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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: August 01, 1866

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The Philadelphia Convention
(Column 1)
Summary: The editorial praises the upcoming National Union Convention in Philadelphia as an opportunity to "kindle anew the glow of patriotism" that binds the citizens of the country in "common allegiance."
Full Text of Article:

The convention to be held at Philadelphia on the 14th of August, will be the first gathering for many years of the people from all sections of the Union. For this reason, if for no other, it will be a remarkable assembly. Not since the first blow at Sumter, in 1861, have the representatives of all the States met in any council, either ecclesiastical or civil, or come together for any purpose upon a common platform. We shall be greatly mistaken of this fact has [UNCLEAR] a marked influence upon the spirit of those who, for the first time in six years, shall greet each other as brethren. Over the intervening graves, stronger than the memory of the bitter strife, hushing the tumult of sectional animosities, will come the hallowed associations of the earlier days, and the hearts of old time brethren will once more flow together. The blood that has been shed will rest in the grave of buried controversy; and the warmer current of a fresher life will be quickened in the hearts of those who still own the tie that makes them one, and meet to kindle anew the glory of patriotism that binds them in a common allegiance. With such a spirit in the convention there will be neither reproaches for the past nor distrust for the future; and the only question will be, how best to remove from all parts of the land the traces of the evil days, and to develop anew the sources of the national prosperity.

It is a happy circumstance that the convention as a body will have no party ties, and owe no allegiance to any platform except the implication in the call under which it assembles. It is significant--and, we may hope an augury for good--that the first gathering of the people from all sections after such a period of waste and desolation may enlist, the sympathies of every true patriot without distinction of political divisions. Those who love party more than country have tried in vain to prevent this meeting of brethren long estranged, and will doubtless make still another effort to keep alive the hatreds and jealousies of that pact, and to now the seeds of fresh dissentions. All such attempts must fail in the presence of the better spirit which has been invoked, and which, we trust, will rule in all hearts. If we are to learn anything from the past, it should be a lesson of mutual trust. Half a million of lives and thousands of millions in treasure, have been sacrificed on the altar which party spirit erected, and is not yet satisfied. Fresh victims are demanded, and if they were granted, it would still cry, "Give, give." If all sections but one were annihilated it would turn upon itself as fierce as ever, for its cravings know neither abatement nor satiety. It will be a relief, therefore, to see one convention of the people bound by no party ties, and free to suggest measures for the common good without restraint from the shackles which have proved the bane of most political assemblies.

Some selfish and unscrupulous men will doubtless [UNCLEAR] their way into the convention, but they will be powerless for evil if the good and true of all parities are only resolute and will act in concert. The occasion is eminently fitted to secure such united and harmonious action, and if it lead to this result it will send a thrill of joy to every true heart throughout the nation. We trust that all who would rejoice in such a blessed consummation, will do what they can in time to secure the attendance of delegates, whose unselfish patriotism is superior to personal considerations or mere party affinities, and that no element of discord will creep into the assembly through the apathy or neglect of any portion of the people.

Pennsylvania--Her Duty To The Union
(Column 2)
Summary: Labeling Pennsylvania the "Keystone of the Federal Arch," the article expounds on the necessity of restoring the Union not only for political considerations but also because "all of [the state's] material interests point in the same way."
Origin of Article: Age
Full Text of Article:

Pennsylvania is deeply, vitally interested in all measures and movements intended to restore the late revolted States to their former places in the Confederation. Apart from political motives urging her in the direction of conservative and patriotic action, all her material interests point in the same way and demand similar duties from the citizens of this Commonwealth. We have many interests which depend upon peace, prosperity, and a wide home market for their full and complete development. A large proportion of our trade and commerce has been with that section of the Union now excluded from political companionship with the rest of the nation. We have found a ready and remunerative market for all our surplus products in the Southern part of the country. New England is our rival, not our customer. New York takes from our income instead of adding to it.--But the South, being essentially an agricultural and planting region, and her people being devoted to these and kindred pursuits, needs such articles as are manufactured and produced in this State, and thus becomes a constant purchaser. The workshops and manufactories of this Commonwealth need the stimulating influence of Southern orders. Our merchants miss the trade which used to flow upon them from that section. The shipping merchants along our commercial front now [UNCLEAR] one vessel for Southern ports during a period of time which used to see ten depart full-freighted for the same localities and in all directions evidences accumulate showing how much, in a material point of view, Pennsylvania is interested in an early and fair settlement of this question of the restoration of all the States to full equality in the Federal Union.

Congress, owing to the action of the Radicals, having refused to restore the Union, the people have determined to undertake the sacred and responsible task, and hence the call for the National Union Convention, to meet in this city on the 15th of August. This is no partisan or sectional government. It proposes no plan of action for the benefit of any particular party or clique of men. Inside this Convention all mere party lines will be obliterated in the one grand amalgamation of Union men "for the sake of the Union." In comparatively minor matters, such as the tariff, the currency, and other questions affecting the detail of government, each delegate will retain his individuality.--Democrats will not loosen their hold upon that old organization which they so love and reverence, and men who differ from them upon questions of State or national policy other than those affecting the restoration of the States, will be called upon to make no sacrifice of their convictions or principles.--The single point to be kept in view, is the Union under the Constitution, and the best way to arrive at that consummation. The settlement of the tariff question in a satisfactory manner, and the placing of the currency upon a firm basis, will be of little avail so long as ten States of the union are separated from the balance, and thus the harmony and prosperity of the whole country destroyed. The Union must first be perfected before any laws, no matter how wise, can give relief to the people, and the duty of restoring that Union in the one which the National Union Convention will endeavor to discharge. The Democracy of this State are Union men. They have always been so. They are so at the present time, and they will unite with all who are willing to aid in restoring the Union, no matter what may be their views upon other subjects.

Antecedents are nothing in this crisis.--It is not what a man has been, but what he is now. When the call for volunteers sounded through the land, the brave man who responded was not questioned as to what might have been his opinion before the war began. Was he in favor of the Union now. If he was, the country accepted his services. This is the principle upon which the national Union men of the nation mean to act. they will accept as allies all who are honestly and fairly in favor of the Union and the restoration of the States. The eleventh hour laborer will not be rejected, if he comes with testimonials of his sincere desire to aid in preserving this free form of government, and guaranteeing to the several States a separate and individual existence under the wise and beneficent provisions of the Constitution. Men may and did differ widely as to the best means of preserving the nation, but if they are willing to accept the realities which surround them, and work in harmony with the great Union party of the country at this crisis, they have a right to fellowship, and should be represented in the coming Convention and all Union men are entitled to recognition on the broad and catholic basis of national brotherhood and fellowship.

Pennsylvania, the old Keystone of the Federal Arch, is called upon by all the memories of the past, and all the hopes in the future, to do her full duty at this epoch in the history of the nation. Upon her soil was held the Convention which adopted the Declaration of Independence, the Convention which formed the Constitution of the United States, and now upon her soil is to be convened a meeting of the people of the States to restore the disjointed Confederation to its old condition. Pennsylvanians did their duty in a noble patriotic manner in the first Convention. They must act in a like way in the one that is to come. The subject is a big one. It must be met in a manner commensurate with its great importance. Everything must be elevated to the dignity and grandeur of the question to be considered. We have a delegation equal to the occasion and have no fears as to the result.--Age

The Adjournment of Congress
(Column 3)
Summary: Maligning Congress' accomplishments during the last session, the editorial states that its adjournment will usher in a "period of comparative repose," which will provide the nation with "time to look back upon the eventful past, and into the coming future, pregnant with good or evil for the country, as it may be used or abused."
Full Text of Article:

Congress adjourns to-day, says the Age of last Saturday, and the patriotic pulse of the nation beats with fresh hope for the future of the country. There will be now a period of comparative repose. The nation will have time to look back upon the eventful past, and into the coming future, pregnant with good or evil for the country, as it may be used or abused. The members will have to face their constituents, and hear public opinion from the people, and not from the pages of partisan journals. The deep and positive change that has taken place in the public sentiment upon this question of a restoration of States, will now become a reality which the Radical members will have to meet. Their record on this subject is dark and damning. They have deliberately plotted against the peace and prosperity of the nation. They have labored and spoke and voted to keep the States asunder, not to reunite them. They have subordinated the best interests of the Union to party hopes and partisan expectations, and taken the first steps towards a civil war in the North in order to secure a mere party triumph at the coming elections. All appeals to patriotism and love of country have been thrown away upon this Congress. They have represented party, not the country, and their labors have tended to widen the breach existing between the sections, and not to heal it.

If in patriotism the majority of this Congress have been sadly, wickedly deficient, in corruption, extravagance, robbery and profligacy, they have reached an altitude unknown heretofore in the annals of this nation. When not robbing the people of their political rights, they have been plundering the Treasury in all possible ways. Jobs, large and small, have monopolized the time and attention of the dominant party. From Freedman's Bureau bills to smaller pickings, the Radicals have traveled in the same miry path. No efforts have been made to reduce the expenses of the country. The taxes have not been made lower by wise and judicious retrenchments nor have the business interests been stimulated by proper laws, applicable to all parts of the country.--Trade, commerce, and manufactures, have been ground to the earth by fanatic projects founded on wild notions of humanity and philanthropy, and the finances disturbed by schemes which are intended to benefit a few interested parties at the expense of the whole people. These are a few of the acts of the present Congress for which the Radicals are responsible, and it is no wonder that the adjournment of that body will be hailed with delight in all sections of the country.

The Democrats have acted wisely and well during the present session. Though few in numbers, they have stood up unitedly against all schemes for distracting the country, or plundering the Treasury. They have been national in all their movements; no sectional measure has received their sanction or support. The whole country has been their country, and no act has received Democratic voters that was not intended to benefit equally all sections. All Radical plans for plundering the Treasury met with Democratic opposition, and though not able at all times to stay the current, still they called public attention to the facts, and thus made the record perfect against the plunderers.--The contrast between the Radical majority and the Democratic minority in the present Congress is too glaring to escape public attention, and the country will decide between them at the next election. In the meantime, we chronicle with delight the adjournment of the present Congress.

Geary In Carlisle
(Column 3)
Summary: Offers a critical review of Geary's speech, in which he "stumbled, stuttered, halted and repeated words over and over again" while stumping in Carlisle.
Origin of Article: Carlisle Volunteer
Editorial Comment: "Geary seems to be training in Cumberland county for the campaign, but does not seem to be making much progress in preparation: It is evident he is not down or up to the standard. He visited Carlisle, the county seat of his own county, the other day. The Volunteer, one of the most respectable and reliable papers in the State, gives the following account of the performances:"
The Cost of a Disunion Negro Party
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports on several of the expenditures approved by Congress for the upcoming year, which the editor holds to be a "shameful waste of money" used for "mere partisan purposes."
Full Text of Article:

The following were the receipts of the United States from July 1st, 1865, to June 30th, 1865. Customs, $179,376.878.60. Lands, $731,529.61; Internal Revenue, $309,510,933.37; direct tax &c., $68,427,503.10; loans $620,466,393.05; total, $1,07,513,347.73. The expenditures were: Civil, foreign and miscellaneous $41,017,921.85; Interior, pensions and Indians, $18,852,457.11; War, $284,449,702.81; Navy, $43,364,118.52; interest on public debt, $370,832,443.78; total $891, 657,002.78.

It will be perceived that the receipts are $186,836,344.85. in excess of the expenditures, but the excess is due to loans, without which there would have been a deficit of $33,610,048.83. The combined expenses of the War and Navy Departments for the past year of profound peace have been $327,813,828,34--almost the entire deficit which had to be made up by loans!

This shows how disastrously the Disunion policy of keeping the government on a war footing in time of peace is working against the country. And this, too, notwithstanding the immense sales of munitions of war and government stores of every kind. According to the disunionist scheme for a standing army this expense will go on for years to come, requiring additional loans and taxation to meet the expense. And this tax is entailed on the tax-payers merely to make it appear that the rebellion is not yet suppressed, and thus to aid the disunionists in carrying out a party scheme which will keep certain demagogues in office and power. It is a shameful waste of money for mere partisan purposes, and the sooner it be stopped the better.

Soldier's Mass Meeting at Mechanicsburg
(Column 5)
Summary: Contains a report extracted from the Lancaster Intelligencer providing the details of the pro-Clymer rally held by "honorably discharged soldiers" in Mechanicsburg.
Forney the Negro Champion
(Column 6)
Summary: Argues that John W. Forney, a candidate for Senate, is a proponent of "impartial suffrage upon American citizens of every creed, color or nativity," and therefore must be defeated.
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union
Message of the President
(Column 7)
Summary: Providesa a copy of Johnson's letter to Congress approving the re-admission of Tennessee to the Union.
Full Text of Article:


The President this afternoon transmitted the annexed message, namely: To the House of Representatives:

The following joint resolution, restoring Tennessee to her relations to the Union, was last evening presented for my approval:

Whereas, In the year 1861, the government of the State of Tennessee was seized upon and taken possession of by persons in hostility to the United States, and the inhabitants of said State, in pursuance of an act of Congress, were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United States; and

Whereas, The said State government can only be restored to its former political relations in the Union by the consent of the law making power of the United States; and

Whereas, The people of the said State, did, on the 22d day of February, 1864, by a large popular vote, adopt and ratify a constitution of government, whereby slavery was abolished, and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the same were declared void; and

Whereas, A State government has been organized under the said constitution, which has ratified the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery; also the amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress, and has done other acts proclaiming and denoting loyalty; therefore be it

Resolved, (by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled), That the State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former proper practical relations to the Union, and is again entitled to be represented by Senators and Representatives in Congress.

The preamble simply consists of statements, some of which are assumed, while the resolution is merely a declaration of opinion. It comprises no legislation nor does it confer any power which is binding upon the respective houses, the Executive or the States. It does not admit to their seats in Congress the Senators and Representatives from the State of Tennessee; for notwithstanding the passage of the resolution, each House, in the exercise of the constitutional rights to judge for itself of the elections, returns and qualifications of its members, may at its discretion admit or continue to exclude them. If a joint resolution or this character were necessary and binding as a condition precedent to the admission of members of Congress, it would happen in the event of a veto by the Executive, that Senators and Representative could only be admitted to the halls of legislation by a two-thirds vote of each of the two houses.

Among other reasons recited in the preamble for the declarations contained in the resolution is the ratification by the State government of Tennessee, of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States abolishing slavery, and also the amendment proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress. If, as is also declared in the preamble, the said State government can only be restored to its former political relations in the union by the consent of the law-making power of the United States, it would really seem to follow that the joint resolution, which at this late day has received the sanction of Congress, should have been passed, approved, and placed on the statute books before any amendment of the Constitution was submitted to the Legislature of Tennessee for ratification. Otherwise, the interference is plainly deducible that while, in the opinion Congress, the people of a State may be too strongly disloyal to be entitled to representation, they may nevertheless, during the suspension of their former practical relations to the Union, have an equally potent voice with other and loyal States in propositions to amend the Constitution, upon which so essentially depends the stability, prosperity and very existence oft he Union.

A brief reference to my annual message of the 4th of December last, will show the steps taken by the Executive for the restoration to their constitutional relations to the Union of the States that had been affected by the rebellion. Upon the cessation of actual hostilities Provisional Governors were appointed, conventions called, Governors elected by the people, Legislatures assembled, and Senators and Representatives chosen to the Congress of the United States. At the same time the courts of the United States were re-opened, the blockade removed, the custom houses re-established, and postal operations resumed. The amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery forever within the limits of the country, was submitted to the States, and they were thus invited to, and did, participate in a ratification, thus exercising the highest functions pertaining to a State. In addition, nearly all of these States, through their Conventions and Legislatures, had adopted and ratified the amendment to the Constitution, whereby slavery was abolished, and all ordinances and laws of secession and debts contracted under the same were declared void.

So far, then, the political existence of the States and their relations to the Federal government had been fully and completely recognized and acknowledged by the executive department of the government, and the completion of the work of restoration, which had progressed so favorably, was submitted to Congress, upon which devolved all questions pertaining to the admission to their seats of the Senators and Representatives chosen from the States whose people had engaged in the rebellion.

All these steps had been taken when, on the 4th day of December, 1865, the thirty-ninth Congress assembled. Nearly eight months have elapsed since that time, and no other plan of restoration having been proposed by Congress for the measures instituted by the Executive, it is now declared in the joint resolution submitted for my approval that the State of Tennessee is hereby restored to her former practical relations to the Union, and is again entitled to be represented by Senators and Representatives in Congress. Thus, after the lapse of nearly eight months, Congress proposes to pave the way to the admission to representation of one of the eleven States whose people arrayed themselves in rebellion against the constitutional authority of the Federal government. Earnestly desiring to relieve every cause of further delay, whether real or imaginary, on the part of Congress to the admission to seats of loyal Senators and Representatives from the State of Tennessee, I have, notwithstanding the anomalous character of this proceeding, affixed my signature to the resolution. My approval, however is not to be construed as an acknowledgement of the right of Congress to pass laws preliminary to the admission of duly qualified representatives from any of the States. Neither is it to be considered as committing me to all the statements made in the preamble, some of which are in my opinion without foundation in fact, especially the assertion that the State of Tennessee has ratified the amendments to the constitution of the United States proposed by the Thirty-ninth Congress. No official notice of such ratification has been received by the Executive, or filed in the Department of State; on the contrary, unofficial information from more reliable sources induces the believe that the amendment has not yet been constitutional sanctioned by the Legislature of Tennessee. The right of each House under the Constitution to judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members is undoubted, and my approval or disapproval of the resolution could not in the slightest degree increase or diminish the authority in this respect conferred upon the two branches of Congress.

In conclusion, I cannot to efficaciously repeat my recommendation for the admission of Tennessee and all other States to a fair and equal participation in national legislation, when they present themselves in the persons of loyal Senators and Representatives, who can comply with all the requirements of the Constitution and the laws. By this means harmony and reconciliation will be effected, the practical reconciliation will be effected, the practical relations of all the States to the Federal government re-established, and the work of restoration inaugurated upon the termination of the war successfully completed.


Washington, D. C., July 24, 1866.

Trailer: Andrew Johnson

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Local and Personal--Chambersburg Institute
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Summary: Announces that Jennie McKee intends on establishing a female academy in Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Jennie McKee)
Local and Personal--Sudden Death
(Column 1)
Summary: On July 29th, M. Greenawalt, a well respected citizen, died from a sudden seizure while attending business in his store.
(Names in announcement: M. Greenawalt)
Local and Personal--Postmasters
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Summary: It is reported that J. W. Deal was appointed the postmaster for Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: J. W. Deal)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 24th, John W. Winters and Margaret A. Shaker were married by Rev. J. Benson Akers.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Benson Akers, John W. Winters, Margaret A. Shaker)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 22nd, Edwin Hacelid and Anna Colby, daughter of George Colby, were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Keller Miller, Edwin Hacelid, George Colby, Anna Colby)
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Summary: On July 14th, Upton Snively, 26, died.
(Names in announcement: Upton Snively)
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Summary: On July 25th, William Henry, son of William P. and Mary McGrath, died. William was 9 months old.
(Names in announcement: William Henry McGrath, William P. McGrath, Mary McGrath)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 22nd, H. B. Shaker, daughter of Jacob and Rebecca Shaker, died.
(Names in announcement: H. B. Shaker, Jacob Shaker, Rebecca Shaker)
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Summary: On July 13th, Henry Misner, a former resident of Quincy, died at age 60.
(Names in announcement: Henry Misner)
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Summary: On July 11th, Lydia Margaret, daughter of J. Keller Miller, died. Lydia Margaret was 1 year old.
(Names in announcement: Lydia Margaret Miller, J. Keller Miller, Charlotte H. Miller)

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