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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: May 20, 1869

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To Virginians of the Valley
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Summary: With an important election concerning the passing of the constitution on the horizon, the author urges all to register and vote. The issue at stake is whether or not the constitution will be passed as it stands or in a modified version. The author hopes that enough voters will leave their indifference behind and vote the modified version through. The greatest fear is negro supremacy. Unaltered, the constitution will continue to oppress white Virginians. Schools will be integrated, and white children will bear the burden of negro officeholders and carpet-bagger corruption for years to come.
Full Text of Article:

A highly important election is about to take place--an election ordered by the military authorities who are now our masters.--It is important, for it decides our fate--whether we shall bear the burden of a constitution manufactured for the purpose of debasing the white man and elevating an inferior race, or, by our vote, so modify that instrument and purge it of its objectionable parts, as to make it favorable. You are looked to from all parts of the State; your aid is needed to crush the serpent that has twined around the noble escutcheon of our once proud State. You are called upon by a loud voice to register and vote--it echoes from peak to peak--it rings among our rocky fastnesses--register and vote! Do not supinely fold your arms and say--"Well, we take no interest in politics, we've had enough of it. Our business now is to attend to our crops and make as much money as we can; we cannot reach a lower state of degradation." This is the language of the false and craven-hearted.--Take no interest! In the name of every thing that is holy and dear to your hearts, have you no interest in the happiness and honor of your children? Are they to anathematize you in after years for the course your indifference brought upon them? You say you cannot reach a lower state of degradation. "Lay not the flattering unction to your soul." We are now under military rule; it is better that we should remain so, that the Civil Government should be entirely blotted out, than to voluntarily burden ourselves with heavy taxes drawn from our labor to support an army of negro and carpet-bag office holders. Will you not feel the sting of reproach and the blush of shame when, by your indifference, you find that you have entailed upon coming generations a curse worse that the plagues of Egypt? By registering your names and voting for Walker (though the dose be a bitter one) you, at least, preserve the dignity of your race, and accept a constitution shorn of its most objectionable parts. In our midst we have several noble Institutions of learning and benevolence; they have always been the pride of our honored State--The University at Charlottesville, the Military Academy at Lexington, the Lunatic Asylum and the Asylum for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, located in Staunton. What will be the fate of these institutions if you uphold negro supremacy by your apathy? The unpurgated constitution equalizes whites and blacks--the latter will demand that their offsprings have an equal chance in our schools with our children, they will insist upon mixing colors and massing the copper with the silver. Where's the son of Virginia who will consent to sit beside one of the African race and compete with him for the honors of his alma mater? The fate of the Universities of North and South Carolina should open your ears to this question--you should listen and ponder. Asylums for lunatics--also for the deaf and blind can be provided for the colored people; but, it may be remembered that the Bayee Convention repeatedly refused to provide that the free schools of the State for black and white should be separate.

We do not consider that Virginia, the venerable mother of States and Statesmen has "at last yielded her spirit and bowed her head in silent submission." She but accepts the lesser evil to avoid the greater. By her vote in favor of a modified constitution and candidates who meet the Conservatives half way, she but saves herself from the bitter results of negro supremacy and rids herself of bayonets and military dictation. Her wise men have recommended harmony--her sterling old Democratic journals have yielded the field they have so long defended with unflinching bravery, and now say "a half a loaf is better than none."

Should Wells with his ebony and topaz associates succeed, it will be through the neglect of the white voting population of the State. On whom, then, will fall the reproach of equality of races? Who will invite mongrel rule but those who neglect to register and vote? Why--one Lomax, a negro carpenter of Abbeville S.C., holds at once the offices of member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the delegates; pay $6 a day and mileage.--County School Commissioner; pay $4 a day and mileage. Census Taker; pay, $1.50 a day. Commissioner of Elections; pay, $3 a day--Total, four offices and $14.50 per day with mileage! The negroes are hungry for office, are making a movement which will give them the lion's share, much to the discomfiture of their foreign leaders. Keep from the polls, and you connive at this state of affairs--register and vote and you do your best to prevent it.

Again we say, men of the Valley, answer the call of those who look to you to prevent usurpation, by manfully coming forward to their aid. You know, or should know the importance of your vote--Use the right, if it is yours, and save the State form degradation.

The Wages of Labor
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Summary: Calling attention to working class issues, the author of this article urges all working men to work to alter the present system of government. Government, the author suggests, is where the problems of the worker originate. Although he earns more for his wages than in the past, he is nevertheless worse off. The worker is forced to raise his prices because market values for products needed at home, as well as various duties on groceries and other essentials, have increased greatly. Since the government panders to monopolies, workers should unite, form free trade leagues, and work to put the "monied power" down.
Full Text of Article:

We have often noticed industrious, steady and ingenious mechanics toiling from early morn until late at night endeavoring with all their manly energy to "make both ends meet," and keep their families from want. And, on the other side, we have often observed men of much less merit and perseverance, lazily journeying down the path of life, without care or anxiety for the coming morrow--the gifts of Fortune poured into their coffers without scarcely an invitation on their part. Now, there must be something radically wrong, or the old saying of "Industry must prosper" is not a truism. Let us enquire into it.

There is scarcely a mechanic who will not tell you that he is worse off now at $4 a day than he was in ante bellum times, when he received only $2 for his work. Presuming this is to be correct, it behooves him to look into the cause. He has been compelled to raise the price of labor because the market price of articles absolutely needed for home consumption have more then doubled: The duties on groceries are so high that the retailer has to throw the tax upon the consumer; the shoemaker makes the same complaint; the provisions dealer cannot sell his flour and meal at the old process and live, and the farmer will not part with his produce until he gets the full market price, for he also has severe taxes to pay. The conclusion then is, that the present system of government is wrong. If the working man, the real boss and sinew of the land, will think, and after thinking, act--they will find a remedy for this evil.--The day is not far off when they will be able to emancipate themselves from this odious system inaugurated by the monied and political leagues of this unhappy country. There must be a reform; and how can that reform be brought about but by the masses? The ballot box can be made to speak in thunder tones, and the shoddy princes, who loll in their splendor, be made to tremble for their illy-acquired power. We need no mammoth halls to hold mass-meetings in. let the question be discussed by the people--the working people, not the drones of society, under the broad canopy of heaven--in the work-shop, in the grocery store, in the market house--in the home circle, where the dearest treasures of the poor are gathered, his wife and children, aye, let the people talk of it every where.

If working men would only do their own thinking, they would soon be able to better their present condition. They are too apt to listen to the talk of wily politicians, who energetically plies his tongue, not for the public good--but for his own aggrandizement. How often do we hear the good-natured laborer say to the importuning demagogue:--"Well, all that you say may be true--I don't quite understand the thing, for I never studied politics or troubled myself about the affairs of the nation. I've got enough to do to mind my own business without bothering myself about protective tariffs and all that sort o' thing. If I give you my vote, I suppose that will satisfy you?" It is possible that that very vote may bring ruin and misery upon him. An army of political robbers under the name of Protectors of American Industry, are undermining the best interests of the workingmen; they are giving "such protection as the vulture gives the lamb; covering while devouring." Working men! think for yourselves.

We are glad to perceive that a popular movement has been made at the North in favor of Free Trade. It is one of the significant signs if the times--and we may hope that a new era is dawning. Free Trade Leagues should be formed in every part of the country, in order that the monopolies of monied power may be put down and the rights of the working classes established on a firm foundation.

[No Title]
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Summary: The paper stresses the importance of life insurance and endorses the National Life Insurance Company.

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Summary: Bishop Wittle presided over confirmation ceremonies in the Episcopal Church.
[No Title]
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Summary: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy delivered an anniversary lecture before the Augusta Academy of Medicine.
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy)
[No Title]
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Summary: The Augusta Academy of Medicine debated whether or not diseases change in type.
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. M. Fauntleroy, Dr. C. R. Harris, Dr. V. T. Churchman)
[No Title]
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Summary: The annual celebration of the Ladies' Memorial Association will take place on June 6th. "The County Committees are requested to prepare flowers and bring them in on Saturday morning. Let the tribute to the memory of our lamented heroes be one that will do honor to Augusta and justice to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of your homes and altars."
Fireman's Parade
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Summary: The Augusta Fire Company and the Fire Company of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute led a torch-light procession accompanied by the Institute's brass band. Prof. Turner trained the musicians.
(Names in announcement: Prof. Turner)
An Affair at a Fair
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Summary: The paper relates an incident that occurred during the Staunton African Methodist Episcopal Church fair.
Full Text of Article:

In the midst of the festivities of a Fair given by the ladies ob de colored population attached to the Methodist Church--African, of this town, on Monday night, a colored gentleman took it into his head to astonish the natives by a display of his valor and agility. He jumped upon the table, which "groaned with costly piles of food," and commenced flourishing a knife with most dramatic effect. The company were astounded--the male operatives were terror-stricken and the tragic hero snorted as if he smelt blood. The women alone stood their ground, and in a short time the colored Spartacus was secured and taken to Harlan's hotel, when he cooled off before the morning dawned. He was held to bail.

Sketch of the Proceedings of the Council of the Town of Staunton, May 13, 1869
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Summary: This piece is merely a summary of various proposals put forward and appropriations set aside for public works in Staunton. Included is a list of streets to be either repaired or extended, dollar amounts awarded, and the names of city commissioners in attendance.
(Names in announcement: W. M. Allen, A. T. Maupin, E. H. Sears, S. J. Davis, William L. Herr, R. D. Sears, James F. Patterson, Robert Cowan, Nicholas K. Trout, H. O. Cease)
Full Text of Article:

Present, W.M. Allen, A.T. Maupin, E.H. Sears, S.J. Davis, W.L. Herr

The Water Committee presented reports from the Superintendent of Water works, showing amount of work of individuals to be, for the month of March, $45,12, and for the month of April, $101.60

Sundry accounts were allowed and ordered to be paid.

A report was presented from the Commissioner of streets, recommending the repairing of the side walks--New street, between Beverly and New C.H. streets--for said repairs, the sum of $580,00 was appropriated.

The Commissioner of streets returned an account in the name of the Central Bank, which had been conferred to them with a report declining to recommend the payment, which was laid upon the table.

The Commissioner of streets presented a report in relation to the extension of Lewis street to the Middlebrook road, which was laid on the table.

Messrs. B.D. Sears, Wm Herr and James F. Patterson were appointed a Committee to draft and report an Ordinance, as tax bill for the current year.

Robert Cowan and Nicholas K. Trout were appointed delegates to represent this town in the Commercial Convention, to be held at the city of Memphis, Tenn., on the 18th last.

The Commissioners of streets were directed to procure four suitable lamps for lighting the streets with coal oil where new posts have been lately placed, until the Gas Company is prepared to furnish gas.

An Ordinance, prohibiting the obstruction of the side walks, streets and alleys, by sales, and by the congregating of persons thereon, was passed, and ordered to be published in hand bill form, and posted throughout the town.

An appropriation of $200 was made for the support of the Poor of the Town.

A petition was presented from H.O. Cease asking permission to use the water from the town pipe, for the purpose of watering the streets, which was referred to the Water Committee.
James F. Patterson, Clerk

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Summary: George D. Whitmore and Mrs. Eliza Jane Crawn, both of Augusta, were married on May 9th by the Rev. J. C. Hensell.
(Names in announcement: George D. Whitmore, Eliza Jane Crawn, Rev. J. C. Hensell)
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Summary: Albert A. Wise of Harrisonburg and Miss Minnie E. Lowner of Augusta were married in Baltimore on May 2nd by the Rev. Dr. Deutsh.
(Names in announcement: Albert A. Wise, Minnie E. Lowner, Rev. Deutsh)
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Summary: Mrs. Katherine Hawpe died near Greenville on May 7th after a protracted illness. She was 63 years old.
(Names in announcement: Katherine Hawpe)
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Summary: Miss Rebecca Strain died near Greenville on May 7th.
(Names in announcement: Rebecca Strain)

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