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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: June 17, 1869

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Conjuring Up a Ghost
(Column 02)
Summary: The author describes a recent scene at the Court House in which Governor Wells conjures up a "ghost" of a Confederate soldier to solicit evidence of his fight for "equal rights." This article condemns the "pretty tricks" of this political "magician" and suggests that he might be better served to discuss the issues of the day.
Full Text of Article:

Gov. Wells has an oily tongue, and can conjure up ghosts as well as wheedle the darkies into the belief that he and his companions are the best friends they have in the world. In his speech in our Court House the other day, among many other very pretty tricks, the expert magician raised the ghost of a departed soldier, one of the "unknown dead," --buried away off in regions unknown, beneath the flowery turf, and where no "critter" but the spirit of solitude brooded. "Where did you come from?" asked the conjuror. "Virginia," answered the "spirit." "What regiment did you belong to?" "The noble 21st." "What company?" "Company D." And then, concentrating all his powers, as if he was going to hurl a thunder bolt at the head of the defunct, he asked the stumping question, "And what were you fighting for?" The ghost, no doubt scratched his head, for he was in a quandary--and answered, "Equal rights," then vanished into the air. Now what all this colloquy between the orator and his ghostship had to do with the main questions of the day, we are at a loss to know. Would it not have been better had the Governor made some allusion to his chum, Dr. Harris--and endeavored to rebut the charge against his friends of an intention of scratching the "Doctor's" name form the ticket instead of conjuring up ghosts?

Negro Rule
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper argues that black suffrage is having a negative effect on Washington, D. C., and serves as a warning to Virginia's whites of what will happen if they do not reassert control.
Full Text of Article:

The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore Gazette, thus writes of the effects of the recent election in Washington city. It is a foreshadowing of what will be the result in Richmond and other cities in Virginia should the white population by their supineness give the State over to the domination of the carpet-baggers and negroes:

"The blighting effects of negro rule are already felt here. House after house untenanted, the lengthy bulletins of real estate agents of property for sale, and a depreciation in value of thirty-three per cent as compared with the prices of last year indicate very clearly the result of negro domination, and are but the precursors of evils yet to come. It is truly said that it does not need any warning from any quarter to prevent people seeking this town as a place of residence or business. They shun it now as if it were infected."

The Elections
(Column 02)
Summary: Elections will be held in Virginia on July 6th. The ballot will consist of the following: for the constitution; against the constitution; for or against the disfranchisement clause of the constitution; for or against implementation of the test-oath clause of the constitution; for governor; for Lt. governor; for attorney-general; for senators; for delegates to the General Assembly.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Gilbert C. Walker, candidate for Governor of Virginia, will address the citizens of Augusta at the Court House on the 28th.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Judge Sheffey and Alexander B. Cochran addressed the people of Waynesboro yesterday, and will speak in Greenville today.
(Names in announcement: Sheffey, Alexander B. Cochran)
Register! Register!!
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper urges citizens to register to vote and "save your mother state from ruin and degradation."
Wells in Staunton
(Column 02)
Summary: Briefly summarizing speakers' points at a recent gathering in Staunton, the author suggests that speeches made by Gov. Wells and his party bolstered prospects for the conservative cause. Wells's words were met with little enthusiasm, and Jenkins insulted the white audience members. One speaker implied "Doctor" Harris had been virtually forced on the ticket to weaken their chances. Overall, the meeting "aroused the people from their apathy." This suggests that many see Wells and his cohorts going down in ruins sooner rather than later.
(Names in announcement: John A. Harman)
Full Text of Article:

Governor Wells, accompanied by his satellites, L.H. Chandler of Norfolk, and Jno. W. Jenkins of Winchester, were severally introduced to the people of Staunton by Major John A. Harman, at the Courthouse on Friday last. The audience presented quite a motley appearance, the gallery being occupied by the ebony and topaz clan and the lower floor by all sorts of whites, conservatives, democrats, moderate republicans and scalawags. Many were drawn thither for the purpose of seeing what kind of an animal Wells was, and to hear what he has to say about his chum Doctor Harris. They were disappointed in the last desire.

Major Harman made his speech, before the introduction, and some flattering allusion to the col'd population elicited applause form the gallery, which was met by faint hisses from the floor.--This brought out the remark that "geese and snakes can hiss and so can puppies"--which surprised the audience much, they not being aware that puppies had a hissing propensity. We among others, regretted seeing Major Harman in the chair--however, every one to his taste.

Wells address was listened to attentively; he made scarcely an allusion to the questions at issue, and there was little or no enthusiasm even among the colored people. Chandler is a good speaker. He alluded to Harris and stated that his (Harris') name was smuggled on the ticket by low and underhanded means, evidently with the intention of injuring Wells' chances--virtually repudiating the "doctor."

Jenkins was quite rampant--he absolutely drove the respectable whites out of the house, his remarks were insulting to his own race. It is the general opinion that the visit of Wells and his party has done the conservative cause much good, it has aroused the people from their apathy, and every man has now become a workingman.

Masonic Celebration of St. John's Day
(Column 02)
Summary: The members of Staunton Lodge Number 13 have made preparations for observance of St. John's Day. The Rev. J. Randolph Finley of Winchester will speak. There will be processions, music by the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institution Band, and addresses.
(Names in announcement: J. C. Marquis, E. M. Cushing)
Annual Soiree of the Wesleyan Female Institute
(Column 02)
Summary: Program for the closing ceremonies at the Wesleyan Female Institute. There will be music and addresses.
Shocking Barbarity. A Negro Violates a White Young Lady and then Murders Her.--Lynch Law
(Column 03)
Summary: Detailed account of an alleged crime and subsequent lynching near Lexington. "Retribution followed quickly in the footsteps of crime."
(Column 04)
Summary: Rev. John M. P. Atkinson, President of Hampden-Sydney College, and Miss Frances P. Stuart, daughter of A. H. H. Stuart, were married in Staunton at the residence of the bride's father on June 16th by the Rev. J. A. Latane.
(Names in announcement: Rev. John M. P. Atkinson, Frances P. Stuart, A. H. H. Stuart, Rev. J. A. Latane)
(Column 04)
Summary: E. G. M. Greiner and Miss Mattie C. Mowry, both of Augusta, were married at Harper's Ferry on June 1st by the Rev. J. A. McFadden.
(Names in announcement: E. G. M. Greiner, Mattie C. Mowry, Rev. J. A. McFadden)
(Column 04)
Summary: The Rev. Samuel Kennerly died at Hermitage, Augusta County. He was 75 years old and had been "a faithful minister in the Methodist Church for 54 years."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Kennerly)

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