Grant, as the selected leader of the Radical party, endorses the platform which recognizes and approves his continued disfranchisement.
Grant's simplicity and ignorance are so broadly displayed in this letter, that all intelligent Radicals, if any such there be, must doubtless be ashamed of their leader and representative man. A few more confessions of servility and exposures of stupidity will disgust this whole country with Radicalism and its chief exponent. If the Conservative opposition will only select an acceptable and strong candidate to confront Grant, there can be no doubt of the result. The American people are hardly ready to stupefy themselves by electing to the highest office of the nation a man who is wholly ignorant of the constitution and the primary principles of republican government.
(Column 01)Summary: Col. Robert E. Withers, conservative candidate for governor of Virginia, will address the people at mass meetings throughout the Valley, including Staunton on June 17th.District No. 1
(Column 01)Summary: General Stoneman is succeeding General Schofield as Commandant for District No. 1. "He has been for some time in command of the sub district of Petersburg, and his administration of affairs and his dealings with the people there have been satisfactory, so far as we are aprised. He is said to be a conservative in his political views, liberal in disposition and fair-minded in judgement and action. If such be truly his character, we have reason to congratulate ourselves on his accession to command. A gentleman with the qualities and traits ascribed to him can have no trouble with the people of Virginia, nor they with him."Who Can't Take the Test Oath
(Column 02)Summary: Argues that all who voted for candidates for elected office in the Confederate States cannot take the test oath. Encourages Virginians to refuse to take the test oath, and thus to preserve their honor.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
In discussing this question, the Lynchburg Virginian says with truth that "no person who voted during the war for municipal or county officers, for members of the State legislature, or for Congress, to do what it was well known they were all pledged to do, and did actually do, in the interests of the rebellion, can say that they did not "countenance" the rebellion, and gave "no aid and comfort," and did not "keep an appearance" of sympathy (which the word countenance signifies) with rebellion. Voting was a voluntary act, purely. No man was compelled to vote during the war, any more than one is compelled to vote now. A man may not have fought; he may not have given a dollar except in taxes; he may have held no office; but if he voted for those who did vote supplies for our armies, in any of the offices above named -- thus exercising the authority delegated to them by the individual voters -- he cannot say, "I did nothing for the war." The plea is untenable; it is false. He did enough to implicate him in the guilt of his agents, and cannot take the test oath. If one authorizes or instructs an agent to do for him what he cannot well do himself, he is responsible, in law, for the acts of his agent. This is a clear and indisputable proposition of law, and is received as such the world over.
If it be urged, as we have heard alleged in extenuation of such acts, that it was necessary to vote to keep organized governments in the South, we answer that, the governments organized here during the war are denounced in the test oath as "pretended governments," "pretended authority, hostile and inimical to the United States." They certainly were "hostile and inimical to the United States" during the period named, and all who voted to constitute and sustain them are in the same category. This excuse will not even palliate the offence of voting; for, if all who now allege that they had no sympathy with the rebellion and "did nothing," had refrained from voting, there would have been enough to vote for all the candidates for office, and the same number elected to keep the wheels of government in motion. We would have had a government if none had such had voted for agents to carry it on. This pretext, therefore, cannot avail.
We remark, in conclusion, that our object is to enlighten, not to persecute. We wish to preserve a healthy public sentiment among Virginians, and to keep them from doing that which will be a reproach to them and their children, and sink their manhood in the estimation of the better men with whom we were lately engaged in deadly strife. We have conversed with Federal officers, men who fought gallantly on their side during the war, who have admitted that, had they lived South, they would, in all probability, have espoused our side of the question. They have, at the same time, evinced a feeling of contempt for the men who were willing to swear, or had sworn, that, virtually, they had no sympathy with their own section during the terrible ordeal through which it passed. If they could really say so, they ought to be ashamed to avow it.
We will trust that the great body of the Virginia people will prove that they deserve the respect, at least, of the gallant men who fought us during the four years of war, and that they will not meanly give the lie to General Schofield's declaration, made in the late convention, to the effect that respectable, capable men enough could not be found in Virginia to carry on the government under this odious and infamous test oath. We are jealous for the honor of Virginia, since that is all that is left us now, and we implore our fellow citizens not to seal their own degradation and cut themselves off from the sympathies and respect of those whose good opinion is worth infinitely more than the paltry baubles or emoluments of office.
(Column 02)Summary: The paper argues that the presence of African Americans in the South Carolina legislature proves that the people of that state have been forced to "drain the bitterest cup of degradation." The only way to avoid a similar fate in Virginia is to vote down the Constitution.[No Title]
(Column 03)Summary: A call to action from the Petersburg Express, using the threat of "negro rule" to inspire Virginians to canvass and advertise for Conservatives.
Full Text of Article:Col. Withers and Gen. Walker
WHO (says the Petersburg Express,) IS TO RULE VIRGINIA? WHITE MEN OR NEGROES? This is the great issue. VIRGINIANS, AWAKE? Lay aside this criminal apathy. AROUSE THE PEOPLE! CIRCULATE THE DOCUMENTS! CANVASS EVERY MAN AT PRECINCT. Your enemies are busy and at work. They will leave no stone unturned to effect their vile schemes. Every incentive which can excite to action the sordid and depraved -- self, avarice, and hate, -- now quickens the energies of radicalism. Let patriotism, inspiring Virginians with an energy at once determined and unconquerable, rally our broken forces, and then, beyond doubt, we shall put to flight "the armies of the aliens." VIRGINIANS, AWAKE!
(Column 03)Summary: The paper praises Col. Robert E. Withers, conservative candidate for governor, as "the noble and gallant standard-bearer of the white men's party." He will be speaking in Staunton on the 17th, and the editors urge strong attendance. Gen. Walker, candidate for Lieut. Governor, will join him.[No Title]
(Column 03)Summary: The article asserts that the Republicans secured victory through fraud in Washington D. C.'s municipal elections. "The election was carried through importing negroes, who behaved badly after the election. They killed one white man and broke into and pillaged a number of houses."Mr. Lincoln's Opinion
(Column 03)Summary: Article presenting quotes from Lincoln during his debates with Douglas suggesting he was never in favor of equal rights for African Americans.
Origin of Article: Norfolk Virginian
(Column 01)Summary: A conservative public meeting will be held at Shiloh School House on Saturday.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The ladies of Staunton's Presbyterian congregation raised $750 at their fair.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The paper urges citizens to attend the proceedings of the Memorial Association on Saturday.Strawberry Feast
(Column 01)Summary: The ladies of the Lutheran Church will hold a Strawberry Feast in the Masonic building on Friday.Institutions of Staunton
(Column 01)Summary: General Schofield sent Dr. Simmons, a member of his medical staff, to inspect Staunton's Institutes for the Insane and the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. He declared them "not only a credit to the State but to the nation."[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The Executive Committee of the Augusta County Bible Society will meet at the Virginia Insurance Office on June 15th.Closing Exercises
(Column 01)Summary: The Augusta Female Seminary will hold closing exercises that will include musical entertainment, presentation of diplomas, and a speech by Rev. Edgar Woods of Charlottesville.Variety Springs
(Column 01)Summary: The paper extols the virtues of the Variety Springs, 15 miles west of Staunton, for their pleasant character and "curative powers." They will be open for visitors on June 15th.Ladies' Memorial Association. Memorial Day. Saturday, June 13th, 1868.
(Column 02)Summary: Program for the Ladies' Memorial Association's Memorial Day ceremony. There will be musical presentations, addresses, and a procession.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Rev. John L. Clarke, Rev. George B. Taylor, Rev. Frank Bowman, Col. Christian, Maj. H. M. Bell, Maj. Hanger, Capt. Bumgardner, Capt. Cochran, Capt. Catlett, Col. J. B. Baldwin, Col. M. G. Harman, Gen. John Echols, Gen. R. D. Lilley, Col. J. H. Skinner, Col. A. W. Harman, Col. J. D. Lilley, Col. H. I. Williams, Capt. Hotchkiss, Capt. Bayley, Maj. A. Kinney, Capt. Waters, Capt. Arnall, Maj. Newton, Capt. Pierce)
(Column 04)Summary: Jacob H. Baily and Mrs. M. S. Almarode, both of Augusta, were married on May 30th by the Rev. A. A. J. Bushong.Marriages
(Column 04)Summary: William Shumake and Miss Martha A. Ross, both of Mt. Sidney, were married on June 4th by the Rev. J. J. Engle.Deaths
(Names in announcement: William Shumake, Martha A. Ross, Rev. J. J. Engle)
(Column 04)Summary: Matthias Gayhart died near Hebron Church on May 26th. He was 84 years old.
(Names in announcement: Matthias Gayhart)
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