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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: September 21, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-4

How to Make Peace
(Column 5)
Summary: Argues that if it is true, as the New York Tribune has stated, that two-thirds of the people on each side of the dividing line want peace, then that peace plan should come from the people--and not from the Lincoln and Davis administrations.
Origin of Article: National Intelligencer
The Real Issue
(Column 6)
Summary: Criticizes the Lincoln administration for suggesting that the Democratic party is supporting the Confederacy. Argues instead that the Democratic party only wants peace.
Origin of Article: Age
Full Text of Article:

There is nothing in which the perverse mendacity of the Administration and its parasites is now so industriously occupied, as in falsifying the issues before us, and misrepresenting the relation which is borne to them by the Democratic party. In proclaiming themselves the advocates of peace, the Democracy is charged with espousing the cause of the Southern Confederacy. By denouncing the follies and crimes of the Administration, they are accused of arraying themselves against the Government of their country, and giving aid and comfort to its enemies. In appealing to the constitutional right and patriotic duty of the citizen to rebuke bad rulers and take from them the power they abuse, we are told that we are weakening the hands which we should strengthen, and aiming side-blows at the cause which they uphold.

Familiar as are the tricks and falsehoods of the unprincipled faction, which in one short term of its domination has dragged us to the brink of anarchy and ruin, they are none the less dangerous on that account. The people have been fed with lies, until they can scarcely recognize the truth. Their passions have been stimulated by every appliance of diabolical malignity, until reason has lost half of its control and nearly all its vigilance. Every generous impulse has been so basely played upon--every pure and noble purpose has been so systematically and wickedly distorted--that the minds and hearts of men are no longer in their normal condition. The elements within us are at war, like the elements without, and a truce is as needful to save us from moral desolation, as from the chaos of bloody barbarism towards which, as a nation, we are rushing. If the Democratic party has not virtue and strength enough for the work, we are without hope, and there is a darkness over the future which it is fearful to behold, and may be far more fearful to penetrate. The purposes and aims of the party, therefore, should not be left subject to misinterpretation, or misrepresentation. They should be made as distinct and clear as they are patriotic and elevated. No man should be able to misunderstand them, unless wil[l]fully.

Once for all, then, the great end and object of the Democratic party, in this struggle, is the vindication of the rights and liberties of our own people, and the re-establishment of republican institutions among ourselves, under a constitutional government and honest rulers. To this great consummation all other things tend, and everything else is merely tributary. The system of government which our fathers gave us, had for its chief, great end, the liberty of the citizen. All the institutional [illegible] which it provides were but auxiliary to this. The Union itself was devised but as a means of fortifying individual freedom, by building around to the bulwarks of national independence and power. The freedom and security, then, of the citizen, are what the Democratic party is now fighting for. Without law and Constitution, neither freedom, nor security can exist, and the Democratic party, therefore, is fighting for Constitution and law. The corrupt and bloody dynasty which it is laboring to over-turn, has trampled down the laws and laughed the Constitution to scorn. The Democratic party, therefore, is the sworn enemy of the profligate usurpers at Washington, and, in the name of republican liberty, has summoned the people to cast them out.

The question, then, in the canvass which is opening, is not merely between peace and war, but between military despotism and constitutional right. The Democratic party is the herald and champion of peace--not because it sympathises with rebellion, but because it is on the side of its own birth-right. It is against the further prosecution of an iniquitous and bloody war--not merely because it leans to humanity and civilization; not merely because it sees, in the mad policy of State coercion, a violation of the spirit and faith of the compact and a wicked futility and crime; but because it feels and knows that a military organization which can crush the South, will be too strong for the freedom of the North. It has already felt the iron hand of military despotism. Its presses have been silenced by armed force. Its best citizens have been dragged from dungeon to dungeon, or exiled from home and country, for no crime but their opinions. The ballot box has been fenced around by bayonets and the right of suffrage has been made a soldier's mockery. State legislatures have been suppressed, and State rights turned into jest. To combine and organize as a party, under the shield of the law and the guarantees of the Constitution, is to "conspire"--to purchase arms for self-protection, is to be in rebellion and challenge the hangman. Free speech has become "disloyalty" free thought is "moral treason." Military commissions have superseded trial by jury, and military arrogance has set judicial process at defiance. The President's mere order has been made, by act of Congress, a flat bar to prosecution for every crime, and to all civil remedy for every outrage committed under it. There is no home sacred, no sex secure, no age respected, no right inviolate. Aggressions multiply every day, with increasing insolence and aggravation. While the war lasts, they will go on multiplying, for the necessities of war are their sole pretext. Peace, then, is their only cure, and our only salvation. It is for this that the Democracy covet peace, and will spare no honorable or manly effort to secure it. They are not willing to become enslaved, themselves, in the vain and iniquitous attempt to compel "the abandonment of slavery," elsewhere. They will not consent that the red hand of the conscription shall be on their throat, under pretense of throttling the rebels. They will not surrender their own liberties for the unholy purpose of subjugating or exterminating a people, but yesterday their brethren.

These, then, are the issues. To the South, the Administration proposes that its people shall live with us on our terms, or die. To the people of the North, it declares that they shall abandon their own freedom, to trample the South into submission or annihilation. The Democratic party will submit to neither alternative. It will be neither savage nor serf. Its policy towards the South will be guided by justice and humanity, and will be developed in due time; but its present concern is the salvation of the North. Its present battle is one of self-preservation. Peace and war, slavery and emancipation, victories and defeats, all matters of policy and detail, it holds as nothing, beside the great fundamental and absorbing question of public and private liberty. There it has taken its stand, and around it, if there be manhood and virtue left in the people, virtue and manhood will rally unto victory.--Age.

Historical Record
(Column 7)
Summary: Lists the names of all the Presidents and Vice Presidents who have ever served the United States. Also lists the opponents faced by these men in their respective elections.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Previously published political notices, column 1

Our Office
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that the Valley Spirit's new office is located in the warehouse of Messrs. Wunderlich and Nead.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Wunderlich, Mr. Nead)
(Column 1)
Summary: Agrees with the remarks of Senator Semmes of Louisiana to the rebels there in which he suggests that Southern hopes for peace are dependent on the success of the Democratic party in the North.
Don't Like It
(Column 2)
Summary: Calls the Repository's criticism of General McClellan's letter accepting the Democratic nomination an "absurdity."
The Democratic Party and Peace
(Column 2)
Summary: Refutes a Republican claim that Democrats support a "humiliating peace."
For Little Mac and the Union
(Column 3)
Summary: Lists names of prominent former Whigs or current Republicans who have decided to support McClellan, including ex-President Filmore.
Conferee Meeting
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that the Democratic conferees of the 16th congressional district met on September 12 and unanimously nominated Gen. A. H. Coffroth for Congress. Also notes that the judicial conference met at the same time and unanimously nominated Hon. Francis M. Kimmel for president judge.
(Names in announcement: General A. H. Coffroth, Hon. Francis M. Kimmel)
Congressional Conference
(Column 4)
Summary: Notes that at the September 12 meeting of the 16th congressional district conferees, Augustus Duncan, John Croft, and C. M. Duncan represented Franklin County.
(Names in announcement: William M. McClane, John Palmer, Augustus Duncan, John Croft, C. M. Duncan)
Trailer: William M. McClane, Pres., John Palmer, Sec.
Judicial Conference
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that Democrats John Croft, James B. Orr, and C. M. Duncan represented Franklin County at the September 12 meeting of the 16th judicial district.
(Names in announcement: W. S. Nelson, O. E. Shannon, John Croft, James B. Orr, C. M. Duncan)
Trailer: W. S. Nelson, Pres., O. E. Shannon, Sec.
Hon. F. M. Kimmel
(Column 4)
Summary: Hails the nomination by the Democrats of F. M. Kimmel for the president judge of this district.
(Names in announcement: Hon. F. M. Kimmel)
McClellan's Midnight Letter to Lincoln
(Column 5)
Summary: Discusses a letter written by McClellan to Lincoln right before he was removed from command, which suggests that McClellan was not guilty of "treason" but instead was "patriotic."
The Richmond Enquirer for Lincoln
(Column 6)
Summary: Reports that the Richmond Enquirer published a column in support of Lincoln for President. The Enquirer reasoned that it would be easier for the South to make peace with an "anti-slavery fanatic" than with an "earnest Unionist."
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: Suggests that the election of McClellan will help the Southern people to "throw off the grasp of their leaders" and get back into a Union where their rights and institutions will be protected.
"What Cheer"
(Column 7)
Summary: Describes "the zeal, the vigor, and the confidence" of Democrats in Franklin County for those supporters who live out in the country and cannot witness the enthusiasm for themselves.
Full Text of Article:

We are constantly cheered with such evidences of the zeal, the vigor, and the confidence of Democrats in all parts of the country that it is our duty to make the facts known to all our friends who are hard at work, each in his own vicinity, and who may desire to know "what cheer" comes from fellow-workers beyond their own range of observation.

1. Everywhere the nomination of Gen. McClellan has roused the utmost enthusiasm in the ranks of the Democracy. Every Democratic vote will be polled in November, and no one needs to be told that victory perches on the banners of the party whose candidates elicit a full party vote.

Moreover, the young men are with us everywhere. The young men who have come of age since the last presidential election will vote the young men's ticket. "Little Mac" is the man they want for President.

2. The defections from the Republican party are increasing daily, and they have only begun to be counted. Our correspondents write us from almost every state, of this man or that man, prominent in his city or county, who voted for Mr. Lincoln in 1860, but who will vote for McClellan in November. The changes of this sort which are well known of in this city will be matched in every other city in the North. Party ties are straw to American citizens, when by disregarding them a vote can be given for Union and peace. We hear of several distinguished men, recognized leaders in this and adjoining states, who have strained a point to support the administration while it was charged with the responsibilities of government, who will seize the opportunity to vote out the men who have so wretchedly failed to discharge their responsibilities. These men mean not only to vote for, but to work hard for the election of General McClellan.

3. The influence which the discharged and disabled soldiers of the republic are exerting in favor of Gen. McClellan is tremendous. Every one of them has cycle of friends, and they are making proselytes by the hundred. The calumnies of the Lincoln organs against their favorite commander only inflame them into more ardent exertions. Soldiers who have served in the Army of the Potomac can't listen to these wholesale slanders with much patience, and there are enough of them scattered over the country to nail every new lie to the counter as fast as it is uttered.

4. We speak what we know when we say that there will be no defection from the ranks of the Democratic party worth considering--no "bolt" worth counting. The mistake made by our anxious Republican friends, and by the few bolters themselves, was in supposing that the Democratic masses wanted peace at the expense of the Union, that they would for a moment think of purchasing peace at the price even of one hour's risk of disunion. Gentlemen of the administration party, you reckoned without your host. You made the blunder of believing your own slanders of the patriots arrayed against you!

And mark! For every disunion "bolter" who has left us, and so purified the party, one hundred Union and peace-loving men will march out of your ranks into ours!

5. The pledge of the Chicago platform, which Gen. McClellan accepted, of course, when he accepted the nomination of the Chicago Convention, was that one earnest, frank and fraternal effort should be made for peace--for peace if possible "without the effusion of another drop of blood"--for the peace which every honest man "would hail with unbounded joy"--for peace on the basis of the Union--the condition sine qua non. And whenever there is good reason to believe that the rebels are "ready for such a peace" in God's name, should we not make all haste to give them peace?" Will any Republican who loves his country and his fellow-men answer us that?

This is what the "peace sentiment of the Democratic party" means. We share this peace sentiment, avow it, and now and at all times will uphold and defend it. This is all that it means. There is no division in our ranks. If any man who has called himself a Democrat means more than this--which is fairly implied in the much-abused Chicago platform, and clearly expressed in the much-praised letter of acceptance of Gen. McClellan--then he is a Democrat no longer.

And we wish to be understood as meaning precisely what we say when we add that this and nothing but this is the peace sentiment of the great West, and that, in full and satisfied expression of this sentiment, the whole Democracy of the West will cast its vote for McClellan and Pendleton next November, God sparing their lives.--World.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Previously published political notices, column 1; reports on skirmishing in Virginia at Coggin's Point, column 3; classified ads, columns 4-7

"No Partyism" in the Army
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports on an incident in which a Democratic soldier was passed up for a first lieutenant commission in favor of a Republican.
Discouraging Enlistments
(Column 1)
Summary: Accuses the Repository of discouraging men from enlisting. Points to a report of three workers in a machine shop who decided against enlisting after reading the paper.
Sword Presentation
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports on the ceremony surrounding the presentation of a sword by Milton A. Embich and other members of the 209th Pennsylvania Volunteers to Lieut. N. W. Kuhn.
(Names in announcement: Lieut. N. W. Kuhn, Milton A. Embich)
Come to Grief
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that a member of the 202nd Pennsylvania Volunteers tried escaping from jail last Sunday but fell and severely injured himself in the process.
State Fair
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society will hold its next fair in Easton, Pennsylvania, on September 27-30, 1864.
(Column 5)
Summary: Rev.M. Snyder married Henry Beys and Margaretta Foust on September 13.
(Names in announcement: Rev. M. Snyder, Henry Beys, Margaretta Foust)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-7