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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: May 12, 1869

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Our Neighbors Shot
(Column 02)
Summary: Ridicules the local Republican paper for failing to predict the selection of a pro-Geary delegate for the Republican State Convention. Also ridicules Geary, calling him vain and egotistic, and confidently predicts his defeat in the fall election.
Full Text of Article:

On Tuesday of last week, the Radical County Committee met in this Borough to elect a delegate to the State Convention.--There was considerable excitement among the loyal. The difference of opinion was not in the Committee, for when its members came to ballot, there was a unanimous vote on instructions. But, outside of the Committee there was a Geary and an anti-Geary party, the latter headed and apparently, tailed, by our editorial neighbors of the Repository.

It seems to have heretofore afforded our brethren of the quill, infinite satisfaction, (inasmuch as they have taken occasion, several times to allude to it in their columns) that one of the Editors of this paper signed a letter to a distinguished Democrat asking him to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination, and that the delegates selected from this County to the Democratic Convention are supposed to be in favor of another gentleman. We have the satisfaction of knowing that a very respectable portion of the Democracy are with us in sentiment.

But what has been the fate of our neighbors? They opened out their heaviest batteries on Geary. They denounced him in their paper. They held him up to public ridicule and contempt. They frequently indulged in covert sneers at him and, at last, grew so reckless as to call him a goose. How did the Committee respond to these sentiments? Mr. A. H. Schafhirt was elected delegate and instructed unanimously for Geary. It is even stated that the Committee refused to hold its session in the Repository Building, and adjourned to the Court House. Whether this is true or not we have not been accurately informed, but, it is certain that the instructions to the delegate are not in accordance with the teachings of the Repository and at total variance with the feelings of its editors.

These gentlemen did not know as much about the working of their party machinery as we did ourselves. We are never entrusted with Radical secrets, but we saw plainly, and so announced in our last issue, that the thing was set up and Geary's nomination a foregone conclusion. Of course, we judged of this from indications here as well as elsewhere, and had the sagacious editors of the Repository but kept their eyes open, they might have seen that it would be an utter impossibility to defeat instructions for Geary. How bitter must be their mortification at not being able to muster one vote against these instructions!

This is not our fight. We have nothing to do with it at the present stage. Our business will be to help to whip the nominee of the Radical Convention whoever he may be. It is a source of joy to us that there is an almost absolute certainty of Geary being the nominee. If we had the privilege of naming the standard-bearer of the Radical party for the coming campaign, our choice would certainly fall upon "the hero of Lookout Mountain." He is the weakest man in the State who makes any pretensions to prominence.

A story is told that when Stonewall Jackson was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville and carried back, bleeding, on a litter, he said to his attendants "where the fight raged fiercest and bullets flew thickest and the charge was most terrific, did you see that tall handsome man with heavy black whiskers, seated on a noble black steed?" The answer was "yes, General." "who was he"? said the dying warrior. "General John W. Geary," was the reply. And then, raising himself from his rude couch, with a supernatural gleam in his eye and lifting his long, bony finger to give emphasis to his utterance, he exclaimed, "mark my words, John W. Geary is the bane of the Southern Confederacy."

This story was first told by John W. Geary. It had its origin in his brain and was related to gratify his egotistic vanity.

Could not Geary manage to manufacture a similar story and make some prominent dying Democrat utter the prophetic words, John W. Geary will be the bane of the Democratic party. Having with his own strong right arm vanquished the Rebel forces, he, assuredly, ought to be equal to the task of overwhelming the Copperheads, and it should not be difficult for him to imagine that somebody had given him credit for doing it before it is actually done.

The Democratic party stands in no dread of the redoubtable General. It don't exactly credit his story about the truth of Stonewall Jackson's prophecy, nor does it believe that the facts verify the prophecy. On the contrary, it is of the opinion that about as poor a specimen of a soldier as ever drew sword from its scabbard is this same egotist Geary. And it has an idea that the people have taken his true measure by this time, and will announce it in October. That announcement will be one of condemnation, and when it is made, our grand old commonwealth will have taken one step towards its redemption from the Radical misrule. Put a Democrat in the Gubernatorial chair at Harrisburg of the same stuff that Governor Hoffman of New York is made of, and the people will have some protection from the Radical pack that annually infests our Legislative halls.

In Trouble
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper gloats that John Cessna is having trouble delivering the posts he promised to his supporters.
Grant's Administration
(Column 03)
Summary: Elated that many Republicans are expressing dissatisfaction with Grant. Accuses him once again of making poor nominations for high office, which indicates his weak qualifications for the Presidency.
Full Text of Article:

Last week we published an article from the Chicago Tribune, Radical, commenting upon the errors of the present administration. We call attention this week to an article, published elsewhere in our columns, from the Chicago Republican, another leading Radical paper of the West, in which the sorrowful acknowledgment is made that mistakes of the gravest character, and possibly, of the most pernicious influence, have been made by President Grant. These articles are of importance as showing how much the President has fallen in the esteem of his political friends since his inauguration. The confidence which they unthinkingly hastened to repose in him has been so much weakened that fears are entertained for the future successes, and perhaps, for the very existence of the Radical organization. The numerous blunders which signalized the opening of his administration, the disgraceful ignorance of the laws disclosed by his ill-advised appointments, and his subsequent determination to leave not a single relation, no matter how distant, unprovided with an honorable or a lucrative office, have combined to create a distrust of his ability and even of his good intentions. It would be hard to get a majority of the politicians to vouch for Grant's strict integrity. None of them would testify to his firmness and resoluteness of purpose. Firm and resolute he may have been in the midst of leaden hail and in the face of an attacking force, but in the onset made upon him by hordes of hungry office-seekers, he has vacillated and swung from one applicant to another and then back again, and finally settled down upon some new man altogether. He gets so completely entangled in the difficulties with which politicians have environed him, that he cannot see his way out and consequently sits dumfoundered and despairing. No doubt, he has often wished the whole crew of office-seekers in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But wishing will not put them there. And so, each morning as he rises from the breakfast table, he has the pleasing prospect of being button-holed all day by the friends of this and that man, who desire him to turn some one out of office who is a better man than the whole party of applicants put together.

Under such circumstances, a man of large experience in public affairs, of keen insight into human nature, of independent will, and honesty of purpose, commends himself to public admiration in the Presidential chair. He takes a bold, decided stand and keeps it. He detects the scoundrel and rejects him. He recognizes worth and talent and employs them.

Tried by this rule, how dwarfed and insignificant does Grant appear. Who is satisfied with him? Not even his own party friends. They feel that his election was a terrible mistake. He is neither a statesman himself nor has he called practical statesmen about him. Former Presidents have been weak but they have been possessed of sufficient wisdom to select wise constitutional advisers. But Grant has failed even in this. He is groping in the dark. His advisers are groping in the dark and the consequence is that public affairs are sadly mismanaged. It is no wonder that an earnest protestation has gone up from the leading papers of the West and been re-echoed by the New York Times and New YorkPost and New York Sun, all Radical papers, in the East.

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New Appointments
(Column 01)
Summary: G. H. Miller is replacing Eli Fuss as postmaster at Greencastle and A. G. Nevin is replacing J. R. Welsh at Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: G. H. Miller, Eli Fuss, A. G. Nevin, J. R. Welsh)
Circus and Menagerie
(Column 01)
Summary: Bryan's circus drew large attendance and gave the streets of Chambersburg a "gay appearance."
National Bank of Chambersburg
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper declares the bank in a healthy condition and reports the amount of its loans and discounts at $964,576.73; capital, $250,000; Surplus Fund, $83,000; Individual Deposits, $226,700.54.
(Column 01)
Summary: Skiff and Gaylord's Minstrels will perform in Repository Hall. "They are represented to be first-class performers."
A New Life Insurance Agent
(Column 01)
Summary: B. F. Nead replaces George Eyster as Franklin agent of the National Life Insurance Company. The editors praise the company and the choice. He will make his office in the building of H. C. Keyser.
(Names in announcement: B. F. Nead, George Eyster, H. C. Keyser)
Soldiers' Meeting
(Column 02)
Summary: The "surviving soldiers of the late war" will meet in the room of the Building Association over Mr. Snider's book store to make plans to decorate the graves of the dead.
A Generous Gift
(Column 02)
Summary: William G. Moorehead, a member of the Episcopal Church, has donated $5000 toward the Wilson Female Seminary. The Episcopalians are also raising funds to establish a similar school.
(Names in announcement: William G. Moorehead)
(Column 02)
Summary: Samuel Norris, an African American charged with attempted rape, was discharged from jail on a writ of habeas corpus. Nobody appeared in court to prosecute the accused, and the case will have to be taken up in the August term.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Norris)
County Superintendent
(Column 02)
Summary: The County School Directors met and elected Samuel Gelwix to replace P. M. Shoemaker as County Superintendent. Gelwix defeated rivals W. H. Hockenberry, George H. Cook, I. Y. Atherton, and George E. Jones. "He is a young gentleman of excellent moral character, fine literary attainments and very considerable experience as a teacher."
(Names in announcement: Samuel Gelwix, P. M. Shoemaker, Jacob Henninger, Rev. A. M. Whetstone, Joseph Douglas, J. Miller Shillito, W. H. Hockenberry, George H. Cook, I. Y. Atherton, George E. Jones)
(Column 05)
Summary: Charles Gees and Miss Amelia Jane Elder, both of Chambersburg, were married on May 6th by the Rev. J. Hassler.
(Names in announcement: Charles Gees, Amelia Jane Elder, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 05)
Summary: Mrs. Sarah William died near Greenwood on May 4th. She was 40 years old.
(Names in announcement: Sarah William)
(Column 05)
Summary: Robert Alexander died near Spring Run on April 25th. He was 41 years old.
(Names in announcement: Robert Alexander)
(Column 05)
Summary: James Stewart died near Spring Run on April 30th. He was 69 years old.
(Names in announcement: James Stewart)

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