Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: April , 1870

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

Richmond and the Valley Railroad
(Column 01)
Summary: The Spectator responded to criticisms of the people of Augusta, made in a pair of Richmond newspapers. The Richmond papers spoke out against the Valley Railroad's route through Staunton as a threat to its own interests. The Spectator desired the continuation of Richmond's prosperity, but maintained that the Valley Rail Road remained a sound investment that would profit both Staunton and Richmond.
Full Text of Article:

In our last, we promised to say some thing in reply to what we have considered the harsh and unkindly comments upon the people of the Valley, in connection with the Valley Rail Road, recently published in the Richmond Whig and the State Journal. The articles, which we complain of, have been written in the interest of the scheme of consolidation now before the Legislature. As we understood them they were assaults upon the patriotism, the loyalty "to the old Mother" and the integrity of purpose of our people, in desiring to have the Valley Rail Road extended from Harrisonburg, through Staunton and Lexington, to Salem. Our impression has been, that as God made this Valley, bounded by mountains on each side of it, running from Southwest to the Northeast, with streams of water flowing between these mountains, with fertile fields, and inexhaustible mineral wealth scattered up and down it, the only practicable mode of developing its treasures, is, by constructing a Rail Road through it lengthwise. Before this Valley was settled, the Buffaloe track passed through its rich pastures -- then followed the old wagon road, terminating at Knoxville, Tennessee, along which the six horse wagon teams transported the merchandise and produce of the county -- then came the McAdamized and plank roads extending from Shepherdstown to Bristol, and now, in broken links, are found fragments of Rail Roads over the same grand trade line. Our people desire these links to be united, so that instead of the sound of the wagon bells of sixty years ago, we may hear the sound of the engine whistle from one end of this Valley to the other. Our desires flow in the channels which God has made, and we consider it no "treason to the old Mother," as the State Journal intimates it is, to strive to secure that improvement that will do us most good. Nor, in our opinion, will the construction of the Valley Rail Road be otherwise than a blessing to Virginia and especially the city of Richmond. It is manifest that if the wealth, productive resources and population of the Valley, be, as we expect they will be, greatly increased by the making of this Road, Virginia in all her borders must be blessed by the increase. As our wealth increases so will our capacity to pay our taxes; and so will the burden of taxation fall more lightly on others. -- Increase of prosperity too is diffusive, and the leaven of our blessings will spread over the mountains and extend Eastward, and to no point more surely than to Richmond.

Let us remind our Richmond friends, (her old merchants will recollect the fact, that when we had nothing but Turnpikes from Staunton to Winchester and to Scottsville, with a Rail Road from Winchester to Baltimore, Richmond drew trade up the Valley and across the mountain down to Scottsville, from New market, forty-two miles from Staunton and fifty miles from Winchester. That was the dividing point. -- Now, we ask, if Rail Roads be substituted for Turnpikes and free interchange of cars be secured at Staunton, what shall prevent Richmond from drawing to itself, the wheat of this granary of Virginia, and a large portion of its productions? Now that the Valley is tapped up to Harrisonburg, the only chance of Richmond to secure its trade, is, in a free and unobstructed transit, up and down the whole Valley. Our people desire free trade with all points, and repudiate the idea that these communications shall be obstructed for the benefit of any other community. We shall insist on the free transit of produce from Harrisonburg or Lexington to Richmond, as strenuously as we shall demand free transit from Lewisburg or Charleston, to Winchester, Alexandria or Baltimore, if trade seeks the Valley Route for its vent. And so in our connections with the Virginia & Tennessee Road, we shall demand the free interchange of trade and travel from one road to the other, at Salem, and if consolidation be against this, we oppose consolidation, on this ground, if on no other. We look to the day when the plaster, salt and other productions of the Southwest, shall be brought directly to our warehouses; in a word our Rail Road policy is this, simply, that the Rail Roads of Virginia shall be the arteries of trade through which free currents shall flow according to the great laws of supply and demand.

We seek no war with Richmond; on the contrary we desire her growth and prosperity and our people prefer, other things being equal, to trade with Richmond. But the day has gone by when the growth of cities can be stimulated by artificial processes of forced development, and the cities which claim for themselves the right to tax others for their benefit, to make large regions tributary to them, against the nature laws of trade and the best interests of others, will make more enemies than friends by the claim.

We accept with pleasure the disclaimer of our old friend the Whig in a recent issue of any unfriendly feeling towards our people. -- What we desire is first the Valley Rail Road and second, "let us have peace" in Virginia.

-Page 03-

C. and O. R. R.
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reported that a large number of African-Americans passed up the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad to work on the western end of the line.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. John Pinkerton of Mossy Creek will preach at the Presbyterian Church tonight, and every night throughout the week.
(Names in announcement: Rev. John Pinkerton)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: N. K. Trout sold the National Hotel for $9,950. James W. Crawford bought the portion on Main Street for $7,000 and R. Summerson bought the frame building in the rear.
(Names in announcement: N. K. Trout, James W. Crawford, R. Summerson)
Our City Judge
(Column 01)
Summary: Alex B. Cochran, representative in the House of Delegates, was elected judge of the city of Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Alex B. Cochran)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Congress passed a bill removing N. K. Trout's political disabilities.
(Names in announcement: N. K. Trout)
Flour Shipped
(Column 01)
Summary: 771 barrels of flour have been shipped from the Staunton Depot of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad during the week ending April 7th.
County Townships
(Column 01)
Summary: The following commissioners have been appointed to lay off Augusta County into townships: Bolivar Christian, C. G. Merritt, M. W. Hogshead, J. Givens Fulton, and Dr. Samuel Kennerly.
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian, C. G. Merritt, M. W. Hogshead, J. Givens Fulton, Dr. Samuel Kennerly)
Horse Stealing
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. Parent, Chief of Police of Staunton, arrested three men going by the names of Wilson, Clarke, and Green who fit the description of men wanted for horse theft in West Virginia. The men sought freedom before Judge Fultz on grounds of habeas corpus, but the owners arrived and identified their horses in time to keep them in jail awaiting trial.
(Names in announcement: Chief Parent, Judge Fultz)
Robert W. Burke, Esq.
(Column 01)
Summary: "Many Citizens" wrote to suggest Robert W. Burke for a vacancy in the House of Delegates.
(Column 02)
Summary: Alexander B. Cochran received his commission as city judge of Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Alexander B. Cochran)
(Column 05)
Summary: David Runcle of Augusta and Miss Mary A. Wiseman of Rockbridge were married on March 3rd by the Rev. B. C. Wayman.
(Names in announcement: David Runcle, Mary A. Wiseman, Rev. B. C. Wayman)
(Column 05)
Summary: David W. Gilkeson died near Greenville on March 31st of consumption. He was 22 years old.
(Names in announcement: David W. Gilkeson)

-Page 04-