Valley of the Shadow
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Grand Conservative State Convention

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Our readers will thank us for devoting so much of our space in this issue to the publication of the proceedings of the Grand Conservative State Convention, which assembled in Richmond, on Wednesday last, the 11th inst. It was in the most emphatic sense a great grand and glorious Convention. It was great in numbers, intelligence, character and patriotism; grand in its high, pure, and noble purposes, and glorious in its spirit, harmony, good feeling, and the successful accomplishment of the important objects for which it assembled. The assemblage in one body of the representative intelligence, virtue and patriotism of this grand "Old Commonwealth." Presented a sublime spectacle. It furnished incontestable evidence that the spirit still survives which will ultimately rescue Virginia from the disastrous fate which threatens, and will enable her sons to sing the songs of triumph, and to glory in the restoration of the constitutional liberty. The fires of liberty are still burning brightly upon the altars of their hearts, and they are justly inspired with the hope that, if they do their whole duty manfully and resolutely, success will crown their patriotic efforts to save Virginia from a worse fate than has ever befallen so deserving a people, and will rescue her from the outrageous tyranny of Radical rule, and the humiliation and degradation of negro domination.

The resolutions, unanimously adopted by the Convention, will meet the approbation of our people. It is useless to say that we endorse them cordially, for they express the same views which we have entertained and expressed, from week to week, in these columns from the close of the war to the present time. In the advocacy of them, there has been, on our part, no variableness or shadow of turning-we have been as true to them as the needle to the pole. Our good and patriotic people will, we know, endorse them as heartily as ourselves.

They will, also, approve the system of organization adopted by the Convention. It is the same that this good Old County inaugurated at the last County Court, at the wise suggestion of her distinguished son-Col. John B. Baldwin. He was the author of the plan of organization adopted by the State Convention. Augusta had the honor of furnishing the permanent President of that large and able body of men, and, also, as just remarked, the author of the plan of organization adopted by it.

Mr. Stuart presided with dignity, ability and efficiency. The brief address delivered by him on taking the Chair was recognized by all as exceedingly appropriate to the times and the occasion. We heard many express their sentiments in reference to it. All concurred in cordial approval. Besides these distinguished men, Augusta County had other representatives in the Convention of more than ordinary ability, among them, Thomas J. Michie, Esq. We felt proud of the number, and the intelligence, and the character of the Augusta delegation.-Verily, when asked for her jewels, Augusta County, like the mother of the Gracchi, can triumphantly point to her sons.

It now devolves upon her less distinguished, but not less patriotic, sons to do their duty.-The hopes of Virginia now rest especially, if not wholly, upon the action of her obscure, but patriotic, sons. She expects every native son of hers to do his duty, and also every resident within her borders who wears a white skin-nature's livery of the superior race. It is in vain that Generals plan battles, if their soldiers will not fight. It is in vain that the assembled wisdom of the State have adopted a plan of organization, if the masses of the people shall fail to do the duty assigned them. Every man, without exception, has a great and solemn duty to perform. The failure of one man to do his duty, may result in the utter ruin of the State. We would earnestly urge upon each and every one to resolve to do his duty to his State, to himself, his wife and children. The dearest interest of all are now imperiled. Every other consideration should now be subordinated to the rescue of the State from Radical rule, which involves loss of liberty, tyrannous proscription and oppressive taxation, and from negro domination which involves humiliation, degradation and a war of races, which would be a ruthless war of extermination, sparing neither age nor sex. Woe to the man, clothed in the livery of the superior race, who shall fail to labor for the rescue of his State and people. He will be ostracized from society, he will be pointed at with the finger of scorn-in a word, he will be anathema maranatha.

Editorial Communion

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Editorial Convention

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The circular addressed to the Editors of the conservative papers of this State by the Editors of Staunton, suggesting the propriety of conferring together that the Press of the State might act in concert in the approaching election in which the fate of Virginia will be determined, was responded to most favorably, and in compliance therewith, the Editors of most of the Conservative journals of the State met in Convention on the evening of the 12th inst., in one of the parlors of the Ballard House in Richmond-an elegant room provided for them for that purpose by the liberal and generous-hearted proprietors of that large and excellent Hotel-Messrs Jno P. Ballard & Sons.

Maj. J. H. KELLEY of the Fredericksburg Herald, was elected President, and Jas. A. Cowardin, Senr., of the Richmond Dispatch, was elected Secretary of the Convention. When the Convention was thus organized, W. H. H. Lynn, of the Staunton Vindicator, offered a resolution approbating the action of the Conservative State Convention, and pledging the Conservative press to earnest support of its policy.

R. W. Hunter of the Winchester Times, objecting to its phraseology, on motion of R. H. Glass, of the Lynchburg Republican, the Chair appointed the following committee of five to prepare business for the consideration of the Convention.

Glass, of the Lynchburg Republican; Coman of the Enquirer and Examiner; Hunter of the Winchester Times; Bouldin of the Danville Times; Mauzy of the Staunton Spectator.

The committee reported the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:

Resolved, That we approve the action taken by the Conservative Convention of the State of Virginia, which adjourned this day, and that we congratulate the people of Virginia upon the wisdom and patriotism which have characterized their representatives in said Convention.

On motion of Mr. A. M. Garber, of the Valley Virginian, modified by several amendments,

Resolved, That it is the desire of this Convention to form an association, to be known as the Associated Press of Virginia.

Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed by the President of this Convention to draft a constitution and by-laws for such an association.

The President appointed the following gentlemen to compose the committee:

Messrs. Cowardin of the Dispatch, McDonald of the Whig, Coleman of the Enquirer and Examiner, Foster of the Norfolk Day Book, and Button of the Lynchburg Virginian.

On motion of Dr. George W. Barby, of the Native Virginian,

Resolved, That the thanks of this convention be tendered to Messrs. Ballard & Sons for the use of their rooms during our session.

On motion of Mr. Little, of the Fredericksburg News, the convention then adjourned.

On the adjournment of the convention, tickets were presented to the Editors inviting them to partake of a banquet tendered them by Messrs. Jno. P Ballard & Sons . At half past 9 o'clock P. M. they were invited to enter the banquet hall where stood a long table tastefully decorated and filled with the most delicious delicacies that ever tempted the appetite or gratified the palate of the most fastidious epicure. We adopt the report of the Enquirer and Examiner, which is as follows:

"The affair was organized by selecting the elder Mr. Cowardin, of the Dispatch, as President of the board, with Messrs. George W. Bagby, of the Native Virginian, , and George R. Barr of the Abingdon Virginian, as vice presidents.

On either hand of the president appeared Messrs. A. H. H. Stuart and John B. Baldwin, well known to the country as among the ablest and noblest of Virginia's sons, who had been invited as guests on the occasion. Besides these gentlemen, were present Messrs. Washington, of the National Intelligencer, Hotchkiss, formerly of Stonewall Jackson's staff, Zeph. Turner, of the county of Rappahannock, and F. R. Farrar, of Amelia county, ("Johnny Reb.") The assemblage of editors comprised members of the fraternity from all parts of the State and presented an array of talent, genius, learning and patriotic devotion to State and country such as it is difficult to bring together. Indeed, we think we are not claiming too much for the fraternity in saying that, this assemblage of the gentlemen of the editorial profession contained as great an amount of these qualities as can be found in an equal number of gentlemen from any other calling.

It is hardly necessary to say that the ample supply of delicious viands, wines, liquors, and cigars provided by Messrs. Ballard & Sons, the liberal hosts, received entire justice at the hands of all present. After these things had been satisfactorily discussed and disposed of, the "feast of reason and flow of soul" began.-Some of the regular toasts were as follows:

"Virginia." Responded to by Col. R. E. Withers, of the Lynchburg News, in a most happy strain of patriotic devotion to the grand Commonwealth, "the mother of us all," as he feelingly described her.

"The Union and the Constitution." Responded to by James McDonald, Esq., of the Whig with marked ability and just appreciation of the blessings of Constitutional liberty under a Constitutional Union.

"Andrew Johnson, President of the United States." Responded to by Ro. H. Glass, Esq., of the Lynchburg Republican.

"The Conservative Press of the Northern States." Responded to by L. Q. Washington, Esq., of the National Intelligencer.

Besides these, quite a number of other regular toasts and some volunteer ones were appropriately responded to by Messrs. Stuart, Baldwin, Hotchkiss, Turner, Farrar, Button of the Lynchburg Virginian, Cameron, of the Petersburg Index, Garber of the Valley Virginian, Wartman of the Staunton Spectator, Lynn of the Staunton Vindicator, Bouldin of the Danville Times, Finks of the Warrenton Index, Cannon of the Warrenton Sentinel, Little of the Fredericksburg News, Hunter of the Winchester Times, Sheets of the Leesburg Mirror, Houston of the Fincastle Herald, Lyle of the Christiansburg Southwest, Foster of the Norfolk Day Book, Barr of the Abingdon Virginian, Bagby of the Native Virginian, the elder and the younger Cowardin of the Dispatch, Shields and Gilman of the Whig and others.

We regret that our space precludes a further notice of this pleasant affair, but cannot omit to mention the graceful manner in which Mr. John P. Ballard, the veteran of Virginia hotel proprietors, and his genial whole-soul, stirring and accommodating sons, expressed their appreciation of the complimentary toasts proposed in their honor.

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I have been placed upon the committee to canvas the county in favor of a subscription by the people of $300,000 to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, without my consent.

In view of the embarrassed and impoverished condition of our people, in my opinion it would be unwise for them to assume, at present, any additional burdens.

First and most of all, we want repose from the mad and reckless party strife which have continued to agitate and distract our beloved country. When wicked party struggles for political ascendancy shall subside, and a patriotic devotion to the best interests of our country shall have taken their place-when law and order shall be re-established, and we once more become a united people under the sacred provisions of our constitution; and when we have regained our liberty, and the blessings of peace return to abide with us, we may embark in public enterprises, and devote our surplus means if we have any, to grand schemes of internal improvement. But can railroads relieve us from a grinding despotism, or return us a voice in the government, or add one guarantee to any one of our rights as a free people? And without security for life, liberty and property, what use have we for railroads?


Our County Roads

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MR. EDITOR.-It is true we have much, so very much, to occupy our attention, in these trying times, that this subject may be regarded by many as too trivial to waste a thought upon. But as we are endeavoring to recover our condition before the war, in almost every respect, it certainly will not be argued that our roads are unnecessary to that end. To a stranger from one of the States North of us, Pennsylvania for instance, who may pass through our county, in any direction, will conclude we are rapidly approaching that normal condition, when sleds only were used and tobacco hogsheads were rolled to market. Where is the blame to lie for want of better roads? Is it in the system, or the shameful manner in which it is carried out? It rests at the door of both, but as no hope of change can be entertained, can not the present system be improved? Unquestionably it can. If the County Court, aided by the Attorney for the Commonwealth would scan more closely the character and qualification of the surveyors appointed, the first step would be taken. To travel over the county just after the 1st of June, or 1st of November, and see the manner in which some of our most important roads are worked, you would conclude that some of our surveyors had not been gifted with a quantum of brains equal to that contained in the head of that famous bird which, by its cackling, on a certain night, saved the city of Rome from pillage and destruction. But I want to enlist the attention of Court, surveyors and people on this subject, and will recur to it, with your permission, again.


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Local News

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Local News--Pickpockets

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Local News--Tribute of Respect

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At a special communication of Staunton Lodge, No. 13, of Free and Accepted Masons, held at the Masonic Hall, on Monday evening, October 21st, A. L. 5867, A. D. 1867.

The death of Brother ERASMUS STRIBLING TROUT being announced by the Wor. Master-Brothers A. M. Fauntleroy, E. L. Edmondson and C. S. Arnall were appointed a committee to prepare and report a preamble and resolution, expressive of the sorrow of the Lodge for the death of our beloved Brother, Erasmus Stribling Trout-

And at a special communication of the lodge, held on Tuesday evening, October 22nd, the committee appointed for that purpose submitted a preamble and resolutions which were adopted in the words following, to wit:

Whereas, After a lingering and painful sickness, death has taken from us our highly respected and cherished friend and Brother Mason, Erasmus Stribling Trout, therefore be it

Resolved, That whilst deeply deploring and lamenting his early death, we should bow in humble submission to the dispensation of Almighty God.

Resolved, That we recognize in his death, the loss to our Society of a valued and worthy member to our Order, that of a man, noble, kind, just and true.

Resolved, That we tender to his family our deeply and sincerely felt sympathy.

Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be communicated to the family of our deceased Brother, by the Secretary, and that he furnish a copy to the newspapers of the town for publication.

Conservative Convention

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The Convention of the white people of Virginia-who are the people of Virginia-called to consider the condition of the country and devise measures necessary to preserve the dignity, peace, and prosperity of the State at this period of apprehension and peril, assembled in the Theatre in Richmond, Dec. 11, at 11 o'clock. The original call for this meeting was issued by the Executive Committee of the Conservative Party of Richmond. The demand for such a convention-for a free conference of the Commonwealth-under the public exigency, was so apparent that the Richmond Committee very properly took the initiative, and their call met universal approval and concurrence throughout the State. The result was exhibited in the grand assemblage.

We have not in our day beheld such a body of the representative men of the State. It embraces the first talent and weight of character of the people. Its numbers were large, and its dignity remarkable. The peril of the day added force o the august character of the assembly. The earnestness and the manly and determined expression of every face gave the fitting appearance of an earnest body of men, loyal and true in their grand allegiance to their country and their God.

The list of delegates includes some of the greatest men of the State, some of whom (in advanced age) speak to us as ambassadors from the heroic and virtuous age which achieved the independence of the United States, and gave to them the noble institutions that have conferred so much security, prosperity, and fame upon the nation-institutions which, rightly and honestly administered, would have perpetually secured these great objects and ends of society. The sage counsels of these venerable citizens it is the good fortune of the Convention to possess.

The contemplation of such a body of men taking counsel amongst themselves as to how to save the State from the worst of evils was most cheering to all who had the good fortune to be present. Its action must be salutary and effective.


AT 11 o'clock the Convention as called to order by the Hon. Willoughby Newton, who nominated as temporary chairman the venerable Thomas J. Randolph, of Albemarle (the grandson of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of Virginia.)

The nomination was unanimously carried, and Mr. R. T. Daniel of Richmond, at the request of Mr. Newton, conducted Mr. Randolph to the chair; upon assuming which he thus addressed the Convention:

Gentlemen of the Convention,--Some forty or fifty years ago a good many young men had assembled, and proceeded to organize a convention, and looking over the list of names proposed for the various officers of it, they found one old gentleman, and as he was fit for nothing else, they determined to make him temporary chairman. I presume I am entitled to the same consideration. [Laughter.]

Gentlemen, when the election for the so-called Convention, or whatever it is, which is now sitting in the capitol of this State, took place, the fact was made known of a perfect organization and entire array of race against race, and that the negroes, under the guidance of a few renegades, had ranged themselves against the white people of the State. [Applause.] This fact brought to the mind of every man in the community, in the course of four and twenty hours, a sense of danger, and the necessity which existed for the organization amongst the white men of a White Man's party. [Applause.] It is apparent, then, that the grand object of the assembling of this Convention was with a view to this end; and there never has been a period on the history of this country, when, as the French man said "a great talent for silence" was so eminently required as at this time and in this Convention. [Applause.] When General Lee surrendered, the people of Virginia submitted absolutely, unconditionally unreservedly, and in good faith, to the authority of the United States Government. Whatever opinions had been previously entertained upon the doctrine of secession were at once abandoned as impracticable. The people of Virginia have fully, unreservedly, persistently, and most faithfully observed that obedience to the laws and authority of the United States. They have not forfeited that ancient sobriquet of Virginia which in the "early days" she acquired, of "Law-abiding Virginia."

Gentlemen, we are not to think of the idea, nor is it to be for a moment entertained, that this perfect and absolute submission to the authority of the United States will argue in us any lessened love of liberty and deviation from the path of honor-that, gentlemen, in the heart of Virginians, is impossible. The old grandame, with her little nurslings grouped around her, recounting to them the deeds, and virtues, and fame, of their ancestor; the mother, with her modest daughter, inspiring a love of liberty; the father and son aspiring to the fame of their ancestors-a perfect love of liberty and the duties of truth and courage. [Applause.] National liberty should be forever dear to every southern heart. It was imperishable on the field of battle among our perishing patriots-it has been indestructible amid the conflagration of the cities, towns, and dwellings of our country.

We may look forward, gentlemen, with full faith in the assurance of a day of relief. [Applause.] I thank you, gentlemen, for the honor you have done me.

On motion of Mr. Z. Turner, the proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Dr. Hoge, who invoked the throne of Divine Grace, in a language both feeling and appropriate, to guide the counsels of the Convention to the best results for the good of society and the State.

On motion of Mr. Christian, of Augusta, the editors of the Whig, Enquirer, and Dispatch, were appointed temporary secretaries of the Convention.

On motion of Christian, the rules of the House of Delegates were adopted for the government of the Convention.

On motion of Mr. Z. Turner, a committee of thirteen was appointed by the Chair to recommend officers for the permanent organization of the Convention, consisting of the following gentlemen: Z. Turner, of Rappahannock; Bolivar Christian, of Augusta; W. R. Staples, of Montgomery; O. R. Funsten, of Clarke; E. C. Burks, of Bedford; Wm. Martin, of Henry; A. D. Dickinson, of Prince Edward; Robert Whitehead, of Nelson; Raleigh T. Daniel of Richmond; R. H. Coleman, of Caroline; John Goode, of Norfolk; James M. Wilcox, of Charles City; and m. R. Garnett, of Essex.

The committee retired, and the calling of the role was commenced by the Secretaries; but was interrupted by the reappearance of the committee, who reported the following nominations for permanent officers, which were approved by acclamation-viz:

For President: A. H. H. Stuart, of Augusta.

For Vice-Presidents: R. M. T. Hunter, of Essex; Sam'l. McDowell Moore, of Rockbridge; Robert T. Preston, of Montgomery; Thomas S. Flourney, of Halifax; James L. Kemper, of Madison; C. W. Newton, of Norfolk; William H. Macfarland, of Richmond; James A. Walker, of Pulaski; John Randolph Tucker, of Loudoun; R. W. Hunter of Winchester; and Wood Bouldin, of Charlotte.

For Secretaries: H. K. Ellyson of the Dispatch; James McDonald, of the Whig; and W. D. Coleman, of the Enquirer.

Messrs. Z. Turner and R. O. Funsten conducted Mr. Stuart to the Chair; whereupon he thus addressed the Convention:

Gentlemen of the Convention,--I thank you for the honor you have done me in calling me to preside over a Convention which embodies so large a share of the virtue, intelligence, and patriotism of Virginia.

We have assembled, gentlemen, under circumstances of peculiar interest and solemnity. This is no Convention to advance the interests of a mere party. Thank Heaven, if the late fearful conflict has done no other good, it has effaced all old party lines and subdued all party irritations. We come together not as Whigs or Democrats, but as Virginians, earnestly devoted to the promotion of the interests and honor of our common mother.

Nor have we come together in an factious spirit or with any aggressive purpose.

Whatever opinions individual members of this Convention may have entertained in the past as to the right of a State to withdraw from the Union, I think I may safely affirm that they have been abandoned as impracticable. The questions arising out of those opinions have been referred to as the arbitrament of arms, and having been decided adversely, all now feel that they are bound in honor, as well as impelled by interest, to stand by the award.

The people of Virginia now desire repose, and they earnestly seek a restoration of their constitutional relations of the Union as the best means of affording it. They feel, too, that the material interests of all parts of our widely extended country are impaired and our liberties imperiled by the longer continuance of the present unhappy strive, and we seek a restoration of the Union as the most efficient remedy for all the evils of which we complain.

When the war ceased we were told that if we annulled our ordinances of succession, and repudiated the Confederate debt, and perfected the emancipation of our slaves by adopting the constitutional amendment, we would be restored to our constitutional rights. To these conditions we promptly acceded, because they involved no sacrifice of our self-respect and we were attended by no national degradation. We have faithfully fulfilled all these conditions, and yet our rights are withheld. May we not, under these circumstances, appeal to the justice and good faith of the North for the redemption of the promises thus made to us?

Looking to events which have happened in other southern States, the people of Virginia have been led to fear that a policy is to be inaugurated here which tends, if It be not designed, to subvert our whole social fabric and to bring the land of Washington, Henry, Jefferson, Madison, and Marshall, under the dominion of an alien and inferior race. We should be false to all the instincts of humanity-false to all the blood which courses through our veins-false to every obligation and duty to ourselves, our kindred, and our country, if we did not earnestly protest against and seek to arrest so fearful a calamity.

We hope our fears may be unfounded. We hope we may be spared this attempted degradation. But it is the part of prudence to guard against all contingencies. It is for this purpose that we have all met to take counsel together today. We wish with one united voice to appeal to the patriotic people of the North to come to our relief and stay the hands of those who would oppress and degrade us.

We desire, further, to perfect our organization, so that all who desire that this shall continue to be a white man's government may be able to act in concert, and by one vigorous and united effort save ourselves from ruin and disgrace. We prefer military rule to the despotism of an ignorant rabble. And we wish to declare, with earnestness and emphasis, that, come what may, we and those we represent can never agree that this shall be any other than a white man's government. Our rights may be wrested from us by violence, but we will never agree that our proud old mother shall be presented in the attitude of consenting to her own degradation. Mr. Stuart, who was warmly applauded during his address, having concluded, the Vice-presidents were invited to seats; and, having taken them, presented an array of talent, dignity of character, and imposing personal presence, that has been rarely equalled anywhere.

The roll call of delegates was then called, which is so long that we cannot publish it in full. The following is the list of Augusta and the surrounding counties:

Augusta:-J. D. Imboden, R. W. Burke, Robert Cowan, Bolivar Christian, W. F. Smith, J. M. McCue, H. G. Guthrie, John B. Baldwin, G. P. Baker, C. R. Mason, E. W. Bagley, Richard Cuttlett, H. M. Bell, W. S. McChesney, J. W. Bell, George Baylor, W. H. H. Lynn, J. D'Orsay Hanger, George A. Bruce, R. Mauzy, A. H. H. Stuart, J. E. Guy, Dr. Samuel Kennerly, A. M. Garber, Jr.

Bath.-J. A. McClung, C. P. Bryant, H. N. Richards, J. L. Eubank, Joseph Mayse, Geo. Mayse.

Highland.-W. W. Fleming, J. W. Myers, G. W. Fraley.

Rockbridge.-William W. McLaughlin, William Frazier, John Letcher, R. J. Echols, S. McDowell Moore, F. T. Anderson.

Rockingham.-Samuel Bowman, John C. Woodson, Dr. Burke Chrisman, J. M. Liggett, J. G. Sprinkle, Dr. T. H. V. Brown, J. H. Wartman, J. S. Duckwall, Jacob Fuller, J. E. Rooller, George Grattan, J. S. Hansberger.

The tedious business of the roll being ended.

R. T. Daniel offered the following resolution, which, after some cursory debate and the voting down of several immaterial propositions to amend, was adopted:

"Resolved, That a committee of thirteen be appointed to prepare business for the Convention, to whom shall be referred all propositions and motions relating to the objects for which it has assembled."

The following gentlemen were appointed to the committee in accordance with this resolution: Messrs. R. T. Daniel, Z. Turner, R. M. T. Hunter, William Martin, W. R. Staples, John B. Baldwin, Thomas S. Bocock, James M. Wilcox, E. M. Campbell, James Barbour, Geo. W. Boiling, John Goode, and John R. Tucker.

[One of the ablest committees ever appointed in the State.]

To give time for the committee to prepare a report, the disposition was to adjourn at once. After a good deal of talk, it was finally determined that when the Convention adjourns it will adjourn until 7 o'clock P. M.

And then, on motion, the Convention adjourned.


The Convention was again called to order at 7 o'clock by the President. The scene presented was more imposing than that of the morning. The brilliant lights brought out the picture in bold relief. The parquette was filled altogether with members of the Convention, and presented a sea of manly and intellectual faces. The second tier was adorned by the beauty and grace of a number of the gentler sex. The whole assemblage was one full of dignity and beauty. It will be forgotten by those who saw it.

Some resolutions were offered; which, under the rule, were referred to the Committee on Business. Mr. Daniel, from the Committee on the Business of the Convention, made the following report; which was adopted:

"The committee to whom was referred the preparation of business for the Convention, and the consideration of resolutions referred to it, beg leave to report that various subjects of importance be considered by the Convention and several important resolutions have been referred to it, which the committee has had under consideration, but that time has not been allowed to report on them fully; and therefore the committee ask leave to sit again.

"And with a view to elicit a larger and more varied expression of public opinion on the matters referred than probably will be obtained by the committee as now constituted, it is respectfully suggested that it be enlarged so as to consist of twenty-one members."

The Chair then added the following eight gentlemen to the Business Committee, in accordance with the report-viz., Messrs. O. B. Finney, of Accomac; John Letcher, of Rockbridge; Fayette McMullen, of Smyth; Moses Walton, of Shenandoah; Nathaniel Alexander, of Mecklenburg; James B. Kello, of Southampton; and E. W. Massey, of Clarke.

On motion of Mr. Martin, of Henry, the Convention resolved that, when adjourned, it would adjourn until 11 o'clock the next day.

A good deal of conversational debate then ensued as to whether the Convention should adjourn at once or remain in session for a time to hear speeches. One or two gentlemen favored the latter course. The great body of the assembly appeared to take a different view, and to concur with a remark made by Mr. Berry, of Richmond, that it would be better not to go to speaking-"somebody might say something bad."

The Chair suggested that there was nothing before the Convention, and therefore no question which a gentleman could speak upon. But if the assembly desired it, they could remain in mass meeting and hear speeches after the adjournment.

On motion of Mr. Christian, of Augusta, the Convention then adjourned.

The multitude remained, and there were calls for "Hunter," "Tucker," "Baldwin," "Letcher," and others.

Governor Lecher advanced towards the footlights of the stage, and admonished the assemblage of the peculiar applicability at this time of the old adage, "A still tongue makes a wise head." This drew forth roars of laughter and applause, in the midst of which the assembly dispersed, awarding to the speech the credit of being one of the best that ever was made.

THURSDAY, December 12, 1867

The Convention adjourned on yesterday to 11 o'clock to-day; but the Committee on Business not being ready to report, the President did not call the meeting to order until near 12 o'clock.

The proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Peterkin.


Mr. Daniel, from the Committee on Business, made the following report:

"The Committee on Business beg leave to report:

"That they have prepared a series of resolutions which they submit for the approval of the Convention.

"They report a plan of general organization of the Conservative voters of the State, which they submit in like manner, the details of which are numerous, and need not be set forth.

"They recommend to the Convention that a committee of five be appointed by the President of the Convention, whose duty it shall be to prepare and publish at such times as the State Executive Committee (if one be appointed) may deem advisable, an address on behalf o the people of Virginia to the people of the United States.

"Several other important matters have been referred to the committee:

"An address to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States; another address to the senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled, from Colonel Moore, of Rockbridge.

"A series of resolutions submitted by Mr. W. W. Hancock, of Chesterfield.

"A resolution proposing a committee to confer with General Schofield upon the propriety of disarming the negroes of the Commonwealth and suppressing military drills among them, and other matters connected with that subject.

"A resolution to the effect that this is a white man's government, and that it is the mission of the Conservative party North and South, to preserve it as such.

"A series of resolutions adopted by a public meeting in Hanover.

"A resolution that it is expedient for the Convention to memorialize Congress on the subject of our grievances, and also to address the people of the northern, western and eastern States on the same subject.

"A resolution by Mr. Turner, of Richmond, that an address to the people of Virginia be prepared by the committee and reported to the Convention, and also a plan of organization for the State at large.

"All of which the committee have had under consideration; but from the extent and magnitude of the topics presented, and the shortness of time which could be employed in maturing such measures as they suggest (farther than they are embraced in the former part of this report), the committee recommend that these several matters be referred to the Central Executive Committee, should one be appointed, to be properly disposed of.

"All of which the committee respectfully submit. R. T. DANIEL, Chairman.


The Convention took up the resolutions reported by the committee, and they were read by Mr. J. R. Tacker (their author), as follows:

"1. This Convention doth recognize that by the results of the late war slavery has been abolished; and it doth declare that it is not the purpose or desire of the people of Virginia to reduce or subject again to slavery the people emancipated by the events of the war and by the amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

"2. This Convention doth declare that Virginia of right should be restored to her federal relations with the Government of the United States; and that it is not in the contemplation of the people of Virginia to violate or impair her obligations to the Federal Union, but to perform them in good faith.

"3. This Convention doth solemnly declare and assert that the people of Virginia are entitled to all the rights of freedom, and all the guarantees therefor, provided by the Constitution of the United States; and they insist on the same as unquestionable; and that the said Convention, which all were sworn to support does not justify the governing of Virginia by any power not delegated by it, nor ought she, under it, to be controlled by the Federal Government, except in strict accordance with its terms and limitations.

"4. This Convention doth declare, in the language of a resolution adopted by a public meeting held at the Cooper Institute, in the city of New York: "That the policy which continues to subject the people of ten States of the Union to an irresponsible government, carried on by military power, is inconsistent with the express provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and is subversive of the fundamental ideas of our Government and of civil liberty; and the object for which this great wrong has been persisted in, as now being disclosed to the people of this country and to the world-to wit, To subject the white people of these States to the absolute supremacy, in their local governments and in their representation in the Senate and House of Representatives, of the black race just emerged from personal servitude, is abhorrent to the civilization of mankind, and involves us and the people of the northern States, in consequence of surrendering one-third of the Senate and one-quarter of the House of Representatives, which are to legislate over us, to the dominion of an organized class of emancipated slaves, who are without any of the training, habits or traditions of self-government."

"5. This Convention, for the people of Virginia, doth declare that they disclaim all hostility to the black population; that they sincerely desire to see them advance in intelligence and national prosperity, and are willing to extend to them a liberal and generous protection. But that while, in the opinion of this Convention, any Constitution of Virginia ought to make all men equal before the law, and should protect the liberty and property of all, yet this Convention doth distinctly declare that the government of the States and of the Union were formed by white men to be subject to their control; and that the suffrage should still be so regulated by the States as to continue the Federal and State systems under the control and direction of the white race.

"6. That in the opinion of this Convention the people of Virginia will sincerely co-operate with all men throughout the Union, of whatever name or party, who will labor to restore the Constitutional union of the States under the control of the whole race."

The resolutions evidently met the hearty approval of the Convention from the applause with which their most striking passages were received. At the conclusion of the reading,

On motion of Mr. Weisiger, the vote was taken upon them in a body, and they were unanimously adopted.


Mr. Johnson (Marmaduke) called for the reading of the Plan of Organization reported by the committee, and Mr. Baldwin (the author) read it as follows:


To consist of thirty-three members, nine of whom shall be located in Richmond-viz.:

A Chief Director, who shall be chairman of the committee, and shall, subject to its control, have the chief direction throughout the State of all matters relating to organization, registration, and voting.

Eight Associate Directors, who shall be members of the committee, shall act as aids to the Chief Director, and shall each, subject to his direction, have special charge of one congressional district.

Twenty-four Consulting Members, three of whom shall reside in each congressional district and who may be convened by the Resident Committee whenever in their judgment it shall be proper.


A Superintendent for the County or City, who shall act as chairman of the committee, shall act as aid to the Associate Director for the district, and shall subject to his discretion, have special charge of the county or city.

A Superintendent for each Registration District, who shall be a member of the committee, shall act as aid to other county or city superintendent, and shall, subject to his discretion, have special charge of his own district.

These local committees will be charged with the duty of maintaining the completeness and efficiency of the local organization-shall advise the State Committee of any local matters requiring attention, and shall be specially charged with providing the means to defray necessary expenses.


1. The registered voters willing to act and vote with the Conservatives will be formed by "Tens," in each of which one member will be Leader.

2. Five tens will be organized as a "fifty," and to each fifty there will be a "chief." [ITAL chief]

3. The "Chiefs of Fifty" will be chosen by the Superintendent in each district; will act as his aids, and will each, subject to his discretion, have special charge of his own fifty.

4. The "Leaders of Ten" in each fifty will be chosen by the chief; will act as his aids, and will each, subject to his discretion, have special charge of the organization and supervision of his own ten.


1. The State Committee will be chosen by authority of the State Convention, and will maintain its organization by removing members, filling vacancies, &c., as occasion may require.

2. The county and city committees will be chosen by popular meetings, or by country or city committees already formed; and when chosen will supersede all other local committees.-They also will have the power, by removals, filling vacancies, etc., to keep up their organization.

3. In all other cases the officer appointing may remove and fill vacancies, however occurring; and if any county or city shall fail to appoint a committee, the State Committee may make the appointment.

There were accompanying the plan some special details, which it is not necessary to publish.

The plan, being read, was unanimously adopted.

This plan was ordered to be referred to the Executive Committee.

On motion, the President was authorized, at his leisure, to appoint the committees required by the action of the Committee on Business.


On motion of Mr. John T. Anderson, the Executive Committee was instructed to inquire into the expediency of adopting measures for testing the validity of the acts of Congress called the reconstruction acts by the adjudication of the Supreme Court of the United States.

[Pending this question a brief debate occurred, in which Mr. Anderson expressed his views of the importance of the question presented by this resolution. General Imboden gave the history of his own case as to his right to vote, now before the United States Court. Mr. Goode explained that the Legislature did not take up the subject, because Mississippi and Georgia had already brought up the question of the constitutionality of the reconstruction laws.; and Mr. Anderson replied that he considered Virginia was especially called upon by the course of Georgia and Mississippi to join them in their effort to test this question. Mr. Aylett thought the matter had better be referred to the Executive Committee; and that the course being agreed to, the resolution was adopted.]

Mr. McDowell Moore, of Rockbridge, remarking that as the business of the Convention was completed, it would be better to adjourn, moved that the Convention adjourn sine die; and the Convention adjourned accordingly.

[The name of John Bell Bigger, as one of the secretaries of the Convention, was accidentally omitted in the report of yesterday's proceedings.]

[The name of Dr. E. M. Campbell, of Washington, was omitted in the report of the names of the Committee on Business, on which he was appointed.]

The following committees, appointed by Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, President of the Conservative Convention were announced, viz:


R. T. Daniel, Robert Ould, Marmaduke Johnson, T. J. Evans, H. K. Ellyson, John C. Shields, Wm. D. Coleman, James R. Fisher

James R. Branch.


District No. 1.-Hamilton S. Neale, of Northampton; George W. Lewis of Westmoreland, and John T. Seawell, of Gloucester.

District No. 2.-John Goode, Jr., of Norfolk city; George W. Boiling, of Petersburg and John R. Kilby, of Nansemond.

District No. 3.-J. Y. Menefee, of Rappahannock; John L. Marye, Jr., of Fredericksburg and Edward H. Lane of Louisa.

District No. 4.-Thomas S. Bocock, of Appomattox; Robert H. Whitehead, of Nelson and James H. Cox, of Chesterfield.

District No. 5.-William Martin, of Henry; John R. Edmunds, of Halifax, and George P. Tealoe, of Roanoke.

District No. 6.-John Letcher, of Rockbridge; James L. Kemper, of Madison, and John B. Baldwin, of Augusta.

District No. 7.-Robert Y. Conrad, of Frederick; George W. Brent, of Alexandria, and B. H. Shackeford of Fauquier. District No. 8.-Fayette McMullen of Smyth; William B. Asten, of Russell, and Albert G. Pendleton, of Giles.


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