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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: September 11, 1867

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum discussed the question, "Is the establishment of the Free School system at present advisable in Virginia?" It was decided in the negative. The next topic for conversation will be, "Is it expedient for churches to enact rules to prohibit dancing?"
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The official registration returns from the State of Virginia have been received. The total number of registered voters is 216,000 with a ratio of 11 whites for every 9 blacks. Delegates to the Convention will be selected between the 10th and 15th of October.
The "Reaction North."
(Column 02)
Summary: This editorial argues that despite a few setbacks for the Radicals in Northern elections, southerners should still plan to comply with the provisions of the Military Bill and reconstruct on that basis. Waiting for a reaction in the North against the radicals can only make matters worse.
Full Text of Article:

We have heard a heap of talk about a "reaction North" and what it will do for us, according to the non-action men South. We do see signs of a "reaction" North and West, but we can't see how it is to benefit us in our present condition, unless we conform our State Constitutions to the requirements of the Military Bills. That parties North and West are changing front and that new issues are springing up, which will sweep away old parties we believe; and we hope to see in this change for the 'Land We Love'--the Sunny South, but we cannot see any relief from compliance with the Military Bills, odious as they are, or any reason to change our opinion as to the plain road we "prisoners of war" have to travel.

"Don't halloo before you are out of the woods" is a good old saying and one that should be acted upon by our, Southern, people, in regard to all apparent evidences of "reaction" North, especially the "ten thousand Democratic," or anti-Chinese, anti-mixed suffrage, "Conservative," majority in California. The Military Bills are certain to be enforced by the present Congress, regardless of what is done by the people of California or any body North, and we should act so as to control our coming State Convention and, through it, our local governments--the great object.

The Radicals in California lost that State, from local causes entirely disconnected with our fate. They nominated Gorman, a corrupt and unpopular man, for Governor; the other parties united and beat them, by their divisions, and by using the "Chinese suffrage" question against them. Just so far as this election shows a protest against "mixed suffrage," it is gratifying to know that the "blue veins" will tell and sweep all minor issues aside, but these changes must not be taken for love for the "Rebel," so-called, or as sympathy for his fate. We must swallow the "bitter pill;" must "reconstruct under the Military Bills," or another howl will be raised North and we will lose all.

Recollect that the Radicals, our worst enemies, wish us to vote down reconstruction under these bills; they formed them so as to induce us to do so and have obstructed their fair execution for the same purpose. It was Stonewall Jackson's successful rule "to do exactly what the enemy desired him not to do," and, be assured, the acceptance of these bills by us, will be used as a "trump card," by the opposition to Radicalism to carry the North against it. In short the duty of practical, true Southern men is to act as if they had no friends North, and "reconstruct" as speedily as possible, tying their faith to no party or set of men at present. We can easily settle many questions when we have a voice in the "Halls of the Nation," as the yankees like to call it, and become, as we surely will, the balance of power on this Continent. Until work, emigration and material prosperity gives us that power, let us beware of undue elation over local victories in the North and West, and attend strictly to the work before us as a people.

The Great Preacher
(Column 02)
Summary: The Rev. Munsey preached to a congregation of 2000 at the Methodist Church in Staunton. The subject of his sermon was "Be sure your sin will find you out." The editors praise his performance and declare that Munsey is to preaching what Jackson was to military leadership. "He takes you by storm, enthuses and enthralls you! For one hour and twenty minutes, Sunday, he held his immense congregation entranced, not one thinking of the time or looking at his watch." Like the hero Jackson, Munsey is an "inspired Christian."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Munsey)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper warns African Americans that defeat for the radicals in northern states such as Kentucky, California, and Connecticut "is simply opposition to negro or mixed suffrage. We advise them to think about it well before they throw themselves into the troublesome sea of political strife. The end is not yet--and the whites will rule this continent."
The Proper View
(Column 03)
Summary: The editors endorse the argument made in this excerpt from the New Orleans Crescent that counsels southerners not to openly defy Federal authority. Only through compliance with the Military Bill will southern States be speedily readmitted to the Union with their rights intact.
Full Text of Article:

The New Orleans Crescent expresses our views fully in the following extract:

"Because the Southern people are in duress, it is no reason that they imitate the impotent fury of wild beasts which wear out their teeth in gnawing at the bars of their cage, and in biting the iron rods with which their keepers stir them up. The badgered bull, charging at a red rag, is about as reasonable and graceful as those Southern politicians who, in rhetoric rage, tear to pieces the orders and the opinions of Sickles, Pope or Sheridan. This is not the way to avoid the stroke of the conquering power, or to heal the wounds which it has already inflicted. The district commanders are simply the viceroys of that power. To pursue an uncompromising opposition to them, and at the same time to propose allegiance to the government whose will, enacted into law, they are carrying out, is palpable inconsistency. Those who take glory to themselves for such an opposition, would gain credit for candor and courage at least, if not for prudence and wisdom, by openly advocating resistance to the federal authority, and endeavoring to re-open the war against the North. In the last analysis, that is its meaning, if it has any rational meaning whatever. To think of its reaching such a development, in actual circumstances, is, of course, preposterous. But it serves as a pretext for keeping up at the North the radical cry of disloyalty and rebellion among Southerners. And thus it is that Southern impracticables and marplots play into the hands of the most virulent and desperate enemies of the South."

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Our General Agent
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Summary: Major Houston Hall, of the famous 62d Virginia Regiment, has been named general travelling agent for the Valley Virginian.
(Names in announcement: Major Houston Hall)
Town Improvements
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Summary: The paper declares that "Staunton is growing more rapidly than any interior town in the State. On every side new buildings are going up and others are projected to meet the wants of our growing population." E. L. Edmonson is planning to build 13 Concrete or Pebble houses on 1/4 acre lots carved out of his property on Coalter Street above Col. M. G. Harman's.
(Names in announcement: E. L. Edmonson, Col. M. G. Harman)
"One by One."
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Summary: This obituary for Thomas R. Blackburn, architect of the Western Lunatic Asylum, calls attention to all the "aged and respected citizens" of Staunton who are often forgotten or ignored in life.
Full Text of Article:

Every day we are called upon to follow some of our aged and respected citizens to the grave. They grow old and feeble in good works; we see them less frequently on our Streets and grow accustomed to their absence. In this terrible struggle against fate--this daily fight with poverty--we scarcely take time to ask "how is the old man," until we are startled by the announcement that he is no more. How many, who loved and respected him--thought of Thomas R. Blackburn, aged 74 years, who departed from among us on the 20th ult.! His was a life of usefulness, a life of labor, and our Western Lunatic Asylum stands a Monument to his genius as an Architect and his worth as a man. Truly his contemporaries can say, and thank God: "The playmates of youth, the fellow laborers of manhood, die away, and take the road before us. Old age is like some quiet chamber, in which, disconnected from the visible world, we can prepare in silence for the world that is after."

Town Council--September Session
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Summary: The September Session of the Town Council met, Mayor Trout presiding. Only William H. Wilson was absent. The Superintendent of the Water Works reported that water depth at the Spring stood 18 1/2 inches above the supply pipe, and that work done for individuals amounted to $99.20, and for the town, $3.50. Recommendations for improvements were received from the Street Commissioners, and the following appropriations were made: $350 to pave between the Valley Bank and Miss Sallie Ryan's lot on Frederick Street; $150 to improve the pavement on Main Street in front of Rev. G. B. Taylor's house, after he removes or changes his porch; $800 for pavement on the north side of Frederick Street between John B. Scherer's and Green Street, and Green Street and Beverly; $800 for a sidewalk on New Street between the Presbyterian Church and the late David Point's in Gallow's Town. In all, $1,600 was appropriated. A petition to improve the street running between John Gregory's on Augusta and Market was referred to the commission. The Commissioners were asked to estimate the cost of improving Market Street between James M. Lilley's lot and 9th Street. William A. Burke was not allowed an account for curbing Frederick Street. The Water Committee was asked to report on the feasibility of replacing the four inch water pipe running between the Episcopal Church and Morris corner with a six inch pipe. The Overseer of the Poor was ordered to work with the Superintendent of the Freedman's bureau on "removing a number of Freedmen, who have come into town since the surrender and are liable to become a charge on the same, to the places where they last resided, in accordance with Gen. Schofield's last order." Fifty dollars were appropriated to the Street Commissioners for incidental expenses. The Mayor and recorder were ordered to sell the Market House to the highest bidder. The license fee to manufacture and sell malt liquor was set at $25 per year. The accounts for the month amounting to $330.08 were allowed. A $5 account presented by the Water Committee for hack hire to and from the town spring was not allowed.
(Names in announcement: Mayor Trout, William H. Wilson, Sallie Ryan, Rev. G. B. Taylor, John B. Scherer, David Points, John Gregory, James M. Lilley, William A. Burke)
(Column 03)
Summary: James R. Fisher, of Augusta County, and Miss Lucretia Shaver, of Woodstock, were married on August 28th by the Rev. J. P. Hyde.
(Names in announcement: James R. Fisher, Lucretia Shaver, Rev. J. P. Hyde)
(Column 03)
Summary: Samuel M. Woodward, Sr., aged 77 years, died in Staunton on September 4th.
(Names in announcement: Samuel M. WoodwardSr.)
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper publishes an obituary for Samuel M. Woodward which praises his contributions to the Western Lunatic Asylum.
(Names in announcement: Samuel M. Woodward)
Full Text of Article:

Departed this life on the 4th inst., Samuel M. Woodward, in the 77 year of his age.

In the loss of this most excellent man and sincere christian, this community is called to mourn the death of one of its oldest and most esteemed citizens. Mr. Woodward was, for many years, Stewart of the Western Lunatic Asylum in this place, and performed the duties of his responsible office with great fidelity and success. His efficiency aided no little the other accomplished officers, in securing for this noble Institution its high character. Long will his cordial and cheerful manner be remembered--by not only the patients, but their friends and visitors.

Few men in this community enjoyed a larger acquaintance in this country than Mr. Woodward, and none possessed the esteem of the people more than himself. His urbane manners; spotless integrity and christian deportment, secured for him the cordial friendship of all who enjoyed his acquaintance. His illness was long and distressing, but his resignation and fortitude never forsook him, and a simple, childlike trust in the love of God, characterized the evening hours of his life. The usually large number of friends which constituted the extended funeral cortege, bore gratifying testimony to the high esteem in which he was held in this county. He has gone to the rest prepared for him and is happy; and this whole community offer their cordial sympathy to his bereaved family.

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