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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 03, 1867

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-Page 01-

California Wheat
(Column 5)
Summary: For the first time, California wheat is being sold in the eastern section of the country, a development the editors celebrate because it is the "best in the world, and is produced at relatively less expense than anywhere else."

-Page 02-

President Johnson
(Column 1)
Summary: In a tour of New England, relates the editors, President Johnson was warmly received at all his stops, except in Philadelphia where he was met with the "obstinancy and bull-headedness" of the local residents.
A Trip Through The Valley Of Virginia
(Column 2)
Summary: Contains the second half of a detailed summary of the trip through the Shenandoah Valley taken by several prominent citizens of Chambersburg. Included in the piece is a lengthy description of the region's landscape.
Full Text of Article:

Last week we briefly noticed the leading points touched on our journey through the Valley of Virginia, and promised to make some general observations this week on the region of the country through which we passed. This we now propose hastily to do.

The Shenandoah Valley, or more properly the Valley of Virginia, when speaking of the whole Valley, is simply an extension southward of our own beautiful and fertile Cumberland Valley, and like it, is bounded on the East by the Blue Ridge, or South Mountain, as it is called with us, and the North, or Blue Mountain, on the West.-Its average with is about the same, ranging say from fifteen to thirty miles. The valley from the Potomac to Strasbourg, eighteen miles South of Winchester, is something wider than our valley at Chambersburg, but at this point it succenly narrows. Here the Massanutten Mountain abruptly begins, piercing the clouds with its rocky summit and stretching southward a distance of fifty miles, dividing the main valley, as it were, into two that lying between this mountain and the Blue Ridge on the East being called the Luray or Page Valley, and that lying West of it being a continuation of the Shenandoah Valley. At Port Republic, in Rockingham county, this grand old mountain as abruptly disappears as it begins at Strasburg, and the valley again suddenly widens stretching again from the North, or Blue Mountains on the West, to the Blue Ridge on the East. Near Port Republic, the North, Middle and South Rivers form a junction, forming what is called the South Branch of the Shenandoah, which then runs around the southern end of the Massanutten Mountain into Luray or Page Valley, and passing northward through this valley, it unites with the West Branch of the Shenandoah in Warren county, near Front Royal, and both together empty into the Potomac at Harpers Ferry. These two streams drain the Valley from beyond Staunton to the Potomac. The Valley of Virginia is a finely watered country, particularly portions of it. We think it excels our own valley in this respect. It abounds in fine springs and rivulets. In travelling from Winchester to Harrisonburg you pass a fresh water brook every half mile or so, wending its way quietly to the Shenandoah. This is an incalculable advantage to a farming and grazing country.

The land in this valley corresponds very nearly in character with the land in the Cumberland Valley, being mostly limestone formation interlarded with slate hills. As a general thing the county is more rolling than it is with us, corresponding in this respect more nearly with the limestone land in Westmoreland county, and in this State, though in parts of Berkeley, Frederick, Clark and Jefferson counties you find some as level land as is to be found in the Cumberland Valley. The farms are generally much larger than with us, comprising frequently from five hundred to one thousand acres, and in some cases still more, in consequence of which much of the land in Virginia is badly tilled. There is everywhere an absence of that appearance of neatness and thrift which you witness in Pennsylvania, and the large barns, neat farm houses and white-washed fences enclosing the yards with which our agricultural regions are studded over, are seldom to be seen in Virginia. Their farm houses are rarely built near a public road, as is the custom in Pennsylvania. Retirement seems to have been the ruling motive with Virginians in selecting sites for their residences which we are compelled to say we rather admire. We think it entirely preferable to being stuck hard by a dusty road to be constantly annoyed by the noise and confusion of a public thoroughfare. Their houses being set back from the main road usually have large grounds attached beautifully shaded with forest trees and ornamented with shrubbery and flour [CORRECT flower] gardens, making their homes most attractive to an admirer of the simple beauties of nature.

The finest farm of the Valley of Virginia is said to be that of General Moem, beginning about two miles beyound Mount Jackson in Shenandoah County, lying on both sides of the turnpike road and stretching along the Shenandoah River for several miles, comprising about four thousand eight hundred acres, all the best quality of limestone land and river bottom. The hundreds of acres of golden grain waving in the sunshine on either side of the road, belonging this estate, stretching either way almost as far as the eye could reach, presented a scene to our view as we passed along truly grand and beautiful. This mammoth and magnificent farm seems to be in a high state of cultivation, or else the land is unusually fertile, for we never saw finer wheat grow than we saw there. The buildings are situated about half a mile east of the turnpike up towards the base of the Massanutten mountain, on an elevated point from which it is said the owner can view every foot of his possessions. He maintains an elegant establishment and entertains his friends, who visit him, in the most magnificent style.

The price of land in the Valley of Virginia varies from fifteen to one hundred dollars per acre. Some choice of farms would bring even a higher figure than the latter, and some very inferior lands might be bought for even a less price that the former. The best improved and best cultivated farms, as a general rule, are not in the market. But there is a great deal of land for sale in the valley, and good limestone land, in a low state of cultivation and without improvements, can be bought for forty dollars per acre, and upwards, which, in the hand of Pennsylvania farmers, would soon be transformed into first-class farms worth one hundred dollars per acre. In our judgement, those of our farmers who desire to change their location cannot do better than to go to Virginia to invest in real estate.-The native Virginians express an anxious desire to see their surplus lands settled and improved by practical Pennsylvania farmers and this class of emigrants would be welcomed by them with open arms and treated in the most kindly manner.

The track of desolation made by the hostile armies during the late terrible civil war is still plainly visible all through the Valley of Virginia. The blackened walls of former mills and barns, the debris of what were once palatial residences meet the eye of the traveler on every side on the route over which we journeyed. Perhaps no portion of the country suffered more from the ravages of war than this famous valley. It being the key to the military situation between the two great contending armies in the east, it was made the stamping ground for both armies. It was here that Sheridan-"Cavalry Sheridan"-boasted of having burned two thousand barns in a single night, whose charred walls remain standing to this day as monuments of infamy to his name and as a disgrace to American warfare. Great as was the vandalism of McCausland in burning the town of Chambersburg, for which his name has ever been execrated by us, it was far outstripped by the vandalism of Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley. One of his aids was shot a few miles above Harrisonburg by some unknown person, in retaliation for which he ordered all the houses and barns to be burned within a radius of five miles, thus visiting the sin of one guilty person upon the heads of hundreds of innocent ones, including many helpless women and children. The testimony of the citizens of Harrisonburg and Staunton was concurrent that on a certain night in 1864, during Sheridan's administration in the valley, the whole valley between the two places-a distance of twenty-five miles-was illuminated from mountain to mountain by the blaze of burning buildings. He left but two mills standing in that part of the Valley lying west of the Massanutten mountain, embracing the whole of Shenandoah and part of Rockingham counties, and the people of that region were, for some time, with difficulty kept from actual starvation. We have admired the brilliant exploits of Sheridan upon the actual field of battle, but his wanton destruction of private property and inhuman warfare upon non-combatants in the Valley of Virginia must forever stand to the disgrace of his name and be condemned by all right thinking people. Sheridan and McCausland are two names to fit and be linked together in history, and they should, and doubtless will go down to posterity as the two greatest vandals of their day.

But the most complete specimen of vandalism witnessed on our trip was at Winchester in the site of what once was the residence of Jas. M. Mason, a Senator in the U. S. Congress at the breaking out of the war. Mr. Mason had a handsome residence located on a small eminence immediately adjoining the town, with elegant and beautifully ornamented grounds attached. It will scarcely be believed when we tell our readers that all that is left of this once handsome private residence is a bleak, barren hill, an exposed common, without even a fence, stone or shrub upon it to mark its former grandeur. The Federal soldiers when they arrived at the place in the summer of 1861 tore down the house from turret to foundation and totally destroyed all the surroundings. They even tore up the foundation stones and carried them away in order that the destruction should be complete. The Medical University located on an adjoining hill, in which the bodies of some of the confederates of John Brown were dissected ed, shared the same fate.

Everywhere along our route we found the people of Virginia quietly engaged in their legitimate pursuits, manfully struggling to rebuild their waste places and regain their lost fortunes. We found the farmer in his fields, the merchant in his store and all toiling energetically for a lifting, and perchance to secure themselves and families against future privations and want. A more quiet, peaceable and orderly people is no where to be found. It was frequently remarked ironically by one or the other of our party, as we journeied along from day to day and witnessed the farmers plowing their corn and rebuilding their fences, with other evidences of peaceful and honest industry, that we now saw the great need of a military despotism to keep in subjection these rebellious people who thus persist in showing their hostility to the "best government the sun ever shone upon" by peaceably pursuing their lawful callings. To have seen these people as we saw them would, we think, have caused the heart of the most hardened and vindictive Radical in the land to relent. We saw no quarrel, no exhibition of bad feeling, not even a drunken man on all our journey, which is more than could be said, we opine, after travelling over the same extent of country in the North. Neither did we hear a single expression of hostility against the Union or the Government of the United States. They acknowledge themselves whipped, and the cause for which they toook up arms as lost finally and forever; and express an earnest desire to be speedily restored to their old relations in the Union as the best possible condition for them. Many even admit that the attempt to sever their connection with the old Union was a grave mistake which would have proved disastrous had it even been successful. Not one in a thousand, in our opinion, would renew the attempt if they were assured of success. What folly is it not then to argue that it would be unsafe to readmit these people into the Union with a full restoration of their constitutional rights. It is true, they are opposed to the Radical party, which is seeking to humiliate and degrade them by every means that partisan hatred or malice can invent. And why should they not be opposed to such a party? It is not usual or natural for people to kiss the hand that smites them. We should cease to respect them if they were not.-The Radical party of the South consists of the negroes, and here and there an unprincipled white man who is willing to sell his manhood for filthy lucre's sake. We can not imagine a more degraded and contemptible specimen of humanity than a Southern Radical. There maybe some excuse for a Northern man to be a Radical (and not much either), but for a Southern man there can be none. With regard to politics, in a party sense, the people of Virginia may be said to be quiescent. The reply of Colonel O'Ferrall, at Staunton, when interrogated on the subject, we think may be taken as a tolerably correct reflex of the sentiment of Virginia. Said he: "We staked our all upon the war, and we lost all. We are patiently waiting to know what is to be done with us. Before the war our young men did nothing but sit around on store-boxes and talk politics. Now we have gone to work and are putting forth all our energies with a view to rebuild our wasted fortunes and develope our material resources. In the future we intend to let you people of the North talk all the politics. We did more than our share in the past, and lost by it." This, we repeat, very nearly reflects the prevailing sentiment of Virginia on purely party politics.

The most amusing incident of the journey occurred at Harrisonburg where Judge Kimmell was taken for General Schofield. Our approach was heralded by some stage passengers the evening previous who announced that General Schofield and staff were stopping over night at New Market. This put the Harrisonburg people on the lookout and created some stir when we drove into town the next day. We soon undeceived them, however. The Judge didn't seem to appreciate the compliment, but on the contrary seemed a little sensitive whenever an allusion was made to it. With this incident we bid adieu to our journey for the present. H.

Trailer: H.
Confiscation and Land for the Negroes
(Column 4)
Summary: Predicting that Thad Stevens and "his friends" will press their demands to confiscate rebel property in the South so that they can re-distribute it to the ex-slaves, the article urges Republicans to proceed with caution and to ignore the demands of this "small minority" within their party.
Origin of Article: New York Tribune
Editorial Comment: "The New York Tribune does not like the looks of the coming session of Congres, and thus expresses its fears:"
Temperance and Politics
(Column 4)
Summary: The "'temperance' people" in Lancaster county held a convention on June 26th that was "very slimly-attended," declares the article. At the meeting, several resolutions were passed aimed at securing "the enactment and enforcement of a Prohibitory Liquor Law" and making "continuance of the licensed traffic in intoxicating drinks a political issue." Indeed, it asserts, temperance is being used to "enable the negro equality propagandists to continue their plunderings and arrogant domination over the people."
Origin of Article: Patriot and Union
Full Text of Article:

The Lancaster county "temperance" people (so-called) held a very slimly-attended convention at Lancaster on the 26th inst., and formed a Union which is to act in subordination to little John Cessna's State concern. They declare in their preamble that their object is "to secure the enactment and enforcement of a Prohibitory Liquor Law," "and to make the continuance of the licensed traffic in intoxicating drinks a political issue," They also fulminated the following against the manufacture of Bitters, Cordials, and all other medicines which have an alcoholic base or vehicle:

"Resolved , that we believe it to be our duty to warn our friends against the use of the decoctions called bitters, or so-called tonics, ander whatever name they may be presented, as delusive and dangerous to the user; possessing little or no medicinal properties of value, which may not be procured in another form without liability to injury, and as an insidious enemy to the individual or family who may be seduced into their use."

The also adopted the following:

'Resolved , That we do earnestly recommend all friends of temperance to make known their determination not to support for office any man who is not willing to use his political power and influence in favor of the utter suppression of the traffic in intoxicating drinks in our Commonwealth."

As everyone who spoke in the meeting made it his especial task to attack the Democracy, it is clear that none but Radical candidates will receive their support, and that every candidate supported by them will be pledged to the enactment of a Maine liquor prohibitory law in Pennsylvania.

The following extract from the harangue of a "Rev. C. I. Thompson," (a follower of Thad Stevens, as, in fact, are they all,) will show the animus of the whole so-called prohibitory liquor movement in this State.-He said:

"The anti-slavery party was not so strong until it succeeded in uniting itself with one of the great political parties of the country. When temperance is fairly brought into politics the power which we seek will be general. The men who were the chief advocates of temperance have also been the foremost advocates of equal rights, and the head and front of the party which destroyed slavery. If you show me a truly earnest temperance man I will answer for it, in almost every case, that he is a faithful and honest advocate of the political and social equality of all races and classes."

This is sufficient to show the earnest, conscientious temperance men of the country that temperance is to be used as a mere tail to the Radical kite; or, rather, as a robe to conceal the infernal corruption of that party, so as to enable the negro equality propagandists to continue their plundering and arrogant domination over the people. What may thus be gained in temperance will be lost ten thousand times over in official corruption and public demoralization. The people have already had too much of Radical chicanery, and the tying of a live issue to a festering corpse will not win, because nobody can be deceived by it.

A Heavy Job
(Column 5)
Summary: While Radicals may believe that they have freedpeople's best interests in mind when they formulate their policies, their actions indicate otherwise. This has become particularly evident with the Radicals' plans to convince the ex-slaves to register their "nominal bonds" with the state or the church.
Origin of Article: Journal of Commerce
Full Text of Article:

Theoretically it seems to some Northern people a very easy matter to govern the South. These are zealots in the cause of liberty. Their notion of the perfection of human freedom, says the Journal of Commerce, is in getting the power into the hands to govern the race, or the favored portions of it. Then they propose to compel men to be free. To establish the gospel of freedom by the strong arm of the law, wielded always by themselves. They would meet every possible contingency opposed to freedom by enacting and enforcing a new statute. Law after law appears on their books. A perfect net-work of law is wound around their subjects. Failing to enforce these complications of statutory liberty, they fall back on the military, and believe that they can ensure and establish free principles, human liberty and equality, and all that sort of thing, by administering the law of their own wills at the point of the bayonet. This is no exaggerated view of the radical mind. The basis of the present radical system is neither more nor less than this: "Our will must be enforced as the law of the South for the purpose of establishing human liberty and equality. Now this is a heavy job. It is the heaviest work hitherto undertaken by a party. It cannot be accomplished. Theoretically it looks easy, but in the practice difficulties begin to arise. It seems that a great many negro men and women in the South live together in nominal bonds, which have no legal nor church sanction. Some of the good emissaries of radicalism shocked at this immorality urge on these people to go to clergymen or magistrates and get themselves married.-This is wise, proper and commendable. But here a radical difficulty arises, in the objection of the women to the advice. The decline marriage now, because being free they wish to remain absolutely free, and the State laws would give their labor and its proceeds to their husbands if they should become married. It bothers the radicals. A great many of them have more respect for the money question than the morality question. What shall they do? We have the answer in the proposal to make new "married women's laws" for the South.-So here comes in the first great burden of governing a people in the way radicalism is governing the South, Congress must make marriage laws for the Southern States.-Congress has no more business with this subject than has the Queen of England; but the present theory is that northern radicals must reconstruct the South, morally and politically, and therefore this must be done. A thousand social laws will soon be required in addition to this. The attempt to reconstruct on the present plan will be a failure unless the North be allowed to enforce all its notions on the South.

The remarkable feature of this state of affairs is its resemblance to the early days of New England. The radical party there are correct in deriving their ideas of government from the Puritans, but they are in great error in supposing that those ideas among the Puritans, any more than in our day, looked toward liberty. The Puritan system was one of intolerance, and never pretended to be anything else. The Puritans were frank, bold defenders of their right to worship God as they pleased, and to compel all who fell under their authority to worship in the same way. This is the radical faith now, and in the attempt to reconstruct the South we see the difficulty of caring it into practice.

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Local and Personal--Contract Awarded
(Column 1)
Summary: F. C. Waldlich, of Mercersburg, was awarded the contract to build the new Presbyterian Church in McConnellsburg. Construction of the temple will cost $300.
(Names in announcement: F. C. Waldlich)
Local and Personal--Safely Arrived
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that Col. McClure and his family arrived safely at Virginia City, Montana.
Local and Personal--Death Of Capt. Samuel Speese
(Column 1)
Summary: Capt. Samuel Speese died at his residence in Dauphin on June 26th. Speese served in the army during the war as a captain in Company F, Thirteenth Pa. Cavalry, and proved himself to be "a brave and meritorious officer." He was 47 years old.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Samuel Speese)
Local and Personal--New Church in Allentown
(Column 2)
Summary: Relates that the cornerstone of a new German Reformed Church was laid in Allentown on June 23rd. Rev. Samuel Phillips, formerly of Chambersburg, organized the congregation about a year ago.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Phillips)
Local and Personal--Change In Agents
(Column 2)
Summary: Alfred Matthews, of the Adam's Express Company, is retiring. William G. Reed, a former agent for the company, is taking his place.
(Names in announcement: Alfred Matthews, William G. Reed)
The Bankruptcy Bill--The Bankrupt Bill
(Column 2)
Summary: Provides a copy of the Bankruptcy Bill recently passed by the Legislature.
Full Text of Article:

The bankrupt bill, which is now a law, is very long, but the following will be found to comprise the important provisions:

Section 11. Prescribes the method of availing of the act.

Any debtor whose debts, provable under the act, amount to over three hundred dollars may petition the District judge of his District, stating his insolvency, his willingness to surrender his estate and schedule under oath, of his debtors and his creditors, with the nature of the debt in full, and an inventory, also under oath, of his assets. Such petition shall be an act of bankruptcy, and the petitioner be adjudged a bankrupt. The Judge shall thereupon issue a warrant, (or the Register, if there be no opposing party,) directed to the United States Marshall of said district, authorizing him to publish the necessary notices, to wit:--1. That a warrant in bankruptcy has been issued. 2. That all payments of debts to such debtor are forbidden. 3. That a meeting of the creditors to prove debts and choose assignees, will be held in a court of bankruptcy, not less than ten, nor more than ninety days after the issuing of the warrant.

Section 14. Directs that the Judge (or if there is no opposing interest, the Register,) shall convey to the assignee or assignees the entire real and personal estate of the bankrupt, but from this assignment are excepted household and kitchen furniture, and such other articles as the assignee may indicate, not exceeding five hundred dollars in value, the wearing apparel of the bankrupt and his family his uniform and arms, and any other property hereafter exempted from attachment or levy by United States laws.

Section 27. Prescribes that all creditors, who prove their debts, shall share alike, except that wages to an amount not exceeding fifty dollars, for service performed in the preceding six months shall be paid in full.

Section 28. Prevents the priority of debts.

Section 29, Allows the bankrupt, after six months from the adjudication of bankruptcy, or if no debts or assets within sixty days, to apply for his discharge, which the court, after due notice, shall grant, if the bankrupt has honestly exhibited his condition.

Section 30. Prohibits a second bankruptcy, unless by consent of creditors-except where the assets amount to seventy percent, of the debts.

Section 31 to 36. Concern details, pronounces against fraud and the like.

Section 39. Provides for involuntary bankruptcy, declaring that an absconding debtor, a debtor who makes assignments to defraud, against whom an unsatisfied execution for over one hundred dollars stands, who makes an assignment to give preference to special creditors, or who has suspended for fourteen days, the payment of his commercial paper shall, on the petition of any creditor, be adjudged a bankrupt.

(Column 5)
Summary: On July 2nd, J. L. P. Detrich and Maggie A. Harkness, of Carlisle, were married by Rev. C. P. Wing.
(Names in announcement: J. L. P. Detrich, Maggie A. Harkness, C. P. Wing)
(Column 5)
Summary: On June 11th, Jacob Cook and Sarah Black were married by Rev. W. Howe.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Cook, Sarah Black, Rev. W. Howe)

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