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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: June 23, 1869

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Summary: Criticizes the rhetoric and tactics of temperance fanatics. Especially has trouble with the fanatics' call for punishing the makers and sellers of liquor, makes a counter-argument that asks why they don't call for the punishment of gun manufacturers. Appreciates the work of moderate temperance reformers but can't stand the fanatics.
Full Text of Article:

They had a model temperance meeting in Washington the other night, just after the mild African man and brother had bullied and butchered his way into the municipal control of the American capital. It is very odd that people who drink no ardent spirits should be so full of fire and -oil as these teetotallers usually are. One of them desired a prohibitory law which should punish liquor-selling with "five hundred years imprisonment and a passport to hell." The audience thought this a charming rally of wit. Less, an English "apostle," who, having run himself down to his name in Great Britain, has recently been diverted upon these shores, was also present. The hall was decorated with "portraits of Victoria and General Grant." This was exquisitely appropriate, as the Queen is known never to touch bitter beer, while the President's dislike of Bourbon amounts to a positive mania!--N. Y. World.

There are signs of a revival of the "temperance" mania that afflicted a considerable portion of this country twenty years ago, when nasal-twanged Yankee loafers and dilapidated old topers were hired at low wages to squeak their studied speeches and exhibit their red noses wherever they could find a small squad of men and women to listen to them or look at them. We remember their railing and their red noses. Those who did the railing denounced manufacturers and sellers of liquor as murderous. The slobbering brutes who showed the red noses endorsed this and attempted to prove it by confessing that they had killed their wives and children while under the influence of intoxicating drink. Instead of slinking away from public gaze and praying in scores for the forgiveness of their crimes, these blear-eyed wretches stood up in our churches, in our halls and in our public streets, and laid their own enormous sins on other people's doors and asked us to applaud them for doing so.

We yield to no man in respect for the individual who passes through life with his "head level" all the time. We claim no place in the ranks of temperate men and we have no words of encouragement for those who addict themselves to strong drink. But we have something to say against charging the liquor-manufacturers and liquor-sellers with the offences committed by the liquor-drinkers. When one man kills another with a Bowie-knife, nobody proposes to give the seller of the knife "five hundred years' imprisonment and a passport to hell." It is the murderer who bought and used the knife who is held to deserve punishment.--So when one man shoots another with a gun or a pistol, it is not the manufacturer or seller of the gun or pistol who is held accountable, but the purchaser and user of it.

If our modern reformers wish to set the world right through the agonny of pain and penalties upon manufacturers and sellers, why do they not propose to enact laws for the punishment of makers and sellers of guns, pistols, knives and other deadly weapons? They may answer that guns, pistols and knives are useful in war and for purposes of self-defence. We unhesitatingly assert that they are less useful than visous and spirituous liquors, which are of great value in medicine and the mechanic arts.--The science of medicine and the mechanic arts are among the blessings of mankind, whilst war is a curse to any people upon whom it comes.

As for the use of guns, pistols and knives for purposes of self-defence, that does not amount to much. They serve the thief and the murderer as well as the honest and sociable man. In fact they serve him better, for with their aid he commits his robbery or murder more readily than would be possible without them. Going prepared with his knife and pistol, he takes his intended victim at such disadvantage that resistance is out of the question.

Now if the maker and seller of a gun, a pistol or a knife ought not to be held accountable for the injury done by it in the hands of some person to whom it may have been sold, why should the maker or seller of spirituous or visous liquors be held to account for any injury that the buyer thereof may do to himself or to others? Is it more criminal to call an article with which a man may kill himself by slow degrees if he chooses, than to sell one with which he may take his own or another's life instantly?

We say nothing against those good people who exhort their fellow man to be temperate. They do well. We commend all those members of the various temperance organizations who seek out the intemperate and strive to reform them. They do a godly work. But the temperance fanatics who will be satisfied with nothing short of the death and damnation of all makers and sellers of liquor, are a different set of men. As a general thing they are bad men and ought to receive no countenance from good people. The language they use shows that they are swayed by passions worse than those from which they profess so ardent a desire to save the drunkard.

Is He Afraid?
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Summary: Gloats that a Republican legislator from Franklin county is not seeking renomination. Attributes this action to his vote in favor of the 15th amendment, claims the voters will voice their displeasure with it at the polls in the next election.
Full Text of Article:

We hear that Capt. Walker, our last member of the Legislature from this county, declines a nomination. Why is this? Is he particularly averse to spending another winter in the midst of the harpies and vultures that infest the capital at Harrisburg, or has he detected, in the deep and dissonant mutterings of a betrayed, insulted constituency, the reward that awaits at the polls, his perfidious acts as representative? We are inclined to believe that the latter is the more correct reason. We feel that the Captain's refusal to be a candidate is not owing to his aversion to the office, but to a fear of going before his people on the record he made for himself in a single session. We know that he had hardly been out of his seat in the last House a week, before he was found at Waynesboro' trying to heal a slight breach made in his party ranks there. If the Captain, as he now says, had at that time determined not to be a candidate, why should he trouble himself about healing up the petty dissensions occasioned by his support of a local measure. The truth of the whole matter, we opine, is this. The Captain, brave and fearless as he may have been when facing the deadly missiles of his country's enemies, has not the moral courage to "face the music" occasioned by his vote on the Constitutional Amendment. Indeed we have learned that in the Captain's own home, his course in this particular is so strongly condemned that those who so persistently sought and obtained his nomination by the last convention, are even afraid to advance his standard a second time, and have now nothing but cold and weak assurance for the man whom they induced to cast his vote for a measure alike degrading to himself, and those who made a catspaw of him in the attainment of their own selfish ends. They have used you, Captain, you can now go. It would be impolite to renominate you, especially when they can nominate one, who, while he is in full sympathy with the most outrageous acts of his party, can avoid the issue of a direct vote on any of them. With such a candidate they can go before the people and report the assurances and false promises of former years--namely: that they are opposed to Negro Suffrage, or only in favor of it by a direct vote of the people. After the action of a Republican Legislature last winter, will they be believed? We shall see what we shall see.

The Registry Law
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Summary: The paper praises Judge George Sharswood for striking down a registry law that would have made it difficult for the foreign-born to vote.
Military Commissions
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Summary: The paper denounces the trial of southern civilians by military commissions.

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Meeting of County Committee
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Summary: John R. Orr, Chairman of the Democratic County Committee, announces a meeting to determine the time and place of the County Convention.
(Names in announcement: John R. Orr)
Franklin County Medical Society
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Summary: The Franklin County Medical Society will hold a meeting on the first Tuesday in July.
The Good Templar's Pic-Nic
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Summary: The Franklin County lodges of the Good Templars will hold a picnic at Brown's Mill. It promises to be the largest such event held in the county. The silver coronet band will perform.
Mercersburg College
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Summary: 124 students have been connected with Mercersburg College in the past year, including 8 sophomores, 17 freshmen, and 99 preparatory candidates. The school has plans to expand into a full college, and have added two professors to the faculty.
Knights of Pythias
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Summary: Philip Lowry, Jr., Grand Chancellor of Pennsylvania, instituted Kearney Lodge No. 159, Knights of Pythias, in Chambersburg. Vice Grand Chancellor Hoyt, Venerable Grand Patriarch Rheem, and Grand Guide Nichols assisted. Officers were chosen for the Franklin County lodge.
(Names in announcement: A. H. McCulloh, F. S. Stumbaugh, S. C. Lightcap, T. J. Grimason, W. S. Roney, J. E. Matthews, W. D. Guthrie, Frank Henderson, P. H. Pieffer, Frank Henderson, A. Matthews, H. H. Elliott)
Masonic Presentation
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Summary: Forty members of George Washington Lodge, No. 169, travelled from Chambersburg to Shippensburg to participate in a general district meeting. Representatives from 7 of the 8 lodges attended. Deputy Grand Master Robert H. Thomas of Mechanicsburg was presented with a gold watch.
(Names in announcement: Robert H. Thomas, Henry Ruby, G. B. Cole, S. L. Addams, George W. Brewer, William Mall, M. C. Hershan, James B. Orr, J. A. Richards, P. M. Emminger, J. F. McCreary, Jacob V. Gish, F. K. Ployer, A. G. Rich, C. B. Ruby, W. K. Brenizer, M. C. Harman)
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Summary: The Franklin County Horticultural Society thanks all Franklin citizens who contributed to the recent Strawberry Festival.
(Names in announcement: T. B. Jenkins, J. P. Keefer, W. H. Boyle)
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Summary: Dr. Charles H. Ingram of Philadelphia and Miss Helen M. Seibert of Chambersburg were married on June 16th in Chambersburg's Methodist Church by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Charles H. Ingram, Helen M. Seibert, Rev. S. Barnes)
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Summary: Dr. S. S. Huber and Miss Millie McNair, both of Franklin, were married on June 17th by the Rev. Dr. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: Dr. S. S. Huber, Millie McNair, Rev. Schneck)
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Summary: Benjamin F. Naugle and Miss Mary Zeise, both of Metal, were married on June 20th at the residence of the bride's parents by J. Snyder.
(Names in announcement: Benjamin F. Naugle, Mary Zeise, J. Snyder)
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Summary: John Salisbury Sherman, son of Samuel and Mary Jane Sherman, died on June 11th in Fayetteville. He was 1 year old.
(Names in announcement: John Salisbury Sherman, Samuel Sherman, Mary Jane Sherman)

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