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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: May 27, 1869

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Strong-minded Women
(Column 01)
Summary: This particularly scornful look at strong-minded women condemns all "female monsters" and "disappointed spinsters" who advocate women's rights. Included in this attack are suggestions that women's rights activists necessarily advocate miscegenation, as well as an accusation that these women will drag their husbands down. The author is careful to point out the variety of opinions advanced at the recent Women's Convention in New York, particularly those who reject universal suffrage.
Full Text of Article:

It is humiliating and even painful to a person of refined sensibility to read the details of "Womens' Rights," "Peace" and "Universal Suffrage" meetings held at the North. The former, particularly, is characterized by all the vile slang and balderdash that prevail in the lowest kind of Ward gatherings or at prominent caucuses. The ruling spirits of those meetings are women--or rather female monsters who disgrace their sex by assuming all the baser passions of the sterner sex. These Gorgons are led on by Susan Anthony, Mrs. Stanton and a parcel of male tags, who are hangers on and do the dirty work, if there is any left for them to do. The poor, deluded sisters who are led to attach themselves to these leaders, through a mistaken belief in a successful adjustment of the question of women's rights, are drawn from their true sphere of usefulness--the home circle, and made to jostle to crowds at Mass meetings, Free love gatherings, and the like, to the neglect of their families and the consequent ruin of their husbands. They look in vain for better homes and better pay; the little they earn is drawn from them to aid in defraying the expenses necessary to carry out the great reformation. Do they find the relief for their physical and social woes? Do they elevate themselves in the scale of respectability? No, the physicians they have employed cannot effect a cure, all the female gatherings and penny-trumpet harangues will not give them the position they demand. Their sufferings are great and their wrongs many, it is true, and may be remedied in the course of time, but not by their assuming the prerogatives of man--not by claiming the right to vote, to sit as jurors or to hold office. The brazen faced, shrieking sisterhood who cry aloud for a share of the "loaves and fishes," and make a strong point of abusing the opposite sex, are mostly a band of parched up, sharp-featured, stale and disappointed spinsters--who long for notoriety and care but little how it is obtained. The very fact of their advocating miscegenation proves that, having found all the white bachelors hard-hearted, they are willing to try their luck with gentlemen of African 'scent. Make Sambo a voter, they say, and then we will acknowledge the "tender impeachment."

On the first day of the Womens' Convention in New York, the lie passed between Miss Anthony and Mr. Foster. On the second day hisses, cat-calls and yells greeted the speakers. The Tribune says that the women, by their rowdy proceedings, fully established their claims on all rights--they were no better than men. One of the sisterhood who had been on a visit to the South, strongly protested against black suffrage. She said that black men whip their wives, adding that "One of her sisters servants whipped his wife every Sunday regularly. She thought that sort of man should not have the making of the laws for the governance of women throughout the land." Mrs. Stanton also took the same ground and loudly protested "that she did not believe in allowing ignorant negroes and ignorant Chinamen to make laws for her to obey." The debate was boisterous and many a hard blow given and received.

At a meeting of the Universal Peace Society held in New York, the women also took an active part in the debate. The object of the philanthropic society is to give the world at large a great quantity of wholesome advice, which said world can follow or let it alone. One of the theories advocated by the Peace Society is the assertion that "the exemption of the Indian from taxation is a wrong to him." There is a strong likelihood that the Red man don't think so. A very odd resolution was offered by Minnie Merton. She submitted "that women have a right to life--that women represent the life of the nation; that women cannot attain that life unless men give them material aid." All this men of gallantry will agree to, that is, if we understand Miss Minnie aright; the men are to support the women--just what all good husbands are now doing. After Miss Minnie had submitted her views Miss Crouch, the Secretary, it is said, arose and defined her position in "a clear, sharp, metallic voice." For a Peace gathering it seems odd that women with shrill voices should be allowed to assault the ears of the audience. Mrs. Sommerville advocated "ultra peace doctrines," and, in order to make her ideas of peace clearly understood, she violently attacked all Christians who did not side with her! We have not yet learned whether the Society has established peace throughout the world--it may succeed some of these days.

Northern Fanatics
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper criticizes the continued existence of the Anti-Slavery Society that now demands social equality for blacks.
Election Order
(Column 02)
Summary: This article briefly outlines a few procedural changes ordered by General Canby for an upcoming election. Included is the race, political affiliation, and number of challengers at each polling place, the organization of voting precincts, and the use of the ballot box.
Full Text of Article:

Gen. Canby has issued an order concerning Registrations and Elections. It occupies more than six closely printed columns, and we would cheerfully publish it, if it were ordered as an advertisement--but we can only give the pith of it, as our room is precious.

The revision of the registration lists is to commence on the 11th of June and continue ten days.

Two white and two colored persons on each district are to be selected by the Board as challengers.

The election is to take place on the 6th day of July. The polls to close at sunset, unless the commissioners think that a longer time is required.

Two persons from each political party may be selected as challengers at the polls.

The number of election precincts in the towns is increased, there is to be one for every four hundred voters.

Registration is necessary to voting. These are the siftings of the document. When registrars cannot be obtained on account of not being able to qualify, army officers "waiting orders" are to be employed. The viva voce, or honest and open system of olden times, is not to be used--but the abominable ballot box, so often corrupted and stuffed to the injury of the pubic liberties.

Methodist Church North and South
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper prints letters between bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church and bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The tone was conciliatory and both sides wish to resolve differences and reconcile.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Col. John B. Baldwin spoke at the Court House on Monday. He advocated the Walker ticket and adoption of the expurgated constitution. He also gave some "wholesome advice to the freedmen, which we hope they will follow."
(Names in announcement: Col. John B. Baldwin)
Temperance Procession
(Column 01)
Summary: The Staunton Friends of Temperance and visiting brethren marched to the Methodist Church and heard an address by the Rev. James Young, state lecturer. "His labors for the furtherance of the Temperance cause have been very successful, several new orders having been organized, and a number of ladies and gentlemen induced to sign the total abstinence pledge by his weighty arguments."
Court Day in Staunton
(Column 01)
Summary: This article describes an unusual day at the Staunton Court House. There were a number of strangers in the area, a mix of black and white attendees, and an auction. The author vividly details snippets of various conversations and auction activities.
Full Text of Article:

Our town presented quite a sense of animation on Monday last; an unusual number of strangers being called hither either on business or a love of observation. The day was mild and balmy, and the farmers looked cheerful with the prospect of fine crops of grain before them, and, consequently, plenty of money when the result of their labor was brought to a ready market. In and around the Court House, the bustle was particularly refreshing. Within the walls of the seat of justice, Colonel Baldwin held forth on the position of the day to a dense crowd of listeners composed of all hues from the pure Caucasian to the blackest Ethiopian.--Around the square were gathered a mixed assortment of bipeds examining the various farming machines on exhibition, some selling and some buying. Knots of negro politicians were here and there discussing the issues of the day and the best mode of maintaining their rights. Three auctioneer's stands were within range of vision, and the criers lustily exercised their lungs while setting up and knocking down. The braying of jacks and neighing of horses added to the striking power of the chorus. We will endeavor to give the reader an inkling of the effect of this heterogeneous chorus.

Orator. My colored hearers, ponder the question well--you are but the tool of--
Mower Agent. My machine sir, it can do its work as quietly as--
Auctioneer. A first-rate mule, gentlemen, warranted sound and good to--
Darkey. Vote for Gobener Wells and yer jist put de col'd folks in--
Orator. A trap set to catch the unwary and thoughtless; vote for the Constitution, and you defeat--
Farmer. That jack out there
Reaper Agent. Works like a charm, and is the most useful invention recorded in the Patent--
Auctioneer. Cooking stove, going dog-cheap at three fifty fif-fif-ty-ty once-twice three-e-e--
Darkey. Blacks crows down dar say dey gwoin to sport de servative ticket cause dey git more work, and--
Auctioneer. All done? Going, going, gone!

And we scattered uniformly accelerated mobility ejaculating Oh! [unclear] "[unclear]"

Honor to the Dead
(Column 02)
Summary: The ceremony of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead will take place on June 5th. "There is a likelihood of an abundance of flowers--therefore, let every one who honors the memory of the heroes who fell in defence of their homes, be prepared. At half past eight o'clock the citizens of all ages and sexes will assemble at the gate of the Cemetery, where the procession will be formed. It is hoped that every good Southerner will participate in the mournful ceremony."
(Column 02)
Summary: John A. Spitler and Miss Mary Jackson, both of Augusta, were married on May 13th by the Rev. William J. Miller.
(Names in announcement: John A. Spitler, Mary Jackson, Rev. William J. Miller)
(Column 02)
Summary: Jacob Driver and Miss Sallie McCall, both of Augusta, were married on May 11th by the Rev. Jacob Thomas.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Driver, Sallie McCall, Rev. Jacob Thomas)
(Column 02)
Summary: Kenton H. Doom and Miss Araminta Brady, both of Staunton, were married on May 18th by the Rev. George Kramer.
(Names in announcement: Kenton H. Doom, Araminta Brady, Rev. George Kramer)
(Column 02)
Summary: James P. Hughart of Bath and Miss Mary E. McCutchen, daughter of Chapman McCutchen of Augusta, were married on May 18th by the Rev. Harvey Gilmore.
(Names in announcement: James P. Hughart, Mary E. McCutchen, Chapman McCutchen, Rev. Harvey Gilmore)
(Column 02)
Summary: Henry Bedinger Michie, youngest child of Henry B. and Virginia B. Michie, died in Staunton at the residence of his father on May 24th. He was 6 months old.
(Names in announcement: Henry Bedinger Michie, Henry B. Michie, Virginia B. Michie)
(Column 02)
Summary: John H. Haines died suddenly in Waynesboro of disease of the heart. He was 60 years old.
(Names in announcement: John H. Haines)
(Column 02)
Summary: William Craig died at his Staunton residence on May 17th after a protracted illness. He was 71 years old.
(Names in announcement: William Craig)
(Column 02)
Summary: Sue J. Supple, daughter of Robert and Mary Supple, died in Greenville on May 18th of heart disease.
(Names in announcement: Sue J. Supple, Robert Supple, Mary Supple)

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