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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: June 8, 1869

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-Page 01-

To the People of Virginia
(Column 04)
Summary: Transcript of an address by the State Executive Committee of the Conservative Party to the people of Virginia. It outlines the "duties and responsibilities" of citizens in the "impending crisis." Virginians are urged to defeat the "obnoxious" provisions of the state constitution and "restore to the white race its legitimate influence in the affairs of the State."

-Page 02-

Gilbert C. Walker and B. B. Douglas
(Column 01)
Summary: Reported on B.B. Douglas's speech favoring Walker for Governor. Douglas damned Wells and the Republicans for their part in the Underwood Constitution and predicted disaster for the state if Wells was elected. Walker also made a few remarks.
(Names in announcement: Robert W. Burke, Judge H. W. Sheffey, A. H. H. Stuart, Col. Harman)
Full Text of Article:

On Saturday last, Gilbert C. Walker of Norfolk, candidate for Governor, accompanied by Maj. Beverly B. Douglas of King William county, one of the canvassers at large, appointed by the Executive Committee of the Conservative party, and Wm. Gilman, reporter for the Richmond Whig, arrived here at 10 o'clock A. M. by the Western train. They remained here, the guests of Mr. Robt. W. Burke till Sunday, when Douglas went to Spottsylvania Court-House to fill an appointment and Walker and Gilman took the Valley stage for Woodstock, at which place Mr. Walker had an appointment to address the citizens on Monday -- yesterday.

On Saturday afternoon it was announced by posted bills that Maj. Beverly B. Douglas would address the citizens of Staunton at the Court-House at 8 o'clock that evening.

At the hour appointed, Judge H. W. Sheffey introduced Maj. Douglas to the audience, who then arose and addressed them in behalf of the election of Walker, and the adoption of the Constitution expurgated of the test-oath and disfranchising clauses. Twelve months ago, he said, the Conservative party was rallied in a solid phalanx against the adoption of the abomination, known as the Underwood Constitution, because at that time there was no alternative except the adoption or rejection of that instrument unchanged. Now an opportunity was presented of striking out two of its worst features. We are not in a position where we could get what we wished, but must be governed by the circumstances in which we were unfortunately placed, and should not fail to secure the best that circumstances and opportunities would allow.

He did not like much to support Walker till he had met with him, and heard him express his views and sentiments in a speech the day before at Lexington -- he had not loved Walker much, but he had loved Wells less. He now takes pleasure in supporting Walker and deems it the duty of all true Virginians to do so, for he (Walker) is with them heart and hand. If Virginians cannot support Walker, they had as well give up the contest, and consent to be slaves, and to see their State utterly and irretrievably ruined. Not to support Walker is to support Wells and that abomination of abominations -- the unchanged Underwood Constitution. He appealed to the white cohorts in the Valley to register and vote and come to the rescue of their brethren in the East, many of whom would, if they could, flee from their section as from a city on fire. Register every vote, relieve your best citizens from disfranchisement, and ninety-five per cent of the white adult male population from exclusion from office, and rescue your country from impending ruin. An opportunity is now offered to secure a majority for the white citizens. The worst enemy we have to contend against at this time is General Apathy. He quoted and happily applied a proverb of Solomon: "The diligent hand shall bear rule -- the slothful shall be under tribute." Everything is at stake and none should fail to do his duty. Wells is confident of election, because he believes that many conservatives will fail to vote. Those who fail to vote, will be practically, allies of Wells.

If Wells should be elected, the condition of Virginia would be like that of Tennessee, which, even the Radicals now say, is "Hell organized on earth." An opportunity is afforded to dash away the poisoned chalice now presented to the lips of Virginia. If not availed of, she will sup full of horrors.

As Wells occupies the high office once filled by Jefferson, Tazewell, Wise, McDowell, Letcher, and other distinguished sons of Virginia, he would like to be able to speak of him with respect -- but who can respect Well? He is the enemy and vilifyer of our people -- his lips are so foul with falsehood that living fire from the sacred altar could not purify him of his iniquity. No one, white or black, can trust him. He possesses an impudent audacity which none other could rival. "He goes back" on his black friends and writes his Garland letter. If he speaks truly to the whites the negroes will be cheated -- if truly to the negroes, the whites will be cheated. He (the speaker) believes that he will cheat both.

He said if the negroes and whites would work together as they should, like horses in a good old fashioned team, with a white horse on one side and a black horse on the other, both pulling in the same direction, that the good old wagon, Virginia, might get along very well; but if the black horse would hold back when the white horse pulled, or the white horse should hold back when the black horse pulled, that we should have a balky team, and the wagon (Virginia) would be left in the mire.

At the conclusion of Maj. Douglas's speech, Judge Sheffey announced that Gilbert C. Walker was in the audience and called upon him to take the stand and show himself to the people. In response to clamorous calls by the audience, Mr. Walker walked upon the stand, greeted cordially by the audience, and was introduced by Hon. A. H. H. Stuart. He declined to address the citizens at that time, as he had an appointment to address the citizens of Staunton and Augusta county on the 28th inst. -- County Court-day.

He had just traveled by stage from Bonsack's to Fincastle, thence to Buchanan, thence to the Natural Bridge, thence to Lexington, and thence to Goshen, where he struck the Railroad for Staunton, and those who had ever been tossed and bumbed in the stages over the route would know something of the fatigue he was then suffering and know that he could not be in a condition to make a speech. He said that, if Col. Harman did not soon have the Valley Railroad built, the citizens of Staunton ought to ride him out of town on a rail. -- (Col. Harman occupied a seat directly in front of the stand at the time.) He thanked the audience for their cordial greeting, and said that he had been cordially greeted wherever he had been in Virginia, and that, if he should be elected Governor, he would do what he could to advance the interests and prosperity of the State, and endeavor to merit the generous confidence reposed in him by the voters of Virginia.

Meeting Next Court-day
(Column 01)
Summary: Gilbert C. Walker, candidate for governor, will address the people of Augusta on the 28th. Prominent Augusta citizens will also participate in the meeting.
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. Stuart, John B. Baldwin, Gen. John Echols, Col. Bolivar Christian)
Address of the Executive Committee
(Column 02)
Summary: Called on every eligible Virginian to perform his duty by registering and voting against the disfranchising and test oaths and electing Walker as governor.
Full Text of Article:

We invite attention to the address issued by the State Executive Committee of the Conservative party published upon the first page of this issue. It sets forth the reasons why every man, who has the honor and interest of Virginia at heart, should register and vote against the disfranchising and test-oath clauses, and for proper persons to the Legislature, and for Walker for Governor.

These votes, every one will be sure to cast whether he will choose to vote for or against the Constitution, or not to vote at all upon that proposition.

Remember that it is the duty -- the imperative duty -- of all to REGISTER AND VOTE. This is a contest in which our dearest interests are involved, and in which no skulking should be tolerated. Every one has a solemn duty to perform, and none should prove recreant. Virginia expects every man to do his duty.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. S. Travis Phillips of Staunton has been elected president of the Washington Society at the University of Virginia.
(Names in announcement: S. Travis Phillips)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Ladies of the Presbyterian Church raised $500 at their annual fair.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The congregation of Staunton's Presbyterian Church met and decided to construct a new church building. $14,000 in subscriptions have already been raised.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Staunton's Pi Alpha Phi Society will hold its first annual celebration at the chapel of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute on Friday evening. William A. Pratt, Jr., president, will preside.
(Names in announcement: William A. PrattJr., L. S. Crain, James H. McRady, A. St. G. Hodge, J. P. O'Ferrall, Charles W. S. Turner, H. HarrisonJr., G. B. Underhill)
Memorial Celebration
(Column 01)
Summary: Described the impromptu celebrations at the Soldier's Cemetery on Memorial Day. Printed the poems read and the names of the bands who played, which were heard by "immense crowds" of townspeople.
Full Text of Article:

Saturday last was observed by the people of Staunton and Augusta as "Memorial Day." -- The early hour of 8 o'clock had been named for assembling at the Soldiers' Cemetery. It was not intended to have any formal procession or public ceremonies on this particular occasion, and no programme had been arranged.

But at 8 1/2 o'clock, an impromptu procession formed on Main street, composed of the old Stonewall Band, the Augusta Fire Company, the Sons of Temperance, the Fire Company of the D.,D. & B. Institution, and the Brass Band of the Institution; following these were the pupils of the Augusta Female Seminary, and of the Virginia Female Institute, bearing wreaths of beautiful flowers; citizens on foot, in carriages and on horseback filled the rear.

Under the conduct of Col. Bolivar Christian, as Chief Marshall, assisted by Maj. J. Marshall Hanger, Capts. Bumgardner, Berkeley, Arnall, and Ranson, the procession moved to the Cemetery under the inspiring music of the bands. -- Here an immense crowd of the citizens of the county had assembled -- all bearing the touching tributes of flowers to decorate the graves of their fallen defenders.

After music by the Stonewall Band, the following ode, adapted by Dr. J. L. Brown for the occasion, was beautifully sung by members of the Staunton Musical Association:

Strew flowery wreaths upon the graves

Of those who shed their blood and died

In freedom's cause; though 'twas in vain,

Their deeds olate our hearts with pride.

Strew o'er them flowers; mid battle's din

O think how hard their fate to die.

No mother dead, no sister there,

Nor friend, to close the death-dimmed eye.

A while they rest within the tomb

In sweet repose, till morning come,

Then rise, we trust, to meet their God,

And ever dwell in his abode.

Celestial dawn! triumphant hour,

How glorious that awakening power

Which bids the sleeping dust arise

And join the anthems of the skies.

His weary life will soon be past,

The lingering morn will come at last,

And gloomy mists will roll away

Before that light unfading day.

After the singing was concluded, the Band of the D. D. & B. Institution played two sweet and appropriate airs, and the ladies then, with tender care, strewed their floral offerings over the two thousand lowly, sacred mounds where lie all that is mortal of so many of the true and brave of our Southern land.

The beautiful ode of Collins comes familiarly to our memories:

"How sleep the brave who sink to rest

With all their country's wishes blest,

When Spring with dewy fingers cold

Returns to deck their hallowed mould,

She there shall dress a sweeter sod

Than Fancy's feet have ever trod--

By Fairy hands their knell is rung,

By forms unseen their dirge is sung,

There Honor comes a Pilgrim Gray,

To deck the turf that wraps their clay,

And Freedom shall awhile repair

To dwell a weeping hermit there."

Jos. Addison Waddell, Esq.
(Column 02)
Summary: J. Addison Waddell has consented to stand as a candidate for State Senator from the district including Augusta. "It is fortunate for the citizens of this Senatorial District that they will have an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is eligible and who is so well qualified by intelligence, character and experience to represent them."
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Alexander S. Turk of Newport and D. Alph. Cooke of Moscow qualified as Notary Publics on May 24th.
(Names in announcement: Alexander S. Turk, D. Alph. Cooke)
(Column 04)
Summary: James A. Craig of Augusta County and Miss Sue K. Butler of Rockingham were married near Port Republic at the residence of Dr. G. W. Kemper, Sr., on May 27th by the Rev. H. H. Hawes.
(Names in announcement: James A. Craig, Sue K. Butler, Dr. G. W. KemperSr., Rev. H. H. Hawes)
(Column 04)
Summary: Miss Magdalen M. Cochran died in Staunton at the residence of her father on June 2nd. She was 39 years old.
(Names in announcement: Magdalen M. Cochran)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Mary Carwell died at her residence near Middlebrook on May 29th after a brief but painful illness. She was 51 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mary Carwell)
(Column 04)
Summary: Annie Thompson, daughter of Charles and Eve Thompson, died in Staunton on June 4th of consumption. She was 12 years old. The family is part of Staunton's African-American community.
(Names in announcement: Annie Thompson, Charles Thompson, Eve Thompson)
(Column 04)
Summary: William Larguey, formerly of Staunton, died in Covington on June 4th. He was 20 years old.
(Names in announcement: William Larguey)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Carrie Robertson, daughter of Thomas J. Michie of Staunton, died suddenly in Covington on June 4th. She was 40 years old.
(Names in announcement: Carrie Robertson, Thomas J. Michie)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Melvina Catharine Murry, wife of James Murry, formerly of Augusta, died in Ohio on May 10th of consumption. She was 24 years old.
(Column 04)
Summary: David R. Ackerman, son of A. F. and M. J. Ackerman, died at the residence of his father on May 31st. He was 19 years old.
(Names in announcement: David R. Ackerman, A. F. Ackerman, M. J. Ackerman)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Brown died at his residence near Fishersville, Augusta County, on May 30th. He was 62 years old. "Thus has passed away another of the oldest and most respected citizens of Augusta county. Noted for his strict integrity and unswerving fidelity to truth, together with his proverbial kindness and accommodating spirit, our neighborhood has lost one of its best and the community at large a most worthy and highly respected citizen."
(Names in announcement: John Brown)
(Column 04)
Summary: William Clayton died at his residence near Deerfield, Augusta County, on June 2nd. He was 83 years old. "About 40 years ago he professed religion and joined the Methodist Church. From that time to the day of his death he led the life of an earnest, zealous christian. He was a bold and able advocate of the peculiar doctrines of his church, and, indeed, of any cause he espoused: a kind neighbor, a good citizen, and a man not easily swerved from what he believed to be right, either by friends or foes, especially the later class. About 20 years ago his nervous system commenced failing, which continued gradually year after year, until it terminated his earthly career. For the last 8 years he was confined to his house, and for 6 years to his bed. A great sufferer, he often wondered why God prolonged his day, but never was known to complain or murmur at his affliction."
(Names in announcement: William Clayton)

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