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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: 12 13, 1870

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The President's Message
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper printed President Grant's annual message to Congress in full.

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President's Message
(Column 02)
Summary: Ridiculed Grant's message to Congress, saying it was entirely unoriginal. Accused Grant of not implementing the fair policies he claimed to support, thereby injuring "the true interests of the country."
Full Text of Article:

The Alexandria Gazette, in speaking of the President's Message, say's that, "it is, neither in style, nor matter, at all extraordinary. The tone towards Great Britain and the Canadian authorities is, if not unfriendly, at least sufficiently adverse as to please those who are not straight as to lean over" -- the 'acquisition' of St. Domingo is still pressed -- the proposed 'Revenue reform' is pronounced against, &c. -- The conclusion of the Message gives what purports to be 'the policy of the Administration,' which, as far as words are concerned, looks fair enough -- the only difficulty being that the 'words' have not been carried out or fulfilled by 'acts.' The real 'policy' of the Administration is to uphold the Radical party, and to continue it in power -- in many instances to the oppression of the people, and to the injury of the true interests of the country.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of New Hope will give a dinner on December 27th to benefit Round Hill Church.
"Old Virginia Never Tire"
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper asserted that those who leave Virginia ultimately figure out that Virginia bests any other place in the country , and those who leave Staunton find it the best city in Virginia. A. G. Points, the most recent Staunton resident to leave, tried to settle in Nashville but quickly returned and re-opened his grocery in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: A. G. Points)
The Governor's Message
(Column 02)
Summary: Highly praised the governor's annual message. Could not print it in full but summarized its points. These included finances(especially with regard to debt), forming a state militia, reforming state penitentiaries, avoiding special legislation, and codification of the laws.
Full Text of Article:

The annual Message of Gov. Walker is an able and manly document. Not having room to publish it, in extenso, in this issue, we publish in lieu thereof the following brief summary, by the Petersburg Index, of the chief points it touches:

The Governor begins by a just congratulation to the Assembly upon its past acts, whence he immediately proceeds to the subject of the FINANCE. Reciting several of the proposed schemes for the restoration of our credit, and making a full disclosure of our relations, as to the State debt, with West Virginia, the Governor earnestly recommends our assumption of the whole former debt of Virginia, and urges the founding of it, principal and interest, in new bonds of the State, such as were recommended in the Message of March last, bearing date July 1st, 1871. Thus the first semi-annual interest payment becomes due January 1st, 1872. In regard to the controversy with West Virginia it is recommended that resort be had to arbitration, and confidence is expressed in the willingness of the new administration of that State to join us in such arbitration, though the present administration has been deaf to our appeals for a settlement. In regard to the same subject the Assembly is urged to limit their session to the constitutional term of ninety days, and finally, the hope is expressed that under lessened expenses in the future the State will be able to resume payment of interest on January 1st, 1872. On the whole subject the Governor is firm for the credit of the State and against all forms of repudiation, active or passive. It is even suggested, though the manner is not pointed out, that native holders of State bonds, so long as the interest is not paid, should receive a rebate of taxes to that extent. The suggestion is thrown out chiefly, it appears, to lead up to the urgent necessity of a return to the payment of interest.

Next to engage the attention of the Message is the question of a STATE MILITIA. He urges the immediate organization of a general militia force, including a regular State Guard for use at Richmond, at receiving the municipal riots of the Spring, in Richmond, together with the Taylor & South Farm riots by negro squatters, as also the iniquitous recall of the United States troops sent to preserve order, at the request of the Assembly and the State Executive, he makes the facts of those cases, told in firm and temperate tones, convey a telling rebuke to the President and advisers, in whose counsel "partisan zeal usurps the place and functions of official integrity."

BOUNDARY LINES form the next subject, and a history is given of what has been done, with timely suggestions as to the future. Regarding the State Penitentiary, the Governor recommends the suggestions of the report of the commissioners heretofore appointed, and urges legislation looking to enlargement and changes of our prison buildings and general system. He reports a gratifying decrease of the cost of the convicts during the incumbency of the present Superintendent.

On SPECIAL LEGISLATION the Governor makes some wise and timely remarks, which it were well if the Assembly will heed, pointing out its cost, its uselessness and its corrupting and demoralizing tendency, and declaring that general legislation could preclude nine-tenths of what comes under the form of special bills, charters, &c., &c.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS heads the next subject, in which, for convenience and thorough performance of official duty, it is urged that upon the passage of bills, they be at once enrolled, signed by the presiding officers of the House and sent to the Governor, whereby time would be given for him for that examination called for by the veto power and made necessary by the oath of office.

The Message then recommends a CODIFICATION of the Laws of Virginia and concludes with congratulating the Assembly upon the peace and order reigning in the State, and upon the courage of the people in striving with adverse circumstances of debt, disappointment, poverty, political misrule and providential calamity.

The tone of the Message is worthy of its subject and of its author. It is such a paper as well becomes a Governor of this Commonwealth. Calm, dignified, and clear, it makes no appeal to passion nor betrays a partisan thought, but with a plain disclosure of our needs it points out how to meet them, and with no undue eulogy upon our people, it yet recognizes those quantities which have made Virginia the mother of men generous in prosperity and in adversity steadfast, in peace upholders of law and order, and in war famous for great deeds.

Population of this Congressional District
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper printed the population figures for the congressional district including Augusta. Augusta County had 28,761 persons of a total 127,994, and 1,775 farms of a total 7,747.
(Column 04)
Summary: Lawson P. Campbell and Miss Cynthia Rediford, both of Augusta, were married on November 20th by the Rev. J. M. Shreckhise.
(Names in announcement: Lawson P. Campbell, Cynthia Rediford, Rev. J. M. Shreckhise)
(Column 04)
Summary: James W. Wallace and Ophelia Wilson, daughter of the late John P. Wilson, were married near Barterbrook at the residence of Mr. Brown Patterson by the Rev. James Murray. "Oh, guide them safe, this world through/Mid all the cares of life and love."
(Names in announcement: James W. Wallace, Ophelia Wilson, John P. Wilson, Brown Patterson, Rev. James Murray)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Elizabeth Snapp died on December 11th. She was 67 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Snapp)
(Column 04)
Summary: William Hamilton died at his residence on Christian's Creek on November 14th. He was 71 years old.
(Names in announcement: William Hamilton)

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