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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: May 20, 1868

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The Failure of Impeachment
(Column 01)
Summary: Expresses reluctant but high praise upon the Republican Senators who voted against impeachment. Contrasts the "noble" efforts of these men(Fessenden, Grimes, and Trumbull especially) with the actions of Radicals who did everything in their power to convict Johnson. Gloats at their failure and mocks the Radicals at the Republican Convention in Chicago.
Full Text of Article:

We are disappointed--most agreeably disappointed. There is more honesty among the Radical leaders than we gave them credit for, or had any idea of. A few upright men there are in the Senate who have refused to commit the crime of perjury in order to promote the interests of their party. Honestly convinced that Andrew Johnson has done nothing as far as the testimony goes, worthy of impeachment, they have had the courage to say so by their votes. They have not shrunk from the performance of a great public duty. Without "fear, favor, or affection," they have acted, and in the long future their names will be held in highest honor as the names of those who, under the most trying circumstances, were possessed of sufficient force of character to say to their tempters, "get ye behind me."

And yet, strange as it may seem, what we call honesty, the radical press calls rascality. They refuse to take the credit which we are heartily willing to give them. They denounce in measured terms, all who struck hands with the Democrats of the Senate to pronounce Andrew Johnson not guilty. Many years of faithful service to their party--the most exalted talents--hitherto undoubted purity of character--not all of them can avail to shield these men from the calumnies of the scribblers for Radical newspapers. The moment the vote was announced last Saturday, they rushed from the Senate Chamber to prepare and transmit their dispatches and letters, filled with all the opprobrious epithets and false insinuations and statements that disappointed place hunters could furnish. They did not hesitate to charge such men as Fessenden, Trumbull, and Grimes with bribery--men who have been the shining lights of the Republican party for years--men to whom the proud Radical always pointed whenever he was challenged to a comparison of the leading intellects of his party with those of the Democracy. If it be true that such men have bartered their votes--that they have "sold out" their principles, their party, and themselves for money--what a putrid mass of corruption the Radical party must be! If the men occupying the highest places have become so disgracefully corrupt, what is to be said of the honesty of the lesser lights who claim to represent "the party of great moral ideas?"

The fact is, that the undue influence used to sway the votes of Senators came from the Radicals themselves. From the moment that Grimes and Fessenden announced in secret session their intention to vote for acquittal, the Radicals became alarmed. They refused to take the vote on the day fixed, and adjourned until Saturday. During the interval, every possible influence was brought to bear upon Senators in order to convict the President. State Central Committees, State Conventions, and irresponsible Governors sent dispatches to Washington urging conviction in the name of the people. Town meetings were called, at which strong impeachment resolutions were passed, and the next morning these resolutions were published in every Radical daily in the country. Members of the House of Representatives from Missouri had the impudence to request Senator Henderson to withhold his vote because they believed that the President's conviction was a necessity. Forney, in his "two papers, both daily" called again and again, for the pressure of public opinion. With a shamelessness characteristic of himself, he boldly proposed to admit the Senators from certain Southern States for the purpose of voting against the President. Finding himself foiled, seeing that "the great culprits" would escape uncondemned, he became desperate and reckless. And thousands there were in the Radical party, so utterly lost to all shame as to declare themselves ready to approve of the adoption of this course suggested by Forney.--What a "party of great moral ideas!"

Such hounds as Forney can not appreciate the moral worth of men like Fessenden, Trumbull and Grimes. He has no admiration for the pure minds which recognize the binding obligation of an oath. He expects every other person to be ready at any time, as he would be, to "throw conscience to the Devil" for the sake of party. Always cringing at the feet of power in order to obtain favors, or crouching under cover of an assumed name to escape public condemnation, he can not rise to an appreciation of the majesty and dignity of our humanity as exemplified in Senator Fessenden when he uttered these bold, noble words: "I should consider myself undeserving the confidence that the just and intelligent people imposed upon me in this great responsibility, and unworthy a place among honorable men, if for any fear of public reprobation, and for the sake of securing popular favor, I should disregard the convictions of my judgement and conscience."

So too, Forney and his crew are strangers to the feeling which prompted these no less noble words of Senator Grimes. "Nor can I suffer my judgement of the law governing this case to be influenced by political considerations. I can not agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an unacceptable President. Whatever may be my opinion of the incumbent, I can not consent to trifle with the high office he holds. I can do nothing which by implication, may be construed into an approval of impeachment as a part of future political machinery."

These Senators felt the pressure upon them. They were asked to assist in convicting the President as a political, or rather, a partisan necessity. All the noble instincts of their natures rose up in rebellion against such an idea. They refused to be slaves. They were unwilling to be regarded by coming generations as men who were only fit to obey the commands of Thaddeus Stevens. All honor to these men! They have subordinated party interests to the promptings of duty. Conscience has been their guide, and however fiercely the storm of party hate may rage around them--however bitterly they may be traduced--a sense of duty performed will be ever with them, and that consolation will be theirs which they only experience whose actions spring from conscientious convictions.

But what demoralization will run through the Radical ranks! What weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth there must be at Chicago this very day. We hope that there will be no copy of last weeks' Repository there to dampen Col. McClure's spirits as he ponders upon the fact that the writer over the initials A.K.M., is neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet.

Let the Chicago Convention take up the case of President Johnson. Inasmuch as the majority in the Senate of the United States are Radicals, do they not owe their positions to the Radical party? And is not the Chicago Convention the mouth-piece of the Radical party? Surely its right to substitute itself for the Senate can not be questioned. Let it vote on the articles of impeachment.--Let it convict and remove Andrew Johnson. Forney will endorse it. The people will sustain it provided the elections are held as in the South. Let it be done by all means.

Hon. Asa Packer
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper endorses calls for nominating Asa Packer as Democratic candidate for vice president.
Malignant Impudence
(Column 03)
Summary: Editor is disgusted at the efforts of Radicals to investigate attempts made to influence Senators to vote against impeachment. Notes the efforts by Radicals to get a conviction and thus finds their current investigations hypocritical. Has particular venom for Thaddeus Stevens.
Full Text of Article:

The Impeachment Managers of the House met several days last week and examined witnesses, with a view to discover what attempts have been made to influence or procure the votes of Senators in favor of the acquittal of the President! Was there ever a more disgusting exhibition of malignant impudence? These Managers and their accomplices in the great crime they have committed have used every effort both proper and improper, to influence Senators. Thad. Stevens, in the bitter tirade he got off in lieu of an argument before the Impeachment Court, threatened them with the gibbit, for which the impudent and malignant old scoundrel should have been ordered into the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms. The whole Radical press of the country has been actively engaged in improper attempts to influence Senators to vote in favor of impeachment. Radical meetings have been held at numerous points, and speeches made and resolutions passed, demanding the votes of Republican Senators in favor of conviction. Delegations have waited upon Senators and urged them to vote for conviction, or, if their conscience forbade that, to withhold their votes and permit the matter to be decided by those who were willing to act upon Thad. Stevens' advice and "throw conscience to the devil."

In view of the notorious efforts that impeachers of all classes have made and are still making to force the Senate to convict the President, it is as sublimely impudent for the House Managers to "investigate" the motives which prompted certain Republican Senators to vote against conviction, as it would be for a committee of harlots to inquire why respectable women refused to associate with them. How long will the American people tolerate the brazen-faced impudence of such men as Stevens, Butler and Logan?

An Expensive Law
(Column 03)
Summary: Condemns the wastefulness of Republican state and national governments. Cites the Freedmen's Bureau and the new state Registry Law as examples of Republicans throwing taxpayers' money down the drain. Urges voters to throw them out of power.
Full Text of Article:

If the Radicals are not soon put out of power, there will not be money enough in the country to pay the expenses of our State and National Governments. They are constantly inventing new ways to spend the people's money. The Registry Law passed at the last session of our Legislature turns out to be an expensive thing. The City Commissioners of Philadelphia have made application to the Councils for an extra appropriation of eighty-one thousand dollars to carry out the law in that city. At this rate it will take half a million dollars to execute it throughout the State! Thus while trade in all its branches is languishing and business men have hard work to keep their heads above water, our Radical Congress spends millions on the Freedmen's Bureau and our Radical State Legislature spends half a million to put in execution an unnecessary and vexatious Registry Law. Is it not time to have a change?

Letter From Virginia
(Column 05)
Summary: Letter from Virginia commenting on the heavy immigration into the state from the North.
(Column 06)
Summary: Reports on the excitement in Washington surrounding the culmination of the impeachment trial.

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(Column 01)
Summary: Jacob S. Eby of the Chambersburg Bar was admitted to practice in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on motion of I. H. McCauley.
(Names in announcement: Jacob S. Eby, I. H. McCauley)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Dr. J. A. Maclay is practicing at Greenvillage.
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. A. Maclay)
Mercersburg College
(Column 01)
Summary: Letter complimenting Mercersburg college.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Harbaugh, Hermann Bokum)
Teachers' Examinations
(Column 02)
Summary: Article announces that teachers holding a professional certificate previously rendering them exempt from the yearly exam must take one this year. The paper applauds the move, arguing it will ensure the quality of the county's teachers.
(Column 04)
Summary: William H. H. Houchtelin of Chambersburg and Jennie L. McFetridge, daughter of Samuel L. McFetridge of Philadelphia, were married on May 7th in the residence of the bride's parents.
(Names in announcement: William H. H. Houchtelin, Jennie L. McFetridge, Samuel L. McFetridge)
(Column 04)
Summary: Clinton D. Speilman and Miss Sarah Jane Henderson, both of Chambersburg, were married on May 5th by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: Clinton D. Speilman, Sarah Jane Henderson, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Updyke of Philadelphia and Miss Sarah Jane Buchanan of Franklin were married on May 12th at the American Hotel by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: John Updyke, Sarah Jane Buchanan, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 04)
Summary: Henry Millhouse and Miss Martha Jane Stumbaugh, both of Franklin, were married at the Methodist Parsonage on May 14th by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: Henry Millhouse, Martha Jane Stumbaugh, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 04)
Summary: Daniel Sleichter and Miss Fana Fortna, both of Franklin, were married in Orrstown on April 30th by the Rev. S. Bigham.
(Names in announcement: Daniel Sleichter, Fana Fortna, Rev. S. Bigham)
(Column 04)
Summary: Christian Eakle died in Chambersburg on May 10th. He was 55 years old.
(Names in announcement: Christian Eakle)
(Column 04)
Summary: Miss Mary Wingert died at the Green Township residence of Jacob Brechbill on May 12th. She was 23 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mary Wingert, Jacob Brechbill)

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