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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: June 14, 1870

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The Valley Railroad
(Column 01)
Summary: The Baltimore and Ohio Company recently subscribed $1,000,000 to the Valley Railroad. Editor insisted that Augusta county must subscribe $300,000 to ensure the construction of the railroad.
Full Text of Article:

On Wednesday last the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company subscribed one million of dollars to the Valley railroad. The city of Baltimore had previously subscribed $1,000,000 on condition that $1,200,000 be procured from the counties and towns in the Valley of Virginia and $1,000,000 more from persons and corporations able to pay. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company voted the million that the last-named condition might be complied with. There remains now to be subscribed only $300,000, which is the basis required, as the county of Rockbridge has subscribed $400,000, Botetourt $200,000, Roanoke $200,000, and the town of Staunton $100,000.

It is only necessary now for Augusta to vote the proposed subscription of $300,000 to insure the construction of the Valley Railroad. She would be acting unwisely not to do so, for she would be more benefited by its construction than any county along the line. It would be a burning shame if she should cause the defeat of this great improvement by failing to vote the subscription proposed. Her name, now honored wherever mentioned, would, in that event, become a by-word of reproach. She should vote the subscription with unanimity.

The Consolidation Bill
(Column 02)
Summary: The Spectator reported on the passage of a bill that consolidates the assets several railroad companies. The Spectator opposed the bill, both because they suspect it was passed through the use of bribery and because they believe that it will increase State debt and divert commerce. They hope the Governor will take action to veto the bill.
Full Text of Article:

We regret to be obliged to announce to our readers that this bill has passed both houses of the General Assembly. Ugly rumors are in circulation in regard to the means employed to effect its passage. For the first time in the history of Virginia, charges are made of bribery and corruption being used to influence the votes of members. We do not know whether these rumors are well or ill-founded, but we deeply regret that any pretext should have been afforded by the friends of the bill, for even a whisper of suspicion. Our Legislators should be like Caesar's wife -- not only void of corruption, but above suspicion.

We regard this bill, independently of the means alleged to have been used to pass it, as presenting no claims to Executive approval. -- We believe it will prove disastrous to every great interest of Virginia -- injurious to Lynchburg and Petersburg, and ruinous to Norfolk. We believe it will prove profitable only to the New York and Norfolk steamship line, whose decks and holds will be the Eastern depot of the consolidated line. We believe that the people of Norfolk will find, when too late, that it is a measure intended to bring trade not to, but through Norfolk. We believe that all the merchandize transported from the West, will be consigned to New York and not to Norfolk, and the favored steamship line, (which, we strongly suspect is owned by the backers of consolidation) will receive it all, direct from the Railroad. And so of the freight going Westward; it will be consigned, not to the commission houses of Norfolk, but to the agent of the consolidated line, and will be whisked away without any profit to Norfolk. Consolidation will make some people rich, no doubt. Who these favored parties are, we do not know. We would like, however, to see a list of the stock-holders -- not the nominal, but the real owners -- of that steamship line. We could then give a pretty shrewd guess, as to who will be made rich at the expense of the State, and who probably footed the bills of cost incurred in pushing consolidation through the Legislature.

As for consolidation, in the proper sense of the term, viz.: the uniting the three roads under one management, we have nothing to say against it, farther than to express our distrust and fear of all gigantic monopolies. But there are features in the bill, which has just passed, against which we must enter our most earnest protest. We protest against the spoliation which is about to be practised on the State. -- We protest against the State's being robbed of six millions of dollars, for the benefit of a few greedy speculators. On behalf of our impoverished tax-payers, we object to their being despoiled of six millions of Assets, which Gov. Walker, in his patriotic and statesman-like message, has shown, could be made available to pay off six millions of debt, and thus relieve the people of $350,000 of taxes per annum. This would be no small matter in these days of destitution. We know that the consolidationists say, that the market value of the stocks is now greatly below par. Granted. But so are the stocks of all our Railroads, and of our cities, and of our State, under par. But it is a conclusive answer to this, to show, that parties are willing to trade depreciated State bonds, for these depreciated stocks, dollar for dollar. That is certainly so now, in regard to the stocks of the Lynchburg and Tennessee R. R., and we have reason to believe it will soon be so, in regard to the stocks of other roads. -- If they have the capacity to extinguish our State debt, pro tanto, and relieve our people from taxation, it matters not what their market values may be, their debt-paying capacity makes them equal to par for that purpose.

We also foresee great difficulties in settling with West Virginia her share of the old debt, if we meddle with and squander the assets applicable to the discharge of that debt.

What answer can our commissioners make, to those of West Virginia, when the latter require that we shall assume the six millions, which, without her consent, we have undertaken to give away? Will not our commissioners be stopped from requiring West Virginia to assume any part of the debt incurred in subscriptions or loans to these roads?

If our commissioners undertake to say, the stocks were worth only $16 or $20 in the market, the answer is ready -- "we are not enquiring about the market value -- we are enquiring of the value they would have been to us, in paying off the debt." If you had handed over to us, $2,300,000 of Lynchburg and Tennessee stock, we could, with it, have paid $2,300,000 of the debt. Now as you thought proper to give away this stock, you must take the consequences, and assume all that debt. And so with the stocks of the other roads. No answer can be given to this view, because it is absolutely correct. The Legislature, therefore, by this consolidation bill, not only gives away six millions of stocks, but it virtually assumes six millions of the old debt, which will have to be thrown out of the account, between the two States of Virginia and West Virginia.

But the consolidationists say, they have secured four millions of the debt. How secured it? By putting it in a second mortgage, behind a prior mortgage of fifteen millions of dollars. Is any body stupid enough to regard this as anything but a delusion and a snare. -- Would any body give 5 cents in the dollar, for a debt so secured? This is the boldest imposition that any one ever attempted to practice on the credulity of any people. Suppose, at any time, the company wish to get rid of the State's posterior mortgage, is it not plain, they can readily do so? They have only to expose the whole work for sale, and buy it in, for the amount of the first mortgage, and where would Virginia then stand? The purchasers under the first mortgage, would acquire a perfect title, free of all subsequent mortgages. The only way for the State to protect herself, would be, to buy in the road for the amount of the first mortgage, and thus become the proprietor. Would any one recommend this course? Looking at the second mortgage, in the light of common sense -- behind a prior mortgage of fifteen millions, we are constrained to say that we regard it as an unmitigated humbug -- a swindle and a cheat.

The only hope now, is, in the firmness and patriotism of the Governor. He has made the financial condition of the State his special study. His financial message showed that he understood it perfectly. His recommendations in that message were wise and practical. He showed how the debt might, without taxation, be largely reduced. He made it plain that the stocks of the Railroad companies, could be made available for this object. Yet, with all the light which his message threw on the subject, the Legislature has chosen to go counter to all his suggestions, and in defiance of every principle of right and justice, to strip our impoverished people of their only means of honestly paying their debts, and relieving themselves from an intolerable burthen of taxation.

We earnestly hope the Governor will veto this bill. We believe that when the matter is fairly understood, three-fourths of the people will sustain him. We believe, further, that the day is not far distant, when some of those who now support the bill, will thank him for having saved the State from the consequences of their folly. Excitement, infatuation, madness, have ruled the hour. Appeals have been made to local prejudices and passions, until such a fever was created, that reason was dethroned and men went blindly in the path that was marked out for them by designing and interested leaders. When the sober second thought of the people has had time to produce its effects, they will perceive how their interests have been sacrificed, and the public welfare disregarded.

This question has been suddenly sprung on the people and their representatives. Let the bill be vetoed. Let time be given for deliberation. Let it go before the people. Let it be an issue in the next election and we will vouch for it, that it will stand repudiated and condemned by the popular judgment.

East Augusta Insurance Company
(Column 05)
Summary: A group of citizens form the East Augusta Insurance Company met to discuss plans to provide fire insurance for houses. They drafted a constitution, which the paper printed in full, and elected officers.
(Names in announcement: Isaac S. Myers, A. E. Pierce, Noah Early, Jacob Coffman, Martin Garber, Enoch Brower)
Full Text of Article:

Agreeable to a notice published by the Staunton Spectator in its issue of the 25th of May last, a general meeting of the subscribers to the East Augusta Mutual Insurance Company was held at New Hope on the 4th inst.

Isaac S. Myers was called to the chair and A. E. Pierce appointed Secretary.

On motion, a committee of five were appointed to draft a constitution for the Company, consisting of A. E. Pierce, Noah Early, Jacob Coffman, Martin Garber and Enoch Brower.

After some deliberation the committee produced and read a preamble and constitution, which, after some amendments and alterations, were unanimously adopted in the following form, to-wit:

We, the citizens of East Augusta, being desirous of rendering mutual aid to each other in case our buildings are destroyed by fire, hereby form ourselves into a company and, entering into a compact, agree to be bound by the following constitution, to-wit:

ARTICLE 1. -- This Company shall be styled the "East Augusta Mutual Insurance Company."

ARTICLE 2. -- The boundary limits of this Company shall be from the Valley Turnpike and the Greenville roads on the West, to the Albemarle and Nelson line on the East, and from the Rockingham line on the North, to the Rockbridge line on the South.

ARTICLE 3. -- All citizens are members of this Company who have signed the constitution at the time of its adoption, but if any one fail to take out a policy of insurance for three months after its adoption he shall pay one dollar into the Treasury, or forfeit his membership, and every citizen who takes out a policy of Insurance shall pay one-tenth of one per cent on the amount for which the building is insured and sign his name to the constitution, which will constitute him a member and entitle him to all the privileges of the company.

ARTICLE 4. -- The officers of this Company shall be a President, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall be elected annually by ballot, each member voting personally or by proxy.

ARTICLE 5. -- It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all regular meetings, keep order and decide all questions of order, sign all policies issued by the Company and all orders on the Treasurer.

ARTICLE 6. -- It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a true record of the proceedings of every meeting of the Company and read the same at the next meeting, and also, to keep a book in which he shall record all the names of the members of this Company to be entered on said book when the policies of Insurance are delivered and also a description of each building insured, together with the name, date and amount of Insurance to correspond with the policy and any other business that the company may direct at a regular meeting, for which services he shall receive a compensation as hereinafter specified.

ARTICLE 7. -- It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and safely keep all monies belonging to the company or paid in on assessments and levies, subject to the order of the President countersigned by the Secretary, and also to report the condition of the Treasury at each annual meeting, stating the amount received and paid out the previous year, and any other business that may be required of him at any regular meeting.

ARTICLE 8. -- It shall be the duty of the Secretary, with the owner of the property, to value the buildings to be insured, and if they fail to agree on the price, they shall call a third man to determine the price, he shall also give for each building so valued a policy of Insurance signed by the President and counter-signed by himself on reception of the one-tenth of one per cent mentioned in Article 3rd of this constitution, which shall be his compensation for services enumerated in this constitution.

ARTICLE 9. -- All policies shall run in the name of the Company, giving a description of the building, its value and amount of Insurance, be signed by the President and counter-signed by the Secretary.

ARTICLE 10. -- No property except buildings shall be insured by the Company, and a separate policy issued for each building.

ARTICLE 11. -- No building shall be insured for more than two thirds its cash value.

ARTICLE 12. -- When one hundred have taken out policies and signed their names according to this constitution the date of Insurance shall commence, notice of which shall be given by the Secretary.

ARTICLE 13. -- After the date of Insurance shall commence, whenever a building shall be destroyed by fire that has been insured by this company, the fact shall immediately be communicated to the President who shall order the Secretary to levy the amount of the policy of Insurance of said building on all the members of the company according to their several policies, stating the amount due by each and forward the same to the Treasurer, and each member shall promptly forward the amount due by him, to the Treasurer, within sixty days from the date of the burning, which amount shall be paid by the Treasurer to the one sustaining the loss on the order of the President countersigned by the Secretary.

ARTICLE 14. -- Any member of this Company who shall refuse, or fail to pay his quota of a loss sustained by one of the Company when a regular levy has been made by order of the President, within Sixty days of the date of the burning, he shall be expelled from the Company, and notice being given of the fact, his name shall be erased from the books and the policy or policies which he holds shall be null and void.

ARTICLE 15. -- No Town, City or Village buildings shall be insured by this Company. -- The secretary shall determine what property shall be deemed belonging to Cities, Towns or Villages.

After the adoption of the constitution the following permanent officers were elected for one year: Samuel Garber, President; A. E. Pierce, Secretary; Christian Kline, Treasurer.

On motion the meeting adjourned, fixing the time of the Annual Meeting on the first Saturday in May of each year.

ISAAC S. MYERS, President.

A. E. PIERCE, Secretary.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Thomas C. Campbell of Staunton has been appointed director of the Central Lunatic Asylum in Richmond that was recently established to serve the African-American population.
(Names in announcement: Thomas C. Campbell)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: E. L. Houff has been appointed Assistant Marshal to take the census in Augusta's 2nd district, which included everything north of Staunton and the Rockfish Gap.
(Names in announcement: E. L. Houff)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of the Augusta Church will give a strawberry and ice cream festival on June 18th. "The proceeds will be devoted to the renovation of the 'Old Stone Church,' and the protection of the ancient grove surrounding it."
Concert and Reading
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Musical Association gave the last concert of the season at the Chapel of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution. The music was excellent, especially a solo by Miss Apperson. Prof. Scharf read the famous trial of Bardell vs. Pickwick and recited Shamus O'Brien. The audience enjoyed everything thoroughly.
Floral Decoration
(Column 02)
Summary: Local citizens held their annual memorial service for the Confederate dead. The Spectator reported that, despite heavy rains, the participants insisted on decorating every grave in the cemetery.
Full Text of Article:

Thursday last, the 9th inst., was the day appointed for paying the annual tribute of affection to the confederate soldiers who "sleep their last sleep" in the cemetery near this place by decorating their graves with flowers. It commenced raining early in the morning, and the rain continued to fall almost without interruption till after the hour appointed for the ceremonies of the day. Notwithstanding the rain, large numbers assembled at the Town Hall, where it had been announced, per published programme, that the head of the column of the procession would be formed. By the hour appointed to form the procession, all were in readiness, the bands of music, the fire companies, the friends of temperance of Staunton councils, the pioneers, the ladies with their wreaths and bouquets of flowers, but the "peltings of the pitiless storm" continued without abatement, or any prospect of doing so for hours. Under these exceedingly inauspicious circumstances, those to whom had been assigned the chief management of the ceremonies thought it best not to attempt the performance of them in such inclement weather, and announced that the decoration would be postponed to another time. But it soon became manifest that those who had assembled for the sacred purpose of paying their tribute of love and affection to the loved and lost would not be prevented from doing so, however unfavorable the weather. Acting spontaneously and without prompting upon the sentiment, unexpressed save in action, that as the soldiers, when living, never allowed the weather to prevent them from performing their arduous duties, even at the peril of their lives, so those assembled to honor their memories would not allow the weather to prevent them from performing their duties to the soldiers now dead, they, as if impelled by a single impulse, resolved to decorate the graves of the soldiers at that time, regardless of the character of the weather, and the official announcement of the postponement of the ceremonies. Accordingly, notwithstanding that the rain continued to fall, there was a spontaneous movement, and as many, it was estimated, as two thousand persons visited the cemetery in that inclement weather and performed the sacred duty of decorating every soldier's hillock home in that "city of the dead." -- This was a spectacle worthy to be witnessed by spirits of a higher and better sphere. The ladies, with flowers beautifully arranged, decorated each and every grave. The Bands discoursed appropriate music, sweet though solemn. Besides the music at the soldiers' cemetery, dirges were played at the graves of the soldiers buried in the citizens' cemetery.

The corps of pioneers, assisted by the members of the fire companies and others, with spades and shovels, dressed such graves as most needed it.

It was a touching spectacle to see -- in the afternoon, after the ceremonies above mentioned had been performed and those engaged in them had returned to their homes -- the mute girls from the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution, marching in procession to the cemetery each with a garland of evergreen to place upon the graves of the soldiers. This procession was preceded by the new Band wagon of that Institution beautifully wreathed in evergreen. This tribute of love and patriotism by these unfortunate mute girls sensibly touched our heart.

Confederate Dead
(Column 02)
Summary: A group of Confederate veterans planned to devote one day to "repair and dress the graves" of their fallen comrades.
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian, John N. Opie, E. M. Cushing, John D. Lilley, A. W. Harman, W. L. Balthis, James BumgardnerJr.)
Full Text of Article:

The surviving Confederate soldiers and their friends, it is agreed, will assemble at the Confederate Cemetery -- each one bringing a shovel or spade -- on SATURDAY, June 18th, at 9 o'clock, A. M., and give one day as a labor of love, to REPAIR AND DRESS THE GRAVES of the Confederate dead.

The Stonewall band will be present.

The soldiers of the 5th, and 25th and 52nd Va. Infantry, and of the artillery and cavalry companies of Augusta, and all other ex-Confederates are expected.

The Ladies are invited to attend, and bring in baskets, refreshments for the working parties.

An association of the surviving soldiers will be formed on that day to keep special care henceforth over the graves of their fallen comrades.








Committee of Arrangements.

Wesleyan Female Institute, Staunton, Virginia
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper printed a program for the closing exercises at the Wesleyan Female Institute.
(Names in announcement: Bishop E. M. Marvin, Rev. J. A. Procter, Rev. Samuel Rogers, Prof. Julius Schneider, Rev. E. F. Busey)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Temperance Councils of Staunton will hold a public demonstration in support of the Memorial Association's efforts to decorate the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers. J. A. Noon will organize the march to the cemetery.
(Names in announcement: J. A. Noon)
(Column 03)
Summary: Thomas W. Edwards of Frederick County and Miss Mary E. Weeks, daughter of James Weeks of Augusta, were married near Sherando on June 9th at the residence of the bride's father.
(Names in announcement: Thomas W. Edwards, Mary E. Weeks, James Weeks)
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Summary: John C. Firebaugh of Calloway County and Miss Kate A. Shuey, daughter of George W. Shuey of Augusta, were married at the residence of the bride's father on June 8th by the Rev. A. A. J. Bushong.
(Names in announcement: John C. Firebaugh, Kate A. Shuey, George W. Shuey, Rev. A. A. J. Bushong)
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Summary: Hubert Marsh of Jersey City and Louisa Beanchard of New York City were married in Staunton on June 8th at the Catholic Church by the Rev. Father Weed.
(Names in announcement: Hubert Marsh, Louisa Beanchard, Father Weed)
(Column 03)
Summary: Simpson F. Taylor died at his residence in Augusta County on May 26th. He was 68 years old.
(Names in announcement: Simpson F. Taylor)
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Summary: James Tipping of Staunton died in Richmond at the residence of Capt. John M. Allen.
(Names in announcement: James Tipping, Capt. John M. Allen)
(Column 03)
Summary: Peter H. Rush died at his residence near Midway, Augusta County, on May 28th. He was 79 years old.
(Names in announcement: Peter H. Rush)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Catharine Strouse, wife of Dr. P. Strouse, died near Middlebrook on June 2nd after an illness of five weeks. She was 73 years old.
(Names in announcement: Catharine Strouse, Dr. P. Strouse)
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Summary: Martha E. Rivercomb, wife of William C. Rivercomb and daughter of Andrew Crist, died in Sangersville on June 3rd after an illness of several weeks. She was 23 years old. The Rev. Isaac Soul will preach the funeral sermon at the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
(Names in announcement: Martha E. Rivercomb, William C. Rivercomb, Andrew Crist, Rev. Isaac Soul)
(Column 03)
Summary: Staunton Lodge Number 13 passed resolutions of sympathy and respect upon the death of Simpson F. Taylor.
(Names in announcement: Simpson F. Taylor, William A. Burke, J. Howard Wayt, James F. Patterson)

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