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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: April 14, 1869

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The Border Damages
(Column 01)
Summary: Another commentary on struggle for repayment of border damages during the war. Cites recent rejection by the Legislature for printing a report of the claims, shows how it was a party-line vote. Asks with indignation why Republicans are making it a party issue, praises the Democratic Senator from Franklin county who proposed the bill.
Full Text of Article:

Let Radicals read and ponder. Let them see who are willing and who are not willing to do justice to the plundered citizens of the border counties of this Commonwealth. We call their attention to the action of the State Senateas shown in the following brief report of its proceedings:

Mr Duncan offered the following, which was twice read:

Resolved, by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the Auditor General be requested and instructed to have printed for the use of members ten thousand copies of the report of the board of commissioners appointed by the Governor, under the act approved the 9th day of April, A. D., 1868, entitled an act for the relief of the citizens of the counties of Adams, Franklin, Fulton, Bedford, York, Perry and Cumberland, whose property was destroyed, damaged or appropriated for the public services and in the common defense in the war to suppress the rebellion.

The resolution was subsequently amended by providing that two thousand copies only be printed, and excluding from the work the testimony taken and other voluminous matter.

On the resolution as amended, the yeas and nays were required by Mr. Duncan and Mr. Fisher, and were as follows, viz:

Yeas--Messrs. Beck, Hurnett, Davis, Duncan, Jackson, Linderman, M'Candless, M'Intire, Miller, Nagle, Randall, Turner and Wallace--13.

Nays--Messrs. Billingfelt, Brown (Mercer), Coleman, Connell, Errett, Fisher, Graham, Henesey, Kerr, Lowry, Olmsted, Osterhout, Worthington, Speaker--17.

So the resolution was rejected.

The thirteen Senators voting yea are all Democrats. The seventeen Senators voting nay are all Radicals.

The Radicals of the Senate have thus refused to allow themselves to be informed as to the extent of our losses and the names of the sufferers. They do not want any light. Why is it that they seem to have made it a party issue? Why is it that they are always found in opposition to any plan which looks towards a reimbursement of our citizens? It is a notorious fact that every measure introduced into the Legislature of Pennsylvania for the adjudication and payment of our claims, has received the almost unanimous support of the Democrats, whilst the Radicals have generally been found arrayed in opposition to such propositions. The people are asking the reason for this.

And what hope can we have of payment from Radical Senators and members, if they record themselves against this initiatory step?

The Repository has lately been writing heavy leaders on the subject of these border damages. Let it now read its party friends in the Senate a good lecture. Let it demand to know the reason why "the friends of freedom and progress" are willing to spend hundred of thousands of dollars on lazy negroes, but will not consent to do anything which squints at the ultimate payment of the white plundered citizens of the border counties? Open your eyes, ye Radical braggarts, and see where the fault lies. It is at your own door.

In this connection, it affords us pleasure to lay before our readers the account which the Harrisburg Patriot gives of the manner in which Hon. C. M. Duncan bore himself in the discussion that took place on the above resolution. The popular Senator from Franklin seems to have made a decided accusation. Read the following extract:

The usual quiet of the Senate chamber was somewhat disturbed by the introduction of a resolution by Mr. Duncan, the Senator from Adams and Franklin, requesting the publication, by the Auditor General, of the report of the Border Damage Commissioners. The resolution asked for the publication of 10,000 copies of the said report. Immediately after some of the ultra men on the opposite side of the chamber arose and opposed the passage of this resolution. The Senators from Potter, Erie, Lebanon and others, fiercely assaulted the resolution. But Mr. Duncan parried their blows, answered their objections and made a strong appeal to the Senators in favor of its passage.

After an animated discussion, in which the Senator from Franklin stood firmly in favor of the resolution, and its passage in earnest appeals, the resolution was lost, and on a call of the ayes and nays it appears that the republicans to a man voted against it, while the democrats all voted for it.

In the debate Senators from the other side of the chamber argued that this was only an entering wedge, and moving to the ultimate payment of the border claims.--The Senator from Franklin did not deny the assertion, but remarked that he thought, trusted and hoped that the time was not far distant when this Commonwealth, rich in everything, would say that she will indemnify the losses--will pay the damages as in justice and equity she ought to do in all these cases. Mr. Duncan brought the republicans to their trumps, and the able manner in which he defended his resolution excited general admiration.

Will the Repository shake off the trammels of party for once, and exercise sufficient independence to do Mr. Duncan justice and to roast its party friends on hot coals?

Entering Wedges
(Column 01)
Summary: Attacks the Republicans who are blocking efforts for border claims relief. Accuses them of only favoring projects which line their own pockets. Claims these Republicans are robbing the state blind and hurting all its citizens in the process.
Full Text of Article:

The motion of Senator Duncan to print the report of the Border Damage Commissioners was opposed by some superlatively honest members of the Senate on the ground that it was "an entering wedge" which would open the Treasury to a large number of claims. Men are always to be found in our deliberative bodies who keep a sharp look out for entering wedges. If these men were at all times vigilant and conscientious guardians of the public treasury, we might respect them even if we thought wrong in the particular instance under consideration. But the very men who are most apt to oppose such meritorious claims as those presented by the Border Counties, and, for want of better arguments, object to them as entering wedges, are themselves the most dangerous entering wedges that the Treasury has to contend with. A just and honest claim that puts nothing into their pockets is sure to encounter their violent opposition, whilst they are willing to make entering wedges of themselves and split open the vaults of the Treasury whenever a sufficient pecuniary inducement is held out to them. These scoundrels live by robbing the people. That is their trade--the business of their lives. And the reason why they object to the payment of honest claims is, that the more money taken out of the Treasury honestly, the less will there be to steal. It makes a great difference to them whether a million dollars go into the pockets of the plundered people of six or eight Border Counties, or whether that amount is divided among the scoundrels who make up the Legislative "ring" at Harrisburg.

We wish the eyes of the people of this whole commonwealth could be opened, so that they would see this matter in its true light. Many of them will no doubt be so far imposed upon as to believe that the entering wedge objectors are really guarding their interests. If their eyes could be opened to the truth, they would see that such is not the fact. A certain amount of money goes into the State Treasury every year, and just so much of it as is not absolutely required for the use of the State is stolen for the benefit of the corrupt "ring" in and around the Legislature. What harm was done to the people of the State at large by the appropriation of half a million for the relief of the burnt out citizens of Chambersburg? None at all. If that half million had not been given to Chambersburg, it would have found its way out of the Treasury at any rate. If it had not gone into the pockets of honest men, it would have been gobbled up by thieves. The people of the State at large lost nothing, therefore, by the appropriation to Chambersburg, whilst a large number of meritorious citizens were benefited. Nor would the people of the State at large lose anything by an appropriation for the payment of the Border Damages, whilst such appropriation would really have a purifying tendency. There would be just so much less to steal.

Grant Snubbed by Congress
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper gloats that Grant's relationship with Congress is reportedly icy.

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(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. L. A. Gotwald will preach Sunday in the Lutheran Church.
Talmage's Lecture
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Summary: The Rev. T. DeWitt Talmage delivered a lecture in Repository Hall on "The Bright Side of Things." 300 persons attended. The paper gave it a good review, but argued that it was not his best performance. The editors also advocate formation of a committee to work on securing lecturers to come to Chambersburg.
(Column 02)
Summary: John A. Selders was confirmed as Chambersburg Postmaster. The paper praises the service of the outgoing postmaster, Matthew P. Welsh and his daughter Miss Eliza Welsh.
(Names in announcement: John A. Selders, Matthew P. Welsh, Eliza Welsh)
Losses in the Border Counties
(Column 02)
Summary: Table showing the war losses claimed by the residents of each of the Pennsylvania Border Counties. Franklin claimed $838,162.18 with $788,733.99 allowed; Adams claimed $552,383.97 with $507,797.57 allowed; Cumberland claimed $238,400.92 with $216,724.46 allowed; York claimed $127,663.55 with $124,728.50; Fulton claimed $54,431.32 with $45,600.57 allowed; Bedford claimed $7,186.28 with $7,126.23 allowed.
Dr. Schwartz's Lecture
(Column 02)
Summary: Rev. Dr. Schwartz delivered a lecture entitled "No man owns deeper than he plows," at the Court House. The paper gave it good reviews, although declared it may have been too intellectual for a mixed audience. The argument was that no man owns that which he does not "turn to practical account." The editors chastise the public for low turnout to the free event.
Court Proceedings
(Column 02)
Summary: Reports on the April term of Franklin county court, listing cases and verdicts. Some of the cases deal with rape, others with larceny.
(Names in announcement: Judge King, Andrew Meade, Branton Williams, James P. Wilson, James Parker, Josephene Franklin, David Beckwith, Mary Studebaker, Josephine Franklin, Daniel Bell, G. E. Stewart)
Full Text of Article:

The April Term of the Court of Franklin county commenced on Monday forenoon last, and was opened by Judge King. The following were the cases disposed of up to noon on Tuesday, when our paper went to press:

Com. vs. Andrew Meads. Assault and Battery; Brantom Williams, Prosecutor.--Verdict guilty. Sentenced 30 days to county jail.

Com. vs. James P. Wilson and James Parker, Rape; Josephene Franklin, Prosecutrix. District Attorney abandoned the case and a verdict was rendered of not guilty.

Com. vs. David Beckwith. Rape; Mary Studebaker, Prosecutrix. The Prosecutor not appearing, and no evidence being offered on the part of the Commonwealth, the verdict was not guilty.

Com. vs. Josephine Franklin. Larceny of money to the amount of six dollars from Daniel Bell, Prosecutor. Verdict, guilty. Not sentenced.

Com. vs. G. E. Stewart. Selling liquor tominors. On trial.

(Column 05)
Summary: William Witherow and Miss Laura Noonan, both of Carrick, Franklin County, were married on April 8th by the Rev. J. Smith Gordon.
(Names in announcement: William Witherow, Laura Noonan, Rev. J. Smith Gordon)
(Column 05)
Summary: George W. Mowers and Miss Martha J. Palmer, both of Franklin, were married on April 13th at the Montgomery Hotel, Chambersburg, by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: George W. Mowers, Martha J. Palmer, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 05)
Summary: Philip Faust died in his St. Thomas residence on April 3rd. He was 50 years old.
(Names in announcement: Philip Faust)

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