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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: August 31, 1869

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Augusta County Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: Preview of the Augusta County Fair. The town council appropriated $500 and the County Court $1000 for widening, grading, and macadamizing the road to the Fair Grounds. The trotting course has been improved and a rotunda for exhibitions constructed.
"The New Constitution"
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Summary: The Baltimore Sun mocked the Government of General Canby, describing it as an authoritarian and uncompromising government. Also claimed that the drought was competing with Canby for the people's attention, and hoped for both rain and reform in government.
Full Text of Article:

Under the head of "General Canby and General Drought," the Baltimore Sun of the 26th, inst., says that "many of the speculations upon the probable turn of political affairs in Virginia go upon the exploded theory that the people of the State have an indefeasible right to choose their own form of government. This is a fundamental mistake. General Canby is the only constitution of Virginia. Canby is its organic law. Canby exercises supreme power as a right. Canby is the depository of all authority, and there is no provision inherent in him for his own amendment. If Canby could be submitted to the people for adoption, rejection or modification, we should like to see the result. The voice of Canby is the supreme law in the Old Dominion. Canby is not restrained by precedents; in a military despotism there can be no law or precedent. Canby creates a precedent or destroys one, as circumstances require. Canby appoints his agents and representatives, none of whom are held to a strict account for their action. Canby is the Legislature, the Judiciary, and the Executive. In this way Canby provides for the common defence, promotes the general welfare, and secures the blessings of domestic tranquility. No one denies that he is a source of political power, that government was constituted for his good, and that his acts are above all judgment or review. There is neither failure nor disappointment in the government of Canby. He is the Resolution of '98 and '99 and the Alien and Sedition Law in one person. He is the Bill of Rights, the Revised Code, the Statutes at Large, the Lex Scripta, the Lex non Scripta, the Court of Appeals, the Circuit Court, the Superior Court, the County Court, the Common Council, the Justices of the Peace, the Policemen and Constables, the Overseer of the Poor, and Superintendent of the Penitentiary. There never was as cheap and efficient an organization as Canby. The people of Virginia were put to no expense in the formation of that constitution. The band of iron which holds them in their fixed position, the inflexible instrument which places a limit upon thought, speech, voting, progress, and improvement in district No. 1, which exhausts its people of all their nervous energy and hope, was not of their own fabricating, and has cost them nothing except their political and civil franchises, which, in this era of civilization, have been made so common elsewhere as to be supposed to have little appreciable value.

It is natural that the Constitution Canby, absordent of all other things, should absorb the whole attention of the people of Virginia. Not until lately has a rival arisen to dispute his place in their regards. This competitor is the terrific dry spell, which is making the physical condition of Virginia a type of her prostration as a State. General Drought is fast throwing General Canby into shade. Political considerations are subjected to the subject of breadstuffs. After all, the physical constitution is more important than the political. Men often owe to nature the blessings which they attribute to a system of government. Where harvests are plentiful, wages good, and material prosperity prevails, men can tolerate almost any form of authority. But when the earth fails to yield her increase, even military rulers cease to be objects of interest. Let us hope that refreshing rains will yet revivify the parched vegetation, and that kindlier impulses on the part of the government will permit some political vegetation to germinate and sprout in Virginia, if only to give a picturesque variety to the grim and solitary structure of the Canby constitution."

The Front Royal Outrage--Lynch Law
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Summary: The citizens of Front Royal were thought to have lynched two black men accused of assaulting a white woman. A party of men in disguises broke into the jail and removed the two prisoners. They have not been heard of since.
Origin of Article: Alexandria Gazette

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[No Title]
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Summary: John M. Stanley appeared before the town justices for the killing of Jacob Scherer. The justices decided the case would go to trial. George M. Cochran is defending the prisoner and Capt. James Bumgardner and Judge H. W. Sheffey represent the commonwealth.
(Names in announcement: John M. Stanley, Jacob Scherer, George M. Cochran, James Bumgardner, Judge H. W. Sheffey)
Full Text of Article:

We mentioned last week the sad occurrence of the killing of Jacob Scherer, and that Jno. M. Stanley had been committed to jail charged with being the person who fired the fatal shot. On Tuesday and Wednesday last, he had his call trial before Justices Pierce, Anderson and Clinedinst. Col. Baldwin and Geo. M. Cochran jr., acting as counsel for the prisoner and Capt. Jas. Bumgardner, jr., and Judge H. W. Sheffey representing the Commonwealth. The witnesses were examined on Tuesday, and the case was ably argued on both sides on Wednesday. He was sent on for trial. No application for bail was made.

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Summary: Complained about the military order requiring the Northern and Southern Methodist congregations to share the same church for their services. Pointed out how the Northern church had such a small membership and so the Southern congregation should have the building exclusively.
Full Text of Article:

The Southern Methodist congregation, of this place, are still subjected to the inconvenience of being deprived of their place of worship on every alternate sunday in obedience to the military command which gives their church to the Northern church on every other Sabbath. The Southern congregation--Rev. Geo. Kramer, Pastor--is a large and respectable body of good citizens, while that which attends upon the ministrations of Mr. Forsythe, the preacher appointed by the Northern Conference, numbers about half a dozen. Is it not a shame and a disgrace, not to say ridiculous, that a large congregation, many of whom contributed largely to the erection of the church edifice, should be deprived of their place of worship in order to accommodate such a small handful. They seem determined, however, to act out, most fully, the "dog in the manger" policy. O tempora! O mores!

(Column 03)
Summary: David T. Sheets and Miss Sarah C. Huff, both of Augusta, were married on August 10th by the Rev. C. Beard.
(Names in announcement: David T. Sheets, Sarah C. Huff, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 03)
Summary: Newton A. Fry and Miss Eugene A. Brown, both of Augusta, were married at Waynesboro on August 16th by the Rev. C. Beard.
(Names in announcement: Newton A. Fry, Eugene A. Brown, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 03)
Summary: Alexander Bush and Miss Martha Terrell, both of Augusta, were married on August 19th in Waynesboro by the Rev. W. T. Richardson.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Bush, Martha Terrell, Rev. W. T. Richardson)
(Column 03)
Summary: John Schreckise died at the residence of Mr. Thomas Crawford on North River on the 13th. He was 72.
(Names in announcement: John Schreckise, Thomas Crawford)
Tribute of Respect
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Summary: The Augusta Fire Company published a tribute of respect upon the death of their comrade, Jacob Scherer.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Scherer, J. W. Waters, W. R. Morris, J. W. Smith, J. M. Hardy, B. F. Fifer)

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