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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: December 2, 1869

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"Skies Bright and Brightening"
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Summary: Looking forward to a prosperous future, the author outlines the various manufactories and railroads in the planning stages. Factories, canals, roads, and various business endeavors all are described, and Augusta stands to profit in the area of supplying the thousands of workers that will flood the area. The author concludes that industry will be the base for the reemergence of the South as the most powerful region in the country. Ironically, it is was the same industrial might that crushed the South's bid for independence that will now work in its favor.
Full Text of Article:

We cordially congratulate our readers upon the success of Col. Baldwin and Gen. Wickham in negotiating a contract with wealthy New York capitalists which will ensure the speedy completion of the Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. from Richmond to the Ohio River. We hail this auspicious result as the harbinger of innumerable benefits not only to the counties along the line of the improvement, but to the whole State--indeed we may say to the Nation. It is, in fact, a work of national importance. It will bind together the East and the west by bonds of iron. It will stimulate agriculture, manufactures and commerce, not only in the country through which it runs, but will develop an inter-State trade, the magnitude of which can hardly be imagined. When the road reaches the Ohio, it will form connections with roads diverging, in all directions, Northwest, West, and Southwest, and we hazard little in predicting, that, at no distant day, it will be the acknowledged continuation of the great Pacific railway from San Francisco to Richmond and Norfolk. Any one who will take a map of the United States and apply one end of a string to San Francisco, and stretch the other to Norfolk, will find that these two points are in almost the same latitude, and that the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad is nearly on a direct line between the two points, and therefore destined to be the eastern link in this wonderful chain of inter-Oceanic communication. Thus the best port on the Pacific coast will be brought into intimate relations with the best port on the Atlantic. In a few years the trade between the East and West, in obedience to laws which are as immutable and as irresistible in the commercial world, as gravity is in the material universe, will settle down, in regular currents, along the line of this national thoroughfare. And, strange as it may now seem, the day is not far distant, when we shall see cars whistling through our town, freighted with silks, spices and teas, from China, Japan, and the East Indies, destined for European ports!

But we regard this great enterprise as the pioneer of a still greater. The Chesapeake & Ohio railroad is the avant coureur of the James River & Ohio Canal. The railroad will open the way for the canal. It will develop the intermediate country, and exhibit to the great West, the necessity for and advantages of this admirable central route through Virginia.

Passing, as the Railway will, parallel to, and not distant from the route of the proposed canal, all who travel over the road, will be enabled to see the inexhaustible supplies of salt, coal, iron and timber which are now locked up in the fortresses of the Virginia mountains. The Farmers of the West, too, will have an opportunity of seeing with their own eyes, the advantages, on the score of cheapness, exemption from snow and ice, and diminution of distance, which will be secured by the construction of the J.R.&R. Canal. Ohio, and all the States along the Ohio and Mississippi, want cheap and convenient access to the salt wells and coal fields, and timber forests of the Kanawha, and the iron deposits of the Alleghenies. The grain and the pork and the beef of the West, will want a speedy and cheap means of transportation, at all seasons of the year, to the markets and deep water of the East. These considerations will prompt the people of the West, through their representatives in Congress, to demand, that this great national work, shall be made by national means and national authority.

Already the prospect of the construction of the Chesapeake & O.R.R. is exerting a sensible influence on the value of property along the line. Within a few months, enterprising men from Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland have brought valuable iron properties and vigorous operations. The large furnace in Buffalo Gap, under the management of Mr. L. Sibert, will be in operation in a few months. A company from New York have bought the McBride survey, a few miles west of the gap, and we understand will, during the next season, erect the largest furnace in Virginia. Messrs. Furmstone, Clymer, & Co., have bought four iron properties between Goshen and Covington, at a cost of $84,000, and are now negotiating for a fifth at $30,000. And we hear of other parties, who have it in contemplation to purchase the old Bath Iron Works, two miles from Goshen, with a view to large operations. In a few years the line of the Railway from Buffalo Gap to Covington will be illuminated by the blaze of an unbroken line of furnaces.

Rolling Mills and foundries, and manufactories of every kind will follow, as certainly as day follows night, and our whole country will flourish like, "a green Bay tree."

Nor will the other portions of our country be deprived of their just share of this general and newly created prosperity. The thousands upon thousands of operators, in the employment of these manufacturers, must be fed and clothed. The country around them is too sterile to produce grain, grass, or meats. They must look to the fertile fields of the Valley for food. We venture to say, that during the next summer, the course of trade at the Valley will be reversed. Instead of seeking its outlet eastward, it will go westward. The vast number of hands, who will be employed in the construction of the road, must draw their supplies from Augusta. Staunton will be the base of supply for every thing that is needed. All our surplus flour, corn, oats, rye, bacon, beef, whiskey and hay will find a ready market. And besides these articles, groceries, clothes, shoes, mules, horses, cart, &c., will be needed in large quantities.

Nor will this temporary demand. The hands engaged in the construction of the road will furnish it, for the first two or three years, and after that, there will be a greater, and ever increasing demand to supply the operators in the iron works and other manufactories.

And here, let us pause for a moment to reflect what the White Sulpher will be when these lines of railway are finished to the Western world! It is extravagant to suppose that in ten years from this time, instead of one thousand visitors, there will be twenty thousand! All these people must be fed, and Augusta must feed them!

Verily! A new Era is dawning upon us! The people of the North, in a spirit of wrath, sought to crush us by destroying our labor system. But a benign Providence has ordained, that what was intended to destroy us, should give us new life and power; and by a just retribution, the blow that was intended to crush us, has fallen on their heads.

New fields for enterprise have been opened. Our mountains have been made to unlock the doors of their mineral treasures--Rival manufactories of all kinds are about to spring up, which, by their superior advantage, are destined to compete successfully, with those of the North, and transfer the seat of power and wealth to the South! In a few years it will be found, that New England cannot compete successfully, with the Southern States in the manufacture of cotton and wool, and earthen wares; and, at no distant day, Virginia and Western Virginia are destined to take the lead of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, in the iron business, and in all branches of industry dependent on it.

If such be the fact, we shall have no tears to shed, but our hearts will overflow with gratitude to that great Being, who, in mercy, brings prosperity and happiness and power, out of the very measures intended for our overthrow.

We therefore offer to our readers, our hearty congratulations, on the brilliant prospects ahead of us. Let us be of good cheer! Let no one be despondent! Let every one bear patiently the evils that press upon him, in the assurance that they are but temporary! Day is breaking! The dawn already tinges the East with a roseate hue! The skies are bright and brightening!

Prompt Action
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Summary: Gen. Echols received notice to go to New York on December 1st to formulate an action plan for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. New York capitalists purchased control of the road and now wish to proceed.
(Names in announcement: Gen. Echols)

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The Staunton Academy
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Summary: The Staunton academy is flourishing with 63 enrolled students. Mr. Charles E. Young and Mr. William Waddell are responsible for the revival of the school. "The Principal, Mr. Young, is a gentleman of high character and peculiar qualifications as an instructor, uniting to thorough acquaintance with the branches which he teaches, great urbanity of manner, and firmness of discipline. Mr. Young was educated at the University, where he attained distinction, especially as a mathematician. Mr. Waddell, the associate of Mr. Young, is well known to the citizens of his native town, as a gentleman of exemplary character, and peculiar aptitude and qualifications for the vocation which he has chosen. We congratulate those gentlemen on the success which they have achieved in their honorable field of labor; and in the name of the community, we thank them for affording to the rising generation, the opportunity of acquiring instruction in the branches of knowledge which are necessary for usefulness in life."
(Names in announcement: William Waddell, Charles E. Young)
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Summary: Mitchell Gordon of Bath county and Miss Ellen Hultz of Augusta, were married near Deerfield, Augusta Co. by the Rev. J. W. Ryland on November 11th.
(Names in announcement: Mitchell Gordon, Ellen Hultz, Rev. J. W. Ryland)
(Column 02)
Summary: John W. Merritt of Staunton and Miss Sue E. Green of St. Louis were married at the residence of the bride's father, James S. Green, on November 4th by the Rev. Bishop E. M. Marvin.
(Names in announcement: John W. Merritt, Sue E. Green, James S. Green, Rev. Bishop E. M. Marvin)
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Summary: Jesse B. Hamner died near Horeb Church, Augusta County, on November 21st. He was 71 years old.
(Names in announcement: Jesse B. Hamner)

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