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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: July 22, 1868

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"Vox Populi, Vox Dei!"
(Column 01)
Summary: As the Democratic National Convention rapidly approaches, the author of this article remains confident that the majority of the people throughout the entire country will side with the conservative ticket of Seymour and Blair. all those who love their country in both North and South will naturally see the evils of the radicals. For the author, this is a forgone conclusion. He equates the voice of the people with Divine intervention. Since God favors conservatives, the voice of the people and the voice of God are one in the same.
Full Text of Article:

The representatives of the PEOPLE have spoken in tones too loud and clear to be misunderstood. They have given to the nation a ticket that will just as surely be elected as that water runs or grass grows. They have given to Americans a Platform of Principles such as cannot fail to send a thrill of patriotic pride to the heart of every true lover of his country. They have arrayed Right against Wrong; Justice against Injustice; and the divine precept of "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," marked all their actions. Surely, if ever "the voice of the people" was the "voice of God," it was in the words of those who composed the National Democratic Convention.

In strange contrast with this is the position of the present mis-rulers of our country. For party purposes they shrink at no sacrifice of money, blood, or treasure--honor they never possessed. The old Jewish law of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," has been and is their motto; and to save their tottering fortunes they would willingly sell to an empty, drunken, imbecile "Reticent" the future control of America. To this end--military despotism--are we approaching, and nothing but "the voice of the people," which "is the voice of God," can save us.

But hark! What do we hear? Ah! they are glad sounds! The day of deliverance is at hand! For
"The storm which had seemingly banish'd the dawn
Only hastens the advent of day!"

The good tidings have gone forth over the length and breadth of the land, and from the pine clad hills of Maine to the golden sands of California--from the cold black shore of the Northern Lakes to the bright, sunny banks of the Gulf, cheer after cheer rolls up for Seymour and Blair! the choice of a reunited people, and "the voice of the people is the voice of God!"

The "good men and true" of other States send us greeting. Do your duty, Virginians, and the day is not far distant when the proud old "Mother of States" will again resume her position in the Federal family, rid of the vile incubus which now grinds her to the earth! Let not hope forsake us now in the eleventh hour, and all will yet be well. By our own acts shall we be judged, and let it not be said that Virginia was ever found wanting. Let us arouse to the dangers of the hour!--hurl the accursed "constitution" in the teeth of its framers!--join hands with the Democracy in the North, and in the coming contest aid them in once more proclaiming that "the voice of the people is the voice of God!"

There Can be Nothing Worse
(Column 01)
Summary: Asking what could possibly be worse than current conditions forced by radical rule, the author points out the near certainty of future taxes, land confiscation, and integrated schools. He illustrates how those who would force such measures are the very lowest of men. However, despite what the radicals may do, Virginians will never be forced to surrender their honor. Having no rights left to be taken, Virginians have only their honor left; the author condemns those "who dare yield it."
Full Text of Article:

Unless we adopt this "constitution," says the timid croaker, "Congress will impose a still worse government upon us." And suppose, says the Petersburg Express, Congress does? Let them do their worst!--let them do all that venom and malignancy can suggest!--give them a carte blanche to rival, in the cruelty of their measure, the ferocity of demons!--but amid it all let them understand that Virginia is still brave undaunted and unflinching--neither to be bought, nor cheated, nor frightened from her devotion to principle. For near seven years our people have "been tried, as if with fire"--persecuted, beggared, slandered, oppressed--death has become our familiar friend, and danger has been disarmed of its terror by frequent intercourse--and after it all, shall Virginians be forced into a base betrayal of their State and a surrender of their honor by a cowardly apprehension of some future physical inflictions? Such is not the material from which spring "the true and brave" of earth. Such men lack principle--with them personal and national honor is at a heavy discount. Unlike the great master of the German reformation, they fail to grow as strong as dangers increase, and their timid imaginations discover in every tree and shrub a "masked battery" for their destruction. Like the frightened soldier on the field of battle, palsied with fear, without sufficient courage either to advance or retreat, tightly closing his eyes in the vain attempt to become oblivious to danger, these men fall to the ground, awaiting the advance of the foe, in order that their precious carcasses may be made secure from grape and canister in the enemy's prison.--heaven pity such men! Heaven pardon their weakness, and help them yet to be true, strong and brave.

And what can Radicalism do that is worse? A tax, amounting as we some time since, to 3 percent is levied by the constitution, thus virtually confiscating every acre of land in the State. Southern children forced to companionship with negro brats in public schools--Southern gentlemen sitting on negro juries, or drilled by negro soldiers, or asking justice from negro officials, or harassed by negro tax gatherers--can radicalism do much worse? Negro supremacy fills the cup. We have no rights left which can be wrenched from us--no property to be stolen--no security to life of which can be disappointed. Virginia has nothing left but her honor. Honor is her only treasure. Let the Virginian be forever accursed who dare yield it, save with his life.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper urges citizens to cast aside old party affiliations and prejudices and stand "shoulder to shoulder in the last great battle for our rights."
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper asserts that radicalism is now "playing its farewell engagement" before its disappearance from American politics.
Shall Virginians Vote in the Presidential Election?
(Column 03)
Summary: This brief passage answers yes to the question of voting in the upcoming presidential election. Even if Radicals in Congress attempt to prevent it, the Democratic State Central Committee will see to it that every eligible voter will be able to go to the polls.
Full Text of Article:

To the question we answer aye! Vote as our fathers did; vote as free citizens of a republic whose Constitution guarantees this right to each and every state!

"How will you do it?" is asked by some croaker or timid time-server. "Suppose Congress prohibits an election and allows us no voice, as it now seems disposed to do, in regard to a vote on the infamous Constitution, framed by its orders?"

The question is easily answered. Let the Democratic State Central Committee, which represents the white people of the State, call upon the county Superintendents to see who will volunteer to act as judges and clerks of election at each precinct. Let each and every legal vote, under the constitution of Virginia, walk boldly to the polls and ring out the old viva voce of Virginia, in favor of Seymour and Blair--against oppression and wrong--Sic Semper Tyrannis, forever!

This can and should be done, and the voice of the people sent to Washington. It will cost nothing, and the fact should be recorded in History. Let the central committee set promptly and the press proclaim the will of the people. "He who dallies is a dastard and he who doubts is damned.

The 21st
(Column 03)
Summary: On the anniversary of first Manassas, this brief note honors those who fought and triumphed over the "disciplined masses" of the United States. While darkness now enshrouds the South, the memory of the battle and of the "boys lost" is "forever sacred."
Full Text of Article:

Yesterday, seven years ago, the first battle of Manassas was fought. The individual gallantry of the South triumphed over the disciplined masses of the United States and the incompetency of our generals! Yesterday, the Staunton Artillery, under General J.D. Imboden, (then Captain) gained its first laurels! Yesterday the "Stonewall" and Bee's Brigades gained their immortal names! Yesterday Wm. E. Woodward and Joab Seally, the first martyrs from Staunton, gave up their lives for the Right--Woodward shouting "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Oh, the hot and weary day! How it breaks upon our memory! How it fires every fibre of our heart! How it tingles each pulsation, and casts a halo of glory around and about the cloud of darkness that now enshrouds us!

Let it forever be sacred! Treasure it up in your hearts, and sadly cherish the memories of the boys who we lost--those gallant boys who represented all that was good, brave and noble in humanity! And the "Old Stonewall," the "West Augusta Guards," the "5th"--all--Baylor, Harman, Harper, and a host of others, the peerless and free! all gone! God help us! we cannot pursue the subject. They are gone
"Out of a life ever lornful.
Out of a land very Mournful,
Where in bleak exile we roam;
Into a joyland above us,
Where there's a Father to love us--
Into "our Home--sweet Home."

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[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper complains that "idle negroes still hang around waiting for the 'forty acres and a mule.'"
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: General Stoneman has ordered the Auditor of Public Accounts to advance $5,000 to Staunton's Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institution for the next term.
Base Ball
(Column 02)
Summary: "Little Tom" is leading the boys of Staunton in forming a baseball club. The paper suggests the name "West Augusta Base Ball Club."
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert F. Misner and Mrs. Sarah Misner, both of Augusta, were married in Staunton at the County Clerk's Office on July 16th by the Rev. William A. Harris.
(Names in announcement: Robert F. Misner, Sarah Misner, Rev. William A. Harris)

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