Staunton Spectator: July 12, 1870Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
(Column 05)Summary: Anonymous writer "Progress" replied to "Augusta", arguing in favor of the subscription to the Valley Railroad. "Progress" provided facts and statistics showing how it will not be a costly project, that the R. R. company was well established, and the company would act in Augusta's concerns.
Full Text of Article:
Editor of the Staunton Spectator.
Dear Sir -- In the Spectator of June 28th, you have admitted an article from a person signing himself "Augusta," which much surprised myself, and others who had supposed you friendly to the Valley R. R. It may have emanated from a personal friend, or an old supporter of your paper, or a person holding a position in society, which gave him an apparent right to be heard, or you may think it fair to give both sides of the question. But let me ask you if someone should write an article for your paper in favor of burning the town of Staunton, or in favor of burning all the barns and mills in the county, urging the citizens of the county to go to work and do it. Would you publish it without comment, as you did this article? And yet such an article would have much less tendency to injure the county than the one you gave room for -- 1st, because it would be less likely to be heeded, and 2nd, if it was heeded, and carried out, the county would be able to recover from the effect of such destruction, and rise again to prosperity in far less time, as we know from our late war experience, than it possibly can from the consequences of defeat to the Valley R. R., yet perhaps it was well enough to let the public see what the reasons, and arguments of the opposition are so that we may know how to combat them, and expose their weakness and absurdity. The great bugbear with "Augusta," seems to be the tax for the enormous sum of $300,000 which has scared him out of his sober senses, and set him to raving about a mortgage on his farm to pay it. Let us take his own estimate, that the road will be worth nothing at all to any body, and that the county will have to pay the whole subscription and interest for 30 years amounting to $840,000. -- How much is the amount to each person in Augusta? By the census of 1860, there was 27,749 inhabitants, and at the lowest estimate of natural increase the population must now be 40,000, and in the thirty years to come during which the interest, and at the end of which the principal is to be paid, the natural increase, with or without the aid of the road, will make the number 80,000, which, divided into the $840,000, gives $10.50 to each person in thirty years or 31 1/2 cents a year. But, says "Augusta," the tax is to be laid upon the land, not the population. Then let us see how it stand. I have not before me a statement of the number of acres of land in Augusta county, but, by taking the scale of the map. It cannot be far from 630,000 acres, which will make the tax $133 1/3 cents per acre in 30 years, or less than an average of 4 1/2 cents per acre, per year. Ah! poor "Augusta," he is going to be ruined by having his land mortgaged for 4 1/2 cents per acre, or 31 2/3 cents for each member of his family. There are facts and figures that cannot lie, and how contemptible it makes the complaints of the croakers. Now is "Augusta" any more happy in his facts than his figures. The promises and advantages to which he refers are in a good measure as certain to follow as day follows night. Railroads are no new experiment -- they have brought such advantage wherever built all over the world, and the time has come when no country can prosper without them, not such road, as the C. & O. R. R., has been running into the mountains and stopping, doing only a local trade between sparsely settled districts and Richmond, but great through lines such as the Valley R. R., and the C. & O. R. R. will be when completed. "Augusta" asserts there is no Valley R. R. Company. I can find no milder term to apply to this statement than that it is false, and without foundation, refuted in the very letter he refers to for proof.
The Valley Railroad Company is duly organized under an express charter from the Legislature of Virginia, with President, Directors, and all the proper officers of a Company with power to sue and be sued, and transact any business lawful for a company to do. It is equally false that there are no private stockholders. -- The amount of private stock I am not able to give; but this I know: That $100,000 was subscribed by individuals, before the Company was organized -- that I am a stock-holder myself, and that I, with others, subscribed after the $100,000 was complete. Is the city of Baltimore, the B. & O. R. R. Co., the counties of Rockbridge, Botetourt and Roanoke, the towns of Lexington and Staunton all fools to subscribe $2,900,000 to a company that does not exist? What a pity this Solon did not arrive in time and put us all on our guard. He has been very direlect of his duty to hold his peace until all except Augusta has been swindled. Again, "Augusta" tells us that the B. & O. R. R., by holding $1,000,000 of the $4,200,000 required to build the road, will hold a controlling vote, (how?) and will manage the affair so badly that we will lose both principal and interest, and in the next breath, tells us they manage their own road so well that they make one million of dollars a month. He also tells us that we have no security that the terms of subscription will be complied with. The County Court has provided that the bonds of the county are not to be given until the whole subscription sufficient to build the road is complete; that the money shall all be expended in the bounds of Augusta county, and the stock of the road secured to the county. In fact every guarantee that the court could throw around the citizen has been done. The fact is, "Augusta" is blindly beating the air in frantic despair at the idea of having that 4 1/2 cents to pay, and it is impossible to follow all the wanderings of his distempered mind. But one more point I must revert to. He says this matter is being pressed upon the people of Augusta, only by the inordinate ambition of one man. Whom on earth does he mean? Among the many thousands, nay millions of people in the Valley of Virginia, in Baltimore and in Tennessee, who are laboring with untiring energy and zeal, spending their time and money to get this great enterprise under way. Does he mean General R. E. Lee, who was chairman of the delegation to Baltimore from the Valley, to solicit their aid and pledged our own to this great work? When "Augusta" throws a stone into so large a crowd he ought to be careful who he hits. Is it possible that the people of Augusta county are going to be influenced by such absurd statements and arguments as those, to give up all the advantages and profits of having her resources developed, her industry stimulated by the influx of money that the building of the road must bring, besides the lasting benefit of having the road, and the income to be derived for all-time to come from the dividends of the stock all to save that 4 1/2 cent fiddle!!
RAPHINE, Va. PROGRESS.
Virginia Insurance Companies
(Column 01)Summary: The paper praised the Virginia Insurance Company for its status as a southern institution. Those who purchased policies safely know that their money will not flow to northern capitalists.
(Column 01)Summary: The Board of Visitors appointed Arthur Harman, H. A. McCue, and S. M. Williams of Augusta as state cadets.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Arthur Harman, H. A. McCue, S. M. Williams)
(Column 01)Summary: The paper commented on the large number of visitors recently at Stribling Springs.[No Title]
(Column 01)Summary: The Rev. J. Rice Bowman of Harrisonburg will replace the Rev. Charles S. M. See as pastor of Tinkling Spring Church in Augusta County.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Rice Bowman, Rev. Charles S. M. See)
(Column 01)Summary: Covington Lodge No. 171, F. A. M., issued a resolution of thanks to Dr. C. R. Harris for a recent address.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Dr. C. R. Harris, J. M. Rice, William M. Scott, William H. Payne, John F. Jordan)
(Column 03)Summary: James E. Ross, son of W. O. and S. A. Ross, died in Mt. Sidney on July 1st. He was 8 months old.Deaths
(Names in announcement: James E. Ross, W. O. Ross, S. A. Ross)
(Column 03)Summary: Miss Melvina Whitlock died near Mt. Sidney on June 29th.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Melvina Whitlock)
(Column 03)Summary: George Patterson died on South River on July 2nd of consumption.Deaths
(Names in announcement: George Patterson)
(Column 03)Summary: John Arron died near Salem Church on June 29th.Deaths
(Names in announcement: John Arron)
(Column 03)Summary: John M. Beard, son of James Beard, died near Parnassus, Augusta County, on July 3rd. He was 27 years old.
(Names in announcement: John M. Beard, James Beard)