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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: August 11, 1868

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports that the people are "tired out with Radical fanaticism", and predicts a Democratic victory in the race for the Presidency.
Full Text of Article:

From all parts of the country we hear but one report -- the people are rising in their might, determined to drive from power the horde of speculators, fanatics, office-seekers, carpet-baggers, and negroes. A gentleman whose position gives him the very best information, declared to the editor of the Norfolk Journal that he believed that Seymour and Blair would receive fully two hundred electoral votes. There has not been, since the time of Gen. Harrison, anything like the enthusiasm that now exists. The people are tired out with Radical fanaticism, imposture and extravagance. They had reached that point where the masses cry out "anything for a change; for we can't be worse off than we are." Whenever the people get to such a pitch as that good-bye to the party that is in power -- it has to pack up and travel.

Our Town--Its Prospects and its Wants
(Column 01)
Summary: Describes the condition of Augusta's economy, claiming that strong agricultural and manufacturing sectors, combined with a superb educational system, have made Staunton prosperous. Suggests improvements in flood control, transportation, and housing as ways to extend Augusta County's prosperity.
Full Text of Article:

It must be a source of pride and satisfaction to every citizen of Staunton and Augusta County, to witness the rapidity with which the limits and the business of the town are extending. In all directions new buildings are going up, and old ones are being remodeled, and adapted to new uses. Our mechanisms are taxed to the utmost of their ability, and are yet not able to meet the demands upon them. Immigration of valuable citizens, from the North and the South, and from Eastern Virginia, is flowing into our town, and the demand for dwelling and business houses, cannot be supplied.-- Many of these new-comers are of the most refined and polished classes, who will contribute charming additions to our social circles -- others are active, intelligent, energetic business men, who will add largely to our material wealth. -- It is satisfactory to know, that there is nothing fictitious in this apparent prosperity. It rests on a substantial basis. The agricultural interests of the Valley, have been re-established on a firm foundation. At the close of the war, our people, and especially our gallant young soldiers, who had won so much renown, under Jackson, Jeb Stuart, and Mosby, threw aside their arms, and went to work with a will. The results of this wise and patriotic conduct are now visible. The ravages of the war have been repaired -- barns, mills, and dwellings have been rebuilt, and the traces of rapine obliterated.-- The close of the war, found us without a currency, and our country stripped of those productions that bring money. But there was no giving way to despondency. Males and females had, during the war, become accustomed to privation. All submitted with good grace to the necessities of the times. They lived frugally, and practised economy in every department. In the progress of time, bountiful crops rewarded their industry. With the proceeds the farmers bought labor-saving implements and machinery, to supply the loss of the negro, and made wise investments in concentrated fertilizers. By these means, the productions of the country have been greatly augmented, and we doubt if there have ever been such bountiful crops raised in the Valley, as there have been during the present year. Agriculture is the true basis of the prosperity of all interior countries. When the farmers flourish, all other classes share their good fortunes. Our farmers are now eminently prosperous.-- Their crops of wheat, rye, oats, and corn, potatoes and hay are abundant. The pastures are luxuriant, and everything is in profusion except fruit. This bountiful supply of the good things of life, fills the pockets of our farmers, and enables them to give activity to trade and manufactures, and hence the prosperity of our town, which is situated in the heart of this favored region.

Another source of the prosperity of Staunton is, in its admirable schools, males and females. There is no place in the State, in which young men can be more thoroughly prepared for the University, and our first class Colleges, than in the Schools of Professor Powers, and the Staunton Academy.

Staunton is now the centre of female education in the South. Three of the principal religious denominations, the Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist, have large and flourishing schools here, under the management of able principals, assisted by corps of highly educated professors. These schools are all liberally patronized, and we hope, before long, that the Baptists and Catholics, will follow the good examples which have been set them, and establish first class female schools in our community.

Besides these larger Institutions we have the excellent family schools of Mrs. Harman and Mrs. Hanson, which are already favorably known to the public.

The location of Staunton, midway between the University and Washington College, and the Va. Military Institute -- the salubrity of its climate -- its exemption from all malarial diseases and the high moral and religious tone of its society, must strongly commend it to parents who are seeking a residence, with a view to the education of their children, or who wish to send their children to school.

These noble and munificent charitable institutions, the institutions, the Western Asylum, and the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, also contribute in no small degree to the prosperity of the town, not only by the market which they afford, but by reason of the number of persons they attract to the neighborhood.

So much for the elements of our prosperity. But all these would not avail, without the enterprise, intelligence, and activity of our merchants and mechanics. Agriculture produces the raw material of wealth. Manufactures work them up into available shapes, and commerce distributes and converts them into money. We are fortunate in having skillful, energetic, and industrious artisans and sagacious, enterprising, and far-sighted merchants. These classes have already increased the business of the town four-fold, over what it was before the war. And there is still room for more.

So much for the sources of our prosperity. A word in regard to our wants.

We require more houses, for residences and business purposes. We ought to be prepared to welcome and to accommodate all who come. The more the merrier. Business begets business, and competition is the life of trade.

We want also improvements in our streets within the town and in our roads leading to the town. We want more convenient means of access to the Railroad Depot, to which all the heavy trade naturally tends. Now there is but a single approach to it, by Augusta Street -- which is insufficient to meet the demands of commerce. Let new avenues be opened to relieve this single thoroughfare which is often blocked by wagons and other vehicles. The opening of these new avenues, East and West of Augusta Street will render accessible new suites for business houses near the R.R. These will soon be improved, and the taxes on the new buildings will soon renumerate the corporation for the outlay. Let our city fathers look to this.

The County Court should also make good roads to the remote parts of the county. Nothing facilitates commerce and intercourse so much as good roads. The Court, at its last term took an important step in this direction in ordering a valuable change in the road leading to New Hope. Better grades and a little work on the roads leading to Staunton will draw the trade of the whole county to this central point. Instead of grades of 7 and 10 degrees let us have them brought down to 3. -- A little engineering skill will accomplish this, at a small cost. We cannot do all at once, but we should commence the system and go by degrees. Then farmers can haul twice as much on the improved road as they could on the old one, and in marketing their crops one trip will accomplish as much as two do now. What will the County Court say -- or rather, what will they do?

There is another important want to which we invite the attention of the Common Council.

Before the war the Council, to save the upper part of the town from freshets and overflow widened and deepened the channel of the creek from Main Street up to Mr. Garber's foundry. The recent flood demonstrated the wisdom of that improvement. If it had not been made the flat part of the town would have been submerged and the damage would have exceeded the whole cost of the work.

But the council has not gone far enough. -- They should continue this improvement from the Foundry of Parkins, Nelson & Co. to some point below the Gas Works. The recent flood has demonstrated the necessity of this continuation of the valuable improvement above referred to. Justice to the property holders in the lower part of the town demands this much. They were taxed to protect the property of those above them on the creek, and it is but fair that those who have been protected, should now contribute to save the property of those lower down. We earnestly invite the attention of the town authorities to this important and pressing necessity.

Finally, we want the Chesapeake and Ohio R. R. This is our greatest want and we put it last to cap the climax.

We want the people of Augusta to give their sanction and assistance to this great work which swells into national importance. We want to see the work commenced and pressed with energy. We want the short line to Richmond, which will bring us within 100 miles of that city. We want access to the coal, iron, timber, and salt of West Va. When that is accomplished, we will have scores of iron works springing up from the Blue Ridge to the Alleghany. We will have cheap fuel and countless factories for the manufacture of machinery, farming implements, furniture, and wool, and cotton, rising like magic. We will have 100 trains per day sweeping along our Rail Road diffusing wealth and prosperity in their progress. Thousands will pass through our country who would, otherwise, never visit it, and when they once see it who can doubt that they will be attracted to it? Then our population will be increased, our lands enhanced in value, and new avenues to wealth and prosperity opened. Staunton would soon have a population of 10,000 and Augusta 50,000.

Let our people then, one and all, vote for the subscription to the R. R. They may rest assured that the completion of that road would be worth more to the country than the richest gold mine of California. The cost to them would be but a trifle and would soon be refunded over and over again, in diminished freights, increased facilities to market, enhanced value of lands, and the general stimulus to industry.

(Column 02)
Summary: Quoting from the Baltimore Gazette, reports that Republicans have denounced the Democrats as a revolutionary party, but have done so only to divert attention from the Radical's unconstitutional and revolutionary acts.
Full Text of Article:

The Baltimore Gazette says that the Democratic party is denounced as revolutionary because, forsooth, at the recent Convention at New York General Wade Hampton suggested, and the committee promptly embodied in the Democratic platform, the declaration that "the Reconstruction acts are revolutionary, unconstitutional and void." Does not every one know that they are so? Was it not evident during the late session of Congress that the Radicals themselves were alarmed lest the Judiciary should decided that all the measures of Reconstruction were, as Thaddeus Stevens himself admitted them to be "outside of the Constitution," and therefore void and of no effect? If they had not satisfied themselves in respect to the decision of the Court, why was a bill passed suddenly, taking from the Court the right of jurisdiction in such cases? Why did the Court itself, with that miserably weak subservience to the interests of its party which has brought it to well-deserved shame, defer a decision until December upon the only case that would have settled the question as to whether the Reconstruction acts were constitutional or not?

Who that looks upon the present condition of the Southern States doubts that all the measures of the Radicals, in respect to them, have been revolutionary? What warrant is there in the Constitution for military satraps? How could States which were declared to be in the Union during the war, be out of the Union after the war had ended? How could the States that ratified the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery be otherwise than States entitled to representation in Congress? The imposition of negro suffrage upon the ten States south of the Potomac, by a mere Congressional edict, was also of itself a measure in the highest degree revolutionary. The recognition of that right in Congress would establish the revolution as a fixed fact, and would leave all States hereafter at the mercy of a controlled despotism.

The leaders of the Radical faction were the very men who forced the war on those whom now, even after three years of peace, they denounce and disfranchise as rebels. They deliberately drew the fire of the batteries in Charleston harbor; and by fraud, deceit, and treachery, they roused at the North that storm of passion which cost the two sections half a million of lives. They have impoverished ten Southern States, a large class of untaxed bond-holders, burthened by the masses of the people with a debt equal to one sixth of the entire wealth of the country and, through the agency of direct and indirect taxation, they have absorbed a large portion of the wages of the mechanic and the laborer.

It is the great mission of the Democratic party to restore, not to revolutionize; to reconstruct, not to pull down; to reaffirm the doctrine of State rights wherever those rights do not conflict with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, and to build up new barriers, if need be, for the protection of the people against the tyranny of those who, whilst professing to be servants, arrogate to themselves the authority of masters. This cry of "Stop thief," on the part of the Radicals, is a trick as old as knavery. It can deceive no one who has followed, step by step, the usurpations of the Radical party, and who know that its custom has been, and still is, to cloak its own revolutionary designs by imputing revolutionary designs to others.

Gov. Seymour's Letter of Acceptance
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Summary: Letter of Horatio Seymour accepting the Democratic nomination for president. He attacks the Republicans for greedily grasping power with little regard for the wishes of the people.

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[No Title]
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Summary: The executive committee of the Augusta County Bible Society will meet in the home of George P. Baker.
(Names in announcement: George P. Baker)
[No Title]
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Summary: George Simmerman died of the effects of a broken leg. He was 80 years old, and broke his leg after being kicked by a horse.
(Names in announcement: George Simmerman)
Patent Churn Power
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Summary: W. H. Waddell and L. Waddell of Churchville have patented a machine for powering upright dasher churns that make better butter because of slower action.
(Names in announcement: W. H. Waddell, L. Waddell)
Mechanics' Building Association
(Column 01)
Summary: The new Building Association met and elected P. B. Hoge president. A number of other officers were chosen.
(Names in announcement: P. B. Hoge, James Kerr, William A. Burke, E. W. Bayley, W. C. Eskridge, W. H. H. Lynn, W. H. Gorman, S. H. Hilb, J. C. Marquis, E. M. Cushing, James A. Piper)
The Flood
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Summary: Heavy rains caused Lewis's Creek in Staunton to flood, destroying gardens and carrying away animals along its banks. No people were injured. Damage is estimated at $5,000.
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Summary: The paper announces that the Gas Company will lower prices between 33 and 50 cents, depending on demand. The editors encourage people to abandon candles and dangerous kerosene oil lamps, and to begin using gas. If enough do so, the price could go as low as $3 per 100 feet, half the present price.
Moffett's Creek Marble Company
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Summary: S. M. Campbell, secretary of Moffett's Creek Marble Company, has issued a pamphlet educating people on the business. The company produces pure white American marble. The main quarry is located on the road half-way between Staunton and Lexington. The company also owns quarries on Christian's Creek and Moffett's Creek.
(Names in announcement: S. M. Campbell, A. H. H. Stuart, Prof. E. A. Aiken, F. Aug. Savin, W. H. Archer, Amos F. Musselman, John B. Baldwin, Echols, Bell, Catlett, W. S. Teter)
(Column 02)
Summary: Judge Nick Cleary of Washington, D. C., and Miss Catherine McMahon of Staunton were married at St. Francis Church by the Rev. Father Weed on August 4th.
(Names in announcement: Nick Cleary, Catherine McMahon, Fr. Weed)
(Column 02)
Summary: Benjamin Franklin Hupman, infant son of John A. and Isabella Hupman died on July 30th. He was 19 months old.

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