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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: July 1, 1869

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-Page 01-

Commencement Addresses
(Column 06)
Summary: The paper prints the commencement addresses for the Wesleyan Female Institute delivered by salutatorian Jennie V. Stump and valedictorian Jessie Davis.
(Names in announcement: Jennie V. Stump, Jessie Davis)

-Page 02-

Negro Labor in the South
(Column 01)
Summary: This article refutes a number of claims recently made by Harriet Beecher Stowe. She suggests, after living in a ramshackle dwelling in Florida, surrounded by black people, that while in extreme poverty, they are all industrious and honest. As evidence, she illustrates how doors were left open, and keys were left lying about without a single incident of thievery. The author argues the very opposite. Black people, he claims, both before and since the war, have displayed their inherent nature to steal whenever given the chance. Further, they do not, or rather cannot understand freedom as it pertains to honoring labor contracts. In short, blacks are not to be trusted. They have managed to secure a number of offices under the auspices of the radical party, but their schemes to rule over the white race will soon be thwarted.
Full Text of Article:

Harriet Beecher Stowe has an editorial in the Hearth and Home of this week on the subject of negro labor, honesty &c. In the offset she denies the report which appeared in this journal, as well as many others, that her residence in Florida had led her to entirely alter her opinion of the negro race, and, that she has since been heard to express a desire to write a book to expose these follies and vices--a book that would take an opposite view to that of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." She gives strong testimony in favor of the honesty of the negro, (and she had them around her from Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana). She "lived in a dilapidated house, where doors were off the hinges and would not be made to keep shut; where the windows were broken out, and in some cases wholly gone." This was a strange abode for one so fastidious as Mrs. Stowe to select. "During the four weeks that we were there," she says, "it was the custom of the family to go to bed, leaving the outside doors wide open, except in the case of stormy weather. Our table used to stand set for breakfast, with our silver upon it; the key which locked the pantry and the provision closet hung up in the open hall; and yet, no robbery was ever committed. These people were poorer than any conception of poverty which we generally form. They had literally nothing but their hands and the clothes on their backs. The furniture and trinkets, and articles of dress and of ordinary home comfort, which were brought down by the ladies, evidently excited the most longing desire; for they would sometimes beg for them with the simplicity of children; but never, that we know of, was there an article taken."

We have our doubts, notwithstanding the evidence of Mrs. Stowe, whether with the freedom of the African race came honor and honesty. We have studied them as a distinct people, before the war, during the war, and after the war. There were honest men and women among them, it is true, but generally speaking, they did not consider theft a crime. There was more innate principle of rectitude among the ignorant and semi-civilized field hands than among the more refined negroes--those who dwelt in cities and hold humble, yet responsible positions. In their state of slavery they would steal when they could; during the war they were cowed by the bayonets that glittered among them, yet they were always foremost when a free plunder took place. Since the war the records of crime will establish their status:--All over the South out of the culprits brought to justice, nine in ten are negroes. Their idea of liberty is disregard for laws made for the protection of honest men--they couple freedom with licentiousness; witness the recent municipal election in Washington, where they not only assailed the police of their own stripe, but attempted to kill some of their own race. Mrs. Stowe's love for the negro still clings to her, and she is now endeavoring to varnish over the imperfections in order that he may maintain his exalted stand above a white Southerner.

In regard to industry, faithfulness, and fairness in fulfilling working contracts, she says that "the freed people on a par with the average hands to be hired in the free North--no better and no worse." Shortly after the war there was such difficulty experienced in holding farm hands to their contracts, and, it is generally known that in some cases, the military had to be ordered out to compel the negroes to be faithful to his contract. It is better now--the farmer and laborer seem to understand each other; so many of the latter find that the vision of a farm and a mule, created by the shrewd carpet baggers, was a useless fabric, and they could only live through the aid of muscle.

"It is difficult under freedom to govern a plantation of negroes," continues she, "those who have tried it with the most benevolent intentions often find themselves greatly disappointed. The results of generations of barbarism cannot be done away with by a few months of even the most enthusiastic and devoted labor. And in our view, the Southern farmer does a permanent good for himself when he enables some steady, honest, respectable negro to buy land and settle down near him, and become a respectable and self-respecting farmer.

This has been tried over and over again; the "honest and respectable" of the race have been invited to purchase small tracts of land and pay for them by semi-yearly or yearly instalments. Some few have had the good reason to accept this offer and put in labor for , but a great majority of the freedmen have preferred to hang about cities and towns and a precarious livelihood through other means than agriculture. Politics is now their hobby, politically they are arrayed against their best friends--the Southern whites. The success of a few negroes in obtaining office under the Government, has inspired a belief that they all have a claim upon the dominant party, no matter what their merits or capability my amount to. In the State of Virginia, for instance, they cannot be made to believe that the power they now wield through the ballot box is not perpetual. Our most eminent and far seeing orators have endeavored on vein to open their eyes to the fallacy of their dream of everlasting sway over the Caucasian race. They are in full belief that the day is at hand when they, the chosen of God, shall triumph over all other people, and rule their former masters.

"The New Movement"--Col. Baldwin Speaks
(Column 04)
Summary: John T. Harris, a candidate for Congress, writes this article in objection to the recent canvass of Colonel Baldwin of the "New Movement." Baldwin's campaigning for his brother-in-law's election to Congress has led Harris to believe that Baldwin presumes too much about Virginia's voters. Harris calls for the voters to think for themselves and act on their own sentiments, not those of one person. Further, Harris points out many factual errors in Baldwin's argument, most notably, the Colonel's suggestion that Congress would never allow a southerner, much less a former Confederate, to take his seat when duly elected by the people. Harris, who seems to support the Movement's "committee of nine," withdraws his support when the movement appears to be distilled to the voice of one. This he claims is the work of Kings who force leadership rather than derive their power from the consent of the people.
Full Text of Article:

Fellow citizens

If any thing could be regarded as singular and unheard of these days, it would be the letter of Col. Baldwin to the people of this District, advising them to vote for his brother-in-law Gray, for Congress. First, strange that any man should presume to direct all the voters of the District; second, stranger still that he should overleap the bounds of delicacy and direct them to vote for his brother-in-law. Moreover it is singular the letter is published just in time for the last issue of each paper in the District, thus giving no time for reply before the election. This letter is not less remarkable in its statement of facts. For instance, in the first sentence it says, "I fear they (the Walker party) are about to let the Radicals take control of the District without a struggle." From this, the reader would infer there were Republicans in the field, when the fact is, that on last Friday, they were to have had a Convention at this place to nominate a candidate and not a single delegate from any other county attended and nothing was done. Consequently they have no candidate, and Col. Baldwin knows that, for he says further on, a Wells Radical "may at the last moment be sprung upon us." Again he assumes Mr. Conrad is a candidate in the face of the fact that he is not regularly announced in any paper in the District, and that in answer to a letter requesting him to run and make an active canvass, he answered, saying he would not canvass, but placing his name in the hands of the gentlemen written to, the latter published the correspondence without announcing him, and there the matter ends, except two Winchester papers have his name at their head. I refer to the papers of the District for the truth of this. So Col. Baldwin creates the necessity by making two candidates in order to call upon the people to avoid the dilemma by voting for his "near connection." Again Col. Baldwin announces this to be law. "To elect a man to Congress who by the Constitution and laws of the United States, is prohibited to hold office, State or Federal, would seem to be flying in the face of the national authority. (how deferential all at once to the national authority!) and would give Congress a substantial reason not only to reject our representative but disregard all votes cast for him, and to give place to his Radical opponent." This Col. Baldwin announces to be constitutional law, that if an eligible man receives one hundred votes and his ineligible opponent receives 25,000, the former would be entitled to the seat. For mark--he says it would afford Congress a "substantial reason." In the discussion of constitutional questions how can a reason be substantial not founded in law? This doctrine is in the face of every decision on the subject. He makes this assertion too, in the face of the fact that a number of Southern men have been elected to Congress since the war with disabilities and admitted to their seats. For instance, P.M. Young, a Confederate General and a Conservative from Georgia was admitted to his seat--and further in the face of this fact, during the last winter Mr. Payne of Wisconsin offered a resolution covering precisely Col. Baldwin's views of the law. To wit: that the eligible candidates should be declared elected and disregarding the votes cast for the candidate under disabilities.--This resolution was referred and never heard of again. No Congress refused to do exactly what Col. Baldwin says they will do. The Col. ought to look at the proceedings of Congress a little before he makes such sweeping assertions. As to his "near connection," and his "capacity to make a good representative," I have nothing to say. I have ceased to notice him.

In conclusion, I appeal to the people of the District to vote their sentiments without regard to Col. Baldwin or any body else.--Let him vote his own sentiments, but not undertake to vote yours. Washington issued the first address of warning to the people--Col. Baldwin the second. I will be pardoned for stating that it is the first time of this District that any one man has voluntarily undertaken to influence in behalf of another, a whole district of freemen--all his peers in political rights and privileges. The time was, and is yet, in some countries, when Kings ordered their "near connections" to high places and ordered their subjects at will, but that time thank God has not come to us yet. The fewest number of men ever known to take the old Dominion on their shoulders was "NINE" but it seems now the honors are divided out and ONE is to say who is to go to Congress. If the Colonel had a "committee of nine" on me, the thing would be serious, but when it comes down to a committee of one, I beg to be excused from regarding it. Col. Baldwin having said, if I were eligible there would be no objection to me, I hope after reading my cards on the subject, the people will concur with him and give me their united support.

John T. Harris

[No Title]
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper reports that the Underwood Constitution has gerrymandered the district that includes Augusta by stringing together its white majority counties. They "evidently gave up any expectation of having a Radical Congressman from this part of the State."

-Page 03-

Temperance--Election of Officers
(Column 01)
Summary: Staunton Council Number 47, Friends of Temperance, elected officers at a recent meeting, including H. H. Peck, president.
(Names in announcement: H. H. Peck, P. N. Powell, James W. Baldwin, W. H. Herr, Richard D. Ryan, John A. Noon, James B. Pemberton, Robert K. Rice, William R. Fauntleroy, William B. Parkman, J. W. Newton)
Registration in Augusta County
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that the latest registration numbers show a "very favorable gain in the white vote throughout this county." Recent additions have amounted to 967 white voters and 220 black voters. It is hoped that Augusta can roll up a 3000 vote majority for the Walker ticket.
An Enthusiastic Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: A large crowd gathered at the Court House to support the Walker ticket. Many prominent citizens spoke.
(Names in announcement: A. H. H. Stuart, Col. G. C. Walker, Maj. J. B. Dorman, Thomas J. Michie, Col. J. H. Skinner, Col. Bolivar Christian, H. M. Bell, Thomas C. Elder, Col. George Baylor, William S. Gilman, Col. John B. Baldwin)
(Column 01)
Summary: A small company of performers gave a series of dramatic entertainments at the Town Hall recently.
Wesleyan Female Institute
(Column 02)
Summary: The Wesleyan Female Institute held closing exercises.
(Names in announcement: Minnie Barton, Mary C. Bruce, Mattie Boswell, Mary Gray Brooke, Mary Coe, Laura Cunningham, Jessie Davis, Ida Ellett, Kate Finnell, Bettie Fretwell, Gussie Fitch, Alice F. Hiser, Lucy Harris, Hannah Henderson, Mary Hyde, Gussie Hobbs, Jennie Hobbs, Mary S. Hough, Henrietta McNeal, Ella McNash, Ella McKinnon, Viola McGuffin, A. Moon, Irene Owings, Sallie Patterson, Mary Powers, Jennie K. Pitzer, Sallie Routt, Florence Rapp, Sallie Rapp, Bettie Reese, Jennie Stump, Kate Shuff, Ella Tanquary, Nannie Trimble, Kate Trotter, Alice Walsh, Sue Fouts, Jannetta Cline, Mollie Dear, Annie Deffenbaugh, Roberta Maupin, Eudora O. Padget, Lou Ruff, Alice E. Sherman, Mattie Smith, H. V. Stump, Laura J. Strasburg, Haywood Trotter, Ida Weaver, Georgia Jenkins, Henrietta McMullen, Irene Owings, Kate McK. Pitzer, Dora Padget, Fannie Shafer, Mattie Statton, Olivia Talbott, Phoebe Veitch, Janetta Cline, Ellen Lantz, Sue Lantz)
Great Canine Meeting
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper gives a comical account of a meeting of town dogs to discuss the proposed tax on local canines.
The Congressional Contest
(Column 02)
Summary: "A Voter" writes to express the hope that Augusta voters will elect Judge Harris, notwithstanding Col. Baldwin's endorsement of Robert Gray.
(Names in announcement: Judge Harris, Robert Gray, Col. Baldwin)
To the Voters of Augusta
(Column 03)
Summary: John T. Harris, candidate for Congress, answers a number of questions and accusations directed by his opponents suggesting that he would not be the ideal person to represent the people of the District. He puts fears of his ineligibility to rest by assuring voters that he will be able to take his seat if elected. Further, he maintains his position on the proposed constitution. He will vote only for the expurgated constitution, and vote against all objectionable clauses.
Full Text of Article:

I am a candidate for Congress and I regret I have not been able to address you in person. I am compelled, therefore, to speak to you through the medium of the press.

Some fears have been expressed that I would not be able to take my seat, if elected. In regard to which I beg to say, that there is not a shadow of a doubt on that point. See the copy of the letter just received from the Hon. J.F. Farnsworth, who, in the last Congress, was chair of the Sub-Committee on Reconstruction, and whose duty it was to take applications for the removal of disabilities.

"In reply I can state that your name is in the bill which passed the House at the March session and is now pending in the Senate. That your name was in the bill which passed both Houses at the Winter session at the last Congress and only failed to become a law because the Senate amended by adding other names, some of which were objectionable. I have never heard any objection to your relief and have no doubt you will be admitted to a seat in the House, if elected."

The bill is now before the Senate and as that body passes all such unanimously, I hope this question is at rest.

Questions have been asked if improper conditions are not imposed on persons asking the removal of disabilities. I answer no! and refer to my statement taken down before the Reconstruction Committee and to Judge Sheffey who was present.

When I announced myself at the May Court, I said I would vote for the expurgated Constitution--vote against the objectionable clauses and for the Walker ticket. I have not changed my purposes.

Silly and false statements have been made about me which my self-respect and my regard for the public taste forbid that I should notice.

If elected, fellow citizens, you will find me in the future, as I tried to be in the past, a faithful and industrious representative.

John T. Harris

Last Word to the People
(Column 03)
Summary: Robert A. Gray, a candidate for Congress representing Augusta County, makes this appeal to the voters of the district: Harris is the wrong man for the job. Not only are his claims of eligibility subject to skepticism, but Gray claims his dealings with the Radical party serve his self interest at the expense of the white Virginians. Clearly Harris is a liar who has virtually admitted pandering to black voters and Radicals. Further, he fails to answer pressing questions leading Gray to conclude that he should not represent the district.
Full Text of Article:

White men of the District, which is to represent your interests, Gray or Harris? Gray is fighting all along the line as the Conservative Walker ticket white man's candidate. Harris is fighting for you by private interviews with Wells and secret interviews after night with the leaders of the radical leagues, which he will not deny.--Gray is without disabilities and can get into Congress as your representative if elected. Harris says he can get in. If he can, it is because he is under pledge to the radical members, and that fact can be proven. On an important question between the Radicals and Conservatives, Gray would incline to the Conservatives; Harris with the Radicals if they let him in. Harris charged the Southern man in his troubles and financial embarrassment five hundred dollars to assist him in his pardon. Gray did the same work for the Southern man and charged him nothing, not even his personal expenses. Harris electioneers privately with the negro for his vote; he won't deny it; Gray declines the vote of the Wells negro. Harris reads publicly a communication, saying it is from General Jubal A. Early, --numbers have heard it,--insulting to the Walker ticket generally, and to John F. Lewis and R.A. Gray in particular; and afterwards, when the letter is demanded, he admits that the name of Early was added by himself, and a mere surmise. Was not this undoubtedly a lie to the people, willful, deliberate and malicious, only used for selfish ends? Is not the truth knowingly suppressed a lie? Is not Harris in the interest of the Radicals? Do the gallant white men of the district want such a man for their representative?--Which, gentlemen,--honor bright,--which for you? Gray who answers everything right up to the mark, or Harris who answers nothing; who prefers leaving you in the darkness and a fog, in stirring, troublesome times as these? Consult you best judgment, and let that direct your suffrage.

Robert A. Gray.
Harrisonburg, Va. June 15, 1869.

(Column 03)
Summary: J. Y. Allison, formerly of Augusta County, died in Illinois on June 15th. He was 67 years old.
(Names in announcement: J. Y. Allison)

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