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

Valley Spirit: June 27, 1866

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

White Men, How Do You Like The Pictures?
(Column 8)
Summary: After detailing the story of a "sick and destitute" white veteran who found himself on the verge of being sent to the poor house, the piece notes that the Freedmen's Bureau has appropriated $25,000 for the relief of the suffering freedmen in the district.
Origin of Article: Indianapolis Herald
Editorial Comment: "The following item was clipped from the Indianapolis Herald of a few days since."
Full Text of Article:

"A soldier, sick and destitute, is now lying at the Globe Hotel. Yesterday they were talking of sending him to the poor house. If there is any loyalty and patriotism left in Indianapolis that means anything more than words, &c.

And in the following more a Washington Associated Press dispatch, lately:

"Gen Howard has begun the distribution of the $25,000 appropriated by Congress for the relief of destitute and suffering freedmen in the district. A board has been appointed, with Dr. Kelburn, chief of the surgical bureau, as president and the city divided into two districts, with a superintendent for each." If the poor, sick and destitute soldier had only posses a black hide, there would have been no occasion to send him to a poor house, but he would have had his wants looked after by Generals, medical bureaus and superintendents. Pleasant of the niggers--how do the whites like the arrangement?

-Page 02-

The Constitutional Amendment
(Column 2)
Summary: Contains a copy of the message sent to Congress by the President criticizing that body's vote in favor of the Constitutional Amendment.
Full Text of Article:

On Friday last, the President sent to the House of Representatives a communication in response to a resolution of that body, requesting the Executive to transmit the constitutional amendment, recently adopted to the several States for ratification. He announces that the amendment was transmitted to thirty-six States on the 16th inst., but wishes it to be distinctly understood that he does not commit himself to its approval. He thinks it improper that such a radical change should be made in the organic law, while eleven States are unrepresented in Congress and when the Legislatures of the other Sates were not elected with any reference to the questions at issue.

The document is considered as a pretty strong protest against the action of Congress, as a matter of course excited the indignation of the Radicals.

The following is the President's message: To the Senate and House of Representatives: I submit to Congress a report of the Secretary of State, to whom was referred the concurrent resolution of the 13th inst., respecting a submission to the Legislature of the State of an additional article to the Constitution of the United States. It will be seen from this report the Secretary of State had on the 16th inst., transmitted to the Governors of the several States certified copies of the joint resolution passed on the 13th inst., proposing an amendment to the Constitution. Even in ordinary times any question of amending the Constitution must be justly regarded as of paramount importance.

This importance is at the present time enhanced by the fact that the joint resolution was not submitted by the two Houses for the thirty-six States which constitute the Union, eleven are excluded from representation in either House of Congress, although with the single exception of Texas, they have been entirely restored to all their functions as States, in conformity with the organic law of the land, and have appeared at the National Capitol by Senators and Representatives who have applied for and have been refused admission to the vacant seats. Nor have the sovereign people of the nation been afforded an opportunity of expressing their views upon the important question which the amendment involves.--Grave doubts may therefore naturally and justly arise as to whether the action of Congress is in harmony with the sentiments of the people, and whether State Legislatures elected without reference to such an issue should be called upon by Congress to decide respecting the ratification of the proposed amendment. Waiving the question as to the constitutional validity of the proceedings of Congress upon the joint resolution proposing the amendment, or as to the merits of the article when it submits through the Executive Department to the Legislatures of the States, I deem it proper to state that the steps taken by the Secretary of State, as detailed in the accompanying report, are to be considered as purely ministerial, and in no sense whatever committing the Executive to an approval or a recommendation of the amendment to the State Legislatures or the people.

On the contrary, a proper application of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, as well as of the interests of national order, harmony and union, and a due deference for an enlightened public judgement, may at this time well suggest a doubt whether any amendment to the Constitution ought to be proposed by Congress and pressed upon the Legislatures of the several States for final decision until after the admission of such loyal Senators and Representatives of the now unrepresented States as have been or as may hereafter be chosen in conformity with the Constitution and Laws of the United States,


Trailer: Andrew Johnson
The "Deserter" Case
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that the State Supreme Court has ruled the Act of March 3rd 1863, which disfranchised deserters, unconstitutional.
Full Text of Article:

The Supreme Court of this State at the sittings at Wilkesbarre, on Wednesday last announced a decision in the case of Huber vs. Reilly taken up from this county. The decision in this case pretty effectually settles the validity and vitality of the Act of Congress of March 3d 1864, passed for the purpose of disfranchising deserters from the military service and non-reporting drafted men, and also that of the act of our State Legislature, recently signed by the Governor. In fact squelches the life out of both acts and they are to all intents and purposes as dead as if they had never been enacted.

The constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Pennsylvania, both, emphatically deny the right of Congress and the state Legislature to pass and enforce ex post facie laws. Both of these acts were clearly of this class as they were retro-active and undertook to punish in a new mode crimes previously committed. So careless of the dearest rights of citizens were the authors of these enactments that no provision was engrafted in either, for the trial of accused persons previous to the infliction of the penalties; and hence in that they were in conflict with both Constitutions, which are perfectly clear in demanding that a fair and impartial trial and conviction of crime shall precede the infliction of punishment or penalties.

This decision settles the question, that a citizen of Pennsylvania cannot be deprived of his dearest rights without due process of law, and without having it established by trial and conviction, that he has forfeited them.

So far as this decision affects either party in the number of votes gained or lost, it is a small matter. It was a question of right and party politics, or party success had properly nothing to do with it either one way or the other. It has been estimated that there are in the State thirty thousand voters of the class affected. Whether this is so or not we have no means of knowing, but if even it does reach that number, we doubt if either party has gained or lost, one thousand votes. Let the number of citizens who were to have been deprived of their political rights without trial--upon the mere clerical record of a partisan provost marshal's clerk--be great or small, the importance of the decision of the Supreme Court is of none the less consequence, and the thanks of every right minded, unbiased, and law-abiding man should be tendered to the Judges who made the decision--Justices Woodward, Thompson and Strong, for they are eminently deserving of the noble title--Defenders of the Constitution.

Duncan vs. McConaughy
(Column 3)
Summary: With the State Supreme Court's decision to invalidate the law banning deserters from voting, the editor assumes that McConaughy, "the pretended Senator from this district," will step down in favor of his Democratic challenger, Calvin Duncan.
Full Text of Article:

The law of Congress disfranchising alleged deserters and non reporting drafted men having been declared unconstiutional by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, we presume, as a matter of course, Mr McConaughy, the pretended Senator from this district, will resign his seat at once, so that his successor may be elected at the approaching fall election. We take it for granted that Mr. McConaughy, being a lawyer and "loyal" law abiding citizen. will not persist in holding a seat in defiance of the law, as expounded by the highest Judicial Tribunal in the State. The Supreme Court has decided that the seat rightfully belongs to Mr. Duncan. Mr. McConaughy held it during the last session of the Legislature in ignorance, we must charitably suppose, of the law. This may excuse him for the past, but the law having now been defined by the only competent authority in the State, this excuse will no longer avail him. If he continues to claim it he will be acting the part of a usurper and transgressor of the law. Mr. Duncan does not claim the seat by virtue of last fall's election, though he might properly do so. He and his friends simply demand that the question be referred back to the people for decision in October next. Will Mr. McConaughy have the manly honor to resign and permit the question to be so referred? We ask the Gettysburg Star, his home organ, for an explanation as to the course he intends to pursue. In the name of a majority of the legal voters of this Senatorial district, we make the inquiry.

No Shirking the Issue Now
(Column 4)
Summary: Despite being unconstitutional, the amendment recently approved by Congress will have a positive effect on the nation's political discourse, reports the article, because its passage has left the Republicans with no wiggle room with regard to the issue of black suffrage.
Origin of Article: Bellafonte Watchman
Full Text of Article:

On the 4th inst., the disunion faction in Congress succeeded in getting through by a two-thirds vote of what now constitutes that body, the so-called amendment to the Federal Constitution, they have been hatching up for some months past. Scarcely was the fact announced, until the miserable tool who acts as Governor of Pennsylvania--sent a circular letter to the Governor of the other Northern States, requesting the immediate convening of their Legislatures in extra session to ratify and make binding the same. That his letter will be responded to we have not the least doubt, and that negroes will be invested with the right to vote, through the action of the Legislatures now under the control of abolitionism, there is scarcely room to disbelief. Although such actions would be in direct violation of the spirit of the Constitution, and a most flagrant outrage upon the rights of the people and of the States, yet what does abolitionism care for this. If it can make negroes voters, and thus perpetuate its own power, without asking the consent of the white race of our country, it will do it. It scruples at no crime, it heeds no consequences, it regards no interest but that which promises plunder, place and power to itself.

As to the illegality of these proceedings, that are to fasten negro suffrage upon the people of Pennsylvania and other States, there can be no question. There is no one foolish enough to assert that representatives in Congress from Massachusetts, from New York or Ohio, have anything at all to do with the qualifications of electors in Pennsylvania. The privilege of designating who shall enjoy the right of franchise, is a privilege which above all others belongs to the people of the different States, and in their State Constitutions the qualifications are laid down. The Constitution of the Federal Government, has no more right to say who shall and who shall not vote in Pennsylvania, that it has to say who shall be Governor, or what his qualifications or pay shall be. It has no more right to force the white voters of our State to march to the ballot box with the negro, than it has to compel him to walk up to the altar and marry a wench.

But even admitting that the Constitutions of the United States could be so amended as to make the qualifications f electors in any State, where is the legality of the amendments now proposed to be adopted. Two thirds of both houses of Congress did not propose amendments, for fifty-eight representatives and twenty-two Senators were excluded from voting, and only a bare two thirds of that faction that did vote recommended them. The House of Representatives is composed of two hundred and forty two members, of these, less than 104 supported the "amendment." The Senate is composed of 78 [UNCLEAR] members, of these, less than 34 supported them. Can anyone manufacture "two thirds of both houses" as the Constitution requires out of this number? And yet this is the basis upon which abolitionism attempts to commit this fearful wrong upon the people.

Did the Constitution of our country need amendments, it would be time enough to make them, when the passions and prejudices of the people, excited by the terrible war through which we have just past, had cooled down--when all the States were filling their proper places in the Union, and peace and harmony again prevailed. It is no mere partisan document, calculated to be alterated and amended to suit every whim of public opinion, neither was it adopted to be patched and pieced, by men who regard not its provisions nor recognize its doctrines.

If, however it must be amended--if the action of the thieves, plunderers, wench-worshippers and prostitute keepers, that are acting in the capacity of Congress now, is to be recognized as legal, let the voters or the States have an opportunity of approving or condemning it at the polls. There is no necessity for Andrew G. Curtin calling an extra session of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, at an expense of over two hundred thousand dollars to the tax payers of the State, to ratify these proceedings of Congress. It will be time enough to do that after new representatives are elected upon the issues which the questions produce. But abolitionism, will allow the people no such opportunity of approving or condemning its acts. It fears their verdict, and will move Heaven and earth to forestall their opinion.

What will be the consequence of the determination of the party in power to force upon the country at all hazards, its hideous doctrines of negro equality and amalgamation, no one can tell. That it will be a done there is no room to doubt. Already proclamations are written by the "loyal" Governors of the Northern States, convening extra sessions of the Legislatures, to ratify these so-called amendments--and ere the fall elections come around, so far as abolitionism will be able accomplish it, the odious principle will be engrafted into our Constitution. If there be no other result, it cannot fail to open the eyes of the voting masses to the real aims of those who are asking their support for John W. Geary.--He is the representative of the party that is now attempting to foist negro equality upon them against their wishes and consent.--Bellefonte Watchman

[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports that new sections to the Freedmen's Bill have been added, calling for confiscated lands in South Carolina to be sold to blacks in twenty acre plots at a rate of $1.50 an acre, or be devoted to school purposes.

-Page 03-

Local and Personal--Sad Affair
(Column 2)
Summary: Notes the tragic passing of one of Rev. J. F. Oiler's daughters, who suffered an overdose after her mother accidentally gave her medication that the doctor, Dr. J. Hess, had prescribed for one of the family's older daughters.
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. Hess, Rev. J. F. Oiler)
Origin of Article: Village Record
Local and Personal--Sudden Death
(Column 2)
Summary: On June 22nd, David Wolf, 67, died suddenly of heart disease.
(Names in announcement: David Wolf)
Origin of Article: Village Record
Local and Personal--New Iron Bridge
(Column 2)
Summary: The brief piece offers praise for the present Borough Council, which was behind the decision to build the iron bridge over the Spring by the railroad depot.
Local and Personal--The Normal School
(Column 2)
Summary: It is reported that the State Normal School for the district will be built at Newville, Cumberland county.
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 19th, Charles Pelmer and C. J. Wachtel were married by Rev. F. Eyster.
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Eyster, Charles Pelmer, C. J. Wachtel)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 14th, Charles G. Rush and Mary E. Gearhart, of Jaspin county, Indiana, were married by Rev. L. G. Brown.
(Names in announcement: Rev. L. G. Brown, Charles G. Rush, Mary E. Gearhart)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 21st, Daniel Smith and Ellen McClure were married by Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William A. West, Daniel Smith, Ellen McClure)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 18th, Rudolf Keagy, 74, died near Quincy.
(Names in announcement: Rudolf Keagy)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 18th, Lizzie, infant daughter of Elizabeth and Rev. J. F. Oiler, died. Lizzie was 8 months old.
(Names in announcement: Lizzie Oiler, Rev. J. F. Oiler, Elizabeth)
(Column 5)
Summary: On May 30th, Clara, daughter of Simon and Mary Jane Piper, died at age 4.
(Names in announcement: Simon Piper, Mary Jane Piper, Clara Piper)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 4th, James B. Worthington, 39, died at Dry Run.
(Names in announcement: James B. Worthington)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 8th, Anna Maria, infant daughter of Margaret and James B. Culbertson, died.
(Names in announcement: Anna Maria Culbertson, James B. Culbertson, Margaret Culbertson)

-Page 04-

Description of Page: This page contains advertisements.