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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: December 12, 1866

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The Southern Press
(Column 05)
Summary: This article argues that the Southern Press is experiencing a renaissance in advocating the "material development of the country." The downfall of the pre-war press was its preoccupation with politics at the expense of concerning itself with the well-being of its citizens.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Transcript
The Future of the South
(Column 05)
Summary: This article argues that the future prosperity of the South depends on developing young men skilled in industry and the mechanical arts.
Origin of Article: National Intelligencer
Full Text of Article:

We utter but a trite sentiment when we say that the future of the South is in the hands of its young men. How many of them are qualifying themselves to manage its factories, control its railroads, mine its ores, work its machine shops, and cultivate its plantations? Professional men it has in abundance--able lawyers, accomplished physicians, eloquent speakers. These have their uses, but the growth of a State depends less on them than on the character of the men who manage its industrial enterprises. What is most needed in the South to-day is that the young blood which fought for us so gallantly should work for it as determinedly. On the plantation, in the shop, in the factory, there the South is to effect its true restoration. The young men who dug trenches and fed on hominy and pork, who went clad in homespun grey and who slept in cold or rain or shine under the canopy of the heavens to further the fortunes, as they believed, of their native land, can now do noble service by laying hold of its plough handles, turning its lathes, guiding its spindles, handling its locomotives. But there is want of capital! No matter--They have youth, health, hope, ambition and good abilities. They have every incentive for which to work. Begin with a will, and success will crown their efforts. National Intelligencer

The Constitutional Amendments
(Column 07)
Summary: This article argues that passing constitutional amendments sets a bad precedent. It implies that there are no limits to changes to the constitution. It is the "very body of the Constitution which is now in danger," the article declares. Furthermore, it could increase, rather than decrease sectionalism, although the next split would combine the West and the South against the Northeast.
Origin of Article: National Intelligencer
Another Freedmen's Bureau Agent Murdered
(Column 07)
Summary: The paper reports that the government alleges that another Freedmen's Bureau Agent has been murdered in Louisiana. Since no name was given, the editors assert that the claim is false, and only an attempt to pin "outrages" upon white southerners.

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Our True Policy
(Column 01)
Summary: This editorial argues that the war proved that the South can be industrious when forced to. If southern whites show the same zeal in developing manufactures, the South will become the most wealthy and powerful section of the country. In the meantime, southerners should stay out of politics to prevent breaking the region's unity.
Full Text of Article:

It was a favorite sneer of our enemies for many years preceding the late war, says the Petersburg Index, that the radical defect of the Southern people was the lack of industry and enterprise. Because we were an agricultural community with labor so cheap and land so abundant that there was little stimulus to strict economy or cunning invention, we were regarded as inferior beings to the owners of less fertile and less abundant acres, who were compelled to live by their wits rather than by plodding industry.

This folly, with many others, was dissipated in our revolution. Who in history have borne hardships? Ours have been greater. Who have created resources? We more. Who showed patience? We a greater measure. Who labored zealously? We with greater diligence. Who endured privations? We more, and more cheerfully. Who defied cold and hunger and nakedness? We, with more tranquil courage. And who in all time, have endured with more sublime fortitude the extinguishment of their hopes and self-government.

We make these claims without a blush, for they comprise all that is left to us worth cherishing.

But if the youth of the South shall turn into the channel of labor, art, invention, and enterprise, the patience, endurance, skill, fertility, energy and resolve which they lavished in the vain effort to achieve their freedom, ten years will establish us in a condition of power, wealth and influence which was undreamed of by our fathers.

Meanwhile, let us keep out of politics, but keep a thorough and perfect social unity. No one can suggest one benefit from mixing in the political squabbles of this rotten republic, while the evils are potent and numerous. Not the least of these is the division of our own people into parties, and the consequent severance of a strength which should be consolidated.

The time is certain to arrive as the Spring surely follows the Winter, when Southern unity will settle the politics of this sentiment. Disfranchisement, confiscation, registry laws, exclusion from the Union--showing that the malice of man can invent, will be able to drive five millions of men from their inheritance. Nothing but their own folly can destroy their [section unclear].

The Situation
(Column 02)
Summary: This editorial comments on several topics including the actions of Congress, the labor question, and proceedings of the Virginia legislature.
Full Text of Article:

Our full report of the Radical Programme, and extracts from reliable journals, leave us but little to say on this ever present subject. We can only refer our readers to our columns, and ask to be excused from "boring" them with a long article this week.

The Legislature of Virginia has met and is hammering away at express and other bills. The "usury laws" will be repealed, and money will be more plentiful, and at a lower rate of interest. The constitutional amendment will be defeated and the Legislature will, we hope, attend to its duties to the State and adjourn.

Congress, "so called," is still "on the rampage," and is very belligerent against the unarmed and defenseless Southern people. It pushes all questions through without debate, and unless Andrew Johnson is the man we take him for, all our manhood will be needed to meet the troubles coming. The difficulties anticipated with France and England are over for the present, but what the crazy men in Washington will do; what trouble they will bring us into, Providence alone can foresee.

The labor market of the North is overcrowded and the papers caution those in want of work not to come North or West. The South wants labor and work, and we see in this a good sign for our future.

European advices, telegraphed at great expense to our valued city contemporaries, state that all the French troops will certainly leave Mexico in March--and who cares if they do?

On the whole, we regard the situation as no better and no worse than it was before Congress met. Some people will continue to be fools; the rascals now in Congress will attempt many terrible things on paper, but "he who works will win in the end.

The Virginia Government
(Column 02)
Summary: This article, reprinted from the Baltimore Transcript, argues that the Radicals' plan to "break up the State governments" in the South cannot include Virginia, since that government has existed for years, and is a "creation" of the radicals.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Transcript
(Column 03)
Summary: This article argues that if Congress succeeds in turning the southern states into territories it would cancel all existing state debts, and keep those states from being liable to taxation.
Origin of Article: Whig
Working Men in Society
(Column 04)
Summary: This letter to the editor qualifies the Virginian's long-standing call for the South to take up industrial pursuits. The writer agrees that labor is important to the prosperity of the post-war South, but argues that agricultural labor is more beneficial than other forms.
Full Text of Article:

Millboro Depot, Dec. 8, 1866.

Dear Virginian: I have read with much serious and pleasing attention the article, "Mechanics in Society," in a late issue, and while I fully and heartily endorse your views, allow me, in conformity with your invitation, to give you a few thoughts of mine on this useful and most interesting subject. After all the spoliation and plunder, blood and tears of those past terrible years of war; I cannot consider the South a ruined country. I will take our own dear Virginia as an illustration of her sister States, and what in my remarks may apply to her, will, I think, accurately apply to all. We are at present in a state of social and political transition, and it behooves every individual to be watchful, to understand his position and his duty, and knowing both "vacillate not, whatsoever ensue."

Before the war commenced, many of our young men were leaving this fair land for the far west. They made them a home in the forest, reclaimed a little "patch" for life's poor sustenance, and careless and heedless of "dismal swamps" and disadvantages, they determined to abide there free and independent. This was commencing life with a vengeance. Need our young men do this to-day? What do they want? Our climate is unequaled, our valley fair, our mountains rich, iron, coal, water--all in abundance. No crushing power now to warp their manly aspirations, or keep their glowing hopes in "durance vile." We need their patient, heroic, dauntless spirits in this day of our adversity, to bring forth the smiling flowers of peaceful and triumphant industry, from the brow of our kind old mother, and the graves of the glorious dead. Nine hundred thousand Parisians gathered around the silent sleepers in the cities of the dead. Shall we fly from the consecrated dust of ours, because, for a moment, tyranny shakes out over the abode of our dead the black flag of revenge? No, never.

To be sure we are now treated as a conquered people by a foreign government, for we cannot regard as other than foreign a power that treats us with harsh severity and open injustices. In this letter I intend to eschew politics and take things here as they are in their cold reality.

All the evils of war can be corrected in peace, and the buggaboo of taxes, &c., will cease to frighten when we give ourselves no time to consider them, and apply all our energies and hours to the cultivation of our land and the economical arrangement of our business. Agriculture must be first considered in relation to our progress as a free and powerful people. We are still free--still powerful, and in the plenitude of nature's good gifts, we only require the active agency of our own sleeping energies.

Let us then impress on the minds of our young men the truth, that as agriculture is the most useful branch of human industry, it is also the most honorable, and that though others may feel pleasure in the investigations and experiments of the higher sciences, none yield more happiness. The farmer beautifies the country, spreads out the bounties of nature for our support, and looks on domestic comfort as the truest criterion of a nation's glory and prosperity. His is no life of drudgery, education beautifies his labor, and nature is ever speaking to his heart those lessons of wisdom that render life a pleasure instead of a burden.

The great object now before us is to show how necessary to the general good are all kinds of labor, and that labor alone, honestly and intellectually applied, creates true nobility. I would wish that instead of "Mechanics in Society," you had "Working men in Society." Every man has a duty to perform. Labor is the first duty; the act of living establishes the necessity of labor, and as all communities depend on this necessity, they must acknowledge its rights and prerogatives. Labor is not always [unclear], nor it is not always progressive; but when employed in developing the resources of a country, giving life, and health, and energy, to all its members, then it is industry. And this is the mission that labor has to fulfill here--to call forth from the depths of earth its hidden treasures, and spread around the blossoms and buds of perennial harvests. We degraded labor by silly classification heretofore, and the melting, tender heart of the toiler was spurned, because his hand was rough and horney from toil, for the support and aggrandizement of our silken lords. The working man must learn to what extent society depends on him, under this and every other form of government--under present and all other circumstances. The two great principles of self reliance and self denial cannot be too vigorously promulgated, for they are the basis of true greatness in individuals as well as in communities.

We must learn to deny ourselves those superficialities of life when strongly tended to enervate our people morally, physically, and intellectually. We must go back to primitive habits, and thus strengthening our mind and renewing our hearts, at the pure fountain of virtue and temperance, we will be able to rely on ourselves for the accomplishment of the great destiny before us.

We must restore confidence; to do so, we must inculcate as prime essentials, mutual esteem and mutual reliance, and learning to what extent we are indebted to individual exertion, let us insist on the diffusion of our knowledge and general education. Thus we may, in the not very distant future, point out as triumphs of a brave people's hope, patience and perseverance, flourishing cities and towns, commerce and manufactures, free, healthy and active, benevolent institutions, nurseries of learning, and a contented nation, enjoying life's blessing in free and happy homes.

Let us magnanimously drop the mendicant's whine and hide our wounds:

Never under wrongs despair,
Labor long and everywhere,
Link your countrymen, prepare,
And strike home,
Thus was greatness wrought;
Thus must greatness still be sought
Thus labored, loved, and fought,
Greece and Rome.
Yours, "Erina."

A Cheering Sign
(Column 05)
Summary: This article reports that immigrants are leaving England for Texas. The South, the author argues, would get more such "desirable Anglo-Saxon" immigrants if the North allowed speedy and peaceful readmittance to the Union.
Full Text of Article:

The English papers record, with expressions of surprise at its novelty, the fact that several large ship loads of emigrants have recently left their shores for the Southern States. The bulk of these emigrants seem to have gone to Texas, because a belief exists amongst foreigners that not only are political troubles and civil disturbances at an end in that State, but they are less likely to recur there for the future, than in any other portion of the South. The fact that all of these emigrants were the best and most respectable class of English, Scottish and Welch agriculturalists, indicates what a choice portion of foreign immigration would seek the South, if our enemies would only permit the pacification and repose of our country. If we had only a fair showing, it would soon be seen that while the North and West got all the undesirable Teuton element, that we would get the pick of the Anglo-Saxon and Latin races. The foreign element which has settled in the South, though not large, has always been eminently respectable. We have never had those hordes of European paupers and convicts which have rushed to the North and West as the places just suited to them. None of this class of emigrants fancy the South; they find nothing congenial here; they flock where there are birds of a like feather, and we make no protest against it.

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Police Items
(Column 01)
Summary: Deputy Sergeant John Kurtz, acting as Special Constable, has made several arrests in the past week. "He reports no arrests of colored people, but reports their conduct as unexceptionable, on which we congratulate the town."
Should Be Patronised
(Column 02)
Summary: Lt. A. N. Breckenridge, of the Staunton Artillery, "who lost his arm in the last great battle of the A. N. Va., at Sailor's Creek, advertises to day that he will post books, copy, and attend to collecting promptly. Lt. Breckinridge does not appeal to our people, or cry about his misfortune, but he offers to work. He certainly deserves and should receive a generous encouragement from our people."
(Names in announcement: Lt. A. N. Breckinridge)
Dr. Watson
(Column 02)
Summary: Dr. James Watson, of Rockbridge County, who had been recently tried for and acquitted of killing a black man, was arrested at Natural Bridge by a military guard on orders of General Schofield. He was arrested under the Civil Rights Bill, taken to Richmond, and released on bail. "His arrest caused great excitement in Rockbridge county." "The courts of the State of Virginia have cleared him, and, it is now the duty of the State to take up his defence in the U. S. Courts. The Legislature should instruct the Governor to act in this matter."
(Names in announcement: Dr. James Watson)
Attempt to Burn the County Jail
(Column 02)
Summary: The county jail caught fire last Saturday morning at 2 o'clock. The firemen arrived promptly and succeeded in putting our the fire before the building was lost. "It seems that Lotts, a prisoner under the charge of stealing flour, took it into his head he should burn a hole through the floor of his cell and effect his escape. He worked under the planks, and smothered the fire with a wet blanket, but he calculated without reference to the smoke. Mrs. Harland, getting up to see a sick child, discovered the smoke and awakened her husband. The alarm was given and the prisoners secured. The floor of the cell, composed of timbers 12 inches by 6, and covered with two inch plank, was burned through. The Fire Company deserves great credit for their promptness."
(Names in announcement: Lotts, Harland)
Circuit Court
(Column 03)
Summary: The Circuit Court met, Judge H. W. Sheffey presiding. The cases involving contracts made during Confederate times were decided as follows: "All money values must be ascertained in the current coin of the United States, at the times when the values are required to be ascertained; and for the amounts so found judgement must be given, and not for the equivalent of such gold amounts in greenback currency." The case Booten vs Schaffer, to recover possession of half of the Virginia Hotel, was decided in favor of Schaffer. "This suit involved the question of a contract between Booten and Schaffer made in November 19th, 1863, in which Booten alleges that he sold Schaffer one-half of said property, giving him the election of taking the other half in one year. Which election Booten declared Schaffer did not make, Schaffer claiming that he had done so. The Court decreed that one of the Commissioners of the Court take state and settlement of the account of the purchase money due the plaintiff from the defendant, according to the value of the contract price, and, also an account of any outstanding liens on said property, which ought to be relieved before the plaintiff can claim his purchase money or the defendant be required to take the plaintiff's conveyance of title."
(Names in announcement: Judge H. W. Sheffey, Booten, Schaffer)
Town Council--Special Session
(Column 03)
Summary: The town council met, Recorder W. B. Kayser presiding. The Mayor was absent with the Legislature. Crawford, Balthis and Hope were also absent. Mr. A. B. Irick who owns the Methodist parsonage was granted tax exemption because the property is used by the Church. Mr. P. N. Powell, a merchant, was exempted from payment of erroneously assessed income taxes. John Christian, "colored," presented a petition asking that the Council "so modify the tax on bowling saloons as to enable him to erect one and pay the tax." The Council asked the Recorder to settle the question regarding salt and bags due the town. On motion of R. G. Bickle, the Council directed the Attorney for the Corporation to institute legal proceedings for settlement on the official bond of R. W. Stevenson, late Chief of Police. A report was received regarding construction of a Poor house, which showed 28 paupers living in town. The report was accepted, and arrangements were made to appoint a Poor House Overseer. The Clerk was ordered to settle the accounts of R. H. Fisher, Overseer of the Poor. A motion to construct an additional lamp post at Gospel Hill was presented. The Market Law was given to Evans, Peck and Bickle for revision.
(Names in announcement: W. B. Kayser, Crawford, Balthis, Hope, A. B. Irick, P. N. Powell, John Christian, R. G. Bickle, R. W. Stevenson, R. H. Fisher, Evans, Peck)
Death of Prof. W. C. Graham
(Column 03)
Summary: The Institute for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind mourns the loss of the late Prof. Graham.
(Names in announcement: W. C. Graham, A. J. Turner, Mary Ann Gifford)
Full Text of Article:

Since the annual report was written, the Board of Visitors, Officers and Pupils of the Institution, have been called upon to mourn the loss which has been sustained in the Blind Department, in the death of its Teacher of Music. He had been for many months a sufferer from Inflammatory Rheumatism--but died of Dropsy of the Chest. His death took place on the 21st of October. In the evening of the next day, impressive funeral services were performed in the Chapel of the Institution, before the members of the Board, the Officers and Pupils of the Institution and a number of friends, after which his remains were conveyed to Thornrose Cemetery, and deposited in the lot belonging to the Institution.

As a tribute of respect, the Board of Visitors of "The Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind," in view of the fact of his long connection with the Institution, and his faithful services therein--have

Resolved, That the untimely death of Prof. W. C. Graham of the Blind Department of the Virginia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, is deeply deplored.

Resolved, That it affords us melancholy pleasure to testify our high sense of his ability as a public officer.

Resolved, That in view of the relations which have so long subsisted between the Institution and the lamented dead, we claim it as a privilege to testify our regard by defraying his funeral expenses.

Resolved, That we tender his afflicted sister and other relations, our heartfelt sympathy and condolence.

Resolved, That these resolutions be published in the Staunton papers, and that a copy of them be sent to the sister of the deceased.

At a meeting of the Board held at the Institution on the 3d of November, 1866, for the purpose of filling the vacancy occasioned by the death of Prof. W. C. Graham, an election was gone into which resulted the appointment of Prof. A. J. Turner, and Mrs. Mary Ann Gifford, to be instructors of music in the blind department of the Institution. The Board congratulate themselves and the pupils of the Institution, thus to have secured the services of two instructors, so well known for their accomplishments in their profession.

[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper reminds readers that the thespians will play in the Staunton Town Hall on Firday night.
Big Hogs
(Column 04)
Summary: Thomas Campbell, "the well known and respected colored barber of Staunton," sent the Valley Virginian the weights of three hogs he raised: 429, 329, 324.
(Names in announcement: Thomas Campbell)
Our Town
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper laments that the recent Town Council meeting spent no time discussing the need to clean and disinfect the town's "filthy" streets, and repair roads and bridges. Testimony of a New York doctor to the importance of cleanliness in combating cholera is appended.
(Column 04)
Summary: W. M. Via, of Rockbridge, and Miss Mary Carlile, of Augusta, were married on November 8th by the Rev. E. Thomas.
(Names in announcement: W. M. Via, Miss Mary Carlile, Rev. E. Thomas)
(Column 04)
Summary: S. McDana and Miss Sarah C. Stanton, both of Augusta, were married on December 6th by the Rev. G. A. Shuey.
(Names in announcement: S. McDana, Sarah C. Stanton, Rev. G. A. Shuey)

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