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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: December 5, 1866

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-Page 01-

Mechanics in Society
(Column 05)
Summary: The Virginian endorses and declares applicable to Staunton an article in the Atlanta New Era celebrating the role of mechanics in society. That class of people is the "main-stay of society" and add greatly to community prosperity. Education in this line of work should be promoted.
Origin of Article: Atlanta New Era
The Golgotha at Arlington
(Column 05)
Summary: This article proclaims the Federal Cemetery at Arlington to be a "literal Golgotha" in which bones of dead soldiers are allegedly mixed indiscriminately in common pits.
Our Colored People
(Column 06)
Summary: This article reprinted from the Baltimore Transcript urges white southerners to avoid insulting African Americans, but declares absolute opposition to suffrage rights.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Transcript
Full Text of Article:

The Baltimore Transcript, of November 22d, expresses some sensible views on a subject heretofore commented on by the Valley Virginian. In speaking about the colored people, it says:

"There are one or two matters apparently trivial, but really important, to which we beg to call the attention of the Southern employer. The colored race in this country have a fixed aversion to being called "negroes" and particularly "damn negroes." When we devote a little reflection to this subject, it really seems a trifling thing to haggle upon a point like this. It is hardly worth any gentleman's or lady's while to hurt the feelings of a dependant. If, therefore, they prefer to be called "servants," or "colored people," for Heaven's sake let them so be styled! This appears to be a small matter, but those familiar with African peculiarities, know that it is one of considerable moment.

With regard to extending the right of suffrage to the colored population, they might as well know now, once for all, that the South is fixedly opposed to it, and will never yield except upon compulsion.

We are opposed to extending this franchise 1st, Because the North is insolently, unconstitutionally and unjustly endeavoring to force it upon us. It is our affair and not theirs. We are opposed to it secondly because we do not think that the colored men are fit to exercise the right of suffrage. Many of us believe that there are many white men who are not fit to vote and that allowing them to do so has been demonstrated to be a profound mistake that we are not willing to repeat on such an extended scale. There [section unclear].

If the South is compelled by the North to yield in this particular, intelligent colored men can readily understand that this privilege of voting, obtained by these means, will bring about the speedy ruin of their people. Then will [section unclear]. Rather than have a hostile population in their midst, the Southern proprietors of land, the employers of the colored race, will speedily obtain from abroad the requisite supply of labor and the African will disappear from this continent as surely and more suddenly than the Indian. The places that know him now will know him no more, and he will become a thing of the past, "a school boy's dream, the wonder of an hour."

-Page 02-

Our New Volume
(Column 02)
Summary: The Valley Virginian closes its first volume in a retrospective outlining its origins, goals, and touting its staff of soldiers.
Full Text of Article:

On the 19th of September, 1865, there was put forth a modest announcement, stating that "The Valley Virginian would be published every Wednesday in the town of Staunton, and be devoted to the best interests of the Valley of Virginia," and that "every exertion would be used to make it a medium of communication between the different portions of Augusta and the Valley. Particular attention would be paid to the local department, and no effort would be wanting to render the Valley Virginian worthy of the generous support of our people."

How far our endeavors to fulfill these promises have been successful, a subscription list, double that we started with, and a full share of Job work and advertising shows, and we can assure the generous friends, who have sustained us for the past year, that we appreciate their efforts in our behalf; and that we shall not weary in trying to make our paper all it should be, to merit such a support.

With grateful hearts we acknowledge our many obligations to the generous people of our native Country and of the entire Valley. If, as we said in our first number, "four years of service in our native Valley, taught us to love it more and more, and to appreciate the high qualities of its people as they should be," what can we say in their praise now, that we have seen them during a year that has certainly "tried men's souls?" We can only say they have made a desolated country "blossom as the rose," and that they have proved themselves worthy of the past. We can only acknowledge their generous support of our enterprise, and re-echo the voice of the thousand recipients of her bounty, now scattered over the Southern States, in saying "God bless her! God bless her! God favor the Valley of Virginia."

The experience of the past year justifies us in announcing to our friends and the public that the VALLEY VIRGINIAN is an established institution of the Valley; to rise or fall with the fortunes of the people, as a just and merciful Providence may decree. It has struggled through difficulties that would have swamped other papers, (but then we had true soldiers for printers,) and while not boasting of its age, or its venerable appearance, it is proud, in its infancy, to be acknowledged among the first weekly journals of the interior.

In commencing a new volume, we have no further pledges to offer. We will continue to make the Valley Virginian all its name claims, as a local paper, and, as for politics, while expressing our views fully, we expect to "throw them to the dogs," and continue to devote our exertions to the development of the material resources of our loved Valley and of Virginia. We have made arrangements to add greatly to the interest of the columns of our paper, and "new improvements will be constantly introduced." In consideration of the liberal local patronage bestowed upon us, we have reduced the rates of transient advertising, as will be seen by our general card on the first page; and, whenever justified by our business, we expect to make a further reduction--purely as a business matter.

To our brethren of the press, especially of Staunton and the Valley, we desire to return our sincere acknowledgements for many favors and delicate attentions which have only to be received to be properly appreciated. In breasting up against the troubles and trials of a new year, we could ask no better fortune than that our intercourse with our brothers, in the great work of restoring the country to its pristine prosperity and happiness, shall be as pleasant as it has been in the past. May all our efforts--all our labors--tend to promote harmony among our people; to dignify our profession and make it in fact and in truth, not only the "fourth estate," but the "first in the realm," of honesty, virtue, and true greatness.

A Cheerful View of the Situation
(Column 03)
Summary: This article reprinted from the Richmond Times takes an optimistic view of the commercial and political future of Virginia. Material prosperity will bring an end to political persecution, the author asserts. Soldiers returning to work their farms should be congratulated.
Origin of Article: Richmond Times
Full Text of Article:

There are many of the belief that the future of Virginia was never so bright as now. Of this opinion were some of the accomplished and distinguished agriculturalists who recently represented the Virginia State Agricultural Society in this city. We sincerely hope that the encouraging peep which these gentlemen seem to have had behind the curtain of futurity has disclosed sights and events which, when they come within the range of other men's eyes, will confirm their impressions and predictions. We are not given to despondency, and we swallow with joyous avidity any hopes which are thrown to us from any quarter. We believe in hope--we look upon it as the poet did
"Hope! of all the ills that men endure,
The only cheap and universal cure,
Thou captive's freedom and thou sick man's health:
Thou lover's victory and thou beggar's wealth."

There is a vitality in hope which is hard to destroy. The Radicals cannot "confiscate" it, nor can they exclude it from our hearts by a constitutional amendment. We are very rich in hope, and we can increase our wealth in this respect whenever we please. And the most hopeful sign which we have seen is the fact that so many of our best politicians are turning their attention to agriculture, which is the only lever after all that can lift us out of the pit of woe and misfortune into which we have been cast by the unsuccessful results of our attempts to exercise the right of self government.

It is a subject of congratulation that so many of our late soldiers and statesmen are imitating CINCINNATUS--not through choice, perhaps, but from constraint of circumstances. But so their zeal, energy, talents and example are secured, no matter how, in developing the most important of all the natural resources of a State, the desired result will be accomplished. What we want now is the creation and accumulation of wealth, and the speediest and surest way to get it will be to dig and plow the earth. Money is said to be "the root of all evil," but the want of the "root" is working more evil in this commonwealth than the possession of it would be.

Most of the indignity, persecution and oppression which we now receive at the hands of the ruling faction of the North arise because of our present poverty and helplessness. We are like poor relations, objects to be snubbed and put upon. But let us once begin to be prosperous; let it be generally known that we are getting rich, that we have "corn for sale," and straight-way our friends will become as numerous as locusts, and their affections will be most touching. If we shall then be indifferent about taking our seats in Congress, they will be ready to drag us in by force.

It is a prodigious thing to have money; it is "treason" to be poor. Wealth adds to a man's respectability and "loyalty;" poverty keeps him out of his seat in Congress and proves conclusively that he is a "rebel." The way to get justice and power and friends is to get rich, and we can do so through the aid of agriculture, because our staple products are worth now more than they ever were before. Every man who has a field has a gold mine--let him dig it. Politics pay nothing at present, and it is hoped that every politician will become a plowman; and if that does not suit him let him turn his wood sawyer and chop sticks instead of logic. When we have retrieved our fortunes, then we will try and set the country to rights; meantime, let the Radicals run their machine to Hades if they wish it. Richmond Times.

Our Maimed
(Column 03)
Summary: A report of 57 counties in Virginia to the Committee of the Richmond Medical Journal Commission finds that 360 ex-Confederate soldiers who have lost arms or legs are residing in those cities or counties. Eight reside in Lynchburg.
What a "Visitor" tells the Baltimore Trancript
(Column 04)
Summary: A correspondent of the Baltimore Transcript describes a trip to Staunton. He discusses the town's rapid recovery from war, its interest in the Valley Railroad, its political views, and its institutions such as the Asylum and the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute.
(Names in announcement: Judge Sheffey, Dr. Francis T. Stribling, J. C. Covell, Turner, Bear, Brown, Lanigan, Forrer)
Full Text of Article:

Staunton, Nov. 23, 1866.

This place, always one of the most healthful and attractive towns of Virginia, has recuperated more rapidly from the exhaustion of the late war, than almost any other town in Virginia. The work of renovation and building is something remarkable, and the old families of the place in bygone days, would hardly recognize the dear old spot, in its renewed youth, and wide awake aspect. It is difficult to keep pace here with the demand for new buildings, caused by the increase of business, and the attractions as a residence, held forth by this "mountain city," nestled in the lap of these grand old hills, and having a population remarkable for refinement and intelligence not less than public spirit and enterprise.

The community is greatly interested in the Valley railroad, an interest which, it is to be presumed, Baltimore shares in largely, it being a much more important matter to her than it can be to the people of the Valley. The survey of this road, under Major Randolph and his efficient corps, has just been completed. The entire length of the survey made is said to be about one hundred and twenty-three miles, from Harrisonburg to Salem. It is roughly estimated that the road can be built for thirty thousand dollars per mile. The report of Maj. Randolph to his company is looked for here with great interest. The road is one of the most important to the commerce and trade of Baltimore that was ever built, and will render the most fertile part of Virginia tributary to her wealth, as well as the rich and inexhaustible Southwest.

The Circuit Court, Judge Sheffey presiding, is now in session here. One of the most important cases, and involving a larger amount of money than any ever tried here, came up on Monday last, and is not yet ended. It is the case of Brown, Lanigan & Co. vs. Forrer and others, involving some $250,000 furnace property. There is a very able array of counsel on both sides.

It would puzzle the most uncharitable enemy of the South, if such a man could be induced to examine it personally for himself, to discover any grounds for a charge of disloyalty against the people in the "Old Stonewall District" of Virginia. Originally opposed to disunion, they are a good deal more "loyal" at this moment, than many of those in other States who profess to be the exclusive champions of the Union, and who are showing their championship by knocking the breath out of its body. The people here, like the masses of the people everywhere throughout the South, are most anxious to resume their relations to the government, and have faithfully performed, and intend to perform all the duties and obligations of law abiding citizens.

The Western Lunatic Asylum situated in Staunton, is a proud monument to the humanity of Virginia, and the pre-eminent skill and qualifications for the post of its Superintendent Dr. Francis T. Stribling, who for more than a quarter of a century has presided over this institution, and who seems to me one of those men whom Providence raised up to meet a great want of society, and whose enlightened and benevolent ministrations to suffering mankind, entitle them to a higher place in the veneration of the race than the most renowned heroes of war and destruction. The blended wisdom and benignity, and the rare tact and judgement exercised by Dr. Stribling in the discharge of his arduous and delicate responsibilities, rank him among the greatest of public benefactors. I was glad to find that the institution had so rapidly recovered from the collapse in which its treasury was left at the conclusion of the war, and, in this connection, too much praise cannot be awarded to Governor Pierpont, who exerted himself promptly to supply its pressing wants, and responded at once to all drafts for money which reached him with the sanction of the board. There were in the Asylum at the commencement of the year three hundred and seven insane persons--males 177, females 130--since admitted 63--now in the institution, 374. I have been surprised to learn that no increase of insanity has resulted from the war, and the troubles of the times, except among blacks, who were formerly remarkably exempt from this affliction, but amongst whom insanity has so increased since their liberation, that it is found necessary to call upon the legislature to make additional provisions for their relief.

Another of the admirable benevolent State institutions at Staunton is the "Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind," of which that thoroughly competent and accomplished gentleman, Mr. J. C. Covell, M. A., is Principal. The proficiency which these unfortunate persons exhibit in education is something wonderful, and is the best proof of the high ability and energy of the superintendent. The number of pupils at present is eighty. This is in fact the leading institution of the kind in the Southern States, and the fact that the Ohio Institution, at Columbus, has ordered its books from it is a striking illustration of its general reputation. The Chapel of the Institute will seat six hundred persons, and the organ is the second in the States. Two of the assistant teachers in the deaf and dumb department, Mr. Turner and Mr. Bear, are deaf mutes, and more efficient and competent teachers it would be difficult to find. It is worth a visit to Staunton to hear the music of the blind especially in the combination of the organ and other instrumental music, with the sweet voices of the singers. The buildings of this Institution and of the Insane are on a very large scale, simply supplied with all the modern appliances of comfort, and are among the architectural ornaments of the State.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that "the colored people's Fair commences Christmas morning and will continue throughout Christmas week."
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces that Thanksgiving Day was "generally observed in Staunton. Those who had notes due in the National Banks were very glad they were closed, and gave thanks accordingly. That's all."
The Lyceum
(Column 01)
Summary: A full house debated the merits of immigrant labor and "free negro labor" at the Staunton lyceum. The vote was "in favor of the colored people."
President Davis
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that the condition and quarters of "our loved chieftain" is not "luxurious." His rations "are those of a private soldier" and frequent visitors disturb him. The editors urge Augusta farmers to send him Christmas gifts including "flour, apples, venison, turkeys, and everything that is raised in the Valley."
Ladies' Cemetery Fair
(Column 03)
Summary: The Ladies of Staunton are planning a fair for the benefit of the West Augusta Cemetery.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The "ladies and gentlemen of Staunton" are invited to the next meeting of the lyceum where they will discuss the question, "Is Republican Government a failure?"
Western Lunatic Asylum of Virginia
(Column 03)
Summary: Dr. F. T. Stribling, Superintendent of the Western Lunatic Asylum, published a report showing that in the past thirty years, 19,000 patients have been admitted to the Asylum, of whom about 900 have been cured. "This remarkable result shows that insanity, when treated by skillful hands, is as curable as any other disease, and affords strong evidence of the very superior ability, judgement and fidelity of the eminent and accomplished Superintendent."
(Names in announcement: Dr. F. T. Stribling)
Origin of Article: Baltimore Transcript
Town Council--December Session
(Column 03)
Summary: The town council met with Mayor Trout presiding. Crawford, Balthis, Hope, Points, and Bickle were absent. Mr. Kayser reported that B. T. Bagby had cleaned out Lewis' Creek. Bagby was paid $900. Kayser also reported that he used old brick in laying pavement north of N. K. Trout's lot, and was authorized to continue.
(Names in announcement: Mayor N. K. Trout, Crawford, Balthis, Hope, Points, Bickle, Kayser, B. T. Bagby)
Removal of Our Dead From Piedmont
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper reports on the removal of the bodies of Confederate soldiers to cemeteries in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: H. A. Lane, Capt. J. M. Welch, Thomas Legion, W. L. Moorehead, M. Blue, Sergt. D. W. Suttle, A. E. Tinsley, A. H. Siddlington, Marshall, Daniel Owens, Samuel Johnson Gardener)
Full Text of Article:

About forty of our dead from Piedmont have been brought to the Cemetery here, among them H. A. Lane, 27th Va., Battalion, Capt. J. M. Welch, 6th N. C., Regiment, Thomas Legion, W. L. Moorehead, Co. B. 30th Va., Infantry, Lt. M. Blue, Hampshire county, Va., Sergt. D. W. Suttle, Co. E 60 Va., Infantry, Capt. J. P. B., Co. G, 30th Tenn., Regiment. The rest are unknown. The Ladies desire to thank the people of that portion of the county for the aid given by them, especially the soldiers of our Army. They desire to acknowledge the receipt of $5, from Mrs. A. E. Tinsley; $2, from A. H. Siddlington; $12,50 from Mrs. Marshall, who has so patriotically collected so much for the cause; $2 from Mr. Daniel Owens, of Baltimore. Mr. Samuel Johnson Gardener at the Western Lunatic Asylum, has agreed to plant out the trees in the Cemetery free of charge. Rich earth is needed, and our farmers should send it in at once. It is surely little to give--a cart load of earth they died for. Who can refuse the request?

Circuit Court
(Column 03)
Summary: The proceedings of the Circuit Court continued. T. G. Stout vs. George C. Robertson and T. N. Stout and Co. vs. the same, both cases involving bond during Confederate times, are ongoing. Bastable and Hunton vs. R. G. Glendy, action on bond with collateral conditions, was resolved in favor of the defendant. R. J. Hope vs. Arch Brock, verdict in favor of plaintiff. James Walker vs John Christian resulted in a hung jury. "In this case James Walker is suing John Christian for the cost of cattle purchased by Christian as the agent of Major Tate, who was an officer of the Confederate Government." Stuart and Fultz argued for the plaintiff, and Christian, Michie and Bumgardner for the defendant. A similar case, Alex Walker vs John Christian, is ongoing.
(Names in announcement: T. G. Stout, George C. Robertson, T. N. Stout, Bastable, Hunton, R. G. Glendy, R. J. Hope, Arch Brock, James Walker, John Christian, Stuart, Fultz, Major Tate, Michie, Bumgardner, Alex Walker)
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper reports 205 arrivals at Staunton hotels last week.
[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: Colds and coughs are prevalent in the Valley.
(Column 04)
Summary: W. D. Rosen, of Mint Spring, and Miss Isabella M. Wise, of Staunton, were married on November 21st by the Rev. W. E. Baker.
(Names in announcement: W. D. Rosen, Isabella M. Wise, W. E. Baker)

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