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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: March 6, 1867

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-Page 01-

Our Ralroad
(Column 05)
Summary: This article from the Rockingham Register celebrates the recent bill passed in the legislature clearing the way for a railroad to Harrisonburg. The coming of the "iron horse" to the Valley will open a future of unlimited prosperity.
Origin of Article: Rockingham Register
Full Text of Article:

We think we may congratulate the people of the Valley of the Shenandoah, upon the early dawning of a better day in their pecuniary fortunes. We believe we are to have our long-wished for Railroad completed at an early period to Harrisonburg. The legislation at the present session of the General Assembly upon this subject accomplishes this result.

The act for the transfer of the Manassas Gap railroad, with its franchises and interests to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad Company, was a great thing for this magnificent Valley, with its teeming and rapidly augmenting population, and its almost boundless stores of undeveloped wealth. It is impossible to conceive what a deep interest this great Valley, a giant in physical strength and resources, will now arise in its might, and show what it is capable of doing. We shall no longer, if we will exert ourselves, suffer beneath the grinding heel of poverty. Our lands, amongst the richest and the best in the world, will now be put up to their highest productive capacity, for we are to have the means of transporting to market what we can raise. No man can correctly calculate or estimate what our people can produce upon their farms. Even now, without facilities for getting to market, we are getting along just about as well, as the balance of the world, paying enormous State and Federal taxes, and asking no favors of either, but to be let quietly alone to work out our pecuniary salvation.

We advise our people to turn their anxious gaze from the darkened and darkening skies of their political future, to the prospect now distinctly looming up in the no longer dim distance of the coming of the "iron horse." If we can speedily repair our shattered pecuniary fortunes, as we will do through the agency of our railroad, we can well afford to stand still in the storm and see the infernal Radicals dashed down into the abyss of the popular indignation and scorn, to which they inevitably hasten. Let them establish "territorial governments" over us; let them do their worst. We have survived "the wreck of matter" caused by their war upon us, and we can yet stand the terrible inflictions of the territorializing acts of an illegal, unconstitutional and despotic Congress. Our only hope of resurrection to material life and prosperity, is in the fulfilment of our wishes with respect to our railroad.--Rockingham Register.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper agrees with the Richmond Examiner that the Radicals' next move will be to forbid the meeting of southern militia companies.
The Situation
(Column 02)
Summary: This editorial on the political situation argues that despite President Johnson's veto of the Military Reconstruction Bill, the radical Congress tyrannizes over southern whites. The only answer, say the editors, is to hold a convention as soon as possible and be sure every white man votes.
Full Text of Article:

As we said in our last issue the President has vetoed the Military bill and Congress has promptly passed it over his veto. A telegraphic synopsis, which we get from the Lynchburg News, gives the main points of the veto message, but what does its able arguments on the Constitution, the right and the Law, avail us? Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the presence of the radical mob, which now tyrannizes over a people, once free. The President is powerless and will enforce that odious bill, as mildly and gently as possible, we know, but he will enforce it. Knowing this, knowing the men we have to deal with, how reckless and unscrupulous they have been and will continue to be, what are we to do?

It is a hard question to answer and on that demands, in the interest of all we hold dear, the serious consideration and study of our people. The Richmond Examiner, of Monday, has the ablest article, we have seen upon the subject, which we regret our inability to publish in full. It briefly sums up the Situation in a paragraph: "In this emergency, two courses remain open to you. They may be described each in a word--action and inaction." The natural resentment of a brave people, at the cruelty and devilish malignity of the proposal of our enemies, makes many resolve to meet with simple defiance and "inaction," the despotism they can not resist. But common sense and sober judgement says: "Your government is at once declared provisional. On the 4th Thursday in May next, if the terms of the act of Congress have not meanwhile been fully complied with, and your State restored--a result physically impossible--an election will be held in Virginia for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and for members of the Legislature. At that election all may vote (and none others) who are qualified by this act to vote. All will be eligible (and none others) who are by the act made eligible."

And this election will be held by the vilest and lowest, if the good and true men do not vote. Remember, this is the result of "inaction," and answer the question, what is the best for us to do?

To our mind, as Southern men and Virginians, there appears but one course to pursue, with honor. It is, for the Legislature to at once submit to the people of Virginia the question; whether they will hold a Convention or not? Let the question be fully and freely discussed and a Convention, elected by the people, can decide what we are to do--but when we act, let us act as one man and know what we are about. In the meantime, let us be hopeful; be kind to one another, work and recollect that it is "a long lane that has no turning."

What Shall We Do?
(Column 02)
Summary: The Charlottesville Chronicle offers an assessment of how white southerners should respond to military reconstruction. Dismissing the Supreme Court as too uncertain, the article advocates holding a constitutional convention and re-entering the Union as fast as possible, even if it means accepting the terms of the radicals. Then arrangements can be made to disenfranchise blacks with measures such as education and property requirements.
Full Text of Article:

An able article in the Charlottesville Chronicle, on this important question, concludes as follows: "What shall we do? This question is to be answered coolly, and in a spirit corresponding to the gravity of the situation. It should be answered calmly and wisely. The avalanche is already descending the sides of the mountain.

What shall we do? There are two courses open: one is to take our chances with the Supreme Court. That requires time, and the negroes are voting in the meanwhile. This is to be considered. Then we are to consider, will Congress (supposing the Court to decide favorably) be balked by the Supreme Court? Then we must consider that there is a probability that two of the judges on that court will not live twelve months. And Gov. Pierpont stated in his address Saturday evening, that the Supreme Court have just adopted a rule not to meddle with political questions for the present. The other course is to call a Convention at once, accept the terms, and fight the battle in Congress. We go there with about sixty members. In framing a State Constitution there might be a provision that no one shall be eligible to office who does not possess the elements of an English education, and does not own $---- worth of property. Congress would have to pass on this Constitution: would they admit such a clause? If they rejected it, would not our position be a strong one? In that constitution we might also take the election of judges, magistrates, sheriffs, &c., &c., from the people, and we might extend the terms of office for all others so as to have fewer elections.

Under the provisional government we have the military and negro suffrage; if admitted into the Union, we have negro suffrage and get rid of the military. Pending the provisional government the men proscribed by the third clause of the amendment cannot vote; they can vote when the state is admitted. Then this is to be considered: the quicker we get into the Union the better: there we are a State, and we can control our own affairs--changing our State constitution is necessary. There we are out of the jaws of the beast that is ready to devour us.

Again: the quicker this State constitution is formed, the greater will be the influence of the whites in shaping it. Postpone, and the Radicals will organize the negroes against us. And lastly, if the Legislature does not call a Convention, Botts and the negroes will by primary meetings."

Hon. John B. Baldwin on the "Situation."
(Column 04)
Summary: John B. Baldwin, as a man disfranchised under Congressional Reconstruction, takes leave of the Virginia legislature. He asserts that a policy which takes away citizens' rights to choose their representatives is a mistaken one, but urges Virginians to obey the laws and give no further pretext for radical measures even while they resist as best they can.
Full Text of Article:

Last Saturday the Legislature adjourned. Speaker Baldwin delivered the following admirable address, which will be read with interest by our people.

Mr. Baldwin replied at length, thanking the House for the sentiment of the resolution, and assuring the members of a reciprocation on his part of all the kindly feelings expressed. In conclusion, he said as he was about to part with them, he would take occasion to allude to the fact that he was about to part also with public life. He had never been a politician, and entered public life as a member of the State Convention six years ago, when, as he believed, there was a crisis in our history. When he thought on the condition of the country then, and what was its situation now, and of the many scenes he had witnessed, he had no satisfaction in what he had attempted, no consolation for all our hopes that had been destroyed, except that of having been at all times an honest man and a Virginia gentleman. It was not for one like him, a disfranchised man, to speak of public affairs. He would return to those who six years ago had sent him into public life, and had unvaryingly supported him since, through all trials and difficulties. It was a striking commentary on the events of the hour, that one whom the House thought worthy of this resolution of thanks and approbation, and who had the approbation of the constituents at home, should be stricken and disfranchised. It was not for him to say that the public would lose by the loss of him, but he could not help saying that a policy that prevented a body like this, or a constituency like his, from expressing its preferences, was a mistaken one, and that it would be so discovered to be sooner or later.

As a conservative citizen it was his duty to urge upon members, as leading citizens, to counsel their constituents to maintain and obey the laws. We cannot make further resistance; let us see that we give no pretext for trampling upon us. Let us go on like good citizens, and if oppression is committed, let God and man see that the fault is with the oppressors, and not with the oppressed. If, as I think, the crisis is upon us, let us meet it calmly, as becomes men and patriots. Let us exhibit to mankind the spectacle of a people who, though it is no longer becoming in them to continue the strife at the cannon's mouth, yet have the civic courage to do justice, to suffer and not to loose their self-respect.

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The Cholera
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper denounces the Town Council for doing nothing "practical and of immediate benefit to the horrible condition of our Streets." The editors avocate a special meeting of the Council to remedy the problem. "If our streets, alleys, backyards, &c., are not thoroughly cleaned, and lime used freely, by the 1st of May, look out!"
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper publishes a list of Staunton's cosmopolitan attractions and the important industries in town.
Full Text of Article:

Staunton has a Thespian Society; a Lyceum; a Phylomethesian Society; a Building Association; three Newspapers; a Musical Association; seven Churches; an Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind; a Lunatic Asylum; four female Schools, of a high order; three male schools, ditto--for whites--free School and Schools for Freedmen; two Foundries; two first-class Hotels; fine Water Works and Gas Works in operation, when the "rain" comes regularly. It has about 6,000 inhabitants; business is brisk and money scarce, with times "tighter" than ever before known. The latter on account of the Radical policy of keeping away labor and capital.

Town Council--March session
(Column 03)
Summary: The Town Council met for March, James W. Crawford presiding. All were present except Trout, Kayser and Points. George C. Bunch, Overseer of the Poor, had received since November 1, 1866, $400 and expended $251,52 leaving a balance of $148,48 which will be used for the present year. The Commissioner of streets received for the period March 3, 1866, to November 1867, $1,516.20, and spent $1,373.70, leaving a balance of $142.50, which was turned over to the Chief of Police. The Superintendent of Water Works did $124.57 in work for individuals. Superintendent David Taylor was complimented by the Committee for "efficiency and promptness." The Treasurer kept the books with distinction. The Attorney of the Corporation settled with R. H. Fisher, ex-overseer of the poor, who was indebted $42.54. He paid the sum promptly to A. B. Cochran who handed it over to the Chief of Police. Benjamin Crawford, E. L. Edmonson and A. M. Garber, Jr., were exempted from paying erroneous taxes. A resolution was passed calling for all streets to be paved and curbed at town expense; it was referred to Evans, Bickle and Peck. W. B. Kayser, J. A. Piper, J. M. Hardy, A. M. Bruce, and F. M. Young were appointed commissioners to superintend the election. William Craig was appointed officer to conduct the election.
(Names in announcement: James W. Crawford, Trout, Kayser, Points, George C. Bunch, David Taylor, R. H. Fisher, A. B. Cochran, Benjamin Crawford, E. L. Edmonson, A. M. GarberJr., Evans, Bickle, Peck, W. B. Kayser, J. A. Piper, J. M. Hardy, A. M. Bruce, F. M. Young, William Craig)
(Column 04)
Summary: The Staunton correspondent of the Richmond Enquirer writes the following about the Staunton Gas Works: "The gas concern here is still conducted on the monopoly and extortion plan. Seven dollars in gold per thousand cubic feet! This is what I call 'Sheridan-izing,' or burning a man out of house and home."
(Column 04)
Summary: Tiflin W. Allen, of Shenandoah County, and Mrs. Mary B. Patterson, of Augusta, were married on February 21st by the Rev. J. E. Armstrong.
(Names in announcement: Tiflin W. Allen, Mary B. Patterson, Rev. J. E. Armstrong)
(Column 04)
Summary: N. K. Cease, of Staunton, and Miss Helen T. Johnson, recently of Mississippi, were married on January 8th in Harrison County, West Virginia, by Rev. Mr. Helmick.
(Names in announcement: N. K. Cease, Helen T. Johnson, Rev. Helmick)
(Column 04)
Summary: J. D. Ballew and Miss Catharine Lotts, both of Augusta, were married on February 28th by the Rev. Mr. Helmick.
(Names in announcement: J. D. Ballew, Catharine Lotts, Rev. Helmick)

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