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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: August 19, 1869

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Shoulder Strap Rule
(Column 02)
Summary: In this article, the author illustrates the despotism of military rule. He asks whether or not anyone will live to see the day when power is returned to the people and "shoulder-strap rule" is no more. Not surprisingly, the author critiques the virtues of those soldiers who now govern the region. Suggestions of cowardice, or at least shirking duty, form the theme throughout the article.
Full Text of Article:

The Irish Citizen asks--"We wonder whether any of our readers will live to be old enough to see this country once more governed by law and not by general orders?"

None--until shoulder-straps cease to be the insignia of power, and bayonets are no longer used to put party-tools into office. A government may be called free and republican as long as the voice of the majority rules and opinion is left untrammeled, but when military upstarts--men who have not even been know to have signalized themselves as soldiers, and who are as ignorant of law as they are of the school of the soldier, are placed in positions where statesmanship is required--and act the tyrant over better men than themselves, then that government becomes a military oligarchy, and the people, who ought to constitute the ruling power become the very instruments of their own ruin. There are men now ruling the Southern States who never would have been read of in the history of the irrepressible struggle, had they not been placed by a higher power in a position where they could domineer over a people who have yielded and yielded until they are on the very verge of the pit of degradation. These armed tools of a tyrannical Congress take a delight in carrying out to the letter its unholy behests. A petty General whose great virtue consisted in his managing to keep out of the way of the enemy's lead and steel, is armed with a little brief authority and, not having had the pluck to win laurels in the field, he seizes the lucky chance of becoming notorious by establishing a Dictatorship over an unarmed and down-trodden people. His sword was never crossed with that of a brave enemy--but it can make a great chatter in its scabbard as it rattles over the pavement in times of peace. They are the captain Bobadils of the present day; their brutum fulmen strikes the untutored black with awe, while the proud, though beaten owner of the soil looks on with disgust. They dictate to courts as if the law hung upon their lips--they pronounce judgment as if they were born judges, they decide whether Legislatures shall convene or not--they take charge of men's consciences, and bond them down with an iron clad oath to think and act: In short, they are the petty despots who act under the orders of mightier despots, feeling perfectly secure, for there is a wall of bristling bayonets around them, and their shoulder straps make them potent. Military rule is bad enough at all times and every where, but when a noble, honorable and peaceable people are compelled to succumb to such petty tyranny as this, there may be many of the present generation who "will see this country governed by law, and not by general orders."

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(Column 01)
Summary: The street commissioners are adding new curb stones to the streets.
Patent Churn
(Column 01)
Summary: Ham McFall has invented a churn that local citizens are declaring the best they have ever used.
(Names in announcement: Ham McFall)
Camp Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: The United Brethren held a camp meeting at Augusta's White Sulphur Springs. The crowd was large, but many preferred congregating in the shade to hearing sermons. There were also a disturbing number of indulgers in intoxicating liquor.
War of Races Commenced
(Column 01)
Summary: This article recounts the scene of confrontation between Richard Stephenson, a black man, (also spelled Stevenson in the same article) and Eugene Rosenbaum, a white store clerk, over a two-cent discrepancy in payment for chewing tobacco. After a heated verbal exchange, Stephenson was injured in a physical altercation. Charges were brought up on Rosenbaum for assault, but Stephenson was fined $3.00 and subsequently jailed when unable to pay.
(Names in announcement: Richard Stephenson, Eugene Rosenbaum)
Full Text of Article:

On Friday night last, Richard Stephenson, a colored individual of heavy weight and muscular power, entered the store of Louis Rosenbaum on New Street, and called for five cents worth of chewing tobacco, at the same time putting down three cents for payment in full. Young Eugene Rosenbaum, who was the only proprietor of the store at the time, demurred at the scanty equivalent--words ensued, Stevenson called the young man hard names.--The latter armed himself with an iron weight and ordered the negro out, who obeyed, but stood on the pavement calling Rosenbaum all kinds of names and throwing a bottle of molasses at his head. R's blood rose above fever heat, and, he hurled the weight with all his might at the fellow's head, laying him out almost "a lovely corpius." --Fortunately the missile did not reach a vital part--he was cared for, and on Monday sued out a warrant on Rosenbaum for an assault, with intent to kill. On Tuesday the case was brought up before the Mayor; and to Richard's surprise, he was fined $3, and not being able to pay it, he was handed over to the tender care of mine host, Geo. Harlan, where he rests at the present writing. Young Rosenbaum paid the costs.

Tribute of Respect
(Column 02)
Summary: Staunton Lodge Number 45, I. O. O. F., passes resolutions of respect upon the death of fellow-member Joseph F. Winfield, Jr.
(Names in announcement: Joseph F. WinfieldJr., A. G. Points, Sandie Taylor, S. J. Davis, H. H. Forsyth, J. Hageman)
(Column 02)
Summary: Walter Davis died near Barterbrook, Augusta County, on August 4th. He was 77 years old.
(Names in announcement: Walter Davis)
(Column 02)
Summary: Casper Koiner died at his residence on South River, Augusta County, on August 5th after an illness of 13 days. He was 47 years old.
(Names in announcement: Casper Koiner)

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