Valley Virginian: February 5, 1868Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Address of Dr. C. R. Harris, Delivered Before the Staunton Lyceum, January 24, 1868
(Column 04)Summary: Harris's long-winded and often-ponderous speech brings adversity to the forefront and asks: what will happen next? Rhetorically suggesting that adversity could possibly plunge Virginia into even deeper despair, he nevertheless optimistically looks to the future. Among detailed declarations of noble virtues indicative of the southern "anglo saxon," Harris enumerates the evils and wrongdoings of the tyrannical Radical party, "Negro rule," etc. Only with the expulsion of this element, he argues, can Virginia once again take its place among states and resume the path to prosperity.
Full Text of Article:
Mr. President, gentlemen of the Staunton Lyceum, and respective auditory. The subject which we propose to discuss is NATIONAL ADVERSITY; or an inquiry into the effects, which will probably result from the present state of the country. No one will evidently deny, that it is one of adversity.
The evidences meet us on every hand, and reiterate in our ears painful truths, with which we are already too well acquainted, and which we would fain drive from our minds. Reflecting men, too, seem to have settled down under a melancholy consciousness that the sun of our prosperity has been obscured, by clouds whose murkiness and gloom hang heavily around and about us. It is not our purpose to swell the catalogue of evils: they are written in the consciousness of every heart and meet the gaze of every eye. To inquire into the details of the various causes, both proximate and remote, is not our purpose now. Leaving, then, the causes of our present unfortunate condition to shift for themselves, the interesting and important inquiry is: What is to come next, and what are the probable results.
Are there still deeper depths into which we are to be plunged? And are our days of mourning and despondency, long to continue? Watchman what of the night!
Guided, we think, by the quality and comparison of our calm reflective hours, but perhaps allured by the deceptive whispering of Hope, we have arrived at the conclusion: "The morning cometh"; and that although there may be darker scenes still to pass through, yet, the nature of the effects which are to follow our present adverse circumstances may ultimately be beneficial.
I trust, my friends, you will not startle at the seeming Paradox. We are all well aware that the coming attendants of the times, do not well accord with the figure which we shall picture to ourselves, perhaps, of our future national well being. But, let us remember that he who contents himself with reading the first pages in the book of adversity, will find nothing written there but tales of sorrow and distress; of baffled projects, blighted hopes, ruined fortunes and broken hearts. - But let us pass on to other leaves and pages, and we will find, perhaps, pleasant, cheerful stories, growing more cheerful and pleasant, as we advanced, which will make us forgetful of the woeful past, and teach us, though we "have sown in tears" may we yet reap in joy!
However much we may regret the difficulties which environ us, as a nation, and however much we may wish they had never been, yet since they are here, if we will look hopefully into the future, we may ere long come to the belief that the declaration of Holy writ "blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted," is true in more respects than one, and is, as well the sentiment of Philosophy and Christianity.
Strong is the belief of this sentiment, we proceed to specify some of the benefits which result form National Adversity in general, the particulars whereof to our own country and times, will naturally occur to our minds, and, consequently, need not be specially noted. The first beneficial result which we shall notice, is the expulsion of some of the evils engendered by long prosperity. What are those evils?
A little thought will show us, that of the people that compose a nation, some catch the spirit like unto that of the man in the scriptures, who "said, "soul thou hast goods laid up for many years, take thine ease and be merry," others who continuing in the walks" of business become inflated with vanity and pride, indulging in showy pomp, and ridiculous extravagance. Others become profligate, licentious and corrupt. Others make a trade of filling their pockets from those of the vain and luxurious, and become narrow minded, avaricious and miserly. Indeed where the series of prosperous years are long continued (as was, for instance, in one period of ancient Rome) society becomes divided into scarcely more than two classes: the luxurious and corrupt on the one hand, and the narrow-hearted and avaricious on the other.
Under such a state of things selfishness assumes almost universal sway. Philanthropy and Patriotism are banished, (a condition more to be dreaded than any we can well imagine,) and one, too, in which free institutions must perish. Now if such a period arrives, and a nation becomes impoverished by adversity, or rather if her superfluities are thus retrenched, the evils we have enumerated will be, in a measure, greatly removed and their baneful consequences prevented. Nor does the benefit stop here. The people learn to practice their humbler virtues they before despised - Parents educate their children more for usefulness than for show - there is a return to habits of industry, frugality and economy, living within ones means - constant activity - cheerful labor and untiring perseverance. The result is, things begin to brighten - every day adds to the little store of comforts and consolations, and, as years shall roll on, those who were, in a measure, overshadowed by the darkness of night, are cheered by the brightness of morning, and ultimately in the full sunlight of peace and plenty, they will arrive at the sensible conclusion that, by the aid of a good and kind Providence, which He will extend unto all, there may be many a Job, "more blessed in his latter end, than in the beginning."
It will easily be perceived that, where the individuals of a State or a Nation, (under the influence of what are called the humbler, yet nobler virtues) must advance steadily on until they obtain a comfortable and substantial - though not a showing and gorgeous wealth. In the same ratio, too, must the nation itself advance to a high rank amongst the Empires of the earth.
With these recollections still on our minds, let us glance, by way of a pleasant and proud retrospect, at the courage, endurance, industry, frugality, and other virtues of those noble men whose posterity we are; and of whom we are so proud, and we will cease to be surprised at the high rank which we had once attained as a nation. We too plainly see now that if the virtues of a noble ancestry, could have been entailed upon their children, without the possibility of sectional alienation, there would have been no limit prescribed to our national strength and greatness. But we need not stop with our own country, if we wish to discover how the humble, but sterling virtues have accompanied the rise and growth of all nations, and the showy but degrading vices, their decline and fall. History teems with illustrative examples, all serving to establish the truth of the opinion set forth, that the strength of a nation consists not so much in its possessions and pecuniary resources, as in its spirit, truth, and virtue of its members. If these, from the natural tendency of man's nature to be lulled to sleep, or to become corrupted by the existence of great prosperity have been banished, that influence is partially beneficial in an eminent degree, which recalls them from their exile and gives them a place in the hearts of the people.
To illustrate the inefficiency of mere forms of government without virtue or morality, we must look for a moment at the history of the first French Revolution. Henry the IV, declared publicly that he held himself amenable to tow sovereigns, "God and the Laws," but the French people began their reforms by renouncing allegiance to both. Their spirit of resistance, was tempered with no spirit of either religion or morality. They scorned the natural and devout reliance, common even among more barbarous nations - upon the God of battles. Clubs were formed in every part of the Empire, for the propagation and enforcement of atheism. Twenty thousand men were employed of great literary distinction, in exterminating all sense of moral obligation, and every sentiment of private and public virtue. They proceeded throughout, upon the principle that Christianity and Republicanism could not subsist together.--The whole Government renounced the allegiance to Heaven, and established impiety by law. They had their theory of national rights and more absurd than all, a national oath, (very common in this, our day,) to be renewed every 4th year, differing, however, from a portion of this, our nation, in the fact that we are required to take 4 and 20 oaths every year. They adopted a new calendar, also to be renewed every 4th year, and the motto, "live free or die," instead of the precious liberty awarded to us in this, our day, that is, "to eat if we have it, pay taxes and die."
The world stood aghast at such a bold and shameless desecration of everything pure, venerable and holy. Those who managed the vessel of State, threw chart and compass over board, and madly put out on the sea of revolution. They had hailed the rising sun of liberty with joy; but when the ocean swelled and the air darkened, with what terror did they behold his blood red disc, climb a sky black with tempest, and sounding with loud thunders from side to side. And thus the French Republic, drunk with blood, vomited forth crime, and staggered on under a load of misery and sin towards the gulf of a military despotism. Anarchy, always impatient for a tyrant, there was a brief and fearful pause, when lo! girt about with darkness and clad in complete steel, a stern and solitary figure, the offspring and very image of the times, rose on the highest wave of Revolution, with the Imperial Eagle in his hand. The Tribune hailed him as the very head of the nation. The Senate entreated him to accept the people, the army followed and laud the glory of a thousand victories at his feet, whilst the people shouted, Vive la Emperor Napoleon!"
Another advantage arising from our national adversity is that our people may learn political wisdom. In the halcyon of fair weather days of prosperity, everything moves on with so much harmony (and with so much monotony too), the events of the day differing from those of yesterday; only in being of brighter hue, that from day to day we read from the same lesson, from the Book of experience; and consequently remain comparatively ignorant of the things which make for a nation's peace and prosperity. Political theories are formed beautiful as dreams and of equally as light fantastic stuff, and when applied to the operations of Government seem to work well, because other influences continue prosperity, in spite of such make-weights and draw-backs. But when the storm of severity comes; political opinions and theories are put to the test, and according as they have proved true or false, the people will reject them.
But not only do we learn in adversity to distinguish between true and false theories, we also become expert in the use and application of true political science, and are thus prepared to meet future difficulties as they arise, or foresee, and avoid them. How would the mariner be skillful in navigation if he had never been in a storm? or the pilot know how to avoid the shoals and sandbanks, and rocks, which may beset his way, if he has never been among them; and knew not what they were. Another benefit from national adversity is that Demagogues, the scurges of all Republics, are unasked. Who has not seen in prosperous times and (as we do now,) a class of men who flatter, cajole and excite the people both black and white; merely for the purpose of self aggrandizement, who try to worm themselves into the community and thence into office and high places, where they may feed upon the public crib, and bask on the sunshine popular and Executive favor.
Now in the times of adversity the people, awakened by the peril and dangers which surround them, discover, though ever so much disguised by midnight conclaves, or Union Leagues with their sable brethren, the artifices of those demagogues, to humiliate and degrade their own anglo saxon race, to elevate the poor African, and for whom they now express so much love and sympathy, and the result is these gentlemen, some of them to the manor born, will be known to the future and have permission to retire to a well deserved solitude. On the other hand when adversity threatens a country with serious danger, either from without or within, great characters are thrown into relief, as the edifices which are concealed by the darkness and gloom of night, are illuminated by the glare of a conflagration. In dangerous times genius no longer refrains from presenting itself in the arena and the people alarmed by the perils of their situation bury all jealousies, party spirit and envious passions, and great and good men, are, then drawn from the "urn of election."
And what a blessing, too, adversity is in weakening the force of local interests, conflicting party spirit and opinions, and discordant passions? Prosperity engenders, my friends, many bad feelings in the hearts of men. They become proud, self-reliant, envious, jealous, and consequently soon learn to contend about mere trifles, and quarrel upon the slightest provocation. It is not difficult, either, to see how the same feelings may exist in different portions of a State or country, as well as among individuals. But when adversity comes, all trifles, selfish considerations, and local interests are forgotten in the of a common woe, and a common enemy.
Bones of contention are then thrown aside, and the very sections of country between which there existed so much division, discord, hatred and jealousy, influenced by a sense of common danger or by sympathies excited by mutuality of sufferings, become linked together in strong fraternal bonds. There is another benefit resulting from National adversity which some may think more imaginary than real, but which we deem of more importance than say we have enumerated; we mean its tendency to recall the wandering mind of man and to fix his attention and affections, upon the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and this on the well reorganized principle that, though "no chastisement for the present" is joyous, but grievous, yet if the subject is properly exercised thereby, it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and he is therefore naturally led to the resolution, "I will arise and go to my Father."
Nations, as well as individuals, during great prosperity, become vain and ungrateful, and wrap themselves in robes of fancied security, and a kind of independent self importance. Leaning confidently upon the comparatively frail support of fleets and armies, and other contingencies of national defense; they forget the Power on High whose word the strength of serried hosts are shivered, and the "skeletons of thousands left" to rot on the battle field, and by whose command the storms of Ocean, gather, and the dwellers upon the Sea are wrecked and left to sleep beneath the waves. National calamity, by humiliating their pride and self sufficiency and convincing them of their wants, and comparative nothingness, destroys this, and thereby secures the favor and smiles of Heaven. The causes which from danger produce safety, and from trouble rest, are then put in motion--the storm passes over--the clouds vanish, and then all hearts are filled with gratitude and love.
Convinced That Heaven but tries their virtue by affliction
That oft, the clouds which wrapt the present hour
Seem but to brighten, all their future days.
In our national adversity we have learned, too, that political power whether obtained usurpation (and we might say suffrage), accompanied with a total subversion of the principles of a Constitutional government, never willingly surrenders any portion of its vested rights. If it ever, innovate on precedent, or wanders from the beaten path of constitutional liberty, it is to gather to itself, not to scatter abroad, among the people, and to construct new defenses against popular inroads. All its concessions to human rights, will be reluctantly yielded by its fears, or forcibly wrung from its grasp by the Red hand of Revolution.
We see, in its God of Ethics, a diplomacy, inculcated and refined, into a system, it exonerates itself by a species of mental casuistry, from the eternal principles in justice and morality which implies that the moral sense should not be consulted, in the administration of the affairs of the Nation, and that "all is fair in politics," and "that the end justifies the means." Hence we have the dissemination; perfidy, fraud, and circumvention, infractions of constitutional law, resumptions in the hour of strength, of conceded rights made with conquered party in the hour of its weakness and violation of faith, plighted to its own citizens. It assumes therefore that its members are amenable to the moral code, in their individual but not their collective capacity, which involves an absurdity as great as that would be--were we to assert of gravitation, that it is true of atoms, but its principles are not applicable to worlds. It is a work of supererogation to dwell, my friends, upon a doctrine as demoralizing in its tendency as it is defective and illogical in theory. It is in part to the application of this obnoxious principle that we are indebted to the prevalence of injustice and oppression, and the attendant evils which we are now afflicted, as a people. Under its pernicious influences, earth has been converted into one great slaughterhouse and man debased at once into Tyrant, Executioner and Victim!
Our national calamity, therefore, must and will learn us to appreciate the intricate and eternal beauty of virtue and moral rectitude in governments as well as individuals, its laws possess the same coherence, and consistency which exists in those that regulate the material universe. And yet, while discord is a prime agent in the affairs of human government, the starry worlds still revolve harmoniously in their orbits, chiming the praises, and vindicating the wisdom of their Almighty architect. It is true these glorious orbs are inanimate, free agency the precious attribute, and chief distinction of man is withheld from them, and that they, from necessity, conform to the original laws of their creator. But let us suppose for example that they are suddenly endowed with consciousness, and with volition, that availing themselves of their novel privilege they shout madly from their spheres, and range at will through the illimitable space of other--what confusion would presently ensue; what jostling of planet against planet; what infringing of sun against sun; what running of system into system; what war of elements, what wreck of matter, and what a crash of worlds! Chaos indeed would have come again, and the plastic hand of the Almighty would be required to remould them into form--to place them in their original and appropriate position, to re attune the broken harmony, and to strike again, the best music of the spheres. Such is the order which exists among the Heavenly bodies, and such the ruin which would be produced by a departure from the essential condition of their existence. Striking examples, but alas! Too true of the actual condition and relations which now exists, between the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which once controlled a glorious and grand confederacy of co equal and independent Sovereign States. In recounting some of the important results of national adversity, which may seem marvelous at the first blush, yet there is nothing to them particular or strange! They are governed by the same laws, bearing a direct analogy on many others. Pursuing a train of thought suggested by our subject, we may add that our own country, perhaps, which had reached the very highest grade of prosperity, is now under the operation of Divine Providence, suffering the amputation of its morbid excrescences, for the salvation of its health, and its national existence. For the waters of the swollen stream are turbid; but if diminished, they become pure and pellucid. The excision of redundant limbs and branches, may, for a time, mar the beauty of the tree, yet it will give strength, vigor, and beauty to the remaining boughs, and so of other exhibitions--profusely scattered throughout the kingdom of nature, and known and read by all men. It is true our country has lost millions of its wealth and much of its alluring splendor, but we trust it will save and preserve its dignity, its morals and its virtue. Many who made haste to be rich over the blood and suffering of their country during our late struggle may become poor, property may be reduced to a fair estimate, and many things which we may think of vast importance, may be swept away, but let them all go,--so integrity, virtue and industry prevail, and all that is inestimable in our favored and lovely country, survive the wreck; we shall emerge like silver and gold when tried in the fiery furnace; or like rocks embedded in our native hills and mountains, purified by fire and solidified by pressure. It is encouraging to know that there are many things, even amid our adversity as a people, which are operating with great power on the social and individual happiness of man. We live in the midst of an age which may be emphatically styled one of Free inquiry, and which is pre-eminently progressive. Under its guidance the brilliant achievement in Demonstrative Science, in inductive philosophy, and in the fine arts, are daily adding to our comforts, and working important changes in every condition of society. And no where is it more conspicuously displayed than in the varied branches of Medical Science. In Surgery, in Physiology, (true basis of rational medicine) in Hygiene, which in the treatment of disease has become one of the great medical facts of the day) besides its beneficial effects on true philosophy of food and the laws for the preservation of health.
In Botany and Zoology, by which plants and animals, both aquatic and terrene, are named and classified, their structure delineated, their habits described, and their properties and uses made known. In chemistry, which is daily conducing as much to the health and comfort of man, decomposing the forms, and disembodying the essence of things, recombining them in different proportions; thereby producing results the most brilliant and useful. In the fine arts, too, do we see it moving steadily onward, and its plastic powers are no where more conspicuously displayed, than in the Science of Music, which draws forth and appropriates the harmony of nature; fixing and characterizing them in their varied, new and exquisite combinations, which takes the "prisoned soul and laps it in elysium."
We see it moulding with increasing perfection, the lifeless inexpressible marble, with its solidity and ragged excrescences and polished lifelike into almost breathing forms. We see it guiding the pencil of the painter in producing the grandest and noblest specimens of the pictorial art; and in the science of Photography transmitting to posterity the likeness of eminent Statesmen. Christians and Warriors, who have illustrated and adorned the age in which they lived, and portraying to the gate of bereaved survivors, faithful likenesses of the living, the loved and the lost.
We see it as penetrating the bowels of the earth and extracting its mineral and metallic wealth, examining its varied stratifications; reading the hieroglyphic characters thereon inscribed, and learning its true history. The knowledge of Geology is enlightening the farmer, too, by tending to lighten his labors, instructing him to the nature and property of soils, (and trenching somewhat on a kindred science) teaches him the process by which fertility may be reclaimed from exhaustion.
Recent, as is the science of Geology, (comparatively speaking,) its discoveries have already rendered and are daily affording incalculable results to the agriculturalist, and with a brighter and still larger field before it, it will go adding to the physical comforts, the social advancement, and the regeneration of man.
From a political stand point, too, we see this spirit of free inquiry, with argus eyes, arising, from the low and bending posture in which it formerly crouched under military rule. Springing to its natural and upright attitude and without embarrassment, aye, with a proud confidence, it will ere long confront tyranny on its throne, and under the guidance and prestige of the great Conservative Constitutional Union party of the country, the turrets and towers of absolutism and monarchy will topple to destruction, when the giant man shall arise from his slumbers, and hurl to the dust those vulgar great, yet pigmy tyrants, who now claim to rule us--ten States of the Union by sort of divine right. Yes, the great Conservative party from the ice bound shores of Maine to the golden villas and snow capped mountains of California, is swelling with the amplitude, and deepening with the profoundity of its vast conceptions, emulating the blast of the trumpet, startling its thousands and millions from repose, on the eve of a worlds winning battle.
Let us trust that it is the pioneer of a more enlightened civilization, than has yet been seen in the dreams of mere phylosophy. That it is destined by Providence, to be the harbinger of a state of things, as yet unprecedented upon the earth. The morning star burning with pencil beauty, or the brow of a glorious political millenium; that in the fullness of time it will usher in the commencement of that era, when the war announcing trumpet shall be heard no more, when peace shall gather the entire family of man under the shadow of her wing; when as individuals and as a nation, rectitude in thought and deed, shall be an aim and attainment, and not only an abstract reality, but an universal presence. Let us then remember even amidst the dark desolations of the hour that
"The gloomiest day hath gleams of light,
The darkest wave, hath bright foam near it;
And twinkles through the cloudiest night,
One solitary star to cheer it."
Amid our national adversity, my friends, a love of liberty and of country is an indigenous principle with our people, as the evergreen is to our native hills and mountains. It is here where the stars of Heaven first shone upon us; where the lightening first declared His omnipotence, and the storm winds shook our souls with awe. Here are all our affections. Here is our country. The bones of our beloved ancestors sleep here, and those of the dear ones that fell in our "Lost Cause." It is here where the first human eye bent lovingly over cradle; where our mother first bore us joyfully on her bosom; where our fathers engraved words of wisdom on our young hearts. Here are all our affections then. Here is our country.
And though it were a desert--yet
Dear, to our hearts this spot shall prove
Our home; we never can'st forget
Our country never cease to love.
And wheresoever our steps may roam,
As restive wanderers o'er the earth;
With love, our bosoms still shall burn,
For this dear land that gave us birth;
For wherever else, our steps may roam,
This is our country--this is our home.
But when we unroll, my friends, the scroll of time, and open the pages of Virginia's history, the heart almost sinks with sadness, at the reflection:--What Virginia was, and what she now is. Upon every page of the annals which record the greatness and power of America, she stands preeminent above all her sister States. Her fame is eternal. The eternal sunshine of her greatness outdazzle the splendor of the gorgeous mausoleum. As the mother of States and Statesmen, she stands solitary in the grandeur of her achievements, in war, in peace, in the science of government, and in fundamental law. It would be vain to attempt to take from her, one atom of her greatness. It has passed into history, and is interwoven with the rise, progress and decline of constitutional liberty.
But look upon that picture, and now upon this. With the ascendancy of Radicalism, by military rule, her constitution is to be ignored, passion substituted for reason, guaranteed rights immunities (as old and cotemporaneous with out forms of government,) are to be swept away before the progressive tide of isms. Outrage has succeeded outrage, in rapid succession, until now, Virginia is a territorial dependency, her territory dismembered, a mere military satrapy, (according to Radical logic and legislation,) and in the same Hall, where in 1829-'30, James Monroe, President of the Convention, James Madison, the author of the Federal Constitution, John Marshall, its great expounder, Lyttleton Tazewell, John Randolph, Briscoe G. Baldwin, Robt. Stanard, John Tyler, Phillip Doddridge, John S. Barbour, Phillip Barbour, and others, no less distinguished, who have rolled down their brilliant pathway to the tomb, and lent their aid and experiences in the cause of good government, is now occupied by ignorant blacks, and blackhearted whites, to undo the great work of these great men, and make for Virginia an organic law!! Whilst the heart sickens in contemplating the contrast, and the brain reels and staggers at the awful spectacle, we are yet cheered with the pleasing reflection, that "there is life in the old land yet."
The recent Conservative Convention, of over 1000 Virginia gentlemen, which met in Richmond, representing the intellect, and Virtue of the State, with the dignity, decorum, and practical statesmanship of their deliberations, remind us, that our soil is still the abode of greatness; and the time is not far distant, when their counsels and sentiments must prevail, and the country restored to the influence of the spirit which animated a noble ancestry. For their is a salient, plastic, living principle in our people yet, and
Our land, the first garden of Liberty's tree,
It has been, and it shall be, the land of the free.
And, what, though misfortune for a time, my friends, has cast clouds of sorrow over our pathway; what though the merry laugh of joy and prosperity may now and then find its echo in the mournful cry of sadness, and although this tide of misfortune like the mighty Ocean's waves, has risen and swept over us, we are not conquered yet; our spirits are still free. This beautiful world still moves on, which requires no tongue to give intelligibility to its meaning. For there is a language in the stars. There is a voice in the night wind, and in the trumpet blowing cataract, and in the mighty silence of limitless space.
Let us then take courage and dash the blighting spray aside and like a goodly gallant bark, without a started seam or a riven sail, we'll breast the novel tempest of time and chance.
For there is a beacon star which still shines with undiminished lustre, whispering in our ears a charm so full of joy, that life seems so new--that danger is forgotten, while sorrow flies before its inspiration--for there is an Heavenly spirit which still beacons us onward. And Lo! high over the ramparts of the wished for goal, our flaunting flag, is given to the breese, when we behold the talismanic words in living characters of fire upon it--Hope and Persevere. If I were called upon to name the emotion of the human mind, which is most sufficient in its influence upon mankind--which suggests the grandest enterprises, and which supports us under the most trying reverses, I am certain that I should only be anticipating the judgment of my intelligent auditory in pronouncing Hope, to be that feeling. The earliest visions of childhood are tinged with its golden hues, and the reveries of the boy and the man are filled with gorgeous palaces, and regions of delight, which it can build. It animates the school boy and girl at their tasks; it emboldens the soldier on the battlefield; it nerves the sailor against the perils of the sea; it gives light and strength to the patriot in his struggles for his country's good. It achieved the splendid results in the discovery of America, by Columbus and his little band, and though the mountain billows of the Atlantic rose up before them; and amid the laughs and scoffs of the witty, and the lamentations of the loving, it led them on--they were guided by it until they rested from their labors, doubts and fears upon the borders of a new and noble continent. Though in results less splendid than these, we find it in the every day affairs of life, supporting the weak, encouraging the strong, and beckoning on the prosperous to more varied fields of usefulness and renown. We see it sitting beside the mother in cradle infancy, while she winds the laurel wreath around the brow of her loved infant, teaching her to love not only that which is, but will be--when weakness puts on strength and walks; when knowledge has brought its treasures, and, when wealth fame and honor shall attend its steps. It stands by the man of business in his daily toils; it mounts with the statesman up the steps of office. It lies down, with the poor and rich on the bed of anguish, and accompanies the Physician in the sick chamber; it walks with the strong upon the path of vigor, and there are none so poor as to live without its companionship, and none so high as to not need its help.
Finally, my friends, if tears shall water our course, may old Time, as he flies along, with a single flap of his broad wing, dry them all up. And may the bright visions of the future cause us all to doff the garb of sorrow, whilst the troubles of to-day may melt if like noxious vapors, 'neath the genial sun of Fortune, and disclose the sweetest imageries of life; whilst the dim vista of coming years, shall cause each heart to leap for joy.
(Column 02)Summary: The paper agrees with the Philadelphia News's assertion that if Congress would end its "crusade" against the South, the section would be open for profitable northern investments. "The people of Virginia, and, indeed, of all the Southern States, are extremely anxious for Northern men to settle among them."[No Title]
(Column 02)Summary: "A Farmer" writes in support of the proposed $300,000 county subscription to the stock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. He argues that only $2 a farm would raise the money, and the increase in the price of farm goods following introduction of the railroad would make up for it.The Political Status
(Column 03)Summary: This article succinctly articulates many of the issues at hand concerning the opposition to radical reconstruction. Along with the problem of the lack of capital and lack of northern investors, the author vehemently attacks "mongrels and political quacks" currently framing the new constitution. Most significantly, this article rejects any notion that former slaves are in any way capable of effectively legislating. The author gets right to the point by stating simply that the Radicals are "destroyers of people's liberties."
Full Text of Article:
The following is an extract from a private letter, from the pen of one of our gifted townsmen, to a friend in the Great West. He says:
The radicals in Congress have so shaped legislation as to destroy all hope of an amicable adjustment of the vexed question of reconstruction, and consequently everything is in an unsettled condition. There is no capital in the South to invest in enterprises calculated to increase the prosperity and develop the vast resources of the country, and Northern capital is afraid to come here,-- in consequence, every material interest languishes, and the people are compelled to plod along the best way they can.
By the simple edict of a single man, (Gen. Schofield), the legislature of our State has been prevented from assembling, and of course the best interests of the State must suffer.--Instead of the representatives of the people occupying the legislative halls at Richmond, legislating for the encouragement of immigration and the development of our untold resources, we have a set of mongrels and political quacks, working like beavers for the promotion of their own selfish ends and the advancement of party purposes. They have voted themselves eight dollars a day, and, vampire like, are sucking the life blood of the State. Of course they have no idea of adjourning as long as there remains a dollar in the treasury. Not the first practical step has as yet been taken towards the formation of a constitution, and the radicals themselves are becoming very restive at the impracticability of this body. The fact is, the convention is destitute of brains, and without brains nothing good can be accomplished. There is something radically wrong when slaves are suddenly transformed from serfdom into legislators, and from being the hewers of wood and drawers of water, into rulers and representatives of a free and enlightened people. Such a State of affairs cannot last long. A change for the better or worse must inevitably take place, and that too before many more years are added to the cycle of time. Never before in the world's history has such a monstrosity been perpetrated or attempted, and it cannot succeed. The people will rise up and put down the party that now attempts to rule the country at the sacrifice of its dearest interests, and when the storm of opposition is once fairly started, woe be unto those who may attempt to oppose its onward march. It will sweep the country from one end to the other, and those who may have been instrumental in raising the storm will be hurled into oblivion.
It is hoped that a returning sense of reason on the part of the people of the North, will see this injustice and wrongs that have been visited on the ten "unreconstructed" States, and the danger they are in of losing their own liberties, if a check is not speedily put to the career of those destroyers of the people's liberty, and at once rally to our support and encouragement.
The Lutheran Visitor
(Column 01)Summary: The paper praises the Lutheran Visitor, a monthly magazine edited by the Rev. J. I. Miller of Staunton.Staunton Lyceum
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. I. Miller)
(Column 01)Summary: The Staunton Lyceum discussed whether the goodness of God can be revealed without the aid of Revelation. Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy will lecture at the Lyceum next Friday.Virginia Express Company
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, Rev. Taylor, Y. Howe Peyton, James S. Bumgardner, Pike Powers, Capt. Pierce, Bolivar Christian)
(Column 02)Summary: The Virginia Express Company has extended lines throughout the Valley and can ship goods anywhere between Salem and Harper's Ferry.The White Sulphur
(Column 02)Summary: George L. Peyton will open the White Sulphur Springs in the early spring. Repairs are now in progress. The paper declares that it was always good luck when the Democratic Party caucused there, and hopes they will do so again.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: George L. Peyton)
(Column 02)Summary: Bishop Dogget of the Episcopal Methodist Church preached in Staunton's Methodist Church, including the funeral sermon of Mrs. Lucy J. Clarke, wife of the Rev. pastor John L. Clarke. His text was, "If a man die, shall he live again?" He also expounded on the Christian virtues of Mrs. Clarke. In the evening he preached on Paul's imprisonment and appearance before Felix.Sibert's Iron and Steel Patent
(Names in announcement: Bishop Dogget, Lucy J. Clarke, Rev. John L. Clarke)
(Column 02)Summary: The foundry of Perkins, Nelson and Company cast two eight to ten pound railroad tires according to Sibert's new steel process. Once they are turned in a lathe and dressed, they will be sent on to Richmond for testing on the Virginia Central Railroad. "The success of the new process of making steel from an ordinary blast furnace, will soon be felt throughout the length and breadth of our land. So important a discovery cannot long be confined to one or two localities. The spirit if the age and the necessities of man require that it should be brought to light, and applied to every department of industry." The new process is faster than Bessemer's. "Parties from the North who have been on to examine the merit of this invention have expressed themselves as satisfied and delighted. We learn that Messrs. Sibert and Peyton have had several large offers for the right of manufacture in several of the States, but for the present have declined."Marriages
(Names in announcement: Perkins, Nelson, Sibert, Peyton)
(Column 04)Summary: Nelson Andrew and Miss Christiana S. Earhart, daughter of John Earhart, were married at the house of the bride's father near Sangersville by the Rev. John Pinkerton.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Nelson Andrew, Christiana S. Earhart, John Earhart, Rev. John Pinkerton)
(Column 04)Summary: Frederick Cupp and Miss Ellen Staubus, daughter of Jacob Staubus, were married on January 30th at the residence of the bride's father by the Rev. John Pinkerton.Marriages
(Names in announcement: Frederick Cupp, Ellen Staubus, Jacob Staubus, Rev. John Pinkerton)
(Column 04)Summary: John H. Jones and Miss Harriet E. Price, both of Augusta, were married near Staunton on January 30th by the Rev. J. I. Miller.Marriages
(Names in announcement: John H. Jones, Harriet E. Price, Rev. J. I. Miller)
(Column 04)Summary: Thomas H. Cross and Miss Winnie Matilda Burns, both of Augusta, were married on January 30th near Lebanon by the Rev. A. A. P. Neel.Deaths
(Names in announcement: Thomas H. Cross, Winnie Matilda Burns, Rev. A. A. P. Neel)
(Column 04)Summary: Capt. Charles Laney died at Cedar Hill on Naked Creek at age 94. "He was too young to take part in the Revolution of 1776, but he bore himself gallantly in the War of 1812. Those in the Valley born previous to the war of 1776 now number but few indeed. The present status of the country caused him much pain in the ebbing out of the last of the sands in the glass of his life."
(Names in announcement: Capt. Charles Laney)