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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: May 30, 1866

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-Page 01-

Freedmen's Bureau
(Column 4)
Summary: Contains a copy of the scathing report issued by Generals Steedman and Fullerton, who were given the task of assessing the impact and effectiveness of the Freedmen's Bureau. The pair toured Virginia and North Carolina before making their recommendations.

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President Johnson's Cabinet
(Column 1)
Summary: Since taking Lincoln's place, the relationship between Johnson and his Cabinet has been rather tumultuous, explains the editorial, even though there are several members who "heartily approve of the President's policy of restoration." With the exception of Secretary McCollough, however, their "love of party is stronger than their love of country." If Johnson hopes to succeed in his plans, it insists, he must purge "all the traitors and spies at once from his council board."
The Deserter's Law
(Column 2)
Summary: Chronicles the case of Henry Reilly, a citizen of Hamilton township who was disfranchised on the grounds that he was a deserter. Reilly challenged the decision in court and won. The judgement in the case has been appealed, and is currently before the Supreme Court.
(Names in announcement: A. K. McClure)
Full Text of Article:

Among the many important cases claim the attention of the Supreme Court, now in session at Harrisburg, is one from this county involving the constitutionality of the law of Congress disfranchising delinquent drafted men and deserters.

Henry Reilly, a citizen of Hamilton township, was drafted into the military service of the United states on the 10th of July, 1864, and having been regularly served with a notice of his conscription, he refused, and never did report to the Provost Marshal of the 16th district for service in the army of the United States, nor did he furnish a substitute, or pay the required sum of money therefor. When Reilly offered his ballot at the Hamilton poll on the 19th day of October last, the judge of the election refused to receive his vote on the ground that he was a deserter from the military service of the United States, and in consequence thereof, was disfranchised by the act of Congress providing for the enrolling and calling out of the national forces, approved the 3d day of March, 1865.

Immediately after the election Mr. Reilly bought suit against the judge who rejected his vote, and at the January term following the case was submitted to the decision of the court without the intervention of a jury and promptly decided by Judge King, in an able opinion published in our columns at the time, in favor of the plaintiff. In pursuance of that decision judgement was entered against the defendant, Benjamin Huber, for the sum of one dollar and costs. Thus so far as our court had the power the act of Congress attempting the disfranchisement of the citizens of a sovereign State was declared unconstitutional and void. A writ of error to the Supreme Court was then sued out by the defendant and the case is now before that tribunal for final decision.

The Legislature of the State at the recent session passed a law, similar in its provisions to the act of Congress, which Gov. Curtin holds over for his action, until the Supreme Court has passed upon the constitutionality of the former act. On the opening of the case the Attorney General, Hon. Wm. M. Meredith, sent in and had read before the court the following paper:


Harrisburg, May 23, 1866.

My Dear Sir:--I understand that a case involving the question of the constitutionality of the act of Congress which provides for the disfranchisement of deserters will be heard before you to-day. It was my purpose, on the hearing of the same case, as unicus curia, to make or ally the statement which I now beg leave to present to the court in writing. The physical disability under which I am temporarily laboring will, I hope, afford a ground for your kind indulgence in the adoption of this mode of communicating with the Court.

Shortly before the termination of the last session, a bill was sent to the Governor for his approval, providing for carrying into effect, so far as relates to the exercise of suffrage in the commonwealth, the enactments of the act of Congress referred to. Understanding that one or more cases, involving the question of the constitutionality of that act of Congress, would be presented for your decision at the present term he thought that a due observance of that respect for and obedience to the law, as adjucated by the highest juridical tribunal of the commonwealth, which have always been prominent characteristics of our people, required that he should wait, if possible, the result of your decision. As the provisions of that bill are probably not otherwise known to the Court, I beg to suggest that if, it should become a law, a very considerable time will be required to make the necessary thorough examinations of the military records of the United States, and to prepare the detailed lists, which it directs to be transmitted to the officers of the respective courts of quarter session, and to afford sufficient time between such transmission and the general election, to persons whose names may be upon those lists, to obtain the evidence of any mistakes which may have occurred to themselves individually. I conceive it to be my duty to bring these circumstances to the attention of the Court, that they may be apprized of the great public interests that seem to invite an early announcement of their judgement on the question.

I am, with great esteem,

Very truly yours, &c.,


Attorney General, Pa.

The case was very ably argued before a full bench of Judges, by J. McDowell Sharpe, Esq., for defendant in error. We presume a decision will soon be announced by the court, and we feel assured that such a decision will be a correct and proper one. The Judges hold a high position for integrity and legal ability, and it is scarcly possible that they will sustain a law in plain and direct conflict with the fundamental law of the State. If the Congress of the United States can disfranchise a citizen of Pennsylvania for one cause, they may for another, and in a very brief period we may find the great State of Pennsylvania occupying the position of a department of the central government, shorn of every vestige of sovereignty, and ruled in everything, by the powers at Washington, now so completely under the domination yankee fanatics.

Mr. Stanton "Speaks A Piece"
(Column 3)
Summary: After the apparent reversal of his position regarding the President's Reconstruction policy, the editorial questions the veracity of Gen. Stanton's conversion. Rather than being done out of conviction, the article contends, Stanton's move illustrates the lengths that the general will go to avoid "imperil[ing] his tenure of office."
Origin of Article: Age
The Vote As They Fought
(Column 4)
Summary: In the borough of York recently, reports the piece, a group of more then 200 former soldiers organized a political club and passed a series of resolutions endorsing the Democratic platform. This development is a reflection of the attitude prevalent among the Keystone State's Civil War veterans who, it asserts, will "vote as they fought" in the upcoming election--"for the Constitution and the Union."
Full Text of Article:

The soldiers of the borough of York, and vicinity, recently organized a club, the call for which was signed by two hundred and thirty-five veterans of the late war. The following are the resolutions passed by the club after its organization, which we commend to the politicians of the disunion-negro-suffrage party of Franklin County.--Where are Geary's mythical "three hundred thousand?" The soldiers of Pennsylvania, in the coming contest, are going to "vote as they fought"--for the Constitution and the Union. Here are the resolutions--soldiers read:

WHEREAS, We, soldiers of the War for the Union, from the borough and vicinity of York, have formed ourselves into an organization, social and political, and for the purpose of defending at home as well as in the field the great principles of the Constitution of the United States, AND WHEREAS, we are on the eve of a great political contest in this State, and are desirous of declaring to our fellow citizens our sentiments, be it therefore unanimously

Resolved, That having fought for the Union and assisted to restoring the national authority throughout the land, we are unalterably opposed to the Radicals of Congress who are attempting to do what the rebels failed to do--subvert our free institutions and destroy the Union.

Resolved, That the rebellion having been crushed and its armies dispersed, the people of the Southern States should be immediately restored to their rights in the Union and that loyal representatives should be admitted to Congress, and we declare the late action of Congress excluding those States for four years from representation, at the same time, making them subject to taxation, to be unjust and tyrannical.

Resolved, That the government of our Fathers is a White Man's Government made by White men, for White men, and therefore, we are opposed to Negro Suffrage: and since the abolition of slavery was accomplished through the war, and the South have accepted the result in good faith, it is unjust as well as unconstitutional for Congress to force upon them Negro Suffrage and Negro Equality.

Resolved, That we will stand by President Johnson in his noble efforts to defeat the bold, bad men who stand in the way of the restoration of the States to their full constitutional rights, and that, we believe that in his magnamonious policy is only to be found a sure road to restoration of a Union of hearts, and Union of States, and peace and prosperity to the land.

Resolved, That we are opposed to the party which detracts from the honor which belongs to the White Soldier, of conquering the rebellion and saving the Union, by declaring that without the assistance of the negro the cause would have been lost and that "the negro bears the palm."

Resolved, That it comes with a bad grace from a party whose Rump Congress has been so busy attempting to defeat President Johnson's policy and legislating for the negro that it has not found time to equalize the bounties of soldier's or grant them bounty land, to claim to the "Soldiers friend" and ask them for their votes.

Resolved, That we believe that Hon. Hiester Clymer, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, holds upon all the great principles of public policy views similar to our own. and is a firm supporter of President Johnson, and that therefore we will support him with our voices and votes.

The resolutions were then, on motion, unanimously adopted.

How The Soldiers Are Going
(Column 5)
Summary: Throughout the state, according to the editorial, soldiers are aligning themselves with the Democratic Party "in support of the President Johnson's policy, and in opposition to the radical disunionists and their bogus Military candidate for Governor."
Origin of Article: Lancaster Intelligencer
Full Text of Article:

We have never believed that the soldiers could be induced to support Geary. They know that he is indebted to the Philadelphia Inquirer, for his Military reputation such as it is. They know that he professed to be "a life-long Democrat," until he was offered the nomination of the Republican party by Simon Cameron and John W. Forney. They know that when he became the tool of these corrupt and intriguing politicians, he was ready to do their bidding. They know that he has openly declared that he endorses the acts and the speeches of Thad Stevens. Knowing these things, no right thinking man among the retured soldiers will vote for Geary. All over the State they are arraying themselves with the Democratic party in support of President Johnson's policy, and in open opposition to the radical disunionists and their bogus Military candidate for Governor.

Wherever the attempt has been made to get up clubs among the soldiers pledged to the support of Hiester Clymer and President Johnson's policy, the returned veterans have responded most heartily and enthusiastically. In York several hundred rallied at once to a call of that kind. In Mifflin county a Clymer Club has been organized among the soldiers, which already numbers a large proportion of that class among its members. The Perry county Democrat comes to us this week with a call for a Soldiers' Democratic County Convention, signed by some hundreds of bona fide veterans. On the other hand the soldiers fail to respond to calls from the supporters of Geary. We had an instance of their aversion to him and his party in the recent convention held in this county.--The meeting was ridiculously small. In Mifflin county a similar meeting was an absolute failure, so much that they had to choose a civilian to preside. In Perry county less than a dozen responded to the loudest kind of a call from the leaders of the Radical Disunion party.

So it will be throughout the entire State of Pennsylvania. The soldiers do not believe that they fought through the war in vain. They not battle for the sacred cause of the Union, and justly regard it as an insult to be asked to support a political party which boldly avows its intention of preventing a restoration of the Union until the negroes are allowed to vote and made in all respects the equal of the white race. The soldiers will stand by President Johnson and will support his wise and statesmanlike policy. They cannot be gulled into endorsing the infamous schemes of such avowed disunionists and negro worshippers as Thad. Stevens and Charles Sumner.--They know that Geary is only a miserable tool in the hands of the Stevens faction in this State, and knowing this they will repudiate him with scorn and contempt. The soldiers, in the language of a brave private, "will vote as they shot, of the Union and not for the negro."--Lancaster Intelligencer.

Consolidation of Telegraph Companies
(Column 7)
Summary: There are indications, the article reports, that the leading stockholders and a majority of directors of the Western Union and the American Telegraph companies have agreed to merge.

-Page 03-

Local and Personal--Fire
(Column 1)
Summary: It is reported that two fires were set on May 21st, one at the stable of George Kyle and the other at Wolff's barn. Both of the blazes are believed to be the work of arsonists.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Badebaugh, George Kyle)
Local and Personal--Barn Burnt
(Column 1)
Summary: On May 20th, Rev. Joseph Loose's barn was destroyed by fire. It is not known whether the fire was intentionally set.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Joseph Loose)
(Column 4)
Summary: On May 22nd, David B. Nace, of McConnellsburg, and Julia D., daughter of Lewis Wampler, were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Rev. P. S. Davis, David B. Nace, Julia D. Wampler, Lewis Wampler)
(Column 4)
Summary: On May 24th, Peter Umberbower and Susan Beyers were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Rev. P. S. Davis, Peter Umberbower, Susan Beyers)
(Column 4)
Summary: On May 24th, Charles McNue and Agnes Carbough were married by Rev. William McElroy.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William McElroy, Charles McNue, Agnes Carbough)
(Column 4)
Summary: On May 22nd, Laura Bell, wife of James B. Atherton, died at age 17.
(Names in announcement: Laura Bell Atherton, James B. Atherton)

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