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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 24, 1868

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The Party of Fanaticism
(Column 01)
Summary: Seeks to blame the Republicans for all ills past and present. Blames the Republicans for Kansas, the Civil War, prison deaths, and reconstruction woes. For the latter, stresses the financial burdens put on Northerners because of Radical policies. Claims Radicals only care about blacks and disregard the law whenever it sees fit.
Full Text of Article:

Fanaticism never reasons. It drives headlong to the accomplishment of its object. It is born of the passions and it is as uncontrollable as they. It is hemmed in by no laws. It holds itself accountable to nobody. It is the stuff of which mobs are made.--It never consults conscience. It allows nothing to hinder its progress. It sweeps from its path everything which seeks to stay its march. Never reasoning, lawless, irresponsible and without principle, it grapples one idea alone, and pushes it with astounding vigor and energy.

This fact has been strikingly exemplified in the history of the Radical party. In its inception, it grappled to its soul as if with hooks of steel, the negro. The burden of its cry ever since 1856, has been the terrible wrong done to the African in this country. At first it inveighed against slavery and slaveholders. It lit the fires of civil war in Kansas and crimsoned the soil of that fair territory with blood. It appealed to every passion of the human heart in order to excite the hatred of the North against the South. It counseled resistance to the fugitive slave law. Armed mobs rescued the fugitive from the hands of the officers of the law and conveyed him beyond their reach. Terrible riots grew out of these lawless proceedings.

It put pike and rifle into the hands of the infamous John Brown and his deluded associates to make war upon the unarmed men, women, and children of Virginia. And when he expiated the horrible crime upon the scaffold, it canonized him as a martyr, sung paeans to his memory, and is to-day keeping his soul on a perpetual march for the benefit of its type of perfection, the negro.

It refused to entertain any terms of compromise between the Northern and Southern States in 1861, and so fired the Northern heart by appeals for revenge by means of blood-letting, that reason was dethroned, and the nation was precipitated into a civil war in which hundreds of thousands of its bravest and best went down to bloody graves, and almost every Northern home has been draped in mourning. Indeed, so ferocious did this fell spirit of fanaticism become that, during the pendency of that terrible struggle, while our soldiers were famishing in Southern prisons and dying by thousands, the voice of humanity was stifled in the North and they were left to their sad, bitter fate, because it was inexpedient, forsooth, to exchange healthy men for sick men. It is, alas, too true that a vast deal of the responsibility for the sufferings of Union men in Rebel prisons lies at the door of the National Government. Let those who are unwilling to accept our statement as true upon this point, refer to the correspondence of General Benjamin F. Butler with General Hiram Ulysses Grant, and they will discover that this policy in relation to the exchange of prisoners, by the adoption of which so many of our soldiers went down to premature graves, was adopted by the present standard bearer of the Radical party, General Grant himself, and that he is responsible for the consequences.

It struck the shackles from the feet of the negro and yet it was not satisfied. Its war cry was freedom for the slave, but when that was won, it refused to rest. The rebellion was crushed. The insurgent armies surrendered and acknowledged the authority of the National Government. The shadow of slavery had been lifted from every negro hovel in the land. Everything looked propitious. It seemed as though a happy era of peace and good-will was about to be ushered in. But not so. Fanaticism again blew its bugle blast and negro equality and equal rights became the watchwords of the Radical party. The Constitution and laws and the multifarious interests of the nation were all disregarded and treated as of no account in its blind zeal for the success of this new doctrine. For three years the representatives of the States of the South have been denied admission to the halls of Congress except upon the extension of equal rights to the negro as a sine qua non to the enjoyment of the right of representation and the privilege of participating in the administration of the government. During all this time, business interests have suffered every where. Trade has languished. Embarrassments in financial matters confront nearly all, while total ruin has been the lot of many. The expenses of the National Government, as the result of this Radical, fanatical policy, are frightful. And whilst business is so dull that men find it difficult to make a bare living, taxation is growing heavier and heavier and grinding harder and harder. The expenses of negro conventions must be supplied with food, and the Freedmens' Bureau furnishes it at the cost of Northern capital labor. Large sums of money have been appropriated for the purpose of maintaining the soldiers who are kept in the South in order to insure the ascendancy of the negroes, and the State governments have been handed over to their management.

But fanaticism does not stop here. The purpose of the Radical party is to force negro suffrage upon the North. It is earnestly at work to educate the Northern mind to accept that doctrine. Seeing political power slipping from its hands, it imagines that the way to retain it is to place the negro upon the same footing with the whites, and it then expects to secure his vote for Radical measures. All this it seeks to do "outside the Constitution." It despises the forms of law. It repudiates the authority of the constitution. It laughs at the teachings of the Fathers. It overleaps all legal barriers, and flies in the face of musty precedents. It has determined not to relinquish the management of governmental affairs even though to retain power it becomes necessary to erect a military despotism upon the ruins of the American Republic.

A. K. M.
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper ridicules Alexander K. McClure for his erroneous predictions that Johnson would be convicted and removed from office.
The Democratic Candidates
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper asserts that, to the chagrin of the Radicals, the Democrats will select candidates true to party principles. They will not seek compromise candidates as some have speculated.
How About the Soldiers?
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper defends itself against the assertions of the Repository that only 26 men joined the Conservative Soldiers' Convention. The editors ask how many veterans participated in the Radical Convention, and point with pride to the 107 soldiers from the "old Radical borough of Chambersburg" who joined the Conservative Soldiers' Club. "The 'White Boys in Blue' are going for the Constitution and the Union and the Democratic nominees, as against Negro Equality, military despotism, and Grant and Colfax."

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The Fair Held on Friday
(Column 01)
Summary: The fair held by Chambersburg's Catholic Church was a notable success. The parish raised money to liquidate Church debts.
The Scotland and Mont Alto Railroad
(Column 01)
Summary: Only $42,000 of a needed $300,000 remain to be raised to construct the new railroad. The paper predicts this goal will be easily met, as meetings are planned up and down the proposed route. The route will be planned after the grain harvest.
Licensed to Preach
(Column 01)
Summary: Samuel Croft of St. Thomas completed his theological course at the Missionary Institute, Selinsgrove, Pa. He is now licensed to preach and has already received an invitation from a Lutheran Church in Perry County. The paper wishes him well.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Croft)
Radical Forgetfulness
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper complains that the "Radical" janitor at the Court House went home for lunch and conveniently forgot to ring the one o'clock bell on the day that the Conservative Soldiers' Convention planned to use it to announce a re-convening. The paper suspects political motives, since this was the only day all year that the janitor had been so remiss in his duties. The editors call for his replacement in the event of a Democratic victory in the fall elections. "We must have a man there who will attend to his business regardless of party ties."
A Novel Wager
(Column 01)
Summary: Description of a political wager between two partisan residents of Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: W. W. Crooks, J. A. S. Cramer)
Full Text of Article:

We learn that a wager of rather novel character will be decided in this place on Friday next. Mr. W. W. Crooks and J. A. S. Cramer are the parties interested. The wager was made on the result of the impeachment trial. Mr. Crooks, a staunch Republican, believing in Mr. Johnson's guilt, and that his removal would certainly occur, agreed to wheel a wheel-barrow from the front of Washington House, through Market street, to the front of the Gordon Stand, West of town, in case of his acquittal--in case of conviction Mr. Cramer, who is a staunch Democrat and believing in his innocence, felt confident of his acquittal, was to wheel the same vehicle over the same route, with a placard attached bearing the following inscription;--"Impeachment a success!" The placard for the loser of the wager is:--"Impeachment a failure!" A Band of Music will be in attendance and the procession will be headed by the winning party carrying a flag. The wheeling will take place between the hours of 10 A. M. and 3 P. M.

Time for Holding County Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: The Democratic County Executive Committee decided at their recent meeting in the offices of M'Lellan and Kimmell to hold the County Nominating Convention the first week in August. This is much earlier than usual, but the committee decided it was essential to give the candidates enough time to canvass their districts.
(Names in announcement: M'Lellan, Kimmell)
Conservative Soldier's Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: The Conservative Soldiers' Convention elected officers and delegates to the National Convention in New York. Col. B. F. Winger and Capt. George Skinner addressed the meeting. The Silver Cornet Band and the Citizen's Band provided musical entertainment. The paper predicts that most of Franklin's soldiers will side with the Democrats in the coming elections.
(Names in announcement: Pvt. J. L. P. Detrich, Col. B. F. Winger, Lieut. M. D. Reymer, Capt. A. J. Brand, Pvt. D. H. Skinner, Pvt. John Lochbaum, Lieut. J. Coble, Pvt. Martin West, Pvt. George Pugh, Pvt. Daniel Swanger, Maj. J. S. Nimmon, Pvt. M. A. Embick, Pvt. John H. Jarrott, Pvt. Michael Clem, Lieut. D. L. Powders, Capt. N. W. Kuhn, Capt. T. D. French, Capt. George W. Skinner)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: List and discussion of expenditures of the borough of Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: D. S. Fahnestock)
Full Text of Article:

Our Town Fathers have had the Receipts and Expenditures of the Borough, for the year ending April 30, 1868, printed on slips and circulated for the information of all concerned. The Auditors certify to the following statement of D. S. Fahnestock, Treasurer:

To bal. in hands of Treas. at last settlem't $2,323.78 Borrowed Money 9,765.00 Amount received from old Factory Bridge 25.15 Amount received from W. S. Everett 23.60 Amount collected on Duplicate of 1866 2,294.32 Amount collected on Duplicate of 1867 6,402.87 Total $20,835.62 Balance on Duplicate, for 1866 4,204.41 Amount of Duplicate, 1867 9,639.50 Total $13,843.71 Am't coll'd on Dup., 1866 $2,294.32 Am't coll'd on Dup., 1867 6,402.87 Exonerations 1,711.56 Comm'n allowed Collector 641.80 11,030.55 Balance due on Duplicate, subject to Exonerations and Commissions 2,793.16 By am't of Council and Burgess' salary $313.40 am't of Clerk's salary 162.50 am't of Treasurer's salary 206.48 am't paid Attorneys 200.00 am't paid on Bonds and Interest 8,200.90 am't paid Street Commissioner 500.00 am't paid for Repairing Streets 3,452.34 am't paid Fire Department 819.97 am't paid for Gas, Lamp Lighting, Rep'rs 1,372.76 Miscellaneous 192.83 am't paid for Bridges 668.77 am't paid Market House 109.85 am't paid for Printing 166.89 am't paid High Constable 480.00 am't paid Watchmen 44.50 am't paid Academy 2,000.00 Balance in hands of Treasurer 1,782.53 Total $20,853.62

This statement shows an expenditure of nearly one thousand dollars more than this Borough ought to pay in the shape of salaries. We make no special objection to the salaries paid to the Clerk and Treasurer, though possibly these might be put somewhat lower and still afford a fair compensation for the services rendered. But we do object to the "Council and Burgess" eating up $313.40, when less than one-third this amount used to be sufficient. We also object to the payment of $200 to Attorneys, when more than one good Attorney would be willing to transact all the legal business of the Borough for $50 per annum. We particularly object to the payment of $500 to a Street Commissioner, for whom there is not the slightest need. At this time, when our property holders and business men are heavily in debt, our Borough taxes should be kept down to the lowest possible point. There should not be a dollar expended unnecessarily. Salaries should not be raised. A citizen who feels that he cannot afford to serve as Burgess or Councilman at the salary paid ten years ago, ought to decline. Plenty of good men can be got to serve at the old price. And if the salaries of old offices should not be raised, much less should new and unnecessary offices be created, with high salaries attached to them.

We invite the attention of taxpayers of all shades of political opinion to the foregoing statement, and we submit to them the question whether one thousand dollars of the expenditures should not have been saved.

Refreshing Coolness
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper mocks the small turnout for a Grant and Colfax meeting.
Full Text of Article:

The Repository says in relation to the Grant and Colfax meeting held on Saturday night, the 13th inst., "as business was the only object that called this body together, there were no speeches made."

It won't do, neighbors. Always look to the record before you venture on apologies. The call for this meeting, whose only object was business, as placarded upon our street corners, reads as follows:

"Attention! All loyal citizens are invited to meet at the Court House, this evening, Saturday, June 13th, to organize a Grant and Colfax club. Good speakers will be in attendance. Let every Republican be present. (Signed) Many Citizens." It seems queer that the "many citizens" who are responsible for the call, and who were so earnest in urging others to attend, did not attend themselves. Perhaps "many" does not mean more than thirty-six. The fact is their meeting was a perfect fizzle, and that the able speakers, who were to be in attendance, came to the conclusion that Radicalism in this Borough is "whittled down to the little end of nothing," and refused to waste any breath on that little band of thirty-six.

The Boys in Blue
(Column 03)
Summary: Reports on a Republican soldiers' meeting held in the Court House. Summarized the speeches of the speakers, namely John Stewart, who reiterated the themes of the Republican platform, especially about black voting. Ends by claiming that when a constitution was written up and adopted, only a few in the audience actually went up to sign it.
(Names in announcement: Col. A. K. McClure, John Stewart, Col. J. G. Elder, Grimason, Strike, Stumbaugh, Col. Theodore McGowan)
Full Text of Article:

A meeting was held on Monday night in the Court House to organize a Soldiers' Club for the support of Grant and Colfax. Col. A.K. McClure and John Stewart, Esq. were announced to speak. The former was not present at the meeting, not being in town. After two weeks of arduous labor, the Radicals succeeded in getting together about fifty soldiers, from the Brevet Brig. General down to the drummer boy of a recruiting office. Some citizens were present, both Democrats and Radicals, but the Court Room was by no means full.

Mr. Stewart addressed the meeting for about one hour. He labored hard to convince his audience that the Democratic party is the Rebel party, by rehashing all the stale charge sabout sympathy with rebellion &c. He then endeavored to establish his assertion that the Radical party is par excellence the union party. He asserted that it is now endeavoring to model this government after the idea of its founders, and charged the Democratic party with being in favor of an aristocracy founded on caste. He argued that the question of suffrage in the South is a settled fact--that this right has been conferred upon the negro there by Congress in all due solemnity of the law. He insisted that when the Democratic party regains power, it intends to repudiate this action--that he had heard one of its orators in that room, during the convention of soldiers the other day, declare that he was in favor of such repudiation. The speaker's reference here was to the speech of one of the editors of this paper, who did say most unqualifiedly that whenever the whites get control of the Southern State Governments, he hoped that they would strip the negro of this privilege which has been conferred up- him without any Constitutional authority whatever.

Mr. Stewart declared that to repudiate negro suffrage was to repudiate every victory of union soldiers in the late war--that it was a necessity to the Radical party to keep the government in the South from falling into the hands of the Rebels. He said that just here he differed with his party--that while they have given the negro the privilege of voting as a necessity, he held that it was due to him as a right. We thought that it was impossible for the gentleman to allow himself to be held by the leading strings of his party. He closed by assuring his audience that Grant will prove just as invincible in the Presidential contest as on the field of battle.

The committee on organization and resolutions then reported Col. J.G. Elder President; Grimason and Strike Vice Pres; Stumbaugh Chief Marshal. A constitution containing twelve articles was submitted by Col. Theo. McGowan and adopted--ayes 6; nays, none.

The President then hurriedly called up the members of the club to sign the constitution. A few advanced, while almost the entire audience left the room. This action of the President was intended to crowd off a certain General and Lieutenant who seemed very anxious to deliver themselves of some happy thoughts.

Mercersburg College
(Column 03)
Summary: The article calls attention to Mercersburg College that offers examinations in Classics, Mathematics, History, and Geography. The school maintains a relationship with the Mercersburg Theological Seminary with which it holds joint services for a congregation of 50 or 60. John Bowman, Jr., of Chambersburg gave the most recent valedictory address.
(Names in announcement: John BowmanJr.)
Important Railroad Movement
(Column 04)
Summary: A meeting was held in Maryland to discuss a railroad line from Mercersburg to Hagerstown. The citizens of Mercersburg proposed to raise $150,000 to construct the line. The paper applauds the energy and determination of the people of that part of the county, and chastises Chambersburg for acting as if they lived in the "days of stage-coaches."
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. M. Helster, William D. McKinstry, Col. B. F. Winger, James W. Carson, James O. Carson)
(Column 06)
Summary: L. G. Sherman of Newville and Miss Carrie M. Behm of St. Thomas were married on June 18th in the Chambersburg Methodist Parsonage by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: L. G. Sherman, Carrie M. Behm, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 06)
Summary: John Kope of Juniata County and Isabella M. Walker of Dry Run were married on June 18th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Isabella M. Walker, John Kope, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 06)
Summary: Mrs. Jane Stuart died in her residence on South Front Street in Chambersburg on June 10th. She was 68 years old.
(Names in announcement: Jane Stuart)
(Column 06)
Summary: Mrs. Louisa Jane Byers, wife of Emanuel Byers, died on June 7th in Guilford. She was 35 years old.
(Names in announcement: Louisa Jane Byers, Emanuel Byers)

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