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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: December 05, 1866

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Negro Suffrage
(Column 1)
Summary: In response to a Chicago Times article that contends Democrats should simply accept black suffrage "in order to get rid of the negro question in politics," the Spirit editor blasts the idea as sheer nonsense, and asserts that such a decision would "inevitably result in the total disbandment of the organization of the party."
Full Text of Article:

Much sensation has been created in political circles during the past few weeks by the publication, in the Chicago Times, of an article advocating "impartial" or negro suffrage. The argument of the Times goes on the assumption that negro suffrage is inevitable, and therefore it would be wise policy in the Democratic party, in order to get rid of the negro question in politics, to take up the doctrine and make it hereafter a part of the Democratic creed. In other words, in order to get rid of the negro question in politics, all the Democratic party has to do is to adopt the doctrine of its opponents and that does away with the question in dispute. On this principle we can readily see how not only the negro question but all other questions which have heretofore divided the two great political parties of the country could be disposed of. But would that inure to the success of the Democratic party as the Times contends? Certainly not. On the contrary, it would inevitably result in the total disbandment of the organization of the party; for there would be no reason or sense in keeping up an organization after the distinctive principles and measure which gave it vitality and life had been abandoned.

We are glad to note that the heresy of the Chicago Times has been denounced in fitting terms, with great unanimity, by the Democratic press of the country. This shows that the Democratic party is still sound to the core on this great issue, notwithstanding the cowardly conduct of a few craven-hearted poltroons like the Chicago Times. The great historic part of the country, which has passed unscathed through so many fierce political contests, and battled so long and nobly for constitutional principles, will not now strike its colors and surrender to the enemy. There is nothing in its present condition to warrant such a course. It is numerically stronger to-day than ever before, taking into account the whole country. All it has to do is to bide its time, remain true to the great principles which underlie its organization, and before many years, when the "sober second thought" of the people shall have resumed its sway, it will arise from amid the gloom of temporary defeat, strengthened and invigorated by the fiery ordeal through which it has passed.--It will again be the ruling power in the nation. If it be true for itself, it must continue to live while free government endures. Indeed, the one cannot long exist without the other. But if it abandons principle at this crisis for the mere sake of temporary expediency, it will go down beneath the tramp of the mailed hoof of Radicalism in a common wreck, with the liberties of the country.

prove true to its ancient landmarks, and true to the great mission which was before it. It will worship no false gods, and follow no false teachers, however strong in its confidence they may have been in the past. It repudiates with scorn the suggestion of the Chicago Times that it could be made to endorse the odious doctrine of negro suffrage and negro equality. It holds with the late lamented STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS, "that this Government was made on the white basis by white men, for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever: and should be administered by white men and NONE OTHERS."--There the party has stood in the past, and there it will continue to stand in the fuBut we have faith in the integrity of the Democratic party. It will ture.

The Late Election
(Column 1)
Summary: According to the article, the results of the last election demonstrate that the country's political system can be manipulated to suit the desires of a determined minority.
Full Text of Article:

The late elections clearly demonstrate the fact that a [UNCLEAR] was [UNCLEAR] the multitude--the [UNCLEAR]. The Southern people become involved in a war through the machinations of a few persons. It is so now in the North: false prophets are misguiding the unsuspecting--political doctrines and introduced calculated to bring ruin upon this country.--The people do not think sufficiently for themselves regarding the issues of the day, they blindly believe what is told them by a few rapacious and selfish politicians, who have not the welfare of the nation at heart. Forney strikes for Forney; Wilson strikes for Wilson; Sumner, for Summer, and so on. Look at this picture--reflect what these men have accomplished--see the devastation these evil spirits have created from city to city, from village to village. Everywhere a [UNCLEAR] of sorrow can be found erected by these individuals, and the result of their diabolical scheming. Is there a family throughout the land that is not burdened with taxation to keep the negro comfortable? Such constitutes the philanthropy of these Radical agitators. Let the white man labor--let the negro go idle. But this state of things cannot must not, last long. The people will awaken to the enormity and danger of the terrible dogmas which are heralded over country; a reaction will come--light will take the place of darkness--a genial sun will again illume this distracted land, and once more shed in God's providence, happiness and prosperity in all its length and breadth, and throughout its borders.--"So [UNCLEAR]it be."

The Advanced Position of the Radicals
(Column 3)
Summary: The Radicals in Congress have proposed new legislation mandating the approval of only three-quarters of the loyal states to ratify constitutional amendments. If the measure is approved, says the article, a partisan Congress will be able to "usurp all power, change the system from a republic to a despotism and thus enslave the people."
Origin of Article: Age
Full Text of Article:

The constitutional amendment having played its part in the drama of treason and disunion, is now withdrawn, and a new failure introduced for the purpose of continuing the agitation which is distracting and dividing the country. This feature is, "that three-fourths of the loyal or adhering States are sufficient for the ratification of the new constitutional amendment, and that it is the duty of Congress to pass enabling acts under which the communities that seceded from and fought to destroy the Union, and by their failure to do so became thereby subjugated, may be organized for the purpose of securing republican governments to such of their inhabitants as were true to the Republic." The Press, in commending this new movement to the party of which it is an organ, declares "that the remedy proposed is equally simple, constitutional, and clear. The seceded States themselves, even if their rights had not been destroyed in the downfall of the rebellion, are estopped by the act of seccession, which, if it meant anything, meant not only severance from the Union, but from all obligations to it."

Now, to fully apprehend the infamy of such a proposition as that suggested, it is only necessary to remember how this question of secession was treated by the Radical party during the war. They denied that such a right existed, and stigmatized those who maintained the opposite doctrine as traitors deserving imprisonment, in the casements of Fort Delaware or death upon the gallows. They claimed that the acts of the State Legislatures denying the authority of the national government were null and void, and the ordinances of secession not worth the paper on which they were inscribed.--The Governors of the several Confederate States were denounced as usurpers, and the State officials pronounced incapable of exercising any authority which was blinding upon the people. In a word, the Radicals held and taught that secession was a right nowhere to be found in the Constitution or our system of government, and that as a matter of law and logic, the attempt on the part of a portion of the States to exercise a right amounted to nothing.

This was the position of the Radical party during the war. When the rebellion ceased, the different States composing the late Confederacy were called upon to act with reference to the amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. The acceptance or rejection of an amendment to the fundamental law of the land is one of the most important functions of State sovereignty. If a State is in a political condition to perform that act, it is certainly in the Union for all other purposes. The Southern States voted upon that amendment as States. They were named as States by Seward, the Secretary of State, in declaring the amendment adopted and slavery abolished in the United States, and the act was recognized by the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the governmement, as well as by the people of the nation. The Radical party then contended that the claim set up by certain States that they had seceded from the Union did not establish the fact that they had ever been out of the Union or lost their political identity--that they were still States under the Federal compact, and therefore their votes could be cast and were absolutely necessary to make up the constitutional number required to engraft an amendment upon the Constitution of the nation.

If the votes of the Southern States were necessary to amend the Constitution in the instance named, why not now? The idea that "three-fourths of the loyal or adhering States" can change, alter or amend the organic law of the land was not entertained at that time. All the States were recognized as in the Union, and being in, the Constitution made it imperatively necessary that their voice should be counted. And they were so enumerated. There has been no change in the political condition of the States since that time to take them out of the position in which they were placed by the official action of the national authorities, nor has the Radical party declared that the anti-slavery amendment was not legally adopted because certain bodies not legally States voted for it. But now, when it is ascertained that another amendment of a political character and intended to perpetuate the power and influence of a sectional party, cannot be adopted if all the States are recognized as being in the Union and their votes necessary to make it a portion of the Constitution, the Radical faction changes front and declares that "three-fourths of the loyal or adhering States" can alter the charter of the people's liberties, anything in that instrument to the contrary being overlooked and disregarded. This is a bold movement. If it is consummated and carried out, all that a partisan Congress has to do in the future is to propose an amendment to the Constitution, declare certain States not in the Union, deprive them of their right to vote upon the amendment, and thus revolutionize the government, usurp all power, change the system from a republic to a despotism, and thus enslave the people.

This new, dangerous and unconstitutional mode of amending the fundamental law of the land is to be followed by a bold usurpation of power on the part of Congress. That body, representing only the "loyal or adhering States" is to pass "enabling acts under which the communities that seceded from and fought to destroy the Union, and in their failure to do so became thereby subjugated, may be organized for the purpose of securing "republican governments" to such of their inhabitants as were true to the Republic. In other words, Congress is to invade the States, break up their government, destroy their individuality, and reduce them to the condition of conquered provinces, to be governed by laws passed by Congress and enforced by authority from that body.--Where is the authority for such action as that proposed? The Constitution does not confer it upon Congress. It is not a war necessity, for the strife has ended. There is, truth, no warrant or precedent for such a procedure, and if consummated it will be an act of usurpation which should cost the actors in it their heads, and would do so in any country where the laws were properly executed.

This advanced moment of the Radical party demonstrates the fact that they mean to hold power by any agency which can possibly be used. The Constitution and its safeguards will not cause a moment's pause in their march of usurpation and aggression. Even the existence of the States [UNCLEAR] recognized or ignored as that fact tells for or against the success of party measures. The very foundations of a republican form of Government are to be undermined as a means of securing the control of the next presidential contest. In the meantime, the country is kept in a state of constant agitation, and all its material interest suffer. The remedy for this diseased condition of the politics of the nation is in a speedy return to the wise, safe, and conservative teachings of the Constitution through the Democratic party.--That instrument points out the true and only path in national peace, State repose and individual prosperity, and those who attack the Constitution are enemies to the best interest of the country. The fresh attack upon the Constitution and the existence of the States mediated by the Radicals is but a part of the scheme to destroy the Union, and it should be resisted by all just and proper means.--Age

Wendell Phillips Preaches Treason in Philadelphia
(Column 4)
Summary: Reports that Wendel Phillips gave an address in Philadelphia on November 27th, entertaining the crowd to "one of his characteristic denunciatory tirades."
(Column 6)
Summary: The Southern Methodists have decided to drop the word "South" from the title of their church. Henceforth the group will be known as the Episcopal Methodist Church.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Inquirer
(Column 7)
Summary: Contains a copy of Secretary McCollough's Report on the National Finances.
Full Text of Article:

The forthcoming report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the national finances has been completed and printed for distribution to the country on the day of its presentation to Congress. The views which it will present will not be new, in so far as a line of financial policy will be laid down yet the resume of facts and figures will show the national financial situation to be in a much more flattering condition than at the opening of the First Session of the Thirty-ninth Congress, or at the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 1865. The coming report will show that the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, was one of great prosperity. The balance of the Treasury on that day stood as follows:

Cash on hand June 30, 1865 $858,306.15 Cash on hand June 30, 1866 130,669,815.19 Net gain $129,811,506.04

The gold on hand was not estimated at a currency value, or else the balance would have exceeded $150,000,000. The receipts and expenditures for the years 1865-66, the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, are as follows:

RECEIPTS From customs, in gold $179,046,630.64 From public bonds 665,031.08 From direct tax 1,974,740.12 From internal revenue 309,226,812.84 Miscellaneous sources 95,125,966.46 Total receipts from all sources $556,039,195.06

This revenue, it is believed, exceeds in amount that of any other nation on the globe, for the same period.

EXPENDITURES Civil, foreign & miscellaneous. $41,046,965.98 Pensions and Indians $16,808,806.44 War $284,449,791.82 Navy $43,519,632.21 Interest $133,074,737.27 >Total $518,347,337.70 Total receipts $556,039,195.06 Total expenditures $518,347,337.70 Excess of receipts $37,691,857.36

This excess of receipts all occurred during the last few months of the fiscal year, and is not a fair criterion of the ability of the government to liquidate its debt. For instance, the expenses for the quarter ending in September 30, 1865 were $165,000,000; but during the quarter ending June 30, 1865, they were but $12,000,000. The balance in Treasury on June 30, 1865, was but $858,609.15. The year ending December 31, 1865, showed a deficiency in the Treasury of $619,000,000. But six months from the time (June 30, 1866) there was an excess of receipts over expenditures of nearly $37,000,000. The estimates of the War Department for expenditures for the coming fiscal year would be nearly $250,000,000 less than for the year 1865, were it not for the Equalizing Bounty Bill, passed at the last session.

But the revenue from all sources for the next fiscal year is estimated by the Secretary in the neighborhood of $600,000,000. The full expenditure for the next fiscal year is estimated within $350,000 including interest on the matured debt, and a fair sum over for a sinking fund.

The Secretary's report will also state that, under the law of Congress, the Treasury has withdrawn from circulation during the past six months the limit of ten millions of dollars of paper money. The total amount of United States legal-tender notes in circulation is therefore $386,000,000.

The most important and gratifying fact of the report will be in the reduction of the public debt. It will be shown that the public debt has been reduced during the past twelve months nearly two hundred millions of dollars. The actual figures of the reduction are $193,637,721.

Seven millions of compound interest notes (legal-tenders for their face) have been cancelled, and the temporary loans reduced nine millions.

The full amount of currency authorized for national banks has been issued; which, with the United States notes, gives a circulating medium of nearly $700,000,000, not including the fractional currency. On the 1st of last November, the total, including the fractional currency amounted to $734,218,038.20, and $95,000,000 of authorized national bank notes remained unissued.

The Secretary of the Treasury will not present in this report what may be called strictly a new plan for returning to specie payments. He has changed none of the views which he maintained in his last report and which were enunciated in the Fort Wayne speech. He believes that the Secretary of the Treasury should have the power to control the currency to the extent of being authorized, at his discretion, to sell bonds, bearing interest not exceeding six per cent., and redeemable and payable at such periods as may be conducive to the interests of the government for the purpose of retiring all United States notes. He will ask Congress to authorize a long five per cent. bond, it to be exempt from taxation in which to fund the obligations that are soon to mature. He will lay great stress on the question of urging Congress to adopt at an early day a fixed policy of contraction, which, when adopted, will cause the business of the country to gravitate to it, so that specie payments may be reached without a great diminution in the revenues, or a wide-spread financial panic. He does not propose to state any definite time for the resumption of specie payments, but believes that with a proper system it can be attained with the retirement of over two hundred millions of United States notes.

It will be shown (by the figures above given) by the Secretary, that the government is on the high road of prosperity in reducing the national debt, and the Treasury will cling to the simple and experienced policy of liquidating the debt by keeping the national revenue above the national expenditures. To this end, a draft of a bill prepared by Mr. Wells, the Special Revenue Commissioner, will be submitted with the report, (or at some future day) proposing equalization in internal taxation, and a modification of the existing tariff. Important reference will also be made to the raw cotton tax of 3 cents per pound, imposed last session.

In 1867 and 1868 $830,000,000 of seven-thirty notes fall due. A large amount of the first series are now being funded in five-twenty bonds.

Improvements in the national banking system will be suggested and urged.

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Local and Personal--Greencastle Items
(Column 2)
Summary: On Nov. 26th, thieves broke into the store of J. Yous & Co. and stole a variety of merchandise. Evidently the thieves made their way into the establishment through a window.
(Names in announcement: J. Yous)
Origin of Article: Greencastle Pilot
Local and Personal--Greencastle Items
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that Simon P. Shoaff's horse was stolen from his stable on Nov. 28th.
(Names in announcement: Simon P. Shoaff)
Origin of Article: Greencastle Pilot
Local and Personal--Tribute of Respect
(Column 2)
Summary: Notes that a meeting of the Friendship Fire Co. was held to adopt a number of resolutions in memory of J. Wesley Jones.
(Names in announcement: J. Wesley Jones, S. F. Greenawalt, W. E. Tolbert)
(Column 2)
Summary: Contains a call to the citizens of Cumberland and Franklin counties to petition the Legislature on behalf of those individuals who furnished forage for Union troops or sustained damages but, for one reason or another, have yet to receive their indemnification.
Trailer: Many
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 23rd, Samuel E. Stahl and Catherine Kadel were married by Rev. J. A. Kunkelman.
(Names in announcement: Samuel E. Stahl, Catherine Kadel, Rev. J. A. Kunkelman)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 27th, David J. Reasner and Emma Bishop were married by Rev. J. Smith.
(Names in announcement: David J. Reasner, Emma Bishop, Rev. J. Smith)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 22nd, David F. Caufman and Sarah J. Pents were married by Rev. H. Buhrman.
(Names in announcement: David F. Caufman, Sarah J. Pents, Rev. H. Buhrman)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 22nd, John McFerren and Susan Monn were married by Rev. H. Buhrman.
(Names in announcement: John McFerren, Susan Monn, Rev. H. Buhrman)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 22nd, John G. Baker, of Newburg, and Evie Wolff were married by Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: John G. Baker, Evie Wolff, Rev. William West)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 16th, Mary Lesher, 58, died near Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: Mary Lesher)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 22nd, John Henry, son of John G. and M. J. Grumbine, died at 12 months of age.
(Names in announcement: John Henry Grumbine, John G. Grumbine, M. J. Grumbine)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Oct. 30th, Mary Toms, 88, died at the residence of her granddaughter in Bedford county.
(Names in announcement: Mary Toms)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Nov. 27th, William Metcalfe, 70, died near Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: William Metcalfe)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Oct. 19th, James Wilsur, infant son of James C. and Jennie E. Leidy, died at 23 months of age.
(Names in announcement: James Wilsur Leidy, James C. Leidy, Jennie E. Leidy)

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