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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 12, 1862

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Description of Page: Also includes miscellaneous Congressional and war news, and a compilation of war news from Southern papers.

Message from the President
(Column 1)
Summary: In a letter sent to Congress on March 6, President Lincoln asked Congress to provide monetary aid for gradual emancipation of the slaves in the border states. He justifies this proposal by arguing that if the border states become free, it will sap the Confederacy of the hope of convincing border states to come over to their cause, thus shortening the war. Lincoln makes clear that he is not arguing for a federal right to interfere with slavery. Instead, he sees such gradual emancipation as a device that he hopes will bring peace more quickly.
Full Text of Article:

The President today transmitted to Congress the following message:

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives: I recommend the adoption of a joint resolution by your honorable bodies, which shall be substantially as follows:

Resolved, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt a gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid to be used by such State in its discretion to compensate for the inconveniences, both public and private, produced by such change of system.

If the proposition contained in the resolution does not meet the approval of Congress and the country, there is the end, but if it does command such approval, I deem it of importance that the State and people immediately interested should be at once distinctly notified of the fact, so that they may begin to consider whether to accept or reject it.

The Federable [sic] Government would find its highest interest in such a measure as one of the most efficient means of self-preservation. The leaders of the existing insurrection entertain the hope that this Government will ultimately be forced to acknowledge the independence of some part of the disaffected region, and that all the slave States north of such parts will then say, the Union for which we have struggled being already gone, we now choose to go with the Southern section. To deprive them of this hope, substantially ends the rebellion, and the initiation of emancipation completely deprives them of it as to all States initiating it. The point is not that all the States tolerating slavery would very soon, if at all, initiate emancipation, but that while the offer is equally made to all the more Northern, shall, by such initiation, make it certain to the more Southern that in no event will the former ever join the latter in their proposed Confederacy. I say initiation because, in my judgment, gradual and not sudden emancipation is better for all.

In the more financial or pecuniary view, any member of Congress, with the census tables and treasury reports before him, can readily see for himself how very soon the current expenditures of this war would purchase, at fair valuation all the slaves in any named State. Such a proposition on the part of the General Government sets up no claim of a right by Federal authority to interfere with slavery within State limits, referring, as it does, the absolute control of the subject in each case to the State and its people immediately interested. It is proposed as a matter of perfectly free choice with these.

In the annual message of last December, I thought fit to say, the Union must be preserved, and hence all indispensable means must be employed. I said this not hastily, but deliberately. War has been made, and continued to be an indispensable means to this end. A practical reacknowledgment of the national authority would render the war unnecessary, and it would at once cease. If, however, resistance continues, the war must also continue, and it is impossible to foresee all the incidents which may attend, and all the ruin which may follow it.

Such as may seem indispensable, or may obviously promise great efficiency towards ending the struggle must and will come--the proposition now made is an offer only. I hope it may be esteemed no offence to ask whether the pecuniary consideration tendered would not be of more value to the States and private persons and property in it in the present aspect of affairs.

While it is true that the adoption of the proposed resolution would be merely initiatory, and not within itself a practical measure, it is recommended in the hope that it would soon lead to important practical results. In full view of my great responsibility to my God and to my country, I earnestly beg the attention of Congress and the people to the subject.


The No-Party Movement Unmasked
(Column 2)
Summary: Observes that the Harrisburg Telegraph, a Republican paper, now advocates abandoning the Union party label and going into the elections of 1862 as Republicans. Since Republicans had attacked Democrats the previous year for refusing to join Union parties in the spirit of non-partisanship, the Spirit finds it ironic that the Republicans are now all for the idea of parties.
Change--What it Has Done and Would Yet Do
(Column 3)
Summary: Argues that the removal of Cameron from the Secretary of War position was the best thing Lincoln could have done because it has empowered McClellan to look ahead without any fear of attack from within the administration. The article also advocates removing Secretary of State Seward and replacing him with a "sound, national, constitutional, conservative man," preferably someone from Maryland, Virginia or Kentucky.
Origin of Article: Greensburg Democrat
From Fortress Monroe
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports on the engagement of the Confederate ironclad Merrimack with the Union ships guarding the mouth of the James River. The Merrimack reportedly sank the sailing ship Cumberland and set fire to the sailing ship Congress after her crew surrendered. The Merrimack seemed to have run aground. The reporter could not confirm these facts, as they were being observed from eight miles away through a telescope and supplemented by reports of "panick-stricken non-combatants." A brief report from the next day indicated that the "Erricson"--the Monitor, though not identified as such in the article--arrived at the scene the next day and engaged the Merrimack, Jamestown and Yorktown, with the Merrimack reported to be in sinking condition.

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Description of Page: Fiction and poetry

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Description of Page: Fiction

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The President's Message
(Column 1)
Summary: An editorial which cautiously supports Lincoln's plan of buying slaves in the border states while criticizing it for not addressing the matter of what will happen to blacks once they are freed. The solution could not be equality, say the editors, as the "law of nature" mandates that antagonistic races cannot exist side by side without one holding the other in subjection.
Full Text of Article:

In another column of our paper will be found an important special Message sent into Congress by President LINCOLN.

The idea seems to have taken a tenacious hold of the minds of the President and his party that this rebellion cannot be put down unless the freedom of the slave is proclaimed in some manner or form.

If the president has hit upon the right plan, which is by no means a new one, we feel no disposition to oppose it factiously on his account. We feel as anxious as anybody living to get rid of the everlasting nigger, and if the President's recommendation will effect that, to him be all mundane honor and glory.

All the slave States have ever contended for was to be let alone, and permitted to manage their domestic institutions in their own way. One good feature about the Message is that the President expressly disclaims any right to interfere with the "peculiar institution;" thus crushing out the most important dogma in the Abolition creed, that "the General Government has the right to interfere with slavery in the States."

On this point the President is explicit and we believe honest. He says "the General Government sets up no claim of a right, by Federal authority, to interfere with slavery within State limits, referring, as it does, the absolute control of the subject in each case to the State and its people immediately interested."

Mr. BUCHANAN in his last annual Message to Congress said--"How easy would it be for the American people to settle the slavery question forever, and to restore peace and harmony to this distracted country." We appear to be approximating to a better understanding all round on this "vexed question," and as a result of this proper perception of right and wrong, may we not hope soon to see it "settled forever" and "peace and harmony" reign where now all is ruin, desolation and blood-shed--the legitimate fruits of slavery agitation.

If Mr. LINCOLN cannot conciliate his party, or reconcile them in any other way, to a cessation of hostility towards the South, than through the abolition of slavery, we certainly like his plan of buying the negroes much better than that of killing the white race to free the black.

As to the expenditure of money required to carry out this proposition we will not stop to count the cost. Who would not rather see the money of the Government laid out in buying negroes than purchasing salt-petre for the destruction of the white man.

What is to become of the negro after the Government has purchased him Mr. LINCOLN has not told us. This is the most momentous question to be decided, and should have received the serious and kindly consideration of the President in his Message. If it is intended to emancipate the negro, and place him on an equality with the white man, we can tell Mr. LINCOLN in advance that his scheme is a failure. It is a law of nature, which he cannot change by any ukase he may issue, that two antagonistic races cannot exist side by side without one holding the other in subjection. It must then become a struggle between the white man and the black man for supremacy. Mr. LINCOLN has very compassionately shut his eyes from a view of this picture, and we too have no desire to contemplate the horrors of that struggle.

We do not wish to be understood as condemning Mr. LINCOLN's plan. He strongly recommends it "as one of the most efficient means of self-preservation," and as an imperative necessity, to get rid of the everlasting nigger, we accept it "for better or worse."

An Important Distinction
(Column 2)
Summary: Criticizes supporters of Lincoln for trying to equate Lincoln's administration with the entire government, and thus to make criticism of Lincoln tantamount to criticism of the government in general. The editors argue that it is their duty to denounce any malfeasance within the Lincoln administration. Such disapproval does not make them traitors, however.
General McClellan
(Column 3)
Summary: Attacks critics of General McClellan, claiming than any commander who does not support the expansion of the war to include abolition is open for attack from the abolitionist press. The most recent offense, say the editors, was from a Pennsylvania Republican paper which suggests that former Secretary of War Cameron is more deserving of praise than McClellan is for "crushing the violence of rebellion." The only thing Cameron crushed, says the Valley Spirit, was the U.S. treasury.
Northern Secessionists in Council
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports on an abolitionist meeting at the Cooper Union in New York City that endorsed Senator Sumner's proposal to declare the Confederate states territories. According to Sumner, the Confederacy abrogated their rights as states by seceding. The Valley Spirit cites a number of critics of the plan, including the New York Evening Post.
Congressional Apportionment
(Column 5)
Summary: Pennsylvania will be receiving an additional representative in the House. The Patriot and Union calls for a completely new reapportionment in the state to correct the "disgraceful gerrymandering" that now determines congressional districts. Republican lawmakers have sought to diminish Democratic districts, thus creating a number of unequal and unnatural Congressional districts.
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union

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(Column 1)
Summary: Even though Franklin County has fulfilled the full quota of troops demanded from her, additional men continue to sign up at the two recruiting stations run by Lieutenant Burgess and Lieutenant Thomas. The following recruits signed up with Lieutenant Thomas, and ten of them left for Harrisburg on Saturday: James Cline?, Scotland; David Daihl, Scotland; George W. Flack, Chambersburg; John J. Forsyth, Carrick Furnace; Carl Galaher, Carrick Furnace; Jonathan J. Good, Mercersburg; N.H. Hendricks, Chambersburg; Louis Hofman, Strasburg; Allen Mort?, Fannettsburg; Johnathan Rice, Chambersburg; Samuel H. Book, Carrick Furnace; Fredrick Sharp, Fannettsburg; James Wineman, Fannettsburg; David Schmitd, "The Wide World"; Emory Will, Gettysburg, Adams County. The following men of Franklin County enlisted with Lieutenant Burgess: Henry Hinlan, Edmund Hunter, Thomas H. Harris, John Cell, John H. Kissel, William C. Reitnouer, George Brenthaver, David W. Tront, Amos G. Huber, Adam Cadel, Peter Cook, George W. Tritle, and Jacob P. Wenterling.
(Names in announcement: James Cline?, David Daihl, George W. Flack, John J. Forsythe, Carl Galaher, Jonathan J. Good, N.H. Hendricks, Louis Hofman, Allen Mort?, Jonathan Rice, Samuel H. Rook, Frederick Sharp, James Wineman, David Schmitd, Emory Will, Henry Hinlan, Edmund Hunter, Thomas H. Harris, John Cell, John H. Kissel, William C. Reitnouer, George Brenthaver, David W. Tront, Amos G. Huber, Adam Cadel, Peter Cook, George W. Tritle, Jacob P. Weaverling)
Our Boys in Tennessee
(Column 1)
Summary: No correspondence has arrived recently from the 77th Pennsylvania Volunteers in Tennessee, thought they are reported to be moving south from Nashville on the way to Murfreeboro. It is reported that when they marched through Nashville no soldier fell out of line without permission, and that the troops conducted themselves honorably.
Col. Campbell
(Column 2)
Summary: The Valley Spirit heartily endorses the appointment of Col. Campbell by Governor Curtain to head the 57th Regiment of Pennsylvanian Volunteers, in service to the Army of the Potomac.
(Names in announcement: Col. Campbell)
Origin of Article: Harrisburg Telegraph
(Column 2)
Summary: The Valley Spirit applauds the re-establishment of a branch of the Order of Odd Fellows, a good sign following the dissolution of all the local beneficial societies. It already numbers thirty or forty members. The officers include: A.J. White, "C.P."; Jacob Spangler, "H.P."; Edward G. Etter, "S.W."; Frank Henderson, "J.W."; W.H. Boyle, Scribe; Benjamin F. Need, Treasurer.
(Names in announcement: A.J. White, Jacob Spangler, Edward G. Etter, Frank Henderson, W.H. Boyle, Benjamin F. Need)
Full Text of Article:

An Encampment of this branch of the Order of Odd Fellows was established in this place in July last. It is a re-organization of the old "Olive Branch Encampment" that existed here a few years ago. Since it re-opened in July it has flourished beyond all expectations and may now be regarded as established on a permanent foundation. It already numbers between thirty and forty members and its financial affairs are in a most gratifying condition. Since the dissolution of all our Beneficial Societies we are glad to announce the re-establishment of this in our midst. At a meeting of this "Encampment" on Monday night last the following named gentlemen were elected officers of the association: C. P.--A. J. White; H. P.--Jacob Spangler; W.W.--Edward G. Etter; J. W.--Frank Henderson; Scribe--W. H. Boyle; Treasurer--Benj. F. Nead. The meetings of the Encampment are held in the Hall of Columbus Lodge on the Second and Fourth Monday evenings of each month.

The 107th Regiment
(Column 2)
Summary: Lieutenant Colonel Thomas McAllen of Fannettsburg is second in command of the newly formed 107th Regiment, to which Captain Brand's company, recruited in Franklin County, is attached. The regiment was to leave Harrisburg on Saturday for Washington.
(Names in announcement: Lieutenant Colonel Thomas McAllen)
The War Debt for one Year--Difficulty of Collecting the Taxes
(Column 5)
Summary: The Senate Finance Committee reports that the public debt of the U.S. by June 1862 would be near $750,000,000, with an annual interest of $45,000,000. The article criticizes the Committee's plans for raising the funds, noting that thus far only a fraction will be covered by new taxes proposed, and that a proposed federal land tax may drive many people off the land.
Origin of Article: New York Evening Post
(Column 6)
Summary: Daniel Grove and Barbara Musselman, both of Franklin County, were married on March 11.
(Names in announcement: Rev. B. Bausman, Daniel Grove, Barbara Musselman)
(Column 6)
Summary: Sarah Elizabeth Johnston, daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah Johnston, died on March 5 of scarlet fever, age 10 years and 5 days.
(Names in announcement: Sarah Elizabeth Johnston, Nathaniel Johnston, Sarah Johnston)

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Description of Page: Classified advertisements

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Description of Page: Advertisements and miscellaneous war stories