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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: October 27, 1868

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Progress of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
(Column 04)
Summary: Reports on the progress in constructing the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

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"Western Lunatic Asylum" at Staunton
(Column 01)
Summary: The Spectator describes the Western Lunatic Asylum as a beautiful, orderly, and well-maintained institution, far more pleasant than its purpose might suggest.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Francis T. Stribling)
Full Text of Article:

To the humane and contemplative the Western Lunatic Asylum of this place furnishes a subject of great interest. The visitor, with his preconceived ideas that he is about to enter a Pandemonium on earth and expects his blood to be frozen with horror on visiting the abode of hundreds of the insane, as soon as he enters the gate and catches a view of the beautiful grounds within the enclosure begins to feel emotions of admiration and pleasant surprise, and to wonder if he has not mistaken the place, and entered upon the beautifully ornamented grounds of a private gentleman blessed with vast wealth and highly cultivated taste. He passes up the graveled walk, admiring the variety, number and beauty of the flowers blooming on either hand, and thinks of Milton's description of Paradise, instead of Dante's inferno as he had previously expected. In this mood of revolutionized feelings he ascends the steps and enters the Building which he finds well-arranged for the purpose for which it was designed and is used, and kept in the neatest style. He feels that the genius of Order reigns, and unconsciously looks for the placard: "A place for everything, and everything in its place." He meets with a polite reception, enters his name upon the register of visitors, and is conducted through the various apartments of the spacious buildings. He becomes strangely pleased with the place, and almost envies the occupants their neat, orderly, peaceful, and comfortable home. At 3 o'clock P.M. on Sabbath he revisits the Asylum, and attends divine service in the Chapel, where, to his surprise, he finds the most quiet and best-behaved congregation he ever saw, composed almost entirely of the patients of the Asylum. At the conclusion of the services, he takes his departure, seemingly with reluctance, his bosom filled with emotions of thankfulness that there is in the State such an Asylum, so well conducted, for that unfortunate class who have greater claims than any other upon the sympathies of mankind.

He makes the acquaintance of Dr. Francis T. Stribling, the distinguished Superintendent and Physician of the Asylum -- is struck with his gentle, polite and affable manners, and does not fail to observe the combined firmness and kindness in his character which has enabled him to attain such remarkable success in governing and attaching to him the patients under his superintendence, whose obedience, confidence and affection he uniformly secures. He becomes deeply interested in the history and management of that beneficent institution. He reads the bound volumes of the reports containing the information he desires, and becomes satisfied that to Dr. Stribling more than to any one else is due the distinguished honor of impressing upon the Asylum that marked character which has made it justly famous, as one of the best managed institutions of the kind in this or any other country. He rids himself of all the prejudices which he had before, in common with the majority of the people, entertained in reference to sending friends to an insane asylum. He learned that insanity was the result of physical disease -- that no stigma attached to it any more than to a fever or headache -- that in the asylum patients were merely under the care of skillful physicians, where they could be better treated and live more comfortably than at home. He learned also the important fact that of those patients whose friends were wise enough to send them to the asylum in the early stage of the disease nine out of ten were restored to health and clothed in their right minds, whilst of those whose friends unwisely kept them at home till the disease had assumed a chronic form, only one in ten was restored to health and sound mind.

We would appeal to the friends of persons thus unfortunately afflicted not to hesitate a moment about sending them to the asylum, and would impress it upon them that it is their duty to secure their admission as soon as possible after learning that their minds are diseased.

When we commenced this article it was with the view chiefly of mentioning some interesting facts connected with the statistics of insanity, but having written the above, we must, for want of space, postpone to another time what we wish to say concerning them.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Petersburg Index "says that politics are just getting to be interesting," and encourages people to remain involved in the vital political issues of the day.
Full Text of Article:

The Petersburg Index says that politics are just getting to be interesting. They mean something. They concern every man, woman, and child in America, in all relations of life. They effect us in our business, moral, religious and social life, and through the medium of taxation and finance, have a most intimate connection with our purses.

Away with the silly cant, "let politics alone and go to work." There is no antagonism between patriotism and industry, between diligence in business and industry, between diligence in business and that fervor of the soul which clings forever to the right, and inspires that generous public spirit, and love of the common weal, which has been possessed by every man who deserves to be remembered after death.

Happily the degrading advice to "let politics alone" is not practicable, because politics will not let us alone. As well talk about letting a bull dog alone whose venomous fangs have fastened upon your body and who is tearing the flesh from your limbs. The sense of pain was given to us for the preservation of our bodies.

A child who is insensible to the pain of a fall, or to the touch of fire, would soon break his neck or burn his hand off.

The Republic which "lets politics alone" has lost its functions and republican forms have become as useless to it as a pair of nine league boots would be to a paralytic.

If we would enjoy the advantages of constitutional liberty, let us not haggle about the price, be it eternal vigilance or eternal agitation. We need patience, indeed, but it is the patience of activity, the patience of the smith at the anvil who not only strikes when the iron is hot, but makes the iron hot by striking.

Man is naturally an indolent animal. The tendency of patriotism and religion in this country is to become emasculate. To put money in their purse and be wafted to the skies "on heavenly beds of ease," is about the average aspiration, and is considered to be the wise and correct thing. Our patriotism needs an infusion of Spartan contempt for luxury and ease, and our christianity needs the heroic self-sacrificing spirt of its found -- "Whosoever would save his life shall lose it."

[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The Petersburg Index writes of the trials that Virginia has recently faced, and asks Virginians to remain hopeful and honorable.
Origin of Article: Petersburg Index
Full Text of Article:

The people of Virginia have borne too long and too bravely, to be overwhelmed by another stroke of adverse fortune. Recurring to the last three years of a varying but always bitter experience, there has been much to reward this people for the constancy with which they have attested devotion to principle. Spared the reproach of a mock admission to an enforced Union, spared the rule of the debased and besotted, spared the turmoil and bloodshed of contending races -- we can find much to encourage a perseverance in stand-fastness, a persistence in calm self, and God, reliance.

Much of that galling poverty, which added so greatly to our first seasons of trial, has passed away. In the growth of great enterprises, the steady development of remunerative trades, the general employment of long neglected resources, the resuscitation of paralyzed energies, and in the consciousness of strength which the unavailing assaults of our enemies have brought, we learn that there is much which cannot be taken away from an earnest determined life, and that the powers of endurance belonging to us are as illimitable as the oppressors ingenuity of oppression.

Is our repulse, therefore, to bring panic, or our failure, surrender? We can work with resolute wills, wait with watchful minds, stand by the right with hearts anchored in faith; and trust to the end that neither the powers of this world nor of darkness, can make slaves of a people who have sworn to God in their souls, that as they have lived they will live Free and die Free, as their Fathers did, or else be driven to that yoke by the sheer brutal force which cannot chain the will or fetter the reason, and which can enforce decrees only while it is strong, and those whom it drives are weak.

Hope for the best. Even continued radical supremacy, with Grant as its sword, will find it difficult to enable a negro minority to rule Virginia's people. We will obey the law, as in the past, stand by the terms of our capitulation like men of honor. Perhaps in assumed power, these people may ape generosity, and better afford to be lenient than cruel. Be that as it may, we will hold fast to that which is good, submit where we must, resist where we may, and never despair of vindication in the end.

Virginia's honor is as bright to-day, as when she gave to the young Republic its first President. Be it ours to keep her shield untarnished, and her faith inviolate. -- Petersburg Index.

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Sports at the Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: The following sports will take place at the fair: Jumping matches, quoit pitching, wheelbarrow race, Lady's Archery Club. Col. Bolivar Christian is in charge of the department running the games.
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian)
(Column 01)
Summary: Ned Fisher, of the Ballard House, Richmond, just received appointment as clerk at the Virginia Hotel, Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Ned Fisher)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Court day drew large crowds in the streets of Staunton. Most were excited about the opening of the fair.
Friends of Temperance
(Column 01)
Summary: The State Council of the Friends of Temperance met in Staunton's Odd Fellows Hall, Mr. A. P. Abell presiding. An election of officers was held, resulting in selection of George A. Bruce of Waynesborough as president and James W. Nowton of Staunton a conductor.
(Names in announcement: George A. Bruce, James W. Nowton)
(Column 03)
Summary: Thomas Wilson of Indiana and Miss Lucinda E. Humphreys were married at the residence of the bride's father near Greenville by the Rev. Mr. Murray on October 8th.
(Names in announcement: Thomas Wilson, Lucinda E. Humphreys, Rev. Murray)
(Column 03)
Summary: Calvin L. Black and Miss Rachael J. Golladay, both of Augusta, were married on October 15th by the Rev. J. M. Shreckhise.
(Names in announcement: Calvin L. Black, Rachael J. Golladay, Rev. J. M. Shreckhise)
(Column 03)
Summary: Miss Sallie Gabbert died at the residence of her nephew, Wilson Gabbert, near Arbor Hill, Augusta County, on October 18th. She was 104 years old.
(Names in announcement: Sallie Gabbert, Wilson Gabbert)

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