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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: August 18, 1868

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The Valley Railroad
(Column 01)
Summary: Editorial in favor of the construction of the Valley Railroad, despite the heavy cost involved.
Full Text of Article:

The estimated cost to build the Valley Rail-road from Harrisonburg to Salem is about $4,000,000. The State of Va., no longer subscribes its three fifths of the cost out of the State at large, hence the whole amount must be raised by the people directly interested, viz.: the three counties along the road. The population to Augusta would be about $1,500,000. And yet only the upper end of this county is particularly interested, and that end is reported to be opposed to county subscriptions to Railroads.

Will Baltimore build it? The city already has, through the Orange Road, a railroad route into the Valley via Lynchburg to Salem, also via Blue Ridge Tunnel to Staunton, via Manassas Gap to Strasburg and to Harrisonburg and via Harper's Ferry to Winchester. Thus grasping the whole Valley with iron fingers.-- The expenditure of $4,000,000 more will give her no compensating additional advantage, unless it should become necessary to secure her a continuous route, throughout the Valley, complete to Salem.

But the law as it now stands forbids the commencement of the Valley road to Salem until the Chesapeake and Ohio Road is finished.-- Hence Baltimore could not build the Valley Road even if she was thereby to get any advantage for her outlay. And we are told that unless Augusta votes her proportion of the subscription to the Chesapeake and Ohio Road, it will not soon -- if ever -- be "finished."

WHEN the Central line is complete to the Ohio River, and is pouring its teeming tide of freight and travel in its hundred trains a day across this Valley, then Baltimore may well afford to extend Manassas as far as Staunton to tap the rich stream, and thence onward as she may by law then do, to Salem.

Thus when Augusta votes her subscription, and secures the amount needed to make sure the building of the road to the Ohio, at once will there arise an occasion for Baltimore to move promptly to secure herself the advantages of the Valley connection. And not until then. It will be the live coal on the terrapin's back. And thus only, it seems to us, can the present generation hope to realize the long cherished dream of the "Valley Railroad."

A Railroad Tax
(Column 01)
Summary: Describes the cost of freight to Richmond as a tax on farmers selling their products in that city, and argues in favor of the subscription to the Central railroad, which will involve the construction of a short track to Richmond.
Full Text of Article:

The farmer in Henrico receives for his crop in Richmond precisely the same price that the Augusta farmer receives for the same articles; but the Augusta farmer has had to pay the railroad its freight charges to place his crop along side the Henrico farmer, who pays no such charge -- thus the amount of this charge represents a tax upon the one farmer, and a gain to the other, and the Augusta farmer will find it to his interest to reduce these freight charges in every possible way in order to relieve his products of this tax.

Now this tax is exactly proportioned to the distance on the railroad transporting to market, the charges being so much by the mile. If then the Central Railroad is shortened 31 miles -- as is proposed by building the "short track" to Richmond, this tax is reduced nearly one-fourth on all the produce sent from Augusta; and also in like ratio on all merchandise &c., transported into Augusta and purchased by consumers here.

The total of freight, received at and sent from the seven depots in Augusta, in 1867, was, in round numbers, 55,000 tons -- at the usual charges per mile of freights, the saving of 31 miles on this tonnage would save, in one year, to the county $65,100.00! Of course this total tonnage for 1867 was not all through freights, but it illustrates the argument. The annual report does not give the details to enable the writer to calculate exactly. The tax then for transporting this Augusta freight of 1867 over 31 miles of unnecessary length of road was $65,100.00 for that single year!

The total number of passengers going from, and also arriving at these seven Augusta depots, in 1867, is reported at, in round numbers 33,000; at the usual passenger fare the saving of the 31 miles each way would amount to $92,070.00! If then the travel and tonnage of Augusta in 1867 had moved over the whole line to Richmond and back, it would have been saved by the short track an otherwise unnecessary tax of $157,170.00 for that single year!

The condition of the subscription by Richmond and other counties, is that the short track shall be built promptly. If Augusta votes her $300,000 in 1868 -- it is estimated that the tax thereon she may have to levy payable January 1870, will be $6,000.00 -- doubling the next year and so on for four years.

Now the seven Depots in Augusta sent through to Richmond, in 1867, 28,325 barrels of flour and 20,410 bushels of wheat: the saving of the charge on the unnecessary 31 miles around my Gordonsville on the wheat crop of 1867, would have paid the county tax for the first year's subscription, and the saving on the rye, oats, hay, and even the 1,000,000 pounds of bacon and butter sent that year from the seven depots would have paid it over and over again, and would have put the Augusta farmer on a more equal chance with the Henrico man for profit on his produce.

If then Augusta by voting the subscription secures the saving of freight charges on 31 miles to market -- she will while the tax is being levied actually more than pay it off each year, by this saving, and have it as clear profit ever afterwards.

If Augusta fails to vote the sum asked of her, the Chesapeake railroad falls through -- the Central Railroad cannot afford to build the short track to carry off only the Valley freights, which it now carries on its single track and makes greater profit because carrying it the 31 miles; hence it is not in the interest of the Central to build the short track until the road is extended to the Ohio, when, and when only, it will be necessary and to the company's interest to build a second track from the Valley and this by the short route to Richmond.

Work to be Done
(Column 02)
Summary: An editorial encouraging white employers to refuse employment to members of "secret leagues", Radical organizations that create conflict in the South. Also encourages young men to go out and work in various professions, even though this work may not be easy.
Full Text of Article:

It has been capable of demonstration from the commencement of our "reconstruction troubles" that we have been harassed and injured, political and socially, more by the nefarious influences of the secret societies instituted among the negroes by Radical emissaries than by all other means put together. -- Under one name or another, but generally under the name of the "Union League," the negroes have been segregated into organized bodies, whose subject was avowedly to control their votes, but whose practices and teachings have produced numberless crimes and corruptions among this ignorant people. Now, when there is a gangrene upon the physical body, a wise physician will allow its excision. These secret leagues are a gangrene upon the body of the community, and they ought to be exterminated. Perhaps not one white man in a thousand will dissent from this opinion because all have suffered by their existence in various ways -- mainly domestic. The remedy is found in the same relation in which the greatest evil has been done -- domestic. The lull in the political contest in Virginia reduces all our questions for the time to the domestic area, and it is upon that field that we may now fight with the certainty of success. Nothing is simpler than for the people of Virginia distinctly to announce to their laborers and domestics that they must either quit the "league" or they shall receive employment no longer than their present contracts last. Arguments are not needed to convince that this is the most effective way to break up these infamous workshops of Radical malignity. The safety of the State demands that the means be applied. -- EN & EX.

We read appeals to the young men of Virginia, as to their duties. in the present condition of the affairs of the Commonwealth. The best of all advice is, what we have re-iterated, for years -- go to work: every one to go to work to earn, by labor, a support.

Professions, and situations, and occupations, resorted to, in the expectation that they will produce an "easy living," are not now what are desirable, or what will realize that expectation. They are, for the most part, filled to overflowing -- and additions, except in extreme cases, rarely meet with success. But hands are wanted for the plow, the loom, and the anvil -- for mechanical trades -- for labor in the field and in the workshop.

The middle and even the aged, generally, in our State, have set a commendable example to our young men. They have not become disheartened or dispirited, nor have they sunk under the cares and responsibilities of dependent and helpless families. When the crash came they rose from the ruins as quietly as they could, and went to work! That was their example.

Nor have they relinquished their exertions because their patience has been tried since the war, and because the return of prosperity has been delayed -- or even because the success they had hoped for has not followed their honorable efforts. They bide their time yet, full of faith and hope. So let the young men act. Let them remember that work, always honorable, and always to be respected, is now doubly to be respected and honored. To be a good mechanic, or a good manufacturer, or a good farmer, now -- is to have in one's hands the assurance of a support, at least, with every prospect of future prosperity, if not wealth. These are the men who are to build up their own fortunes, and the fortunes of the State. -- Alex. Gazette

The Issue
(Column 02)
Summary: Describes the issue at stake in "this contest" (presumably the ratification of the constitution) as one involving a choice between democracy and tyranny, and between mixed government or white man's rule.
Full Text of Article:

This contest will decide whether our Government shall remain a Constitutional Republic, or degenerate into a Congressional Oligarchy, to be followed by a Military Despotism.

It will decide whether this shall remain a White Man's Government, or one third of its powers be exercised by an inferior and brutal race.

It will decide whether the National Debt shall be paid within the lifetime of a Generation, or continue to blight the prosperity of the country forever.

It will decide whether taxes shall be equally distributed, or real estate and labor bear all the burthens of government.

These are questions of liberty, self-respect and property. To solve them satisfactorily, Democrats should work as they have never worked before. Every leisure hour should be devoted to rousing your fellow Democrats, and reasoning with rational Republicans. The signs of the time are auspicious and promising, and if every Democrat performs but half his duty, we shall achieve a crowning victory, and liberate the country from despotism, negro supremacy, debt and taxation.

Position of Millard Fillmore
(Column 03)
Summary: Joseph Warren writes Alexander H. H. Stuart to describe Millard Fillmore's views that northerners are growing tired of radicalism.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Derides those encouraging a war of races in the South as enemies of the freedmen, and predicts that they will abandon the freedmen if war breaks out.
Full Text of Article:

The vile white men who are now urging the negroes of the South to the inauguration of a war of races, will assuredly desert them at once, if that awful hour of conflict should ever come. They never raised an arm in defence of their own color; are they likely to fight valiantly in behalf of the black man? Their only aim is to force the colored people into a contest which they well know must involve their ultimate and speedy defeat and annihilation. They are the worst enemies the negro has. They are using him as the means of his own destruction.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: A meeting of the Augusta County Bible Society was held at the house of George P. Baker.
(Names in announcement: George P. Baker)
Augusta Female Seminary
(Column 01)
Summary: The next session of the Augusta Female Seminary will begin on September 16th under the direction of Miss M. J. Baldwin.
(Names in announcement: M. J. Baldwin)
Wesleyan Female Institute
(Column 01)
Summary: The next session of the Wesleyan Female Institute will begin on September 21st under the direction of the Rev. William A. Harris. 92 pupils from all over the South enrolled last session.
(Names in announcement: William A. Harris)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: A man named Lotts escaped from the penitentiary and is now at large. He was being held for stealing flour, but escaped over the outside wall with another prisoner named Cox.
(Names in announcement: Lotts, Cox)
(Column 02)
Summary: James Fix and Mary C. Zimbro, both of Augusta, were married on August 13th by the Rev. J. M. Shreckhise.
(Names in announcement: James Fix, Mary C. Zimbro, Rev. J. M. Shreckhise)
(Column 02)
Summary: Willie Clement Harris, infant son of the Rev. William A. and V. G. Harris died at the Wesleyan Female Institute. He was 9 months old.
(Names in announcement: Willie Clement Harris, Rev. William A. Harris, V. G. Harris)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Sarah Eldridge died at the Augusta County residence of Col. David S. Bell. She was 85 years old. "Mrs. E. was of Scotch-Irish parentage, born in Augusta County, and spent her long life in her native county. Having lost her husband early on she was thrown upon her own resources for the support of herself and only child and well has she discharged her duty. Her industrious habits, her modest, unassuming manners, her kindness and her sympathy for the afflicted had endeared her to all who knew her. Worn down by age and weakness, her heavenly father seemed to be preparing her for long months before her change."
(Names in announcement: Sarah Eldridge, Col. David S. Bell)

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