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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: June 28, 1870

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-Page 01-

Voters of Augusta
(Column 04)
Summary: "Augusta" gave his own extensive opinion about the subscription to the Valley Rail Road. He counseled patience, recommending that the county wait until they are out of debt to invest in the railroad. Otherwise, their investment will end up in the hands of the owners and lawyers of the railroads who would likely make decisions detrimental to the county's interests.
Full Text of Article:

You will soon be called upon to vote $300,000 to the stock of the Valley R. R. The importance of this question cannot easily be exaggerated. It is one of the most important ever submitted to the Tax-payers of the county, except, perhaps, the question of $300,000 to the Chesapeake Road, which you promptly voted down. Our object in discussing this important question in this article is, that we may understand more fully and clearly the vague and indefinite promises upon which we are asked to mortgage our homes to the amount of $300,000. What principal question, then, can be more momentous to the county this hour, than the one before us. We ask you, voter, to ponder it well, understand it well, and know its extent, before you cast so important a vote, and after a careful investigation, see if you can afford to tax yourself with this enormous debt of $300,000. It is no holiday sport, but dollars and cents, to be dug out of the ground, or your land sold to pay it, and the interest for 30 years (of $540,000), making an enormous total of $840,000. Let us glance a moment at the promises made by the interested parties to catch the voters, and induce them to vote $300,000 to the Chesapeake Road.

They appealed to the pride of the county -- they told us if we did not vote the subscription the Road would not be built -- all dependent on Augusta. We were told of a market, at city prices, at our very door -- we were told that the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. would be compelled to build the Valley R. R. in self-defence.

The Chesapeake Road is now under contract, and about 6,000 hands at work; has a single promise been fulfilled? -- have you a regret that you voted No? Now to the main question. -- We are asked to vote $300,000 to the stock of the Valley R. R. We will state a few among the many delusive promises and advantages upon which our votes are claimed for this important question:

1st. One Hundred Dollars per acre for good farms will be as common as $40 is now.

2nd. Population and capital will flow in streams into the county.

3rd. Out mineral resources will at once attract attention.

4th. We have use for a rival line which will save us 30 cents on a barrel of flour.

5th. The competition of the Road will relieve us from paying the interest any longer than 2 or 3 years.

6th. Give us this Road, and wealth and prosperity will be our future history.

A second paradise. Is not this enchantingly grand? Can you permit yourself for a moment to doubt these fond imaginings? Now let us bring these fond anticipations down to the ordeal of stern facts. Would any one endorse a bond for $25 upon such promises, much less vote the county bonds for $300,000. And we assert without fear of contradiction that there is no Valley R. R. Company, and we think this can be demonstrated by a letter from the employed council of this so-called Company, published in the Spectator, May 31st. Who are the stockholders? -- is there one private stockholder? Not one. Towns and counties in the Valley, $1200,000; Baltimore City, $1,000,000; Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Company, $1,000,000; (Baltimore City and Baltimore & O. R. R. are one). Mr. Garrett, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Company, in a speech made in Louisville as late as June 1st, at a meeting of Railroad men, said: "The Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Company is now engaged in opening a line through the Valley of Virginia. Of this line 108 miles are already in operation from Harper's Ferry to Harrisonburg." Is it not manifest there, that this Road will be under the exclusive control and management of the Baltimore & Ohio Company -- a greedy monopoly, whose income is already a million of dollars per month. Be not deceived and cheated. If you vote $300,000 it goes into the hands of the Baltimore & Ohio Company, and not to the Valley R. R. Company. If we are mistaken and do not state facts, is it not important then for us to know into whose hands the bonds of the county will go, and who will control them. Who is to be made rich at the expense of the Company. -- Who is to be responsible for the promises made? What security has the county that they will be complied with? Who is pressing with such untiring energy, this question on the county? Is it not done by the inordinate ambition of one single man? We ask these questions for the simple purpose of putting the voters on their guard. The plain question is: -- Shall we vote the Bonds of the county for $300,000 and place them in the hands of the Balt. & O. R. R. Company, without any security that one dollar of either principal or interest will ever be paid back. You will be in the hands of a foreign corporation which can at any time vote themselves such salaries and subsidies as they may choose. Holding 2/3 of the stock of the road, will not this overshadowing power absorb the last farthing and run the roads in their exclusive interest, with utter disregard to the interest of the county? Can the county go to the stockholders meetings? -- We think not. Who then will represent the county? Will it not be some Lawyer, who has his own interests to advance and not the interest of the county. Are these questions to be kept hidden from the county? No! let us canvass them -- let us talk about them whenever we meet -- let us explain to our hands on the farms and in the workshops -- let there be great excitement, as there is great interest at stake.

We have stated truly and plainly the position you will be placed in, if you vote the Bonds of the county for $300,000, with the present security. If the Balt. & Ohio R. R. will step forward and secure the interest and principal, as you secure your bonds to them, we say then, and not until then, will we give the county bonds.

We ask you in all candor are you prepared with the present lights before you, to put your property under contribution for 30 years to a foreign corporation and by your own votes put a burden of taxation upon yourselves and your children, which you will scarcely be able to stand, together with the heavy taxation which must follow the introduction of the new and untried machinery of the State constitution.

The completion of the Valley R. R. to Salem is to be devoutly wished for; but let us have patience and wait for the gradual development of our lands with the wants of the people, and for the present be satisfied with the Chesapeake & O. R. R. to Richmond, and connecting with Petersburg, Norfolk, and O. & A. R. R. to Alexandria, Washington and Baltimore, which is 20 miles nearer Baltimore than by the Valley R. R. These will serve our purposes until we get out of debt, and a more efficient mode is presented of building up our county.

We understand that a proposition has been made, that the Town of Staunton in addition to the $100,000 already subscribed, shall take her proportion of the Company's $300,000 -- thereby throwing into the county 900 votes to carry the $300,000. If this be so, in the name of Augusta county, we protest against the fraud. This subject deserves earnest consideration. Go to the polls as members of the same family. Let every one cast his vote for or against giving $300,000 to be placed in the hands of the B. & O. R. R. or in the hands of the President of the V. R. R. Let us have a clear decision, leaving no room for complaint.


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"Our Next Leader"
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper endorsed the Lexington Gazette's choice of A. H. H. Stuart as the next conservative candidate for Chief Magistracy of Virginia.
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. Stuart)
Virginia Female Institute
(Column 02)
Summary: The Virginia Female Institute held commencement exercises that included musical performances and speeches.
(Names in announcement: Bishop Johns, Prof. Richard, Lydia G. Hansbrough, Mamie Pritchard, Annie H. North, Miss Genevieve S. Shackleford, Mary B. Maverick, Mary L. Moore, Agnes R. Payne, Belle Shackleford, Nettie W. Bayne, Ella H. Wilkins, Hattie A. Mansfield, Jennie P. Brewer, Lizzie Fairfax Gaines, Castleman, Teresa A. Thom, Lizzie McCay, Sallie P. Harrison, Jordan, Florence Brannon, Brown, Belle Kirk, N. Hamilton, Veal, McGavock, Nannie H. Brown, Lizzie May Burke, Josie Cowan, Lucy W. Pendleton, Lizzie Radford, Sallie A. Roller, Maggie E. Segar, Laura Staples, Mamie Brewer, Edith Cash, Mamie Lew Dancey, Jennie T. Elliott, R. Nathalie Hamilton, Sallie W. Lamar, Susie T. Marks, Carrie Willingham, Virginia L. Hansbrough, Cynthia McGavock, Prof. Scharf, H. W. Sheffey, Georgine Le Sassier, Amelia B. Haile, Edith Cash, Carrie Wallace, Agatha Gay, Nellie Garber, Belle Green, Florence Phillips Mason, Gertrude Massie, Ella Scott, Anne M. Adams, N. J. Hayden, Mollie L. McCay, Emma Pritchard, Cady A. Rector, Maggie S. Martin, Jennie P. Brewer, Ella Jordan, Nettie V. Boothe, M. Kemp Kinckle, Nettie B. Stribling, Maggie Sheffey, Jennie T. Elliott, Mamie E. Hamilton, Fannie H. Ware, Lizzie A. Moore, Rosalie S. Young, M. Sue Veal, M. J. Garnett, M. B. Garnett, Lina Lowry, Sallie W. Lamar)
An Appeal from Rockingham and Augusta to Highland and Pendleton
(Column 05)
Summary: "Mt. Solon" wrote to the Spectator to plead for the improvement of the North River Gap Road from Shaver's Shop, Augusta County, to Jacob Smith's in Pendleton.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: At a recent fair, the ladies of Greenville raised $112 for construction of a parsonage.
Stribling Springs
(Column 01)
Summary: The Stribling Springs resort in Augusta will open under the direction of Chesley Kinney. Visitors can take the Sulphur, Alum, or Chalybeate waters.
(Names in announcement: Chesley Kinney)
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. Dr. Sampson of Columbian College will deliver three lectures in Staunton for the benefit of the Baptist Church. He will discuss his trips to Goshen, Mt. Sinai, Palestine, and Jerusalem.
Closing Exercises of Eastwood School
(Column 01)
Summary: The Eastwood School held closing exercises, which included many inspiring speeches.
(Names in announcement: J. R. Summerson, B. Massie, G. E. Mott, J. C. Haile, J. W. Esslinger, S. L. Wheat, S. N. Miller, Thomas Reese, S. H. Reese, S. L. Lang, L. M. Bumgardner, Thomas Taylor, W. F. Francisco, T. E. Powers, G. Caperton, I. Kearny)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Augusta County Fair will be held from October 18th to October 20th.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper printed the names of the officers elected by Staunton Lodge No. 13, F. A. M.
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, S. Mandelbaum, J. C. Covell, P. H. Trout, J. F. Patterson, Howard Wayt, J. H. Hanger, Henry Matthews)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The blind pupils of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute held their annual concert on June 22nd. The paper declared the program, directed by Prof. A. J. Turner, "brilliant" and performed with "a high degree of musical taste and talent on the part of the pupils."
(Names in announcement: Prof. A. J. Turner)
Colored Free-Masons
(Column 02)
Summary: The editor chronicled a celebration of the anniversary of St. John the Baptist, held by the local Free Masons.
(Names in announcement: W. W. Foreman, W. B. Derrick, A. Shoveler, R. J. Morgan)
Full Text of Article:

-- On Friday last, June 24th, Union Grand Lodge, State of Virginia, celebrated with Mt. Zion Lodge, No 12, of this place, the anniversary of St. John, the Baptist.

The procession formed in front of Mt. Zion Lodge on New Court-house street at 11 o'clock in the following Order: Mt. Zion Lodge, visiting members of the order, Union Grand Lodge, orator of the day, Master of Mt. Zion Lodge. The procession was headed by the Band of the D. D. & Blind Institution, in their new Band wagon drawn by six horses.

The procession, making a fine appearance, (the members being well dressed) moved up New Court-house street to Augusta, up Augusta to Frederick, up Frederick to Green, down Green to Beverly, up Beverly to the Grove near the D. D. & Blind Institution, where the following exercises, in the order named, took place:

Music by the Band; Prayer; Introductory remarks by the Grand Master; address by W. W. Foreman, W. B. Derrick, A. Shoveler and R. J. Morgan, Grand Master; Music by the Band.

The procession then reformed and moved up Beverly street to Market, up Market to Frederick, down Frederick to Bagby's building, the place of Festival, adjoining the Post-office.

After the Festival, the procession was again formed and marched down Augusta to New Court-house street, then down that street to the Lodge-room.

Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and the Blind
(Column 02)
Summary: The Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute held its annual exhibition. The board of visitors met while the students gave demonstrations, including the Lord's Prayer in signs.
(Names in announcement: Maj. Thomas C. Elder, Mary Stears, Mary Eliason, Tommy Johnson, Ms. Kerr, Capt. McCoy)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. M. C. Koiner, wife of Cyrus Koiner, died near Fishersville on June 7th. She was 40 years old.
(Names in announcement: M. C. Koiner, Cyrus Koiner)

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