Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 11, 1868

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

A Talk With The Confederate Vice-President
(Column 07)
Summary: An interview with Alexander Stephens on the state of Georgia and the South. "Everything there is wretched. We are ruined or next to ruined. The negroes are compactly organized, their leagues reaching to every corner of the State." He opposes citizenship for blacks, as it would leave whites in a "minority."
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Inquirer

-Page 02-

Judge Them By Their Fruits
(Column 01)
Summary: Pro-Democratic article contrasting the actions of the Democratic and Republican parties. Pays special attention to the differences between the Mexican War and the Civil War. Blames the Radicals for starting the war and all the financial trouble of the country, and urges people to vote for Democrats.
Full Text of Article:

As the people of the United States are about to enter upon a political campaign of the highest importance, this would seem to be a proper time for reflecting men to glance at the history of the past and judge the two parties now struggling for supremacy by what they have done for the country. If it shall appear, upon investigation, that one of these parties, when in power, enlarged the boundaries of the Republic, promoted the general welfare, caused our name to be respected abroad, and made us the happiest and the lightest taxed people in the world, whilst the other has done just the reverse of all this, can there be a doubt about which of them the reins of government should hereafter be entrusted to?

The Democratic party came into power with Thomas Jefferson in 1801, and it administered the government from that period down to 1861 with the exception of the four years of John Quincy Adams, the four years of Harrison and Tyler, and the four years of Taylor and Fillmore. The administration of Mr. Tyler cannot be wholly excluded from the period of Democratic rule, for many of his leading measures received the support of the Democratic party.

When Mr. Jefferson assumed the Presidential chair, our boundaries in the West reached no farther than the Mississippi, whilst in the South west they did not extend to that stream. France owned Louisiana, which comprised not only the territory now embraced within the limits of that State, but the vast region beyond the Mississippi. This the Democratic party under Jefferson acquired and added to the Union, carrying its boundaries, at a single leap, from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. Subsequently Florida was acquired, giving us a large addition of valuable territory on the gulf, affording many fine harbors and strong naval stations.

The annexation of Texas, negotiated by Mr. Tyler near the close of his administration, with the approbation of the Democracy and against the violent protest of the opposite party, was consummated by the Democratic administration of Mr. Polk. War with Mexico followed, but so economically was it conducted that the country never felt the least financial pressure on account of it. No shoddy contractors preyed upon the treasury. No bloated bond aristocracy grew up like mushrooms. No government shinplasters flooded the country. No provost marshal demanded of every citizen his money or his life. Tax-gatherers did not stand at every cross-roads. Gold and silver were abundant, and both the necessaries and luxuries of life could be bought at the cheapest rates. Being conducted for the honor of the country and not for the benefit of a party, this war neither lasted long nor cost much; and at its conclusion we were left in possession not only of Texas but of Upper California, with its golden treasures, its marvelously fertile soil, and its magnificent harbor, where the united navies of the world could ride uncrowded and in safety. Thus our boundaries at the south-west were pushed out to the Rio Grande and the Pacific.

These various acquisitions more than doubled our territory, and opened up vast fields of enterprise to our people. Our population rose from four millions to thirty. No other country ever improved as rapidly as did ours. Our growth in all the elements of material greatness was the wonder of the world. We were everywhere regarded as the most prosperous, the most happy and the best governed people on the face of the earth. Cities and towns grew up as if by magic. Commerce and manufactures flourished. The face of the country smiled under the labors of the husbandman, and the farmers of the United States were the envy of mankind. The blessings of good government were dispensed alike upon the rich and the poor, and government burdens were totally unknown. Plenty blessed every industrious household, and happiness and prosperity rewarded the deserving throughout the length and breadth of the land. We enjoyed tranquility at home and were respected abroad. Honesty was the rule with men to public life. Servants of the people did not suddenly amass fortunes, and in fact most of them went out of office poorer than they went in.

These were the fruits of Democratic administrations of the government, and upon them the Democratic party rests its claim to the confidence of the people.

The Radical party which now governs the country was formed in 1856, but it did not come into power till 1861. Its nucleus was the little band of envenomed Abolitionists who used to meet annually at Boston and denounce the Constitution as "a league with death and a covenant with hell," and whose petition for a dissolution of the Union used to be presented at every session of Congress by John Quincy Adams. So long as the Whig party held together these treasonable agitators were powerless,; but its disintegration furnished them the opportunity to form a new party with sectional principles, and they availed themselves of the chance.--Knowing that men in their sober senses could not be won over to their support, they systematically went to work to lash the public mind into a state of furious excitement. From that day to this there has been no peace in the country. They sent armed bands of agitators from New England to Kansas, headed by such miscreants as old John Brown. Under their manipulation that territory became a seething caldron of crime. Themselves the authors of all its woes, they so perverted the facts as to "fire the Northern heart" with indignation against the whole South.

Under pressure of the excitement thus created, they carried the Presidential election of 1860 and assumed the administration of the government in 1861. The storm they had raised was still raging, but they took no steps to allay it. They had started out to subvert the Constitution and dissolve the Union, and they knew that it was only in the white heat of civil war that this result could be hammered out. War came because the Radicals would not hear of Peace. The country was deluged with blood because the Radicals thought "a little bloodletting" desirable. A mountain load of debt was piled up, which unborn generations will have to pay off with the sweat of their brow. Free men, accustomed to go and come when they pleased, were driven into pens like sheep at the point of the bayonet, and thrust into blue clothes, and led out to be slaughtered, while their wives and children were left unprotected and starving at home. Myriads of graves yawned, and myriads of men in the prime of life lay down and filled them. Hundreds of prison doors swung open and thousands of innocent victims walked in to their doom.--Cities and towns were burned and large districts of country plundered and laid waste. The foundations of order were unsettled and crime held high carnival throughout the land. Honest men were deprived of the fruits of their industry, whilst every community had its scoundrels who grew rich.

While all this was taking place at home, the national character was sinking abroad, and the national credit was brought so low that our obligations commanded no more than forty cents on the dollar in the markets of the world. The flood of gold and silver that followed the acquisition of California by a Democratic administration suddenly receded, and in its stead there came a deluge of shinplasters of all denominations. The inflation of the currency produced a rage for speculation that proved the ruin of tens of thousands. To the horrors of war were added the miseries of a mania for riches which only left its victims poorer.

What has this great Radical upheaval ended in? Practically--for the present at least--it has ended in a curtailment of the boundaries of the Union. Call the Roll of the Union in Congress and no voice will be found to answer for Virginia, for North Carolina, for South Carolina, for Georgia, for Florida, for Alabama, for Mississippi, for Louisiana, for Arkansas, or for Texas.

Instead of the peace and prosperity we enjoyed before the advent of the Radical party, we have excitement, angry discussion and stagnation in business. The abolition of slavery, so far from removing a dangerous bone of contention, has brought up new questions of the most exciting character. We have been disgraced by the assassination of one President, and now our Radical Congress, emulous of the fame of John Wilkes Booth, proposes to rid us of another, and he of their own choosing.

Now, after contrasting the condition of the country under Radical rule with what it was under Democratic rule, is there an honest, reflecting man who will not admit that the change made in 1860 was for the worse? There stand the facts. Look at them. They cannot be denied. They are plain as the sun at noonday. They vindicate the Democracy. They condemn the Radicals. And they call upon the people of the United States, by all that they hold dear on earth, to restore the Democratic party to power, so that under its guidance this great country may be restored to its former prosperity and happiness.

The Progress of Impeachment
(Column 02)
Summary: Charts the progress of the impeachment proceedings against Johnson. Has harsh words for Ben Wade but pleads with Chief Justice Chase to put justice over partisan feeling. Also says Johnson owes it to himself and the country to put up a vigorous defense.
Full Text of Article:

The Senate of the United States has, at length, organized itself into a high Court of Impeachment. It has issued its summons to the President, returnable on Friday of this week. The Chief Justice presides. Benjamin Wade is one of the judges. In the event of the removal of the President from his office, Senator Wade will take his place. Senator Hendricks objected to the oath being administered to Mr. Wade, but subsequently withdrew the objection. It will undoubtedly be renewed at some further stage of the proceedings. The impropriety, indelicacy and injustice of allowing Mr. Wade to vote in a trial in which he has such a gigantic personal interest are apparent to everyone. Human nature can not be trusted to do justice where immense personal interests are at stake. Men generally look to their own elevation without entertaining conscientious scruples as to the manner in which that elevation is to be attained. Hence, however high Mr. Wade's personal character might be, it would be exceedingly dangerous to put into his hands the power to dispossess Andrew Johnson, when Mr. Wade himself would immediately step into the most honorable position in the world. The honor, high social advantages, and large salary of the Presidential office might well tempt him to stifle the voice of conscience.

We believe that the Chief Justice is animated by an eager desire to do what is right. His judgement will not be influenced by partisan considerations. No Chief Justice has ever presided at a trial so important as this. Mr. Chase's legal reputation is not alone at stake. It is his also to preserve the purity of the judicial ermine. He can not allow the breath of suspicion to touch his hitherto fair name. Far better for his reputation in after ages, that Mr. Johnson, even though he were guilty, should go free, than that the pen of the historian should write that the President was convicted and removed from his office, in obedience to the demand of a party operating upon the mind of the Chief Justice and inducing him to prostitute his high position for partisan purposes. What an enviable renown Mr. Chase might achieve for himself, were he, in the course of the trial, to shake off the shackles of party, and give to the high Court of Impeachment that construction of the Tenure-of-office Bill which, we feel assured, he as a lawyer and judge, must put upon it. Let him decide the matter in the forum of conscience and give the Court his decision. He will make a record during the progress of this trial which will be read by Americans as long as this country has an existence. The applause of a listening Senate is, doubtless, music to the ear, but it will die away. The men who surround him today will ere long, like himself, sleep beneath the earth. But this trial will live in history long after the actors in it have passed away. Truth and justice are eternal. By them, will posterity judge of the utterances and conduct of the President's judges. Passion may override sober judgement and achieve a temporary triumph, but injustice, practiced now, will damn to everlasting infamy in the long future, the men, who through its instrumentality, seek to satisfy their political enmity and wreak their personal vengeance. The people expect of the Chief Justice that he will not be-draggle the robes of his high office in the mire of politics, but that by courtesy, moderation, and impartiality, he will set a lofty example to the Senators sitting in judgement.

They greatly need such an example. Men who have unhesitatingly expressed an opinion upon the matters in controversy--men who sent words of encouragement to the occupant of the War Office, advising him to "stick"--men who hurried to the War Department and to the Head-Quarters of the General of the army, to concert measures of resistance to the President--surely such men might be taken to have incapacitated themselves as judges between the President and Stanton. They can scarcely be expected to act impartially. There is a partisan bias in their minds which no argument, however forcible, can be expected to change. We have no doubt, therefore, as to what will be the verdict of the "Senate sitting as a High Court of Impeachment," if it ever reaches a verdict.

Andrew Johnson owes it to himself and the country, to prolong this trial to the utmost possible limit. Let him summon all the witnesses necessary for his defence, even though the number should be greater than the sands upon the sea shore. The trial of Warren Hastings lasted seven years. Why should not the trial of an American President require one year? He owes it to himself in order to give opportunity to the Supreme Court to deliver opinions which will show the wisdom of his individual action. He owes it to the country, in order that the highest judicial tribunal in the land may settle the principle for all time to come, that one Department of the Government may not, and dare not, strip a coordinate and co-equal Department of its constitutional function.

Democratic State Convention
(Column 03)
Summary: Lists the names of men nominated as delegates to the Democratic National Convention for state offices. Gives high praise for every man chosen. Also details the platform of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
(Names in announcement: George W. Brewer)
Full Text of Article:

The Democratic State Convention which met at Harrisburg last week, was one of the most respectable bodies that ever assembled at the capital of Pennsylvania. It was presided over by the Hon. William Hopkins, of Washington, one of the best and purest of our public men, and on its floor were such distinguished and able gentlemen as Hon. John L. Dawson of Fayette, Joh. Gaylord Church of Crawford, Hon. S.E. Ancona, of Berks, Hon. R.F. Monaghan, of Chester, Hon. A.B. Longaker, of Montgomery, Gen. McCandless, of Philadelphia, and Col. Sweitzer, of Pittsburgh.

The resolutions adopted by the Convention are sound and conservative. They declare for the Constitution and the Union.--They arraign the Radicals in Congress for violating the supreme law of the land; for squandering enormous sums of money, which have been wrung from the people; for delaying the restoration of the Southern States in their just relations to the Union, and for attempting to perpetuate their power through the votes of illiterate negroes. They declare that questions of law upon which the different branches of the government may be at variance should be decided by the Supreme Court; that the pending impeachment of the President is a gross abuse of power and intended to effect partisan purposes; that the best interests of the country demand an early return to a specie basis; that the national debt should be liquidated as rapidly as possible, and that the five twenty bonds should be paid in legal tenders till the government is able to redeem its notes in coin. Some of the more ardent members of our party may perhaps hold that the language of some of the resolutions should have been stronger. But the sentiments of the resolutions will command the approbation of all conservative men, whilst their phraseology involves merely a question of taste.

The Convention was fortunate in its selection of candidates. We know Hon. Charles E. Boyle quite intimately, and we do not hesitate to pronounce him one of the best men in the State for the position of Auditor General. Talented, vigilant, energetic, sagacious, and honest as the day is long, he would guard the public interests with as sleepless an eye as ever watched over them. With Gen. W.H. Ent,our nominee for Surveyor General, we have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance, but reliable gentlemen who live in his section of the State and known him well, assure us that he is all we could desire a candidate to be. We do not doubt it, and we call upon the Democracy of Franklin to prepare to make good the assurance we now give to Gen. Ent, that, glorious as was the result in this county last fall, his majority shall exceed that given to Sharswood.

For Delegates to the National Convention the most judicious selections were made. The Delegates at large are Hon. Geo. W. Woodward, of Luzerne, Hon. Wm. Bigier, of Clearfield, Hon. Asa Packer, of Carbon, and Hon. Isaac E. Hiester, of Lancaster, four of the best men in the State; whilst among the District Delegates are Col. W.C. Patterson, of Philadelphia, Hon. John D. Stiles, of Lehigh, Hon. John H. Brinton, of Chester, Hon. Hiester Clymer, of Berks, Hon. F.W. Hughes, of Schuylkill, Hon. Wm. H. Miller, of Dauphin, Hon. Geo. W. Brewer, of Franklin, Hon. Gaylord Church, of Crawford, Hon. John L. Dawson, of Fayette, and Hon. A.A. Purman, of Greene. With such a galaxy of able men to represent her, we may confidently expect Pennsylvania to exercise a full share of influence in the National Convention.

Our Delegates were wisely left uninstructed. There was no clearly defined feeling in favor of any particular candidate. All seemed to agree that the wisest course was to select a Delegation of our best and purest public men, and trust them to do what in their judgment the interests of the party and the country should demand when the time came for the National Convention to assemble.

Attention Democrats
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper calls for Democrats to prepare for vigorous efforts in the Spring political campaigns.
Full Text of Article:

Our Spring elections are close at hand. Their importance can not be overrated. They are preliminary skirmishes to the grand engagement which is to take place next Fall. It is of the utmost moment that Democratic Judges of Election should be chosen. Stir yourselves, Democrats. The enemy is organizing. They are predicting apathy in our ranks. They hope to win through our sluggishness. Buckle on the armor. Go into the fight determined to win. You have everything to encourage you to action. Everywhere the people are rising against the corrupt Radical party. Its doom is sealed. Put good men in nomination, and you must win. White men will vote for white men. The intelligent masses are against negro suffrage, negro equality and negro supremacy. "Up, and at them."

Honor to Whom Honor is Due
(Column 03)
Summary: Letter stating that Col. B. F. Winger, not Senator McConaughy, should receive credit for introducing the Border Relief Bill in the legislature.
(Names in announcement: Col. B. F. Winger, McConaughy)
Another Letter From Robert Criswell
(Column 04)
Summary: Letter from Robert Criswell criticizing Thaddeus Stevens' Reconstruction policies.
(Names in announcement: Robert Criswell)
Glorious News! The Radicals Impeached by the People!
(Column 08)
Summary: Reports victories for Democrats in city and town elections in several northern states.

-Page 03-

North Ward Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: North Ward Democrats will meet in the Montgomery House to nominate a ticket for spring elections.
South Ward Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: South Ward Democrats will meet at the public house of Samuel R. Boyd to nominate a ticket for the spring elections.
(Names in announcement: Samuel R. Boyd)
Young Men's Christian Association
(Column 01)
Summary: A meeting was held to discuss organizing a Young Men's Christian Association in Chambersburg. The Rev. S. H. C. Smith chaired the meeting and J. R. Gaff was elected Secretary. The paper endorses the plan to promote intellectual and religious development in the town's young men. A reading room is also proposed.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. H. C. Smith, J. R. Gaff)
New Railroad
(Column 02)
Summary: A meeting was held to discuss building a railroad from Scotland to Waynesboro. The people of Quincy and Washington are especially excited about the plan. A committee was appointed to open banks and receive subscriptions of stock for the project. The paper suggests that people of the area should agitate to have the connection of that road with the Cumberland Valley Road located at Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Douglas, W. S. Amberson, Joseph W. Miller, H. C. Wertz, Henry Good, E. J. Small, E. H. Winger, John Heller, Peter Knepper, H. E. Wertz, John Philips, Levi Saunders, Daniel Geiser, Henry Bear, J. J. Muler, John Funk)
Land and Labor in South-West Virginia
(Column 02)
Summary: A letter from Abingdon describing labor conditions, land values, and productivity in South-West Virginia.
(Column 05)
Summary: John W. Draper and Miss Sarah E. Bitinger of Fayetteville, were married on March 3rd by the Rev. H. Stonehouse.
(Names in announcement: John W. Draper, Sarah E. Bitinger, Rev. H. Stonehouse)
(Column 05)
Summary: Henry Ranger of Sharpsburg, MD, and Miss Mary Brewer, daughter of the late Joseph Brewer of Welsh Run, were married by the Rev. C. Startzman.
(Names in announcement: Henry Ranger, Mary Brewer, Joseph Brewer, Rev. C. Startzman)

-Page 04-

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