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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: October 27, 1870

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The Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: This article points out the many "fine arrangements" on display at the August County Fair, despite the numerous "croakers" on exhibition. The author points out the articles for the "industrious housewife," cattle and horses. Further, he describes the beautiful women of the Valley in attendance. An important aspect of this article suggests that despite all the difficulties experienced in the Valley of late, including droughts, floods, and Yankees, the spirit of the citizens has not flagged. Rather, these problems have pulled the people together in an effort to "redouble [their] energies" and rebuild.
Full Text of Article:

There were croakers before the Flood which drove Noah into the Ark; there were croakers when Adam entered Paradise on earth, the Garden of Eden, and there have been croakers ever since. Then, is it all surprising that there should have been some croakers on exhibition at the Augusta Agricultural Fair! It is a well established fact in the law of physiology, that crying is conducive to the health of babies. You may smile, dear reader, but it is so, however disagreeable the infantile refrain may grate on your highly cultivated taste for the divine art. The same theory will apply to the law of croakers.--Now we are not disposed to deprive them of their rights, and if croaking does them good, and they become fat on it, why, let them croak to their heart's content!

But at our recent Fair there were things our friends, the croakers, were ominously dumb upon. The fine arrangements for the exhibition of stock of every kind, and for the domestic and fancy articles of every industrious and good housewife, which speaks well for the tact, judgment and foresight of the officers of the society. The display of fine cattle, though not as numerous as on previous years, was unexcelled, and the same may be said of the blooded horses on exhibition. But the most attractive feature about the Fair was the scintillating eyes, rotund forms, and blooming cheeks of the mountain maids and lovely Valley girls. They were the admiration of all visitors from other sections of our glorious old State. They at least--if nothing else--were a decided success. Taking everything into consideration--the scorching drought the last season, and the late terrible and destructive flood--the fair was in every way a success; and the best proof of all is the balance in bank to the credit of the treasurer.

But a word about Fairs. We believe, in Fairs of every kind, from the little village church fair to the big State Fair. If there is any thing that acts as an incentive to develop the rich resources of our State, it is agricultural fairs. Men meet and exchange views and experiences on the various and best modes of enriching and a successful cultivation of the soil--what is best for that and this county or district; the yield of the different cerials; the proper care and best breeds of the different kinds of grazing and farming stock. In short, "what they know about farming?" If they do not go back to their homes richer they certainly do wiser men. Besides, the social annual reunions and cordial greetings of long separated friends, more than doubly repays the expense and time spent away from the firesides of "vrow" and "bairns," if you are so fortunate as have them; if not it may be the means of your getting a wife or fair sweetheart.

It is not once in ten years that a country is blighted with a scorching drought; it is not once in a hundred years that a country is visited with such a flood as the destructive one that has recently swept through our beautiful Valley carrying every thing before it; it is not once in a thousand years that a country is afflicted with such a Ghoul and barn burning villain as Swearing Phil Sheridan! Then, let us thank God for the respite and take courage, redouble our energies and our beautiful and fertile Valley will again bloom as the rose of Sharon.

The Nominee for Congress
(Column 01)
Summary: While the author of this article points out that many Conservative voters did not approve of the election of J.T. Harris to Congress, he nevertheless calls for conservative voters of all stripes to offer Harris their support. His point is that any opposition to Harris would split the Conservative party. Many "lower county" conservatives supported Harris, and to alienate them now would cause problems in later elections.
(Names in announcement: Judge J. T. Harris, A. H. H. Stuart)
Full Text of Article:

There is no disguising the fact that a large number of the Conservative voters of Augusta are opposed to the election of Judge J.T. Harris. This county was almost unanimously in favor of that purest of men and ablest of statesman, who would dignify and adorn the highest office within the gift of the people--the Hon. A.H.H. Stuart. But, unfortunately, fate was against us, and we have nothing now to do, but gracefully submit to the decision of the Convention, accept and heartily support the nominee. If we fail to do this, we will not only increase the probabilities of the election of an avowed Radical, lose, it may be, the valuable services of the Conservative standard-bearer, but we will engender a bitterness against us, in the hearts of the lower county men, who have shown such a decided preference for Judge Harris, which will be hard to overcome in future elections when Augusta's choice is in the field. We must care not to "bite off our nose to spite our own face." "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," and if we go against their choice they will as surely oppose ours. No, let it not be said, that Augusta was the first to sow discord in the ranks of the Conservative party, but let us, with a hearty good will, make a united and determined effort for Harris. He has given us every pledge that could be asked for or expected, and we will venture the assertion that, if elected, he will with unswerving fidelity redeem them.

Conservatives Beware!
(Column 02)
Summary: This article reveals the assumed evil designs of the radical candidate for Congress. All division within the conservative party should be overcome, otherwise, the divide and conquer plans of the Radicals will prevail. Voters should ignore Radical promises and vote Harris.
(Names in announcement: Judge Harris, Douglas Gray)
Full Text of Article:

The following card shows the game of the Radicals. They want division in the Conservative party and hope thus to slip in.--Let every Conservative do his duty and vote the regular ticket. Let none stay at home but come like true men and defeat the radicals, by voting for Judge Harris, the nominee of the party. Douglas Gray, Esq., is the regular candidate of the radicals and every vote withheld from Harris, is a vote for Gray:


I am a candidate to represent you in the next Congress of the United States.

I am a Republican, and if elected will act with the administration party in Congress.--I am for universal suffrage and universal amnesty, we have the one, I will, if elected, do my best to obtain the other.

I am for the honest payment of the National debt, and against repudiation in all its forms.

I am for equal civil and political rights, for all men, and for carrying out the new State Constitution in its letter and spirit, including the free school system, and the homestead.

Fellow-citizens, I have not always been in accord with you in political sentiment, it has been an honest difference of opinion. I have never endeavored to deceive you and you have always known where to find me.

If elected I will try to serve you with honesty and fidelity.

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Gwine to 'Sert Her Rights
(Column 01)
Summary: This article recounts the story of a black woman who was not allowed in the ladies' car on the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad. She protested to the conductor and demanded her rights as protected by the 15th amendment.
Full Text of Article:

A gentle colored maiden, through whose veins courses the purest and evenest African blood, and who knows all about the 15th amendment, passed up on the Chesapeake & Ohio road, on Monday last, to Swoope's Depot where she left the cars for the alleged reason that the Conductor wouldn't allow her to occupy the ladies' car. She remained at Swoope's until yesterday when, intending to resume her journey she again attempted to enter the ladies car, but, alas, the Conductor happened to be in the immediate vicinity of the door, and when he opened it, (he having previously heard of her partiality for that particular car) he took her by the arm with one hand and resting his other on her beautifully rounded shoulders, gallanted her to another car, where she sat down and proceeded to tell him how she 'lowed to fetch the 15th amendment on to him. The last the conductor heard was: "I knows my rites an' am gwine to 'sert 'em."

Sad Case of Suicide
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. A. Thompson Nichols of West Virginia shot himself on board a train of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad while travelling with his wife's casket to her funeral in Waynesboro. Nichols' brother-in-law, Mr. Bell, accompanied him. "The death of Mrs. Nichols was very sudden and unexpected, and cast a deep gloom over the family circle, more especially her husband, so much as to produce insanity on the cars." Dr. McChesney treated him upon arrival in Staunton but could not save him.
(Names in announcement: A. Thompson Nichols, Mrs. Nichols, Mr. Bell, Dr. McChesney)
(Column 01)
Summary: J. Frank Swink and Miss Susan C. Buchanan, both of Augusta, were married on October 18th by the Rev. A. A. J. Bushong.
(Names in announcement: J. Frank Swink, Susan C. Buchanan, Rev. A. A. J. Bushong)
(Column 01)
Summary: J. W. Engleman and Miss Mollie E. Ruebush, both of Augusta, were married on October 9th at the residence of the bride's parents by the Rev. J. W. Nott.
(Names in announcement: J. W. Engleman, Mollie E. Ruebush, Rev. J. W. Nott)
(Column 01)
Summary: George G. Strayer of Rockingham and Miss Fannie T. Kemper, daughter of B. F. Kemper of Augusta, were married on October 18th by the Rev. John W. Wolfe.
(Names in announcement: George G. Strayer, Fannie T. Kemper, B. F. Kemper, Rev. John W. Wolfe)
(Column 01)
Summary: Hattie Brown, daughter of Cyrus Brown of Waynesboro, died on October 7th.
(Names in announcement: Hattie Brown, Cyrus Brown)
(Column 01)
Summary: Effie Louis Ide, daughter of E. Louis and Sallie A. E. Ide, died on October 14th. She was 3 years old.
(Names in announcement: Effie Louis Ide, E. Louis Ide, Sallie A. E. Ide)

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