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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 3, 1868

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Death of James Buchanan
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper announces the death of James Buchanan and publishes a biographical tribute.
The Chicago Platform
(Column 02)
Summary: Analyzes the Republican platform passed in Chicago the week before. Agrees with the minor issues brought up, such as honoring soldiers, regulating the economy, etc. Heavily criticizes the main Republican aims to continue Reconstruction and enact black voting rights in the South. Plays on racial fears a lot.
Full Text of Article:

The Convention of negroes and white men that assembled in Chicago on the 20th inst., adopted a platform on which they intend to run Grant and Colfax for the chief offices in the gift of the nation. It is true that platforms are not of much account, especially in the estimation of the Radical party. They kick them from beneath their feet with the same recklessness that they display in asking Senators to perjure themselves for the purpose of removing a President. What gigantic strides has that party taken since 1864, and what a still more striking contrast is presented between the platform of 1860 and that of 1868! And yet, the platform adopted for the coming campaign does not go far enough to meet the views of the Radical leaders.

But, inasmuch as they will insist that the resolutions passed at Chicago embody the principles of their party, it becomes our duty to examine them and see to what doctrines they avowedly stand pledged, and what results may be fairly predicted from the positions which they assumed.

There are twelve distinct resolutions.--The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth of these are mere glittering generalities which nobody disputes.--The Convention might just as well have resolved that two and two make four, or that water doesn't run up hill. They do not present a single issue between the two parties. Nobody is in favor of repudiation and everybody thinks that "the national honor requires the payment of the public indebtedness in the utmost good faith to all creditors at home and abroad, not only according to the letter, but the spirit of the laws under which it was contracted."

We are all in favor of taxation being equalized, and nobody would be such a fool as to object to it being "reduced as rapidly as the national faith will permit."

None of us are so flush that we propose to pay off the national debt at once, and so we heartily subscribe to the doctrine that it "should be extended over a fair period for redemption." Believing in the profound thought uttered by the "late lamented," that "it is much easier to pay a small sum than a large one," we also affirm that "it is the duty of Congress to reduce the rate of interest thereon whenever it can honestly be done."

No patriot will certainly have any objection to the improvement of our National credit, for, Heaven knows, the Radicals have run it down to a very low point, and an upward tendency would surely not hurt anybody. As to "repudiation, partial or total, open or covert, threatened or suspected," we don't know anything. That resolution must be striking at Stevens and Butler. We knew all along that Butler is an infernally jealous scamp, and presumed that as he "gobbled up" a big pile of gold in New Orleans, he did not care about anybody else having more of the glittering dust than he, but we had no idea that he was so utterly lost to all sense of honor as to desire to repudiate the bonds, some of which were perhaps given to raise money to pay him, when he was performing his far-famed military exploits. The sixth resolution looks as though it were intended for him.

It is entirely too late in the day for the Radicals to attempt to cozen the naturalized citizens of this country into the support of their nominees. This class of our citizens are not possessed of "short memories." They remember well who it was that proscribed them and sought to rob them of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and the laws. And they naturally suspect the motives of men who suddenly change front and seek to be converted "in the twinkling of an eye" from open enemies to loud mouthed friends.

They knew well that it has ever been part of the creed of the Democratic party that "naturalized citizens are entitled to be protected in all their rights of citizenship as though they were native born," and the mere adoption of this resolution, framed for no other purpose than to catch votes, by men who at the midnight hour, years ago, met in secret conclave to devise ways and means to strip naturalized citizens of their rights, will fall far short of accomplishing the designs. Stealing Democratic thunder even will not save the Radicals from an overwhelming defeat.

Of course, we all honor the "soldiers and seamen who endured the hardships of campaign and cruise, and imperiled their lives in the service of the country." We all admit the nation's obligations to pay their bounties and pensions and to protect their widows and orphans. A good deal of that kind of stuff is put in political platforms now-a-days to catch the votes of soldiers. Everybody assents to it for their country. But it has ceased to have the effect intended.

The Democracy have always said that foreign immigration "should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy," and every American, would blush to acknowledge that he is not in "sympathy with all the oppressed people which are struggling for their rights."

This is the substance of the resolutions named, and in regard to them there is no argument needed, for the reason that the Democrats do not dissent from the doctrines therein announced.

The seventh resolution also, which says that "the government of the United States should be administered with the strictest economy" we can heartily endorse with the exception of the unjust fling at President Johnson.

We unite with the Radical Convention in deploring the tragic death of Abraham Lincoln, not that he was any too good, or that he was in any sense great, but on account of the manner of his "taking off." But the remainder of the eighth resolution being denunciatory of the administration of Andrew Johnson, and forming a tissue of the wildest falsehoods and most groundless charges, we join issue on it and will, with perfect confidence in the result, submit it to the people of the United States for their decision. We have not the slightest fear that their decision will justify the thirty five Radical Senators in voting for his conviction on the impeachment articles.

The great campaign which has been opened by the nomination of Grant and Colfax is not to be fought out upon these minor issues. True they will add to the weight of ignominy under which the Radical party will sink, but the millstones which will grind it to power are the principles embodied in the first and second resolutions of the Chicago platform which are as follows:

First. We congratulate the country on the assured success of the reconstruction projects of Congress, as evinced by the adoption in a majority of the States lately in rebellion of constitutions securing equal civil and political rights to all, and regard it as the duty of the government to sustain these institutions and to prevent the people of such states from being remitted to a state of anarchy.

Second. The guarantee by Congress of equal suffrage to all loyal men at the South was demanded by every consideration of public safety, of gratitude, and of justice and must be maintained; while the question of suffrage in all the loyal States properly belongs to the people of these States.

The American people believe in a republican form of government. They have a hatred of despotism. They will not tolerate the "one-man power." They love the symplicity and perfect freedom of democratic institutions. Hence their natural aversion to large standing armies in times of peace. Hence their disgust for brainless fops who strut around clad in military uniforms when no danger threatens. And hence will come their withering denunciation of the reckless men who have kept eleven states of this Union under the shadow of military rule which has blighted the wealth of their people, robbed them of their energies and placed the fetters of slavery upon their limbs. The voice of the people of the United States will be raised for the abolition of all military governments, and the substitution, in their stead, of State governments which represent the untrammeled will of the people of each State. The cry will go up for no more ballot--box stuffing and no more carrying of elections at the point of the bayonet. The honest masses are longing for a return to the good old days when the people of the North were not taxed to maintain the governments of the South.

And they hoot at the idea too, incorporated in the Constitutions which Northern carpet-baggers have framed for the Southern people, that those States are to be admitted to representation in Congress only upon the condition that they will never deprive the negroes of the right of suffrage. And this brings us to the second resolution of the platform which insists upon the necessity of clothing the negro with the right of suffrage in the South whilst it expressly leaves it as a question for the decision of the people of the several States of the North. If the people of the North can be induced to accept and endorse this doctrine, that Congress has the right and power to stipulate who shall vote and who shall not in any State of this Union, then we confess that our confidence in the stability of this Republic is entirely swept away.

It must be borne in mind that the suffrage clause has been forced upon the Southern States by a Congress in which none of these States are represented. And more, by a Congress many of whose members have been utterly repudiated by the people of the States voting within the last year. Such members, in voting for this doctrine, have been violating the clearly-expressed wishes of their constituents.

This resolution favors negro suffrage in the South but refuses to commit the party to it in the North. The Convention would have liked to declare for equal suffrage throughout the Union, but it lacked the moral courage to do so. It was afraid of the unpopularity of the doctrine. And so it imagined that while the resolution passed would satisfy the Radicals, it would also hoodwink the Conservatives who are in reality opposed to negro suffrage in any shape.

Now, can any one tell us why, if the negro of the South, kept in ignorance, as the Radicals have always charged, by the slaveholders of the South; not allowed to learn anything; totally imbruted by slavery, is fitted for the exercise of the privilege to vote--can any one tell us why the negro of the Northern States, free, with all the advantages of free schools, constantly associating with his white Christian brethren, is not equally qualified to vote? To men of common sense the qualifications of the latter would certainly seem to exceed the former. And yet the black man, with little more sense than the dumb brute, in the South is allowed to vote, whilst the Radical Convention leaves his more intelligent brother in the North beyond the pale of equal rights at the polls. A negro is a negro everywhere. If qualified for the proper exercise of the elective franchise in one State, men of common sense will be apt to assume that he is fit to vote in any State. And if Congress has the right to confer suffrage upon him in South Carolina, a logician would have difficulty in denying it the right to confer it upon him in Pennsylvania.--The true doctrine is that it is a question for the people of each State, North or South. That is the Democratic doctrine. And when submitted to the people of a State, the Democrats will vote solid against extending the ballot to the black man.

There is, however, a deeper purpose in the minds of the Radical leaders. If they succeed in electing their candidates, they intend to kick from beneath them this plank in their platform, and insist upon universal suffrage for the negro. And that, too, not by the vote of the people of each State, but by Act of Congress. That body is to be exalted into the supreme power of this country.

The Philadelphia Press insists upon it that the platform is strongly Radical and that it commits the Radical party to equal rights for the negro everywhere. The Philadelphia Post takes the same view and says:

The Republican party has pledged itself and has pledged its candidates to maintain equal suffrage in the South. Pledged to this, it is in effect pledged to everything.--As surely as the colored man votes in the South, he will vote in the North, and that he votes anywhere is the work of the Republican party. That party is the creation of the negro. It owes its existence to his wrongs; it can only preserve its power by giving him his rights.

It argues sensibly and truthfully that the position assumed at Chicago must inevitably be followed by the grant of suffrage to the negro in the North. Conservative men of Franklin County, open your eyes to the real issue. You who are opposed to negro suffrage, get ready to say so by your votes.--Do not allow the Radical leaders to throw dust in your eyes any longer. Rally with one accord to the support of the honored old Democratic party which seeks to preserve this as a white man's government for all time to come.

Radical Misrepresentation
(Column 03)
Summary: Takes offense at Radical charges that Johnson escaped conviction because the cards were stacked in his favor. Compares a regular trial, where 100% of a jury must vote to convict, with the impeachment trial where only 2/3 were necessary. Also gives examples of states which voted Democratic recently even though their senators voted to convict, revealing how Senators don't always reflect the will of the people.
Full Text of Article:

The Radicals are endeavoring to give prominence to the idea that the President was especially favored in the impeachment trial by the provision of the Constitution which requires two-thirds of the Senators present to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors. Will they be good enough to inform us in what this advantage consists as compared with persons tried in our courts? The fact is that the Constitution discriminates against the President of the United States. Take the case of a person charged with the most trivial offence known to the law. He is tried by twelve jurors and he goes free unless all the jurors unite in pronouncing him guilty. Nine--yes, eleven of the jurors may advocate and vote for conviction as long as they remain in consultation, but if one of the number persists in voting not guilty, the jury must be discharged. It will thus be seen that while the man who commits the most trivial offence can not be punished unless his judges are all of the same opinion, the President of the United States may be convicted of "high crimes and misdemeanors" by the vote of two-thirds of those who sit in judgement upon him.--All this fuss about the President having been shielded from punishment by this constitutional provision, therefore, amounts to nothing. The advantage was all on the side of the impeachers.

It is said, however, that the President has been convicted by the people for the reason that the number of Senators voting to convict is larger than the number voting to acquit. Senators are not considered the immediate representatives of the people.--Their term of office is six years. It will not be denied by any intelligent man that public opinion is exceedingly changeable.--The party which is the victor one year becomes the vanquished the next. Men who are elected for a Senatorial term are hardly secure in their seats before they witness the defeat of the party that elevated them to power. They are expected therefore to hold themselves above the strifes of parties.--They are not placed there to be governed in their action by the ever-changing current of public sentiment. Just as jurors in our courts are deemed to have shut themselves up against all out-side influences, so Senators are expected to consult their own judgments as to those measures which will be best for the nation without regard to their bearing upon the political parties of the country. The votes of Senators in a great trial like that which has so happily closed, ought, therefore, not to be taken as in any sense expressive of the opinions of the people of the States which sent them to the Senate.

In this connection the effort has been made to brand with infamy the seven Radical Senators who voted not guilty, upon the ground that they have not given expression to the public opinion in the States from which they come. But looking from this Radical stand-point how stands the case on the other side? Senator Ferry, of Connecticut, a stern Democrat, has been twice elected Governor of that State within the last sixteen months. Senators Cattell and Frelinghuysen voted guilty, and yet the Democracy carried the State of New Jersey, which they claim to represent, handsomely last fall.

Senator Cameron voted against the President, and yet the gallant Democracy of Pennsylvania elected George Sharswood Supreme Judge in October last.

Senators Wade and Sherman voted guilty, and yet Ohio last fall buried the negro doctrine of the Radical party completely out of sight, and elected a Democratic Legislature.

Senators Morgan and Conkling voted guilty, and yet the great State of New York last fall rolled up a majority of almost fifty thousand against the Radical party.

Bah! what stuff! When Radical Senators thus act in defiance of the will of the people of the States whose servants they are, it is time that Radical papers and Radical orators should cease complaining that the Senators who voted for the President's acquittal failed to reflect the wishes and sentiments of their constituents. Let them be consistent in making their charge.

Arrest of Citizens for Not Allowing Negroes to Hold a Political Meeting In a Church
(Column 04)
Summary: Quotes an article announcing the arrest of white citizens for breaking up a black political meeting in Georgia. Uses this as an opportunity to denounce military tribunals, and compares reconstruction governments to the despotism of Spain. Claims Republicans are set to favor blacks over whites and calls for their defeat at the polls.
Full Text of Article:

Augusta, Ga., May 29, 1868.

Yesterday six white citizens of the town of Hamburg, S.C., opposite this city, were arrested for refusing to permit the negroes to hold a political meeting in Union church of that town. They were taken to Aiken, where they will be tried by a military commission by order of General Canby.

How long shall these military commanders be allowed to abuse the patience of the American people? We are rapidly establishing a despotism in this country as monstrous and oppressive as that of Spain. A correspondent of the New York Observer, writing from Grenada last week, informs us that between four and five hundred political prisoners are now confined within the dungeons of the Alhambra, many of whom are men of great wealth and the highest intellectual culture. Here we have men, citizens of a country that boasts of its freedom and the safeguards thrown around the rights of its people, arrested without warrant and held for trial by a military commission--and for what? For refusing to allow negroes to hold a political meeting in a house dedicated to the service of Almighty God. Let them be convicted of this heinous offence, and thrown into prison. The negroes must be allowed to do just what they please. They are the pet wards of the nation and the whites have no rights which they are bound to respect.

This is the character of the military governments established under the reconstruction policy of Congress, upon the successful working of which the Chicago Convention congratulated the nation. Let the people rise in their might, and hurl from power the men who countenance such encroachments upon individual rights, in order to make of the negro an ebony idol for white men to worship.

Let the Democracy hang their banners on the outer walls, bearing this inscription, Down with military governments and military tyrants.

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Conservative Soldiers' and Sailors' National Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Announces plans for a National Convention of conservative soldiers and sailors to meet in New York. The paper urges Pennsylvania veterans to attend.
Attention Soldiers and Sailors of Franklin County!
(Column 01)
Summary: The Conservative Soldiers and Sailors of Franklin County will meet at the Court House to select delegates to attend the National Convention in New York.
(Names in announcement: Lt. Col. R. F. Winger, Major J. S. Nimmon, Major George Wineman, Captain J. B. Burk, Captain A. R. Rhes, Captain George W. Miller, Captain G. W. Skinner, Captain Noah M. Kuhn, Captain T. D. French, Lieut. M. D. Reymer, Serg. R. M. Barkley, Serg. J. H. Montgomery, Serg. Alfred Kent, Cor. Matthew Sharpe, Cor. A. D. Long, Private J. P. Kegerris, Private Milton Embich, Private W. Mort, Private J. Crouse, Private G. Dunkle, Private J. Owings, Private T. Woods, Private A. G. Mort)
Two Hours With the Poets
(Column 01)
Summary: Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Tannehill will give a series of "readings and recitations" from plays and songs in Chambersburg's Repository Hall. Dancing will also accompany some performances.
(Names in announcement: F. A. Tannehill)
Soldiers' Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: The soldiers of Chambersburg met to decorate the graves of the fallen on May 30th. They passed resolutions of thanks to the clergy, the Silver Cornet Band, the ladies of Chambersburg, Mr. Cook and Hays who donated use of Repository Hall, the editors of the Repository and Valley Spirit, and the citizens of the town for their participation and support.
(Names in announcement: Cook, Hays)
The Seventh Day Baptists
(Column 01)
Summary: The "Snow Hill Society" of the Seventh Day Baptists held their annual meeting at Snow Hill, Franklin County. Several thousand people attended, including many non-members. The meeting house and grounds were overcrowded. The Society owns a farm with a mill, church, and buildings for use of members.
(Names in announcement: Andrew Miller, A. A. Miller)
Young Men's Christian Association
(Column 02)
Summary: A union meeting of Chambersburg's Young Men's Christian Association will assemble in the Lutheran Church.
(Column 02)
Summary: The Ladies of Chambersburg will meet to plan a Strawberry and Floral Festival whose proceeds will fund a fair to raise money for a monument to the fallen soldiers of Franklin County.
DeMott and Ward's United Circus and Menagerie
(Column 02)
Summary: The circus will perform in Chambersburg with an extensive lineup of performing animals. Mr. DeMott is a well-known entertainer and his wife an expert "equestrienne." James Ward is famous for his act as a clown.
Business in Chambersburg
(Column 02)
Summary: Praises the present and future business prospects available in the city. Gives the grocery of Gelwiks and Burkhart as a shining example of the potential for increased trade in the city. Urges farmers to do business in Chambersburg rather than a larger city because its closer and offers the same or cheaper prices.
Full Text of Article:

We feel like venturing the prediction that Chambersburg will, in the course of a very few years, become as conspicuous for the magnitude of its business as it now is for the beauty of its buildings. Located in the heart of one of the richest vallies in the world, and in a position to command custom from points even beyond the confines of that valley, it only needed that it should have business housess in the hands of thorough business men in order that it might enjoy a traffic such as few other towns of its size can boast.

It takes time to effect marked changes, but no one acquainted for many years with the business of Chambersburg will deny that marked changes have taken place in it. For some years past young and energetic men have been putting their shoulders to the wheel of trade, and as a natural consequence the wheel of trade has been revolving with increased velocity.

As an example of what energy, coupled with a thorough knowledge of business, will accomplish, we may refer to the Grocery of Gelwicks & Burkhart. There are wholesale establishments in Baltimore and Philadelphia that do not keep a heavier stock on hand than may at almost anytime be found at this concern. They have, too such a variety of merchandise, that they can supply country merchants with anything from a hogshead of syrup down to a box of matches; farmers with anything from a barrel of fish or a sack of salt down to a currycomb; and housekeepers from a barrel of sugar down to an ounce of tea.

But although they deal in a wide range of goods and sell in quantities to suit all classes of buyers, they are directing their energies more particularly to sales in bulk of the heavier articles in their line. Their ambition is to do an extensive wholesale business in articles largely consumed by the public in general--such as sugar, syrup, molasses, coffee, fish, salt, tobacco, oil, &c.,--and if as successful as their present prospects seem to indicate, they may at some future date confine themselves to wholesale trade alone.

Of the single article of sugar, this firm recently laid in a stock that cost six thousand dollars. It must be plain to the merest tyro in business, that a purchase of this magnitude will enable Gelwicks & Burkhart to sell sugar as cheap in Chambersburg as any wholesale grocer can sell it in Philadelphia or Baltimore. The wholesale grocer in the city buys sugar from the refiner. So do Gelwicks & Burkhart, and thus far they stand on the same level. The city dealer has no railroad freight to pay, and in this particular he has the advantage of the Chambersburg grocer.--But the Chambersburg grocer has a vastly lighter rent and much lighter expenses in general, and thus the matter of freight is more than overcome. Thus Gelwicks & Burkhart, buying on terms of equality with the wholesale grocer in the city, have such advantages over him, notwithstanding the freight, that they can sell cheaper in Chambersburg than he can in Philadelphia or Baltimore. What is true, in this respect, of the article of sugar, is true also of syrup, fish, salt, coffee, and the whole range of merchandize in which they deal.

From these facts it must be apparent to all that small dealers in the villages and at the cross roads in the country, where it will not "pay" to buy any particular article by the thousand dollar's worth at a time, can do better by buying in Chambersburg than by going to Baltimore or Philadelphia.--They can save railroad fare, hotel expenses and freight--heavy items--and they can save time. If any one doubts this, let him call at Gelwicks & Burkhart's and ascertain at what price they will sell him a barrel of sugar, or molasses, or fish, or a sack of coffee or salt. On comparing the city prices with theirs, we are confident he will find it to his advantage to purchase here.

Farmers, and especially those who live at a considerable distance from town, should purchase groceries in larger quantities than they usually do. They would not only save the trouble that is attendant upon laying in supplies every week or two, but they would save a good round sum of money in the course of a year. Gelwicks & Burkhart retail everything in their line as cheap as any other establishment, but they make an important reduction on the retail price when a large quantity of anything is taken.

We hope this firm will succeed in their effort, to build up an extensive Wholesale Grocery in Chambersburg, and we feel tolerably confident they will succeed. They have gone at it in the right way. They understand their business. They buy from first hands in the cities, and in quantities that enable them to buy at the very lowest prices, and they sell at small profits. The building they occupy,large as it is, is too small to hold their stock, a considerable part of which is stored in the warehouse at the railroad. Their success will benefit the town and the county.

(Column 04)
Summary: Benjamin Kyle and Miss Louisa Dinning, both of Chambersburg, were married on May 14th at the U. B. Parsonage by the Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin Kyle, Louisa Dinning, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 04)
Summary: William F. Liesman and Miss Anna Mary Ripper, daughter of J. George Ripper, editor of the Pennsylvanische Staats Zeitung, were married in Harrisburg on May 24th by the Rev. H. Liesman.
(Names in announcement: William F. Liesman, Anna Mary Ripper, J. George Ripper, Rev. H. Liesman)
(Column 04)
Summary: James Ferguson and Miss Maria Elder, daughter of William Elder, all of Dry Run, were married on May 20th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: James Ferguson, Maria Elder, William Elder, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 04)
Summary: Miss Hetty S. Flickinger died on May 22nd at Fannettsburg. She was 51 years old.
(Names in announcement: Hetty S. Flickinger)

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