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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: February 27, 1867

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-Page 01-

The New Orleans Riots
(Column 7)
Summary: Provides an account of the minority report on the New Orleans Riot, which places blame for the mayhem on Louisiana's Radicals.
Editorial Comment: "Mr. Boyer, of Pennsylvania, presented the report of the minority, as follows:"
Full Text of Article:

Representatives B. M. Boyer, of Pennsylvania, who dissents from the conclusions of his colleagues, says the avowed object of the Convention was an amendment of the existing Constitution of the Louisiana in such manner as to secure their party the absolute control of the offices in the State, negro suffrage and the dsifranchisement of a sufficient number of those who had been connected with the late rebellion. These were the measures by which the desired ascendancy was to be obtained. Mr. Boyer proceeds to show the illegality of the Convention, saying the government which was in force in Louisiana, under the Constitution of 1864, was on the 30th of July, 1866, even from the Radical standpoint, by that acquiescence, the consent of Congress, a State, de jure as well as a government, de facto, and binding as such upon all persons within its jurisdiction. The Conventionists counted upon Congressional co-operation. Under ordinary circumstances a small body of men assembling for the purpose of changing the government of a State, with so little color of law, might be treated as a harmless body, and be regarded as entitled to but little public notice, but in this case the times and circumstances were extraordinary, and well calculated to excite serious apprehension. A judge of the Supreme Court was at the head and the Governor of the State encouraged it.

It was given out that Congress has been consulted, and would lend its assistance.-Preceding the action of the Convention Judge Howell proceeded to Washington to consult in person with the leading members of Congress. He informed the committee that he had consulted with members of Congress, and named the Hon. Messrs. Boutwell, Stevens, Kelley, Banks, Grinell, Morris, Paine, and others. The result was that he returned to New Orleans and went on with the movement.

The encouragement which Mr. Howell testified he received at Washington was made known to the friends of the Convention, perhaps with exaggeration, and on the 24th of July, six days before the meeting, a telegram was sent from New Orleans to the Washington correspondent of the New York Times, stating among other things, that Mr. Howell had returned with assurances that Congress would support the Convention, etc.

The indorsement and support of Congress appears to have been the common topic of conversation among the Conventionists before the 30th of July.

Mr. Boyer, in reviewing the origin of the riots, said the Conventionists appealed to the negroes to arouse them, and their active co-operation was invited. It will be remembered, he says, that the demonstrations were made in the heart of the city, yet the speakers were not interrupted nor the meeting disturbed. After the harangues were over, a procession of between two and three thousand colored persons, between ten and eleven o'clock at night, appeared with torch lights, hurrahing and shouting through several of the principal streets to the City Hall. There the crowd was addressed by Dr. Dostie, and exhorted to go home, peaceably but to kill any who might assail them. After this no disturbance took place, and the crowd peaceably disbursed. Yet no soldiers were engaged, and no policemen cared to interfere. May not, he asks, these acts be cited as striking evidence of the toleration of free speech in the City of New Orleans at that date?

The cause of the riot might be sought for elsewhere. It was the acts and declared intention of the Conventionists, and the illegal and violent proceedings which produced the excitement and brought about the collission. The character and antecedents of the Conventionists were not such as make the accepted standards of Unionism and loyalty in that locality. The proscription threatened by such men through the action of the Convention, must have been peculiarity galling to those to be affected by their proceedings. It has already been shown that no interference was made with free speech, but incendiary appeals and acts of revolution could not be pursued with impunity, and arrests might properly and lawfully be made to arrest the progress of such affairs.

Mr. Boyer does not agree with the majority that the riot was deliberately planned by Mayor Monroe, and refer to the evidence to show that the first shots fired were by a negro at a policeman. To Lieutenant-Governor Voorhies, (ex-rebel) belonged the credit of having supplied the place of his official superior in originating timely precautionary measures, which, if carried out, would have presented the riot, and which failed from no fault of his. In reviewing the comments of the majority of the committee on the course of the President, Mr. Boyer says the President needed no vindication if it were not on account of the partisan slanders with which he had been so unscrupulously assailed during the late election. It might justly be deemed an offense against good taste to name him in this connection. His acts so far as they had any bearing upon the circumstances investigated by the committee, exhibited him to no other light than as a Chief Magistrate actuated by a sincere desire to preserve the public peace, and to uphold the law. Mr. Boyer controverts the views of the majority that the riot is to be attributed to those who are charged with hostility to the Union, and as proscribing those from business who are loyal to the country. Mr. Boyer submits the following conclusions:

First. That the riot of the 30th of July was a local disturbance, originating in local circumstances of great provocation, and in no wise the result of any hostility or disaffection on the part of the community of New Orleans toward the Federal Government. It was not, in any just or fair sense of the term, a vestige or outcrop or the rebellion, nor can it be said any indication even in the remotest degree, of a deposition on the part of the people of the City of New Orleans or the State of Louisiana, to renew hostilities in any form with the established authorities, either State or Federal.

Second, It would be a monstrous injustice to hold the whole people of the State of Louisiana accountable for the acts of those engaged in a riot confined to a small portion of the City of New Orleans, and for that cause to abrogate, by act of Congress the civil government of that State, now in peaceful and successful operation, would be a usurpation of power not warranted by the Constitution, and a gross outrage upon the principles of free government.

Third. The riot was provoked by the incendiary speeches, revolutionary acts and threatened violence of the Conventionalists, such as, under similar circumstances, would probably have led to a riot in any city in the Union.

Fourth. To provoke an attack on the colored population, which was expected to be suppressed by the military before it had seriously endangered the white leaders, appears to have been part of the scheme of the Conventionists. This would afford an excuse for Congressional investigation, resulting in Congressional legislation favoring the ultimate desing [UNCLEAR] of the conspirators, namely, the destruction of the existing civil government of Louisiana.

Fifth. As respects that part of the resolution of the House which makes it a subject of investigation by the committee whether and to what extent those acts were participated in by members of the organization claiming to be the government of Louisiana the following conclusion is submitted:

In no proper sense of the term and in no degree whatever, is the riot of the 30th of July attributable to the government of Louisiana. If there be any member of the government of Louisiana in whose official or personal acts the remotest cause of the riot are to be traced, the chief among them are Judge R. R. Howell, who, as the usurping President of the minority of an extinct Convention, headed the conspiracy to overthrow the State Constitution, which as Judge of the Supreme Court, he had sworn to support, and Governor J. Madison Wells, who lent the conspiracy his official sanction, but on the day of danger, deserted his post without an effort to preserve the public peace. And if there be any members of the federal Government who are indirectly responsible for the bloody result, they are those members of the present Congress (whoever they may be) who encouraged these men by their counsels, and promised to them their individual and official support.

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The Military Despotism Bill
(Column 1)
Summary: Comparing it to the oppressive measures implemented by the British prior to the War of Independence, the editorial contends that the Stevens Military Bill is "flagrantly at war with the letter and spirit of the Constitution."
Full Text of Article:

The Sherman substitute for the Stevens Military Bill, after vibrating between the two Houses of Congress for several days, and after being amended in the House, making the terms still more harsh and severe, was passed finally on Wednesday last by almost a strict party vote, and sent to the President for his signature. There not being ten working days left of the present session after the passage of the bill, the President has it in his power to strangle the measure by a pocket veto, but it is believed by those who profess to be informed on the subject that he will not avail himself of this privilege, but will meet the issue squarely by returning the bill with his objections before the adjournment. It is almost past belief that a measure so infamous in its character and so utterly at war with every principle of republican liberty should be passed by an American Congress. It is disgraceful to the character of the nation and directly violates the main antecedent principle of its political history. It was precisely such a government as the bill in question proposes to establish in the South, that the American Colonies took up arms to resist in 1776 against Great Britain. It was a government under which the Colonies were to be taxed without representation, and which was to be enforced by military power. The following quotation from the "Declaration of Independence" will serve to show how remarkably correspondent were the grievances of which our fathers complained against England, at the date of the Revolution, with those which Congress is now seeking to inflict on the inhabitants of the South. "The history of the present King of Great Britain," says the Declaration, "is the history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world. He (the King) has refused to pass laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the Legislature; a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.-He has kept among us, in time of peace standing armies, without the consent of the Legislature. He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power. He has imposed taxes on us without our consent. He has taken away our charters, abolished our most valuable laws, and altered fundamentally the powers of our government. He has suspended our own Legislature, and declared himself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

All the above recited wrongs on account of which the Colonies waged war against Great Britain, the military reconstruction bill is designed to impose upon ten sovereign States of the American Union. The proposition is monstrous in the extreme, and ought to arouse the free spirit of the people of the entire nation. The ground on which the jurisdiction claimed in the bill is based, has no existence, save in the conceit of a despotic majority in the Federal Congress. There is no power known to the National Constitution by which Congress can abolish State governments, and subject the States themselves to military rule, upon any pretence, or under any circumstances whatever. The whole principle of the bill is founded in a flagrant lie, or rather a series of flagrant lies. It assumes that the rebellion of the people of certain States destroyed the States. That is false in theory as well as in fact, because the crime of rebellion is, but the fundamental national law, a personal crime, entirely and exclusively, and must be treated and punished as such by the national government. It assumes secondly, that the ten States lately in rebellion have no civil government of a republican form, which is also false, because they have governments instituted by and representing the people of the States concerned and which have been, until now, repeatedly recognized by the Federal Government, including Congress. It assumes thirdly, that the whole area of the ten States to which the bill applies, is Federal territory, acquired by military conquest, which is also grossly false, in every sense, for the reason that there is nothing in the Constitution that warrants the Federal Government, in exercising its military power in suppressing rebellion, to push that power to the political destruction of a State and the acquisition of its territory as a prize of war.

The whole scope and tenor of the bill is flagrantly at war with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. It asserts the absurd idea that ten States of the Union are out of the Union as States, and must be "reconstructed" before they can be re-admitted.-Mark, now, to what this assertion logically leads. If the States in question are out of the Union at all, they are out territorially as well as politically, because conquest of the soil of a State by force of arms is, in no case and under no circumstances, a constitution power of the Federal Government.

If all the States of the South are out of the Union territorially, they may refuse to come in. If they refuse to come in on terms dictated by Congress, Congress cannot govern them at all, either as States or Territories. Hence, this military reconstruction bill carried out to its final practical issue, must lead inevitably to one of two results, to wit: either a dissolution of the Union by the ejection of ten States, or a war to coerce them into subjection, as territories, to military despotism.

To establish a military despotism over the South is clearly the purpose of the authors of this iniquitous measure, but does any sane man believe that this case can be done in one section of the country without, in a very short time, destroying the liberties of the people in the other also? The constitutional rights of the people are, throughout the whole country in imminent peril.-The people should at once begin to prepare to resist the designs of the conspirators. If our revolutionary ancestors waged war against the Government of Great Britain because it "imposed taxes upon them without their consent," and because it "affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power," will their descendants tamely submit to the same abuses and usurpations when attempted to be forced upon them by a Jacobin Congress? "Is life [UNCLEAR] sweet, or peace so dear, as to be purchased at the expense of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!"

Feeling of the Southern People Toward Northern Emigrants
(Column 2)
Summary: In sharp contrast to the "falsehoods" circulated by the Radicals, Southerners, says the editor, hold no enmity toward Northerners and eagerly welcome outside investment in the region.
Full Text of Article:

In order to keep up a feeling of bitterness between the two sections of the country, the radical leaders have continually asserted, among many other glaring falsehoods of like character, that it was unsafe for a northern man to go South to invest his capital-that his life was continually endangered through the feeling of hostility entertained by the southern people towards northern men.-We have always regarded these assertions as mere fabrications, manufactured out of the whole cloth by political demagogues to subserve their partisan purposes. The following resolution passed by a recent meeting of farmers in North Carolina fully elaborates our view of the case. We are indebted to Mr. John Middleton, of this place, who has just returned from a visit to that state, for a copy of the resolutions.-Mr. Midleton informs us that, in his judgement, made up from observation and intercourse with the leading men of that section, life is as secure in North Carolina as in Pennsylvania, and if anything, there is less crime committed there than here. All a man needs to do is to behave himself and he is entirely safe, and that he should be compelled to do in any community. The following is a copy of the resolutions referred to:

Farmers' meeting of Cedar Creek District Cumberland county, N. C.

At a meeting of a majority of the farmers of Cedar Creek District, Cumberland county, N. C., held February 15th, 1867, Elija Fisher was called to the chair, Charles H. Blocker appointed Secretary and J. C. Blocker, Octavius H. Blocker, and Benson Parker appointed to draft resolutions. The following preamble and resolutions were reported and unanimously adopted:

WHEREAS, From old political ideas and education which are now exploded, and from the unwise and bitter course of the people in some localities South, an idea has gained ground in the Northern States calculated to discourage Northern men from becoming our immediate fellow citizens and from investing their capital in our midst, and lending their means and enterprise towards a common advancement of the powerful and triumphant prosperity, and giving the impression that they would be unsafe in person and property and that they are unwelcome among us, therefore

Resolved , That we hereby extend a hearty welcome to all good, honest and industrious Northern men who may see fit to come among us as permanent fellow citizens and neighbors, and that we offer to divide with them our lands on as reasonable terms as we can afford and that we cordially invite them to come among us.

Resolved , That the country needs a social reconstruction, with all prejudices and past differences forgotten and that a political one can soon follow.

Resolved , That we have an unbounded confidence in the future and believe that after the passions of the moment have subsided and that with the blessings of providence we shall be a more happy and prosperous people and nation than ever before.

Resolved , That we have read with emotions of gratitude the noble speech of Hon. Horace Greeley at a late meeting at the Cooper Institute, and that we recognize in him a patriot and philanthrophist [CORRECT philanthropist].

Resolved , That Octavious H. Blocker be appointed to correspond with parties desirous of emigrating to our section.

Postoffice address, Fayetteville, N. C.

The Canvas in Connecticut
(Column 4)
Summary: The article reports on the election of Governor Hawley of Connecticut, who campaigned on an anti-Radical platform, then switched his allegiance following his victory.
Origin of Article: Age

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Local and Personal--Sherry's Theatrical Troupe
(Column 1)
Summary: Annonces that Sherry's Theatrical Troupe will perform in Repository Hall on March 4th.
Local and Personal--The Fair
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that the temperance fair held last week was a grand success; the net proceeds amounted to nearly $2,000.
"Our Very Illiterate Criticism"
(Column 2)
Summary: Contains the latest in an on-going series of exchanges over the merits of "The New Comedy," a play peformed in Chambersburg several weeks earlier.
Full Text of Article:

A late number of the Country Merchant contained an article, intended I suppose as a reply to my critique-The new Comedy-published in this paper some time ago.-The writer of "That Criticism" evidently supposed that he was conferring a great favor on the band, when he undertook to be their champion, and made so violent an attack upon "The new Comedy." "When will men learn that the maintaining of a dignified silence respecting the faults of a friend is a truer kindness to him than entering the lists in his defence otherwise than fully armed for the overthrow of his opponent!" The band is unfortunate for having a defender who is impose onimi.-"Sacramento" is not hommae des lettres but from the tone of his reply-to term it a criticism would be wrong, for as Pope wrote, "Cavail you may, but never criticize"-we should suppose that he frequented grogshops. His reply was a remarkable specimen of incoherent violence, which was perfectly natural for a country newspaper and a strain of ingrained vulgarity and blackguardism as is popularly associated with political groggeries.

"Sacramento" thus writes to the County Merchant: "A friend of the Chambersburg Cornet Band wishes through your columns to notice a poorly arranged combination of vindictiveness, ignorance, sarcasm and jealousy, which was maliciously transferred from a bilious stomach to a lie-bilious-libelous-sheet claiming the cognomen of VALLEY SPIRIT." Upon this first passage, I remark that it is not generally known that ideas originate or proceed from the stomach, but from the brain, the seat of intellect. Again the gentleman errs by making use of "lie-billous" no such word exists. The compositor had the goodness to insert "libelous" after it, that his correspondent's utter ignorance of the English dialect might not appear too glaring. I think "S" is also indebted to that gentleman for many other corrections in his Ms.

But there is another word, "cognomen' which is not properly used: "Cognomen" signifies a surname, the last of the three names of an individual among the ancient Romans, denoting his house or family.-Therefore it was not scholarly to apply it, when speaking of a paper. Cognition should have been used. After such notorious blunders in the first few lines, it is not surprising to me that a succession of others equally bad should follow. Next the gentleman-sans ceremonie-makes a statement, which he know possessed not an atom of truth. "Neither do I think the effusion worthy of a reply further than the Bible commands us to "answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit." Now if our unwise friend "did not think the effusion worthy of a reply" why did did he not there end his article and not lie so openly. "Causa latest, vis est notissima."

"S's" next sentence is as follows: "Able critics, in their works strive for the good of the public, but never attempt to slander the performers." To this important piece of information, I would ask "S' if "able critics" speak falsely concerning the periodical, containing their opponents productions, like he did of the VALLEY SPIRIT at the commencement of his reply, or make assertions, which they do not, nor cannot prove. I here challenge "S" to prove where I slandered the performers in my critique--The new Comedy.

I did not expect to please those who were immediately connected with the band, whose weaknesses and stupidity were exposed to public view by the presentation of their entertainment, but the public who were at the Hall on the night of the 7th.-At last "S' is sufficiently candid as to write; "I am no critic!" We hail the truth with great joy. Surely no one who evinces such ignorance crasse of the rules of propriety could be a critic. As regards his being a prophet-a very false one-I have not a single doubt-he may be a Spanish fortune-teller-but he is not a critic. He continues thus, "I was not aware that the band intended a "plot" in the comedy of "nursery tales, neither did I ever read of a plot in a Fairy spectacle." Is it, can it be possible that a man who pretends to criticise the writings of others, absolutely does not know what a "plot" is. Why you are so desperately audacious "S." I am now fully convinced that you are some "unnaturalized foreigner" that alone would account for your extreme rudeness in expressing your sentiments. A plot according to Webster is "a scheme or plan, method of procedure, design." A design, a plan or scheme formed in the mind of something to be done, preliminary conception, idea intended to be worked out or expressed.-Now will "S" say that the Elfin Grotto comedy did not exist, that it never was written or performed, if so, why then we could say the band did not intend a plot! "I sincerely hope the amiable"-N. B. he here terms me amiable, a few lines below he says "he must first [UNCLEAR] himself of that scratching propensity," how consistent-"gentleman (?) above mentioned will not 'let his angry passions rise' when he peruses this."

I have the pleasure of informing "S" that it did not in the least disturb the tranquility of my mind, but that it caused me to inflict some few wounds on "commercial note" for the benefit of "my very illiterate criticiser."


Trailer: Francisco
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 21st, C. C. Stull and Rebecca Oiler were married by Rev. Jacob Price.
(Names in announcement: C. C. Stull, Rebecca Oiler, Rev. Jacob Price)
(Column 4)
Summary: On November 26, 1866, Lemuel King and Roxanna Forney were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.
(Names in announcement: Lemuel King, Roxanna Forney, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Jan. 16th, F. J. Keller and Mollie J. Jacobs were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.
(Names in announcement: F. J. Keller, Mollie J. Jacobs, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 8th, F. W. Jacobs and A. M. Pheifer were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.
(Names in announcement: Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh, F. W. Jacobs, A. M. Pheifer)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 19th, Peter Stenger and C. L. Kunkleman were married by Rev. J. A. Kunkleman.
(Names in announcement: Peter Stenger, C. L. Kunkleman, Rev. J. A. Kunkleman)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 21st, P. Dock Fest and Justina Harmony were married by Rev. J. A. Kunkleman.
(Names in announcement: P. Dock Fest, Justina Harmony, Rev. J. A. Kunkleman)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 12th, W. H. Snyder, of Altoona, and S. Bell Mathugh were married by Rev. C. F. Thompson.
(Names in announcement: W. H. Snyder, S. Bell Mathugh, Rev. C. F. Thompson)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 21st, Andrew C. Conrad and Ann Barbara Florich were married by Rev. G. Roth.
(Names in announcement: Andrew C. Conrad, Ann Barbara Florich, Rev. G. Roth)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 19th, George Stothour and Anna Elizabeth Miller were married by Rev. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: George Stothour, Ann Elizabeth Miller, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 17th, Carrie Amanda, daughter of Col. Frank Winger, died. Carrie Amanda was 5 months old.
(Names in announcement: Col. Frank Winger, Carrie Amanda Winger)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 18th, William Gillan, Sr., 69, died.
(Names in announcement: William GillanSr.)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Feb. 19th, Alice Poe, 7, died.
(Names in announcement: Alice Poe)

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