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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: May 1, 1867

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: 1,275 visitors arrived at Staunton hotels in April.
Notes on Virginia--The Water Power of Augusta County
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Summary: Jed Hotchkiss gives a long description of the location and nature of the water courses within Augusta County. The county contains numerous streams which form the headwaters of the Shenandoah. They fall 1000 feet within the county, providing many "bold, perennial, limestone springs, capable of turning a mill or a factory at the distance of a stone's throw from where they rise."

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[No Title]
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Summary: Capt. Jacob Parrent has collected $10,000 of the $13,000 in taxes due in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Jacob Parrent)
[No Title]
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Summary: Crop reports from the Valley "continue most cheering."
[No Title]
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Summary: The paper reports that a "colored 'conjurer' was badly beaten in New Market lately, on suspicion of poisoning a sick negro child, who died under his treatment. This 'outrage' was committed by colored people."
[No Title]
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Summary: The editors encourage the girls of Staunton to follow the lead of the girls of Winchester in "contributing their mite, to aid the starving people of the South."
Native Genius
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Summary: A one-legged Confederate veteran of Staunton, "well known for his inventive genius," showed the Valley Virginian "a model of an invention, which fully confirms our opinion of his talents."
Important Railroad Meeting
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Summary: The stockholders of the Valley Railroad Company will be holding their annual meeting in Staunton on May 27th. "Matters of first importance to the Stockholders, and the people of the Valley, will be discussed and acted upon. A full attendance is not only desired but necessary."
Staunton Lyceum
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Summary: The following officers were elected for the lyceum: Bolivar Christian, unanimously reelected President; James H. Skinner, Vice President; R. M. Guy, Secretary; Leonidas Points, Treasurer. The next question for discussion is, "Could the immortality of the soul be proved without the aid of Revelations?"
(Names in announcement: Bolivar Christian, James H. Skinner, R. M. Guy, Leonidas Points)
The Circus
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Summary: The circus performed in Staunton on Thursday night to the satisfaction of the "old and respectable Circus committee of Staunton." "The canvass was crowded, and it is estimated by said 'committee,' that Mr. Lipman 'confiscated' about $1,500 of Augusta money. If a few more come along the people might as well stop losing sleep for fear of 'Thad's bill.' The money market is reported so 'tight,' that the pressure can't be measured.
Registers Appointed
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Summary: Thomas P. Jackson, civilian, has been appointed registration officer for Augusta.
(Names in announcement: Thomas P. Jackson)
County Court--April Term
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Summary: The County Court met for the April term. The following were granted license to keep hotels: J. A. Hefelfinger, Augusta Springs; A. Blouth, Greenville; P. and M. Burruss, Variety Springs; D. B. Hyde and Charles A. Neff, Mt. Sidney. The following were granted licenses to keep houses of private entertainment: William Chapman, Waynesboro; W. G. Dinkel and J. M. Rhodes, Buffalo Gap; W. H. Greiner, Lebanon White Sulphur Springs; Nicholas Rhyan; John B. Smith, Greenville. W. H. Marshall was acquitted on rape charges; Bumgardner and Fultz argued for the Commonwealth, Watts and Stuart for the defence. R. L. Robinson, "charged with bastardy, was discharged from his recognizance." General Echols was allowed use of the Court House to address the "colored people of the Town and County." The Sheriff and Deputies presented the delinquent tax list. Col. George Baylor renewed bond as notary public. Orlando Smith was given permission to extend the law office of D. S Young on the north-west corner of the jail lot. E. W. Bailey was appointed road surveyor in place of the resigned W. A. Bell. E. B. Strouse was granted a license to practice law. The following were certified as Virginia residents for the purpose of securing artificial limbs: W. D. McCausland, William Simes, James H. Berry, Samuel Carrol, John C. Ott, Moses Cavanaugh, Jacob S. Sheets, and William E. Vanfossen.
(Names in announcement: J. A. Hefelfinger, A. Blouth, P. Burruss, M. Burruss, D. B. Hyde, Charles A. Neff, William Chapman, W. G. Dinkel, J. M. Rhodes, W. H. Greiner, Nicholas Rhyan, John B. Smith, W. H. Marshall, Bumgardner, Fultz, Watts, Stuart, R. L. Robinson, General Echols, Col. George Baylor, Orlando Smith, D. S. Young, E. W. Bailey, W. A. Bell, E. B. Strouse, W. D. McCausland, William Simes, James H. Berry, Samuel Carrol, John C. Ott, Moses Cavanaugh, Jacob S. Sheets, William E. Vanfossen)
Great meeting of the Freedmen of Augusta! Many Whites Present. Good Order and Kind Feeling Exhibited.
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper summarizes the speeches and proceedings of an interracial mass meeting for the Freedmen. General John Echols spoke on the importance of interracial cooperation, and urged Augusta's blacks to reject the Radicals and confiscation. Several members of the African American community responded, and argued against Echols's position.
(Names in announcement: Gen. John Echols, Philip Rosselle, Aaron Shoveler, A. M. GarberJr., W. H. H. Lynn, Dennis Harris, Rev. Lawson, Maupin, Henry Davenport, Rev. Jim Scott, Rev. James Downey, Wright Bolling)
Full Text of Article:

For the first time since the war our people fully realized the immense political revolution that has been forced upon the country, by the Military Bill, and for the first time the Freedmen of Augusta listened to the solemn words of truth, eloquently spoken by one of our most distinguished fellow-citizens. Early last Saturday evening the Court House began to fill up, and by 8 o'clock was crowded with about 400 freedmen and two hundred whites. All classes were represented, and the best order prevailed during the meeting. We were struck with the earnest attention given to Gen. Echols by the colored people, and the marked difference in the deportment of the colored people, compared most favorably with the noisy, ranting crowds we have lately seen in other places. It was most gratifying, too, not to be forced to record the interference of any "mean white men" in the proceedings.

But to the meeting. On motion, Philip Rosselle was unanimously elected chairman and took the Judge's seat, where he presided with a dignity and decorum that seemed, almost, to make the portrait of Chief Justice Marshall, just above him, smile with satisfaction! On motion of Aaron Shoveler, A. M. Garber, Jr., was nominated for Secretary, W. H. H. Lynn, of the Vindicator, being nominated also. Mr. Garber was withdrawn and Mr. Lynn was unanimously elected. The meeting was then called to order and, amid the profoundest silence, Gen. Jno. Echols addressed the chair (we regret our limited space confines us to a brief synopsis of this able, eloquent and telling address.)

The General returned thanks for the honor paid him by the Freedmen, in eloquent terms, and spoke of the importance of a perfect understanding between the whites and blacks now, in the changed duties and relations caused by the legislation of the country. The history of the world gives us no record of a change so monstrous and so sudden--a few years ago 4,000,000 colored people had no political rights--now the position is changed, the result of a long, bloody and disastrous war has changed you from slave to freemen. You stand under the law as free, personally and politically, as the white man of every condition of society! A monstrous change! which brings with it not only privileges, but responsibilities to be met and fulfilled by the colored people! It is not necessary to refer to the past: "let the dead bury their dead"; let old issues pass away; it has its regrets and glories, bitter regrets--glorious memories--but the present is the important hour for us. You all know my position. I am disfranchised and you can not, if you would, give me anything, but credit for honesty in the purpose to perform my part well in the changed circumstances in which we are placed. I do not desire to indulge in past recollections and recriminations, but to do good to the country of which you are citizens and endeavor to show you what is for your good, and for the good of the whole country. (Applause.)

Here the General took up the Military Bill and fully explained its provisions, the rights it conferred on the Freedmen: that hereafter there was to be no distinction on account of color before the law; that whatever conditions may be applied to the white man, the same applied to the black, and vice versa. So far as the right of suffrage goes you have the advantage of many, myself for instance. They need have no fears of being cheated, for the Comd'g General is compelled to see this law carried out, and there is no man among us able, if he were disposed, to resist it. The explanation was the most complete we ever listened to, and the Freedmen seemed much gratified with it. The speaker next explained who were eligible to office and who were not.

Continuing he said, Now my friends there is the act under which you are first called upon to exercise the rights of freemen. I know the heart of every colored man leaped with joy on being free. On knowing he was guaranteed in all the rights of person and property, I came here to-night in response to an invitation, and if I say these rights can not be rightly exercised by the ignorant, I hope you will not become offended, for you all know there is great ignorance among you. Every honest man admits it and wants to be enlightened, so that good and not evil will come upon the country. (Cries of yes, yes.)--Now if I can go with you in this investigation and, by anything I may say, lead your hearts and thoughts into the right channel, I will be truly thankful. I have nothing to make by flattery, if I had, I would not flatter you. The Government, in its wisdom, has seen fit to disfranchise me and others. I have taken an oath to give no aid or comfort to the enemies of that government and I will keep it. Therefore if any man can speak to you freely I can. Let us investigate the truth; let us see what is best for one and all, for white and black, for society in general and for liberty and order over the whole country. (Applause.)

The colored people would vote for a Convention and ought to do so and the whites too--all should stand shoulder to shoulder in this important movement. The question for whom shall you vote then comes up. He urged upon them to lay their hands on their hearts; to appeal to God for strength not to be led astray and to vote right. To vote for none but honest men. There is no stranger who comes here to register, but for his own interest, therefore go to the men you trust in business--to whom you entrust your money and with whom you must live. The injury that may be done, by voting for the wrong man, it is certain will be mutual for our interests are the same. He had no bitterness against the North, and did not, like the savage, brood over wrongs and cherish revenge. He was anxious for all traces of blood to be wiped out, and the country, reunited, to march on in greatness and glory. The war had settled many questions, the most important that there was one country and all should strive to add to its glory and grandeur by encouraging mutual good feeling among all classes. (Applause.) He had heard of attempts to excite bitterness among the colored people against our white people. Is this right? Is it polite? Is it just to either race? You are told that the North freed you and that you ought to love them and hate us. You are told that you were emancipated by the North. Look at Lincoln's proclamations during the war, and the action of Congress. He had no complaints to make of what the North did, it was the natural drift of the war and your freedom was the result, not of their intention at the beginning, but of the force of circumstances. Did they ever emancipate their own slaves? No, they sold them because they were not profitable North. We would have done the same. In fact human nature was about the same all over the world, and it is hard to give up property without price, even a broken down horse. The North preferred to give up theirs by gradual emancipation, so they could sell them South. A striking illustration of philanthropy and securing profit at the same time. The Dutch commenced the slave trade, then Mass. men became the greatest traders, but he didn't believe they would engage in it now because the hearts, the minds, the feelings of men are changed and everybody admits it was wrong. Some try to excite you by fears of your being enslaved again. Is there a man here who fears it? (Laughter.) It is an insult to any colored man of proper spirit to be talked to as a child. Let them see you are not children to be scared by ghosts and bug a-boos, but that you are men worthy of the rights conferred on you--with brains to think and act for yourselves. (Applause.) What is your duty in regard to parties. I speak as if I was a colored man politically and advise you as such. Don't mingle up with any party as a body, for that will be no profit to you. Don't go as a class with the radicals for that makes a gulf deep and wide between you and your own people, and don't let it be said that you, as a class, are arrayed against the whites as a class. Have no secret meetings, I care not whether Northern or Southern. What are the results if you succeed in building up a radical party in the South? You live in a climate such as no country on earth can boast of--all your interests and affections are centered here and you do not want to leave this home of yours, poor as it now is. Now if you build up a radical party--go against your white people here--they are in the majority in Virginia--make war upon them, don't you see the whites must have every advantage in the contest. They could have nothing to do with you socially, for you would be declared enemies, and all intercourse must cease. This is a solemn matter and one that behooves you to look well to before you decide which way you will go. For God's sake let us have no family squabble, for we are one family. Let us be calm and cool and reason understandingly. Suppose you as a race oppose the Southern whites, go with the radicals, and they come here from the North and Europe by thousands, to compete with you for your labor, to underbid you for work and to finally exterminate you. The Speaker here related several instances to show the prejudice North and in Europe against the blacks. He urged the colored people to think whether they wanted to leave this country, to give it up to free white labor North, and, if so to build up a radical party hostile to the South.

He read them the Fable of the Belly and the Members and forcibly applied it to the two classes South. He told them if all did not work together, if capital and labor did not combine, that gaunt famine with her cadaverous cheeks will stalk abroad through the land and the wail of distress be heard on every side. He then beautifully alluded to the ties which should bind the whites and blacks of the South together, in words that brought tears to many eyes.

Confiscation was next alluded to. It would be ruin to all, white and black. And what a bill! It proposes to give 40 acres in trust for you. Does any honest colored man want it? (A very weak "yes" from a back corner, whereupon a respectable colored man informed the house he was happy to say that man didn't belong to his community.) You are to be treated like wooden men, it is to be put in trust for you and will you have it? Cries of no. Then "let every tub stand on its own bottom" for "by the sweat of your brow shall you live," is written by One who is [unclear] men and Governments. This Confiscation would bring ruin to white and black; it would encourage robbery, murder and break up the very foundations of society. So judge for yourselves and when a man comes before you for office with this cry, let him see you are free and honest men and that you'd resist the snare so temptingly laid for you.

The speaker here devoted a large portion of his speech to plain, practical, earnest advice to the colored people in regard to their social duties; holding up the great cardinal virtues, that were the same now as in the days of Revelation, urging upon them the importance of honesty, sobriety and purity of life. He urged them to encourage their preachers, to educate their children and above everything to work, to save enough to get little homes of their own. To aid this he suggested the formation of a Savings Bank of their own. There was no Southern man and no Radical who would work these things out for you. You must do it for yourselves. He here repeated the beautiful allegory of Abou Ben Adhem, which teaches that "he is the most blessed who loves his fellow man."

In conclusion the General said: Take the course I have pointed out and you have it in your power to give an illustration of the regeneration of a race, such as the world never saw, and prosperity, and the highest position may be yours. Follow any other, allow yourselves to be led astray; give way to feelings of bitterness and hatred and I can see but one fate for you--DESTRUCTION. (Applause.)

Dennis Harris moved that the thanks of the meeting be unanimously tendered to General Echols, for the good advice he has given the colored people, and for his kindness of manner in giving it. Carried.

Loud calls were made for Lawson, Maupin, Davenport, Roselle and others. The Rev. Mr. Lawson, (colored) asked to be excused as he was not a politician. Henry Davenport being repeatedly called, said:

Gentlemen: I confess I hardly know what to say, my feelings overpower me. I am requested to thank Gen. Echols for his kind speech and advice, and speaking is teaching. I am glad the day is come, when the white man and the black can meet at the County seat, on such conditions, when we are called up to the mountain top and see; to come and meet the white man, and thanking him (Gen. E.) for the instructions he has given us, both white and black, and I say here is my heart and hand, and God bless us, too, as he advised, to love one another. With that respect to man, let us live together in peace, harmony and quietude. My brethren; my friends of color, my so sojourners to the bar of God; let us return a hearty, a brother-like, a respectful answer to Gen. Echols. Let us live in peace and this is to say here is my heart and hand, hoping God may lead us to live together in peace. Applause.


Rev. Jim Scott, (colored local preacher) spoke next. He acknowledged he never felt so. Gen. Echols was a gentleman and had given good advice and related pretty fables. He Scott would like to relate one too, that he had learned when a boy. It was about the "boys and the frogs"--the idea being that the negroes were the frogs for many years. (Loud Applause) General Echols had talked about parties and how we should vote. He (Scott) had always heard it was right to "praise the bridge that carried you over safely" i.e. the Radicals. (Great Applause and Laughter.) What is your interests? To look back and rehearse and see--even a dog knew his friends: (laughter) He recollected when Gov. Wise and Flournoy ran for Governor, there were to great parties among the whites and why not two now? He was for going with his friends. (Great Applause.) Gen. Echols contends that all men North were our enemies. He knew some and they were called "Copper-heads"--they were not colored men's friends. Actions speak louder than words, &c., and the Republicans had acted as our friends. Scott went on to say he had no hard feelings against the whites--he had been raised up kindly and treated as one of the family, but he was for his rights--his friends politically.


The Rev. James Downey, (colored) said: He felt independently happy, also feels better satisfied to speak for what had been said to-night. He desired to give satisfaction to both parties, desired to return his best thanks to Gen. Echols, believed he understood him and he justified him (Gen. E) on his ground, so far as it was possible. He gave the best advice and most beautiful figures. Nevertheless we are men, as he says, and we must look at which is best. Some people look at one side of the picture and like it, then at the other and like it--then not satisfied, they want to break it open and see inside. Again returned his best thanks to General Echols, and thinks it is not the design of the blacks to make war on the whites of the South. He had no envy, hatred or malice in his heart. Knows the colored people but didn't know the whites, after living with and working for them 61 years; they never talked politics before him or tried to teach him, more than enough for their own profit. Look at the picture, look at it and do the best for ourselves. He had no prejudice against our white people. Some are kind, some not. The Radicals whether they set us free or the Southern people makes little difference. He wonders why either never thought of freeing us before? The Radical party has made great sacrifices for us, to give us knowledge of the living God; by coming from comfortable homes North, to teach us, &c. Southern gentlemen and ladies never said or offered to teach a letter or a word. Again compliments Gen. Echols on his good advice, but regrets he didn't begin to give it a little sooner, that they might have been better able to appreciate his advices. If the Southern white people, during the war, left their families to be protected, supported and cared for by the blacks, as it was the blacks' duty, was it not the duty, of the whites when they came back to do something for this faithful race; to at least help to educate them? But they didn't. They said the nigger didn't know anything--let him go--the Yankees freed him, let them feed him &c. But let the past go. There had been enough said, more than he could take in at once, and he didn't believe many white men could either. Let all think over what they had heard and pray God to give them consciences to act right, in friendship and love to all.

Wright Bolling asked to be excused, he agreeing fully with Downey, Philip Roselle, chairman, being loudly called for said: He had tried to be more respectful than ever since the war. Before he belonged to people who knew he would not let him be imposed on, by white or black, and that made him feel himself. Now new duties made him try to be more respectful and he had no complaints to make. A heap of folks talk about who set us free, and some of his own color almost quarreled over it; one said the yankees did it because they whipped the South, the other the South did it, for if they hadn't "fit" there would have been no war and no freedom. He believed it was accidently done anyway, didn't think either party intended it, and he was for making the best of it. Now the yankees didn't intend to do it, and Maj. Garber there, I belonged to his folks once, didn't intend to do it either, for if he'd have known I'd be free--he'd never "fit" no any body else. Hoped we will all live in peace and had no fears from gentlemen. Men who never owned a "nigger," who would not have owned one had slavery lasted 100 years, cursed them on the streets--gentlemen never did. The way was to treat every one right and not to mind people who had no respect for themselves. Said he had heard about "confiscation," and threats to knock him on the head for going to the Richmond Convention, but he reckons they were only fooling, as nobody had hit him yet. He didn't approve of confiscation and didn't believe honest people did. Didn't want any of General Echols' land, wouldn't have it--and there were thousands in the Confederate Army who never owned a negro, and he wants none of theirs. If they (G & H) would give him a small piece of Mr. Garber's or Harman's he wouldn't object to it, as he had worked for them. (Interrupted. Don't go back on yourself Phil?)--(Shut up, you're too smart.) Rosselle continued that wages were too low, not more than from $8 to $10 per month. How can a colored man, getting ten dollars per month, make both ends meet, when a house or room to live in costs $12, and he has to spend the balance for vituals and clothes? He thought that cut the $10 right close. White people and colored, owning property, should unite together and do better, and talk of confiscation would cease. Advised all not to waste time talking about who you are to vote for, but to strive to improve and do right--to live honestly and be good. Applause.

At the conclusion of Rosselle's remarks the meeting adjourned, amid cheers and much laughter, but a general appearance of good feeling.

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The Southern Mother
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Summary: This poem honors the sacrifice of southern mothers who sent their sons to war.
Full Text of Article:

By the late F. W. McFarland.

'Tis the last of three that have gone to the war,
That have joined in the bloody strife;
That sprang to arms at the bugle call,
To strike for land and life.

I called them 'round me when first it came
And told them of days gone by;
When my father marched thro' shot and flame,
And saw the Brittons fly.

I showed them the musket all rusty and red,
That he held in his noble hand,
And he marched on the foe with exultant tread,
Then fell in the bloody sand.

I said our cause was the same as then
That the sire must go in the son,
And burst on the Northmen from mountain and glen,
'Till our glorious cause is won.

They went! Two fell on the battle field,
As the sun went down in the west,
My name was their watchword, my love in their heart,
As they laid them there to rest.

The third was brought home at early morn
With a fretful light in his eye;
And I knew from his step, that he was weary and worn,
That they brought him home to die.

As he drooped and pined and wasted away,
Till the sun of his day was set--
His voice was in prayer as he passed away,
And its music lingers yet.

I have yet another, my youngest boy,
He said he was young he knew,
But with tears in his eyes he asked to go,
And be a soldier too.

My noble boy, you shall ask no more,
For vengeance calls you forth,
And the battle cry and the cannons roar,
Still come from the Tyrant North.

Go! take in your hand your brother's gun
Go, join in the bloody fray;
And when hissing shell and flying shot
Upon the columns play;--

When the riderless horses, flecked with foam,
Are dashing among the slain,
And the green leaves fall from the forest trees,
Cut down by the leaden rain;--

When the Northmen come with thundering tread,
To pollute our sacred earth,
To trample the graves of the loved and lost,
And the homes that gave them birth;--

Then strike in the name of our country's God,
And strike for the gallant dead,
For the sake of those who have gone to rest,
And those for whom they've bled.

And think of me as I sit alone,
In the cot on the mountain side,
Giving a prayer for my warrior boy,
And a tear for those who died.

(Column 01)
Summary: The procedures for voter registration have been set. General Schofield will appoint a committee consisting of an army officer and two civilians to oversee registration for each county. Registers will then be appointed to each district who will record names of all registered voters. Eligibility is granted after the applicant takes an oath. "We bespeak for such officers of the army as are detailed for this duty, and whose demeanor entitles them to the epithet of 'gentlemen,' a friendly consideration at the hands of the people. They will be engaged in a duty which they have not sought, and in the enforcement of a law for which they are in no sense responsible. We are of course aware that no obstruction will be placed in the way of their office."