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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: December 7, 1869

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The Proposed "Walker Party"
(Column 01)
Summary: The Spectator reported that some Richmond politicians were seeking to form a "Walker party," in support of the recently elected Republican governor. The Spectator argued that it would be unwise to form parties and enter alliances before the elected officers took office. Recommended a wait-and-see strategy to determine if President Grant's and Governor Walker's policies were acceptable to Virginians or not.
Full Text of Article:

We regret to learn that some of our more ardent politicians about Richmond have set on foot a movement, for the purpose of establishing a new political party, to be called the "Walker party."

We think the movement unwise and premature. The people of Virginia are in no condition now to participate in partisan politics. -- We think, with Com. Maury, that, for the present at least, "it is the policy of Virginia to eschew politics." Our attention should be directed to the improvement of our material interest. It will be time enough to talk of political parties when we are restored to our full rights in the Union, and are in a condition to back our opinions by our votes. At present, we have no recognized right to participate in the political contests of the nation, and it seems to us, therefore, that it is rather an idle thing for us to be vaporing and saying what we would do if we had the power to do it.

But we would regard any movement of the kind as premature, even if we were in the full enjoyment of our rights. At present, every thing is in a transition state. We have not the information that is necessary to enable us to form an intelligent opinion as to what will be best for us in the future. We have but little knowledge of what Gen. Grant's policy will be, and still less as to Gov. Walker's. We must await further developments. In the mean time, we should occupy a position of armed neutrality. We must meet every issue as it arises, and deal with it as best we can. The whole people of Virginia should stand together as one man. There should be no splitting up into separate parties. By maintaining this kind of compact organization, we have, thus far, been able to ward off the deadly blows that were aimed at Virginia. Let us preserve that organization intact, at least until we are fully restored to the Union. After that is accomplished, we must expect party divisions. Such divisions are incidents to free institutions. They spring out of differences of opinion on questions of public policy, and are inevitable in all governments in which freedom of opinion and discussion are tolerated.

As for ourselves, we are free to confess that we are not prepared now to take any definite position in regard to political parties. We want more light before we can determine what our political relations may be in the future. We are in a state of anxious expectancy. Our purpose is, to co-operate, in the future, with that party which may seem to us to have most at heart the interests of the country, and more especially, the welfare of Virginia. But with the lights now before us, we are not prepared to say what party will come nearest to our standard. We are now in a condition of political independence, and, for the present, we mean to maintain that position. We are untrammeled by any party affiliations. We are neither republicans nor democrats. We owe no fealty, and but little gratitude to either of those parties. We think they are both corrupt, effete, worn out. We should be glad to see both of them set aside. We should like to see a new organization spring up, which would cast aside the dead issues of the past, and represent the living ideas of the present day -- a party which would respect the rights of the States, on the one hand, and faithfully fulfill the duties of the general Government on the other. We want a party which, while it would reject the narrow dogmas of nullification and secession, would at the same time, steer clear of the more dangerous heresy of consolidation.

We are not among those who believe that the organic law of our country has been changed by the war -- we do not think that the sword is the best expounder of the Constitution. Nor are we advocates of the fashionable doctrine of "unification." We believe that the war has settled the question of the indissoluble character of the Union -- we agree to that. Further, we know that the war has abolished slavery, and given to citizens of African descent the rights of citizenship -- we acquiesce in that. -- But, we maintain, that, in other respects, our government remains now, what it was before the war began.

We mean to take no leap in the dark. We wish to know where we are going, before we commence our journey. At present, we know so little of the policy of Gen. Grant and Gov. Walker that we cannot decide whether we shall support or oppose, either, or both. We shall be gratified if the course of both shall be marked by that wisdom and patriotism that shall draw us to them by hooks of steel. We should deplore the necessity of opposing either. We earnestly hope that no such necessity will arise. Their future conduct will determine that question. Our first duty is to our country. We shall endeavor to fulfill that duty faithfully. But we can give no bonds for the future, except of a conditional character. We shall form no entangling alliances in advance. We shall wait and watch. If Gen. Grant's and Gov. Walker's administrations be wise and patriotic, we shall sustain them -- if they be not of that character, we shall reluctantly, but firmly and respectfully, oppose them to the best of our ability. But, as we before remarked, we have not the requisite information to decide that question now.

Hence we conclude this article, as we commenced it, with the declaration that, in our judgment, it is unwise and premature for the people of Virginia, at this time, to entangle themselves with any party organization whatever.

Organization of a Walker Party
(Column 02)
Summary: The Enquirer and Examiner printed a call for the formation of a Walker Party and a list of the Central Committee consisting of some Augusta County citizens.
(Names in announcement: J. D. Imboden, A. H. H. Stuart)
Origin of Article: Enquirer and Examiner

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(Column 02)
Summary: Cornelius Koiner and Mary S. Koiner were married near Waynesboro on November 24th by the Rev. J. E. Seneker.
(Names in announcement: Cornelius Koiner, Mary S. Koiner, Rev. J. E. Seneker)
(Column 02)
Summary: Cyrus B. Conner and Mrs. Susan M. Jones were married near New Hope on November 29th by the Rev. J. E. Seneker.
(Names in announcement: Cyrus B. Conner, Susan M. Jones, Rev. J. E. Seneker)
(Column 02)
Summary: Robert M. Hicks of Waynesboro and Miss Annie E. Harper, daughter of Richard Harper, were married in Maryland by the Rev. Mr. Henderson.
(Names in announcement: Robert M. Hicks, Annie E. Harper, Richard Harper, Rev. Henderson)
(Column 02)
Summary: John F. Parrish of Augusta and Miss Ella D. Tyler of Albemarle were married near Hillsboro on November 16th by the Rev. S. P. Huff.
(Names in announcement: John F. Parrish, Ella D. Tyler, Rev. S. P. Huff)
(Column 02)
Summary: William S. Ramsay of Augusta and Miss Lucy C. Goodloe of Albemarle were married near Afton Depot on November 24th by the Rev. S. P. Huff.
(Names in announcement: William S. Ramsay, Lucy C. Goodloe, Rev. S. P. Huff)
(Column 02)
Summary: James Taylor Ellyson, son of Henry K. Ellyson of the Richmond Dispatch, and Miss Lora E. Hotchkiss, daughter of N. A. Hotchkiss, formerly of Augusta and now agent of the Richmond and York River and Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads, were married in Albemarle at the residence of the bride's parents on December 2nd by the Rev. John C. Long.
(Names in announcement: James Taylor Ellyson, Henry K. Ellyson, Lora E. Hotchkiss, N. A. Hotchkiss, Rev. John C. Long)
(Column 02)
Summary: William Brownlee died of neuralgia of the heart on November 8th. He was 61 years old and a member of the A. R. P. Church.
(Names in announcement: William Brownlee)

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