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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: August 26, 1868

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-Page 01-

The Ball Still Rolling! More Desertions from the Radical Ranks!
(Column 06)
Summary: Article asserting that the Democrat's presidential ticket of Horatio Seymour and Frank Blair is attracting large numbers of Republicans.

-Page 02-

Let Us Alone
(Column 01)
Summary: Again bashes the Republican party and its policies while pumping up the virtues of Democrats. Likens Republicans to criminals who say they should be let off because you can't reverse the crime, gives some examples. Outlines what Democrats will do if elected, namely end all Republican Reconstruction policies and strictly follow the Constitution.
Full Text of Article:

The thief who has appropriated stolen property to his own use, thinks it a terrible outrage that the law requires him to make restitution to the owner, and in addition punishes him for his crime. All that he asks is, to be let alone.

The assassin who, through greed of gain, or long cherished hatred, has plunged his dagger into the heart of his victim, deems it the height of cruelty that outraged justice never leaves his track, but follows him with relentless purpose to the bar, and from the bar to the gibbet. All he desires is, to be let alone. And so with criminals of every kind and every grade. They always seek to awaken the sympathies of the human heart for what they call their misfortunes. They argue that their severe punishment will not give back to the owner his stolen property--that their ignominious death upon the gallows can not restore the murdered citizen to life--and that punishment never places the wrong doers and the wronged in the same relative positions that they occupied before the wrong was committed. The point which they wish to make is that the wrong having been done--the evil having been accomplished, the perpetrators of both might as well be let alone.

Jefferson Davis, after he had become the head and front of the rebellion--after eleven States had severed the ties that bound them in the Union--after the Confederate flag had been "set upon the perilous ridge of battle" as a sign round which the best and bravest of the South were to rally for the purpose of maintaining their separate existence against the authority of the National Government--thought that, inasmuch as all this had been accomplished, and it might be a little inconvenient to disarrange matters by bringing back the States to their former relations, it would be far better to let them alone.

Such is the logic which the Radical party has recently adopted in relation to their iniquitous measures of reconstruction. They are appealing to the intelligent people of the Union to vote for Grant and Colfax because the mischief has been perpetrated by the Radical Congress, and it might cause a little commotion to unsettle it--therefore they only ask, to be let alone. They are denouncing Seymour and Blair and the whole Democratic party because they are proclaiming it as their intention, on their accession to power, to undo, as far as possible, the mischievous work which Radicalism has performed--because they intend to repeal the unconstitutional acts with which Radical Congresses have disgraced our statute books--because they intend to institute a thorough investigation into the expenditure of the tremendous sums of money which have been wrung from the tax-payers of the country--because they intend to equalize taxation so that it shall fall in just proportions upon the rich bondholder and the poor day-laborer--because they intend to strike the manacles from the hands, and the shackles from the feet of white men all over the Union--because they intend to battle, by all honorable and constitutional means, against the accursed doctrines of negro suffrage and negro equality--because they intend to assert the independence and maintain the rights of the Executive and Judicial Departments of the Government against the encroachments of the Legislative Department--because they intend to preserve to the nation its Constitution, to the citizen his liberties, and to the white race the administration of the government. They know well that if the Democracy accomplish all this, their lease of power is ended. Place-hunters in their ranks will be doomed to perpetual disappointment. Opportunities will be gone for appropriating the people's money to the furtherance of partisan interests. The leeches that have been sucking out the life-blood of the nation will be torn from its body, and the wheels of government will begin to run again in the old grooves of rigid economy and honest conservatism.--Hence the cry which is going up so vigorously from loyal throats--let us alone.

"What!" they say, "repeal the reconstruction act! Why that would be revolution! And is the nation ready for another civil war?" Why should there be a revolution? Have laws never been repealed before?--Have unjust measures never received the condemnation of the people before? Have parties never been turned out of office before? Have cormorants who have fastened upon the public treasury never before been forced to let go their hold? Certainly.--And when all this has been done, has it been considered a just cause for revolution? Certainly not. This cry of revolution has been started for the purpose of frightening timid men into the support of the Radical candidates. It is the last wail of despairing men who see inevitable defeat staring them in the face.

Of one thing the Radicals may rest assured--this cry of revolution will strike no terror to Democratic hearts. We propose to move upon the Radical works. We intend to smash them into smithers. We intend to stop the leaks in the Treasury, to unfetter the Judiciary, to restore to the President his constitutional rights, to upset the carpet-bag State governments of the South, to abolish the Freedmens Bureau entirely and forever, to equalize taxation, to pay the bonds in greenbacks that are not expressly made payable in gold, to put a stop to military establishments and their ruinous expenses in time of peace, in short to govern the country according to the Constitution. To the accomplishment of these objects, our candidates stand pledged, and if the sovereign people of the United States so order in November, it shall be done. If this be revolution, the Radicals may make the most of it. The people want a change, and they have no disposition to tolerate Radical iniquitous proceedings with their terrible consequences, simply because that party might get excited over its defeat and feel like originating another war. The Conservative hosts of the country are not inclined to let the Radical party alone until they have given it a sound drubbing at the polls, nor will they let their unconstitutional acts alone until they have blotted them from our statute books.

Military Clap-Trap
(Column 02)
Summary: Finds fault with the Republicans who only nominate soldiers for office. Does not criticize the soldiers themselves but hates the idea that only people with military records should hold public office. Also accuses Republicans of inventing war stories to make their candidates more appealing.
Full Text of Article:

The editors of the Repository think that the only qualification a man needs for the discharge of the duties of certain offices, is the record of his enrolment among the soldiers of the Union army. To enumerate--military experience is absolutely requisite to fit men for the positions of Additional Law Judge, State Senator, Member of the Assembly, Sheriff, District Attorney, Commissioner and County Auditor. It is an impossibility for men to get along decently in those several official positions without being versed in military tactics, to some little extent at least.

To fit a man for Congress in Radical estimation, he must not necessarily have bared his breast to the foe, but he must have been on both sides during the war--he must be one of that class which had "determined to be on the winning side, even if that should be Jeff Davis' side." And after he was sharp enough to see which side was bound to win, he must have suddenly become "trooly loil," screamed himself hoarse denouncing Copperheads, and endeavored to show that the Democratic party had left him, and not he the Democratic party.

The County Surveyor and Director of the Poor are the only officers, besides who do not require military skill and experience, and hence, Kuhn and Bowman, especially as they are both experts, were allowed to carry off these nominations.

Now, it matters not to these martial Editors how long a man may have served in the army, or with what courage and distinction, or in what manner he may have made his exit from the tented field. Just let it be ascertained that his name is on the muster roll--either as an honorably discharged soldier or as a deserter--and their hearts swell with gratitude to "the brave defenders," and their voices become eloquent in pronouncing their panegyrics over "the loyal millions," and their pens trace the paper with the rapidity of lightning in writing their eulogiums of the "great and good men" who, like themselves, have marched "into the mouth of cannon" and "into the jaws of death," and snatched victory from the grasp of the enemy. They care nothing for the soldier as a soldier. They only care for him as a voter. They imagine that he can be tickled, and flattered, and cozened into the support of Radical men and measures by loud professions of attachment to his interests and admiration of his achievements.

They serve up for us a dish of refreshments in the shape of services rendered and wounds received by very estimable gentlemen of this County. It is not our purpose, or inclination, to disparage the military record of these men or to underestimate their services. We have gallant men in our own ranks whose records will compare favorably with those of the persons named. True, the majority of the Democratic soldiers belonged to the rank and file, for it required loyalty to Radicalism to gain promotion in the army. But their scars are none the less honorable, or their services none the less valuable because they were privates, serving their country for small pay. But we will not make invidious comparisons. Let the soldier enjoy the honors which he has won, but let him take care not to attempt to make himself a hero out of fictitious capital.

The editors of the Repository however, must remain content to shine with borrowed splendor. Neither of them has so distinguished himself by honorable service as to commend him specially to the gratitude of his countrymen. And yet we consider the clap-trap of last week as only preparatory to some stuff of the same sort in praise of these fighting Editors. It would not surprise us if the Repository would soon regale us with some Munchausen stories in relation to the military career of the Radical candidate for District Attorney. Just on what particular picket line he stood as a mark for Rebel sharpshooters, or in what unrecorded skirmish he performed astounding feats of valor, or in what recorded battle he led the forlorn hope, we confess that we have not yet been informed, but we are prepared for anything, gentlemen. Hairbreadth escapes on the field of battle--hand to hand encounters with the enemy--screaming bullets, gleaming sabres, thundering cannon, ghastly wounds--captured by a barbarous foe--starved to death in the dungeons of Libby Prison--murdered by Captain Wirz at Andersonville--escaped only to be hunted down and torn to pieces by bloodhounds--again in the custody of heartless traitors, and only rescued from their clutches by his gallant partner, who alone, unaided, scaled the walls of his gloomy prison and with his glittering sword hewed their way through thousands of bloodthirsty guerrillas, among whom was Stenger shouting loudest of them all--are there no such little incidents in the military career of Lieut. Hays? If not, make them. Our people are very gullible. It would be no trouble to get them to swallow something like this. They are passionate admirers of the kind of military stuff of which a portion of your ticket is composed, and they will gulp down anything in honor of your distinguished heroes.

The people of this country have ceased to be influenced by "fuss and feathers." Their eyes are no longer dazzled by military splendors, however bright. Whilst they hold in highest honor the heroic dead who laid down their lives as so many sacrifices upon the altar of their country, and whilst they appreciate fully the services of the living men who were in reality the defenders of their country, they are not so blind as to be unable to see the breakers towards which military men are now steering the old ship of State. The Editors of the Repository forget that the war is over--that the people are not only saying, "let us have peace," but inquiring why we have not had peace during the last three years. They forget that the passions excited by the war have been supplanted by ideas--that principles have taken the place of prejudices, and that no man can hope for success politically, who, however distinguished his military services, now seeks to subordinate the civil to the military power, and bring the proud Anglo-Saxon race under the heel of the untutored African. The question is, under which flag now. Bezonian? Black, or white, which?

An Oath-Bound Organization
(Column 03)
Summary: Attacks the Grand Army of the Republic as vile conspirators in league with the Radicals. Quotes what the editor says is the oath of loyalty to the organization, which includes pledges for racial equality and a powerful federal government. Calls on its readers not to be fooled and see them for what they are.
Full Text of Article:

The members of the Grand Army of the Republic have always insisted to outsiders that it was not a political organization. They make the same statement to those whom they endeavor to entrap into the order. "The Post" is the first degree. "Upon initiation, the novice is simply obligated to vote for a soldier as against a civilian unless otherwise instructed by the order, which means that in case a Radical civilian is a candidate for office against a Democratic soldier, the order will instruct its members to vote for the civilian." The horrid oaths which the members of the higher degrees are obliged to take are not disclosed to the masses of "The Post." They are required to do military duty under the orders of the Supreme Commander, and can thus be ignorantly used to carry out the purposes of wicked, unpatriotic men.

We append the oath administered to those who take the highest degree, and none lower than the grade of Brigadier General can take it. Our readers can rest assured that this is no fiction.

"I, --------------, in the presence of Almighty God and upon his Holy Evangely, do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the American Nation, that I will recognize all men without distinction of race or color as my political equals, and that I will oppose and stand ready, at all hazards, to assist in abrogating, or if need be, in overturning, all laws, under whatever name, not in harmony with this doctrine of equality; and I furthermore swear that I will, at all times and under all circumstances, favor the concentration of power in the Federal Government and oppose the idea of reserved rights residing in the States, or in the people; and I furthermore swear that I will resist, to the extent of my power, even if it should require the sacrifice of life itself, the continuance of the States Rights theory in the policy of the Government of the United States; and in token of my sincerity, I hereby announce my willingness to submit to the extreme penalty, even death, which this order may choose to inflict upon me, if at any time I should prove unfaithful to this my oath of loyalty. So help me God and keep me true."

What say you, honest men? Will you allow yourselves to be identified with such an organization? Are you to be held as mere tools to be blindly used by designing men for such unlawful purposes? Come out from among these foul conspirators. Let no such nefarious plots, alongside of which that of Cataline was respectable, be carried on with your apparent influence. Break the fetters which bind you. Throw off your chains and be free men. Let Know Nothingism and the Grand Army of the Republic stand as remembrancers of the folly and impotence of misguided men who have sought to destroy the allegiance of the American people to their written constitution by means of secret meetings and revolting oaths. Come out from among them.

Who Went to the War?
(Column 03)
Summary: Argues that large numbers of Democrats fought for the Union, and criticizes Republicans for claiming to hold a monopoly on loyalty.
A Radical Lie Nailed
(Column 04)
Summary: "Antrim" writes to denounce Republican claims that many Democrats in Antrim are defecting to their party.
(Names in announcement: John Goetz)
Full Text of Article:

Greencastle, Aug. 20, 1868.

Messrs. Editors:--No doubt you have heard the Radical report that several of the most influential Democrats of Greencastle have enlisted under the Radical banner of More Tax and Negro Equality. Let me assure you that the report is false. Several boys--two, as far as I know, neither has a vote this fall--have been persuaded into their Club with the promise of a Cap, Cape and torch to carry during the procession, during the campaign. Very influential Democrats indeed. I was told to-day by a gentleman, that a Radical, under the influence of King Alcohol, reported in his hearing in Mercersburg, that our respected and highly esteemed townsman, John Goetz, had left the Democratic party, and joined in with the Radicals. The Leopard is more likely to change his spots, or the Ethiopean his skin, than for John Goetz to join that party. He is still the unflinching, uncompromising Democrat he always has been. Let me assure you Messrs. Editors, where one doubtful Democrat has joined in with the Radicals, two from their ranks have seen the error of their ways and joined the Democratic Club. Old Antrim has always held her own at the Ballot-Box, and will do her duty at the polls this fall effectually, John Cessna's speech to the contrary notwithstanding. Our motto is, the whole Democratic ticket, the Constitution, and the Union one and inseparable. ANTRIM

-Page 03-

Daily Prayer Meeting
(Column 01)
Summary: Daily prayer meetings continue at the Young Men's Christian Association office.
Seymour and Blair Club
(Column 01)
Summary: The Seymour and Blair club elected officers at their meeting at the hotel of Samuel R. Boyd. According to the paper, the club is growing, and "will soon be one of the largest and most effective in the State."
(Names in announcement: Samuel R. Boyd, George W. Brewer, D. K. Wunderlich, B. Frank Gilmore, B. A. Cormany, B. Y. Hamsher)
Our Agricultural Fair
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper praises preparations for the fair. The editors support constructing ampitheatre seating for 1,000 to 1,500. A "Grand Tournament" with jousting is planned.
The Colored Troops Fought Nobly
(Column 02)
Summary: Gives a brief and belittling description of a reunion of black soldiers in the city.
Full Text of Article:

Our "colored men and brothers" turned out last Thursday to celebrate some event, but what it was, neither we, nor they could tell. Eight men in ranks in various styles of uniform, one Captain on foot with cavalry sabre, one color bearer and two drummers made up the party. The rain came down in torrents and drenched their clothing and quenched their ardor. Does the Grand Army of the Republic furnish the muskets?

An Old Citizen Gone
(Column 02)
Summary: James Watson, Sr., "one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens" died at his Chambersburg residence after a short illness. "He had almost attained the age of fourscore years. For twenty three years he has been a resident of Chambersburg. He was known to our entire community and respected by everybody."
(Names in announcement: James WatsonSr.)
Federal Hill Seminary
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper announces that the Federal Hill Seminary for Ladies will open on September 2nd. The editors endorse the principal, Mr. Foster, and his planned course of study. An omnibus will run to the school in bad weather.
(Names in announcement: Foster)
Senatorial Conference
(Column 02)
Summary: The Democratic conferees from Franklin and Adams met to nominate a candidate for State Senate. The race between Franklin's C. M. Duncan and Adams's Joseph McDovitt was deadlocked at the end of the day and the meeting was forced to adjourn.
(Names in announcement: Capt. George W. Skinner, Dr. Maxwell Kennedy, George W. Welsh, C. M. Duncan)
Claims for Damages
(Column 02)
Summary: Article tabulating the damage claims for various southern Pennsylvania counties. Franklin has submitted 460 claims totalling $237,325.74.
Open Air Concert
(Column 02)
Summary: Talks about a concert given by the Franklin County Monumental Association to raise funds for war monuments. Highly praises the concert and the motives for it. Says monuments are needed to remember the fallen soldiers when surviving veterans are no longer around to tell their stories.
Full Text of Article:

The Open Air Concert held on last Saturday evening under the auspices of the Franklin County Monumental Association was a very recherche affair. If anything was needed to make the handsome grounds of Mr. Chambers present a rare and beautiful appearance, it was the brilliant display of lights and transparencies so skilfully added by the hands of the Managers of the Association. According to our estimates, fully six hundred persons were present within the enclosure while as many more gazed upon the bright panorama from without. We noticed conspicuous among those having the affair in charge, and who labored assiduously to supply patrons with the refreshments of the evening, a class of our ladies whose faces have become familiar to us in connection with many such laudable and patriotic enterprises during a number of years. Both of our bands were present and seemed to vie with each other in discoursing some of their best airs. The thought occurred to us amidst the cheer and gaiety of the evening, that a monument was even then and there being erected to the memory of our fallen braves. If not in cold marble, at least to the warm hearts of those present. For what one, knowing the object for which the entertainment had been provided, did not find his or her thoughts reverting to those who had gone out from amongst us at their country's call, and who sleep in unknown and unmarked graves on some one of the many battle fields of the war? While inscribed marble may be needed to perpetuate the memory of these through future generations, no more graceful tribute could be paid them by the present, than the endeavors of those, who seek to provide against their oblivion when their surviving comrades shall no longer live to rehearse the story of their deeds. The zeal manifested by this association of our country should entitle it to every encouragement. We favor the policy of raising funds by such entertainments and can say for Saturday evening's Concert that we went, through a desire to further the object in view, and came away feeling ourselves more than repaid for the enjoyment afforded.

(Column 05)
Summary: Mary Bradley, infant daughter of Horace and Marian Bradley, died in Chambersburg on August 8th. She was 5 months old.
(Names in announcement: Mary Bradley, Horace Bradley, Marian Bradley)

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