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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: June 3, 1869

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Buy at Home
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Summary: The author of this article urges all southerners to buy products manufactured in the South. This is the only way the South can pull itself out of the economic ruin caused by the war. Interestingly, while the author describes the prewar South as primarily agricultural, he in no way suggests that the postwar South is simply a copy of the industrial North. In fact, he implies that southern industry developed independently, and only needs time to develop and prosper on its own. Unlike others who recommend industrial bonds be formed with northern neighbors in the name of prosperity, the author recommends further disunity and invokes Jefferson's "wall of fire" principle to keep North and South separate.
Full Text of Article:

The Virginia papers are justly complaining of the practice, too common, by universities, colleges, academies, banking institutions, railroad corporations, agencies, and individuals, of sending the printing they want done, to be executed in the Northern cities. It is the old error of refusing to "buy at home." The proper way is constantly to encourage home industry. Every now and then a dollar or two may perchance be saved. In the long run, nothing is saved. If properly encouraged, book and job printing could be done in the South on a large scale, and with as much elegance of style, as in the North. Give us a fair chance, and give us the work that is sent abroad, and the South would soon show.

We clip the above form the Alexandria Gazette, and cordially second the suggestion. It was well enough years ago for our people to purchase at the North, for then the South was strictly agricultural in its pursuits. It is widely different now; the two sections of the country stand in antagonism, and the acts of the Radical Government since the surrender have done anything but conciliate the opposite parties. The South must become independent of the North if she wishes to thrive. Thomas Jefferson wished that there was a wall of fire between Europe and America. Were that wall of fire to swell up between the North and South now, they would both be happier and more contented people. Since the war the Southern people have turned much of their attention to manufacturing: Cotton factories are looming up, and it does not acquire much far seeing to prophecy that, before many years have passed, Southern cotton will pass through Southern looms. It is the duty then of every one who has the prosperity of the down trodden Southern States at heart, to encourage Southern industry--to aid Southern enterprises and spend their money on Southern soil. We will bring this argument nearer home--we will speak to the people of Staunton--which is said to be a thriving little city embedded amid the mountains of Virginia. The reputation we have abroad invites mechanics and artisans to make so desirable a place their home and help to increase our importance. We have first class workmen here in almost every branch of mechanical industry. Can any one give us a reason why those men who have come among us should not be sustained? Who builds up cities and towns? Is it not the mechanic? Then, we argue that the citizen who sends his money abroad to purchase articles that may be had equally as good and equally as cheap in Staunton, throws barriers in her way and consequently impedes her progress. The argument has still more force when it bears on mechanics who were born and raised on the soil of Virginia. The result of the war has made us all laborers--we have no aristocrats now, and the F.F.V's are among the things of the past. How much more, then, must we not be bound in duty to support those whom we claim as our own countrymen? We could wish that those of our citizens who have money to spend, (we are all aware that the number is rather limited) would, by their example, put an end to a ridiculous idea that has prevailed ever since the days of colonists, that it is unfashionable to buy anything at home, and that domestic manufactures should always give place to foreign.

(Column 01)
Summary: The graves of the Federal dead at Arlington were decorated last Saturday. Post Number One of the Grand Army of the Republic passed resolutions declaring that they had no malice toward the Confederate dead, but would not decorate their graves "and thereby taint the character of those who sacrificed their lives 'that their country might live.'" A marine guard was placed around the Confederate graves to ensure that no flowers were placed there.
Letter from Hon. A. H. H. Stuart
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Summary: Alexander H.H. Stuart writes of three options before the voters of Virginia regarding the proposed Underwood Constitution. He points out that none of the options will entirely satisfy the lot of (white) Virginians, but recommends one course that, in the long run, will best suit all. His suggestion, rather than letting the constitution pass in its entirety or rejecting it altogether, is to vote it through with a number of items stricken. Specifically, clauses pertaining to disfranchisement and the test-oath should first be removed and then the constitution passed. In the future, once the political struggles have settled, Virginians can reconvene and pass a more favorable constitution. This, according to Stuart, is infinitely better than allowing the Radical Congress to continue to govern Virginia.
Full Text of Article:

We have received from a distinguished gentleman in Albemarle county the following letter addressed to him by Hon. A.H.H. Stuart. He sends it with the request that we publish it, which we do with pleasure.--Our own position has been taken on the questions discussed. We are always glad, however, to lay before the readers of the Enquirer the views from leading public men:

Staunton, May 24th, 1869.

My Dear Sir-- When I casually met you a few days ago you requested that I would express to you in writing my views of the course the people of Virginia should pursue in regard to the questions about to be submitted for their decision under the President's proclamation. I now proceed to do so.

There certainly was much disappointment felt when it was ascertained that the President had failed to include the "county organization," classes of the constitution among those which were to be submitted to the people to be voted on separately. It was known that the President had expressed strong opposition to these clauses as tending to segregate the white and colored population by a geographical line, and to impede the productive power of the State, by separating the labor of the country from the capital of the Commonwealth. Hence a confident expectation was entertained that he would afford to the people an opportunity of striking those objectionable features form the proposed constitution.

In the first excitement occasioned by this disappointment, some persons expressed their purposes to try and defeat the whole instrument by voting first, to strike out the disfranchising clauses and the test-oath, and then, against the instrument thus expurgated.

This disposition was not unnatural under the circumstances. Within the four years which have elapsed since the close of the war, the people of Virginia have been subjected to so much disappointment, annoyance, and obloquy, they have become sensitive, and in some degree soured. But, unfortunately, we are in no condition now to take counsel of our wishes. We are not in that happy state, in which we can afford to indulge in the luxury of a little ill-temper.--We are bound by inexorable necessity to confront the stern realities of our situation, and to make the best we can of them.

After giving to the subject the best consideration, I have satisfied myself that it is the true policy of the people of Virginia to vote to strike out the test-oath and disfranchising clauses, and then to vote for the adoption of the residue of the constitution. I admit that it is a painful necessity, yet it is not the less a necessity. It is true that we will not get all that we had expected to get, yet I think it obvious that by so doing we gain a great deal. The constitution, even when expurgated, will be a very objectionable instrument, but it is certainly much better than in its original form, and, in my judgment, it is infinitely preferable to no constitution at all. We can at least live under it for a time, with no certain assurance, that after a while, we can greatly improve it.

It would tax my time and your patience too largely to give all the reasons which have brought my mind to this conclusion.--But I will state one or two of the most prominent:

It seems to me that in casting their votes under the President's proclamation, the people are called on to decide where the political power of the State is to rest hereafter, and who are to control her destinies in the future, they will have to elect between three competing propositions, neither of which is entirely acceptable, but there is no other open to us. These propositions are:

1st. To take the Underwood constitution pure and simple.

2n. To vote the whole constitution down.

3d. To adopt it with the disfranchisement and test-oaths stricken out.

Let us now consider what is the practical bearing and effect of each one of these propositions. Let us see how it will effect the future status of the political power of the Commonwealth.

If we allow the Underwood constitution to be adopted with all its disqualifications it is obvious that we voluntarily disfranchise ourselves for a generation to come, and place the political power--the power to control our lives, liberty and property--in the hands of the carpet-baggers and the worst classes of our own people. I presume there are few intelligent and upright men in the State who will favor this proposition, and I will therefore pass it by without further commentary.

Let us now consider the second. Suppose we vote the whole constitution down--what follows? Some contend that matters would stand as they are. Assuming such to be the fact, I ask is not that enough? We would have wells for our nominal Governor, and all other offices filled by aliens and strangers. We would have justice administered under military supervision and by appointees of a military commandant. But what assurance have we that matters would remain as they are? How do we know whether our situation will not be rendered more intolerable than it now is? By voting down the constitution altogether we in effect re-commit the whole political power of the State to a radical Congress. Has the past action of that body been such as to render it desirable they should again assume unlimited control over our destiny? I must acknowledge I think not. If we virtually decide that we will have nothing to do with shaping our future, we compel Congress to take upon itself that office.

The third proposition is, then, the only one that offers any hope of escape from the terrible evils by which we are threatened. If we strike out the restrictive features and then adopt the residue of the instrument, while we do not gain all that we want, we at least place the political power of the State in the hands of the better classes of the people of Virginia. We snatch it from the grasp of the carpet-baggers and their political allies, and we withdraw it from the control of a Radical Congress.

We will entitle ourselves to a restoration to our rights in the Union, and to the withdrawal of military supervision and control over us. We can elect officers and enact laws of our own, and within a year or two after the excitement incident to these political struggles shall have passed away, we can call a new convention and form a new constitution adapted to our existing condition. By striking out the disfranchisements and test-oaths almost the whole body of our population will be clothed with the power to vote and be rendered eligible to office. The principle of popular sovereignty will be established on a firm basis, and the voice of our own citizens will be potential in framing our future organic law, and shaping our future policy.

I have thus stated, I think fairly, the three propositions, between which the people of Virginia are compelled to chose. If there be any other open to them, I am not aware of it.

Ought the people of Virginia to hesitate between them? I think not, I think they ought to expurgate the constitution and then adopt it.

But it is all important that we should spare no pains to insure a good Legislature and a good Constitution. The reasons are too obvious to require enumerations. They will readily suggest themselves to every intelligent mind. If we expect good laws we must elect a good legislature. If we desire and wish an honest execution of the laws we must choose a wise and honest Governor. And, while this is, at all times, necessary, it is especially so now. The new legislature will have to enact all laws necessary to put the new government into operation. The constitution is not self-enforcing, it requires legislation to give effect to it. The new governor will be clothed with the veto power to check hasty and improvident legislation. Need I say any thing to show to the people the necessity of making a wise selection of those who are to wield powers fraught with so much of weal or woe to the State!

Very truly yours, &c.
Alex. H.H. Stuart

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Summary: Brevet 1st Lt. F. E. Town has been appointed military commissioner and superintendent of registration and elections for the district including Staunton.
(Names in announcement: F. E. Town)
[No Title]
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Summary: The paper praises the concert given at Tinkling Springs under the direction of Prof. Evans. Discussions have begun on establishing a music school in Staunton or Harrisonburg.
(Names in announcement: Prof. Evans)
Memorial Day
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Summary: Announcement of plans for upcoming Confederate memorial services.
Full Text of Article:

On Saturday next it is expected that every good Southerner of Staunton will assist in swelling the crowd of those who wish to honor the graves of the brave who fell in defence of their liberty and homes. Bring flowers to decorate their resting places. We understand that detailed members of the Musical Association will sing an ode prepared for the occasion by Dr. J. L. Brown, and also a poem written by Father Ryan will be read

"They have fought for their rights, for the land of their sires
Their forms have stood up like a bulwark of might;
They knelt at the altar where burn Freedom's fires,
And thrust back the foe in her glorious light
No bright stars for them, plucked from Fame's diadem,
Unnoticed, unheeded they acted their parts,
Mid the clashing of arms, and battle's alarms
They fell with the love of home deep in their hearts.
Let the requiem be sung, let the sad prayer be said
For the heroes forgotten--the unknown Dead."

The Staunton Musical Association
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Summary: This article asserts that there is much musical taste and talent in Staunton, and all that is needed is a music school.
Temperance in Augusta
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Summary: The temperance lecturer Rev. James Young has been having success throughout the county. Everywhere he speaks, large numbers have signed a temperance pledge. Chapters were organized in Churchville, Greenville, New Hope, and Middlebrook, and officers elected. "At Churchville, 34 signed the pledge and 16 joined the Order. At Middlebrook, 73 signed the pledge and 22 joined the Order. At Greenville, 58 signed the pledge and 18 joined the Order. At New Hope, 53 signed the pledge and 15 joined the Order. At Mt. Sidney, 45 signed the pledge and 8 new applications were made to join the Order which had just about expired. These signers of the pledge, with 108 in this place, make 271 in this county since the 12th of April last. 1900 persons in the Valley have signed the pledge and several hundred have united themselves with the Order of the Friends of Temperance."
(Names in announcement: H. L. Hoover, J. H. Bear, J. J. Engle, G. W. Fall, L. T. Wilson, John W. Wilson, A. W. Dudley, G. M. Bear, S. Quidor, E. B. Bear, John Hodge, H. L. Hoover, David Rusmisell, William Morgan, Rev. J. Murry, Robert Helms, Cooper Kunkle, John M. Baylor, George Fix, James Snider, Joseph Clemmer, H. C. Palmer, Samuel Helms, Henry Ross, Dr. V. Churchman, S. E. Muller, R. H. Wilson, Schriver, W. Trice, L. M. Donahoe, C. W. Pitch, H. Schultz, Robert Supple, J. Campbell, N. Thacker, John Rice, Hugh Connell, R. C. Davis, N. A. P. Nell, W. S. Yarbrough, I. S. Kerr, W. T. Kerr, U. F. Borden, J. A. Turk, E. F. Kothwell, R. A. Fisher, A. Fisher)
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Summary: Charles B. Berry and Miss Ella D. Bear were married near Churchville on May 26th by the Rev. P. Fletcher.
(Names in announcement: Charles B. Berry, Ella D. Bear, Rev. P. Fletcher)
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Summary: William Smiley and Miss Hannah A. Lucus, both of Augusta, were married on May 20th by the Rev. J. M. Shreckise.
(Names in announcement: William Smiley, Hannah A. Lucus, Rev. J. M. Shreckise)
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Summary: Miss Maglin M. Cochran died in Staunton at the residence of her father on June 2nd. She was 39 years old.
(Names in announcement: Maglin M. Cochran)
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Summary: David R. Ackerman died in Staunton at the residence of his father on May 31st. He was 19 years old. "In the death of this young man society has lost an ornament, the community a useful member, and his parents a dutiful and loving son."
(Names in announcement: David R. Ackerman)

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