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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 10, 1869

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The Inaugural Address
(Column 01)
Summary: Gives a very negative view of Grant's inaugural address. Claims Grant has no clear policy and, unlike his predecessors, is not worthy of the Presidency. Condemns his hard-money stance and his support of the 15th amendment.
Full Text of Article:

The agony is over. The oracles are no longer dumb. Grant has spoken. His inaugural address is before the American people. Those who have been waiting in terrible suspense to know the nature of his utterances can rest satisfied now.

There is no evidence of greatness in the inaugural address. True greatness, while it is generally conscious of its strength, is nevertheless too modest to boast of it. The position of the Chief Executive of the American people is a very trying one. His labors are not few and his responsibilities are great. The great men who have occupied the Presidential chair hitherto entertained misgivings as to their ability to discharge properly the duties of the place.--Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, all gave expression to a consciousness of the greatness of the charge committed to their hands and of their own weakness. And certainly they, above all others, might have been looked upon as fitted for the discharge of their official duties, as President. Some of them had assisted in framing the Constitution and had debated its every section; others had taken part in the war of the Revolution, understood thoroughly the spirit of the American people and watched with eagle eyes everything that was done for the founding of the new government. They were thus peculiarly fitted on account of the period in which they lived to govern this people. Then, too, they were men of undisputed strength of intellect.--The debates in the Federal Convention are models. The state papers written by these men will ever be admired for their vigor of thought and beauty of expression. And yet these men, great as they were, shrank back with unfeigned diffidence and distrust from this high position to which they were called.

Contrast the utterance of President Grant with their conduct, when he says, "the responsibilities of the position I feel, but accept them without fear."

The New York World suggests that "if Grant had imitated the modest language of his illustrious predecessor, his self-disparagement would have been so obviously just, that there was great danger that he would have been taken at his word." If he had said that he was not equal to the position, the people would have believed him. So, like the boy passing the graveyard who whistles to keep his courage up, Grant, acting all the while, as every sensible man would declare that he accepts the office without fear.

Strong evidence of extreme littleness is to be found in such expressions as the following;

On all binding questions agitating the public mind I will always express my in Congress and urge them according to my judgement and when I think it advisable, will exercise the constitutional privilege of instigating a veto to defeat measures which I oppose. But all laws will be faithfully executed whether they meet my approval or not. I shall on all subjects have a policy for , none to enforce against the will of the people.

The constitution provides that the President "shall from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The constitution also vests in the President the veto power. The President is bound, too, to execute faithfully all laws whether approved by him or not. When President Grant, therefore, expressed his determination to advise Congress, to exercise the veto and to execute the laws, he simply announced his intention to do what every American citizen, who can read, knows that he is bound to do.

When he says that he will have no policy to enforce against the will of the people, he is simply striking a feeble blow at his predecessor and, to that extent, has belittled himself in what ought to be a dignified state paper.

There are but two important positions taken by the President in his address. The first is, that every dollar of the government indebtedness should be paid in gold unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. What will Senator Morton and Senator Sherman say to this doctrine? How will all the Radical leaders of the West, who have advocated the payment of United States bonds in greenbacks, relish this dose?

The other important position is his recommendation of the proposed article known as the fifteenth amendment. He has thus declared himself unequivocally in favor of Negro Suffrage in all the States and has lent his name and influence to the effort now being made by Congress to prevent the people from passing directly upon this question.--It is a matter of the greatest wonder to us that ever the Convention that framed the Constitution of the United States incorporated such a provision in it as that which allows the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States to amend the constitution. There has never yet been a time in the history of our country when there was such great danger of the abuse of this power as there is now. How the masses can cling to the leaders of a party which is afraid to trust them with the decision of a question of such importance as this question of negro suffrage, is a matter of astonishment to us, we confess. The Democracy are making a noble stand all through the Union against the degradation of the elective franchise. Time alone can tell whether or not they will be successful in defeating this infamous proposition. Grant could well say, "Let us have peace," when he intended to ask the conservative masses to surrender everything of principle they entertained in order to attain power. His "let us have peace" did not mean any readiness on his part to compromise. It did not mean conciliation. No. It meant that after he was firmly seated in the Presidential chair, he would insult the white people of the country by advising them to make the negroes their political equals and by telling them that there can be no peace until this is done.

We very much fear that the country will be wofully disappointed if this address is a specimen of the statesmanship that is to mark the administration of President Grant. The people have expected something better than this from him. As he has kept his mouth closed so tightly ever since the election, it was thought that when his time would come, he would have something to say. But there is nothing in the inaugural address which is calculated to cheer the hearts that are longing for a return of National prosperity and the solution of the difficult problems that have grown out of the war.

Grant's Cabinet
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports on Grant's choices for his Cabinet. Says Republicans are thoroughly dismayed because Grant selected his Cabinet without consultation. Bitterly attacks the nominations of Washburne and Stewart in particular. Gives a brief biography of each member.
Full Text of Article:

The Republicans pronounced a very emphatic judgment against the Cabinet selected by President Grant when the telegraph gave the names to the public. From Maine to California, the announcement that it was made up of Washburne, Stewart, Borie, Cresswell, Cox, and Hoar was regarded by them as a hoax! Editors who put the names out on their bulletin boards were accused of attempting to play off a joke on the public, and when they vindicated themselves by producing the telegram, the conclusion was jumped at that the telegraph companies had been victimized by some wicked wag at Washington.

When we stuck up the names, we found ourselves obliged to give the anxious Republicans who crowded around an earnest assurance that we believed in the genuineness of the telegram. It was amusing to see the perplexed look with which they run over the list. In vain did they look into one another's face for information. The best informed among them knew nothing about one half of the appointees. Washburne and Stewart they had heard of, but of the rest they knew absolutely nothing. Donnelly had made Washburne widely known as one of the numerous family of boys, all of whom had been "born into the world with M. C. stamped on the widest part of their body," and the newspapers had made Stewart's name familiar to the public six months or a year ago, by publishing a paragraph stating that he returned an income of $1,800,000 for 1867. But "Who is Borie?" "Who is Cresswell?" "Who is Cox?" "Who is Hoar?" These were questions asked by all and answered by none.

In truth, this Cabinet contains a greater number of obscure men than any other that ever was formed since the foundation of our government. And those who are the least obscure are no more fit than the others.--Everybody expected Grant to give his old Galena crony, Washburne, one of the longest teats on the national udder, but who on earth ever expected to hear of him as Secretary of State? A dull man, without the slightest ability to comprehend statesmanship, he endeavored to make a little reputation for himself in Congress by playing the role of a rigid economist. This character is produced in Congress as regularly as a Queen in a Beehive. When an old economist goes out, a new one is brought forth. Many years ago, Jones of Tennessee was the great Congressional economist. He was succeeded by Letcher of Virginia, and he by Washburne of Illinois, whose successor will in due time be forthcoming.

Whilst the great mass of Republicans are surprised at Grant's selection, the leaders of the party are more than surprised. They are indignant. They maintain that they had a right to expect General Grant to select as his Constitutional advisors the men who had borne the brunt of the political battle which resulted in his elevation to the Presidency. They were willing he should evince his personal friendship for Washburne by giving him an office out of which, by practicing the economy he preached, he might make a fortune. They would not have objected to his acknowledging Stewart's contribution to the purchase of his house by appointing that respectable old gentleman a visitor to West Point, with a good dinner at Cozzen's Hotel at the public expense. They would perhaps have forgiven him for rewarding Borie's generosity in the same matter with an appointment as Naval officer at Philadelphia with the run of the Loyal League party. But they were not prepared to see him put these men in his Cabinet and thrust them forward as representatives either of the intellect or the principle of the Republican party. The "reticence" and "firmness" they have been accustomed to praise in Grant, they are now disposed to set down as "stupidity" and "mulishness." They say that if he had consulted just a few of the leading men of the party and been governed by their advice, instead of shutting himself up like a terrapin in his shell and offering cold insults to every prominent Republican who ventured to approach him in relation to the matter, he might have had a Cabinet that would have commanded the respect of the whole country, whereas the one he has selected commands the respect of nobody, because there is not even one man of real ability in it, and no confidence can be felt that it will prove equal to the great task of administering the government wisely.

The Cabinet is made up as follows:

ELIHU B. WASHBURNE, of Illinois, Secretary of State.--Mr. Washburne was born in Maine, is 53 years of age, lives at Galena, is a lawyer and has been in Congress since 1853. He never attained any distinction at the bar and was not considered of much account in Congress.

ALEXANDER T. STEWART, of New York, Secretary of the Treasury.--Mr. Stewart was born in Ireland, is 74 years old, came to this country fifty years ago, is avaricious and immensely rich, and cares for nothing but money. He has taken very little interest in politics, but in 1866 signed an address calling on the people to support the policy of Andrew Johnson.

ADOLPH F. BORIE, of Pennsylvania, Secretary of the Navy.--Mr. Borie is a native of Philadelphia, is 60 years old, is an importing merchant and has made a large fortune. He is aristocratic and exclusive, and "don't know" such plebeian Republicans as Col. McClure. He swims on the cream of the Loyal League, and holds its skim milk in abhorrence.

J. A. J. CRESSWELL, of Maryland, Postmaster General.--Mr. Cresswell is a native of Maryland, is 41 years old and is a lawyer by profession. The first steps he took when the war broke out were taken in the interests of the rebellion, but he soon turned around and became a supporter of the Lincoln administration. This happy change (which was probably the result of a calculation of chances) carried him into the United States Senate, where he cried "blood and thunder" loud enough to gain the favor of the vindictive portion of the Radical party.

JACOB D. COX, of Ohio, Secretary of the Interior.--Mr. Cox who was born in Canada, (of parents who were citizens of the United States,) is 41 years of age, was a student of divinity but was switched off into the law, went into the war as a Brigadier General at an early day and served with distinction. He was elected Governor of Ohio in 1865, and is said to have aided in defeating negro suffrage in that State in 1867.

EBENEZER R. HOAR, of Massachusetts, Attorney General.--Mr. Hoar is a native of Massachusetts, is 53 years old, is a Judge of the Supreme Court and was an original free-soiler. He "belted" the nomination of Gen. Taylor for the Presidency in 1848, and wrote the circular which called a State Convention that organized a party which broke down Daniel Webster and elected Charles Sumner (then a Democrat with abolition proclivities) to the Senate.

Andrew Johnson's Valedictory
(Column 03)
Summary: Presents a recap of Johnson's presidency. Points out his accomplishments and failures but generally gives praise to most of Johnson's actions. Insists history will do him justice even though Radicals treated him so unfairly.
Full Text of Article:

Andrew Johnson fired a parting salute to his Radical friends as he left the White House. He published a farewell address to his countrymen which we give elsewhere in our columns. It differs from the farewell addresses of Washington and Jackson in this, that Washington and Jackson made theirs the media through which to give to the American people words of advice and warning in relation to the administration of the government and the ties which ought to bind the States of the Union together. The address of Andrew Johnson contains, chiefly, a vindication of his own administration and a spirited arraignment of Congress for the sins of which it has been guilty.

There can be but little doubt that history will do Andrew Johnson justice. And we have just as little doubt that it would have been as well for him to leave the whole matter to history. Whilst all that is contained in his address is unquestionably true, we do question the propriety of issuing it at the time he did.

Andrew Johnson, we have not a particle of doubt, is a thoroughly honest man. He has been sincere in his convictions. He has done his duty according to his own notions and best judgment. When he allowed himself to be made a military dictator in Tennessee, it was under a mistaken idea of the necessity for arbitrary measures at that time. He was intensely, fanatically patriotic, and his loyal emotions biased his judgment. His administration as military Governor will never add much to his credit.

When he accepted the nomination as Vice President from the Republican party, it was under the influence of a belief that patriotic and honest men were its leaders. But a short experience at the National Capital satisfied him, that the Radicals were bent on running the Governmental machine in their own interest, with the purpose of making as much money out of it as possible, without regard to the rights of the people of any section of the country. With an independence that has ever been one of the noblest qualities of his character, he cut loose from the organization and started to run a machine of his own, or rather, to run the old machine in his own way.

He resolved to rally around him a party of his own. The disgraceful manner in which he had deserted the Democratic party could not be forgotten, and that proud, pure old organization made no haste to welcome him back to its fold. He got up the Philadelphia Convention, but it proved a failure. The Radical and Democratic parties maintained their organization intact and refused to become disorganized or even demoralized at his bidding. His office holders were a mixed crew taken from both parties. Andrew Johnson must have been an unhappy man, politically, all through his administration. His break with the Radicals gave him good cause and his excitable temper furnished him the weapons with which to wage a bitter fight with his former allies.--He was often indiscreet but nearly always in the right.

The Stanton-Grant imbroglio was disgraceful to him because it should have been avoided by the removal of Stanton before the Tenure-of-office bill became a law. The impeachment trial would thus have been an impossibility.

Andrew Johnson's Cabinet was a source of perpetual annoyance to him. They were not congenial spirits. If he had turned the whole Lincoln Cabinet out and appointed men who were in full sympathy with his opinions and purposes, Congress would not have become as defiant and proscriptive as it did.

But no matter what his faults were, in this Andrew Johnson will ever be great, that he took the constitution as his guide whilst President, and allowed no threats or intimidation to drive him from the plain path of duty. His will was stubborn because it was honest. He was firm because he was satisfied that he was right. His vetoes are so many monuments which he has rendered to perpetuate his own memory, and when the passions of this epoch have subsided and impartial justice comes to scrutinize those papers, they will receive their full of praise for nobility, patriotism and sound constitutional doctrine.

Andrew Johnson has many political errors to be ashamed of but his enemies have many more political sins of which they should speedily repent. He has been more sinned against than sinning. He has been persecuted with a vigor and zeal scarcely equaled, certainly not surpassed, in history. He has been held up to public ridicule, contempt and hatred, and what is strange about it is, that the acts for which he is justly censurable were allowed to pass by, whilst those that are commendable have called down upon his head the vilest obloquy.

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Damage Claims
(Column 01)
Summary: The people of McConnellsburg, Fulton County, are holding a meeting to support the movement begun in Franklin to demand that the state reimburse damages sustained during the war.
Committed to Jail
(Column 01)
Summary: Samuel Branch, "a young negro who had been in the employ of Henry Shank" was arrested near Waynesboro and charged with the attempted rape of the 13 year-old daughter of John W. Zook. George Binder, Justice of the Peace, took him into custody.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Branch, John W. Zook, Henry Shank)
Wilson College
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. E. B. Raffensperger accepted appointment as Financial Secretary of the Wilson Female College. He will begin working on completing the proposed endowment of $300,000. He will work and reside in Chambersburg. The paper applauds the project and looks "forward to the time when Chambersburg shall become a great educational centre, like New Haven or Princeton; where families of wealth and influence shall come to reside for the sake of educating their children, and the benefit shall be felt by the entire community."
(Names in announcement: Rev. E. B. Raffensperger)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Mr. Hugh Auld died in Chambersburg in his residence on North Front Street. "He was well known to the people of this county, having filled, for several terms we believe, the office of County Surveyor. He was one of our most highly respected citizens. He has been in very feeble health during the last year owing to a pulmonary affection."
(Names in announcement: Hugh Auld)
Horticultural Society
(Column 02)
Summary: The Franklin Horticultural Society met and discussed fertilizer, manures, and strawberry cultivation. Some members also displayed fruits.
(Names in announcement: J. M. Cooper, Dr. Snesserott, Rev. P. S. Davis, T. B. Jenkins, J. S. Nixon, William G. Reed, D. S. Heffron)
Corner Loafing
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper asks that town authorities take action against "corner loafing." "Young men and boys congregate on the street corners and not only obstruct the passage on the pavements, but indulge in obscene and profane language, to the great annoyance of ladies and gentlemen passing by. They squirt out their tobacco juice upon the sidewalks so that the dresses of the ladies trail in it, and if they are spoken to on the subject, they curse the speaker for 'meddling.'"
The St. Thomas School Trouble
(Column 03)
Summary: Reports on an incident at a local school involving trouble with interracial classes. Prints the letter of the teacher of the class, who defended his actions, and another letter from other teachers supporting their colleague. Editor takes the view that white and black children should never be taught together since it would degrade white superiority.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Winters, John Calvin Deatrich, John F. Reese, John W. Corle)
Full Text of Article:

We call attention to the following statement of facts relating to a matter about which the Repository raised a great outcry a couple of weeks ago. It will be seen that the Repository's attack upon the School Directors of St. Thomas township was uncalled for and not warranted by anything they had done. The only thing we find room to object to in this affair, is that the negro was permitted to enter the same class with white children. This should never be allowed, as its tendency is to develop ideas of social equality between negroes and whites. It is enough to receive negroes into the same schools with white children. When so received, they should be taught separate and apart from the whites. A teacher can instruct them without impairing his own self-respect, but children cannot associate with them on equal terms and yet maintain that sense of superiority which it is to be hoped the white race will never lose--which indeed it cannot lose without detriment to itself and to civilization.

To the Editors of the Valley Spirit:

By request of the Honorable Board of School Directors of St. Thomas township, I hereby make a statement of some facts concerning the difficulty that occurred in my school between the whites and the colored children of Mr. Joseph Winters. I received them kindly, and had not the least aversion to teaching them. I taught the little boy the alphabet, having no others to class with him. I procured the necessary books for Miss Lucy, and placed her in those classes that her attainments demanded. She was at least two years the senior of any other in the classes. I allowed her to trap and persisted in it until parents and pupils began to complain. I then brought the matter before the Board; they took no action, but told me to manage the affair in such a manner that I could have peace and harmony in the school. Some of the members of the Board however, spoke to Mr. Winters in regard to the matter. He said I could dispose of them as regards the trapping and classification as I saw fit. He only desired me to give them the same attention that I gave the others. Taking it for granted that Mr. Winters was perfectly satisfied with the arrangements, I made the change. Miss Lucy being absent for a few days returned. Her place of course was at the foot; I then kindly told her that, in order to remedy a disturbance that had been existing in the school for some time, she should keep her place at the foot. After disposing of her in this manner, we got along very smoothly in school. The young ladies who previously shunned her, now associated to a greater extent with her and we had peace.

Previous to this change, the whites would not drink out of the same drinking vessel. I told them to bring a vessel along. They did so. I did all I possibly could to have peace and harmony to reign. So far as I understand, Mr. Winters cherishes the highest regard for me. I desired peace and harmony to reign in my school, and in order to have it so, I found it necessary to dispose of her as I did. It was a painful duty that devolved upon me, and I dealt with it to the best of my judgment and ability. Hoping these few isolated facts will suffice, I will close.

St. Thomas, Pa., March 8, 1869.

We, the undersigned, Teachers of St. Thomas township, were present at the meeting of the Board of School Directors when the Teacher brought the difficulty that occurred at the Bratten School before them. The Board took no action in the matter, but told the Teacher that he should do the best he could to keep peace and harmony in the school, and not to make any change if he could possibly get along without it.

(Column 05)
Summary: John F. McCleary and Miss Ellen V. Keefer, both of Chmabersburg, were married on March 7th at the M. E. Parsonage in Shippensburg by the Rev. A. Houck.
(Names in announcement: John F. McCleary, Ellen V. Keefer, Rev. A. Houck)
(Column 05)
Summary: George Lehrer of Chambersburg died on February 7th. He was 65 years old. "The deceased was a highly respected citizen, a consistent christian, an affectionate husband and a kind father."
(Names in announcement: George Lehrer)
(Column 05)
Summary: Mary E. Powell, daughter of Daniel and Lydia Powell, died in Pleasant Hill on February 15th. She was 3 months old.
(Names in announcement: Mary E. Powell, Daniel Powell, Lydia Powell)
(Column 05)
Summary: Hiram Sowers died in Fayetteville of consumption on February 21st. He was 34 years old.
(Names in announcement: Hiram Sowers)
(Column 05)
Summary: Joseph Bomberger died in his residence near Shippensburg on March 9th. He was 66 years old.
(Names in announcement: Joseph Bomberger)

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