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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: June 15, 1869

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-Page 01-

[No Title]
(Column 06)
Summary: Letter to the editor focusing renewed attention to the recent calls for construction of a Market House in Staunton.

-Page 02-

Wells, Chandler and Jenkins
(Column 01)
Summary: Ridiculed a recent Radical meeting held in Staunton, claiming that all the speakers managed to do was rally Virginians behind the Conservative banner. Called all Conservative men to action in defeating the Radicals in the upcoming election.
(Names in announcement: Maj. John A. Harman)
Full Text of Article:

On Friday last, the Court House was filled with whites and blacks from half past 11 o'clock till 4 o'clock listening to Radical speeches delivered by H.H. Wells, (Governor so-called) L. H. Chandler of Norfolk, and Jno. W. Jenkins of Winchester. The gallery was filled with blacks and the body of the Court House with whites who listened patiently to the harangues of these speakers till near the close of the meeting when Jenkins insulted the white race, and particularly the soldiers of the Federal army, by asserting that treason was unconquerable till the "cloud of blacks was hurled against the ramparts of treason when they fill," at which time many whites left the house.

Each of these speakers was severally introduced by Maj. Jno. A. Harman, who has strangely connected himself with the extremest and vilest wing of the Radical party. If conscious of the part now acted by his chief quartermaster, how deeply must be grieved the sainted spirit of Gen. Stonewall Jackson!

We took notes on the speeches made, but consider that it would be a waste of space to publish reports of them in our columns, which should be devoted to better matter.

If the effect instead of the motives constituted the merit of actions, we would thank these gentlemen (?) for delivering the speeches they did for we believe, that they have rendered valuable service to the Conservatives of the county--that though they came as enemies they served us as friends--that out of intended evil, good will result--for they did for us that which was most needed, to wit: Arouse our people from lethargy and supineness.

Like careless sentinels, they were sleeping upon their posts, not even dreaming of danger; but the harsh notes of the brazen trumpets of the enemy, sounded in their midst, have not only awakened, but aroused them to a proper appreciation of the imminent perils of the situation and now the whole camp is in commotion, and each and every one is buckling on his armor and getting ready to fall into line and fight the good fight of patriotism, and to stand boldly and unflinchingly upon the perilous edge of battle as soon as the conflict shall be joined on the 6th day of July next.

The watchword is now "ACTION." From this time to the day of election there will be no more sleep--for, as Macbeth said, sleep has been murdered. Figuratively speaking, no true friend of the State and the rights of the people will give sleep to his eyes or slumber to his eyelids from this time till the close of the polls on the day of election. That day will mark an important epoch in the history of our beloved Old Commonwealth--from it will date the period of her salvation, or sad decline and fall into ruin inconceivable and irretrievable. It will be a day which will be remembered with joy or with sorrow. Woe, woe, to the citizen who shall fail to do his duty on that day. History will impale him, his children reproach him, and posterity curse him. Woe unto him!

Hon. Joseph Segar
(Column 02)
Summary: Article introducing Joseph Segar as a candidate at large for Congress from Virginia. He is well-known as a long-time champion of internal improvements.
Keep it Before the People!
(Column 02)
Summary: The editor commented on how few white people in Augusta could vote or serve on juries if the Underwood Constitution was passed intact.
Full Text of Article:

If the Underwood Constitution is adopted with all the disfranchisements and test oaths, there will not be one hundred white voters in Augusta. And there will not be one hundred white men in Augusta who would be competent jurors.

Do you ask, how is this? We answer no man can vote, or serve on a jury, or be elected to any office who cannot take the iron-clad oath.

Look at the oath! No man who gave any aid or comfort to the Confederate soldiers during the war can take it honestly. No father that gave his son a horse or a blanket--no little brother who contributed to fill a box to be sent to his elder brother in the army, can take it!

They are all denied the privilege of voting or serving on juries. What sort of elections and what sort of juries would we have under such a system. What security would we have for life, liberty, or property?

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper argued that if every conservative registers before the election, then the victory will be won before voters go to the polls. "We hope the Superintendents and Captains appreciate the vital importance of the work that has been entrusted to them. We hope they will take a pride in having it to say that not one vote was lost by their default. A little earnest work just now may save Virginia from years of anguish."
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Scared readers with visions of a corrupt Radical regime for four years, with blacks holding all key positions over whites while passing high taxes. Supposedly, the only way to avoid this was to register and vote for Conservative men for the Legislature and Governor. If that happened, it didn't matter what kind of Constitution was passed, since whites would control the State.
Full Text of Article:

Four more years of Governor Wells, with a legislature of the same complexion, says the Enquirer and Examiner, would be positively despair. We do not see how our poor people could bear it. And if the returns shall come in unfavorably from the election on the 6th of next month, we really do not know what is to become of us.

Think of the Underwood constitution (expurgated) administered by that crew of hungry carpet-baggers and the negroes for four years. The first step would be to give us in its most rigorous form the County Organization article. Its details would be prepared in the spirit in which the outline was conceived. In our heavy negro counties we should have immediately a swarm of negro officers. Negro constables and policemen would come down with their official batons on the white race. Negro magistrates would try their late masters for imaginary offences. Negro assessors would get your property list; and negro supervisors would rate it for taxation; and negro collectors (this is one of the new county offices) would collect the taxes. You will pay over to the negro collector the few greasy greenbacks you have left--you will not have many--times will be hard, far harder than any you have seen yet. Whether he will apply your taxes to build school-houses for his children, and a poor-house for himself we leave to conjecture. His official bond will be like that of the sheriff referred to by Mr. Wallach, candidate for Congress in the 7th district, the other day--who collected about $90,000 of taxes &c., and whose securities paid about 93 cents taxes.

The next provision of the constitution to be carried into execution will be the Education Article, under which you will be taxed about $3,000,000 probably to educate your children and theirs. You will have a nice little school house about a mile from your house (if you have a house at that time,)and there will be some of those colored gentlemen whom you will know as the School Trustees, who will appoint a teacher--a hungry-looking fellow from Connecticut who talks through his nose and says dooty or perhaps an educated colored gentleman. This functionary will whip your children. Perhaps the colored Legislature will by virtue of the authority delegated to it by the constitution, provide for mixed schools, and your boys and girls will go to school with the black children of the neighborhood, and bump their heads against theirs on the same form.--This is the law under the reformed state of things in Louisiana.

Then they will have to see at once about the Militia. You know Brownlow could not keep the Tennesseans straight until he got his loyal militia. It has been suggested that Lindsay will be commissioned to run this part of the machine.

They will then enforce by "appropriate legislation" the clause of the bill of rights which provides that "all citizens of the State are declared to possess equal civil and political rights and public privileges," and when you go to the Circus, the crowd will be mixed.

The Legislature will then proceed to lodge the judicial power of the State in the hands of men like Underwood and Bond and Chandler. They will elect all the county judges (for each county is to have a judge,) all the circuit judges, and the judges of the court of appeals. They will also have the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Auditor, the Treasurer, the Board of Public Works, and the Board of Education.

In 1871, they will re-apportion the State for the Legislature, and consolidate their power for ten years longer.

You will be arrested by a negro sheriff on the complaint of a negro, committed on negro evidence by a negro justice, convicted by a negro jury, and lodged in the penitentiary under a negro jailor, and not be pardoned by Governor Wells or Governor Harris.

As your schools will be managed by negro trustees, your roads will be kept in order by negro overseers, and your poor houses will be governed by a negro board--you footing the bills.

Your University, your Military Institute, your Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, your Lunatic Asylum, will be destroyed, or kept up for the benefit of the blacks at your expense. The colleges of the State generally will probably be closed under the clause about "equal public privileges."

You will have all this in a few months, if you permit the negroes to elect Wells and carry the Legislature. By registering and voting you can avert all except the expurgated constitution. Securing the Governor and the Legislature, you secure the Judiciary, the Board of Public Works and the Board of Education. You control the militia, the school system the county organization, the whole field of State taxation, and can regulate the selection of jurors. You elect two United States Senators; you reapportion the districts for the Legislature; you hold the veto power and the pardoning power. In other words, you administer the Constitution. "Let me make the songs of a nation," some one has said, "and I don't care who makes the laws." With more truth it may be said, "Let me make the laws of a State, and I don't care who makes the Constitution." The power of a legislative body is illustrated by Congress; what does the Constitution amount to? It has no vigor.

[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The editor pleaded with Virginians not to be indifferent to the election, for doing so would indirectly help Radicals. Urged everyone to do everything they can to elect Walker and a friendly legislature to give hope to the people of Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

The Enquirer and Examiner fears that some well-meaning men, in the sullenness of their pride, will remain supinely indifferent, refuse to register and to vote in the coming election. Is this right? Is it wise? Gentlemen, you forget that you are no longer free. You must take the best that is offered you, or else your very refusal to act will help to heap upon us the worst and fasten it there, perhaps, forever. You must either vote for Walker or you are helping to elect Wells. You must either vote against the two articles to be separately submitted, or you are helping to ratify the unexpurgated Constitution.

And how can your suffering brethren; how can your outraged mother, Virginia; how can you forgive yourselves for the grievous wrong? Shake off this sullen pride! this supine indifference, before it is too late. Act the part of wise men. Take the best that you can get, even though it be not all that you are entitled to.--Consider what it is that your non-action will help to bring upon yourselves and your fellow citizens: certain and overwhelming destruction; a black sea submerging our glorious old State with Wells to ride upon the Ethiopian whirlwind and direct the Radical storm. If you fail to do your duty in the approaching election you will repent, bitterly repent, as surely as the sun will rise to-morrow. And your repentance will come when it is too late to remedy your monstrous mistake.

We do not appeal to your fears, because we know that motive does not influence the conduct of true Virginians. We appeal to your sense of right and justice--justice towards your fellow citizens, who will be involved with you in the same common ruin. If you are willing, for the sake of consistency, or principle, or anything else to dare this ruin for yourselves, is it right, is it just to invoke it also upon others without their consent, and contrary to their wishes?

On the question of the adoption of the expurgated constitution the Conservative voters of Virginia are divided. Many will vote for it. Therefore we think it most likely that we shall be "reconstructed into the Union" under the Underwood Constitution, and we shall elect a Governor and a Legislature on the 6th day of July. Is there not here a field of action for all? We have so often contrasted the opposing candidates, Walker and Wells, and we are so thoroughly convinced ourselves that it seems to us almost incomprehensible that any patriotic Virginian can refuse to choose between them. With Wells and a Wells Legislature we shall despair of any good for many weary, weary years to come. With Walker and a Walker Legislature we shall work with a will and with hope to meliorate our condition in a short time. Our salvation is yet in our own hands, if we will but wisely use our opportunities. Then let us all work, work, WORK, incessantly till the sun goes down on the 6th of July to secure the best possible results.

(Column 04)
Summary: Warned Virginians that the Underwood constitution will most likely be ratified and so all eligible voters must vote to at least keep control of it under whites. Also sketched a scenario where Wells and his Radical allies seize control of the state through lethargy of white voters.
Full Text of Article:

Give us, says the Enquirer and Examiner, the Legislature and the Governor, and universal enfranchisement, as a fulcrum, without which a lever is useless--give us this and the ground to stand on, and we will prize the mischief out of the constitution--we will in less time than is imagined provide a tolerable government, and be in a condition, as necessity and propriety may suggest, to build a new foundation.

Because they have forced this constitution on us, shall we surrender to the negroes the administration of it? Because we are to have a bad constitution, shall we have worse laws?--Because we are thrust into a dungeon, shalt we refuse to get possession of the keys which unlock its gloomy doors? Because we are to have public schools, shall we permit them to be mixed schools? Because we are to have a "militia," shall we give Lewis Lindsay the command of it? Because the constitution delegates to the Legislature the power to levy enormous taxes on our property, shall we send negroes there to give efficiency to the provision?

"Down with the Constitution!" Very well; down with it. But suppose it won't "down?" Suppose the election over; the constitution ratified by 50,000 majority--suppose it the 1st of August--and that much settled--and suppose then you had to choose between Walker and a white Legislature and Wells and a negro Legislature? Get close to the dilemma: realize it: that is precisely all that is left us now--and you can take your choice. Do you know Wells?--Do you know how he hates us? Do you know his lieutenant, Harris? How did you like the Black Crock convention? You stood off then in sullen disdain: did that stop the course of events or disperse the convention? Now, we shall have Wells and just such another body in that Capitol in about two months unless you vote. There is no commodity under the sun which we can command that will turn that black current except votes. These you have; these will turn it; with these, after the constitution is a foregone conclusion, you are still master of the situation.

[No Title]
(Column 05)
Summary: An anonymous author expressed the opinion that most whites wanted good relations with blacks and to live in harmony with them. He denounced Radical agitators and warned blacks that following these agitators would lead to a unified white opposition. Said blacks depended on whites so the former would go against their self-interest by following the Republicans.
Full Text of Article:

For the Spectator.

To the Colored Voters of Augusta County:

FELLOW-CITIZENS--I am a plain spoken white man. I am in the habit of saying what I think and doing what I say. I wish now to say a few plain words to you. I will express my sentiments and what I believe to be the opinions and purposes of nine-tenths of the white people of Virginia.

They have no unkind feeling toward the colored people. They have no disposition to deprive them of any of their rights. They wish to deal fairly with them and to cultivate kind feelings between the two races. They believe that the interests of both races will be promoted by this condition of things. The colored people want employment to enable them to earn wages, and the land-holders want to employ labor to make their farms productive. The two races can thus play into each others hands as long as kind feelings are preserved. Each can supply to the other exactly what that other wants.

But there are certain mischievous people going through the country, trying to deceive the colored people, and to array them against the whites. They wish to persuade them to vote against the white people, and to prevent them from having the right to vote or sit on juries, &c.

Now I am a quiet, peaceable man. I wish to have no unpleasant feeling, or controversy, with any body black or white. I wish to deal fairly with all. I have never refused to employ a black man because of his color, nor do I ever wish to do so.

But I am like all other men. I have a good deal of human nature in me. And one of the promptings of that nature is, if a man hits me to hit him back! If a man seeks to do me an injury, or to take away my rights, I will defend myself in the best way I can.

Let us now see to what the counsels of these bad advisers of the colored people will lead.

Suppose the colored people, choose to set themselves up against me, is it not natutal that I should set myself against them? If they seek to disfranchise me, is it not natural that I should wish to retaliate?

How then will the matter end? It can hardly be expected that I will patronize, and employ those who show themselves to be my enemies. And if this kind of a contest comes, who will be the greatest sufferers, the whites or the blacks?

Suppose the white people say to the blacks: "I have no occasion for your services so long as you are doing all you can to injure me. I will neither rent property to you nor employ you as tradesmen, nor as farm hands, nor have any dealings with you." What would be the condition of the colored people? Ninety-nine hundredths of the land and other property, is in the hands of the whites. They are the only persons who can give employment to the colored people and pay them wages. If they refuse to do so, the only alternative left to the colored people will be to move away or starve. And where will they get the means to move with?

It may be said that the whites can't do without the blacks--that their labor is necessary to them. This is a mistake. It is very easy to get white labor. With a few scrapes of my pen, I can have half a dozen or a dozen Irish or German laborers here in a week. Others can do the same. And do you doubt that they will do it, if the colored people are soft enough to array themselves in hostility to the whites?

I am one of those who wish to avoid this thing. I have kind feelings for the blacks. I wish to see them prosper. I wish to see harmony and good feeling in the country. Hence I counsel them to cultivate kind relations with the whites, who are disposed to be friendly with them.

But if they choose to take a different course; if they prefer to array themselves against the whites, let it be hardest fend off! If blows are to be given, blows will be returned. If an attack is to be made, defence will follow; and in the conflict the weaker party will go to the wall. Which that weaker party is, time may show.

Colored men! You now see the ground you stand on. If you choose the path that leads to your injury, you will have none to blame but yourselves. AN OLD FARMER

County Canvass
(Column 06)
Summary: Message from John Baldwin mapping out strategy for the Conservative party in the upcoming election. He listed dates and times for speakers to take to the stump and told superintendents to get their men registered. Also urged all Conservative voters to vote on election day.
(Names in announcement: John B. Baldwin, Hugh W. Sheffey, H. M. Bell, T. C. Elder, Bolivar Christian, Marshall Hanger, George Baylor, A. B. Cochran, John Echols, James Bumgardner)
Full Text of Article:

As Superintendent of the Conservative organization for Augusta county, it is my duty and my purpose to have the county thoroughly canvassed from now until the election.

District Superintendents will see that the Chiefs of Fifty and the Leaders of Ten are at work upon the plan, and according to the printed instructions heretofore published.

If any officer of the organization, for any cause, fails to work, let him be removed, and supply his place by one who will work. In the race before us we can carry no dead weight.

The business first in hand is to see that all our voters are registered, and every Conservative will report promptly to the Leader of his Ten, the name of every qualified voter known to him who has not been registered.

Registration lists and printed instructions will be supplied on application to me.

Most of the Public Speakers of the county have tendered their services, and I am enabled to promise Speakers to all public meetings, by day or night, in any part of the county.

Speakers willing to engage in the canvass, will please report to me.

I publish a list of appointments at the places of Registration. At those meetings other appointments can be made for the proper points in the several Districts, and Speakers will be supplied.

It will be remembered, however, that no amount of speaking at public meetings will answer in place of the work to be done by the regular organization in registering the voters and bringing them to the polls.

In this election--by far the most important in the history of Virginia--the Conservative who can register must do so, and if he has a vote must not fail to give it. His friends and neighbors have a right to expect his help, and he has a right to refuse it.


County Sup't.

June 15, '69.

Waynesboro', Wednesday, June 16, 7 P.M. Speakers--Hugh W. Sheffey, H.M. Bell.

Churchville, Wednesday, June 16, 7 P.M. Speakers--Jno. B. Baldwin, T.C. Elder.

Greenville, Thursday, June 17, 7 P.M.--Speakers--Bolivar Christian, Marsh Hanger.

Middlebrook, Thursday, June 17, 7 P.M.--Speakers--Geo. Baylor, A.B. Cochran.

Mount Solon, Thursday, June 17, 7 P.M.--Speakers--John Echols, James Bumgardner.

Count the Cost
(Column 06)
Summary: Warned voters that a Republican victory would mean unbearable taxes, especially on the poor. The editor used the situation in South Carolina as an example.
Origin of Article: Winchester Times
Full Text of Article:

Do you know how to cipher? If so, sit down with your pencil for five minutes and add up the taxes you will be forced to pay if Wells and his negroes and carpetbaggers get control of the Governorship and Legislation. By our calculation it amounts to practical confiscation; rich white men may stand it for awhile but poor white men will be destroyed root and branch. Poor men, if you don't want your wives and children to starve go to work earnestly to defeat these blood-sucking harpies.

We see in the Whig a letter from a gentleman who owns a house in Charleston, S.C. assessed at $6,000. His annual taxes and insurance upon it amount to $420.67 or seven per cent on its assessed value. The taxation in South Carolina is mild to what ours will be, if Wells and his crew are allowed to enforce them.

Winchester Times

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. Enoch Thomas of Craigsville, Augusta County, received a patent for a hay and cotton press.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Enoch Thomas)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Hon. H. W. Sheffey will distribute honors and deliver the address at the commencement exercises of the Virginia Female Institute on June 24th.
(Names in announcement: H. W. Sheffey)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of the M. E. Church, South, will hold a dinner and fair in the Town Hall beginning on June 24th.
(Column 01)
Summary: Polls for registration will be open for ten days beginning on June 14th at the following places: the Post Office and Market House in Staunton, Middlebrook, Greenville, Waynesboro, New Hope, Mt. Sidney, Mt. Solon, and Churchville.
Masonic Lodge No. 13
(Column 01)
Summary: The Masonic Lodge, Number 13, elected officers at a June 11th meeting.
(Names in announcement: W. L. Balthis, A. M. Fauntleroy, S. Mandelbaum, James F. Patterson, Charles S. Arnall, H. R. Mathews)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper prints the schedule for the closing exercises at the Wesleyan Female Institute.
Masonic Celebration
(Column 02)
Summary: The members of Staunton Lodge Number 13 will have a procession, address and dinner on St. John's Day, June 24th. An address will be delivered by the Rev. J. Randolph Finley of Winchester's Methodist Church. Masons from other counties have also been invited. The schedule of music, speeches, and processions is included.
(Names in announcement: Prof. Turner, Dr. J. S. Brown, Rev. J. R. Finley, J. C. Marquis, E. M. Cushing)
The Cantata--"Hay-Makers"
(Column 02)
Summary: The Staunton Musical Association performed the operatic cantata the "Haymakers" for the closing concert of the season at the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute. A large crowd attended and the performance received good reviews. The singers were attired in appropriate rural costumes, with Dr. Brown playing the role of the farmer. The orchestra under the direction of Prof. E. Louis Ide sounded excellent.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Brown, Prof. E. Louis Ide)
Colporters Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: A Convention of Colporters of the American Tract Society will meet at the Lutheran Church in Staunton. "As the American Tract Society has been very liberal in its grants to our people, and as our county has been favored with the efficient labors of Mr. Fry, one of the Society's Colporters, and as the Society is neither sectarian nor sectional, we have no doubt our citizens will cheerfully respond."
(Names in announcement: Fry)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Staunton's Pi Alpha Phi Society held their annual celebration last Friday.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Col. William Preston Johnston will deliver the address to the young ladies of the Augusta Female Seminary on Wednesday. Johnston is the son of the late Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston and now teaches at Washington College.

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