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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April 6, 1869

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For the Staunton Spectator
(Column 05)
Summary: A letter from an anonymous writer to the distillers and alcohol salesmen of Augusta, blaming them for numerous crimes and early deaths. Also claims alcohol threatens men's immortal souls.
Full Text of Article:

For the Staunton Spectator. STAUNTON, March 27th, 1869.

Permit me through the columns of your valuable paper, to say a few words to the Distillers and Liquid Dealers of our community -- those Commissaries and Quartermasters in King Alcohol's army.

Gentlemen -- By the laws of our State, you are permitted to engage in a traffic which fills our land with beggars, widows, orphans, and crimes -- the world of wo, with victims of despair, and our grave yards with premature cause of more crimes, suffering and distress than all other causes combined -- but can you do so without violating the laws of humanity?

Love worketh no ill to his neighbor. Love will not burn a neighbor's barn, or poison his food, or blast his reputation or destroy his soul. I ask you, in all sincerity, do you not by your traffic often help to do all these? Does not property, reputation, health, life and salvation fall before the fell destroyers?

It is no excuse for you to say that you do not destroy maliciously -- for the certainty of evil is as great, as if you should fire in the dark upon a mass of human beings, when it was certain that death would be the consequence to some. The fact that they who purchase your liquors are free agents, does not make you guiltless. Would you sell arsenic to your neighbor to destroy himself because he is a free agent and can, if you refuse, get it elsewhere? No! gentlemen you would not, and you are really as accountable as if you were certain that he was not a free agent and that he could not obtain his poison elsewhere.

Your trade employs and sustains many families, and the profits in some instances are appropriated to useful purposes. But cannot these same families be supported in some other way? Cannot the capital be employed in some useful avocation? Are the useful avocations so overstocked that you cannot find any other way to make a livelihood but by dealing poison to your fellow-mortals? Because the business is lucrative, must you destroy immortal souls? Beware how you act in this matter -- one soul is of more value than all the capital employed in your sinful traffic -- preserve the former if, to do so, it is necessary to destroy the latter. Where is the good produced by the traffic in ardent spirits to balance the enormous evil?

Every year, thousands of families are robbed of fathers, brothers, husbands and friends -- every year widows and orphans are multiplied and gray hairs are brought with sorrow to the grave. No trade blasts so many hopes, destroys so many lives and causes so many mourners to go about the streets, because man has gone to his long home. Is not the desperate wickedness of the heart sufficient without artificial excitement?

If your trade was inseparable from the great and good ends of our social being, we might endure the evil for the sake of the good, and they only be accountable who abuse themselves, but the effects of your trade are evil only and that continually increasing two-fold the energies of human depravity. Everything needful to a perfect state of society can exist without it, and with it such a state can never be attained. What drop of good does it pour into the ocean of misery which it creates?

Who can estimate the hatred of God, of his word and worship and of his people, or number the oaths and blasphemies it causes to be uttered? How many thousands does it detain every Sabbath day from the house of God -- who are found so uniformly in the ranks of irreligion than the intemperate? How broad the road, which intemperance alone opens to hell, and how thronged with travellers? Are you not hourly and daily increasing the numbers of these travellers to the world of wo? Without mocking God, can you pray while you are engaged in this traffic "Lead us not into temptation?"

Gentlemen, for the sake of humanity, either close your establishments, or post over your doors in flaming capitals, THIS IS THE ROAD TO DEATH -- that they may warn off and inspire with consternation and fear the heedless traveller to destruction.

Remember that "to him who knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."



For the Spectator
(Column 06)
Summary: Fannie Manning writes a letter seeking a husband.
Full Text of Article:

WANTED. -- By a young Lady, aged nineteen, of pleasing countenance, good figure, agreeable manners, general information and varied accomplishment, who has studied every thing, from the creation to crochet, a situation in the family of a gentleman. She will take the head of the table, manage his household, scold his servants, nurse his babies (when they arrive), check his tradesmen's bills, accompany him to church, cut the leaves of his new book, sew on his buttons, warm his slippers, and generally make his life happy. Apply in the first place by letter, to FANNIE MANNING, Care of "Spectator," Staunton Va. and afterward to Papa, upon the premise. Wedding-Ring, No. 4, Small.

-Page 02-

President Grant and "Peace."
(Column 01)
Summary: The editor asks General Grant to make good on his promise for peace, rather than allowing the Radicals to spark conflict and misery throughout the South. Insists the southern states will support him if he follows through on his promises of peace.
Full Text of Article:

So far, the people of this country, and especially of the South, have been totally at a loss to understand what President Grant meant by the expression, "Let us have peace." It seems, verily, in one sense, to be the "peace that passeth all understanding." The National Intelligencer, which seems, like other journals, to be at a loss to understand it, says:

"General Grant was either sincere or insincere. If sincere, let him, to the best of his power, make good his promise, now that the opportunity is upon him. If insincere, let him take his place among the tricksters and demagogues of the day. We do not wish to think harshly of him. We do not wish to treat him with severity or unkindness. We are quite willing to believe him honest in the peace which he has promised. We opposed his election on broad grounds of public policy, and because of his associations with and candidacy of the Radical party -- a party many of whose political tenets we abhor. But if General Grant should prove himself a faithful, upright, and efficient Chief Magistrate, the fact that we did not support him in his Presidential pretensions will not in the least bias us against him, and he will find, in so far as he is right, a cordial support at our hands.

But what did General Grant mean by his oft-repeated and ever-approved saying, "Let us have peace?" We are inclined to take it for granted that he did not intend to play the trickster. This, we cannot but think, would be a new character for him, and that he meant what he was saying. Then what did he mean? In coming to the Presidency he found, under the management of the Radical party -- the party whose candidate he was -- the Union disrupted, civil subordinated to military rule in several of the States, hundreds of thousands of white citizens disfranchised -- deprived virtually of citizenship -- a prodigious and augmenting public debt, industry paralyzed, monopolies everywhere in the ascendant, the public mind depressed, unparalleled and monstrous corruption in every branch of the Government and taxation, too heavy to be borne, resting upon the shoulders of the people. By the promise of peace did General Grant mean to enter upon a course that would lead to and accomplish, as far as possible, the correction of these evils? If he did there was something -- some wholesome meaning -- in his phrase. If he did not, it was a hollow and heartless mockery. If he did, he will, in so far as his efforts are directed to this end, receive the hearty cooperation and approval of every Democrat and every Conservative in the land. If he did not, General Grant and General Grant's administration will be the most conspicuous and ignoble of all failures. Many not Radicals, not even Republicans, voted for Grant in the belief that he had at once the power and the disposition, if elected to the Presidency, to heal the wounds of the nation, reunite the divided States under the Constitution, unmanacle the hundreds of thousands of his fellow-citizens which Radicalism had enthralled, set the Southern States in their old orbits and the Southern people on their feet again, and restore fraternal feeling between the long alienated North and South. Had not such views been entertained of General Grant, such a consummation confidently looked for at his hands, he would never have been elected.

General Grant must be persuaded, any one of reflection must be persuaded, that peace and the adjuncts of peace cannot be brought by any process of tyranny, or by putting the grinding heel on the necks of proud and high-spirited men, or by bearing down upon such the strong arm. This Union can never be kept together, and this people never live together in peace, by holding any portion of the people as a conquered people and as inferior, and deprived of like rights with the rest. In giving all the people of all the sections all the rights which belong to them under the Constitution lies the only safe and peaceful course; and this is all that any people of any section ever asked. To take self-government from States is not only criminal, but suicidal, for which there is nowhere found a warrant. To send strangers among them who have no sympathies with them, whose feelings are harsh and unkind towards them, to whom they are as mere strangers and foreigners, to hold the offices and rule over them, is a monstrous injustice, and unnatural beyond expression; and it is no wonder that the people of the depressed and poverty-stricken South rebel instinctively against such treatment. These Southern States are either in the Union or out of the Union. If they are cut out of the Union, it is a most inexplicable and marvelous thing, remembering how the war closed. If they are in the Union, they are entitled to all, and should not be denied any of the rights which that Union promises them, and which it gives to other States. This, indeed, is the pith of the whole trouble of the country at this time, and has been for years past. Had the Radical party had the statesmanship or patriotism to acknowledge this, (for they could not but have seen it from the commencement,) and gone about removing the cause of complaint, all would have been well long ago. But they had not the patriotism. They lived solely and singly and selfishly for themselves, and to perpetuate their supremacy and their powers has been their only aim, disregarding wholly, through long and suffering years, while myriads of hearts were beating in anguish for redress, the welfare of a stricken country. Does General Grant propose that this same heartlessness and cruelty and sordid ambition of the Radical party, with neither justice nor mercy in it, shall continue? If he does, he has risen to eminence to be eminently and long hated. If he does not, and he proposes to bring alleviation, of these ills, and redress to his bereaved and harshly treated brethren of the South, not for their sake alone, but for the sake of one common country, of which they are a part, then does every American citizen with a heart in his bosom, and everyone who believes that, in mutual forgiveness and fraternity there is peace, and that in peace there is prosperity and happiness, bid him God speed.

[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The article argues that the Republican Party is on the verge of a split, giving Democrats a great opportunity to seize power.
Origin of Article: Lynchburg Virginian
Full Text of Article:

"The democratic party, ever lying in wait, have now a greater opportunity to regain their lost leadership than they have had at any period since they first lost it."--N. Y. Independent.

We apprehend that the new President will find it an exceedingly difficult matter to keep the Republican party together, for the Radical wing will not be satisfied with the appointment of moderate men to office, and the result is likely to be split ere long. Whether as the Independent intimates, the Democratic party will profit by their dissensions, or not, is a matter of small importance, if the country shall be rescued from the evils which bad men would bring upon it. Only let extremists be kept out of the public councils and the public offices, and we may then be able to indulge a rational hope of a speedy return of peace and prosperity.--Lynch. Virginian.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: J. R. Popham has been appointed Commonwealth's Attorney for Augusta, Highland and Bath counties.
(Names in announcement: J. R. Popham)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: G. W. Britt, Staunton flour inspector, certifies that 357 barrels of Family Flour, 3,317 barrels of extra Superfine Flour, 671 barrels of Superfine Flour, 127 barrels of Fine Flour, and 11 barrels of Middlings were inspected during the quarter ending March 31st. 19 barrels were condemned.
(Names in announcement: G. W. Britt)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. G. M. C. Kramer assumed duties as pastor of Staunton's Southern Methodist Church.
(Names in announcement: Rev. G. M. C. Kramer)
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert J. Hope died at his residence in Staunton on April 2nd. He was 53 years old.
(Names in announcement: Robert J. Hope)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Collins died in Staunton on April 5th. She was 52 years old. Her funeral will be held at the St. Francis Catholic Church.
(Names in announcement: Mary Collins)
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert Lee Kennerly, son of Samuel and Frances C. Kennerly, died of pneumonia on March 10th. He was 4 years old. A poem of grief accompanies the announcement.
(Names in announcement: Robert Lee Kennerly, Samuel Kennerly, Frances C. Kennerly)
(Column 03)
Summary: Henry Ott died on March 27th from the accidental discharge of his own gun. He was 47 years old. He was a member, office bearer, and choir leader at the Church of New Providence. "As a citizen he was public-spirited, and was esteemed by all who knew him."
(Names in announcement: Henry Ott)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Ann Sheets, wife of David Sheets, died near Spring Hill on March 28th. She was 64 years old, and a member of the United Brethren Church.
(Names in announcement: Ann Sheets, David Sheets)
(Column 03)
Summary: Lucy M. Schutterle, daughter of John Schutterle, died on March 12th. She was 13 years old. "She had lived long enough not only to strengthen the cords of affection naturally entwined around the hearts or relatives, but such was the amiability of her disposition and the correctness of her principles that she had tenderly attached to herself her acquaintances, who, themselves feeling their loss in her death, sympathize with the afflicted parents and family."
(Names in announcement: Lucy M. Schutterle, John Schutterle)
Tribute of Respect
(Column 03)
Summary: James F. Patterson passed resolutions of respect on behalf of the Staunton Lodge No. 13 of Free and accepted Masons upon the death of brother Robert J. Hope.
(Names in announcement: Robert J. Hope, William J. Points, A. M. Fauntleroy, William A. Burke, James F. Patterson)

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