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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 22, 1868

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Why Seymour Was Nominated
(Column 01)
Summary: Praises the choice of Horatio Seymour as the Democratic nominee. Denounces the Republican policies while pumping up the virtues of the conservative Democratic policies and values. Explains why Seymour is the perfect symbol of the Democratic party and predicts his ultimate triumph.
Full Text of Article:

The man who went to the Democratic National Convention at New York, went there to give expression to the principles which have found a judgment again in the hearts of the American people. The wild passions engendered by the war have subsided. The sober second thought has come once more. Boston has resumed her way. Love for our old constitution is being again manifested. Everywhere there is welling up from the popular heart an earnest desire to be rid of the extravagance, corruption and oppression which have characterized the rule of the Radical party. Conservative men--no matter by what political tie bound heretofore--have been anxiously looking for some way of escape from this body of death to which Radicalism has bound the nation. With alarm they have seen innovations upon our old customs, against which our forefathers especially warned us. They have witnessed the ascendency of doctrines which, if incorporated into our government, must give the death blow to free institutions in America. They have gazed upon the spectacle of sovereign States oppressed by the most arbitrary military governments the world has ever seen. The elective franchise has been the mere plaything of tyrants in epaulettes. In direct violation of the Constitution, Congress has forced negro-suffrage upon the States of the South and protected the negro with the bayonet in the exercise of this illegally conferred privilege. The grossest abuses of this power have already been practiced. Under the guardian care of the troops stationed at the ballot box, the most flagrant outrages upon white men have been committed. By means of the most gigantic frauds, Radical defeats have been turned into victories. Double-breasted ballot boxes have been manufactured to order and stuffed with Radical tickets. Elections in the South have thus become a perfect farce. And yet all this unconstitutional, iniquitous conduct has been solemnly encouraged and approved by the American Radical Congress.

Meanwhile, the treasury of the country has been drained, and the taxation upon the people increased in order to furnish the means to carry on these high-handed proceedings.

Against all this, the Conservative sentiment of the country has been rising in its strength. It demanded an open, bold and distinct enunciation of principles directly hostile to those of the Radical party. It required, too, the nomination of a man not only possessed of sufficient intellect to grasp and comprehend the great questions at issue and to point out the way of escape for the nation from the perils which environ it, but one also whose past record would be a sure guarantee of his devotion to the constitution and the Union of the sovereign States.

The Convention met in a spirit of perfect harmony. It was an assemblage of the best men of the nation, convened for no selfish purposes, to do honor to no particular man, to advance the interests of no particular action. They came together, each with his personal preference, but willing to yield to the will of the majority. And when it seemed to the Convention that no one of the distinguished gentlemen whose names were before it, was possessed of that commanding strength which was likely to insure a nomination entirely satisfactory to the conservative elements of the country, in a moment it abandoned them all, and turning its eye upon the greatest and best of living statesmen, with entire unanimity laid its nomination, unsolicited, unsought, positively refused, at his feet. With an enthusiasm spontaneous and universal, and expressive of the deliberate judgment of the Convention, Horatio Seymour was designated as the standard-bearer of the great conservative hosts, now gathering for a contest in which victory is to crown their efforts. Why was it? First: Because he is confessedly the representative man of the Democratic party--a man whose devotion to the Constitution began with his early years and has continued down to the present hour--a man who believes in a strict construction of that Constitution, and who is opposed to the exercise of any power by any one of the Departments of the Federal Government that is not expressly granted to it by that instrument--a man who looks with horror upon the encroachments which Radicalism has made upon the rights of the States--a man who believes that the question of suffrage belongs to the people of the several States, North and South--a man whose belief in the strength of the Union is so strong that he can not be induced to assent to the new-born Radical doctrine, that the States which attempted to secede did actually sever their relations to the Union--a man who will not agree to tarnish the faith and honor of the nation by now pursuing a policy in regard to those States different from that so solemnly announced by Congress during the progress of the war--a man who is opposed to military governments in time of peace, and who entertains a most decided hostility to such money-draining institutions as the Freedmen's Bureau--a man who is unwilling to degrade the Anglo-Saxon race by permitting negroes to take possession of, and rule the Southern States now, and afterwards to attempt the same thing in the north--a man who is in favor of reducing the National expenses in every possible way, so that the money realized from our onerous taxes may be appropriated to the liquidation of our National debt. Horatio Seymour is unquestionably a true exponent of the principles of the Democratic party.

Secondly: Because he is a man of universally acknowledged ability. He is possessed of that breadth of intellect which enables him to grasp the most abstruse questions of political economy. And then, too, he has a most wonderful faculty of making his thoughts clear to everybody. He ranks highest among living statesmen. His political opponents will not presume to deny his intellectual qualifications for the position of President.

Thirdly: He is a man of stainless character. His life has been a pure one. No taint of corruption is upon him. No suspicion of dishonesty attaches to his name. Possessed of that dignity and purity of character which have made his name a synonym for virtue, the Democracy will not be hampered in the campaign by the necessity of defending their own candidate when their time should be occupied in assailing the weak points of the Radical standard-bearer.

Fourthly: He is a man of nerve. He is as fearless as he is pure. With his feet upon the path of right and duty, there need be no fear that he will turn back, or halt by the wayside. He is possessed of that force of character which finishes what it undertakes. He will bring back to this Government something of its former prosperity. Under his guiding hand, despotism, wherever established in this country, will be stricken down. The military will be made subordinate to the civil power, as our fathers intended it to be. The constitution will be preserved, protected and defended in accordance with the oath which Horatio Seymour will take.

A candidate uniting within himself these admirable and requisite qualifications must command himself to the people. They will see for themselves the striking contrast between him and General Grant. They will cast behind them the dead issue of the present hour, and rushing forward to rescue the country from the dangers into which Radicalism has plunged it, they will rally around the Democratic banner and cast their vote for Horatio Seymour.

Why Grant Was Nominated
(Column 02)
Summary: Says Grant was nominated only because of his stature as a popular general and not because of any intellectual or moral qualities. Belittles Grant's record in the Civil War. Also wonders why the Republicans passed over men who helped build up the party in favor of a man Democrats consider mediocre at best. Ends by explaining why Grant will never receive support from different interest groups.
Full Text of Article:

The men who went to Chicago, went there for the purpose of registering the sentiment of their constituents that General Grant was the only man who could possibly keep the Radical party from falling to pieces. The public sentiment which made Grant's nomination a certainty before the Convention met, did not spring from admiration of any particular qualifications which he possesses. They claimed for him no strength of mind to grasp in a statesmanlike manner the great questions that are pressing upon us for solution. They were not dazzled by the brilliant light of an excellent moral character, for the testimony of the great lights of the Radical party is that Grant is a common drunkard who "can not stand up before a glass of whisky without falling down." They were not induced to nominate him by any hold which he has upon the popular heart, because it is everywhere admitted that during the time he led our armies in the field, he never troubled himself about the wants or sufferings of his men, and that during the sanguinary conflicts in which they engaged, he hurled them into the thickest of the fight without caring how many of them went down to a bloody death. His name never drew forth the plaudits of his soldiery.--There was not strong attachment to his person bordering on idolatry. His men regarded him as cold and selfish and ambitious. Such a man, therefore, could not be expected to draw to him the support of the millions on account of any love which they bore to him. The Radical leaders knew this well when they made him their standard-bearer. They know it now. But the idea which secured his nomination was this. General Grant was the commander of the Army of the Potomac when General Lee surrendered.--He could therefore be presented to the country as the Great Rebellion Crusher. This fact of itself would elect him. And behind this, stood the other prevailing opinion that if Grant could not be elected, nobody else could. The intellectual men of the party were therefore compelled to stand back and give place to this mediocre General, who, under the influence of a lucky star, stumbled into notoriety, and who, puffed up with the credit of military successes which were achieved by men whose names are not so well known to fame, now presumes to give lessons in statesmanship. The utter rottenness of the Radical party compelled Grant's nomination.

It was a sore trial for the old leaders of the party to surrender their claims to this aspirant for Presidential honors. Ever since the organization of the Republican party, some of them have been laboring for its success with the hope that when victory perched upon its banners, they would be rewarded with the first honor within the gift of the people. They have borne the brunt of many a hard political fight. They have, time and again, rallied the despondent rank and file and led them on to victory.--Whilst General Grant was a common bar-room loafer engaged in the delightful pastime of sucking whisky and voting the Democratic ticket, these men were busily engaged in devising ways and means to insure the success of the Republican party then struggling into life. Some of them are possessed of strong intellect and good moral character. By constant study and earnest inquiry, they have been fitting themselves to fill the highest places in the land. By rigid discipline they have subjected their passions and appetites to their control so as to win the admiration of their countrymen for sobriety and virtue. And yet, so far from being rewarded by their party in the manner longed for, they find that they have been wasting time, money and brains.

Expediency has stood in the way of merit. All the sterling qualities which fit men to sit in high places have been set aside to give place to availability. What a sorry compliment to the common sense of the American people! We feel sure that the Radical Convention underrated the intelligence of the nation. The masses do not desire a political blockhead in the Presidential chair. They are not prepared to vote for a man whose only recommendation is that he lost more men in inducing Lee to surrender than Lee had in his whole army, and who is, confessedly, disqualified intellectually to administer our National Government. No enthusiasm has followed his nomination. The extreme Radicals will not allow themselves to become excited over a man who never voted a Radical ticket in his life. The temperance men will not support a man who scarcely ever draws a sober breath. The whiskey men will not support him because he is the candidate of a party which has taxed the popular beverage beyond all reason. The Anti-tobacco men can not rally around him because he never appears in company without puffing his cigar. The negro-lovers will not run wild about him because when negro-suffrage is mentioned he talks nothing but horse. And lastly, all honest men will not support him, because Bennett, of the New York Herald, is fishing for some substantial reason why he should lend him his influence.

Congo in Congress
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper suggests that Republican policy will result in African Americans serving in Congress. "If the Republican party advances as rapidly on the negro question in the next five years as it has advances in the last five, there will be a heavy rise in the price of cork. A black face will be 'the height of fashion,' and all fashionably-disposed Republicans who are afflicted with white faces will betake themselves to burnt cork."
Andersonville Guards Relieved
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper denounces the hypocritical Republicans who relieved three Andersonville prison guards of their political disabilities, but arrested and executed Capt. Wurtz, their commanding officer, for committing atrocities.
State Senator
(Column 04)
Summary: Letter suggesting that C. M. Duncan once again be nominated as Democratic State Senate candidate for Franklin. Democrats believe Duncan was cheated out of his seat last election when the Republican McConaughy challenged the election results and won.
(Names in announcement: C. M. Duncan, McConaughy)
Address of the Democratic State Committee
(Column 04)
Summary: The State Democratic party outlines the problems instituted by the Republicans, mainly focusing on race and economic issues. Insists the Democrats will reverse the sorry state of affairs if elected. Also praises Seymour and urges voters to elect him.
Full Text of Article:


To the People of Pennsylvania:

The political contest just entered into is laden with grave results to your business and to yourselves.

The Radical party asks a renewal of its power and a continuance of its misrule.

Defeated in every recent election, it now disguises its principles, and trusts for success to the military prestige of an available candidate.

It offers to Grant the shadow of power, as a price of securing the reality to Congress.

Its success will bring you continued misgovernment by a Radical Congress, the control of every department of the government by Radical domination, and the perpetuation of its iniquities, its extravagance, its elevation of the negro, and its prostration of your business interests.

It came into existence to benefit the negro; its devotion to his interests gave us four years of war, grinding taxation and three thousand millions of debt; its determination to place the negro over the white man has for more than three years kept society shattered, commerce paralyzed, industry prostrated, the national credit below par, and the Union divided.

It has governed us for near eight years; the history of its first administration is written in four years of blood and recorded in an enormous national debt; the history of its second administration is near four years of peace, with absolute power, and a Union not restored, a government of the sword, business destroyed, taxation crushing the energies of the people, and the negro vested with the balance of power.

Its end and aim is the preservation of Radical power through the vote of negroes, and to this will be sacrificed your material interests, and, if necessary, your personal rights and your form of government.

Military rule oppresses the nation and eats out the substance of the people. It is fit that Grant should lead the party that maintains that rule, for his laurels were gathered by the sword alone.

The Democratic party, placing itself upon the Constitution, pledges itself to strict obedience thereto, to the maintenance of the government created thereby, to the supremacy of law, to a reform of abuses, to economy in administration, to equal taxation, and to justice to all.

It antagonizes and denounces that infamous policy which, during more than three years of peace, has overtaxed the people, has governed by the sword, and has destroyed the credit of the nation.

Its policy is one of thoughtful foresight, of cautious statesmanship; it seeks no new path; but by the line of the written law, in the light of experience, it will guide the Republic back to the highway of progress and prosperity and will restore it to national credit and fame.

It presents to you with pride its candidate for the Presidency: Horatio Seymour, of New York, a statesman and an honest man. Capable and pure, possessed of large experiences and gifted with the rarest qualities of the head and of the heart, strong in intellect, sound in judgment and prompt in action, none more competent to lead us back to the haven of law and order.

Pennsylvania owes him a debt of gratitude for his prompt aid when her border was attacked.

The issues are before you: they are,

The statesman against the soldier; intellect against force; the law against the sword.

It is for you to determine which of these will best suit our present unhappy condition.

By order of the Dem. State Committee.

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The Franklin Seminary
(Column 01)
Summary: Miss R. H. Schively's Franklin Seminary will begin its next session in September. "Miss Schively is a fine scholar and a very competent instructor, and parents can safely entrust her with the education of their children."
(Names in announcement: R. H. Schively)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Major Hershberger plans to travel to Fulton and Bedford counties to exhibit his panorama of the burning of Chambersburg, rebel raids, invasion of Lee, and the battle of Gettysburg. He has added several new scenes. He plans his first exhibition in Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: Major Hershberger)
Fair Grounds
(Column 02)
Summary: A group of Franklin citizens purchased land from C. M. Burnett to use to hold agricultural exhibitions in Chambersburg. The association will plant trees, construct a driving track, and erect buildings and sheds. They are looking into having the Franklin Railroad construct a siding to the site to use for delivery of livestock and machinery.
(Names in announcement: C. M. Burnett)
Death of a Venerable and Highly Respected Preacher
(Column 02)
Summary: Rev. Samuel Huber, an elder in the Church of the United Brethren of Christ "and one of the oldest, best known and most highly respected citizens of Franklin county" died at his residence in Rocky Spring on July 12th. He was 86 years old. The paper includes a brief biography.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Huber)
(Column 04)
Summary: William E. Hollowell and Miss Sarah M. Stouffer were married in Chambersburg on July 16th by the Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: William E. Hollowell, Sarah M. Stouffer, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 04)
Summary: Thomas Spencer died in his residence in Chambersburg on July 16th. He was 67 years old.
(Names in announcement: Thomas Spencer)
(Column 04)
Summary: Peter Rosenberger died in New Franklin on July 10th. He was 45 years old.

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