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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: February 19, 1868

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-Page 01-

Labor Honorable and Idleness Dishonorable
(Column 06)
Summary: The author of this piece condemns the idle and lazy. Labor, he argues, must be made honorable, even for rich men's sons. While there are many who are unfit for hard labor due to war wounds, these men can nevertheless work in intellectual pursuits. All others must turn to labor. Although Virginia is desolated, the land has great potential, and the author concludes it is shameful that such rich land should go to waste for want of "men to till it."
Full Text of Article:

- We copy the following from the New Orleans Picayune:

"Public sentiment is fast coming around at the South to a more just appreciation, not only to the dignity of labor, but to the want of dignity in idleness, whether it result from pride or laziness."

It is enough that "we should make labor honorable." When has it been held dishonorable, except when a meagre number, rich men's sons, or children of parvenus, who have soon sloughed off with their ill managed lavishness?

We must have something more than this. We must have work to make a man respectable in society. But what if he is rich; must he work? Yes, he must; because he is a man and should be useful, should set good examples, should multiply the talents God has given him, and should make happy others around him, not so well off, by setting them advantageously to work. But no man who brags of his strength in fight or wrestle, of his agility as a jumper or a dancer, should shirk work in the corn or potato field.

It is contemptible, in this day of delolation [sic] and poverty in the South - when the cry of starvation goes into Congress for the benefit of whites as well as negroes - that white men should haunt grog shops and street corners, in city or country, or even hug the eaves of houses, when so much rich land is growing up in brush and weed for the want of men to till it. They can get use of it for nothing, and make a livelihood for themselves and their sisters and mothers, who now, perhaps, have to support them out of scanty savings or petty earnings. Have these men no shame? If they have not, let the community put them to shame and spew them out as worthless!

It is not only the idle negro that curses the South; it is the idle white man, too. That he curses the North also, chiefly its cities and towns, does not, make it less true of him here. There are a few men, by reason of age or infirmity; there are others, who being crippled or otherwise unfit for hard labor, should have lighter or intellectual tasks, and who work courageously and steadily in them; but a multitude of those out of employment might find it easily if they were not falsely ashamed of work, or too lazy to be useful.

To cure such, and to renovate and reconstruct the South, we need to make idleness dishonorable!

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What is Education?
(Column 02)
Summary: This article illustrates the various types of education. While a practical education to provide an individual with knowledge "useful" for one's vocation is deemed important, it is not the only education that a person should obtain. The author also illustrates the importance of an education teaching the individual his duties of a citizen.
Full Text of Article:

The extraordinary sacrifices and exertions made by the impoverished Southern people, since the war, to educate their children; our flourishing schools and colleges, would seem to make this question superfluous; but, many who think so, would be very much at a loss to answer it correctly. Every man is a free country, wants three sorts of education: one, to fit him for his own particular trade or calling, or a professional education; another, to teach him his duties as a man and a citizen: his moral and political education; and third, to fit him for his higher relations, as one of God's creatures, designed for immortality, which is religious education.

In point of fact, that is more useful to man which tends most to his happiness; a thing so plain, that it almost seems foolish to state it. Yet people constantly take the word "useful" in a different sense, and mean by it, not what tends most to a man's happiness, but what will get the most money for him; hence, they call professional education a very "useful" thing, while they grudge, as throw away, the time spent in general education, whether moral or religious, more especially, if it in anyway interferes with the education which enables a man to gain his livelihood, and make money. Yet we might be perfect in our several trades and professions and still be very ignorant, very miserable, and very wicked. - In fact, we might do very well while at work, but no man can work always.

There is a time which we spend with our families - a time we spend with our friends and neighbors, and a very important time which we, especially, spend with ourselves. If we know not how to pass these times profitably, we must be very contemptible and worthless men, be we ever so excellent as editors, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, ministers, farmers, laborers, or whatever may be our particular calling. Hence, it strikes us, that it is our general education that enables us to pass these times well, not our professional one, as is well illustrated by the ladies, who in speaking of an agreeable gentleman, say "he leaves the shop at home." The education which all men equally used, and that which teaches a man, in the first place, his duty to God and his neighbor; which trains him to good principles and good temper; to think of others and not of self. It is that education, which teaches him in the next place, his duty as a citizen; to obey the laws always, but to try to get them made as perfect as possible; to understand that a good and just government cannot consult the interests of a particular class or calling, in preference to another, but must see what is for the good of the whole; that every interest, and every order of men must give and take, and that if each was to insist upon having everything his own way, there could be nothing but the wildest confusion or the meanest tyranny. - If the greater part of all that goes wrong in life, public, or private, arise from ignorance, stupidity, and bad reasoning, it should teach us to reason justly, and put us on our guard against the tricks of unfair writers and talkers, or the confusions of the mutton headed, and it will prove the most valuable part of a man's education, a part he will derive benefit from, whenever he has occasion to open his mouth to speak, or his ears to hear.

Finally, all that makes a man's mind move actively; all that gives him nobler and more beautiful ideas; is a great addition to his happiness, when alone, and to the pleasure others derive from his society. Therefore, it is most useful to learn to love and appreciate what is beautiful, whether in the works of God, or of man; whether in the flowers and fields, mountains or rivers; the woods, sea or sky; or in fine pictures, splendid buildings, sweet music, and all the noble thoughts and glorious images of poetry. This is the sort of an education, which will make a man happy, a people good, wise, and great. Give this, and the ends of professional education can never be altogether lost; for good sense and sound principle will ensure a man's knowing his particular business; but knowledge of his business alone, can never ensure them. Not only all secure knowledge and goodness, the rarest and most profitable qualities, with which any man can enter upon life now, but they are articles with which the market will never be glutted, and of which no competition or over production will lesson the value; further, the more we can succeed in manufacturing, the higher will be their price, because there will be more to understand and love them. As Solomon said, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." "For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of solver, and the gain of gold," and "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace."

The Convention in Richmond
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper ridicules the constitutional convention in Richmond.
Full Text of Article:

We have not bored and disgusted our readers by filling the Valley Virginian with reports of the Convention now being held in Richmond. We pity the papers which have to do it, and we pity the Conservative gentlemen who are so nobly standing their ground in it. That Convention has done nothing yet worthy of notice. Any farmer, who wishes to enjoy a sight of it, can do so by calling in the negroes of the neighborhood, and setting them loose--one day is just like another; the same rant, the same disgusting mixture of mean white and ignorant negro jabber--the same quiet dignity on the part of the suffering Conservatives. We believe it best, and surely more agreeable, to attend to other interests, and the thing "severally alone," and think it would be good policy for the city papers too. It has been made "too much of," and nothing sooner spoils a mean white man, or a negro. When the "Mountain" gets through with its labors, and presents its "mouse" to the people of Virginia, we expect to show what it has done in a few words. Then comes the time for work, and hard work, too; until then, we should keep quiet and prepare for action.

Fred Douglass to His People
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper remarks on a speech by Frederick Douglass arguing that the Federal government freed the slaves for policy reasons, not humanitarianism, and that the Freedmen must work hard to overcome their practical disadvantages. "It is certain that the competition against which they will have to contend for the means of support must increase by immigration every year, whilst they can rely on no such addition to their numbers, but must make up for the inequality by increased efficiency. The ignorant and degraded of whatever color must always be subject to superior intelligence, and it behooves the colored people to reflect whether those are their true friend who would plunge them into politics."
Withdraws from the League
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper praises African American James Roberson of Woodstock's decision to withdraw from the "Loyal League" and encourages others to follow his example.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. J. L. Miller of Staunton will preach at the re-dedication of the Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. L. Miller)
The Business of Staunton
(Column 01)
Summary: A Staunton commission merchant is shipping flour from Staunton direct to points on the Richmond and Danville Railroad.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Ephraim Lawson, Pastor of the A.M.E. Church, sends his farewell to the citizens of Staunton. He holds the residents of this city in the highest regard, pointing out that all have treated him with kindness. Among others, he mentions how Judge Sheffey, Col. Baldwin, and other former masters, including his own, treat the black population with compassion and respect.
Full Text of Article:

Staunton, Va., February 18th, 1868

Mr. Editor: - As I am about to take leave of your town for a while, I beg leave to occupy a column in your newspaper, to express my sincere regard for the citizens of Staunton, and its vicinity. I have spent three agreeable years in Staunton, as the pastor of the A.M.E. Church: and I can say, without exaggerating, that I have been treated with all due respect imaginable, by both ladies and gentlemen - old and young - and lawyers, doctors, merchants, mechanics and laborers; though a Marylander by birth, and there received my education.

I have traveled since the death of my old master, both North, South, East and West, but have not found any people kinder and more friendly than the people in this community, in which I had the honor to reside for three years. I was very much surprised indeed, about six weeks ago, in meeting with the Honorable Judge Sheffey at the house of one of his former servants - who then was lying at the point of death; and when I entered the room, the Honorable Judge rose from his chair to speak and shake hands with me, and after exchanging a few words, he went to the bedside of John Watson, his former servant, and there consoled him with a few words, and then affectionately bid him a farewell. I thought to myself, oh! what sympathy was exhibited from the former master to the servant. I have also to record another instance, where Col. J. B. Baldwin, threw open his parlor, to the wedding guests of Alice Craig, a former servant, whose marriage was to be celebrated at my Church, but the bad state of the weather prevented. I could mention many other instances of kindness, if I had the space, but cannot think of trespassing on your kindness. In fact, I have seen a good many similar cases of this kind, in Staunton. Now, as I expect to take my leave of Staunton tomorrow morning, I conclude by wishing you all peace and prosperity in this world, and a happy home in the world to come.

Pastor of the A.M.E. Church.
Staunton, Va.

Sudden Death
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Pike Powers, "a very estimable lady" of Staunton, was struck suddenly with paralysis and passed away on Monday.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Pike Powers)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Dr. Morwitz, editor of the Philadelphia German Democrat, is paying a visit to Staunton. "He is interesting himself much in the development of Virginia, and has already sent many excellent land buyers to the State, and we hope his visit to our charming Valley, the paradise for the industrious German, will enable him to give a fresh impulse to immigration in this section."
Staunton Lyceum
(Column 03)
Summary: The Staunton Lyceum debated whether the rise of sects in the Christian Church has damaged true Christianity. It was decided 12-6 in the negative. The Rev. George B. Taylor will deliver a lecture on "The Thinker" next Friday night.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. L. Miller, R. Mauzy, Rev. J. A. Latane, Col. James H. Skinner, S. Travis Phillips, Prof. Pike Powers, Capt. James Bumgardner, Rev. George B. Taylor)
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert T. McPheeters and Miss Mary M. P. Speck, both of Augusta, were married on February 5th by the Rev. T. L. Preston.
(Names in announcement: Robert T. McPheeters, Mary M. P. Speck, Rev. T. L. Preston)
(Column 03)
Summary: David Rusmisell and Miss Isabella Fix, both of Augusta, were married on January 30th by the Rev. H. Geizendinner.
(Names in announcement: David Rusmisell, Isabella Fix, Rev. H. Geizendinner)
(Column 03)
Summary: Berry L. Riley and Miss Lizzie A. Brown, both of Staunton, were married on February 6th by the Rev. J. L. Clarke.
(Names in announcement: Berry L. Riley, Lizzie A. Brown, Rev. J. L. Clarke)
(Column 03)
Summary: Mrs. Isabella H. Ayres, wife of William L. Ayres and daughter of the late Andrew S. McLaughlin of Rockbridge, died suddenly near Goshen Bridge on January 27th.
(Names in announcement: Isabella H. Ayres, William L. Ayres, Andrew S. McLaughlin)

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