Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 6, 1861

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |

-Page 01-

Address by Hon. George W. Brewer
(Column 1)
Summary: Transcript of George Brewer's address to the Franklin County Democratic Convention. Speech reasserts the desire of the Democratic party to find peaceful means to address Southern grievances and alleviate the difficulties that have led to the secession of the Southern states.
(Names in announcement: Hon. George Brewer)
Full Text of Article:

Delivered by Hon. Geo. W. Brewer,

Before the Franklin County Democratic Convention, Feb. 15, 1861.

Mr. President and Fellow-Citizens:

The general voice of no ordinary occasion has assembled together in anxious council the democratic party of Franklin County. Hurried events of startling interest and just alarm, have brought us together here, to renew our vows of fealty to the constitution, and to lay our peace offerings upon the altar of a common country. A fearful time of gloom, and peril, to the welfare and prosperity, of our once happy and now distracted country, has summoned from the borders of this ancient county, this large assemblage of anxious faces and beating hearts. What lofty purpose, my fellow citizens, has brought you together? What thought kindles every mind? What emotion fires every breast? You are met here for the purpose of appointing delegates, to represent your county in a General State Convention, to assemble under the call of the Democratic State Central Committee, in Harrisburg, on the 21st day of February, 1861. This day has not brought you here for the ordinary purposes of a County Convention to vindicate the claims of some favorite candidate, or secure the triumph of some cherished measure. But we are here to promote a nobler aim, and accomplish a higher purpose. To make one more earnest and united rally for the constitution, and strike one more heavy and determined blow for the honor and the happiness, the peace and the prosperity, of a kindred people and a country undivided. It is indeed a source of just pride, to be a member of the great conservative democratic organization, and to march to the battle field under its time-honored colors; to mingle in the strife of its heroic struggles, and to share the glory of its peaceful triumphs--But it seems yet a nobler privilege, and a prouder distinction to participate in the holy and harmonious feelings of this place, and to bear an [sic] humble part in the solemn and patriotic deliberations of this great occasion. We are met here as Democrats; as Pennsylvanians; as Americans. Here, it is most true, in harmony and in pride, as the faithful disciples of the illustrious Jefferson, and the devoted followers of the immortal Jackson. But also here as the grateful country-men of the god-like Washington, and all that little band of brave and heroic spirits, whose blood made rich the soil of every battle field, and whose graves like pilgrim shrines are scattered all over the land of the free and the home of the brave. To day the ties of party may indeed be expanded, but will not be weakened. To day the just and protecting principles of the Democracy, may unfold themselves in the power and majesty of their conciliating wisdom and conservative strength, and be made to throw their golden cords, in the beauty and tenderness of kindred sympathy and fraternal affection, around the pale and tottering form of our whole and beloved country, and to bind once more, together the alienated States of this one proud and happy land, in the just and equal bonds of eternal peace and perpetual Union.

It is a cheering fact, and I trust it may prove an auspicious circumstance, in the calm and patriotic tone, and in the wide and happy influence of the deliberations, of that memorable State Convention, that it is to meet upon the eve of that blessed day, made sacred in the fondest associations of the human heart, and immortal in the proudest annals of all time, by the birth of George Washington--him who lead the armies of the revolution to victorious battle, and guided the councils of his country to the greatness and grandeur of peace. Would that some might hand could roll away the stone from the sepulchre; would that his august form, could start up from the sheeted dead, and stand again in majestic presence among the living; and the bright and cheering example of his great life of virtue and patriotism, inspire and animate the scene.--Would that his voice, as in paternal accents, it whispered hope and courage to the weary and bleeding troops, through the dark and unsheltered winter of Valley Forge; or rang its clarion note of proud and glorious music, in the fore front of battle, along the unfaltering ranks of triumphant columns marching on to freedom and to fame; over the bloody and hard fought field of Monmouth--could then speak trumpet tongued for the matchless wisdom of that Constitution which bears the sanction of his own great name, and the integrity of that country, whose achievements of arts and arms, are the most worthy monument to his own immortal memory. A constitution, which like the blessed sun of heaven, dispenses its benefits equally to all; and a Union of equal, free and happy States. But not a Union of unfriendly interests; of foreign sympathies and alienated affections, and held together in the fatal and unhappy condition of an unequal brotherhood, by the blighting hand of force and the degrading touch of chains. Not a Union, in which one portion of the country, shall trample upon the clear and cherished rights and immunities of the other, and whose Constitution shall not vouchsafe to every section of the land, in the enjoyment of a common inheritance, the same just and fair security of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But a Union of these States, under that wise and conservative compact, forged and cemented in the white heat of the revolution, and glowing all over with genius and patriotism. A Union made and ordained to "establish justice and insure domestic tranquility" while yet the smoke of battle was rolling away from the gory field, where stong [illegible] and brave hearts had achieved their independence. A union of kindred hopes and kindred sympathies, of common sacrifice and common glory.

Yes, sir, a Union, the beneficent parent, under the propitious smiles of heaven of all we are, and of all we may hope to be; a Union of expanded love, of forbearing tenderness and fraternal concord, of free, equal, sovereign and indepenent [sic] States.--May it be the perpetual home of a united and renowned people, and the open asylum of hate oppressed and down-trodden of every clime.

The democratic party of Pennsylvania and of the country has now a most important duty to perform, a duty which involves the existence and welfare of the whole country, and carried with it the bright and splendid destiny of human freedom and progressive civilization all over the radiant face of the earth. In other times when dangers thickened along the national pathway, and clouds gathered on the angry sky, the voice of democratic truth was all potential to rally the loyal spirits of the land, and her right arm all powerful, to scatter to the winds, the perils of the Union. And now let that party, always the faithful guardian of the constitution plant her standard high upon that great charter of law and order, and swear to defend and maintain the just and inalienable rights of every section of the country, and to stand firmly and fairly by all the compromises of the constitution, and the patriotic and conservative masses of all parties, will, in forgetfulness of past differences, cheered with a common hope, and animated with a common purpose, swell the ranks of a roused people, to bring back our sister States into the arms of a generous government, and to restore the benignant reign of peace and prosperity to the borders of a dear and distracted country. Our republican brethern [sic] with all the talents and intelligence of their powerful and enthusiastic organization, have shown themselves thus far, altogether unwilling, or unable to meet the alarming issues of the day, or to give quiet and repose, to the just fears and painful anxieties of a distressed and divided people. The oracles of Springfield have spoken but their mysterious revelations, have no word of promise for the listening ear, no beam of hope for the sorrowful heart, of an anxious nation. Let the party of the people assembled here to day, gird their loins for the good and patriotic work. Let them strain every muscle for the accomplishment of the great and righteous purpose. That ennobling work and purpose, is no less than to secure and guard throughout all coming time. the happiness and prosperity of the American people, one and undivided, and to maintain and preserve, unmarred and unbroken, the best and most superb government ever founded by the wisdom and virtue of mortal hands. But it was the work of patience, of thought and of statesmanship, and the result of compromise, of conciliation and of concession. For three quarters of a century, this government has been the pride of its people and the envy of the civilized word. Its commerce has whitened every sea, its arms have been victorious on every field, its industry has made the wilderness vocal with the song of well rewarded toil, and its arts have made themselves a habitation and a name in every school of genius and in every land of story and song. Where now are the thrilling recollections of the past, and the kindling hopes of the future? Where sleeps the heaven-born Genius of the republic? Where slumbers in the dream of death, the patriotism of the nation? Must the sun of liberty which rose in unclouded splendor, upon this free and happy land, go down, through the broken and dishonored fragments of the Union, in darkness and in blood? This surely can not be; will not the God of our fathers, whose right arm delivered them from the House of bondage, vouchsafe to their children, the promise of many days and the beauty of this goodly heritage?--Will not the nation pause? Will not the nation reflect before all is lost for ever? Permit the red hands of lust and ambition, to break down the tower of your safety and your strength, and your children's children may wander over the earth, forsaken and forlorn, without the lamp of liberty to guide their steps in a strange land, and without the sanctuary of a free government, to shelter them from the storms of anarchy and revolution.--But if the Union must be dissolved, ********if no power can stay the uplifted hand, if no human means can avert the sad, and shameful catastrophe; and if this once proud and peaceful land must be rent by fraternal strife and drenched in fraternal blood, and if free institutions must be over thrown by kindred hands, and liberty cloven down in civil war, let the party of the people and the party of the Union, clothed in sackcloth and ashes, leave the imperishable record, of their devotion and patriotism upon the cold marble slab, which shall mark the spot, where moulders the ruins of all that was once cherished and beautiful, happy and prosperous, of the mightiest empire ever reared by human hands, or made hallowed ground all over, by the story of heroic deeds and more heroic virtue.

Now why cannot the exciting questions, which are disturbing and distracting the country, be settled and adjusted on fair and honorable terms? Does the South ask anything more than the enjoyment of equal rights and the exercise of equal immunities? Does the South claim for her interests any protection, and demand for her domestic institutions, the advantages of any prerogative, which they are unwilling to concede and guarantee, in their broadest and fullest extent to their brethern [sic] of the North? They ask for their just rights and equal privileges under the protecting wings of that Constitution, which was the work of the common sacrifice, and the common patriotism of the whole country. They plead in the stirring eloquence of our native tongue, for that "justice, general welfare, and domestic tranquilty [sic]" for whose security and establishment, the constitution was ordained and the union of the States made more perfect. But even if the North were clearly in the right, should she not be ready and willing, in the generosity and magnanimity of her power and greatness to concede much, very much indeed, for the sake of the peace , the well being, and the blessed tranquility of the nation. The pen of history, in the wide range of her vast dominions, has never recorded anything so sad and melancholy, as the downfall of the American Republic, and the dismemberment of the American Union. Let the people rise up in the majesty of their sovereign will, and in the mightiness of their great purpose, and their unanimous and potential voice, go forth and ring through the land, the Union must, and shall be preserved. Let their battle cry, go forth and ring through the land, until its deep and swelling music, shall rouse and electrify the whole nation, for "liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable."

Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln
(Column 3)
Summary: In his address, Lincoln asserts that the South has nothing to fear from a Republican Administration. He asserts that he has no intention of disturbing their property or interfering, directly or indirectly, with slavery.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Column 6 fiction. Bottom illegible.

Speech of John W. Nevin
(Column 1)
Summary: John Nevin's speech to the State Democratic Convention asserts that Democrats should seek to address Southern grievances, restore the Southern states' equality, and guarantee their rights in the Union. Blame for the crisis is laid on the Republicans and Abolitionists.
Resolutions Offered in the Peace Conference
(Column 5)
Summary: Article summarizes compromise solutions offered by the peace conference.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Fiction and advertisements

-Page 04-

News of the Week
(Column 1)
Summary: States that Lincoln's policy of reinforcing the forts and attempting to collect the revenue will inaugurate war. Other news items regarding the secession crisis are contained in the article.
Lincoln's Inaugural
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports Lincoln's Inaugural and criticizes his inaugural address as lacking substance and failing to lay down a policy.
Congressional News
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports a general congressional debate on the Peace Conference proposals.
Latest from Washington
(Column 3)
Summary: News of Major Andersen and other military matters, including the resignation of Colonel Robert E. Lee from the U.S. Army. Also, Crittenden spoke to the Senate and appealed for the adoption of a compromise. Trumell of Illinois gave a speech against compromise.
The Conspiracy to Destroy the Union
(Column 4)
Summary: Asserts the Republicans and Abolitionists are more to blame for the crisis than Southern secessionists.
Lincoln's Vote
(Column 3)
Summary: Points out that Lincoln is a minority President since he didn't receive a majority of the vote.
New Congressional Appointment
(Column 4)
Summary: A Committee has been appointed to apportion the State into Congressional districts based on the new census. Article points out that the twenty-three man committee only contained three Democrats.
Hon. G. W. Brewer
(Column 3)
Summary: Urges readers to peruse the speech of Hon. G. W. Brewer printed elsewhere in the issue.
(Names in announcement: Hon. G. W. Brewer)
Address of Mr. Nevin
(Column 4)
Summary: Directs the attention of reader to the speech of Mr. Nevin printed elsewhere in the issue.
The Pennsylvania Committee
(Column 5)
Summary: The Pennsylvania Committee arising from the State Democratic Convention visited Washington to deliver resolutions to the Peace Congress and the President and Vice President.
(Names in announcement: Hon. George Brewer)
Mr. Buchanan's Departure from Washington
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports Buchanan's departure from Washington. Item asserts that despite criticism of his administration, no one can find fault with Buchanan's character. His public career will later be fully appreciated.

-Page 05-

Description of Page: Entire page difficult to read. Column 6 ads.

The Folly and Wickedness of Abolitionism
(Column 2)
Summary: Asserts that slaves are content and don't seek to change their status. This is demonstrated by the failure of John Brown to raise an army among the slaves.
Presentation of the Report of the Peace Conference to Congress
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports adoption of the Peace Conference Report by Congress.
The New Tariff Bill
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports a new tariff bill regarding coffee and tea.
A Projected Union Party--Lincoln to be the Leader
(Column 4)
Summary: The Spirit reprints sections of an article from the New York Times that alleges the development of factions within the Republican party with Seward the head of the compromise faction and Greeley the head of the war faction. The fact that a Republican paper printed such an admission of dissent surprises the Spirit.
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on February 28th at the White Swan Hotel.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Philips, Jacob Shirk, Rachel Frehn)
(Column 5)
Summary: Mary Grove died on February 25th, aged 31 years.
(Names in announcement: Mary Grove, Mr. L. Grove)

-Page 06-

Description of Page: Advertisements

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Advertisements

-Page 08-

Description of Page: Remainder of page 8 ads. Page 8 largely illegible.

A Colored Gentleman at the Bar
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that Gen. Fennendon of Maine appealed for a colored gentleman of Boston to be admitted to the bar. The motion was denied because he is not officially a citizen but it is presumed that a successful application will be made at a later date.
Origin of Article: Portland American
Two Wings of the Lincoln Party
(Column 2)
Summary: Asserts that two wings of the Republican party compete for Lincoln's allegiance, the compromise faction and the war faction.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that officers in Charleston reported seeing a warship off shore in South Carolina.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports an army chaplain who resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to accept a position in the Confederacy.
The News
(Column 3)
Summary: More items of national news surrounding the secession crisis.