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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: August 4, 1868

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Shall Virginia be Dumb?
(Column 01)
Summary: Suggests that Virginia should cast its votes for President, even though the Radical Congress has passed a law excluding Virginia from the Electoral College.
Full Text of Article:

We have noticed the fact that the Electoral College Bill was passed over the President's veto. By this bill the Radical Congress would exclude from the Electoral College the electors from Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas -- it would deny to these States any vote in the Presidential election. Shall the voice of Virginia be thus stifled? Shall that State which did more than any other to establish the Government of the United States have no voice in the selection of its Chief Magistrate? Shall Virginians assent to such an outrage? We answer no, NEVER. "The mother of States and Statesman" is not dumb -- she can speak, she should speak, she will speak. She will cast her vote at the Presidential election -- she will choose her electors -- she will express her emphatic condemnation of Radicals and Radical Legislation -- she will do her duty and leave the consequences with Providence. She is chained, she is in the bonds of tyranny, she is pinned to the earth with bayonets, but her spirit is unbroken, her fidelity top principle is unimpaired; she is forbidden to speak, but, denying the authority which issues the interdict, she will speak, and that, too, in a tone deserving of her character, expressive of devotion to liberty and detestation of tyranny.

In thus speaking she complies strictly with letter and spirit of both the Federal and State Constitutions. She stands upon solid ground -- she exercises no doubtful right.

The Constitution of Virginia provides that, in the event the Governor shall fail to appoint Commissioners of election, or if those appointed shall fail to serve, any two freeholders, taking the oath required for the faithful discharge of their duties as such, may act. So that, if Gov. Wells -- so-called -- shall not appoint commissioners, the Constitution provides that the election may be held notwithstanding.

The Democratic Conservative party of this State will nominate and elect their electors. If their votes shall not be counted in the electoral College, the responsibility will rest with the party which excludes them.

If the vote of Virginia shall not be counted, it will not be because it was not cast. The vote of Virginia will be cast, and will be cast in favor of the election of Seymour and Blair electors. The voice of Virginia should be, and will be heard.

Fortitude of Virginians
(Column 01)
Summary: Praises the fortitude of Virginians, who must sit idle and wait for their time to vote, while the Radicals impose unconstitutional and harmful laws upon them.
Full Text of Article:

The fortitude of Virginians is still farther to be tested. If unauthorized Radical legislation be regarded, which we hope, however, will not be the case, they will be denied participation in the struggle which will decide their political fate. Soldiers know that it is more difficult to remain passive in the midst of a hot engagement than to take active part in it. Such is the case with Virginians at this time. The drums beat, the bugle sounds the charge, the conflict is joined, but Virginians must remain mere spectators of the struggle, the result of which will decide whether they are to be free men or the vassals of the worst tyrants that ever disgraced any country. As the Petersburg Index says, "there is nothing so painful to an earnest, brave nature as to be placed in a situation in which he is merely compelled to wait; nothing is so trying as to stand with folded and fettered arms and look on, while a struggle for life and death and all he loves and all he reveres is going on before him. But remember they also serve the good cause who only stand and wait.

But do not fall asleep at your post -- watch, also. The time is coming -- the time is not distant, when every Virginian will take an active part in the contest between the National Democracy and their opponents.

In November our allies will cut their way through to us.

The Radical party have attempted what it is impossible to do. It has attempted to stifle the volition of eight millions of people, and to dragoon them not only into tame and silent submission to their policy, but also into a cheerful surrender of their opinions, and a hearty co-operation with the party which maltreats, insults, and oppresses them.

It has lost the gold opportunity when it might have conciliated the hearts of our people and won their affections by a manly, generous, and truly American policy. But it was unequal to the occasion -- and it is left for the old Democratic party to step forward to the front -- and lead off the march of a free people to glory and to empire. It is already in motion -- it moves this way -- and it will not be long before we will see the head of the columns of the great army which has routed radicalism and comes at once a victor and a deliverer."

(Column 01)
Summary: The paper prints the complements of a northern doctor to Dr. F. T. Stribling, superintendent of the Western Lunatic Asylum. "It is true that the Western Lunatic Asylum of this place is not only one of the best in this country, but one of the best in the world, and its high character and admirable management are due to the talents, skill, humanity and assiduous, devoted attention for a number of years."
(Names in announcement: Dr. F. T. Stribling)
Arms for the "Loyal"
(Column 02)
Summary: Editorial, quoting from the Norfolk Virginia, claiming that, even though the bill intended to arm loyal militias throughout the South has been dropped for the present, it should concern American citizens and show them the extent of Radical tyranny.
Full Text of Article:

The late military bill, intended to place an untold number of repeating rifles in the hands of only the "loyal" citizens of the South, is well calculated, says the Norfolk Virginian, to disturb one's equanimity, even though passed over for the present.

But although it has been postponed, we can not disguise the fact that our government is in the hands of wicked, unprincipled, and designing politicians, whose object is power, and who will not shrink from any means necessary to accomplish their fell designs.

Sumner, Stevens, Butler, and others, from the moment of their entry into the councils of the nation, have superseded the people, their every gesture is a command, and each movement a coup d'etat. They have placed themselves above two branches of government, and the people now feel themselves confronted by a power which menaces their freedom.

But our hope is, that the white men of the North, who according to the instincts of nature, ought to be our friends, will not look with indifference on our present situation, in which their own immediate interests are involved. -- The missile which strikes down the South, will, on its rebound, pierce the heart of the North.

Our friends at the North must see, do see, the design of this infamous bill, which we consider an insult to their understanding as well as a threat to their liberties.

The bill goes over, as we have before said, and in the interval we should protest as one man from the Potomac to the Rio Grand against its iniquities. Do not delude yourselves with the false belief that the scheme is dead. For the present it is only a frozen adder. The reassembling of Congress will warm it into life.

Horatio Seymour
(Column 02)
Summary: Praise for Democratic presidential candidate Horatio Seymour's eloquence and charisma.
Blair's Letter of Acceptance
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper praises Frank Blair's letter accepting the Democratic vice-presidential nomination. "It sweeps away, with a mailed hand and supreme disdain, the flimsy pretexts by which the Radical conspirators would bind the nation while they rivet its chains, and it tears the veil from their half accomplished purpose, and reveals the whole plot in its naked and unblushing deformity."
The Colored Democrats
(Column 03)
Summary: The article takes as an "indication of a return to reason" the presence of 300 African Americans at a Democratic Ward Club procession in Charleston. "The colored people, we think, begin to realize that their true interests lie with those of the white people of the State."
Origin of Article: Charleston Courier
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper reports discontent in the North with the "useless, expensive, and unnecessary" Freedmen's Bureau. "The Radicals have to bear the odium of the continuance of an establishment for supplying the wants or demands of the colored people, while no such 'favors' are extended to white men. That point tells with the white men at the North who are taxed to support the 'Bureau.'"
The Radical Attempt to Rekindle War
(Column 05)
Summary: Editorial from the Richmond Whig. Claims that Radicals wish to see war and riots throughout the South, since that would help them at the polls. In furtherance of this wish, they are passing bills intended to stir up racial conflict in the South.
Origin of Article: Richmond Whig
Full Text of Article:

The Radicals, feeling that they must be everywhere beaten at the polls, intend, if possible, to stir up a new civil war at the South, and thus prevent an election. -- New York World.

There can be no doubt that the policy so successfully tried before of "firing the Northern heart" is the policy once more determined upon. The Radicals would clap their hands joyfully over a general riot in the South, and to this end are endeavoring to foment strife between the white and black race. Such collisions would be heralded as the revival of rebellion and secession, and would furnish the capital so much needed in the conduct of the Radical campaign. The peace and good order that have prevailed in the Southern States under all the circumstances of provocation and irritation under which they have been kept have disappointed and alarmed the Radicals. They want to see the public peace broken and are determined that it shall not be the fault of Congress if it is not violated. The bill that lately passed the Senate for arming the Southern negroes was passed with this view. The bill that passed the House for degrading the military commanders and the provisional governors into cyphers and making the convention mob the ruling power in Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas, looked to the same end. -- Richmond Whig.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The stockholders of Staunton's new Building Association will meet at the Court House to discuss organization.
Firemen's Excursion
(Column 01)
Summary: The Augusta Fire Company, led by Capt. J. H. Walker, made an excursion to Goshen in the company of "gay lads and merry lasses." The party of 200 arrived at their destination "and spent the day in a most joyous and happy manner."
(Names in announcement: Capt. J. H. Walker)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The stockholders of the Valley Railroad met and unanimously re-elected their officers. N. K. Trout chaired the meeting and R. H. Catlett served as secretary. M. G. Harman delivered a report detailing operations for the past year.
(Names in announcement: N. K. Trout, R. H. Catlett, M. G. Harman, Gen. Echols, Bell)
(Column 02)
Summary: Carrie Riley, infant daughter of W. J. D. and Caroline Riley of Staunton, died on July 23rd.
(Names in announcement: Carrie Riley, W. J. D. Riley, Caroline Riley)
(Column 02)
Summary: Joseph B. Scott died on July 20th in his Augusta County residence. He was 67 years old.
(Names in announcement: Joseph B. Scott)
(Column 02)
Summary: Miss J. Annis Newham died of consumption on July 27th at the Waynesboro residence of her father, J. W. C. Newham. She was 22 years old.
(Names in announcement: J. Annis Newham, J. W. C. Newham)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Mary A. Bare died in Staunton on May 13th. She was 57 years old. "Her sufferings during her protracted illness were very severe, but were borne with unmurmuring patience and christian resignation to the will of God."
(Names in announcement: Mary A. Bare)

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