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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: February 13, 1867

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The Radical Line Breaking
(Column 1)
Summary: In reaction to the Republicans' lack of unity on several key issues currently being debated in Congress, the editor suggests that the "culminating point of venality and tyranny has at last been reached." Accordingly, he predicts an imminent demise for the party's radical faction.
Full Text of Article:

The power of the Radical leaders is at last beginning to break. Sings of the disintegration of this monstrous and corrupt party are becoming more and more apparent every day. It would seem from present appearances that they cannot hold together much longer-that the culminating point of venality and tyranny has at last been reached, and that henceforth its career will be downward, followed and driven by the execrations of the American people whose liberties it attempted to destroy, until it sinks irretrievably in the gulf of its own infamy. They can no longer agree among themselves in Congress. The lash of Stevens is no longer potent to bring the refractory into line. The more timid amount them are becoming alarmed at the enormity of their own crimes. They hear the distant mutterings of an indignant and outraged people and tremble for their safety, as well they may. Hence the distraction in the radical ranks at Washington, at the present moment.

For nearly two years they have kept the country in a state of doubt and uncertainty by hindering the judicious policy devised by a patriotic President for the speedy restoration of the constitutional relations of the seceded States, and now when the people absolutely demand peace and reconciliation in some shape they find themselves all at [UNCLEAR] totally unable to agree upon anything even looking towards restoration.-The pet measure of Mr. Stevens for the "reconstruction" of the Southern States introduced in the early part of the session was buried in the "tomb of the capulets," a short time ago by a decided vote, to the infinite chagrin of the "great commoner." Another bill introduced by him as Chairman of the Committe on Reconstruction, and doubtless intended as a substitute for the former bill, providing for the establishment of a military despotism over the Southern States, is likely to meet with no better fate. When, on Friday last, moved the previous question on this bill intending to force it through under the party lash, there were but 61 votes cast to sustain him to 98 (including the Democrats) against him. So the previous question was not seconded.

The power of Stevens and his fellow conspirators is evidently breaking. This will be hailed as good news by all the true friends of liberty in this country. The death of the radical party will be the salvation of the nation. Courage, then, freemen, there is hope ahead-the priceless heritage of liberty bequeathed to us by our fathers may yet be saved. The incubus which has been weighing down the people and crushing out the vital principles of the Republic is destined soon to be rooed off by the weight of its own corruption. Heaven speed the day of deliverance.

Political Fanatacism
(Column 1)
Summary: The article compares the Radicals to Moslems, Oliver Cromwell, and the Jacobins, labeling them all as dangerous examples of zealotry.
Governor Geary and the Pardoning Power
(Column 2)
Summary: After taking pains to lay out an official policy for granting pardons, the governor, says the article, ignored his own mandate when he freed an election judge who had been convicted for refusing to accept the vote of an alleged deserter. Accordingly, Geary's rules and regulations regarding pardons should be viewed as an attempt "to deceive the masses."
Origin of Article: Age
Full Text of Article:

The present Chief Magistrate of this Commonwealth made a special point in his inaugural address with reference to the pardoning power, its use and abuse. Promises of care and circumspection in the exercise of this important function of the Governor were pushed prominently into the foreground of his first official communication with the people, and the Radical press was filled will allusions to the reforms that were to be made in this particular. Since that time the Governor caused to be published certain rules concerning the issuing of pardons, in order that the public might acquainted with his reformatory intentions.-Under these rules those desiring that a pardon may be extended to a certain individual, convicted and sentenced must give notice in the papers that a pardon is to be asked for. They must also serve a notice of that publication upon the attorney who prosecuted and the judge who tried the case, in order that they may take part in the issue, if they desire to do so. But this is not enough to satisfy the tender and exacting conscience of the Governor. After these things are done in accordance with the commands of the State Executive, then the legal documents and records of the trial must be filed, with full notes of the evidence; grounds on which the interposition of the Governor is solicited; recommendations from responsible persons in the prisoner's vicinity as to his former character, a recommendation of mercy from the jury that heard the case and rendered the verdict, and lastly, letters from the judge and prosecuting attorney joining in the desire for a pardon. This is the channel through which the Governor publicly announces that official clemency and mercy can reach and offender. The door to the mercy seat can be opened in no other way.

This being the position assumed with such ostentatious persistency by Governor Geary, the following manner in which his Excellency constructs and acts upon his new rules is full of refreshing interest: Jonathan Bieber, a Judge of Elections, in Bucks County, was recently tried in that county for misdemeanor, in having refused to receive the vote of Samuel Reinert, an alleged deserter, at the October election, and on trial was convicted. That fact was laid before the Governor by the political friends of the prisoner, and when he was called up for sentence, his attorney presented to the Court a full and free pardon from Governor Geary; and Mr. Bieber was accordingly liberated.-In this case the Governor violated the principles laid down in his inaugural, as well as the regulations issued since that time with reference to the granting of pardons, in the most flagrant manner. He exacted none of the testimony which is said to be necessary before a pardon will be issued. The judge was not notified, nor the attorney, nor was a letter from the jury required. He even pardoned the prisoner in advance of the imposition of sentence. Nor was the case one in which the prisoner acted from a mistaken conception of his duty. The Supreme Court of the State, before the October election, had declared that a man was not a "deserter" in the eyes of the law until he had been tried and convicted before a competent tribunal. This fact was well known in all parts of the State, and yet, in defiance of this decision of the highest judicial tribunal of the State, Mr. Bieber refused the vote of a citizen accused of being a deserter. For this he was properly convicted, and yet Governor Geary pardons him in the manner stated, thus breaking his own regulations, insulting the Supreme Court, by the eagerness he displays to make their decision in the "deserter" cases of no practical effect.

It is therefore, certain that all Governor Geary's rules and regulations with reference to the granting of pardons are merely intended to deceive the masses. He does not intend they shall apply to his political friends. If a half-starved man takes a loaf of bread, and is convicted, a compliance with all the rules will be exacted. The pound of flesh will be demanded. But if a Radical judge of elections steals the elective franchise from a maimed soldier, and is tried and convicted for the offense, not one of the regulations are enforced, and the offender is pardoned even before the sentence. In this manner Governor Geary discharges the duties of his high office. He is a mere partisan ruler, and will bend all the powers of his station to aid the Radical in and out of the State.-Age.

The Military District Bill
(Column 4)
Summary: Contains a transcript of the bill drafted by the "Reconstruction Committee" and introduced by Thad Stevens calling for the removal of the current governments in power in the former rebel states.
Editorial Comment: "The following is the bill introduced in the Rump House, on the 6th inst., by Thad Stevens, from the "Reconstruction Committee," for the overthrow of the Southern State Governments--governments which are "republican in form" in accordance with the wishes of their people repectively; which are at peace, internally and externally, and have been for two years past; and wherein the laws are as faithfully administered as in any Northern State. We insert it here to show the infamously tyrannical character of the Radical scoundrels who battened [sic] on the spoils of a four years' war, but who are yet hungry for mor power and more plunder:"
The Negro In Our Legislature
(Column 4)
Summary: Provides an account of the legislative debate over whether to allow blacks to ride in public conveyances.
Origin of Article: Harrisburg Telegraph
Editorial Comment: "We take the following report of proceedings in the Legislature from that superlatively loyal sheet the Harrisburg Telegraph."
Full Text of Article:


The following petitions were presented:

Messrs. Connell, White, Shoemaker, Worthington, Cowles and others presented petitions in favor of allowing colored persons to ride in public conveyance.

An act to punish by fine any railroad company that excludes colored persons from its cars was considered.

Mr. Wallace (Democrat) moved to amend by changing the section so as to allow colored persons to occupy seats at the ends of the cars.

Mr White, (Republican) favored the bill, but held that it was illegal to indict a corporation for misdemeanor. Some amendment seemed to be needed.

Mr. Wallace held that the duty of the corporation was done when it furnished comfortable seats, and held further that the colored persons had no right to intrude themselves upon the seats devoted to white persons.

The amendment of Mr. Wallace was lost by 14 ayes to 16 nays.

A running discussion took place as to the wording of the section-whether the language made the corporation liable or merely its agents. There appeared to be a technical difficulty in convicting a corporate body of a misdemeanor. The matter was finally adjusted by a proposition of Senator Cowles to make the company which shall permit persons to be excluded liable to all action of debt to the person aggrieved in the sum of $500. This proposition was agreed to by 17 ayes and 14 nays.

Mr. Searight (Democrat) offered an amendment releasing the penalty in case any company shall set apart separate cars for colored persons or separate seats at the end of a car. Lost by a party vote of 16 Republicans to 13 Democrats.

Mr. Wallace (Democrat) offered the following: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to compel the admission of negroes into berth in sleeping cars, or to punish any one for the exclusion of persons of color from cars set apart for the use of ladies. Lost 17 yeas to 14 [?] nays.

Mr. Brown, (Republican), of Mercer, offered an amendment, as follows: Provided, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prohibit any officer, agent or conductor of any railroad in this Commonwealth whose cars are now drawn by steam power from setting apart certain cars for the accommodation of particular classes of passengers: Provided further, That no distinction shall be made on account of race or color.

Various Republican senators urged the withdrawal of this amendment, and it was accordingly withdrawn.

Mr. Donovan (Democrat) moved to amend by making the penalty $100 due for excluding a negro, and imprisoning the party who offends until Fred Douglas is elected President of the United States and Thaddeus Stevens Vice President, (Laughter.) Ruled out of order.

Mr. M Conaughy (Republican) moved to refer the bill back to the committee, in order that it might be perfected.

The subject was interrupted by the hour of adjournment, and was held over.

Mr. Searight, of Fayette, read an act to inflict the death penalty upon negroes and mulattos who may be convicted of certain heinous crimes.

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Local and Personal--Accident On The Railroad
(Column 1)
Summary: Anthony Burkee, a fireman on a freight train on the Cumberland Valley Railroad, had one of his arms crushed in an accident that occurred on Feb. 4th.
(Names in announcement: Anthony Burkee)
Local and Personal--A Scamp Come To Grief
(Column 1)
Summary: The article relates the story of a con artist who was forced to flee from Chambersburg after residents figured out his scam.
(Names in announcement: ex-Sheriff McGrath)
Full Text of Article:

About six or eight weeks ago, a young man, genteelly dressed, made his appearance at the hotel of Ex-Sheriff McGrath in this place, and registered his name as Dr. Long, of Philadelphia. He remained at the hotel until one night last week when he decamped. Sometime in the evening he removed his baggage clandestinely, and about 12 o'clock attempted to let himself out of the house by means of a false key but on being discovered hastily retreated to his room, followed by Mr. McGrath who demanded immediate payment of his bill. On failure to respond to this preemptory demand, he was locked in his room, but sometime during the night effected his escape by picking the lock and letting himself down from the balcony by means of the sheet of his bed. His escape was discovered soon thereafter, and pursuit made, but without success. The Sheriff however secured the trunk of the rascal at Seller's Hotel, where it had been left for transportation to Gettysburg. The gentleman has since been arrested in Gettysburg, and incarcerated in the jail at that place, on a charge of having robbed the Waynesboro Postoffice some months since. We learn that he figured in the latter place as Mr. Clarke a teacher of penmanship, and left about the time of the robbery.

Local and Personal--Swindling By Mail
(Column 1)
Summary: Relates the details surrounding a fraud currently being perpetrated; it is the latest in a series of schemes that has involved the mail.
Full Text of Article:

We have very frequently in the columns of our paper warned the public against catching at the numerous tempting baits presented to them through swindling circulars sent by mail. These are generally of the "lottery" character, but the ordinary dodge has become so generally known that it fails to bring the usual amount of pelf into the pockets of the sharpers. A new and more seductive scheme has been devised, which consists in first sending a prize ticket to the party intended to be victimized, with a request to send on the prize of the ticket (ten dollars) that the prize might be paid, following this up by a "private and confidential" circular, which runs in this wise: "Dear Sir; Your ticket has drawn a prize of $200, but as you have not paid for it, you can obtain the prize only in this way: Write me a letter dated on the day of drawing and enclose ten dollars, the price of the ticket, as soon as received. I will go to the mangers and open it in their presence, saying this letter was mailed in the post office, but the money and date are correct. They do not know that your ticket drew a prize, and will take the money and send you a certificate.-Write nothing about this letter, as the rule is, when an order arrives after the drawing to take it to the managers before opening. The money must be enclosed and the letter mailed from your office. I can alter the date of the postmark. On receipt of prize money please show it to your friends, and advise them to purchase tickets from my office. My object is to create an excitement in your place and sell many tickets for the next drawing. Send immediately."

The circular is signed by a fictitious name, and the party, is requested to address him at the headquarters of the "lottery," wherever they may be located. Of course the object is to bag the ten dollars, after which the poor dupe may whistle for his "prize." We feel sure that, should such a circular fall into the hands of any of our readers, they will not suffer themselves to be diddled by it, but quietly treat it as much waste paper.

Local and Personal--Fire
(Column 2)
Summary: A fire broke out in Joseph McKinney's dwelling, destroying "almost all its entire contents." The fire was discovered by a young black man in the employ of McKinney, who "gave the alarm just in time to enable the family to make their escape." Apparently, the fire was ignited by some hot ashes that had been improperly disposed of in an outhouse nearby.
(Names in announcement: Joseph McKinney)
The New Comedy
(Column 3)
Summary: The article offers a mixed review of a play recently performed in Chambersburg. One scene in the play involved a white man dressed in drag as a black woman.
Full Text of Article:

A large and fashionable audience were in attendance at the Hall on last Thursday evening, to witness a magnificent spectacle to be given by the Chambersburg Cornet Band. The public had been made aware of the fact by the extravagant puffery in the form of bills, posted upon ruined walls, pumps and tree-boxes, which was enough to disgust people by their ridiculous details, yet on the night of the 7th the Hall was filled with people eager to behold the performance. Whether that audience were really agreeably entertained with the ludicrous display of unripeness of intellect, evinced in many ways by the performers, I cannot say, but it was evident that some who were present were pleased, if clapping of hands and stamping of feet was any indication of their appreciation.

The music was acknowledged to be wretched, the playing of the band being dull and wearisome, they having selected just such music as did not suit the occasion, nor that they could render with effect; and when the quartette were sung it was done by voices extremely weak. But that part of the entertainment could be overlooked. Inferior music was expected, but great was our surprise to behold a man appear upon the stage, robed in female attire, acting the part of a negress-"Young Rose of Wolfstown." How disgusting he appeared, those who were present well know. What motive prompted the band to present so vulgar a character we cannot conceive, unless they desired to display their very unrefined taste in the most conspicuous manner. If such was their object, we heartily congratulate them upon their consummate success.

Finally the curtain rose for the third time to reveal to our wondering gaze what was intended to be-the enchanting scene of the Elfin Grotto, a Fairy Grotto, near Edinburg, Scotland, as the programme informed us. Now we must confess that the scenery was remarkably well arranged and had the play been good, and the actors have exhibited any talent in its presentation, the serio-comic Parlor Entertainment might have been sufficiently interesting to have been listened to for a short time: but as it was, we think the whole a striking combination f errors, which could not be otherwise than apparent to any one not entirely devoid of taste.

The invention of the plot would have been creditable to a school boy who desired to amuse his school-fellows with an original composition, but not as the production of men could it be deemed of any importance. A prominent feature of that "drama of impossibilities: was a Goatherd sleeping on a chest in a Grotto; that surely was a very singular idea. We were not aware that the Scotch had chests placed where their Goatherds kept watch over their flocks; but probably the good people living in the castle over the lake, had sent the chest over for the young gentleman's accommodation, the Scotch sometimes do such queer things. And again a great stretch of the imagination is necessary to conceive how one of Adam's sons could be transformed into a Fairy, it is supposed that Fairies very frequently assist human beings in certain undertakings; but we must confess ourself ignorant of the fact that any author of cabalistic philosophy affirms that those creatures of the elements, surpassing human beings in knowledge and power, have the power to impart to the man their wisdom of things occult; therefore the transformation of the Goatherd was one of the many absurdities, conspicuous in the band's comedy. Finally we would ask the band if Fairies are frequently torn to pieces by Irishmen and Dutchmen, "stuck agin rocks that people may dink the friz to death," then live again and torment their destroyers by making invisible imps visible, together with their fiery Dragons! How silly this display appeared in connection with a Fairy scene, only those who were present at the Hall on last Thursday evening can appreciate.


Trailer: Francisco
(Column 5)
Summary: On Jan. 29th, Leonard Cornberger and Elizabeth Best were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Leonard Cornberger, Elizabeth Best, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Jan. 31st, William McFerren and Mary M. Small were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: William McFerren, Mary M. Small, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 8th, George Dochter and Lizzie Detrich were married by Rev. G. Roth.
(Names in announcement: George Dochter, Lizzie Detrich, Rev. G. Roth)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 5th, Samuel P. Etter and Martha E. McKee were married by Rev. J. A. Kunkleman.
(Names in announcement: Samuel P. Etter, Martha E. McKee, Rev. J. A. Kunkleman)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Jan. 15th, John Ritter and Catherine Horrman were married by Rev. E. Dutt.
(Names in announcement: John Ritter, Catherine Horrman, Rev. E. Dutt)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 7th, Emanuel Stafer and Maggie Yeo were married by Rev. E. Dutt.
(Names in announcement: Emanuel Stafer, Maggie Yeo, Rev. E. Dutt)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 7th, Isaac Wise and Catherine Ulrich were married by Rev. E. Dutt.
(Names in announcement: Isaac Wise, Catherine Ulrich, Rev. E. Dutt)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Jan. 31st, Henry F. Lechrone and Alice S. Carbough were married by Rev. W. Krebs.
(Names in announcement: Henry F. Lechrone, Alice S. Carbough, Rev. W. Krebs)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 7th, John H. Rife and Mary, daughter of John Sleighter, were married by Rev. J. M. Bishop.
(Names in announcement: John H. Rife, John Sleighter, Mary Sleighter, Rev. J. M. Bishop)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Feb. 5th, Samuel W. Shoemaker, of McConnellsburg, and Mary Spitzer, of Huntington county, were married by Rev. J. F. Kennedy.
(Names in announcement: Samuel W. Shoemaker, Mary Spitzer, Rev. J. F. Kennedy)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Jan. 16th, Bishop Ann, daughter of Jacob Mohler, died at age 13.
(Names in announcement: Bishop Ann Mohler, Jacob Mohler)

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