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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: December 18, 1867

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More Legislation For The Negro
(Column 1)
Summary: In an article that appeared in the June 28, 1865 issue of the Repository, the editor of the Republican journal opined that Congress should not confer blacks with suffrage rights; rather, he declared, that decision should be left to the individual state governments. Now, two years later, the editors of the Valley Spirit note, their rival has reversed himself. He, like the rest to the Republican leadership, is not only willing to grant blacks the vote but is also willing to admit them to juries. Where, they ask, will it end?
Origin of Article: Repository
Full Text of Article:

When Democratic orators and journals charged upon the Republican party that it intended to invest the negro with the right of suffrage, the charge was repelled with indignation. The people trusted to the honesty of the denial, and elected Republicans to office. The sequel has shown the truth of the charge and the duplicity of the denial.--The negro votes, by the authority of the Federal Government, in the District of Columbia and in the States of the South that attempted to secede. This is an exercise of the power on the part of Congress which is not granted to it by the Constitution, and we maintain therefore that it is not binding upon the nation. We assert this, not alone as our own firm conviction but on the authority of the Repository, whose utterances will surely be accepted by the Radicals of this County as truth. In its issue of June 28th 1865, in an article entitled "Negro suffrage," it says:

Looking practically at the proposed enfranchisement of the freedmen, we see no hope for it at an early day. It cannot be brought about, as things now are, except as time may prove their fitness for citizenship and [UNCLEAR] the useless prejudices which are [UNCLEAR] against them. The General Government cannot, by any possible means, [UNCLEAR] to them the right of suffrage. To [UNCLEAR] the States alone belong that power and duty' and thus far not one of the regenerated States has proposed it.

This, it will be remembered, was after the surrender of the armies of Lee and Johnston. It was after Mr. Lincoln had been assassinated. The rebellion was crushed. "Military necessity" was a thing of the past. The supremacy of the Federal constitution was acknowledged. At such a time, with a full knowledge of the situation--our neighbor uttered his deliberate judgement upon the subject when he said "the general government cannot, by any possible means, lawfully secure to them (the negroes) the right of suffrage." His deliberate judgement we say, because he closes the article with this sentence, "we have thus presented the question rather as it is than as we would have it." If the general government could not then, by any possible means lawfully give the negro a vote, the question presents itself, how has the general government lawfully invested him with that right since that period? Will the Repository be kind enough to enlighten us? If there has been no grant of power to the general government since to do this, and we know not where to look for such a grant, then Congress has clearly usurped the power which does not belong to it, and its action is void. It does not belong to it, and its action is void. It has attempted to do unlawfully, what the Repository said, and what everybody then admitted it could not lawfully do. If its action in this respect is unconstitutional and shall be so declared by the proper tribunal, then all its legislation upon this subject will be a dead letter, and the governments established in the South under the superintendence of the negroes must give way to the governments which will hereafter be established in conformity to the Federal Constitution.

And when Democratic orators and journals went further and charged upon the Radical party that the next step it would take would be to put the negro in the jury-box, that charge was also repelled with indignation. They were accused of lying for electioneering purposes. The sequel has shown the truth of the charge and the falsity of the denial. Look at the South under the military reconstruction bill. The negroes are found in every jury-box.--The Grand Jury which found the bill of indictment against Jefferson Davis on which he will likely be tried, if tried at all, was partly composed of negroes. And now, last of all, Congress, as the representatives of the Radical party, have passed a bill which will put the negro in the jury-box in the District of Columbia. If the Radicals thus legislate in the interest of the negro where they now have the power, is it not reasonable to argue that they will enact similar laws wherever they can gain power? The excuse for conferring upon the negroes of the South the privileges heretofore exclusively enjoyed by the whites, has been that this action was necessary in order to insure loyal State governments. How will this apply to the legislation in regard to the District of Columbia? We submit that every candid, honest man can not fail to see that it is the purpose of the Radicals to force negro equal--upon the country in defiance of the constitution and the expressed will of the people.

Remember The Poor
(Column 1)
Summary: With the onset of winter, the economic situation in the country has grown worse. Throughout the North, unemployment is on the rise and, consequently, so is the crime rate. After attributing the current predicament to corruption, reckless government spending, and the introduction of a rotten financial system, the editors advise readers to give generously in this time of need.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors ridicule the Repository for endorsing Gen. Grant without having a clear sense of where he stands on the issues that are most dear to its cause. The Repository's advocacy of his candidacy, they avow, illustrates the lengths Republicans will go "in order to increase their chances of whipping the Democrats" in the next election: the Republicans have shown they are willing to sacrifice "principle" for "expediency."
Origin of Article: Repository
Editorial Comment: "THE Repository seems to have been thrown into a terrible muddle by our simple request for light. We supposed that inasmuch as it hoisted General Grant for President, it was well acquainted with his political opinions, and would not hesitate to reveal them to us and to its own party friends. But we were mistaken. It evidently does not know the General's opinions, and consequently cannot disclose them. It asks its party to "go it blind" as it is obliged to do. Its reason for supporting General Grant for the Presidential nomination is that "it prefers to do so." It shuts itself up in the solitude of its own heart chambers, and refused to announce the grounds of its preference. It claims to be the exponent of Radical principles. Week after week, its columns are filled with matter in support of the reconstruction policy of Congress and in favor of political equality for the negro. One would suppose that its candidate for President would be a man who is unmistakably known to favor the same measure. And yet the Repository refuses to affirm this of General Grant. It says:"
Full Text of Article:

As to defining General Grant's position, we leave that entirely to him as peculiarly his own business. We know what our position is, and the SPIRIT professes to know it equally as well. Of one thing it can rest assured, we will support no man for the Presidential nomination whose position is different from ours on the great questions now at issue.

Is it "peculiarly his own business" to define his own position when the Repository, as one of General Grant's organs, is asking the Radicals of Franklin county to join in the cry for his nomination? Is it not, rather, peculiarly its business to give to those whom it hopes to win over to the support of General Grant, some good reasons for espousing his cause? It has distinctly disclaimed supporting him on the ground of expediency. Then there is no other ground but principle. So that we come back to the question, what are the principles? Those the Repository declines to let us know "just now." Let it honestly acknowledge that it is trying an experiment. Let it confess with candor that its party is reduced to this unpleasant necessity by the sudden and unexpected change in its political fortunes. Principle has often been slaughtered to make way for expediency, and the Repository, in consenting to tomahawk its Radicalism in order to increase the chances of whipping the Democrats, is only adopting the well-established precedents of the organization of which it is one of the mouth-pieces.

It, however, makes a faint show of resistance. It indulges a covert threat at General Grant while it still keeps his flag flying. "We will support no man for the Presidential nomination, whose position is different from ours on the great questions at issue." What does this mean? Does it meant that the Repository is now supporting General Grant because his position accords with its own on the great questions at issue? No; if so, it would have no trouble in defining General Grant's position, which it admits its inability to do. Then it must mean that unless General Grant soon opens his mouth and declares hist hatposition is not different from the Repository's on the great questions at issue, it will withdraw its support from him. The Repository is evidently growing impatient at the General's continued reticence and is devising ways and means to get out of its dilemma. Oh that my candidate would make a speech, is the of its [unclear] though for or against my principles, so that I could commend him with boldness or drop him like a hot potato! The General, on the contrary, undoubtedly thinks that his "strength is to sit still." The Repository is in the same fix as the boy who won the elephant at a raffle.

Stanton Still Out In The Cold
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Summary: Despite Speaker Colfax's public assertions that Stanton would be re-instated to his cabinet post within twenty days of the assembling of Congress, the former Secretary of War "remains in the inglorious obscurity to which Andrew Johnson consigned him." And, states the article, there is "no anxiety" to have him "restored to office."
The Union League Declining
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Summary: Over the course of the past year, the popularity of the Union League of Philadelphia has plummeted and its membership has dropped off dramatically, relates the article.

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Local and Personal--Dedication
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Summary: Announces that the United Brethren in Christ's new church, near Mowersville, will be dedicated on Dec. 29th. Bishop Glossbrenner will officiate the proceedings.
Local and Personal--Examination
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Summary: The examination period for Miss McKeehan's school will be begin this week.
(Names in announcement: Miss McKeehan)
Local and Personal--Rev. Irving MacGee
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Summary: Having recently been appointed Pastor of the Lutheran Church in Chambersburg, Rev. Irving Magee preached there last Sunday. His "introductory sermon" will be held on January 19th.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Irving Magee)
Local and Personal--Meeting In The Court House
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Summary: There will be a meeting at the Court House on Wednesday in support of the movement to amend the Constitution so "that God and Jesus Christ may be recognised" in the document.
Local and Personal--Dead
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Summary: On Friday, Upton Washabaugh, "a well known and highly respected citizen," died after suffering the effects of a "lingering and painful illness." Like his father, Washabaugh was a local brewer until his illness forced him to retire.
(Names in announcement: Upton Washabaugh)
Local and Personal--The Burning Of Chambersburg
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Summary: It is reported that the House of Representatives' Committee on Claims decided against compensating the victims of McCausland's raid. Unfortunately for the residents of Chambersburg, the editors sardonically declare, they "have the misfortune to be white." Had they "been black," however, "they would been indemnified in full for their losses."
Full Text of Article:

From the report of the proceedings of the House of Representatives of the United States, on Wednesday last, we learn that "Several adverse reports were presented from the Committee on Claims, including one on the petition of inhabitants of Chambersburg, Pa., for damages done to McCaualand's raid." It is, of course, competent for the House to make an appropriation in spite of the adverse report of the Committee, but we doubt whether anything of the kind will be done. The People of Chambersburg have the misfortune to be white. If they had been black, they would have been indemnified in full for their losses by the first Congress that met after the destruction of the town. We would like some Radical member of Congress to give us a good reason why that body should appropriate twelve or fifteen million dollars every year to feed and clothe Southern negroes who lost nothing and are able to work, and not appropriate even a few hundred thousand for the relief of the white sufferers at Chambersburg. This goes a long step beyond negro equality. It is discriminating in favor of the negro and against the white man.

Local and Personal--Chambersburg Woolen Mill
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Summary: The Chambersburg Woolen Manufacturing Co. is proposing to increase its capital stock to $200,000. Initial capitalization of the mill was $125,000, two-fifths of which was preferred stock. The same proportion of the new stock will be issued as preferred, which pays 8% per annum. The common stock has paid 10% and, the article reports, it might be raised to 15% or 20%. The mill processes about 500 pounds of wool and manufactures 800 yards of goods every 24 hours. The range of products include "Blankets and common Flannels and Cassimeres up to fine Doeskins and Beavers." The mill employs 80 hands and pays out $40,000 a year in salary.
Local and Personal--New Band
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Summary: Announces that a group called the "Citizen's Band" was recently formed. The officers of the organization are as follows: President, George R. Nixon; Vice-President, J. R. Sellers; Treasurer, W. H. Sellers; Secretary, W. N. Bishop. Others officials in the group are George L. Hoffman, Jr., George W. Harmony, W. F. Snyder, John Snyder, James C. Chambers, Sol. A. Huber, James M. Davison, and A. Lehmaster.
(Names in announcement: George R. Nixon, J. R. Sellers, W. N. Bishop, W. H. Sellers, George L. Hoffman, Geroge W. Harmony, W. F. Snyder, John Snyder, James C. Chambers, Sol. A. Huber, James M. Davison, A. Lehmaster)
Local and Personal--A Fraternal Visit
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Summary: Reports that 70 members of the George Washington Lodge, F. A. M. of Chambersburg, visited the Friendship Lodge of Hagerstown. The group was accompanied by the Chambersburg Band.
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Summary: On Dec. 3rd, Franklin H. Skinner and Sarah J. Galbraith, of Cumberland Co., were married by Rev. Woodburn.
(Names in announcement: Franklin H. Skinner, Sarah J. Galbraith, Rev. Woodburn)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Dec. 12th, William Small and Mary Allter were married by Rev. J. Hunter.
(Names in announcement: Mary Allter, William Small, Rev. J. Hunter)

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