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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: April 7, 1870

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The Valley Railroad
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Summary: This article outlines the possible "hitch" that would prevent the completion of the valley Railroad. A bill, now being proposed, would consolidate all the lines between Norfolk and Bristol. A consolidation of this sort would cut the Valley road out of trade with the Southwest. The author argues that this consolidation runs counter to the intentions of rail commerce. They are for the good of the whole public, and discrimination in favor of one line would not "confer the greatest good on the greatest number."
Full Text of Article:

The people of Baltimore have by vote, authorized, if not instructed the city to authorize to subscribe one million of dollars to the stock of the Valley R.R. This subscription is, however, subject to two conditions. 1st that the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Company shall subscribe one million, and the counties along the line from Harrisonburg to Salem shall subscribe twelve hundred thousand dollars--of this latter sum Staunton has authorized a subscription of $100,000, Rockbridge $100,000, Botetourt $200,000--leaving $300,000 to be raised by Augusta and $200,000 by Roanoke.

We presume that when it is reduced to a certainty that Baltimore and the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. are ready to advance their two millions, Augusta and Roanoke will not hold back.

But it is said that there is likely to be a "hitch" in the matter growing out of a bill pending in the Legislature known as the consolidation bill, by which all the Railroads from Norfolk to Bristol are to be consolidated into one company. By the terms of this bill it is apprehended that discrimination will be made in favor of the consolidated company, which will prevent the transshipment of freight at Salem, from what is now the Lynchburg and Tennessee Road, to the Valley Road. Such discrimination will, it is feared, prevent the Valley Road from participating in the freight and trade of the Southwest. Should this be the case, it is very questionable whether either Baltimore city, or the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. will subscribe at all, and thus the Valley Road may fail. It is particularly annoying, to be thus disappointed when we were just about to clutch the prize for which we have been struggling for more than forty years.

It behooves the people of the valley to keep a sharp look out on the subject.

As for consolation we feel no interest in it either way. We do not intend to be parties to the animated contest which is now going on in regard to it. But we are for fair play. We are against all unjust discriminations in favor of one part of the State against another. We are for equal justice to all. We are for pro rata rates of freight and travel on all our roads. We are for opening the doors of competition and against all narrow selfish policy in the management of any great thoroughfare. Railroads were intended for the public benefit--not for the advancement in this or that particular city. They were intended for the benefit of the producers, the great agricultural class. They were intended to promote trade--not to warp and shackle it, by forcing it into unnatural and artificial channels. The cotton, flour, bacon, iron, and other products of the country ought to be allowed to seek the best markets, with the least possible restriction and cost. Half a million of producers certainly have a stronger claim to be accommodated, than fifty or a hundred commission merchants, either in Richmond, Norfolk or Baltimore. Let us have free trade over our Railroads, in every direction. Let the planters and farmers and grazers be at liberty to see where they can get the best terms. We want no privileged classes, and no privileged places. Railroads were not built for the exclusive benefit of commission merchants or cities. They are for public accommodation, and they should be so managed and regulated as to confer the greatest good on the greatest number.

The people, and their Representatives should bear this great truth in mind. If representatives forget it, the people should remind them of it, and if they do not heed the admonition, they should choose others who will--unless they do we shall soon have railroad "Rings" which will sacrifice the public good in their insatiate desire for gain, and constitute themselves into a sort of moneyed aristocracy.

[No Title]
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Summary: The paper reports that the memory of John Brown was celebrated at a recent Fifteenth Amendment jubilee meeting.

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Summary: The paper reports that the founder of the Valley Virginian, Maj. A. M. Garber, Jr., paid a visit to the offices of the paper to celebrate the newest volume.
(Names in announcement: Maj. A. M. GarberJr.)
To the Ladies and Gentlemen of Staunton and Vicinity
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Summary: Hawkins and Shearer announce to the ladies of Staunton that they have leased a room in which to set up a Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machine Office. They invite shoppers.
(Names in announcement: Hawkins, Shearer)
Valley Rail Road
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Summary: This article lists the amounts of various subscriptions to the Valley railroad. Importantly, the author expresses the need of further contributions from Augusta County. Subscriptions from other areas are contingent upon Augusta's contribution. Without it, the whole enterprise will fail. The article admonishes those who make excuses against the road.
Full Text of Article:

The terms upon which Baltimore offers to unite with us in building this road are these: That her subscription of $1,000,000 shall be made so soon as, and not until "the counties and towns in the Valley of Virginia" subscribe, at least, $1,000,000 more to the stock, and, further more, not until other corporations or persons, solvent and able to pay, subscribe $1,200,000 more, so that, before we can start we are bound to raise $3,200,000 of capital stock subscribed, of which $1,000,000, at least, must be subscribed by the counties and towns of the Valley. Of this sum, only $700,000 have been subscribed, and if Augusta refuses to subscribe it will be impossible to raise the amount elsewhere, and the whole grand enterprise must fail. Jefferson county, in West Virginia, with two railroads running right through its territory, and with two navigable roads, and a canal on its borders has just voted $200,000 to another Railroad which is to pass through it, and, this, too, while burdened with all the taxation which West Virginia radicalism can impose upon its people, for free schools, and for hordes of county officers, the support of whom we will escape. And shall Augusta, who boasts of her enterprise and public spirit--of being a live people, and full of the advanced ideas of modern progress--shall this great county, by holding back, absolutely defeat a Railroad, which Gen'l Lee has pronounced one of the most important and valuable works of the day! All the rest of the Capital is ready: Baltimore with her $1,000,000; Capitalists (some in England, we are informed) with $1,2000,000, Rockbridge having far less wealth than Augusta, with $400,000, Botetourt with $200,000, and Staunton with $100,000; all, await the action of Augusta. She is the key-stone of the arch; without her, the great enterprise must lie in ruins; with her aid, in ninety days, the contract will be at work in our midst. In the course of eighteen months, more than a million and a quarter of other peoples' money will be spent in the county; our farmers will have a home market for their products; our merchants in town and country, will thrive and prosper; money will circulate freely; hard times will become easy; and a new impulse be given to every interest and industry of the courts. In a word, as a shrewd business man remarked a day or two since: "The people of the county can clear the whole subscription in eighteen months, if they can have a million and a quarter of dollars spent in their midst at this time."

Let no man say, he will not vote for the road because it may not come near his farm, or until the road is located, or until officers are chosen acceptable to them, (as if officers would be selected or the road be located until the company is organized--as if the company could be organized, until Augusta votes her subscription), or because some body else, will make it for us, or it will make itself. Away with such suggestions; let us come forward like men, make up the company, choose the best men for office, (no body owns the offices or those who are to fill them), select the route best under all the circumstances, (that will be most likely to be chosen, along which road has most friends) put our own, shoulders, like Hercules, to the wheel, and push the car of our prosperity ahead, by helping ourselves, being well aware that if we don't help ourselves no body else will help us.

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Summary: William B. Dunlap and Miss Sarah C. Brown, both of Augusta, were married on March 20th by the Rev. D. B. Ewing.
(Names in announcement: William B. Dunlap, Sarah C. Brown, Rev. D. B. Ewing)
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Summary: David C. Trainum and Miss Frances L. Smith, both of Augusta, were married on March 24th by the Rev. D. B. Ewing.
(Names in announcement: David C. Trainum, Francis L. Smith, Rev. D. B. Ewing)
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Summary: James L. Dunlap and Miss Mary A. Kerr, both of Augusta, were married on March 27th by the Rev. D. B. Ewing.
(Names in announcement: James L. Dunlap, Mary A. Kerr, Rev. D. B. Ewing)
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Summary: Catharine McKee, wife of Samuel McKee, died near Middlebrook, Augusta County, on March 18th after a "painful illness of three weeks, which she bore with Christian patience."
(Names in announcement: Catharine McKee, Samuel McKee)

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