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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 18, 1866

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-Page 01-

People Must Be Trusted In A Free Government
(Column 4)
Summary: In response to the passage of a loyalty oath, to be taken by all members of Congress, the article dismisses the measure as unconstitutional.
Origin of Article: Louisville Democrat
Full Text of Article:

Congress passed a test oath, to be taken by all its members, which directly excludes from that body all who gave aid and comfort to the rebellion. A man must swear what few men of talent and influence in the South can swear, or he can't be a member of Congress.

We don't think any impartial tribunal would pronounce this oath constitutional.--The Constitution defines who shall be members of Congress: and, surely, no one will hold that Congress can add other qualifications, because that body is authorized to judge of members. To judge of qualifications is not to fix them, as they are laid down in the organic law.

But grant that the power exists; is it statesman-like to exercise it this way? It is idle to expect the South not to prefer men who sympathized with them, suffered with them and surrendered with them. It would be contrary to human nature if they did not. They may feel that the rebellion was wrong and a blunder, and still love the men who sinned and suffered with them.

These prominent and trusted men South that went with the current ought to have resisted it, it is easy to say; but much easier said than done. These prominent and trusted men were the very ones to be victimized by a popular excitement. They would be drafted into service or exiled. If they give it up, and their constituents too, what more should be asked? They are not to be trusted, it will be said. Perhaps some of them are not. Perhaps thousands would repeat the disastrous experiment; but shall we, on the strength of this distrust, adopt a principle incompatible with free representative government?

Whilst there is some danger on the one side, there is certainly more on the other. The people and their favorite representatives must be trusted, if we expect them to trust the Government. If we have got to such a pass that the millions of a whole section can't be trusted by the Government, we have got to the end of free government.

They might as well tell us at once that free representative government is a failure, and not amuse us with empty forms and the substance gone.

Will the South trust the Government?--Will the South be friendly to the Government ?

Whilst these questions are asked, the majority proceed to legislate on distrust. The masses South may reply: Why should we trust the Government--it will not trust us. Why should we be friendly to the government--it is not friendly to us? Why should we be friendly to the Government--it is not friendly to us? These distrustful expedients, adopted to secure the Government, may pass, and men may flatter themselves with an apparent tranquility; but it will be a false and deceitful tranquility.

The majority, consisting their passions and prejudices are going in the wrong direction to secure the perpetuity of the Union. It is thrusting the power of thc Federal Government into local interests, and claiming the right of a majority to rule all parts of this vast republic at its discretion. It is carefully seeking provision for disaffection and rebellion. It is sowing the seeds. There is much more security in abandoning some of the powers the Government has, than in usurping others that it never had, and never ought to have.

No rebellion or disaffection has ever risen in this country on account of what the Federal Government did not do.

If Congress had not declared war in 1812, New England could have had no food to feed disaffection and secession. If Congress had not levied duties for protection, South Carolina could have found no excuse to nullify.

If Congress had not claimed power over slavery in the Territories, and had not exercised the power to pass a fugitive slave law, there would have been no fuel to fire the Southern heart up to this rebellion. It is the acts of commission, not of omission that feed defection and produce rebellion.

One merit of the old confederation was, that its acts produced no rebellion. It may have needed a little more power; but our present Federal Government has exercised too much, and the present dominant party are resolved to increase the evil a thousand fold. The attempt to rule out members of Congress by test oaths is one of these usurpations of power. Whilst these incompetents are looking at evils they have seen and felt, they have no conception of dangers that are not developed. Whilst they are stopping leaks in the ship of state, they don't see how many they are making. There is little danger in what they fear; that danger is over; but the next one will be of their own make and much more formidable.

One point seems evident to us. In a free representative government the people have to be trusted. Whatever danger there is in it, there is more in the opposite course certain and inevitable.

Once begin these arbitrary, repressive measures for the sake of security--the common plea of tyrants--and there is no stopping place. Such measures themselves create the necessity for more, and persevered in, will end in despotism.--Louisville Democrat.

-Page 02-

The Radicals Frightened
(Column 1)
Summary: According to the editorial, the Radicals are running scared in Washington, fearful that their demise is imminent. For this reason, they have sought to extend the current session of Congress "in order to checkmate the schemes" of the President, who, they believe, is trying desperately to cut short their hold on power.
Full Text of Article:

There is strong evidence just now of a big scare among the radical conspirators at Washington. Forney has been sounding the alarm for some days through his newspapers, the Washington Chronicle and Philadelphia Press. His fertile brain has been at work imagining huge conspiracies on the part of President Johnson and his friends, calculated to cut short the radical hold on power. He again earnestly counsels Congress to continue the session "until the ides of December," in order to check-mate the schemes of the "reckless man in the Presidential Chair." He is growing wild and frantic. He raves and fumes like a madman. The untimely publication of his January love-letter, addressed to "My Dear Mr. President," has turned his brain and knocked all the philosophy out of him. He talks about "revolution," "usurpation," "conspiracies," and the like, and loudly calls upon Congress to come to the rescue. Congress catches the contagion and acts on Fourney's suggestion. The radical leaders hastily summon a caucus of the faithful, to deliberate upon the critical political situation, and to take counsel together. The caucus met. The telegraph informs us that "the first thing done was to enjoin secrecy regarding their proceedings but notwithstanding this, it has transpired that there was a full and free interchange of views as to the questions pending before Congress and the interests of the party generally," and that "they could not now fix the time for adjournment, the radical party is in a strait something like the fellow who had a hungry wolf by the ears--it was death to hold on and death to let go. Many of the radical members are candidates, or want to be, for re-election. If they remain in session their personal interests at home may suffer, and if they adjourn they fear that Andy Johnson will "let slip the dogs of war" against their dear friends, the radical office holders, thus depriving them of the lever by which they have retained themselves in power for the past five years, and destroying their party at one fell swoop. Herein is the difficulty. It is death to hold on and death to let go. We are happy to observe, however, that "it was finally con-cluded to appoint a committee of Senators and Representatives to review the entire ground," and report at a future meeting. We wish them a safe deliverance.

And to make matters still worse, we have rumors of a general "bunt [UNCLEAR] up" in the Cabinet. The weak-kneed are expected soon to retire, if they have not already sent in their resignations, and their places to be filled by staunch and true men. When the Cabinet is re-organized as a harmonious unit on the basis of thc President's restoration policy, we may expect the Executive war against the disunion radicals to be waged in no halting or shilly-shally manner. It will be sharp and quick and decisive, and the radicals well know it will result in their complete and final discomfiture and defeat.

Mr. Swisshelm, writing to the Repository of last week, says: "John W. Forney Wilkinson, late correspondent of the New York Tribune, and other men of that stamp, have been feeling gloomy during the past week and talking of "stormy time" ahead. The gentlemen I have named do not say revolution, appeal to arms, but they seemed less hopeful now than when revolution appeared most imminent."

Our readers will readily perceive that the radicals are badly frightened. We predict that they will be badly hurt, as well as frightened, about the ideas of October and November next.

(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that a bill has been introduced into Congress "providing for the admission into the United States" of Upper and Lower Canada as well as the territories of the Maritimes and the prairies.
Southern Radical Convention
(Column 2)
Summary: Prompted by Thad Stevens, Republicans have called for a convention of Southern Radicals. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the first week of September.
Full Text of Article:

Under the direction of the Thad. Stevens radicals a call has been issued, signed by a number of "soreheads" from different parts of thc South, for a convention of Southern Radicals to be held in Philadelphia on the first Monday in September. This is intended as a set-off to the 14th of August convention, but it will prove a miserable failure, for the reason that the participants in the affair will have no constituents to represent. To pretend that such men as Judge Underwood and John M. Botts are exponents of the sentiments of even a respectable fracture of the Southern people would be a gross libel on the name of the character of that people. The signers of the call, with a few exceptions, are men of no importance whatever--mere polical adventurers, who hope to gain a little notoriety, and perhaps something a little more substantial from their radical masters, by the movement.

The call says: "It is proposed that we should meet at that time to recommend measures for the establishment of such government in the South as accords with and protects the rights of all citizens." Now it is well known that governments have been established in the South by competent authority, and we have only to say that if these "loyal patriots" undertake to establish counter or revolutionary governments, they will find themselves quickly "squelched" by the strong arm of the General Government.

Bridling the President
(Column 3)
Summary: With the relationship between the President and Congress reaching new lows, the article informs readers that the Radicals have moved to weaken Johnson's authority by passing a measure restricting his power to appoint government officials.
Origin of Article: New York World
Method of Electing United States Senators
(Column 5)
Summary: The Senate has approved legislation establishing new guidelines for the election of Senators.
Pulpis In Court
(Column 5)
Summary: In a follow-up to the story about Mr. Pulpis, a black man who was arrested for eloping with a white woman, it is reported that Pulpis has instituted a suit against his would-be father-in-law for false imprisonment, contending that his civil rights were infringed upon.
Origin of Article: Somerset Democrat
The Soldiers' Convention
(Column 6)
Summary: After criticizing the recent soldiers' meeting in Pittsburgh, the article offers enthusiastic predictions for the turn-out at what it construes to be the true "Soldiers' Convention."
Origin of Article: Doylestown Democrat
Editorial Comment: "General W. W. H. Davis of the Doylestown Democrat thus speaks of the coming Soldiers' Convention."
Important Order
(Column 8)
Summary: The Secretary of War announced a clemency for all deserters from the regular army, provided that they "surrender themselves" at any military post before August 15, 1866.

-Page 03-

Local and Personal--Proceedings of the Democratic County Committee
(Column 1)
Summary: Contains a re-cap of the proceedings at the Democratic County Committee's meeting, held on July 14th.
Full Text of Article:

At a regular meeting of the Democratic County Committee, held in the Borough o f Chambersburg, on the 14th of July, 1866, the following proceedings were had, viz:--On motion it was Resolved . That in accordance with the wishes of the last Democratic County Convention the representation in the next County Convention for the several townships and boroughs, shall be governed by the Democratic vote cast for McClellan, the Democratic candidate for President in the fall of 1861, and that each Election District shall have two votes, and one additional vote for each hundred and each fraction above fifty Democratic votes cast at that election, which will give the following result:

Antrim 6 North Ward 3 South Ward 4 Concord 3 Dry Run 3 Fayetteville 4 Greenvillage 3 Guilford 4 Hamilton 3 Letterkenny 4 Lurgan 3 Loudon 3 Metal 3 Montgomery 3 Orrstown 3 Peters 3 Quincy 3 Southampton 3 Sulphur Spring 2 St. Thomas 4 Washington 3 Warren 3 Welsh Run 3 Total 80

Resolved, That the Democratic voters hold their elections for delegates to the County Convention, for their several election district, on the last Saturday of August, and that the Convention shall assemble at the Court House, in Chambersburg, on the following Tuesday, at 10 o'clock A. M., to nominate county ticket.

Resolved, That Hon. J. M. Sharpe is the choice of the people of this county for Congress, and that he have power to make choice of his own conferees, to meet the other conferees of this Congressional District at such time and place as may be agreed on.

Local and Personal--A Foundling
(Column 1)
Summary: On July 14th, a baby was left at the door of a tenant's house on Josiah Allen's farm. The baby was accompanied by a note requesting the couple living there to take care of the child for the next 18 months until the parents returned to "make things right." The article reports that the District Attorney is looking into the affair and, if possible, will bring the parties to justice.
(Names in announcement: Josiah Allen)
Local and Personal--Fire
(Column 1)
Summary: On July 14th, the new Bank Building was heavily damaged in fire that is believed to have been set by arsonists. While fighting the blaze, the journal reports, several firemen were injured when their equipment failed.
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 4th, Amos Dietrich and Millie Weaver were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Keller Miller, Amos Dietrich, Millie Weaver)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 17th, Samuel Laudbaugh and K. Hill were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Laudbaugh, Rev. J. Keller Miller, K. Hill)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 17th, Alexander Senseny, son of Dr. A. H. Senseny, died. Alexander was 26 years old.
(Names in announcement: Alexander H. Senseny, Dr. A. H. Senseny)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 15th, Elizabeth Swank, 62, died at her son's home.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Swank)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 12th, Alice M., wife of John L. Cooper and daughter of Mary C. and W. W. Paxton, died in Santa Cruz, Cal. Alice was 24 years old.
(Names in announcement: Alice M. Cooper, John L. Cooper, Mary C. Paxton, W. W. Paxton)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 6th, James Davison, 78, died in Antrim.
(Names in announcement: James Davison)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 21st, Sarah Shrader, 77, died in Greencastle.
(Names in announcement: Sarah Shrader)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 9th, Jacob Niczwander (?), 21, died in Antrim township.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Niczwander)

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