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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: February 24, 1869

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Toeing the Mark
(Column 01)
Summary: Traces how the Radical press of Pennsylvania went from opposing black suffrage to glorifying it. Vigorously condemns black suffrage and urges all conservative men to thwart Radicals intent on "forcing" it upon the country. Also claims most blacks in the South willingly served their masters in the war and so do not deserve anything like suffrage.
Full Text of Article:

Our neighbors of the Repository have at last screwed their courage up to the sticking point. They have been beating around the bush for a long time. They have, occasionally, taken "a sly glance" at the monster, but have always heretofore been afraid to look him squarely in the face. In their last issue however, they have "made a clean breast" of it and declared boldly in favor of negro suffrage. We congratulate them upon having reached the point at which they have been aiming so long. With an ingenuity worthy of a better cause, they have kept dodging this issue all through the war. At times, they have hooted at the idea of our people being brought to look with favor upon this doctrine. At other times, they have adroitly managed to ward off the attacks which we have made upon them in regard to this issue. They have, time and again, deceived their patrons with the statement that this hubbub about the negroes voting was a lie gotten up by the Democrats for electioneering purposes. Afterwards, when the Chicago platform declared for negro suffrage in the South, they apologized for this position by stating that this step was necessary in order to keep the government of the Southern States in the hands of loyal men. And in order to conciliate that portion of their party who were hostile to this measure, they published the most horrible tales of Southern outrages, thinking thereby to so embitter the "loyal" people against the people of the South that they would readily accept the idea that negro suffrage in the South was an absolute necessity. All this time, they kept loudly reiterating the statement of the Chicago platform that the question of suffrage in the loyal States properly belongs to the people of those States. The Conservative Republicans who voted for Grant on the Chicago platform, did so under the belief that if ever the Radical portion of the party would attempt to force negro suffrage upon the North, they would have an opportunity to vote upon the question at the ballot box. The purpose of the Radical party however, is to clothe the negro with the right of suffrage by having the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States to ratify the amendment about to be submitted to them by Congress. The people are not to vote upon the question at all. And the Repository has the audacity to say, that "the proposition to confer suffrage upon the black citizens of the republic, is a measure of justice due to that recently enfranchized class and a most natural result of our recent civil war."

And, although the last campaign was fought, upon the Radical side, on the basis of Grant's exclamation, "let us have peace," it admits that "until the decree (of negro suffrage) shall in some manner have gone forth, there remains for the American people a period of trouble and unrest." The peace which Radicalism promised us, if we would only elect Grant, is still in the dim distance. Before the quiet can be hoped for, we must secede to this proposition to make the negro our political equal. Unless we agree in this, the Almighty will "convulse us as with the thunders of Sinai, or confuse us as at Babel, or overwhelm us as at the Red Sea." Why didn't Grant think of this when he wrote, "let us have peace?"

The Repository seriously goes on to argue that the black man has earned his right to the enjoyment of the elective franchise, and gives its readers a lot of stuff about the loyalty of the negroes of the South during the war. Whereas the truth is, that the vast majority of the blacks in the South obeyed the behests of their masters, during the rebellion, not from necessity but from choice. Many of them attended them as servants in the camp. Others remained on the plantations to raise the crops to supply armies. Others took the spade and mattock and worked on the fortifications. And others still shouldered their muskets and shot down our men from the trenches. The Southern negroes, as a rule, were loyal to their masters, and deserve no favors on account of their loyalty.

But the strong argument which the Repository urges for negro suffrage is the same that Senator Sumner, with unblushing effrontery, announced in the Senate of the United States. This argument is that the negroes will vote with the Radical party. They claim that the adoption of the proposed amendment would add seventeen thousand voters to the ranks of the Radical party in Pennsylvania. This may be true. We do not know. We can not tell. But what a selfish argument is this to address to the intelligent white voters of the Keystone State! Call upon your members in the Legislature to vote for negro suffrage because the negroes can be manipulated by Republican politicians and will keep the Republican party in power. This is the argument.

It is high time that the people would arouse themselves to the importance of this measure which the Radical leaders are seeking to force upon the country. Let an earnest, vigorous protest go up from the Conservative masses, both Democrats and Republicans, so that it may reach the ears of our representatives in the General Assembly of this Commonwealth, informing them that the white people of Pennsylvania desire to keep the suffrage entirely in their own hands, and that they will brand with the seal of their condemnation the men who shall dare to infringe upon their rights by extending the elective franchise to those whom they regard as their inferiors, both politically and socially.

Virginia and the Carolinas--No. 8
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Summary: Ongoing account of a trip through Virginia and the Carolinas.

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Episcopal Services
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Summary: The Rev. Robert J. Keeling of Harrisburg will preach in Chambersburg's Episcopal Church.
Guilford Township
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Summary: The Democrats of Guilford are called to meet to select delegates to the township convention.
[No Title]
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Summary: A large crowd attended the meeting on war damage claims. The paper supports petitioning to be sure county citizens are paid in full for any damage sustained.
Colored Entertainments
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Summary: Account and review of a concert held by Franklin African Americans.
Full Text of Article:

Some of the colored folks of our Borough, assisted by one or two importations from Greencastle, gave two entertainments in Repository Hall, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights of last week. The exercises were a reproduction of the performances in the African Church some weeks ago, and consisted of vocal music and dramatic pieces, interspersed with music on the violin and guitar. Several of the performers have excellent voices, but they all sang in a listless, indifferent sort of manner. There was no animation, no life in the music. The great trouble was that there was an effort made to act as white folks would act, to the spoiling of the whole performance. There seemed to be an effort to keep the negro character entirely out of sight. Of course a negro entertainment is worth nothing without the natural negro in it. We understand that the proceeds are to be used in repairing the Church, and that the net receipts were seventy-two dollars and eighty cents.

Washington's Birthday
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Summary: The paper reports that most of Chambersburg failed to observe Washington's birthday. Business and retail went on in town as usual. The lone exceptions were the Friendship Fire Company and the Housum Zouaves who marched in the streets. The Housum militia also gave a military drill demonstration on the Diamond.
(Names in announcement: Capt. George W. Skinner, George L. Miles, James Aughinbaugh, Henry Elliott, John Gerbig, Philip Loudensinger, Thomas Donavin, B. F. Gilmore)
Meeting of Damage Claimants
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Summary: Prints the proceedings of a meeting held by Franklin county residents to gain support for payment of damages sustained in the war. Lists the committees and members of committees appointed, and the bipartisan support generated for the effort in the county.
(Names in announcement: William G. McNight, William B. Gabby, Jacob R. Smith, Joseph Hade, Capt. James M. Brown, Jacob Grove, Henry Hoge, William Vanderan, Pharez Duffield, John W. Barr, Luther Garver, John Monn, George W. McCleary, David Lowry, Eli Winger, John Funk, Henry X. Stoner, Jacob Carbaugh, William Reed, Samuel Shartle, George Mowry, Seth Dickey, Leonard Jordan, R. P. McFarland, William D. Dixon, George Coble, Joseph Strock, William Bossert, Jonas Palmer, Frederick Mish, Simon Bittner, Clark Johnston, William Blair, James Witherow, John McAllen, William Noonan, Samuel Holliday, William Johnston, William Mackey, William McClelland, Peter Besore, Henry H. Rite, John Huber, George Ludwig, J. S. Nixon, B. F. Nead)
Full Text of Article:

In pursuance of a call published in the Valley Spirit and the Franklin Repository, a meeting of citizens of Franklin county who sustained damages at the hands of Union and Rebel troops was held in the Court House, in the borough of Chambersburg, on Thursday last, the 18th of February. Wm. C. McKnight, Esq., was chosen President, and Wm. B. Gabby, Esq., Secretary.

The object of the meeting having been stated by the President, on motion of J. R. Smith, of Antrim, a committee of three from the borough of Chambersburg and from each township was appointed to collect funds to defray necessary expenses. The following are the committees:

Antrim,--Joseph Hade, Capt. James M. Brown, Jacob Grove.

Guilford--Henry Hoge, William Vanderan, Pharez Duffield.

Green.--John W. Barr, Luther Garver, John Monn.

Quincy.--George W. McCleary, David Lowry, Eli Winger.

Washington.--John Funk, of H., Henry X. Stoner, Jacob Carbaugh.

Welsh Run.--William Reed, Samuel Shartle, George Mowry.

Peters.--Seth Dickey, Leonard Jordan, R. P. McFarland.

St. Thomas.--William D. Dixon, George Coble, Joseph Strock.

Hamilton.--William Bossert, Jonas Palmer, Frederick Mish.

Southampton.--Simon Bittner, Clark Johnston, William Blair, Esq.

Metal.--James Witherow, John McAllen, William Noonan.

Fannett.--Samuel Holliday, Wm. Johnston, William Mackey.

Letterkenny.--William McClelland, Peter Besore, Henry H. Rite.

Chambersburg.--John Huber, Geo. Ludwig, J. S. Nixon.

On motion, B. F. Nead, Jacob R. Smith and John Huber were appointed Executive and Corresponding Committee, to correspond with persons in other counties who sustained losses, in order to secure concert of action.

On motion it was resolved that claimants be requested to contribute one-fourth of one per cent. (or 25 cents on $100,) of the amount of their respective claims, to defray expenses.

The chairman of the Executive Committee (B. F. Nead) was requested to act as Treasurer and receive such funds as might be raised.

The Township Committees were directed to report at a meeting to be held in Chambersburg on the first Monday in June, and the President was directed to issue a call for said meeting at such period prior to the time appointed for its assembling as he might judge proper.

The Executive Committee was directed to prepare petitions to the Legislature and furnish the same to the Township Committees for circulation among the people.

As adjournment having been proposed, the President suggested that the meeting ought to contribute sufficient funds to pay for the publication of its proceedings.

Mr. Cooper, of the Valley Spirit, stated that the paper with which he was connected would publish the proceedings without charge, and he was authorized by Mr. Hays to say that the Franklin Repository would do the same.

On motion, it was resolved "that the thanks of this meeting be tendered to the editors of the Valley Spirit and the Franklin Repository for their generous offer to publish its proceedings free of charge."

The meeting then adjourned.

Our Common Schools
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Summary: Prints a report from a Superintendent of Franklin County Schools. Reports on the increase in school construction, better quality of the buildings, status of the teachers, and numbers of maps and globes in the schools. On the whole, a positive report but says work still needs to be done.
(Names in announcement: P. M. Shoemaker, J. J. Miller)
Full Text of Article:

We extract the following from the last annual report of P. M. Shoemaker, Superintendent of Common Schools in Franklin County:

School Houses.--I am happy to report that our directors and citizens are beginning to see the necessity of better school houses. During the past year fourteen of our worst old school houses were torn down, and good new ones erected in their places. Eleven new houses were built since my last report. Three in Greene; one in Guilford; two in Hamilton; one in Letterkenny; one in Montgomery; one in St. Thomas, and one in Washington. Of these houses, three are two stories high; one in Greene, one in Metal, and one in St. Thomas. All the houses built are good substantial brick buildings; generally larger, have higher ceilings, are better ventilated, better arranged, better supplied with seats, desks, &c., than those built a few years ago. They are generally well supplied with blackboard surface. The directors of Greene, Metal and St. Thomas, are certainly entitled to credit for the fine buildings they have put up in their respective districts; and I think all the directors who have built new houses, within the past two years, deserve praise for the spirit of improvement manifested in this particular. I cannot help mentioning one instance of liberality. The directors of Washington agreed to give Mr. J. J. Miller a certain amount to put up a school house in the district in which he lives, according to certain specifications. But Mr. Miller believing that the times demanded better school houses than the board had agreed to build, went on and put up one among the best single school houses in the county. It is well arranged, with vestibule, clothes-room, seats, desks, &c., and is, in almost every respect, a first class house. I understand that this house cost Mr. Miller several hundred dollars more than he received from the board. There were more new school houses built in this county during the past year than in any previous one for years, and there will be more built this year than there were last. Besides the new houses built, some of the old ones have been so repaired as to make them tolerably comfortable. I am however compelled to report thirty-three as unfit for use: but I think in a few years they will be replaced by good ones. Last year I reported one hundred and forty-two as having no out-houses; this year one hundred and twelve. Thirty were built during the year. Should we succeed in getting as many built each year as the last, in four years we will have an out-house to every school house in the county.

Schools.--There are two hundred and twenty-eight schools in this county; fifty-four graded, and one hundred and seventy-four ungraded. Eight were graded at the commencement of the last school term; two in Greene; two in Metal; two in Quincy, and two in St. Thomas. There is now a commendable disposition among directors and citizens to grade the schools wherever it can be conveniently done. One hundred and eighty-eight schools were as well classified as could be expected, considering the irregularity of attendance. These schools were generally well taught, and the teachers gave general satisfaction. The remaining forty were not well classified, and consequently not well taught; but still, but few of them could be called total failures.

Teachers.--Of the two hundred and twenty-eight teachers employed during the past year, one hundred and sixty-five were males and sixty-three females. Thirty-nine hold professional certificates, and one hundred and eighty-nine provisional. Thirty-five had no experience in teaching; twenty-two taught less than one year; seventy-eight between one and five years, and ninety-three over five years. Only twenty-one of the whole number have attended a Normal school; one hundred and sixty-three have read works on the theory of teaching. It will be seen by reference to the statistical table, that the average grade of provisional certificates is but little better than last year. This may be explained as follows: First, the standard is somewhat higher, and second, they had never before been examined on U.S. history, and many of them being deficient in this branch got low marks on it, which makes the grade lower than it otherwise would have been. Besides, this estimate is made on the whole number examined; last year it was made out on the number employed, and about thirty of those having the worst certificates were not employed. Our teachers, as a general thing, are making praiseworthy efforts to improve themselves, not only in the branches required to be taught, but in the manner of teaching them, and their schools show it plainly.

Apparatus.--191 of our schools are supplied with outline maps and elementary charts, and about 50 with astronomical charts. Near the close of the term about one-half of the schools were supplied with globes, but I am unable to state the exact number.

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Summary: Joseph Rook and Miss Susan Emma Oyler, both of Funkstown, were married at the parsonage on February 18th by the Rev. J. Keller Miller.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Rook, Susan Emma Oyler, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
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Summary: Daniel Strock of Sterling and Mrs. Susan Coble of Chambersburg were married at the residence of the bride on February 23rd by the Rev. J. Keller Miller.
(Names in announcement: Daniel Strock, Susan Coble, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
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Summary: John M. Wingert and Maggie A. Etter, both of Franklin, were married on February 18th by the Rev. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: John M. Wingert, Maggie A. Etter, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
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Summary: Isaac R. Crouse and Miss Lizzie Boggs, daughter of James Boggs, all from near Spring Run, were married on February 11th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Isaac R. Crouse, Lizzie Boggs, James Boggs, Rev. William A. West)
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Summary: Minnie Myrtle Carper died on February 14th at age 3.
(Names in announcement: Minnie Myrtle Carper)

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