Valley of the Shadow
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Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad

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General Lee's Opinion of its Practicability and Importance.

Letter from the Hon. John B. Baldwin

LEXINGTON, VA., May 20, 1867,

MY DEAR SIR-The documents relating to the Covington and Ohio railroad which you had the kindness to send me, give the pleasing assurance, as far as I have been able to examine them, of the practicability of completing that great work. The cautious estimate of Mr. Whitcomb, superintendent of the Virginia Central Railroad, gives the cost of finishing the road to the point of steamboat navigation on the Kanawha at $5,700,000-and he shows very satisfactorily from the steady increase of receipts which has attended every extension of the road that the company can undertake the work, and pay out of its net revenues the interest on the amount required for each additional stage of the road besides the interest on its present debt. When the road shall reach the point of communication with the steamers from the Ohio, there will be such a large and increasing business, that I think there can be no doubt that its completion will be ensured to any point desired; and with a maxim grade of less than 30 feet per mile, what mountains of merchandize can be transported from the western rivers to the waters of the Atlantic!-Taking Cincinnati as the centre of this trade, the transportation by this route will not only be shorter in miles as stated in the reports than the more Northern routes, but will be the easiest, and will beet with the least interruption in winter, and the freight over the road can at all times be landed at points accessible to ocean steamers. When these facts are known, there will be, I hope, no difficulty in procuring the requisite funds, as capitalists can feel assured of the payment of their interest and principal.

Wishing every success to the road,

I am, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee.


STAUNTON, June 5th, 1867.

Robert H. Maury, Esq.:

MY DEAR SIR-Yours of the 4th instant is just received, and I hasten to reply. The letter of General Lee was written in answer to one from me, sending him a copy of the pamphlet published by our commissioners. The letter of such a man, on such a subject, containing no restriction upon the use to be made of it, I regard as public property, and as such you are at liberty to use it. I sent the original to a friend in New York, who takes a lively interest in the success of the Covington and Ohio Road, and who, in acknowledging the receipt of it says: "The letter of General R. E. Lee will be valuable not only for the furtherance of the enterprise, but, to me, it will be a souvenir which will be kept with great care as coming from a great and good man; a man whose character in my estimation has no superior."

I see from the Dispatch, of this morning, that our contract has been signed, at Wheeling, by the West Virginia Commissioners, and I hope that the meeting called for Friday night is an earnest of the purpose of the Central Railroad and the City of Richmond to enter at once upon this great work with a full sense of hits vital importance to every interest in Virginia an especially to all that concerns the manufacturing and commercial future of the State.

I wish I could be present at the meeting, but I find that professional and private business, too long postponed for matters of mere public concern, imperatively demands my present undivided attention.

The more I think of the arrangement made with the Central Railroad the better I like it, and the more I see in it of hope and promise for the great work about which we have thought and talked and worked so earnestly together.-Allow me to state very briefly a few of the reasons which give me such encouragement.

1. The Covington and Ohio Road, standing alone, has had merit enough to attract the earnest interest of such men as Pell, and Cottenet, and Grinnell, and Cutting, and Fish, and to induce them to make active efforts to obtain the funds by negotiation in Europe, to enable them to undertake and construct the road as and an independent work. These gentlemen are no mere speculators or charter brokers; they stand in the very front rank of intelligent, sagacious men of capital and of character, whose well considered approval of the enterprise goes as far as human judgment can, to stamp the work as one of real, substantial merit.

2. These gentlemen, when planning the construction of the Covington and Ohio road, as an independent work, as a matter of course had in their contemplation the benefits and advantages to be derived from a connection with the Virginia Central road, as a means of receiving and forwarding trade and travel. But they had no expectation of any financial connection between the two roads, and certainly they never anticipated the possibility of making an arrangement by which the two roads, when completed, should be worked together in such a manner as to give to the Covington and Ohio road the entire earnings of their whole line, to the extent of 8 percent. Upon its full cost before the Central road should receive one dollar, and yet this is the effect of our recent contract.

3. The whole line from Richmond to the Ohio is 428 miles long, of which the Covington and Ohio is 223 miles and the Central is 205 miles. If completed, and worked as separate establishments, having all the benefits of the connection in trade and travel, but with distinct accounts and profits there could be no doubt that the Central road of 205 miles would be far more valuable and profitable than the Covington and Ohio road of 223 miles. The new arrangement, however, proposes that all the profits shall go to the Covington and Ohio road until they reach 8 per cent upon the outlay for its construction, and then that Central road shall begin its receipts out of the common earnings.

4. The stockholders of the Central railroad could never have been induced to consent to such an arrangement except upon the conviction that the road when completed to the Ohio river, will pay 8 per cent on the entire cost, and thus in the end bring about equally among the owners of the two divisions of the road.-It may be that the real result will fall somewhat short of this expectation, but it is hardly possible that it will fail so entirely as not to insure the eight per cent. upon the outlay for the Covington and Ohio road. A profit of four or five per cent. on the entire line would be ample to meet the requirement of the eight percent. preferred stock, and the experience of all the great through lines establishes such a result as among the certainties of railroad enterprise.-Even the Central road, in its incomplete state, before the war, was actually paying six per cent. on its debt and five percent. On its stock besides setting apart a sinking fund.

5. The best consideration I have been able to give the subject satisfies me beyond a doubt that the preferred stock for completing the Covington and Ohio road will be a reliable eight per cent. stock free from taxation. If this conviction can be impressed upon the minds of capitalists the making of the road may be considered an accomplished fact, and it seems to me that just here is the point to which we should address our first and most earnest efforts. We must render this eight per cent. certain beyond controversy and palpable to the most common observation. To do this, it has occurred to me, is the proper mission of the cities of Richmond, Petersburg and Norfolk.-Let these three cities unite in a guarantee that this preferred stock shall, either permanently or for a given number of years, yield eight per cent. and let them make efficient and reliable preparation to make good this guarantee by a reliable contribution of any deficiency and I think the stock would pass in every market for what it professes to be-an eight per cent. stock free from taxation. In any ordinary times such a stock for a Virginia enterprise would find a home market and even in these times it could hardly fail to command the capital required.

6. Upon the whole I begin to feel a conviction that this great enterprise must go on under some auspices and in some form or other. The line when completed will have such advantages of distance, grades, curves, climate, local business and through connections, that it cannot much longer escape the attention of sagacious capitalists as a railroad merely, and its importance as the best and shortest outlet for the great products of the West seeking the eastern markets will command the interest of all engaged in that great commerce. The road will be built, and if fairly and justly managed it must do more to build up every Virginia interest than any thing that has been done in the way of internal improvement, or than all that has been done put together. It should not, however, escape the attention of our people that the control of such a line is an object to be struggled for, and that already there are symptoms of a movement having in view that object, and looking to connections which may go far to deprive us of the chief advantages of the work. I hope the people of Virginia will be wise in time, and will secure not only the first fruits, but the great harvest to be expected from this long hoped for improvement.

I find and I have written you at greater length than I intended. I know the interest you feel in the subject, and you know that I never tire of talking and writing about it.

Yours truly,


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Register! Register!!

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The registration of voters for the 1st 2nd, and 3rd Districts will commence on Saturday next, and 22nd of June, and continue, one week only, to Saturday, the 29th of June-not to the 29th of July, as erroneously published in the advertisement of the "Registration Notice" last week. The places of registration for these districts are the following: For the 1st District, the Courthouse; for the 2nd, the Market House, in Staunton, and for the 3rd, Middle brook.

But comparatively few will be disfranchised, if the citizens generally avail themselves of the opportunity to register as they should certainly do. No one not disfranchised by the law should suffer himself to be disfranchised by his own neglect or refusal to register. It is unfortunately true that the time allowed for registering is very short, and that the time appointed occurs at a very busy season of the year, yet no one should allow anything but positive physical inability to prevent him from registering within the time assigned. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of registering. No one can possibly ever have any cause to regret that he registered, but he may have, and most certainly will have, cause to regret that he failed to do when the opportunity was presented. From the 22nd to the 29th of this month the opportunity to acquire the privilege of voting will be presented-after that time, it will be too late, and the opportunity will be lost forever. Don't hesitate, don't delay, but go at once to the place of registering and have yourself enrolled a voter. It matters not whether you wish to vote at the next election or not, you should acquire the right to vote, that you may vote when you may wish to do so. As we have frequently said, we think that all who can should not only register but vote. The first duty is to register, and none should fail to do so. There will be time enough, after registering, to consider the propriety of voting. If we could speak with the voice of a trumpet, we would din the ears of all male citizens over twenty-one years of age with the emphatic admonition: Register! REGISTER!! REGISTER!!!

Every citizen is entitled to register and vote who is not forbidden by the three following circumstances combined, namely:

1st. He must have held some State or Federal office before the war.

2nd. He must, as such officer, have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.

3rd. He must, after having done these things, have given aid and comfort to the war in some practical and voluntary manner.

Unless all these things combine, no one is disfranchised. That is to say, those who may have held office and sworn to support the Constitution, can register if they did not afterwards aid the rebellion, and all who aided the rebellion in any way can register and vote if they did not hold an office and take an oath to support the Constitution.

A Reason for Registering

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A circular issued from the office of the "American Union," at Harrisonburg-the object of which is to induce the Freedmen to register an devote for Radicals-is being distributed by Radical white men and negroes to the colored voters of this county. This should be sufficient to arouse every good citizen to the importance of registering. Let none fail to register. Those who fail to register will be, politically, the inferiors of the negroes-the negroes will be privileged to vote and they will not be. Those, therefore, who wish to be elevated to political equality with the negroes, must REGISTER.

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The Result Doubtful

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In view of the inexcusable apathy of the better portion of our people, and the thorough organization of the Radicals and Freedmen, we think the elections in this State will be very close and the result extremely doubtful. This apprehension is confirmed by the confidence of Senator Wilson. In a speech delivered by him in the African Church in Richmond on Wednesday night last, he said:

"I have no time now, Mr. Chairman, to utter my sentiments at length, but can only refer to the record left on a trip from Orange Courthouse to New Orleans, to which every one can refer. I must, however, congratulate you upon the absolute certainty of the fact that the State of Virginia will be carried by an overwhelming vote for the great Republican party. All in doubt in the minds of men North and South are now removed, and I wish the prediction noted that the State will elect a Convention of uncompromising Radicals, change the Constitution, conform it to the will of Congress, elect a Republican Governor, Legislature, and a majority of the members of Congress.. The Old Dominion in this year of our Lord 1867 will place herself fairly and squarely by the side of New England, the Central States, and the great Northwest, in the foremost rank of the army of freedom, equal rights, justice, and humanity."

Colored Women

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Outrageous Conduct

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Charlie Evans (colored) was arrested by Serg't Nicholas on Monday morning last for being intoxicated, and riding his horse at break-neck speed through the streets, taken before Mayor Sibert and fined $5 and costs.

Later in the day, after the negro tournament was over, at which Charlie was the successful knight, he went into the kitchen of the American Hotel, and attempted to throw his arms around a white lady employed there as a stewardess. He did not succeed in his purpose, but said he intended to "hug her and the landlady and her daughter," as he was as good as any white man.

He was again arrested and lodged in jail. On Tuesday morning he brought before the Mayor, fined $100 and costs, and required to give security in a bond of $100, for his good behavior for twelve months.

Charlie was under bond in the sum of $50 to keep the peace, at the time of his arrest for an offence committed some weeks since, which bond has been forfeited by his more recent lawless conduct.

Such outrageous conduct is too intolerable to be borne. If the negroes will not behave themselves, then they must suffer the consequences. Such insults to respectable white females is intolerable, and there will be a terrible atonement demanded if again repeated.-Rockingham Register.

"Choose ye Between the Two"

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When rouges fall out honest men get their dues, but when the rogues band together for common plunder, then honest men must league for common defense. There is conspiracy concocted to despoil white men of their birthright, to transfer the curse from HAM to SHEM-to convert the South into an African desert and Virginia into a negro colony-to drive out the white man, or to make him the hewer of wood and carrier of water for his dusky lords of African descent.

White men, do you want to be slaves of your former slaves? then fail to register. Do you want to give up your homes, your altars, the land of your birth, and the ashes of your fathers? Fail to register.

Fail to register-and the black cloud of negro barbarism, more terrible than Egyptian darkness, will encompass and envelope you in the hopeless horrors of a helpless despair.

But go forward and register like men, and you will rescue your State government from the hands of those who threaten to usurp it.-Norfolk Virginian

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Local News--Augusta Female Seminary

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The public exercises connected with the closing session of the Augusta Female Seminary took place on Wednesday and Thursday evenings last. On Wednesday evening, the teachers and pupils of the Seminary and a large concourse of ladies, gentlemen, and young people, assembled in the Presbyterian Church, where, after prayer by the Rev. Dr. Moore, of Richmond, and music by the choir, Certificates and Diplomas were delivered to those of the pupils whose scholarship merited these testimonials. The following is a list of graduates in the schools named, respectively:

English Literature.-Nannie Link, Nannie I. Gooch, Carrie Heiskell, Cornelia M. Patterson, Sue Allen, Nellie S. Burr, Lila Scheffer, Kitty Estell, Maggie Taylor, Mollie Hawkins, Cornelia Weade, Agnes Montgomery, and Annie Fulton.

Natural Philosophy.-Bettie K. Guy, Eliza Gibson, Mary L. Glendy, Cornelia M. Patterson, Mattie L. Tate.

Chemistry.-Bettie K. Guy, Mattie L. Tate, Laura V. Howard, Kate King, Lizzie W. Harris, and Mary R. Gamble.

Mathematics.-Maggie V. Howard, Laura V. Howard, Ella M. Allen, Bettie K. Guy, and Cornelia M. Patterson.

Mental and Moral Science.-Elizabeth R. Preston, Nannie I. Gooch, Maggie V. Howard, Nannie T. Thornton, Nellie S. Burr, Mary R. Gamble, Letitia R. Smiley, Nannie D. Bell, Lizzie D. Bell, Lizzie W. Harris, and Ella M. Allen.

French.-Cornelia M. Patterson and Mattie L. Tate.

Latin.-Lucy B. Cambell, Nannie T. Thornton, Mattie L. Tate, Cornelia M. Patterson, and Bettie J. Johnston.

The following young ladies have completed the prescribed course of study at the Seminary and being Proficients in all the schools, received diplomas as full graduates: Misses BETTIE K. GUY, MATTIE L. TATE and CORNELIA M. PATTERSON. In order to become a full graduate the pupil must be proficient in the following studies: 1, English Literature; 2, History; 3, Mental and Moral Science; 4, Mathematics, including Algebra, Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, and Conic Sections; 5, Natural Philosophy; 6, Chemistry; 7, One Ancient Language; and 8, One Modern Language.

The Rev. Dr. Moore then delivered an address to the young ladies of the Seminary. It is impossible for us, in the limited space at our command, to give a sketch of this admirable address, which was replete with humor, pathos, and wholesome instruction. All who were present pronounced it a perfect gem of its kind. The performances of the choir added much to the interest of the occasion, and we are sure the entire assemblage was highly gratified with all the exercises of the evening.

On Thursday evening, a musical entertainment was given in the principal school-room of the Seminary. A very large audience, overflowing into other rooms and the porticoes, testified their interest by remaining till a late hour of a sultry night. A number of pieces were performed on pianos with a degree of skill which, we are told by better judges than we pretend to be, would have excited the admiration of the most accomplished musicians. The Cantata of the Spring Holiday was then performed or rendered (we confess our ignorance as to the proper term), under the leadership of Dr. Brown. It was the first performance of the kind we had ever attended, and we can best express our appreciation and enjoyment to fit by saying that, late as the hour was, we regretted at the close that the performance was over.

The young ladies of this school, from abroad, whose presence has enlivened our town during the past session, have now dispersed to their respective homes, and our best wishes for continued health and happiness attended them. The number of pupils last year was ninety-six and of teachers, ten. We congratulate all connected with the Seminary upon its highly flourishing condition and prospects, in common with the similar institutions located here, in which our whole community is so deeply interested.

Local News--Committee and Railroad Meeting

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By reference to advertisement headed, "To the people of Augusta," the names of the persons may be seen who were appointed a committee to enabling the Va. Central R. R. Company to fulfill the conditional contract for completing the Covington & Ohio Railroad. The persons composing that committee are earnestly requested by the Chairman, Col. John B. Baldwin, to meet at the Court House, on Monday, the 24th inst.

By reference to the advertisement headed, "Covington & Ohio Railroad," it will be seen that the Directors have made it the duty of E. Fontaine, President of the Va. Central R. R. Company, to call public meetings to promote the success of the conditional contract entered into by that Company to complete the Covington and Ohio Railroad, and that he requests the people of this county to meet at the Court House, on Monday next, the 24th inst., to consider that subject, and, also, to appoint delegated to the White Sulphur Convention on the 10th of July. We hope the attendance will be full, and that proper action may be taken.


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