Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: September 9, 1868

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

Practical Reconstruction
(Column 02)
Summary: The author of this article looks to the virtues of progress and predicts a great future for Virginia. Citing how Virginians of old had sought to connect the state by waterway to the west, he now connects "practical reconstruction" with the proliferation of rail lines. This will inevitably connect Norfolk, and thus the rest of Virginia, with the west and lead to prosperity and prestige that Virginia held before the war.
Full Text of Article:

Since Capt. John Smith landed in the virgin land--Virginia; since Spotswood crossed Rockfish Gap with his Horse Shoe Knights, and discovered the Goshen land of "West Augusta,"--Virginia's far seeing statesmen have earnestly sought for an outlet to her Western children, the States given by her generosity to the Union, under the Constitution.

Her Washington suggested the Great Water Line, the James River and Kanawha Canal. It has dragged its slow length along for years and now sticks fast in the mud of Rockbridge, and Botetourt. The ripple of the waters, of the North and the James never ceased to echo the cry of the West: "Come on--connect us with the Atlantic and all is well!" but, war and its desolation forced us to be deaf to their cry.

The war, with all its horrors, has done good. It has turned our minds to the "practical reconstruction" of our State, and now the great interior lines are fairly under way--from Norfolk to Bristol and from Richmond, by C. & O. R.R., to the Ohio. We greet them with an honest "God speed Ye well!" they will make us prosperous and great and show the world that "there is life in the old land yet."

The able superintendence, of a Fountaine and a Whitcomb over the Chesapeake and Ohio, their prompt arrangements with capitalists, for its completion in three years, gives joy to the heart of old Virginia and assures us that the race is not effete, as the Radicals say. Norfolk--the Harbor of the Atlantic Coast--will soon strike hands with the great West, by two routes, and become, what nature intended her to be, the Emporium of the World. The Valley R.R., comes in, extending from Harper's Ferry to Salem, making a direct line, from New York to New Orleans, on the Gulf of Mexico; and completes that natural combination of interests, which is destined to concentrate the great Water and Railroad trade of this Continent at Norfolk.

Look at the map--study the Virginia idea of "practical reconstruction," and you will see that every line converges, naturally, to this point--the base of all we hope, live and breathe for--the prosperity of Virginia!

Turning with disgust from politics we fell like the weary traveler, when after days of toil, he reaches the summit of the Nevadas, and sees the Golden Land beneath him. We have reached the "Elliot's Knob" of Virginia's reconstruction. Looking at her as she was, as she is, and as she will be, when her through lines are completed--her people rich, united and happy, mere words cannot portray our feelings. The Virginia heart exults, rejoices! "God bless her! God prosper her! God guide her, forever and forever!

In conclusion, could we but enspire our people with the feelings which tell us there is a better day coming, that there is "a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we will;" that our rights and interests are in our hands; that material prosperity brings political strength, and the through lines will bring shat. Could we remove the selfish old fogyism that weighs us down; could we bring all our people down to the dull details of "practical reconstruction" of our country roads, farms, and the mechanic arts, as well as the great through lines; could we teach them to educate themselves practically--to make use of their master minds; then, we would proudly hear that the grand old motto: "Sic Semper Tyrannis!" ring out again--then we would see the ideas of Virginia controlling a Union of States--see her, the Mother, in the proud majesty of right, gathering her brood under the wings of the Constitution she formed--protecting all--a terror to none, but tyrants!

Money Plenty in Augusta
(Column 02)
Summary: Update on the economic situation in Augusta.
Full Text of Article:

Times are right, especially on printers, but we are reliably inform that money is being loaned in the country at the old rate, 6 per cent, for a series of years, by our farmers. A gentleman in this city recently borrowed $7000 for a term of years, at 6 per cent. In the face of this "One"--(we hope there is only one so ignorant in Augusta) in the Spectator of 25th ult, dare assert that Augusta County Bonds would only bring 25 cents on the dollar. We will take them at par, for about $5000 due us.

Don't Halloo Before You Are Out of the Woods
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper advises those who cheered over the defeat of the Augusta subscription to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad to remember that the question is not yet finally settled.
Full Text of Article:

We learn the Rockingham people are rejoicing over the defeat of the Chesapeake and O. R.R. subscription by Augusta! They say it prevents the Valley road ever coming further than Harrisonburg and that they are now taking trade from us.--This must make our people, who rejoiced over the defeat of the subscription, happy! but we advise Rockingham not to halloo too soon.--All who voted for the Chesapeake & Ohio subscription will vote $500,000 to the Valley and so will those who voted against it. Let us turn our whole attention to the matter and vote the $500,000.

(Column 02)
Summary: The paper suggests that the lack of enthusiasm for Grant is due to the fickle nature of the northern character.
Full Text of Article:

"Why is there no enthusiasm for Grant?" radicals dismally ask. Because the American people North are sensational--fond of "big things," even big butchers, but like children, they soon tire of their toys and seek new sensations. Grant was a costly toy. It was all very well when the excitement was up, but now that it is down, Grant is "played out," as they say; and they only remember what fools he made of them. This characteristic of the Northern people, with the monstrous outrages of the Radical party, answers the question and settles the whys and wherefores. He is a dead cock in the pit--Pitch him out!

The Rosecrans--Lee Correspondence
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter is a partial reproduction of the correspondence between R.E. Lee and W.S. Rosecrans concerning reunion. According to Lee, the southern people want nothing but peace and prosperity within the Union. They are patriotic supporters of individual liberty under the laws of the Constitution. There are however, significant terms to Lee's version of reunion: all factors of oppression must be removed. The southern people want to abide by the laws but insist that they not be dictated by the radical contingent. The well-being of black southerners is addressed suggesting that white southerners are best equipped to take care of former slaves. Self-government is the principle condition in this letter.
Full Text of Article:

General Rosecrans commences his letter as follows; "Full of solicitude for the future of our country, I come with my heart in my hand to learn the condition, wishes, and intention of the people of the southern States and especially to obtain the sentiments of that body of brave, energetic, and self-sacrificing men who, after sustaining the Confederacy for four years, laid down their arms, swore allegiance to the United States, whose trusted and beloved leader you have been." General Rosecran's letter is quite long. The following is General Lee's reply.

White Sulpher Springs,
West Virginia, Aug. 26 1868.

General,--I have had the honor to receive your letter if this date, and in accordance with your suggestions I have conferred with a number of gentlemen from the South, in whose judgment I have confided, and who are well acquainted with the public sentiment of their respective States. They have kindly consented to unite with me in replying to your communication, and their names will be found with my own, appended to this answer. With this explanation we proceed to give you a candid statement of what we believe to be the sentiment of the southern people in regard to the subject which you refer.

Whatever opinions may have prevailed in the past in regard to African slavery or the right of a state to secede from the Union, we believe that they consider that those questions were decided by the war, and that it is their intention in good faith to abide by that decision.

At the close of the war the southern people laid down their arms and sought to resume their former relations with the United States Government. Through their State conventions they abolished slavery and annulled their ordinances of secession, and they returned to their peaceful pursuits with a sincere purpose to fulfill all their duties under the Constitution of the United States which they had sworn to protect. If their action in these particulars had been met in a spirit of frankness and cordiality, we believe that ere this old irritation would have passed away, and the wounds inflicted by the war would have been, in a great measure, healed. As far as we are now the people of the South entertain no unfriendly feeling towards the Government of the United States; but they complain that their rights under the Constitution are withheld from them in the administration thereof.

The idea that the southern people are hostile to the negroes, and would oppress them if it were in their power to do so, is entirely unfounded. They have grown up in our midst, and we have been accustomed from childhood to look upon them with kindness. The change in relations of the two races has wrought no change in our feelings towards them. They will constitute that important part or our laboring population. Without the employment which southern agriculture affords they would be destitute of the means of subsistence, and become paupers, dependent on public bounty. Self interest, even if there were no higher motive, would therefore, prompt the whites of the South to extend to the negroes care and protection. The important fact that the two races are, under existing circumstances, necessary to each other, is gradually becoming apparent to both, and we believe that but for the influence exerted to stir up the passions of the negroes, the relations of the two races would soon adjust themselves on a basis of mutual kindness advantage.

It is true that the people of the South, together with the people of the North and West, are for obvious reasons, opposed to any system of laws which will place the political power of the country in the hands of the negro race. But this opposition springs from no feeling of enmity, but from a deep seated conviction that at present the negroes have neither the intelligence or qualification which are necessary to make them safe depositories of political power. They would inevitably become the victims of demagogues who for selfish purposes, would mislead them, to the serious injury of the public.

The great want of the South is peace. The people earnestly desire tranquility and the restoration of the Union. They deprecate disorder and excitement as the most serious obstacles to their prosperity. They ask a restoration of their rights under the Constitution. They desire relief from oppressive misrule.--Above all, they would appeal to their countrymen for the reestablishment in the Southern States of that which has justly been regarded as the birthright of every American--the right of self government. Establish these on firm basis and we can safely promise on behalf of the southern people that they will faithfully obey the Constitution and the laws of the United States, treat the negro with kindness and humanity, fulfill every duty incumbent on peaceful citizens, loyal to the Constitution of their country.

We believe the above contains a succinct reply to the general topics embraced in your letter, and we venture to say on behalf of the southern people and of the officers and soldiers of the late Confederate army that they will concur in all the sentiments which we have expressed.

Appreciating the patriotic motives which have prompted your letter, and reciprocating your expressions of kind regard, we have the honor to be,

Very respectfully and truly,
R.E. Lee of Virginia; G.T. Beauregard, Louisiana; Alex. H. Stephens, Georgia; C.M. Conrad, Louisiana; Linton Stephens, Georgia; A.T. Caperton, West Virginia; John Echols, Virginia; F.S. Stockdale, Texas; F.W. Pickens, South Carolina; Wm J Robertson, Virginia; Wm T. Turner, West Virginia; C.H. Subec, South Carolina; E Fontaine, Virginia; John Letcher, Virginia, B C Adams, Mississippi; W J Green, North Carolina; Lewis E Harvie, Virginia; P V Daniel, Jr., Virginia; W T Sutherlie, Virginia; A B James, Louisiana; Toutant Beauregard, Texas; M O H Norton, Louisiana; T B Branch, Georgia; H T Russell, Georgia; Samuel J Douglas, Florida; Jeremiah Morton, Virginia; John B Baldwin, Virginia; George W Bolling, Virginia; Theodore Flournoy, Virginia; James Lyons, Virginia;

To General W.S. Rosecrans, Minister to Mexico, White Sulpher Springs, Va.

Bryan's Grand Caravan, Menagerie and Circus
(Column 04)
Summary: This "celebrated combination," the first to need a "vast caravan of horses, wagons, etc., to transport it," will visit Staunton. "As a well-endowed Zoological establishment, it will attract large attendance."

-Page 03-

(Column 01)
Summary: 2,550 travellers have arrived at Staunton hotels in August. The paper estimates that at $5.00 each, the town should have earned $12,750.00 in profits.
The First Circus
(Column 01)
Summary: McGinley and Carroll's circus will be in town on the 15th. It comes highly recommended.
Black Rock
(Column 02)
Summary: A "lively crowd" is visiting the Black Rock Springs in the northeast corner of Augusta, about 17 miles from Waynesboro. "About 80 gay visitors are camped there and they say, the bachelors especially, enjoy it hugely."
The Sibert Iron-Steel Process
(Column 02)
Summary: A company will be set up in Baltimore and Bath Furnace to manufacture Sibert's steel. D. C. E. Brady travelled to Baltimore last week to help organize the company to work the patent.
(Names in announcement: D. C. E. Brady)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Street Commissioners are busy laying pavement and stepping stones in the city. "With the four story brick houses and magnificent pavements we are so vain as to think we will compare favorably with almost any city in the State."
(Column 03)
Summary: Benjamin Plant and Mrs. Mary Beck and John B. Scherer, Jr., and Miss Johana Sullivan, all of Staunton, were both married in Staunton's St. Francis Church by Father J. Ambler Weed on September 8th.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Plant, Mary Beck, John B. SchererJr., Johana Sullivan, Fr. J. Ambler Weed)

-Page 04-