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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: July 22, 1869

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(Column 01)
Summary: This article exposes the radical press's inflammatory accusations that the "rebels have gained the day on Virginia." The author indicates that this is merely a "symptom" of the Radical party's ultimate demise. As the Radicals grow weaker and weaker, others in the country, many of whom are former enemies, are working together in peace to ratify new state constitutions that are supported by the large majority of citizens. Under the banner of "All Rights for All," the author optimistically forecasts that all differences will soon be settled based on universal amnesty and impartial suffrage.
Full Text of Article:

The signs of the times indicate a rupture in the Republican organization, and one, too, that bids fair to be permanent. The recent Virginia election has caused much speculation in Washington; the ultra or Radical wing of the party attributing the result to fraud, bribery and intimidation, while the moderate republicans claim a victory over democracy, and rejoice in the belief that the old State, by her vote endorses the administration of President Grant. There is evidently a change in the tone of the leading Republican journals; they yield more to the South than they did before the election, and the ovations made in honor of Gov. Walker show that all parties are pleased, save the greedy office-seekers and miserable extremists who would crush out the last spark of Southern honor. The Washington Republican seems to have come to the conclusion to throw the proscriptive element of its party overboard, as is shown in the admission of an article into its columns which reflects severely on Mr. Hughes, one of the editors of the State Journal. The article alluded to contains the following. The "leading Confederate notability" is General Floyd, into whose family Mr. Hughes married.

"The discomfited organ of the Wells proconsulate is endeavoring to console itself in defeat by ungenerous flings at the rebel party; but it knows full well that there is not a word of truth in what it says. The principle writer for that paper is an able politician who is connected by marriage with a leading Confederate notability, and was himself an original secessionist. Now, he desires to make amends for his former errors by proscribing his former friends, and carries his Radicalism so far as to talk of those pseudo Republican organs, the Tribune and Times.

In the Republican "carpet baggers," "scalawags" and "Union Leagues" are denounced in unmeasured terms. Witness the following:

"There are newspapers in the North devoted to the proscriptive policy of the Wells clique, who labor to persuade the public that the rebels have gained the day in Virginia. Unfortunately, one of your colleagues of the daily press in Washington is engaged upon this ungenerous and vain attempt. The proscriptive faction of Wells had strained every nerve to array the colored vote in a solid phalanx. By means of their secret "Union Leagues" they had generally propagated the most stupendous falsehoods and actually had the unparalleled cynicism to persuade that ignorant race that if the rebels gained the day they would be reduced to slavery again, and in other places that their children would be taken from them and bound out until the age of 21.

Symptoms of disintegration at the Radical party are still more clearly shown in other quarters. The nomination of General Rosecrans for Governor of Ohio has staggered even the faithful and died in the wool; there is a rattling among the dry-bones, and they begin to feel that the day of reckoning is at hand. The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore Gazette says:

The party is falling to pieces from rottenness and weakness, despite the efforts of the leaders to keep it together. A day or two ago a portion of the Radical press characterized the Walker party in Virginia as the "Rebel Democracy," and proposed to invoke a partizan Congress to exclude the State from the Union, and place it again under military and carpet-bag rule. We now find a Radical paper using words such as these:

"Governor Wells and his friends cannot fail to give Governor Walker a cordial and unshrinking support. Personal differences will vanish in the presence of the great good work that lies in front of the Republican party."

The patriotic aspirations of the writer of the paragraph above quoted are doomed to be thwarted. When oil and water mix freely and the lion lies down with the lamb, we may expect to see the party which elected Governor Walker assimilate with those who supported Wells. The paragraph is significant, however, as showing the avidity with which drowning men catch at straws."

The tone of the N.Y. Tribune has also become more dulcet since the result of the Virginia election has been made known. The olive branch is tendered in an article on the closing up of the work. It reads as follows:

"The President, as we stated yesterday, decided that Mississippi shall vote on her new Constitution and elect new State Officers on the forth Tuesday in November and it is intimated that a still later day will be designated for the kindred election in Texas. It is well not to be too precipitate in so grave a matter, whereof the result is "not for a day," but for "all time;" yet we could have wished it expedient that each of these States should be fully reconstructed before the 1st of December; so that the President might announce the gratifying fact in his Annual Message, and urge Congress to do promptly its part toward perfecting once more the circle of an unbroken Union. Let us have no haste likely to mar the perfection of the work; but, that secured, the earliest day on which Military rule can be replaced by republican self-government in the States under the dominion of the sword, is the best day for the States and for the Union.

The delay that has thus far been found necessary has proved a source of healing. The unprecedented majority by which Virginia voted to resume her place in the Union under a Constitution which guarantees All Rights to All, bids fair to be paralleled in Mississippi and Texas. The latter has framed a Constitution so generous and comprehensive that the ex-Rebels will nearly all vote to ratify it; and everything we hear thence leads us to anticipate the elections of General A.J. Hamilton (whom they warmly support) as Governor by a large majority. Mississippi will doubtless be allowed like opportunities with Virginia, and will vote to strike from the proposed Constitution all prescriptive and disfranchising provisions by a large majority. The people of both States are more than satisfied with the action of Gen. Grant in the premises; and we are quite ready to settle all outstanding differences on the broad basis of Universal Amnesty with Impartial Suffrage. We shall be disappointed if we are doomed to wait till Washington's next birthday to congratulate our country on her perfect restoration to peace and loyalty on the comprehensive basis of All Rights for All.

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The Shows
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces to "little children and ladies and gentlemen of color" that the circus will be in Staunton. Wild animals of all descriptions will give citizens "a lesson in natural history."
"Great Cry and Much Wool."
(Column 02)
Summary: Recounting the story of how three black "strangers" were arrested in Augusta County, the author shows how "law loving" black citizens captured "suspicious darkies" suspected of high crimes and brought them to Staunton. While one of the suspects attempted to trick his captors, his efforts were foiled. The men turn out to be three escapees from a Lexington jail.
Full Text of Article:

There was no small degree of excitement on the streets yesterday, caused by a rumor that three negroes had been brought into town on the charge of arson, rape and other high crimes. We immediately proceeded to obtain the particulars of the case, and sound out that is was a very large crow story, though, as the result proved, it ended in an important discovery.

It seems that three strange negroes were observed prowling about the neighborhood of Deerfield in this county, and that some of their well disposed and law loving race suspected they were not of the right stripe! so they armed themselves with guns and pistols and went in pursuit of the "suspicious" darkies, whom they arrested with some difficulty. One of the fellows, McDowell, turned state's evidence and accused the other two of having committed robbery and rape. The captors believing it to be an important case brought their prisoners to Staunton, where they were safely locked in George Harlan's hotel. On close questioning the arrested party turned out to be Jim McDowell, Lee Morrison and William Alexander, the three negroes who escaped from the jail in Lexington last week. McDowell told his captors that he has arrested the other two, and was anxious to bring them to justice for crimes with which he charged them. He is a pretty keen fellow, but that dodge failed, as the self-appointed police believed that he was as bad as the rest.

The colored men who made the arrest deserve much credit for their perseverance.

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