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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: September 2, 1869

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The Legislature Elect, and the Iron-clad Oath
(Column 01)
Summary: The primary focus of the article is to illustrate the mood of the majority of the country concerning the iron-clad oath. The author suggest that most liberals, radical Democrats, and conservatives are against it. He rejects the position of General Canby, who proposes that elected legislators should be able to take the oath. Any efforts to enforce the oath will be "repugnant" to "legislative independence."
Full Text of Article:

If we are to judge from the tone of the Northern press--that is, the liberal portion of it, Radical Democratic and Conservative, we are of opinion that the sentiment of the country is much against the position Gen. Canby has taken. The Tribune and the Times, both leading Radical journals of New York are outspoken and denounce the forcing of the oath on legislators fairly elected by the people. The State Journal, the Radical organ of Virginia, has given birth to the report that Gen Canby has issued a circular to the members elect, asking whether they can take the iron-clad oath, and requesting a response. As yet no replies have been received at head-quarters, and the military overseer is at a loss how to act. His quandary arises from the fact that to require a member of the Legislature to take an oath of any kind there must first be a creation to the Legislature; the body must be informally organized, otherwise the man chosen by the people is a mere individual, free from the requirements of the tyrannical order. Presuming even that there is an organization of the Legislature by the appointment of a temporary chairman and clerk, we are at a loss to know how the military commander can manage to get before a body of lawfully chosen and not yet completely organized?--Should he go in person he will render himself liable to be arrested as a trespasser upon the meeting of individuals who have lawfully met for the purposes of consultation on affairs of State. The office he holds is unknown to the constitution of the State, and he is not, like the Governor, armed with the privilege of sending a message. How then, we ask, is he to administer the oath? Some say he can send his aid with a squad of soldiers to drive the members out. Should he attempt such high-handed game, he must drive out all --those who can and those who cannot take the oath; thus breaking up the Legislature and laying the violence of such proceedings at his own door. The Baltimore Commercial says--

"It remains with the Legislature of Virginia whether it or General Canby shall carry the point of this oath-taking. A form and resolute body of men cannot be intimidated, and though they may be outraged by the use of force, their defeat by that instrumentality will be their triumph."

The comments of the N. Y. Tribune are to the point, and reflect the sentiments of the people of all parties. It says--

"We protest against this programme as involving perfidy, iniquity, and a most stupendous blunder. The only party that can be harmed by it is (as in Georgia) that which conceived and executed it. We have an overwhelming Republican majority in the Senate, so that there is not the poor rascally excuse of necessity to perpetuate it. It is calculated to alienate the Walker Republicans permanently from the National party and give the Democrats such an advantage everywhere as the Georgia blunder gave us last Fall. It is a resort prompted by the mortification of defeat; but the Republicans of the whole country cannot afford to sacrifice themselves on the alter of Well's discomfiture."

The same paper also adds that the Government of Virginia, under a new constitution is in no proper sense provisional, Gen. Canby has no part nor lot therein, whether by law of Congress or State Constitution. His effort to interfere and to dictate will be repugnant to that sense of legislative independence which is so relished by the American people.

The Baltimore Commercial uses the following language--

It is now most probable that there will be no session of the Legislature until after the Congress assembles. We have no fear that the Congress will insist upon so mean a piece of perfidy. The motive is not sufficient for an act of such dishonor. There is nothing to gain by such a stupendous blunder, and it will not be perpetuated. But if in this we are mistaken, we think there will be found in the Virginia Legislature men firm enough to place General Canby in the attitude of employing his bayonets to drive away the Legislature of Virginia. And better than that, there is nothing that could happen to the Legislature.

Another Outrage
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports an alleged assault by a black man upon a white woman in Middleburg, Virginia.

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Catholic Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: A fair to raise money for the Catholic schoolhouse being erected on the grounds of St. Francis Church will begin on September 8th.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. Dr. Munsey lectured on "Man" before a crowd of 200 at the Methodist Church. All were "pleased and instructed by the peculiar manner and rare eloquence of the learned divine."
Steam Sash and Blind Factory
(Column 01)
Summary: The newly erected Steam, Sash, and Blind Factory is adding to the industrial importance of Staunton. Mr. Shome's company is located on the railroad in the western suburbs of Staunton. Shome is "a man of great business energy and employs none but experienced hands. His machinery is of the latest and most approved invention and works with great accuracy and rapidity."
(Names in announcement: Shome)
(Column 02)
Summary: David T. Sheets and Miss Sarah C. Huff, both of Augusta, were married on August 10th by the Rev. C. Beard.
(Names in announcement: David T. Sheets, Sarah C. Huff, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 02)
Summary: Newton A. Fry and Miss Eugene A. Brown, both of Augusta, were married in Waynesboro on August 16th by the Rev. C. Beard.
(Names in announcement: Newton A. Fry, Eugene A. Brown, Rev. C. Beard)
(Column 02)
Summary: Alexander Bush and Miss Martha Terrell, both of Augusta, were married in Waynesboro on August 19th by the Rev. W. T. Richardson.
(Names in announcement: Alexander Bush, Martha Terrell, Rev. W. T. Richardson)
(Column 02)
Summary: John Schreckhise died on North River on August 18th. He was 72 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Schreckhise)
(Column 02)
Summary: Jacob Ewing died in Spring Hill on August 27th. He was 63 years old.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Ewing)

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