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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: July 8, 1869

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The Valley Railroad
(Column 01)
Summary: Having been absent for some time, the issue of the Valley railroad reappears in this article compelling Virginians of Augusta County to subscribe to the road. Discussion of this most momentous fundraising has been overshadowed, says the author, because of the recent elections to the Federal and State Legislatures. Now that that is over, adverse feelings can be put aside and the issue of future prosperity can be once again addressed. As always, the paper recommends support of the road's construction. Pointing out that the road will connect the Valley to vital economic centers, the author urges subscription for the sake of the region's future. Further, united work towards the road's construction has the added benefit of possibly smoothing down some feathers ruffled by the recent political contest.
Full Text of Article:

Now that the strife and confusion of the campaign are over, and farmers, mechanics and professional men have returned to their usual avocations, let us hold calm and familiar communion with our readers as of old, and discuss questions of importance to the prosperity of the State which has just passed through a tremendous struggle for its existence as a member of the Federal Union. We shall now see whether the men who have been chosen to represent us in the National and State Legislatures, and who profess to be such warm friends to the interests of the State, among which internal improvement stands foremost, will adhere to their oft-repeated promises to build up new structures, repair the old ones and smooth down the rough places which the iron heel of war has made. We have a prospect of soon being freed from military despotism; a rule which ever stops the progress of Improvement in every branch; our social relations will be restored and with them confidence between man and his fellow man.

The late uncertainty of our position has been one of the great causes of the trouble in raising capital for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, and has also had no little influence on the subscriptions to the Valley Railroad.--The Baltimore Gazette, in an editorial article of some length, says:

"So far, the principle subscriptions to the latter have been from the counties and towns along the route, amounting, in the aggregate, to $700,000. One of the conditions of the ordinance recently passed by our City Council, voting aid to the road, was that this subscription should be increased to $1,000,000, either by the municipal corporations themselves or by their citizens, not an unreasonable demand for a road which will cost nearly five millions, and which is to pass through a country now without railway communication, for 113 miles, developing its resources, and in many parts, at least doubling the value of property.

In addition to that there is to be a further stock subscription of $1,200,000, after which the company, having a solid capital of $3,200,000, including the subscription of Baltimore city for $1,000,000, has the privilege of raising the balance of the required capital by the issue and sale of its bonds. The question is, "where is this $1,200,000 to come from? Is this road, which forms the great connecting link on the New Orleans route, of sufficient importance to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to warrant that company in making such an investment? Is it probable that its effect upon the trade and prosperity of this city will be so marked that aid can be expected form our capitalists? Is it likely that the benefits to be derived by our Bremen Steamship Company from the opening of this road will be so decided as to make it their interest to subscribe? Does the development which will soon be given to the iron trade of the Valley, by the introduction of coal from the Kanawha and the Cumberland regions promise to afford sufficient attraction, for capitalists and to insure pecuniary aid to this road on their part?

To all of these questions we unhesitatingly answer, yes! The Valley Road is, for the country between Baltimore and New Orleans, simply a great national road. It must eventually become, in all probability, the most important branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Taking Winchester, as its commencement, which virtually is, it passes through a region far more fertile and destined to be, within a few years after the restoration of political order, far more populous than any other district, of anything like the same length, through which the main stem of any other branch of our great road passes. It is a road which must not only sustain itself, by its way traffic, but which by striking for distance and rich regions, must plant its roots, in accordance with the great policy which has marked the whole of Mr. Garrett's railroad career, in new and untouched soil. It must make Baltimore the seaport for more grain and more tobacco and more cotton. It must make it the most available point on the Atlantic coast for an immense agricultural country. It must open up vast fields, uncultivated for want of labor, to the German immigrants, who now crowd the steamships, which make this their American harbor. It must tend to develop the exhaustless beds of iron ore, which fill portions of the Valley of Virginia, and of which the great fields of Pennsylvania, so terribly overworked, are said by geologists to be but the outcroppings. Already large iron men from the North, looking forward to future operations, have made purchase along and near the line of the road, and the day will come when districts, now almost desolate, will be alive with the blast of huge furnaces and the busy hum of men, and will resound with the clanging stroke of the huge steam hammer.

Can anyone doubt for a moment what is going to be the effect of the building of this road on the interests which we have referred to? Can anyone doubt as to who would reap a rich reward from the subscription required? The city of Baltimore, as far as the amount of its subscription is concerned, has acted a liberal part, and it proposes to give its aid in a shape which will allow it to be used as a credit. In other words, it authorizes the Company, so soon as it is satisfied that the whole money can be procured, to make this, together with other stock subscriptions, a second lien, thus allowing the issue of the first mortgage bonds, and thereby virtually securing the raising of money to complete the road, after the stock is once subscribed.

It remains now to be seen, where the other subscriptions are to come from. The Valley of Virginia, still suffering from the effects of a disastrous war, will do all that can be reasonably expected of it. The city of Baltimore will do its part. If after this, parties who are most directly interested will not come forward and take stock, and see that their money is properly appropriated and economically expended, how can they expect to secure the construction of the road? If they will not help themselves, have they any right to ask assistance from other sources? We can only hope that the restoration of civil order in Virginia will speedily remove the feeling of distrust which has checked the operations of capitalists, and that the required subscription will be before long an accomplished fact.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: This piece briefly praises those who have "shaken off the vermin" carpetbaggers. Both white and black southerners are honored--whites for urging the "lukewarm" to do their duty, and blacks for opening their eyes to the dangers of "unprincipled" office seekers.
Full Text of Article:

Enough is known of the State election to justify us in shouting Lo! The noble old mother of States is regenerated! The glorious Old Dominion has risen in her majesty and shaken off the vermin that gathered around her loins. Carpet-bags are out of fashion, and Secret Leagues will no more hold their nightly orgies and bind free men down by oaths and pledges. Honor to the patriotic Southerners who accomplished this great revolution; the men whose vigilance never tired, who aroused the sleepers and urged the lukewarm to do their duty. Honor to the colored men who opened their eyes to their own danger, though at the eleventh hour--and who were made to see that the rights of their own race were endangered by the rapacity of unprincipled and office seeking carpet-baggers. "We have met the enemy--and they are ours!"

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The Augusta Fire Company
(Column 01)
Summary: The Augusta Fire Company celebrated the 4th of July with a trip to Goshen on the C. and O. Railroad.
Templeton's Operetta
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Summary: Templeton's Operetta Company is on tour through the Valley. It earned rave reviews in Staunton.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Edward H. Sears has taken over as Staunton Post Master. John A. Noon has been retained as an assistant.
(Names in announcement: Edward H. Sears, John A. Noon)
The Gutters
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper calls on the street commissioners and health commissioners to examine the town gutters. "In many of the streets rains have displaced the slabs and immense pits have been formed; in these the offals of yards and sinks collect and there become gangrened, throwing off a very offensive smell. Either replace the slabs or let loose the hydrants at least once a day. If these hints are neglected, there is no knowing how soon sickness may visit us."
County Returns
(Column 01)
Summary: This table illustrates election results from the various districts in Augusta County. Walker emerges the victor over Wells by a 2580 vote majority.
The Virginia Female Institute
(Column 01)
Summary: The commencement exercises of the Virginia Female Institute, Rev. R. H. Phillips principal, were observed on the 24th of June. Music under the direction of Professor Ide and addresses by Judge H. W. Sheffey and others marked the occasion.
(Names in announcement: Rev. R. H. Phillips, Prof. E. L. Ide, Prof. J. A. Ide, Judge H. W. Sheffey, Sallie P. Upshur, Ms. M. P. Walker, Ms. V. L. Hansbrough, Rev. W. H. Pendleton, Ms. L. M. Dawson, Ms. G. C. Finlayson, Ms. R. P. Kinney, Ms. M. A. Leavell, Ms. Lina Lowry, Ms. Mattie E. Nelson, Ms. Ella Paul, Ms. G. S. Shackelford, Ms. Mollie Stringfellow, Ms. M. P. Walker, M. L. Yancey)
Election Day
(Column 01)
Summary: The author praises Staunton voters for a well organized, altercation free election. He reports that competitors exchanged no hostilities or even angry words. Black voters also "behaved well," although he implies a few were suspect of voting multiple times. All of this is thanks to the closing of drinking establishments--"King Whiskey" was "perfectly powerless" during this election.
Full Text of Article:

Much to the credit of Staunton, the election on Tuesday last, which everybody presumed would be an exciting one, went off with perfect quiet. Good humor seemed to prevail between the opposing parties--a stray joke now and then would create a peal of laughter at the expense of one or the other, but no harsh bickering or angry words were bandied.--The colored people also behaved well, some of them, it is said, fought under the motto, "vote early and vote often," and took passage on the excursion train of "Monkey Chunk Railroad," but, otherwise they came up to the scratch. All this good order is attributable to the closing of the bar-rooms, by which means King Whiskey was perfectly powerless, and his agents Riot and Tumult had nothing to do. At night there were some very long faces as well as some very broad ones--the reason of this will be seen by consulting another part of our paper, where the returns, up to the time of our going to press will be found.

Enthusiastic Celebration of the Fourth of July
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports celebration of the fourth of July in Staunton with speeches and toasts. Though much of the sentiment was "E pluribus Unum," they denounced the tyrannical government and the new Virginia constitution while praising the Confederate dead, Virginia, and liberty.
The Stay-Law Extended
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Summary: The assistant Adjutant General to General Canby issued an order detailing changes to the Stay-Law valid until January of 1870. Most of the changes dealt with personal property and real-estate transactions.
Full Text of Article:

The following important order extending the provisions of the stay-law until the first day of January, 1870, was issued from military head quarters on Tuesday last:


General Orders No. 80

1. Paragraph 1 of General Orders No. 149, dated December 12, 1868, from these headquarters, is hereby modified to read as follows:

"That the stay of executions against personal property, so far only as the same exists under laws lately in force, and which, by the provisions thereof expired on the first day of January, 1869, shall be and is hereby extended until the first day of January, 1870, provided that the debtor shall have paid subsequent to January 1, 1869, and before August 1, 1869, one year's interest upon the principal sum due; but if before last named date such payment of interest shall not have been made, no execution shall be further stayed against personal property as provided for in this order;" and provided further, that in cases where the principal debt is due to the estate of any minor, widow, unmarried woman, or insane person as the beneficiary of a trust, whether in the hands of executors, guardians, administrators, trustees, commissioners in chancery, or other fiduciary, or invested by any such in his or their fiduciary capacity, in addition to the payment of one year's interest as above required, one third of the whole arrears of interest on the principal sum due shall be paid by the debtor on or before the first of September, 1869, and one half of the remainder of the said arrears of interest on or before the first of November, 1869, to entitle such debtor to the stay of execution provided for by this order.

II. At any sale of real estate by virtue of any decree or order of any court of this State, if the highest amount offered or bid at such sale for such real estate shall be less than two-thirds of the amount of the valuation of such real estate as assessed in the last preceding assessment for State taxes, and a minute of which assessed valuation shall be certified on the process by the officer holding the same, then in every such case, it shall be the duty of the sheriff, commissioner or other officer or person conducting such sale, at the request of either or any party to the record then and there to adjourn and postpone such sale for the period of two calendar months, provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any case in which the debt or liability sought to be enforced was contracted or incurred since the 2d day of April, 1865, or in which the Commonwealth is the creditor or party beneficially entitled, or taxes, levies or assessments due to a county or corporation.

III. General orders No. 24, dated March 12, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of general orders No. 149 from these headquarters, dated December 22, 1868, are hereby continued in force and made applicable to this order.

By command of Brevet Major General Canby. LOUIS V. CASIARC, A.D.C., Acting Assistant Adjutant General.

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