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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: May 6, 1868

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Times Change and Men Change With Them
(Column 01)
Summary: Notes with disgust the different treatment Congress meted out to Lincoln as opposed to Johnson. Quotes liberally from a September 1862 address from Northern Governors pledging full support for Lincoln and how those same governors now degrade Johnson. Accuses Congress of trying to seize all power like Lincoln did.
Full Text of Article:

"The administration is the Government." How this sentence carries our minds back to the dark days of the rebellion! How well we all remember the answer to the Democratic clamor against outrages upon American citizens, as it rang out loud and clear from loyal throats--"The Administration is the Government!" Times have changed since then, and men have changed with them. So sacred was the person of the President in the estimation of the Loyal Leaguers; so high was their appreciation of the authority of the Executive; so reverential was their regard for his opinions and proclamations, that no one was deemed worthy to unloose the latches of Mr. Lincoln's shoes, and the place whereon he stood was thought holy ground. The occupant of the Presidential chair--a man like unto other men--possessed of the weaknesses of frail human nature, was looked upon as an oracle whose every word was wisdom and whose slightest wish was law. What crimes were committed in the name and by authority of "the Government!" When Republicans then spoke of the government, they always meant the President. In him was centred all power. If the Constitution was found silent as to the grant of certain powers which it was desirable to exercise, Mr. Lincoln was assured that the loyal hearts of the nation were in sympathy with him, and that loyal hands would sustain him. Was it advisable to arrest a citizen? All the forms of law were disregarded, and summary process was executed upon him. No warrant was required. A military order was substituted. Was it expedient to suppress a newspaper? Forthwith, some shoulder-strapped upstart with a file of soldiers repaired to the office of the Editor, took him in charge, closed the establishment and hurried its proprietor to one of the military fortresses prepared for the reception of the nasty Copperheads. No constitutional guarantee stood between the press and the tyranny of the Executive. No protests were heeded. "The Administration was the Government," and everything was made to bend to its supreme authority. Never was any country more completely subjected to the will of one man than was the American Union to the will of Abraham Lincoln. No matter how violent the measures he saw fit to adopt, his party ever stood ready to cry Amen. No scheme was too wild, no stretch of power was too great, no punishment was too severe. The nation surrendered itself, for the time, completely to the guidance and power of Abraham Lincoln, and why not? For was he not the government? Had he not sworn "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?" And was he not to be the judge as to how that could best be done? Certainly. The man who disputed that doctrine was a Copperhead--an open enemy of his country.

Not only the misses of the people entertained this idea, but the rulers, and persons who occupied the chief places in the loyal synagogues, vied with each other to exhibit all possible respect for the Chief Executive. How high was the estimation placed upon the Presidential office by that assembly of loyal Governors in September 1862 at Altoona. At this day, when every effort is being made to degrade the incumbent of that office and to rob the office itself of its functions, how strangely reads the following which comes to us from loyal Gubernatorial lips:

"We pledge without hesitation to the President of the United States, the most loyal and cordial support, hereafter as heretofore, in the exercise of the functions of his great office. We recognize in him the Chief Executive Magistrate of the Nation, the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, their responsible and constitutional head, whose rightful authority and power must be vigorously and religiously guarded and preserved, as the condition on which all of our form of government, and the constitutional rights and liberties of the people themselves can be saved from the wreck of anarchy, or from the rule of despotism."

Go to the Senate of the United States, sitting as a High Court of Impeachment, and you will find at least three of these loyal Governors--Morton of Indiana, Yates of Illinois, and Sprague of Rhode Island. What are they doing? They are engaged in the trial of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States. They are sitting as his judges. Surely they will "recognize in him the Chief Executive Magistrate of the nation." Not so. They will not allow him the privilege and power of selecting his Cabinet. They will not permit him to remove an officer in whom he has no confidence. Certainly they will "recognize in him the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, their responsible and constitutional head," &c. Not so. They have assisted in elevating Grant to a position of absolute superiority to the President.

Without doubt, they will see to it that "his rightful authority and power" are "vigorously and religiously guarded and preserved." Not so. They are seeking to limit his authority and restrain his power by unconstitutional means, and plotting to remove him from office upon the flimsiest of all possible pretexts and the silliest of all possible charges.

But the vigorous and religious guarding of "his rightful authority and power" is "the condition on which all of our form of government, and the constitutional rights and liberties of the people themselves, can be saved from the wreck of anarchy or from the rule of despotism."! With what haste and eagerness did these loyal Governors thus rush to the defence of the Executive when a long-suffering people, at last grown impatient at the high-handed outrages committed by authority of Mr. Lincoln, began to thunder their denunciation of his conduct in his ears! The life of the Radical party then hung upon the maintenance of the Executive even in the most palpable violations of the Constitution. Men were thrown into dungeons without warrant--military commissions were organized to murder them--all the dearest rights of American citizens were wantonly invaded and trampled under foot; but not one of these, nor all, constituted a "high crime or misdemeanor." "The President is the Government" was the reply to every complaint--his will is law. The power of Abraham Lincoln was as absolute as that of the Czar of Russia. Let the outrages perpetrated in the name of "the government," by authority of Mr. Lincoln, be written down and charged to the account of that martyred hero, and they will form a record beside which the record of Andrew Johnson, as written by his enemies in this impeachment trial, will seem as white as snow.

But times have changed, and men have changed with them. These loyal men no longer think it necessary to guard vigorously and religiously the rightful authority and power of the Chief Magistrate of the nation. They no longer consider this as the condition by which we are to be saved "from the wreck of anarchy or the rule of despotism." Andrew Johnson as President is not to exercise the same authority that Abraham Lincoln did. He is entirely too conservative. He does not sympathise with Radicalism. For this reason, the principle that "the administration is the government" has been stricken from Radical text-books. Congress has become the government. It is attempting to concentrate all power in itself. It seeks to destroy, or at least to render powerless, both the Executive and the Judiciary. And in order to make the Legislative Department supreme, it intends to remove Andrew Johnson and put a man in his place who will be its willing tool. Surely these loyal Governors, who made haste to tender their earnest and cordial support to Mr. Lincoln, before they cast their votes against Andrew Johnson, ought to read the address from which this passage is quoted and to which they affixed their names. And having read, let them strive to do justice in his case, remembering that the people, as Sydney Smith has so well said, will praise, honor, and love the just judge, and abhor, as the worst enemy of mankind, him who is placed there "to judge after the law, and who smites contrary to the law."

Let Us Have the Rail Road
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Summary: Alerts its readers to the imminent construction of a railroad in the county. Clamors to have businessmen in the town get the railroad through Chambersburg or other places would get the wealth which would accumulate.
Full Text of Article:

Our citizens should awake to the importance of securing a connection with Waynesboro by rail road. A golden opportunity is now presented and it ought not to be allowed to pass unimproved. If we have a tithe of the enterprise left, which characterized our people after our beautiful town was laid in ashes, we will see to it that we do not fail to realize the profits and benefit of such a connection.

During the coming summer, there is little doubt but that a road will be built from Waynesboro to some point on the Cumberland Valley Rail Road. A charter has been secured--a route has been surveyed--the cost of building the road has been ascertained, and, unless some counter movement is set on foot, the probabilities are that the junction will be in the vicinity of Scotland.

The people of Chambersburg should not allow this if they have the power to prevent it. The power--"the sinews of war"--the money is here in the hands of certain men. Have they the inclination to use their power? That is the important question. If they have, all they have to do is to say so, and the road will be a thing of reality very soon. All that it needs the encouragement and substantia aid of moneyed men at this end of the line, for at the other end, money and enterprise are pushing it as rapidly as it can be pushed. If the junction is made at Scotland, we are cut off from the most wealthy section of our own county. By making this the terminus of the road, we would bring to our very doors, a section of country which, for fertility of soil, and density of population, can hardly be surpassed in the State. The immense trade of these townships would be poured into our coffers. All the products of their soil would find their way here owing to the increased facility for transportation. Men coming here to sell, would be sure to buy also. The exchange would be mutually beneficial. Business would revive under its influence.

But neglect our interests in this respect--let the junction be made at Scotland, and we lose all this. The trade of these townships will pass by us. Shippensburg and Carlisle will reap the benefit of it. Grain dealers there will buy and sell the grain of the richest portion of our County. Merchants in those places will furnish our wealthiest farmers with everything they need.--Nothing is more certain, for trade always runs in the most convenient and easy channels.

Let our business men awake to the importance of this movement. Let our men of capital make up their minds to employ some of it in this direction. We have presented but one view of the subject. We have attempted only to show that our own local interests are to be subserved by the building of this road. We have done this for the reason that men are more likely to be incited to action when they see that it is to their personal advantage to move, than under any other circumstances. Let us have the road, then if for no other reason than that it will bring more money into our pockets.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. H. F. Barclay of New York will preach in the Lutheran Church.
(Names in announcement: Rev. H. F. Barclay)
[No Title]
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Summary: Judge Armstrong will be handling Court House business while the treasurer is out on a collecting tour.
(Names in announcement: Judge Armstrong)
Major Hershberger's Panorama
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Summary: Major Hershberger's panorama of the burning of Chambersburg will again be on display in Repository Hall. The major will play a violin solo to accompany the exhibit. The painting has been retouched since the last exhibition.
[No Title]
(Column Rail Road Meeting)
Summary: Col. George P. Wiestling will address a meeting in the Court House concerning construction of a rail road between Chambersburg and Waynesboro. The paper urges attendance.
(Names in announcement: Col. George P. Wiestling)
Borough Election
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Summary: Records the local elections for city council and other offices. Admits Republicans won but says their majorities are shrinking and the Democrats will soon triumph. Puts the best light on the situation.
(Names in announcement: L. A. Clark, A. H. Senseny, J. L. Snesserott, S. M. Greenawalt, T. B. Wood, F. Gillespie, P. Kreichbaum, J. Allen, J. Logan, J. King, P. H. Peifter, J. Smith, A. D. Caufman, W. C. Finney, M. Honser, H. C. Koontz)
Full Text of Article:

The election for Burgess and other Borough officers on Monday, brought out an unusually large vote. The aggregate vote for Burgess was 848. The Radical candidate was elected by the very uncomplimentary majority of 28. Considerable "scratching" was done in voting for members of the Town Council. The vote for Auditor is perhaps the best by which to judge of the relative strength of the two parties. The Radical candidate has a majority of 79. The result is exceedingly gratifying to the Democracy. It would have been more so if we had elected our ticket. But this we did not expect. This old Borough has of late years been considered good for the Radicals by from 150 to 200 majority. But Radicalism is waning. On the full vote of the Borough this fall, they will not beat us over a hundred, and it will not surprise us if we carry the County by three hundred. The following is the vote in detail:

BURGESS L.A. Clark, R. 438 A.H. Senseny, D. 410 COUNCIL J.L. Shesserott, R. 466 J. Allen, D. 382 S.M. Greenhawalt, R. 486 J. Logan, D. 379 T.B. Wood, R. 471 J. King, C. 390 F. Gillespie, R. 450 P.H. Peifter, D. 379 P. Kreichbaum, R. 460 J. Smith, D. 371 AUDITOR A.D. Caufman, R. 464 W.C. Finney, D. 385 HIGH CONSTABLE M. Honser, R. 457 H.C. Koontz, D. 364
A Choice Location
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Summary: The paper argues that Chambersburg would be the perfect site for the new Female Seminary proposed at the meeting of the Presbytery of Carlisle in Greencastle. The article engages boosters aimed at getting it built in McConnellsburg.
The Bible Society
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Summary: Prints an article from the Franklin county Bible Society responding to criticism from a Valley Spirit article from a week before. The article gives some reasons for the Society's apparent slowness in distributing bibles and calls on others to help in the endeavor.
Full Text of Article:

We publish the following communication with great pleasure. We had no intention, when we wrote our article of last week, to say anything that would be offensive to the managers of the Bible Society, and we are glad to find that no offence has been taken by the most prominent among them. We thought the Report of the Society, as presented at the anniversary meeting, indicated a state of inactivity which it might be well to disturb by a few observations, somewhat pungent, but not designed to wound. The communication annexed shows that the Report, though a fair exhibit of the work of the Society, by no means covers all that has been done to put the printed gospel in the hands of the destitute in this county.

The Franklin County Bible Society

Messrs. Editors.--The somewhat stringent remarks in your issue of last week in reference to the lack of vigor and energy on the part of the above Society, were perhaps deserved. It has certainly not come up to the full measure of its duty. As a member of the executive committee of that Society, I am quite willing to bear my full share of the reproof, and the other members will doubtless be ready to acknowledge their share of shortcomings with equal readiness and be disposed humbly to receive reproof at the hands of those who have clearer apprehensions of duty, greater zeal and vigor in this and every other good work. They would no doubt join me in saying with a great and good man of old: "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let Him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head."

After freely and frankly admitting this much, it might perhaps still be a question whether the writer, in his well-meant strictures, did exactly perform that duty in the most perfect manner and in the spirit best calculated to produce the desired result.--But we must remember that it is the easiest thing in the world to see imperfections in our neighbors and to overlook or palliate them in ourselves.

Had the writer of the strictures referred to, however, been aware of some or all of the following facts, perhaps he would still have modified or softened down some of his sentences:

1. The Franklin county Bible Society has had the subject of a new exploration of the county under consideration. The usual period from one such effort to another, is from 8 to 10 years. In the country the destination is comparatively small, is easily ascertained and the destitution met.

2. In our own town there is, beside our own Society, the Female Bible Society, who perform their full share of the duties of exploring and supplying the destitute.

3. Then there are a number of Life Members of the State Bible Society, who are entitled to an annual amount, each, of bibles, which these members respectively distribute personally among those in need. So that a considerable amount of work is performed by the members of the several organizations in an unofficial or informal way, of which no official account is taken. This may also be regarded as some evidence that the members of the Society are not so very anxious to make "a display" as is intimated, or else they might have filled up their report in a somewhat more showy manner.

4. There are, moreover, Bible Societies in Greencastle and Mercersburg--consequently our field of operations is not as extensive as some may be led to suppose.

This is not intended as a full or even partial justification of the members or officers of the Society. Let our delinquencies be reproved--but we do beg that it be done with some degree of justice and kindness. "Strike, but hear me."

And now let me say, if any of our friends know of any Bible destitution, we shall be glad to be informed of it, in order to remedy it. And if any, in the vigor and ardor of their zeal, are willing to give a helping hand in this work, by threading the lanes and alleys of our town and its suburbs, we shall be most happy to welcome them as collaborators and go with them, work with them, learn of them or do any thing in order that we may do better hereafter. We have "grown old" as a Society, and some of us have also grown old individually--perhaps too old for vigorous service, although not so old, it is hoped, as to lack the disposition to work.

(Column 04)
Summary: Theophilus Nelson and Susan J. Shatzer, both of Chambersburg, were married on April 23rd by the Rev. F. Dyson.
(Names in announcement: Theophilus Nelson, Susan J. Shatzer, Rev. F. Dyson)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Christ of Chambersburg died on April 26th after a "lingering and painful illness." He was 23 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Christ)

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