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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: December 28, 1864

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-4; essay on Indians and buffaloes, columns 5-6

The Art of Letting Land Alone
(Column 7)
Summary: Urges farmers to give portions of their land a rest from time to time to allow it to improve on its own.

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Reports on the capture of Savannah, column 7

The Draft
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that no future drafts can help the Union cause while Lincoln and his men remain in power.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Argues that since there is no evidence that "shoddy" leaders did not commit fraud, and that Republicans in general love to hold office, then it must be true that Republican fraud was responsible for the November election results.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the Attorney General has determined that neither General Koontz (Republican) or A. J. Coffroth (Democrat) were legally elected to Congress (since the Somerset County votes were turned in late and never included in the total). The Attorney General has therefore sent the matter to Washington, and the outcome will be determined by the next Congress, which the Valley Spirit predicts will support Koontz.
(Names in announcement: A. J. Coffroth, General William Koontz)
Coffroth vs. Koontz
(Column 2)
Summary: Argues that the congressional election should have been decided by including the Somerset County votes. If that had been done, A. J. Coffroth would have been declared the winner.
(Names in announcement: A. J. Coffroth, General William Koontz)
What Shall Be Done With the Negro?
(Column 3)
Summary: Points out that although the war may solve the "slavery question," there is still the larger "negro question" to be addressed. This question mainly consists of what rights will be extended to the ex-slaves.
Origin of Article: Pottsville Standard
Full Text of Article:

This is a question which has long puzzled the ablest statesmen of the country, and of which no satisfactory practicable solution has ever been arrived, even by those who make the loudest professions of sympathy with his condition as a slave. It is a question, however, which must, ere long, be looked squarely in the face. Heretofore, it has been discussed in view of the contingency of emancipation of the slaves in portions of the United States where they have been held in bondage; now it must be viewed in the light of an existing reality. A large number of slaves have been freed as our armies have advanced into the southern country. No one pretends to believe that the former status of these negroes will be restored. The able bodied males have been, and will doubtless continue during the course of the war, to be employed to a large extent by the Government; while the remainder have been mainly provided for at Government expense. No particular status, however, has been assigned to them, further than the exigencies of each individual case might require. With the close of the war, however, if not at an earlier period their status as a class must be determined. It must then be decided whether they shall be admitted in every respect as the equal of the whites, or whether, though released from the obligations which made them the property of another, they shall be excluded from political and social equality with the whites. So far as this portion of the blacks is concerned, the question of slavery has been decided. Underneath this, however, links one still more knotty and perplexing, viz: the negro question. Presidential edicts, Legislative statutes and ordinances of Conventions, though they may invest the slave with the title of freedom, cannot bleach his skin, endow him with any mental or physical faculty withheld by nature, nor eradicate the inborn feeling in the white that the African is an inferior race. It is not so much the "prejudice of color" which makes the negro repulsive when assuming equality with the whites, as the low character given him by the Almighty. This antagonism does not assume the form of hatred or hostility, for the conviction of superiority the white man experiences is generally unaccompanied with any desire to tyrannize over the negro. Inhumanity to a black universally awakens as much sympathy for the victim as though perpetrated upon a defenceless person of another complexion. We presume those who have expended thousands in colonization schemes can hardly be accused of lack of philanthropy towards the unfortunate race, and yet these benevolent people have esteemed it better for the African to be separated from the wearers of the fair skins--better for the African, and better for all.

Hitherto there has been a great reluctance on the part of the free blacks to fall in with the idea that their happiness would be promoted by emigration to some country of their own. In this they have doubtless been encouraged to a great extent, by the ultra Abolitionists, who oppose colonization on the ground that it implies an irresistible conflict between the races, which they will not concede. Of a similar character are the present efforts to extend the privileges of the negroes, the effect of which must be to invite them to remain and others to come.

We do not propose to argue the question whether the elective franchise should be extended to the negroes. We have always supposed with the deserted statesmen of the country, that our Government was made for white men. The legislation of the patriot-fathers all show this. The politicians of the present day, have, however, grown so much wiser than their predecessors, have attained so much more thorough knowledge of the laws of government, have made so much more progress in civilization, and have exhibited such superior sagacity in their mastery of the principles of philosophy and philanthropy, that we are conscious of laying ourselves open to the ridicule which attaches to old-fogyism, in presuming to think that the teachings of a past generation should be any guide in these enlightened days. And when we look around us and behold the familiarity with our organic institutions, the public enterprise, the virtue and the high intellectual powers which distinguish the black race in our midst, he would be "conservative" indeed, who could hesitate for a moment in deciding upon the subject of negro suffrage.

Pottsville Standard.

The Next Draft
(Column 4)
Summary: In view of another impending draft, the Commercial Advertiser, a Republican newspaper, gives an overview of the drafts conducted in the last year. The paper justifies the administration's call for more men as necessary to scare the South into submission.
Origin of Article: New York Commercial Advertiser
A Proclamation by the President
(Column 6)
Summary: Prints a copy of Lincoln's December 20 call for three hundred thousand more men.
Political Preaching Cured
(Column 7)
Summary: Reports that "political preaching" was put to rest in a congregational church in a neighboring state when a Democratic farmer got up and gave the first prayer for the success of the Democratic party that had ever been said in that church.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 3-7

Houses and Rents
(Column 1)
Summary: Condemns those men who are charging high rents in view of the scarcity of housing following the burning of Chambersburg.
Full Text of Article:

Houses for rent, owing to the wholesale destruction of buildings by the rebel vandals, are unusually scarce in this place and consequently the rents demanded by landlords are exhorbitant [sic]. We were inclined to the belief that the misfortunes of many of our people would protect them from the vipacity [sic] of those having tenements to let, but in this we have been very much disappointed. It would seem to be the desire of these men, not to get as much for their houses as they are worth; but to get as much as they can possibly squeeze out of the necessities of our people. There is no good reason why rents should be any higher now than one year ago. The tax on real estate is the same, and though marketable commodities are higher, wages have risen in the same proportion. In a year or two there will be some room for expansion, created by the rebuilding of the burned portion of our town and the erection of new houses on available lots on the outskirts. When our town has been rebuilt, this cruel war ended, and the days of peace and prosperity again return, men who have taken advantage of the necessities of the people in their day of adversity will not be forgotten.

Pennsylvanians with Sherman and Thomas
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes that the following Pennsylvania regiments are currently under Generals Sherman and Thomas: With Sherman are the 28th, 46th, 73rd, 79th, 109th, 111th, 147th, and Battery E, also known as "Knapp's." With Thomas are the 7th, 9th, and 15th cavalry, the 77th infantry, and Battery B.
Important to County, City, District and Borough Treasurers
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes that the treasurers of each county, city, district and borough are required to collect state taxes from holders of oil company stocks.
A Large Bird
(Column 1)
Summary: Near Fayetteville last Saturday, H. T. Snyder shot a black eagle measuring seven feet four and a half inches by three feet six inches, and weighing eighteen and one fourth pounds.
(Names in announcement: H. T. Snyder)
Deserved Promotion
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes that Frederick Shennfield has been promoted to second lieutenant of Company L, 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry.
(Names in announcement: Frederick Shennfield)
Sudden Death
(Column 1)
Summary: John C. R. Eckman took "suddenly ill" and died on Monday at age 47 years, 3 months and 15 days.
(Names in announcement: Mr. John C. R. Eckman)
Origin of Article: Village Record
Oil Stocks
(Column 2)
Summary: Claims that the Pennsylvania Imperial Oil Company stock "cannot fail to pay monthly dividends."
To Justices of the Peace
(Column 2)
Summary: Notes that new legislation has increased the fees of the justices of the peace in Franklin, Cumberland, Allegheny, and Fulton counties.
(Column 4)
Summary: Rev. J. Oller married Samuel Slutour and Leah Heintzelman on December 20 at the residence of the bride's father.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Oller, Samuel Slutour, Leah Heintzelman)

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Description of Page: Classified ads, columns 1-7