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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 20, 1859

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Description of Page: Report from Horace Greeley in the Desert. Blondin at Niagara (reported in the Staunton Spectator also).

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Our Prospects
(Column 4)
Summary: Democratic party should carry Pennsylvania in the fall.
Stubborn Facts
(Column 4)
Summary: Litany of Black Republican hypocrisies.
Origin of Article: Detroit Free Press
Trailer: Detroit Free Press

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Description of Page: Markets in column 5.

Another Shot from Heavy Peg
(Column 1)
Summary: More fighting with Heavy Peg in the Transcript. This a long list of complaints about him, including corruption. Heavy Peg appears to refer to A. K. McClure.
Full Text of Article:

--We again take up this loathsome subject, not from choice, but from a sense of duty towards the people of the Senatorial district. Heavy Peg has once more belched forth its thunder, from its masked batter "MERCERSBURG," in self glorification of the "great champion" of the combination clique, and it would never do to let this opportunity pass without verifying his boast that he "has the Spirit paid to abuse him," for the purpose of drawing out the sympathies of his own party. We trust that our expose will save him the necessity of incessantly cracking up himself, until he has become the eye sore of his own party and the laughing stock of the Democracy, and that he can henceforth stand on the tender platform of sympathy and exclaim--"Save me! Save me!!--I am traduced and vilified by the locofocos!!!" We have no objections--none whatever--that he should rate himself "a head and shoulders taller than any other man in his own party," and are perfectly satisfied that every man in his party should feel themselves very small--mere pigmies in his towering presence. That is a matter between him and themselves, to be settled by the arbitrary rules in such cases made and provided by his lick spittle combination clique. It is also a matter of indifference to us however "HONEST AND RELIABLE" he may represent himself to be, so long as he does not stand above suspicion in public estimation. That is at all times sufficient for our purpose, but it is truly unfortunate for his cracked up "honesty" and "reliability," and he has our warmest sympathies in his peculiar predicament, that he does not stand above the suspicion, when Superintendent of Public Printing, of corruptly using the office for his own private gain.

That he does not stand above suspicion, when loafing about Harrisburg, holding the office just named, and thus apparently thrown into intimate relations with Gov. Pollock, of having sold to any and every person, who would pay for the same, the seeming influence he had with the Governor.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having colluded with others, and bargained with a certain candidate for State Treasurer, that if they elected him, (which they subsequently did) the Caucus was to be well paid out of the State Treasury--which it is believed they were.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having so bitterly denounced and opposed Gen Cameron, in 1855, when a candidate for U S Senator, for the only reason that the General would not "come down with the spondulicks" for his mighty influence and support, preferring defeat rather than be compelled to purchase so venal a creature.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having gotten from a certain medical candidate for U. S. Senator, several thousand gilded pills, for the influence of his facile pen and incorruptible paper in favor of his nomination, which several thousand capsules he swallowed and never paid for.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having by false representations endeavored to deceive Gov. Pollock into signing the bill relating to the Public Printing, which, had he succeeded in accomplishing, would have defrauded the State out of at least $30,000 per year, which would have been a snug little sum to divide between himself and his equally corrupt colleagues.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having, when Commissioner of the Erie and North East Rail Road, taken particular care of the interests of number one.

That he does not stand above the suspicion (whilst the effort was being made to get the Legislature to restore the above Railroad to its former owners,) of having sold himself for money to the parties interested on both sides of the question.

That he does not stand above the suspicion, while hanging about the Executive Anti-Chamber, much to the disgust of Gov. Pollock, of having been deeply interested pecuniarily, in the granting of certain pardons, and in the signing of certain Acts of Assembly.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having received $8000 from the Union Bank of Philadelphia, for services rendered and monies disbursed on securing its passage and approval.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having received from the Farmer's and Mechanic's Bank of Philadelphia, a large amount in Stock of the Bank, and otherwise, for procuring the passage of the bill for its re charter, and getting the Gov. to sign it.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having been well paid for supporting the bill under which the Public Works were sold to that corrupt and dangerous monopoly, the, Penn., Railroad Company.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having been much better paid for supporting that other Act of Assembly whereby the State Canals were given away to that rotten concern, the Sunbury and Erie Railroad Company.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having handled some thirty or forty thousand dollars of the Bonds of the last named concern which never returned to the custody of its Treasurer.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having ordered and paid for the $500 set of Silver Ware, presented to his lady, in behalf of the Sunbury and Erie Railroad Company, or its friends, for his peculiar and disinterested efforts in the passage of the bill to give them the State Canals.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having himself written a certain letter eulogistic of the above bogus presentation.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having received from a certain wealthy Philadelphian last winter, $25,000 to be used to secure the passage of a bill through the Legislature to divorce his daughter--which bill never passed--and of which trust fund the small sum of $12,500 remains unaccounted for.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having been all the last session of the Legislature most deeply interested in the good of the citizens of Philadelphia--especially in securing them a sufficient number of Passenger Railroads--even if the Corporators had to bleed freely for their passage.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of enjoying the privilege of holding 100 shares of Stock in the Chestnut and Walnut street Rail Roads, worth $5000.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of owning a large number of shares in several other Banks and Insurance Companies in Philadelphia, which were chartered or re chartered within the past five years.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having used money freely to buy a right to sit in the Chair graced by Hancock, but rumor says Simon was about and a small installment of the old debt of 1855 was then and there paid.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having written all the communications, and editorials which appeared in the Harrisburg Daily and Weekly Telegraph, the Independent and the Repository and Transcript, cracking up his activity, honesty and fidelity as a public servant, his integrity and morality as a man and a citizen, and his peculiar fitness and availability as a candidate.

That he does not stand above the universal suspicion, while a member of the Legislature, of having been one of the most corrupt and venal men who ever had a seat in that body, ready at all times for any scheme which would advance his private interests. If any doubt the truth of this suspicion, we pray them inquire about Harrisburg, where many things are well known that are not dreamed of in the pure regions of Franklin County.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of being worth 40 or 50 thousand dollars now, while it is well known that he came here only seven years ago several thousand dollars in debt. If this suspicion be true--Quere--How was the money made? Not surely as a pettifogger at one third pay.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having defeated his own party nominee, Washington Crooks, for Senate, simply because the people would not then force the nomination on him but preferred Crooks. Rumor says that the Col. boasted at Harrisburg before the election that Crooks would not be elected--that HE would allow no man to succeed who had beaten him.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having, each term he was elected to the Legislature, sacrificed his colleagues of Fulton County, and secured his increased majority here by buying up with money certain venal democrats of this county.

That he does not stand above the suspicion of having, with a few others of the would be leaders of his party, selected from the numerous candidates now scrambling for office in his party, a certain few to be supported for the offices they are seeking, at the sacrifice of all the others, thus forestalling the action of the County Convention and determining to force upon it the adoption of a caucus ticket.

These are only some of the suspicions which exist about and against this extra honest individual, whom "Mercersburg" and a few other paid sycophants and pimps consider a "head and shoulders taller" than his fellows. There are none but will admire their standard of excellence--over the left.

We cannot dismiss this subject, tedious and loathsome as we find, it, without expressing our admiration at the "Herculean labor" with which the redoubtable endeavors to force down the throat of the public, that he alone is entitled to all the credit of all the Legislation of the last few years--that he originated all the public measures of the day--that his clear reasoning demonstrated their propriety--that his Ciceronian eloquence passed them over the prejudices of personal and political opponents--that he is the only man that possesses the requisites for a seat in the Senate, and that he alone can lead the party to victory in this Senatorial District. Pretty well piled on for a modest man who is required to be "forced" into nominations at a great sacrifice to his legal business, and personal comfort, and when too he may run a risk of being "reprimanded for neglect of duty."

We have endeavored to do our duty gently--as gently as our sense of duty we owe the public has permitted. We have only for the present partly lifted the veil and disclosed the deeds of darkness behind it, and that too at the earnest solicitation of members of the opposition party, who have become nauseated at the doses they are asked to swallow about the "great champion"--the "acknowledged leader of the People's forces"--"a head and shoulders taller than any other man in the ranks"--"capable"--"honest"--"reliable"--"fearless"--and so on and so forth!

The view we have here presented we trust may be profitable, and a timely warning to all interested, but if it should not prove so, and the people of this Senatorial District will still allow themselves to be gulled by the tricks of a designing and corrupt politition [sic], now for the first time partially exposed, then we can only--

"Pray the powers to mend their mental flaw

or grant them kindest keepers and clean straw,"

Who Are They?
(Column 2)
Summary: Two individuals arrested for disorderly conduct in front of Nixon's drug store. They were ejected from the Franklin hotel.
(Names in announcement: Constable Gross, Esq. Hammond)
Grand Balloon Ascension
(Column 3)
Summary: Account of Balloon Ascension from Chambersburg. Big community event.
(Names in announcement: John Light, Allen McGrath, William Keyser)
Full Text of Article:

Safe Descent of the Aeronaut.
AT LEITERSBURG, MARYLAND. A full Account of the Voyage.

On Saturday last, Mr. John A. Light, of Lebanon, Penns., a young, daring and skillful Aeronaut made his third ascension in his splendid Balloon "Eclipse," from the Public Square, in this borough. The Balloon was inflated by the Gas manufactured at our Gas Works, and the Superintendent, Mr. Allen McGrath, and the President of the Company, Wm. Heyser, Esqr., were very attentive and obliging and seemed to take a deep interest in the whole matter. The process of inflation was commenced, and conducted to its completion, in presence of a large concourse of people, assembled from all parts of country, who watched it with seeming gratification and the deepest curiosity. Mr. Light, though quite a young man, and of but little practical experience in the science of Aeronautics, appears to thoroughly understand the hazardous business. All his arrangements were perfect, and the coolness and judgement he displayed in making his preparations fully satisfied all that, so far as human foresight and prudence can go, he would guard against accidents, and had the nerve to successfully carry out the undertaking. We predict for him a brilliant career as an Aeronaut.

Everything being in readiness for starting, at 2 1/2 o'clock Mr. Light took his position in the car, attached to his Balloon, and gave directions for releasing him for the time being from terra firma. The car contained three bags of sand, intended for ballast, but it was found impracticable to ascend with that weight, and it was instantly, and we thought, injudiciously, thrown overboard, when the balloon lightened of its load shot upwards into the regions above in gallant style. Mr. Light stood up in his car and waved his cap and cheered, seemingly as much delighted as any of the spectators below him, who sent up shouts of applause that made the welkin ring. The balloon soon attained an altitude of about a mile, sailing off in a south east direction, and keeping pretty much on a line parallel with the road leading from Chambersburg to Waynesboro'. When apparently over New Franklin the balloon disappeared behind the heavy clouds covering the sky in that direction and was lost to view from town. For further particulars of the voyage we give the statement furnished us by Mr. Light. He says:

After the balloon passed through the clouds it ascended with great velocity and soon became distended to its fullest capacity, the gas rushing from the valve with quite a musical sound. His watch, from some unaccountable cause, stopped and he was left without any means of computing time, and being shut out from a view of the earth by the clouds, could form no idea of the rate at which he was traveling. By throwing out papers, which floated on the air, he could tell he was rapidly ascending by their being soon left far beneath him. He thinks the highest elevation he attained was about two miles and a half; the balloon at that height changed its course from south east to direct south, and by occasional glimpses of the earth, obtained through transitory openings in the clouds, he could discover a large town a head of him, supposed to be Hagerstown, with another of a smaller size (Greencastle) almost directly beneath him. He then tugged pretty smartly at the valve rope with a view of descending, and having dropped down a considerable distance he gained the under current in which he was first sailing which impelled him south east at a very rapid rate. The whole valley was now in view and presented a most charming picture. The diversified scenery of green meadows, fertile fields and clustering woods resembled the rich and gaudy coloring of a map, while the farm houses, towns and villages dotted over the surface of the valley added a deep and enlivening interest to the scene. The view presented the most grand, gratifying and gorgeous spectacle possible for the mind to conceive, and which it is alone the privilege of the Aeronaut to enjoy. The towns of Waynesboro' and Hagerstown were now in full view but animate objects could not be observed. A cluster of houses was noticed directly below, and in the course of the balloon, and preparation was at once made for the descent. The grapple was thrown out and the valve opened wide, when the balloon shot downwards with the speed of an arrow. On nearing the earth he observed he was over a small village and its inhabitants in the utmost confusion and alarm. The grapple struck the earth in the centre of the street and but one man came to his assistance, Mr. George Rissinger, to whom he expressed himself under many obligations for his kind and timely service in helping him to land. On gaining a foot-hold on old Mother Earth once more, he made rapid inquiries as to the time of day--his position, &c., and was surprised to learn that it was but 3 o'clock, and that he was in the town of Leitersburg, Md.-- twenty three miles from Chambersburg.

It will be observed that the voyage was made, and in somewhat a zig zag course in half an hour. Finding himself so much further from Chambersburg than he expected, he did not wait for the conveyance engaged to bring him back but hired another and returned by way of Greencastle, without having stopped in Waynesboro. He arrived safe in Chambersburg about half past 12 o'clock at night and received the hearty congratulations of the many friends he has made during his short stay among us.

He left for home on Monday morning, delighted with his visit, and well pleased with the treatment he received from the Committee, and citizens generally. He will make an ascension from Lebanon on Saturday next.

Our Female Seminary
(Column 3)
Summary: Praise for the young ladies performance at the public examination of Dr. Reeves' Female Seminary.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Reeves)
Full Text of Article:

--A public examination in the studies pursued in Dr. Reeves' Female Seminary, of this place, was given during last week, and was largely attended by the citizens of this and neighboring towns. We were present at a part of the examination, and were pleased to find that this institution, under the auspices and good management of its present talented Principal and Proprietor, has attained a most flourishing condition, and is certainly not surpassed, in any essential particular, by any other Seminary of learning for young ladies in the county. Mr. Reeves is a Christian, a Gentlemen and Scholar, and no man is better qualified, by enlightened views of education and long experience in teaching, to impart literary instruction, and sound moral principles to the youthful mind than he, aided by his accomplished corps of lady assistants. We would heartily recommend this Seminary to all parents who have daughters to educate, and are desirous that they receive a thorough and practical education, as well as all the ornamental accomplishments which should adorn the female mind.

The Last Grand Battle; Eight Prisoners Secured; The Wounded Recovering
(Column 4)
Summary: A very sarcastic account of a fight amongst local free blacks that involved lots of drinking. Eight prisoners were taken, both men and women. Includes a paragraph specifically describing the location of the black slum--Tote's Island. Also includes complaints about the local slum lord.
Full Text of Article:

Description of the Battle Ground.

The leader of the Victorious Army afterwards Captured by the Enemy.

The Owner of the Battle Ground "chock full" of Charity

Our readers through the County will doubtless wonder where an important battle could be fought in this county without them first having some information of the cause, &c. We deem it our duty as chroniclers of passing events to lay before the public one of the most bloody and hard fought battles in this community. Fired with the zeal and warlike disposition of the beligerents over the water, a portion of the sooty sons and daughters of Afric's scorching plains took a notion, on Thursday last, to show that though centuries had passed, they had not forgotten that Hanibal had led their fathers to victory. Harvest ended and Whisky plenty--courage up to fighting point, at it they went and for two days and nights the combat raged. Here and there, in the different forts might be seen the combatants stretched out dead-- drunk. The hospital echoed with the groans of the half dead--drunk. Here and there could be seen those who had fought and run away, so that they might drink and fight another day, with heads bandaged and garments fulfilling all the requirements of banners.

The absence of the soul stirring drum and fife was made up by the solidity of heads and unearthly yells. Several noble patriots whose unbronzed faces showed them of a colder clime, became participants in the strife. Females displayed the most undaunted courage and endured the fight until near the end when they were taken prisoners and thrust into the gloomy cells of Fort Brown. The greatest battles ever fought had a point of termination and so had this. Eight prisoners of both sexes were taken and placed in security to be exchanged next court.

We are happy to say that none of the wounded have since died, their wounds being principally of a whisky character.

Perhaps a few of our readers may be in ignorance as to the locality of this battle ground. East of the Franklin Railroad and the property of Wm. McLellan, and South of the Gettysburg pike, may be seen a collection of huts inhabited, with few exceptions, by the most degraded and drunken men and women, no better than can be found in Spafford and Baker Streets in Philadelphia. Streams of filth flow from these pens, bearing enough poison to create sickness of the most deadly kind. Blasphemy and ribald songs, yells, screams and hootings, fill the sabbath day. Night is turned into a time of robbing and worse vices--and such is only a small part of what is done on Tote's Island.

And now to the kind of Charity that prompted the planting of this hot bed of iniquity. It is argued by the owner that these wretches would have to be homeless unless he provided shelter for them--charity for the degraded black is made the excuse for collecting these huts in the various parts of our town--yes, dear reader, this charity is worth just 25 to 50 cents a week--a charity worth indulging indeed. There is a point, however, at which this charity ceases, and that point is reached every Saturday night when "um" calls for his rent. The question is rent or out. Now why one man should be permitted for the sake of gain to override a community with the outcast of this unfortunate race of people. The cost of maintenance in prison of those who were lately put in, will far overbalance the taxes derived from such worthless property. A charge of maintaining a nuisance is now hanging over this charitable individual, and it is to be hoped that our court will see that at least a start in economy is made by routing this intolerable nuisance.

It is not the citizens of this town who suffer, the whole county bears the expense of these suits, resulting from the congregating together of these degraded beings.

Struck By Lightning
(Column 4)
Summary: Patterson's crippled son struck and killed by lightning near Boxbury.
(Names in announcement: James Patterson, Dr. Boyle)
(Column 4)
Summary: Commencement at Rosedale Female Seminary. Walk is from Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Rachel Walk, George Chambers)
(Column 6)
Summary: Petitions for county liquor licenses.
(Names in announcement: Joshua Yeas, G.W. Hangy, Christian Plum, Wilfred Unger)

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Description of Page: Column 1 has a description of Sumo Wrestling.

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