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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: July 7, 1868

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-Page 01-

Chesapeake and Ohio Rail Road
(Column 04)
Summary: Letter from "Alleghany" pointing out the advantages of constructing the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The new line will shorten the distance between Augusta and Richmond, decrease freight costs by 25%, stimulate manufacturing, and raise land values.

-Page 02-

National Democratic Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports on the first day's proceedings of the Democratic National Convention in New York.
Gen. Lee and Gen. Grant
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper quotes the New York Herald's opinion that while General Lee won victories through military ability, Grant won through a "stolid strategy of stupidity that accomplishes its object by mere weight." If Grant had had fewer men, the article asserts, he would not have defeated Lee.
Amnesty Proclamation
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that President Johnson has released a proclamation of amnesty for all ex-Confederates not specifically disfranchised by the 14th amendment.
Taxes Under the Proposed Constitution
(Column 02)
Summary: Excerpt from the Dispatch predicting that taxes under the proposed Constitution would be nearly three per cent of the value of all property in the State, and arguing that the effects that this would have on the economy would impoverish property holders and paupers alike.
Full Text of Article:

The Dispatch states that "it is fairly assumed by those who have examined the subject that the aggregate tax paid by the oppressed and impoverished people of Virginia will not be under nine millions of dollars! or nearly three per cent. on the total value of the real and personal property of the State.

With a tax such as this, how can this State recover from its prostration? How can we expect strangers to come amongst us, invest their money, and cast their lot in Virginia? The danger will be that our own people, unable to bear the burden heaped upon them, will be compelled to fly the country.

If this abomination of a Constitution contained any fair principle by which, after its adoption, the reliable and capable population, which pay the taxes, could recover control of the levying of them there might be some hope even should it be forced upon us. But there is no such principle in it. It is a rascally and brutal instrument, which, under the assumption that the great body of the whites are "rebels," secures in the hands of negroes and debased white men all the offices and honors of the government, and therefore the entire administration of public affairs. Moreover, by gerrymandering the State, and basing the apportionment of representatives on the first registration, a majority of twenty-one in the Legislature on joint ballot is given to the negroes."

Here, then, the people of Virginia see the prospect should this infamous Constitution be fastened upon them. Property will be placed at the mercy of paupers. Respectability, Experience, Capacity, Fidelity, and Wisdom will be banished from all influence in the public councils, and the affairs of State will be brought under the rule of Incompetency, Corruption, and Depravity. Cursed with the most loathsome misrule, and burthened beyond their power of endurance, the people must sink down in the scale until they reach an unimaginable depth of poverty and misery. Against this fate the man who will not struggle with all his might deserves a fate no better.

Is this an affair of property holders only? -- Deluded indeed are those who think so. The poor freedmen who are led by the nose by scallawags, carpet-baggers, and the Freedmen's Bureau, are fatally involved in the consequences that must flow from the adoption of the monstrous Constitution which they have helped to frame. If there is no prosperity, there is no work -- if there is no work, there is no money -- if there is no money, there is no means to buy food and clothing. Then, how are they to subsist? They cannot thrive by warring upon property. Destroy the value of property -- break up confidence -- curtail business and occupation, and they will suffer more than property holders. They will be without the means of living, and will have dried up the sources of Charity in having taken from her the wherewithal to be charitable. Robbery will be the last resource, in resorting to which they will afflict the country indeed, but will make for themselves a hell upon earth. Of all men, the negro will be most accursed by that abominable Constitution which fanatics and scoundrels have induced him to frame!

Let the people of Virginia look at this terrible instrument in all its enormity, and if they allow to themselves rest until they have defeated it, then Virginia must, indeed, have lost the breed of noble blood.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Col. John B. Baldwin was appointed president of the Virginia delegation to the Democratic National Convention, and Thomas J. Evans secretary.
(Names in announcement: Col. John B. Baldwin, Thomas J. Evans)
Commencement Exercises for the Wesleyan Female Institute
(Column 03)
Summary: The Wesleyan Female Institute celebrated closing exercises with several addresses from ministers and a musical performance under the direction of Prof. J. H. Hewitt.
(Names in announcement: J. H. Hewitt, Rev. Brooke, Bettie Shafer, Kate Trotter, Sue Foutz, Laura Strasburg, Sidney Taylor, Haywood Trotter, Annie Deffenbaugh, Robert Maupin, Laura Strasburg, Fannie Shafer, Maggie Harris)

-Page 03-

Hands Off!
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper quotes the Lynchburg Virginian in arguing that they would prefer that African Americans ran their own candidates for office rather than making alliances with carpetbaggers. Election of black men to Congress would put Republicans in a bind since their admission might cause a backlash against black suffrage in the North.
Root, Hog, or Die
(Column 02)
Summary: The article quotes the New York Tribune in asserting that after completion of reconstruction, "root, hog, or die," will be the principle of life for African-Americans. There will be no Freedmen's Bureau, and blacks will be left by their so-called northern friends to fend for themselves.
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The article attacks those who insist opposition to Republican rule is useless. Instead, opponents should protest, if only to have their message heard.
Origin of Article: Alexandria Gazette
(Column 05)
Summary: George Harman and Mrs. Martha M. Butterfly, both of Augusta, were married at Waynesboro on June 28th by the Rev. W. R. Stringer.
(Names in announcement: George Harman, Martha M. Butterfly, Rev. W. R. Stringer)
(Column 05)
Summary: Joseph M. Adams of Rockbridge and Miss Sarah G. Richards, daughter of the late George B. Richards, were married near Warm Springs by the Rev. R. H. Mason.
(Names in announcement: Joseph M. Adams, Sarah G. Richards, George B. Richards, Rev. R. H. Mason)
(Column 05)
Summary: William R. Dunlap and Mrs. Blair, both of Augusta, were married at the home of the bride's father near Newport, Augusta County on July 2nd by the Rev. J. O. Miller.
(Column 05)
Summary: Jannie Henry, daughter of James Henry, died of typhoid fever on June 12th.
(Names in announcement: Jannie Henry, James Henry)
(Column 05)
Summary: Franklin J. Hanna died on June 28th of disease contracted while in the Confederate Army. He was 28 years old.
(Names in announcement: Franklin J. Hanna)

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