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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: January 29, 1868

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Negro Suffrage and Negro Equality
(Column 01)
Summary: Comes out against the proposed amendments by Pennsylvania Radicals to grant blacks voting rights. Implicitly calls on voters to vote for Democrats to prevent such measures from passing. Also plays on racial fears by claiming black voting would lead to intermarriage and black officers commanding white regiments in future wars.
Full Text of Article:

Thaddeus Stevens has offered in the lower House of Congress a bill to establish universal suffrage throughout the United States, and John Hickman has offered in the lower House of our State Legislature an amendment to the Constitution conferring the elective franchise upon every male freeman over twenty-one years of age who is able to read the said Constitution. Thus we find the leading Radical in the House of Representatives at Washington and the leading Radical in the House of Representatives at Harrisburg both moving to fasten Negro Suffrage upon Pennsylvania. One of them proposes to do this by an act of the Congress of the United States--the other by an amendment of the Constitution of the State.

After the verdict pronounced upon this question last fall, wherever the People had an opportunity to express their sentiments upon it either directly or indirectly, it might not unreasonably have been expected that the Radicals would desist from making any further attempts to force the Negro up to the political and social level of Whites. A few of the Radical leaders, though none of the more conspicuous among them, have shown some little disposition to back out of the Negro business; but the ruling spirits of that party are determined to go on with it, and they will force their weaker-kneed brethren to stand up to the work, whether they like it or not.

This question of Negro Suffrage will have to be settled by the People, and it is for them to determine how it shall be settled. The triumph of the Radical party would settle it one way. The triumph of the Democratic party would settle it another way. If Stevens' bill should be rejected by Congress and Hickman's amendment meet the same fate in our State Legislatures, this would not settle the question. It would merely postpone it. Some Radicals in Congress, and some in our Legislature, who are really in favor of conferring upon the Negro the right to vote, may possibly vote against the Stevens bill or the Hickman amendment, (as the case may be) on the ground of expediency. They may not be disposed, on the eve of a great Presidential election, to incur the heavy risk of attempting to force the Negro down the unwilling throat of White people. But let them carry the next President and the next Congress, and just as surely as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, so surely will Stevens' bill or another of the same tenor be passed and approved. Or let them carry the next Legislature of Pennsylvania, and with equal certainty will the Hickman negro amendment to the Constitution be adopted by that body.

Let no White man flatter himself that the adoption of a bill like Stevens' or an amendment like Hickman's would confer upon the Negro the right to vote only. Along with this right will go the right to sit on juries and to fill offices; and when the Negro becomes your equal in the jury box and in the halls of legislation, where will he not be your equal? Accustom yourselves to association with him on terms of equality in public and will not this inevitably lead to association with him on terms of equality in private? And would not such association, continued through a few generations, break down the repugnance of one race to the other and bring about their intermarriage, finally resulting in a nation of people as streaked and speckled as Jacob's cattle, or as many-colored as Joseph's coat?

We find ourselves supported in these views by a very distinguished member of the Republican party, who is also a prominent member of the Presbyterian church--Hon. David Agnew, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In delivering the opinion of the Court in the case of Mary E. Miles, a colored woman, against the Philadelphia and Westchester Railroad Company, in November last, speaking of the two races, Judge Agnew said:

Why the Creator made one black and the other white we know not; but the fact is apparent, and the races distinct, each producing its own kind, and following the peculiar law of its constitution. Conceding equality, with natures as perfect and rights as sacred, yet God has made them dissimilar, with those natural instincts and feelings which He always imparts to his creatures when He intends that they shall not overstep the natural boundaries He has assigned to them. The natural law which forbids their intermarriage and that social amalgamation which leads to a corruption of races, is as clearly divine as that which imparted to them different natures. The tendency of intimate social intermixture is to amalgamation, contrary to the law of races. The separation of the white and black races upon the surface of the globe is a fact equally apparent. Why this is so, it is not necessary to speculate, but the fact of a distribution of men by race and color is as visible in the providential arrangement of the earth as that of heat and cold. The natural separation of the races is therefore an undeniable fact, and social organizations which lead to their amalgamation are repugnant to the law of nature. From social amalgamation it is but a step to illicit intercourse, and but another to intermarriage.

The Radicals constantly appeal to the soldiers for support. We appeal not only to those who have been soldiers, but to all who are liable to do military duty, to consider well the consequences before they aid in conferring the right of suffrage upon the Negro. When the Negro votes he will hold office. He will go to Congress. Congressmen have the appointment of Cadets to the Military Academy at West Point, from which Officers for the Army are furnished. Negro Congressmen would appoint Negro Cadets, and these in due time would receive their commissions and be assigned to the command of companies and regiments of White men. Then we should see Black Captains of Cavalry galloping about, with White Orderlies riding behind them at "regular" distance, and holding their horses when it pleased their Sable Highnesses to dismount!

We are certain to be engaged in war at some future period, and we may be so engaged before many years. There are questions pending between us and our old enemy Great Britain which might lead to hostilities, before they can be settled. Many of our own soldiers in the late war, and still more of our voters who have not been soldiers, may be called upon to take the field at the next summons to arms. Could they endure to have Negro Officers set over them? If not, let them remember that the only way to insure themselves against such degradation is to aid in defeating the Radical party.

Judge Black for President
(Column 02)
Summary: The Spirit endorses the idea of Judge Jeremiah S. Black running for president.
Startling Declaration
(Column 02)
Summary: The Spirit takes as confirmation of their own fears the statement of a Republican Senator that financial ruin is "staring the country in the face."
Losses of the Border Counties
(Column 02)
Summary: Col. B. F. Winger, representative from Franklin County, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives providing for payment for citizens who had property destroyed during the war.
(Names in announcement: Col. B. F. Winger)
Radical Repudiation
(Column 03)
Summary: The Spirit denounces a Republican proposal to pay government obligations in bonds bearing 3% interest in gold. The move, the paper asserts, would destroy the public credit.
General Garfield
(Column 05)
Summary: The paper reprints a letter from James A. Garfield urging the Republican Party to honor its obligations to African Americans. The Spirit retorts: "Any white man who thinks he can't die happy without dying in bed with a negro, ought to join the radical party at once, if he does not already belong to it. And any white man who entertains a preference for company of his own color, living or dying, ought to be a Democrat."

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Meeting of the Democratic County Committee
(Column 01)
Summary: The Democratic County Committee will meet in the offices of the Valley Spirit to select delegates to the State Convention.
(Names in announcement: B. Y. Hamsher)
(Column 01)
Summary: Rev. J. Hunter of the Baptist Church will deliver a lecture at Repository Hall to raise funds to benefit the poor.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Hunter)
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Summary: Frants's Mill on Conococheague Creek burned to the ground. Owner Frederick Foreman sustained $15,000 in damage.
(Names in announcement: Frederick Foreman)
Missionary Anniversary
(Column 01)
Summary: Rev. D. H. Carroll will preside at the meeting of the Missionary Society of the M. E. Church. He will also join Rev. Irving Magee at the Sabbath School Anniversary.
(Names in announcement: D. H. Carroll, Irving Magee)
Lecture Last Week
(Column 01)
Summary: I. H. McCauley filled in for Rev. Irving Magee and delivered a lecture at the Court House on "The Moors of Spain." $57.47 were raised for the benefit of the poor.
(Names in announcement: I. H. McCauley, Rev. Irving Magee)
Chambersburg Academy
(Column 01)
Summary: A businessman is planning to complete construction of Chambersburg's old Academy building, bringing a "first-class Academy" to the town.
Court Proceedings
(Column 02)
Summary: The Court met and resolved several cases. William Stoner was found guilty of assault and battery with intent to kill David Montgomery. He was sentenced to 6 years, 8 months in jail. Stenger and Duncan served for the prosecution; Sharpe and Brewer for the defense. John Shank was found guilty of fornication and bastardy on charge of Mary E. Hollingsworth. Sharpe and Stenger for prosecution; Kimmell for defense. Franklin Hollingsworth was found guilty of perjury and sentenced to 6 months in jail and payment of a $5 fine with costs. Stenger for prosecution; Kimmell and Sharpe for defense. William Ackerman and Peter Ackerman were found guilty of conspiracy and false pretense. Peter received one day in jail and a one dollar fine plus costs. William received one year in jail and a one dollar fine plus costs. Stenger and McCauley for prosecution; Kimmell and Sharpe for defense. Jacob Hiesy acquitted of larceny on charges brought by Joseph S. Wallach. Stenger and Duncan for prosecution; Rowe, Sharpe, and Kimmell for defense. Daniel Daily charged $100 as surety of peace with Calvin Plowden. Stenger, Sharpe, Duncan for prosecution; Chambers for defense. Elias Butler found guilty of keeping a Disorderly House on charge of James Hunter. Butler sentenced to 10 days in jail and a $10 fine plus costs. Stenger and Kimmell for prosecution; Douglass for defense. James Hunter ordered to pay costs in surety of peace case brought by Elias Butler. Stenger and Douglas for prosecution; Kimmell for defense. William Doyle and James Lane found guilty of riot and assault and battery on charges brought by Michael Fallon. Sentenced to 1 year, 2 months in jail and a $5 fine plus costs. Stenger and Stewart for prosecution, Kimmell and Sharpe for defense. James Lane pleaded guilty to assault and battery charges brought by Jacob Rockwell. Fined one dollar and costs. Stenger and Stewart for prosecution; Kimmell and Sharpe for defense. Lewis Anderson plead guilty to larceny of a silver watch. Brought by Michael Latus. Sentenced to 1 year, three months in jail, and a $1 fine plus costs. John Plowden found guilty of assault. Prosecutor Daniel Daily. Sentenced to one dollar fine and costs. Stenger and Chambers for prosecution; Stumbaugh, Gehr and Orr for defense. Calvin Plowden found guilty of larceny of a pocket book. Prosecutor Eli Gates. Sentenced to one year, one month in prison, $1 fine and costs. Stenger for prosecution; Sharpe and Duncan for defense. The following cases entered nolle prosequi: com vs William Ackerman; com vs Samuel Reisher; Com vs Lindsay Renfrew; Com vs Simon P. West; Com vs Franklin Hollingsworth; com vs Albert Rock; com vs John Rock; com vs Charles Meyers; com vs William H. McKinley; com vs Alfred Brady; com vs John Heminger; com vs Warren Heminger; com vs Jarret Williams. The following were ignored: com vs Wilson Plowden and Cain Norris; com vs James Singleton; com vs John Verner; com vs Thomas Tate; com vs Lazarus Jimason; com vs Robert Lane. The following licenses were not granted: Jacob Newcomer; James Snyder. The following licenses were transferred: M'Grath and Stirling to S. R. Boyd; Jacob Sellers to William Rupert; Charles Letoriere to David Harper.
(Names in announcement: William Stoner, David Montgomery, Stenger, Duncan, Sharpe, Brewer, John Shank, Mary E. Hollingsworth, Sharpe, Kimmell, Franklin Hollingsworth, John Walter, William Ackerman, Peter Ackerman, McCauley, Jacob Hiesy, Joseph S. Wallach, Rowe, Calvin Plowden, Joseph Plowden, Daniel Dailey, Chambers, Elias Butler, James Hunter, Douglass, William Doyle, James Lane, Jacob Rockwell, Lewis Anderson, Michael Latus, John Plowden, Stumbaugh, Gehr, Orr, Eli Gates, Samuel Reisher, Lindsay Renfrew, Simon P. West, Franklin Hollingsworth, Albert Rock, John Rock, Charles Meyers, William H. McKinley, Alfred Brady, John Heminger, Warren Heminger, Jarret Williams, Wilson Plowden, Cain Norris, James Singleton, John Verner, Thomas Tate, Lazarus Jimason, Robert Lane, Jacob Newcomer, James Snyder, M'Grath, Stirling, S. R. Boyd, Jacob Sellers, William Rupert, Charles Letoriere, David Harper)
Franklin Railroad
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports plans to extend the Franklin Railroad from Hagerstown to the Potomac, a move important in linking New York commerce to the South and West.
Origin of Article: N. Y. Evening Mail
Open Wide the Doors
(Column 04)
Summary: In this letter to the editor, "Tax Payer" advocates opening Town Council meetings to the general public. Chambersburg's citizens, he argues, "cheerfully and promptly pay their taxes, with the expectation that their money will be put to its best use, and feel at all times a deep interest in the progress of the town."
(Column 05)
Summary: Russell Fields and Miss Emma R. Guyer, both of Horse Valley, were married on January 16th by the Rev. F. Dyson.
(Names in announcement: Russell Fields, Emma R. Guyer, Rev. F. Dyson)
(Column 05)
Summary: Samuel J. Neff and Miss Charlotte C. Rinehart were married on January 24 by the Rev. F. Dyson.
(Names in announcement: Samuel J. Neff, Charlotte C. Rinehart, Rev. F. Dyson)
(Column 05)
Summary: Elvina Eyster, wife of Lewis B. Eyster, died in Chambersburg of consumption on January 12th. She was 42 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elvina Eyster, Lewis B. Eyster)
(Column 05)
Summary: John Cook died on January 21st in Quincy Township. He was 82 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Cook)

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Description of Page: Advertisements and agricultural advice appear on this page.