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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 17, 1867

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To All Whom It May Concern
(Column 1)
Summary: Notifies readers that the Valley Spirit has been sold to W. S. Stenger, John M. Cooper, and Augustus Duncan, who will take possession of the newspaper on Sept. 1st.
(Names in announcement: W. S. Stenger, John M. Cooper, Augustus Duncan, B. Y. Hamsher)
Trailer: B. Y. Hamsher & Co.
The Surratt Trial
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors provide an update on the case against John M. Surratt for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln. They assert that the prosecution's case has been badly weakened by its principal witnesses, who are "notoriously bad characters, totally unworthy of believe on oath." In conjunction with the "strong array" of other evidence presented in favor of the defendant, the editors conclude that an impartial jury "must" acquit Surratt.
Military Reconstruction
(Column 1)
Summary: The article laments the passage of the Reconstruction Bill the week before. The measure, it says, will place "military power" above civil authority.
Full Text of Article:

The military reconstruction act was passed by both houses on Saturday and sent to the President. It is iron-Claudine all particulars, and abolishes what little of civil rule was left in the Southern States by the Stevens-Sherman bill and subsequent acts.-This last act totally ignores the President both as Commander-in Chief of the Army, and head of the civil branch of the government, and places all power in the General of the Army and District Commanders.-The latter can appoint all civil and military officers in their respective districts, subject to the disapproval, not of the President, but the General of the army and the last mentioned officer is invested with all the powers of suspension, removal, appointment and detail granted and confirmed to district commanders. Section nine of the bill now in the hands of the President goes even further, and declares that no district commander or member of the Board of Registration, or any officer or appointee acting under them, shall be bound in his action by any opinion of any civil officer of the United States. Thus military power is placed above that of the civil, and a plain principle of the Constitution of the United States violated and treated with open scorn and contempt by a Congress representing only a portion of the States and people of this nation. There is no longer a doubt as to the meaning and intent of the Radical party. Their object is the retention of power by means of the military arm of the government, and yet the people remain inert. They will not see the magnitude of the danger which menaces them. This last attack upon the civil authority of the national government, and the rights of American citizens, is far in advance of the other movements of the party in power. Will it awaken the sleepers?

John A. Logan
(Column 1)
Summary: After Benjamin Butler, say the editors, John A. Logan, is the "meanest specimen of a renegade" in the United States. The editors' enmity toward Logan stems from his role in the effort "to exclude the whole Kentucky delegation from their seats in Congress."
The Advance of Despotism
(Column 1)
Summary: As history teaches us, constant vigilance on the part of the people is required to protect a society from succumbing to authoritarian rule. Unfortunately, the article relates, over the course of the previous six years, the "outposts of American liberty have been surrendered," one by one, as citizens have laid "down their manhood" and "independence." The only solution to the predicament is for "people to stand up like men" and assert their rights.
Full Text of Article:

Those who wish to surrender their liberties will always find men or parties to accept the position of tyrants and despots.-This has been the history of all nations.-When the Roman people became unmindful of those great fundamental principles upon which the liberty of the republic rested, the freedom of its citizens, then came demagogues who flattered and promised to obtain power, and then used that power to rivet the chains of servitude upon those who were once the proud masters of the world. In France the same features of history have repeated themselves. The bloody revolution of 1793 ended in the elevation of Napoleon to imperial and despotic power, because the people were willing to surrender their rights; because they blindly followed the leaders of factions, and sacrificed their liberties on the altar of political hate and ambition. The present Emperor of France could not have changed the government of that nation from a republic to a despotism unless the people had lost that interest in the preservation of their rights which is the only safeguard of a constitutional democracy.

The events of the past six years have shown that what was true in Rome and verity in France, is exhibiting itself in this Republic. One by one the outposts of American liberty have been surrendered, in many instances without a single blow being struck in their defense. The Constitution, once sacred from the rude touch of faction, is now a mere relic of the past, powerless to protect, and useless as a counselor. States are no longer supreme within the sphere pointed out by the great chart of American Union. The right of trial by jury has been denied to American citizens, and in ten States of the Union that inestimable blessing is still held in the grasp of military commanders. The lives of men and women have been sacrificed by military commissions; persons have been torn from their homes at the dead hour of night, and in the broad light of day, without warrant or authority of law; the right of free speech has been denied, newspapers destroyed, and courts of justice invaded and judges dragged from the bench and thrown into dungeons. All this was done by the party in power, and yet so thoroughly has the spirit of faction blinded a portion of the people, that they cry hosannah to their enslavers, and applaud each fresh manifestation of their determination on their part to change the whole form of our government, both State and National.

As an example of the readiness of the people to lay down their manhood, independence and liberty at the feet of self-constituted tyrants and despots, witnesses to the recent visit of a delegation of Radicals from Maryland to Congress. Their object was to induce such action on the part of that body as will place Maryland in the same condition as the ten unrepresented States. These men are anxious that self-government shall be denied the people of Maryland, that Congress shall rule them by the sword, as it does Virginia, Georgia, Texas, and the other States covered by the black pall of military despotism. This was the petition of a portion of the people of Maryland.-How was it answered? Did the leaders of the Radical party refuse to accept the surrender, by American citizens, of whose rights to secure which the soldiers of 1776 bled at Trenton and suffered at Valley Forge? Not at all. Mr. Kelley announced the advance of the column of despotism by offering a resolution which provides that "whenever the people of a State propose to change the organic law by the formation of a new State Constitution, and whenever any of the people shall be prohibited from exercising the elective franchise on account of race or color or previous condition of servitude, such Constitution shall not become the organic law until ratified by Congress."

It will be perceived that this resolution covers all the States in the Union, and assumes the doctrine that Congress, composed of delegates from the people themselves.-If Congress can act upon such a principle, then power can never be wrested from the faction that now holds and exercises it in such a tyrannical manner, and elections in the future will be a mere farce. Each invasion of those rights set forth and guaranteed by the Constitution has been approved by the Radical party. They have courted tyranny, and tyrants have assumed authority, and are acting as if the rights of people were worthless. The action of the present Congress clearly indicates an intention on the part of the Radical leaders to hold the reins of power, despite the will of the majority, and to advance the column of despotism to any point necessary to secure and cover such a movement. The military reconstruction acts are wide and wild departures from the Constitution and the theory of our government, but they will be followed by still more outrageous acts unless the people stand up like men, and do not carry their liberties and rights and lay them as offerings upon the blood-stained alter of sectional hate and party animosity.

"An Unhappy Failure"
(Column 4)
Summary: Ten years after its creation, the article explains, the Republican party has turned its back on the very principles that served as the motivation for its founding. As a result, the party faces an imminent collapse. The proof for this prediction lies with the fact that even Thad Stevens "pronounces the Republican party a failure."
Origin of Article: Lancaster Intelligencer; New York Herald
Wooden Nutmegs on the Bench
(Column 5)
Summary: The article criticizes Pennsylvania Republicans for overlooking qualified jurists from the state and choosing a "Yankee" candidate from Connecticut to represent the party in the upcoming election for the Supreme Court.
Origin of Article: Bedford Gazette
Professing, But Not Practicing Philanthropy
(Column 6)
Summary: The article points out the apparent hypocrisy in the fact that interracial marriages are outlawed in Massachusetts, yet politicians from that state have led the drive to "force such marriages upon the Southern people."
Origin of Article: Constitutional Union
Full Text of Article:

The profession of Yankee philanthropy and freedom from prejudice is a miserable pretext-one specially invented for the occasion. Yankee ingenuity is proverbial, but Yankee hypocrisy is not a whit inferior. By reference to section 5, chapter75, Revised Statutes of Massachusetts, Edition of 1836, we find the following; "No white person shall intermarry with a negro, Indian, or mulatto." By reference to section 1, chapter 76, same edition, we find the following: "All marriages between a white person and a negro, Indian, or mulatto shall, if solemnized within this State, be absolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process," and section 21, same edition, says "the issue of said marriage shall be deemed illegitimate."

Now we think the spirit of this statute eminently proper. We commend Massachusetts very highly for enacting it. But what we inveigh against it is this-this statute remains to the present day unchanged and unrepealed, and yet the tendency of Massachusetts is to force such marriages upon the Southern people-such marriages as, by its laws, are declared absolutely null and void, without legal process-in other words, that they are merely a state of concubinage. By the laws of Massachusetts, concubinage or adultery is punished by fine or imprisonment. And here we have, indeed, a fit illustration of Yankee morality and Yankee hypocrisy. Urging the commission of adultery for the purpose of receiving fines for its commission!

For, if Radicalism succeeds, the law of Massachusetts urges the marriage of negroes and whites. But Massachusetts declares such marriages to be nothing but adultery, and punishes that offense by fine! Here we have indeed the crowning point of Yankee ingenuity! But is it any more than we could expect from a people who preached religious freedom to all, and yet sold young girls and ladies, and old men and helpless boys into tropical slavery, because they dared to worship God according to their consciences?-Constitutional Union

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Local and Personal--Internal Revenue Appointment
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces the appointment of J. Newton Shellito as the General Whiskey Inspector for the district including Chambersburg. He replaces Maj. L. B. Kurtz.
(Names in announcement: J. Newton Shellito, Maj. L. B. Kurtz)
Local and Personal--Sudden Death
(Column 1)
Summary: Reports on the sudden death of Catherine Jackson, who resided at Maj. Rowe's in Greencastle.
(Names in announcement: Catherine Jackson)
Local and Personal--New Law Firm
(Column 1)
Summary: Notes that John Cessna, W. S. Everett, and Jeremy Cook have formed a law partnership.
(Names in announcement: John Cessna, W. S. Everett, Jeremy Cook)
Local and Personal--A Bad Time For Dogs
(Column 1)
Summary: Contains a report that approximately 70 dogs have been killed by an unknown assailant over the course of the past few months.
Local and Personal--Counterfeit
(Column 1)
Summary: Alerts readers that a number of $100 counterfeit notes have recently appeared.
Local and Personal--A Foundling
(Column 1)
Summary: It is reported that a baby boy was discovered in the privy attached to the ladies' room at the railroad depot. Col. Lull, the Superintendent, took charge of the infant and made efforts to find his mother, which proved successful. According the article, the mother "is quite youthful."
(Names in announcement: Col. Lull)
Local and Personal--Bitten By A Snake
(Column 2)
Summary: Joshua Lane was bitten on the hand by a copperhead snake while attending his horse in the stable. Luckily, the "proper remedies were at once applied, and it is thought nothing serious will result from it."
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 10th, George B. Bowne, of Jersey City, and Annie E. Martin were married by Rev. J. Hassler.
(Names in announcement: George B. Bowne, Annie E. Martin, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 4)
Summary: On June 27th, Samuel S. Stokes and Mary E. Brendle were married by Rev. I. G. Brown.
(Names in announcement: Samuel S. Stokes, Mary E. Brendle, Rev. I. G. Brown)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 7th, Truman L. White and Jennie Scott were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Truman L. White, Jennie Scott, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 9th, McGinley Stach and Susan Stayman were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: McGinley Stach, Susan Stayman, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 4)
Summary: On June 9th, the infant son of Henry Noftsker died.
(Names in announcement: Henry Noftsker)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 6th, James Horner, 68, died at the residence of Samuel McCreary in Gettysburg.
(Names in announcement: James Horner, Samuel McCreary)
(Column 4)
Summary: On June 29th, Hannah Divilbiss, 69, died near Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: Hannah Divilbiss)
(Column 4)
Summary: On June 29th, John C. Skinner, 67, died near Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: John C. Skinner)
(Column 4)
Summary: On July 8th, John Lightner, late a member of Co. F. 77th Regt. Penna. Vol., died in Mercersburg at age 36.
(Names in announcement: John Lightner)

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