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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 29, 1868

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Constitutional Amendments
(Column 01)
Summary: President Johnson sent recommendations to Congress for amendments to the constitution. He proposed a 6 year presidential term, assumption of presidential duties by the Secretary of State in the event of death of both the president and vice president, direct election of Senators, and judicial term limits. The paper supports the ideas, and also suggests that each house of Congress should not be final judge of the qualifications of its own members. Instead, an impartial body should make such decisions.
Radical Squabble for Congress
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports divisions within Franklin's Republican Party. Factions are divided between Koontz, Cessna, and Wiestling for Congress.

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Delegates Meetings
(Column 01)
Summary: North Ward Democrats will meet at the Montgomery Hotel to select convention delegates. South Ward Democrats will meet at the hotel of Samuel R. Boyd.
(Names in announcement: Samuel R. Boyd)
Democratic Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: The Democrats and Conservatives of Chambersburg will meet in the Court House to ratify the nominations of the County Convention.
Seymour and Blair Club Organized
(Column 02)
Summary: The Democrats of Chambersburg met in the Court House to organize a club to support Seymour and Blair for president and vice president. "The Democrats are wide awake and intend to charge fiercely upon the enemy and 'rout him, horse foot, and dragoons.'"
(Names in announcement: George W. Brewer, C. M. Duncan)
The Eight Hour Law
(Column 03)
Summary: An opinion writer criticizes the lack of enforcement of an 8 hour law passed by the legislature. Says laws are useless without enforcement, gives an example of why the national government enforces tax collecting. Comes out for the working class, calls the legislature incompetent.
Full Text of Article:


Messrs. Editors:--I, in common with a number of others, wish to be informed when the Eight Hour law of Pennsylvania came into operation, because one cannot walk the streets of our principal towns or cities at any hour of the day or night without hearing the din and clatter of machinery in operation.

It is high time that our law makers should stop fooling. The working men, women and children of this as well as other States, need laws to protect them from being ground to dust by the iron heel of capital. No Nation, I believe, in the whole civilized world, pays less regard to the pleasures and enjoyments of the laboring class than the well to do people of the United States. Our Legislatures, it is true, have enacted 8 and 10 hour laws time and again, but as yet such laws have always been allowed to remain a dead letter on the Statute books. A law, to be of service, must be enforced. It is all moonshine to talk about the people "enforcing the law themselves, if they really want it." Such laws are made, or ought to be made, to do for individuals what individuals cannot do for themselves in their individual capacity. Should all the laws that are made be enforced, or rather not enforced, according to the 8 and 10 hour pattern, we should be a lawless people indeed. If every one were allowed to pay taxes or let it alone, very few taxes would be paid. The government knows this; hence laws for the collection of taxes are enforced as a general thing. Why not enforce labor laws then? Are the laborers such an unworthy and degraded class of human beings that they have got no right to the common lot of enjoyments which belong to all? Or rather, is not the laboring man the man of all others who has got an exclusive right to the good things of this world? That's the way to put it. Workingmen have been through necessity compelled, not only to work long hours, but to say nothing loud about it--else their props would speedily have been knocked from under them.

But to work long hours in a country like this, with the mercury at 100 and over, is more incomprehensible still. It proves to me that there is something "rotten in Denmark." Either the working classes are very ignorant, or else times are mighty bad. An investigation ought to be made as to which is the cause.

However I am of the opinion that the incompetent lawmakers at Harrisburg did wrong in wasting time and the public money in framing an 8 hour law when they had never as yet enforced the 10 hour law.--Why was this? How did it come to pass? An investigation ought to be had here also. Enlightened people do not allow their lawmakers to place mock laws upon the Statute books. But it appears that anything may be crowded upon the backs of the sovereign (!) people of America by their so-called representatives.

(Column 04)
Summary: William E. Gillan and Miss Ephia Keefer, both of St. Thomas, were married in Chambersburg on July 21st by the Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: William E. Gillan, Ephia Keefer, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 05)
Summary: Hiram Overcash died near Chambersburg on July 14th. He was 40 years old.
(Names in announcement: Hiram Overcash)
(Column 05)
Summary: Miss Lydia Etter died in Chambersburg on July 20th. She was 74 years old.
(Names in announcement: Lydia Etter)
(Column 05)
Summary: Ida May Myers, daughter of John and Emaline Myers, died in Greenwood on July 21st. She was 10 months old.
(Names in announcement: Ida May Myers, John Myers, Emaline Myers)
(Column 05)
Summary: Harvey Dowd Spidel, infant son of A. G. Spidel, died on July 16th in Alto Dale. He was 3 months old.
(Names in announcement: Harvey Dowd Spidel, A. G. Spidel)
(Column 05)
Summary: Mary Lizzie Cort, daughter of the Rev. C. Cort died of cholera infantum on July 22nd in Alto Dale. She was 1 year old. "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
(Names in announcement: Mary Lizzie Cort, Rev. C. Cort)

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