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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: April 1, 1868

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Our Position Then and Now
(Column 02)
Summary: This article seeks to dismiss the arguments made between whites of the South regarding "consistency." This argument, suggests the author, is counterproductive. The important issue is to rid Richmond of "negro rule," and defeat the Radical constitution.
Full Text of Article:

A valued friend and subscriber, who agreed with opposition to the Constitution to be submitted with our advocacy of the call for a Convention which framed it."

The answer is simple. We advocated the acceptance of the Convention as a terrible fact, as we did submission to Andy Johnson's plans, considering and knowing both to be unconstitutional and unjust but feeling it was the best we could do, powerless as we were to accept the first radical plan as a finality as we did Johnson's. We were for fighting the devil with his own firewood, i.e., taking hold of the Reconstruction measures, and using them against the Radicals. We were for electing a Conservative Convention to meet in Richmond, which we would have acted in concert with the Conservatives North, not the hybred [sic] concern, which acts in concert with our enemies there; and we believe it could have been done, if the people had thrown off their indifference and worked. To admit any other proposition is an insult to the intelligence of the white people of Virginia. Just before the election, we saw there was no hope for such action, as the Radicals were fighting our straggling bands with disciplined forces, and we did all we could to defeat the Convention and elect Conservative candidates. We know that there was no premise of the Radicals to be relied upon; that it was a hellish scheme to negroize the South, and we have always opposed the whole work of the mean whites and deluded blacks, at Richmond, because it is infamous; a violation of every pledge made by the North during and since the war, and because we are white. This, we think, is the position of every paper and of every gentleman in the State, who went for accepting the Radical plan, as a finality, until they saw there was nothing final in it, but our absolute subjugation to negro and radical rule. Some imbecile, may whine, "I told you so," about his "coassistency," and say we are changeable, but we are not, for we had rather be "right" than "consistent," and "right" we honestly believe we were and are.

We hope the explanation is satisfactory, and that our friends will join with us, heart and hand, in defeating the Radical Constitution. It is no time for white men to wrangle over "consistency," or who was right and who was wrong. Old John Randolph once said that the men who bellowed most about "consistency" were either knaves or fools or a combination of both, and we agree with him. Therefore, waste no time on them, but go to work and vote down the Radical Convention; for to discern between the evils that energy can remove and the evils that patience must bear, makes the difference between manliness and childishness - between good sense and folly.

How to Turn the Tables
(Column 02)
Summary: This article suggests that southerners "quit the political field and employ energies elsewhere." The problem, says the author, is that while southerners dominated the government for years, northerners focused on industry. From this they gained wealth and power and came to dominate the country. The great political duty for southerners now is to focus on material interests.
Full Text of Article:

For sixty years, says the Whig, Southern influence dominated the government. We worked in the field of politics while the Northern people devoted themselves to their industries. They grew rich and strong; and so the power passed from our hands; the scepter departed from Judah, and the law giver from beneath his feet.

We want to see the tables turned. The Northern people seem now to be demented on the subject of politics. They have tasted power, and are intoxicated by the draught. Not only the men, but the women and children are politicians. It is time for us to quit the political field and employ our energies elsewhere. We are outnumbered and overmastered, and our only hope of acquiring wealth, influence and power, and measuring strength with them again, is in devoting ourselves to our material industries. This was the source of Northern wealth and power. We died by politics, while they flourished by industry. Let us be warned by our fate and encouraged by their success.

We have at present but one great political duty to perform, and that is to do all that we can to rescue ourselves and our posterity from negro rule. Doing that, we should give our time and attention to our material interests, and after a while we shall reassert our sway and hold it by force of numbers as well as of intellect. The secret of empire in these days is force, not moral power or mind. Let us while holding on to those endeavors to accrue that.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper endorses Henry Wise's railroad boosterism and praises A. H. H. Stuart and Col. John B. Baldwin for taking the same position.
(Column 04)
Summary: Captain T. P. Jackson, agent of the Freedman's Bureau for Augusta and Highland Counties, has been promoted and asked to report at Farmville. "We knew Captain J. personally, and a more perfect gentleman we have never met. In the discharge of his duties he always gave satisfaction, and we cordially recommend him to the good people of Farmville."
(Names in announcement: Capt. T. P. Jackson)

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The Growing Wheat
(Column 01)
Summary: The wheat crop is reportedly doing very well.
White Sulphur
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. George L. Peyton has leased the Greenbriar, White Sulphur Springs for $10,000 a year.
(Names in announcement: George L. Peyton)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: More than 70 buildings are under contract in Staunton, and construction waits only for good weather.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Staunton boasts more than 150 businesses.
(Column 01)
Summary: The ladies of the Episcopal Church will give a fair at the dining hall of the Virginia Hotel.
Our Fire Company
(Column 02)
Summary: The members of the Augusta Fire Company have established their library and ask for donations of books.

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