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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: April 8, 1868

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(Column 01)
Summary: Again denounces the impeachment of Johnson. Says the charges are absurd and vouches for Johnson's character while singling out a few Radicals for condemnation. The paper is very pessimistic about the outcome because the editor believes the lure of political reward will outweigh justice in the minds of Republican senators.
Full Text of Article:

The legitimate and necessary business of Congress is entirely suspended, while the "high Old Court" is engaged in the trial of the President. Business interests are suffering all over the country. Uneasiness is felt in every department of trade. Goods are plenty and buyers are scarce. Employers sit within their counting rooms, and clerks lounge on the counters. They have nothing to do. Nobody knows what is coming next. There is no security for the future. Men are afraid to buy. Such utter and complete stagnation has rarely been witnessed before.

And yet Congress does nothing to relieve the country. They seem to close their eyes to this terrible condition of affairs, and to be bent on nothing but plotting to retain their hold on power.

They fancy that they will start upon a new lease of infinite duration, if they can but oust Andrew Johnson from the Presidential Chair. Hence, all their time and attention are given to this necessary work. It matters not to them how the President is deposed. They care not whether the evidence justifies his conviction or not. If necessary, they would willingly manufacture the requisite testimony. Utterly unscrupulous, having no moral ideas to govern their action, they have determined to revolutionize this government entirely, rather than surrender their official positions for a moment. It is not enough that States must be kept out of the Union, after spending millions of money and sacrificing hundreds of thousands of lives to keep them in the Union. It is not enough that all republican governments must be wiped out within their limits, and unfettered and irresponsible military despotisms be established in their stead: it is not enough that the ignorant, imbrated negro must exercise the right of suffrage, and lord it over his former masters; it is not enough that the whites are disfranchised, save such as will acknowledge themselves inferior to the negro.

Notwithstanding all this, the Radicals still tremble, lest they be beaten. Consequently, they have laid their hands upon the Executive branch of the Government. The President must be removed. And for no other reason than that he is an obstacle in the way of the Radical party. The removal of Stanton is simply a pretext. Behind this charge, laid in the articles of impeachment, lie the true reasons for the Radical clamor for impeachment. The President's open opposition to the Radical reconstruction policy; his known hostility to negro suffrage; his perfect abhorrence of anything that savors of military despotism; his repeated vetoes of unconstitutional bills; his sharp, spicy, public denunciations of Radical men and measures, and his avowed devotion to the old constitution of the United States--these constitute the real ground for Radical action in the matter of impeachment.

The managers on the part of the House, manifest the most deadly personal hostility to the President. It would be impossible to extract from the same number of the most poisonous serpents, the quantity of venom that Butler(whom Bingham publicly called a thief) alone spits out in the course of a single day's proceedings. Not only does he desire the proceedings to be hurried along at "railroad speed," but he seems to have lost all regard (if he ever had any) for all the forms of law, and all the proprieties of a Court. He entertains no respect for the rulings of the Chief Justice. Indeed he does not even address him as such. He keeps no more account of him than if he were merely the President of a country debating society. He continually styles him "Mr. President." Of the same spirit are his brother managers. Stevens dozes and nods in his chair, ambitious to figure in history as lending his influence to the success of this nefarious plot, even when he feels Death's clutches at his throat. As he does not believe in a God, or a Heaven, or a Hell, and has surrendered himself wholly to the worship of his ebony idol, it does not make much difference to him in what infernal proceeding he is engaged when his last hour comes.

Bingham (whom Butler publicly calls a murderer) chimes in with the voice of the man whom he has thus openly branded, and the two are "as thick as pickpockets" in furthering this scheme for the removal of the President, who entertains the most profound contempt for both.

But affairs do not glide along as smoothly as the Radical managers desired. Mr. Chase, as we anticipated in our article of last week, assumed the right to decide upon the admissibility of evidence without first consulting the House Managers. A terrible hubbub was thus created. Drake, of Missouri, ran wild. Sumner tore his hair in a perfect frenzy. An appeal was taken from the decision of the Chief Justice. Pending this, a motion was made to retire for consultation. The vote was a tie. The Chief Justice cut the knot by voting affirmatively. Here was another bomb shell thrown into the Radical camp. Mr. Chase not only claimed the right to decide upon the admissibility of evidence, but he exercised the right to vote. After a long consultation, the Senate sustained the Chief Justice, all the extreme Radicals opposing it.

Notwithstanding this vote, however, we do not hesitate to express the opinion that the majority of the Senate will vote for the conviction of the President, no matter how strong the defence may be. This was clearly demonstrated by the vote, at a later stage of the proceedings, on the admission of the whole of the Grant-Johnson correspondence. The Senate admitted all of it that in any way bore against the President, but refused to admit the balance, although in one of the papers submitted by the Managers, the whole correspondence was distinctly referred to.

But a majority is not sufficient to convict. Two-thirds are required for this purpose. Whether or not there are eight Radicals in the Senate possessed of sufficient independence of character to carry out their convictions in the matter, by voting to acquit, remains to be seen. We have no doubt that there are more than eight who see the injustice and utter groundlessness of the impeachment, but a refusal to vote for the President's conviction will be regarded as "going back on" the party, and this may require more nerve than they possess. It is hard for men to shake off party trammels, especially when they are looking forward to political preferment. Hence, we still incline to the opinion that Andrew Johnson has nothing favorable to hope for from the Senate. We fear that "the thing has been set up."

A Breathing Spell
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper reports that the House impeachment managers closed their case against Johnson. The editors assert that nothing has been proven against the president except that he removed Stanton, and denounce the Radicals for attaching importance to Grant's opinions on the case.
The Registry Law
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper asserts that the voter registration law passed by the state legislature is nothing more than a Republican attempt to cheat their way to electoral victory. The editors urge Democrats to study the law so they will know what they must do to register, and call on them to vote heavily in the coming elections.
Spring Elections
(Column 02)
Summary: Responds to a Republican newspaper about several recent local elections which Democrats carried. The former says the result was due to "indifference", which the editor is quick to ridicule. Expresses hope for more Democratic victories in the future.
Full Text of Article:

The Repository says the Spring elections in Franklin County were "indifferently attended," simply because it has no other way to account for the extraordinary defeat which the Radicals suffered at the polls. The fact of the Democrats electing the Judge in Mercersburg, and the Radicals electing the Judge in Quincy, is no evidence in itself of indifference. The Radical majority in the Mercersburg district has been diminishing of late years wonderfully. In the Spring of 1866, the Democrats elected the judge. The Democracy will carry that old Radical stronghold one of these days.

As to Quincy, the Repository knows that the election of the Radical Judge is owing to everything else but indifference. All the other officers elected in that township are Democrats, chosen by majorities ranging from forty to one hundred. A special effort was made, in a special manner, to elect the Radical Judge, and it succeeded. If there was any "indifference," it was certainly on the Democratic side.

That way of accounting for defeats will not answer. General apathy is "played out," and "indifferent attendance" has succeeded.

Grant and the Jews
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper criticizes Grant for an order he issued during the war expelling Jews from his lines.
Nigger on the Brain
(Column 03)
Summary: Quotes Republican John Hickman's speech, in which he favors black suffrage. Praises Hickman as an able man but says his position is typical of the whole Republican party. Reminds readers of the different positions on race taken by the two parties, and asserts that Republicans will soon push for voting rights for all black men.
Full Text of Article:

John Hickman, some time ago a member of Congress, now a member of the House of Representatives at Harrisburg, from Chester county, recently used the following language in the course of his speech in favor of striking the word "white" from our State Constitution:

"I may possibly see the day that I may walk side by side with a colored woman. I have seen a great many colored women that I would rather walk with than a great many white men. I know a great many negroes who I think are better entitled to vote this moment than a great many white men who do vote, and have long exercised the franchise."

Mr. Hickman is unquestionably the ablest Radical member of the House. He is regarded as extremely Radical now, but in the words just quoted, he has simply uttered the key note of the Radical party. Ere long, the leaders will all openly take his position, and seek to "educate" the masses into the support of the same doctrine. Let white men open their eyes to the fact that negro suffrage and negro equality are live issues in the great contest between the two parties of the country.

A Tribute to McConaughy
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper calls on State Senator McConaughy to retire. McConaughy gained his seat by contesting the results of the election and deposing the Democratic candidate, Duncan.
Bad Memory
(Column 03)
Summary: Paper calls on Senator McConaughy to support the bill reimbursing the border counties for their losses during the war.

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Bunyan Tableaux
(Column 01)
Summary: A panorama of Bunyon's Pilgrim's Progress will be exhibited in Repository Hall.
Franklin Seminary
(Column 01)
Summary: This "excellent school" is opening under direction of Miss R. H. Schively.
(Names in announcement: R. H. Schively)
Mail Routes
(Column 01)
Summary: Samuel Brand of Chambersburg has purchased the mail routes from Chambersburg to Bedford and from Chambersburg to Westminster. He paid $2450 and $1175 respectively. Mr. Scott of Shade Gap received the route from Chambersburg to Mt. Union, and Mr. Crouse from Chambersburg to Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Brand, Scott, Crouse)
Horse Thief Pardoned
(Column 01)
Summary: Isaac Shaffer, the "notorious" horse thief, served 5 months of a 5 year sentence after being pardoned by Governor Geary. The paper denounces the Governor's decision.
(Names in announcement: Isaac Shaffer)
Professorship Accepted
(Column 01)
Summary: Rev. E. V. Gerhart has been elected by the German Reformed Synod to replace Dr. Harbaugh as professor at the Theological Seminary, Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: Rev. E. V. Gerhart, Dr. Harbaugh)
A Queer Notion
(Column 02)
Summary: Story of a strange horse theft.
(Names in announcement: Cornelius Vinster, Benjamin Chambers, George Chambers)
Full Text of Article:

On Sunday last, early in the morning, a colored man named Cornelius Vinster, went to the residence of Mr. Benjamin Chambers on Front street and inquired for him. The colored man who lives with Mr. Chambers, informed him that Mr. C., was still in bed. Vinster said that there was terrible fighting going on up street, and that they were killing the black folks. He wanted Mr. Chambers' horse in order to make his escape. The other refused, when Vinster "went for" him, and a struggle ensued. No serious damage was done to either. After they separated, Vinster pretended to leave, but afterwards slipped down to the stable, put a bridle on the horse, took him out and rode off at a very rapid rate.

Mr. Geo. Chambers, hearing some difficulty below, got up hurriedly, ran down to the stable, got another horse and galloped in pursuit. When he got near the toll-gate on the Shippensburg turnpike, he met Vinster returning, who asked him whether the fighting was all over. Mr. Chambers took the horse under his care, and Vinster was afterwards lodged in jail. His mind seems to be unhinged, and he was evidently laboring under the idea that swift destruction was coming upon the negro population.

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