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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: April 15, 1868

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The Registry Law
(Column 01)
Summary: Points out several flaws in the new Registry Law recently passed by the Legislature. Has particular trouble with section nine, which it feels can lead to more fraud since only a few miscreants can potentially cause the cancellation of an entire district's vote. Also has problems with the time of poll-closing since it seems to disfavor workers.
Full Text of Article:

In our issue of last week we published the Registry Law passed by our State Legislature, and promised to point out some of its objectionable features in this number of our paper. We have not found time to examine it as closely as we desired, but such examination as we have been enabled to give it has confirmed the unfavorable impression produced by our first reading of it. It sets up a good deal of new machinery in connection with our elections, and seems to have for one of its objects the giving as much trouble as possible to persons claiming the right to vote. Naturalized citizens are required to exhibit their certificates of naturalization to the assessor first, before their name can be put on the list of voters, unless they shall have voted in the same district at five preceding general elections; and then they must produce the same certificates to the election officers when they offer to vote, and must submit to have the fact of their voting recorded on the certificate every time they vote, with the date. This is a fresh outcropping of the old spirit of Know Nothingism. It is an insult to our naturalized citizens, making an invidious distinction between them and native-born citizens. It says to the foreign-born voter, "You are so much more addicted to fraudulent voting than the native-born voter, that we must require you to produce proof of you honesty whenever you offer to vote."

The ninth section, giving power to the courts, on the petition of five or more citizens of the county, stating under oath that they believe frauds will be practiced at the election about to be held in any district, to appoint two persons to set as overseers at said election, though on its face apparently well intentioned, is perhaps the worst part of the bill. It is provided that if such overseers "shall be driven away from the polls by violence or intimidation, all the votes polled at such election district shall be rejected by any tribunal trying a contest under said election." This puts it in the power of two officers or "overseers" to stifle the voice of the people of any district in which they may be appointed. Take a district that gives a very heavy majority, no matter for which party. Five members of the minority party apply to the court for the appointment of overseers, and they are appointed. Before the polls close, substantial reasons are given to them why they should be "driven away from the polls by violence or intimidation;" half a dozen "roughs" kick up a row and threaten the overseers, who become intimidated ("agreeably to the act of Assembly in such cases made and provided,") and leave the ground; the election is contested, the whole vote of the district is thrown out, and five hundred or a thousand legal voters are virtually disfranchised through the rascality of half a dozen persons, two of whom are overseers appointed by the court. In this way Legislative and Congressional districts might be carried by the minority, as the vote of a single district giving a large majority often determines the result. This section holds out great inducements to fraud, and will, we think, add to the already deplorable corruption of our elections.

The law requires the polls everywhere to be closed at six o'clock in the evening. This will compel mechanics and working men to sacrifice at least a part of their day's wages or lose their votes. Six o'clock is the usual time for quitting work, and if the polls were kept open till seven or eight, the working men(except such as live miles away from the place of voting) could finish out their day and still reach the polls before they closed. This "six o'clock" provision of the law is calculated, as it may have been designed, to give manufacturers and other employers closer control of their workmen. If the employer finds that his workmen are disposed to vote contrary to his views, he may refuse to allow them to leave the workshop before six, and thus deprive them of their votes; or if they quit in time to reach the polls, in opposition to his wishes, he may make this a pretext for their discharge.

Won't Give Up the Negro
(Column 01)
Summary: Quotes from a Republican Philadelphia paper to highlight the key differences of opinion between the Republicans and Democrats on black suffrage. Says a small minority of Republicans are against black suffrage and thus urges that minority to vote with the Democrats in preventing it. Ends by saying such a move would allow white supremacy to continue.
Full Text of Article:

The Morning Post, the ablest through the smallest Republican paper in Philadelphia, does not wish the public to be misled by the result of the election in Ohio and Michigan on the Negro question. In its issue of Friday last it says:

It is not to be taken for granted that the Republican party is opposed to impartial suffrage because of the votes against it in Ohio and Michigan. In each of these States it was defeated by a union of a small minority of our party with the Democracy. In Ohio over 200,000 Republicans voted for the measure, and in Michigan we presume not less than 50,000 out of 70,000 were ready to strike the word white from the State Constitution. These statistics show the progress the idea of equal rights is making, and the folly of declaring that it is not a part of the Republican creed. They should teach the Conservatives that, while they may defeat Impartial Suffrage by joining with our enemies, they must not attempt to bully the overwhelming majority of the party into political apostasy.

What the Post says is true. The Republican party is not opposed to Negro suffrage. On the contrary it is in favor of Negro suffrage. But a "small minority" of the Republican party is opposed to Negro suffrage, and the men who make up this "small minority" are fast finding out that the only way in which they can prevent the Negro from being put on a level with themselves is to vote with the Democrats. It goes a little hard with them to abandon their old political associates and join in with us, but they see the necessity of doing so in order to preserve the white race from contamination, and they are doing their duty like men.

The Income Tax
(Column 02)
Summary: Article arguing that the Income Tax is unconstitutional.
Repeal of Taxes
(Column 03)
Summary: Launches an attack on the high taxes and government expenditures of the Republican Congress. Demands the repeal of these taxes and expenditures, especially those supporting Reconstruction. Also gives a lengthy quote from a Philadelphia paper supporting this view.
Full Text of Article:

As a political maneuver, designed to retrieve their sinking fortunes in the North, the Radicals in Congress have passed a bill exempting certain manufactures from taxation. They have not, however, done anything worth mentioning to diminish the expenses of the government. The infamous Freedmen's Bureau, through which the white men of the North are compelled to maintain the negroes of the South, still continues to squander its millions of the public money every month. A large army, costing an enormous sum, is still maintained in a section of the Union which for three years has been as peaceful and as obedient to the laws as any other. Swarms of Radical office-holders, reeking with corruption, infest the whole country and plunder the public everywhere. Under the tenure-of-office act the President is prevented from turning out these robbers and putting honest men in their places.

With expenditures undiminished, receipts decreasing and Radical office-holders robbing the treasury of a large proportion of the revenue justly belonging to it, how can we expect the government to escape bankruptcy? The individual who goes on year after year, expending more than his income, must and will finally reach the bottom of his purse, and not only run out of money but get out of credit. So it is with governments.

If the Radicals in Congress were not legislating merely "for Buncombe" and to tide themselves over the Presidential campaign, they would follow up the repeal of the tax on manufactures by abolishing the Freedmen's Bureau, reducing the Army, and cutting down the expenses of all departments of the governmnet, not forgetting the legislative department, which costs about five times as much as it ought to. But it is not the intention of our Radical Congress to make a permanent reduction in the taxes, and hence they will not reduce the expenditures. After the election they will restore the taxes they have just repealed, and in all probability raise them higher than ever.

Touching these matters, the financial editor of the Philadelphia Ledger gave the people some sound advice on Friday last.--We make the following extract from his article:

A next important step on the part of Congress, and to fall in which it would be most derelict in its duty, is to reduce the expenses of Government commensurately with the reduction of taxation. Unless there is a vigorous and determined resistance of the various propositions for increasing expenditures, the further progress in lightening taxation will necessarily stop, even if the requirements of the Treasury should not demand a restoration of the taxes now proposed to be removed. Experience will soon test this fact. It is sheer nonsense to take off taxes and not reduce the expenditures. There are several wasteful measures now before Congress. The estimated expenses of the War Department for the year are put down at one hundred and twenty millions! The requisitions on the Department last month were exceedingly heavy, a fact fresh in the face of Congress, inviting that body to a severer purging of estimates which should be reduced thirty-three if not fifty per cent. The estimated expenditures of the Navy have been brought down in even greater proportion, and if the appropriations go through in that shape it is believed that no interest of the country that that branch of the Government is expected to serve will suffer. Talk as members may it will remain as a fact that every dollar of expenditure is a dollar of taxation and something more. The Secretary of the Treasury has interposed objection to the bill just passed, warning Congress against it, as calculated to render the Treasury short of means to meet its liabilities. Congress, heedless of this warning, have, however, passed the bill in a revised shape, and the advance step thus taken, to the extent that it lessens taxation, can only be maintained by a determined demand on the part of the taxpayers from their representatives that the appropriations shall be lessened. The current revenues of the Government show a heavy deficit in the amount as compared with last year, and though this occurred in advance of the tax repeal, it will no doubt hereafter be used as a reason for restoring what has been taken off, and perhaps, also, made an argument for the imposition of additional taxes. There are all sorts of leeches about the Treasury whose movements require close watching. As the industry of the country has to supply the means to pay all expenditures, those that are necessary and proper, as well as those that are not, let each voter hold his immediate representative directly responsible for every dollar of expenditure, and make him feel that it is through his agency that the charge is brought home to the taxpayers door for collection.

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The Panorama
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Summary: The Panorama of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress remains on display in Repository Hall. "This is by very long odds the most magnificent Panorama ever exhibited in Chambersburg, and we advise our people to go and see it. All who have been there come away delighted."
Cornet Band Concert
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Summary: The Chambersburg Cornet Band performed before a crowded Repository Hall. The highlight of the evening was the "Bird Waltz." Harry Brooks "brought down the house" with comic songs, and Pillsbury and Henninger sang a duet. "Dock" Frey magnificently performed the "Persecuted Dutchman." The Spirit, unlike the Repository, applauded both the comic songs as well as the more "refined" numbers.
(Names in announcement: Harry Brooks, Pillsbury, Henninger, Dock Frey)
(Column 01)
Summary: Tries to persuade investors living in the country to loan money to Chambersburg's merchants and real estate investors. Cites how countrymen now have an overabundance of capital while townsmen are in desperate need of capital. Lays out an elaborate case scenario to show the security and wisdom of investing in Chambersburg.
Full Text of Article:

From various sources, likely to be well-informed, we learn that money is abundant in the rural districts of this county. That is, the farmers, after accommodating each other on the first of April, the great pay-day in real estate transactions, have a large amount of money on hand.--Proof of this appears in the quarterly report of the National Bank of Chambersburg, the deposits being stated at over three hundred and thirty thousand dollars.

Whilst there is more money in the rural districts than is needed or can be used there, the case is very different in this town. Here a large amount might be put out at satisfactory rates to the lender. But we understand our farmers who have surplus funds on hand are under the impression that loans in Chambersburg are not the most secure investments. This depends upon circumstances. Loans might be made here which would not be good, but at the same time a large amount of money could be put out on the very best security. Take, for example, a good business property on the Diamond or within a couple of squares of it. The lot cost, we will say, three thousand dollars, ($3,000) and the owner expended six thousand ($6,000) in the erection of the building, making the total cost of the property nine thousand.($9,000.) But the building was put up at a very expensive time and the property might not sell for what it cost. Well, throw off one-third and put down its market value at six thousand dollars; ($6,000.) Would it be safe to lend the owner of such a property four thousand dollars, ($4,000) and take a mortgage or judgment on the property as security?--"No," says a prudent capitalist, "it would not, because the building might burn down and then the lot would not sell for much more than one half the claim." That is a proper answer. But suppose the building were insured to the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) in a good company, and the insurance policy were to be transferred to the holder of the mortgage or judgment as collateral security, would not that make the investment perfectly safe? Unquestionably it would; for then if the building burned down, the holder of the mortgage or judgement would draw four thousand dollars ($4,000) from the insurance company, which would at once give him back the amount he had loaned, and if the lot sold for no more than half its cost, there would be fifteen hundred dollars over ($1,500.) This, one would suppose, would be margin enough to satisfy the most prudent and cautious lender. But in most cases a wider margin than this might be obtained, for few of the owners of good real estate in Chambersburg would desire to borrow as large a sum as that above stated.

We would not on any account induce our country friends to make bad investment; but after a careful study of the whole matter, we are satisfied that, by the exercise of ordinary prudence, they may invest their surplus funds as safely and as profitably in this town as anywhere.

I. O. O. F.
(Column 02)
Summary: Prints list of officers selected by Chambersburg Lodge No. 175 of the International Order of Odd Fellows.
(Names in announcement: H. Bishop, Jacob Spangler, T. M. Mahon, G. W. Remp, George Palmer, J. N. Martin, John Earheart, John King, S. G. Perry, P. W. Jacobs, J. L. P. Deitrich, F. H. Skinner, Allen Smith, John Strike, John H. Cook, C. Heneberger, D. S. Forbes, William Robinson, H. Bishop, John Strike, D. A. Wertz)
Going to Virginia
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Summary: John Ashway, "one of our most substantial farmers" and "one of our best Democrats" is the latest Franklin County citizen to succumb to "Virginia Fever" by buying land and moving to the Old Dominion. The paper fears that "this section of Pennsylvania will be called upon to part with a large number of such men."
(Names in announcement: John Ashway)
The Dark Brigade
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper complains about the number of African Americans in court on any given court day. A visitor would find "niggers to the right of him, niggers to the left of him, niggers in front of him, grinning and stinking. The Dark Brigade mustered in its usual force at the ringing of the Court House bell on Monday, and still continue to hold the ground it then occupied. It is a rather expensive thing to the tax-payers of the county."
Court Proceedings
(Column 02)
Summary: Judge Rowe and Judge King presided over the opening of the April Court term. David Taylor was found not guilty of False Pretense on charges brought by Frederick Foreman, but defendant was ordered to pay costs. Stenger and Sharpe for prosecution, Clark for defense. John Gsell was ordered to pay a $5 fine plus costs in an assault and battery case brought by Samuel Aughinbaugh. Stenger for prosecution; Kimmell, Everett, and Cook for defense. Jury still out in Daniel Raffensberger's case against Irving McDowell for disturbing the singing school. Stenger and Kimmell for prosecution; Sharpe for defense.
(Names in announcement: Rowe, King, David Taylor, Frederick Foreman, John Gsell, Samuel Aughinbaugh, Kimmell, Everett, Cook, Irving McDowell, Daniel Raffensberger)
Col. McClure's Lecture
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Summary: Acclaim for A. K. McClure's lecture on "Utah, Mormons, and the West."
(Names in announcement: A. K. McClure)
Origin of Article: Reading Gazette
(Column 04)
Summary: Charles Pillsbury and Mrs. Sarah H. Kensler, both of Chambersburg, were married on April 2nd by the Rev. J. A. Crawford at the house of John Jeffries.
(Names in announcement: Charles Pillsbury, Sarah H. Kensler, Rev. J. A. Crawford, John Jeffries)
(Column 04)
Summary: Henry Bender, of McConnellsburg, and Mrs. Susan Philips of Chambersburg, were married on March 19th by the Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Henry Bender, Susan Philips, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 04)
Summary: John W. Bender and Miss Mary E. Farner, both of Pleasant Hall, were married in Chambersburg on April 7th by the Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: John W. Bender, Mary E. Farner, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 04)
Summary: William Lanoir Shirly, infant son of Mr. H. and Martha Shirly, died in Guilford on March 8th.
(Names in announcement: William Lanoir Shirly, H. Shirly, Martha Shirly)

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