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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: March 24, 1870

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Reorganization of the Public Debt
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Summary: This article outlines a proposal by Governor Walker that would consolidate and reorganize the state debt into one form of coupon bonds. The author explains how this consolidation will increase the means available for Virginia citizens. It will neither generate new taxation or increase the state debt.
Full Text of Article:

We have been favorably impressed with the practical wisdom displayed by Governor Walker in his recommendation of a consolidation and reorganization of the public debt of Virginia. At present, the debt is a confused mass of obligations, issued under the authority of ninety-five separate acts of the General Assembly. The larger portion is in the form of coupon bonds, but probably ten or fifteen millions is issued in registered bonds, which do not pass by delivery, and can only be transferred by formal assignment on the books of the 2nd Auditor's office.--In consequence of the more convenient form of the coupon bonds, and the facility with which they can be transferred, by mere delivery, like a bank or treasury note, the coupon bonds have a much greater market value than the registered, though, intrinsically, one is worth as much, and no more, than the other. We accordingly find, that, while coupon bonds are quoted in the prices current, at $71 to $72, the registered bonds stand at $55 to $56.

To remove this disparity, and place the whole debt of the State on the same footing, the Governor wisely proposes, that the whole debt shall be consolidated, and reorganized, under the authority of one general law. According to his plan, the old bonds will be called in, and new coupon bonds will be issued for the whole debt, registered, as well as coupon. The effect of this will be, to carry up the market value of the registered bonds, to the level with the coupons, or, in other words, to raise the price of the registered bonds, from $55 or $59, to $71 or $72. This increase in saleable value, will be effected, with out adding one dollar to the amount of the indebtedness of the State. The change is in the form of obligation, and not in the amount or character of the debt.

The importance of this measure to the people of Virginia, and especially to widows and orphans whose estates are invested in registered bonds, will be readily appreciated, when it is known that a very large proportion of the registered debt of Virginia is held by the people of Virginia. Assuming that ten millions of it are held by our own citizens, it will readily be seen that the plan of Governor Walker, if carried into effect, will add between one and two millions of dollars, to the market value of their stock, without entailing on the people of Virginia, an increase of the debt.

We believe that a bill has already been reported to give effect to the recommendation of the Governor, and we earnestly hope that at an early day, it will become a law.

In these times of sore distress, an addition of near two million, to the available means of our people, without any increase of taxation or debt, is no small matter. We tender to Governor Walker, our thanks, and the grateful acknowledgements of our people, for his timely and judicious suggestion.

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[No Title]
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Summary: A delegation from Staunton left for Baltimore to campaign for a 1 million dollar subscription by that city to the Valley Railroad. The citizens of Baltimore will vote on the question today.
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Summary: In an effort to illustrate the vast improvements either currently underway or proposed, the author enumerates various plans of local citizens. Concentrating on private dwellings, prominent Stauntonians such as R.G. Bickle and B.T. Bagby are listed as "handsome and commodious" brick buildings in the city. Further, the author describes the construction of a new church, and the potential for future rail lines that would link Staunton to the Pacific and ultimately the Orient.
Full Text of Article:

Onward! seems to be the watchword of our enterprising people. They mean to take no stop backward. We are happy to state the spirit of enterprise which characterized our town last year seems to have suffered no abatement. Before the spring has fairly opened, we hear a number of important improvements which are on foot. Already, probably a dozen costly brick buildings are contracted for, or are in process of being contracted for.

Our enterprising fellow-citizen Mr. B.T. Bagby has already torn down the former residence of the late Dr. Addison Waddell, and commenced the foundation of a spacious and elegant brick building with two large store rooms on the ground floor and a handsome residence with six or eight large rooms behind and over them.

Across the street from the post office Mr. S. Hendry is about to erect a spacious and handsome three story brick building with store room on the ground floor and a dwelling above.

On the old P.O. corner, at the intersection of Main and Augusta streets, Miss Henrietta Brooks will shortly commence the erection of a large and handsome three story house fronting near 40 feet on Main Street and 70 feet on Augusta Street.

A little lower down on Augusta Street, Mr. R.G. Bickle who already numbers his houses in town by the score and whose rent roll fills us with envy whenever we think of its sum total, will in a few weeks commence the erection of two handsome brick store houses, nearly opposite the office of our contemporary the Spectator. Here we must take occasion to remark, that no one citizen of our town has contributed more largely to its improvement than Mr. Bickle. He knows well how to employ his ample means and we trust he may long continue to reap the reward which his energy and public spirit have so richly earned.

Mrs. Hall is about completing a handsome and commodious dwelling house South of Kalorama and Mrs. Funkhouser has already laid the foundation of another spacious and tasty residence on a lot nearly opposite Mrs. Halls.

We have also learned that Mr. McClure and Clinedinst will, each, at an early day erect handsome dwellings on the vacant lot fronting on Augusta Street north of the Catholic church.

These are some of the improvements of a private character which are to be commenced as soon as the weather will allow. We have heard of others which are in contemplation, but have not yet been definitely determined on.

But we must not omit to mention another and the most important of all the improvements that have been projected. We allude to the new Presbyterian church, upon which work is about to be commenced. We have reason to believe that this church will be a model of architectural beauty, and that it will do honor to the taste, liberality and piety of the congregation, which, amid all their trials, and troubles and destitution, have not hesitated to devote a large share of their means to do honor to Him who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift!

But we have no room for more at present. We may chronicle other improvements as they may be developed. But we think that what we have already stated is enough to show that the spirit of improvement is still abroad in our enterprising little community.

By and bye we shall have our Railroad finished to San Francisco so as to bring to our doors the trade of China and Japan! After that is accomplished, we shall build a market house and lateral roads to Harrisonburg and Lexington!

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Summary: James Carter and Miss Bettie Taylor, both of Staunton, were married on March 9th by the Rev. Williams.
(Names in announcement: James Carter, Bettie Taylor, Rev. Williams)
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Summary: Henry C. Hill and Miss Rebecca V. Crosby were married near Staunton on March 13th by the Rev. J. J. Engle.
(Names in announcement: Henry C. Hill, Rebecca V. Crosby, Rev. J. J. Engle)
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Summary: Miss Margaret Hyden died near Mint Spring on March 5th. She was 61 years old.
(Names in announcement: Margaret Hyden)
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Summary: Marshall Ward died at Elizabeth Furnace on March 10th. He was 22 years old.
(Names in announcement: Marshall Ward)
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Summary: Mrs. Mary V. Houff, wife of John F. Houff, died suddenly near Staunton on March 19th. She was 20 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Mary V. Houff, John F. Houff)

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