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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 2, 1870

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The Border Claims
(Column 01)
Summary: Viciously denounces the newspapers around the state who are against payment of border claims. Calls their insinuations false and degrading, argues that the border counties exhibited as much patriotism and sacrifice as any other county and deserves compensation for its losses.
Full Text of Article:

The publication of the bill for the payment of the losses of the border counties, has called forth very favorable comments from some journals, whilst it has elicited from a few others an exhibition of a spirit of the utmost vindictiveness and illiberality. The latter have resorted to basest means to prejudice the public mind against the border claimants.

One paper doubles, and nearly trebles, the amount of the losses, fixing it at seven million dollars, in order to secure the opposition of some sordid souls whose money is their God.

Another ridicules our people as "the losers of a few potatoes and a little beef," in order to create the impression that they are "thieves and robbers" and "Swindlers" in asking for three millions.

Another evidently has the idea that there are a few members of the Legislature who can be influenced by the stale cry of "rebel sympathizers," and it accordingly charges them with being "luke-warm loyalists," and with having "sold garden truck, and butter and eggs enough to the Union armies to recompense them, three times over, for their rifled corn patches, and burned snake fences," and with having "sold water to the Union soldiers in their hour of need," and caps the climax by asserting that they would have "glady sold the same sort of thing for rebel scrip."

Another has the hardihood to publish a statement that the value of all the real estate destroyed was seventy-five thousand dollars, and that the nature of the adjudication of the personal property is shown by this specimen: "two vests, eight dollars, six bags, six dollars, and three sets of furs, twelve dollars."

Such is the spirit in which a portion of the press meets the claim of the people of the border counties for payment. They use no arguments. They manufacture their premises and draw their own conclusions from them, and ignore the real facts altogether.

We have no defence to make of the loyalty of our people. It has been tested thoroughly by the severest trials through which any people could be called to pass. Notwithstanding the raids to which they were constantly subjected; notwithstanding the invasion which blighted the country, over which Lee's troops passed, like a simoon blast; notwithstanding the terrible conflagration which laid our beautiful town in ashes, the people of the border counties never failed to send the bravest and best young men to the war to fill up the depleted ranks of the Union army. Franklin county sent one-half of her voting population and one-tenth of her whole population to the war. Aye, so true and loyal were the people of Chambersburg, that, when the alternative was presented to them on the 30th day of July, A. D. 1864, rather than contribute of their money to strengthen and sustain the Rebel cause, they preferred to see their homes fired by Rebel torches and burned to the ground, and their wives and little ones left without a roof to shelter them. With such a record, they can laugh to scorn, the taunts and sneers of these cowards who strive to belittle the contributions and sacrifice made by the people of the border counties.

Instead of seventy-five thousand dollars being the amount of damage done to real estate, as asserted by one of these unscrupulous scribblers, the report of the last Commission fixes the amount at $234,583.98, and this does not include the damage to real estate by the burning of Chambersburg, for which an award was made by a special Commission, to the amount of $713,294.34. Thus it will be seen that the damage to real estate alone reaches almost one million dollars. These are facts which no mendacity can wipe out.

And, instead of the items quoted by the Associated Press correspondent as samples of the claims for loss of personal property, it will be found that the bulk of these claims is made up of horses that were stolen, grain that was fed and carried away, furniture that was destroyed by fire, and articles of merchandise that were either appropriated by the Rebels, or consumed by the flames. The malignity that could coin such falsehoods, to misrepresent and injure a people who suffered such terrible anxiety of mind, and such an enormous loss of property during the rebellion, is not only unprincipled and unscrupulous, but it is perfectly diabolical. There is a satisfaction in knowing that it has betrayed its weakness by the glaring enormity of its misrepresentations, and that its libelous articles have failed to convince thinking men of the propriety of refusing to pay these losses.

The Pittsburgh Commercial and Dispatch, and some of the Philadelphia papers have been most abusive, and most unscrupulous in their statements. And this too, when the fact appears by reference to the laws of the Commonwealth, that citizens of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have already been paid by the State for the damages sustained by them at the hands of Union Soldiers.--When the bills were pending before the Legislature to pay those claims, these journals did not exhibit the virtuous indignation which now seems to control them. It makes the biggest difference in the world whose ox is gored. Now the principle is the same. If the Legislature of 1869 could provide for the payment of damages sustained by the citizens of Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties to the amount of twelve thousand dollars, why should not the Legislature of 1870 pay the damages sustained by our people? We feel satisfied that the justice of our claims will be recognized and that this session will not be allowed to pass by, without provision being made for their payment.

We have not hesitated to lay before our readers the insinuations and charges which have been leveled at their heads. There is not a resident of the border counties who will not repel each and all of these charges as being destitute of any foundation whatever. And they can only entertain the most sovereign contempt for these penny-a-liners who are printing these denunciations, in the hope that somebody will call on them to pay them for desisting from these attacks. They can rest assured that nobody will call for that purpose. Let them howl on. This claim is just and equitable, and the Legislature will recognize it as such.

The Negro Senator
(Column 02)
Summary: Calls the swearing-in of Hiram Revels a symbol of the degeneracy and chaos which the Senate has become under Radical leadership. Again argues that Revels shouldn't be a Senator because technically he has not been a citizen for nine years. Also, prints a statement from former jurymen showing how Revels embezzled money from his church in Kansas a few years back.
Full Text of Article:

The ambition of Radicalism has been at last realized. A negro has reached the position in America next highest to the Presidency. Revels has been admitted to a seat in the United States Senate. The place once occupied by Jefferson Davis is now filled by the huge form of a burly African, and the Radical leaders are clapping their hands in ecstasy. He is a man who, if he were white, would not be regarded by the people as possessed of sufficient capacity to teach a village school. And yet, fanaticism has foisted him into a position, which, in the better days of the Republic, was held by men of giant intellect, such as Calhoun, Webster, Clay, Pinckney, Hayne and Benton. Alas! how has the American Senate degenerated since then. The dignity which characterized the deliberations of those men, has given place to the swagger and maudlin talk of a drunken Yates, or the insensate quacking of a fanatical Drake, or the miserable diatribes of a self-opinioned Sumner, or the negromania of a doting Cameron. Indeed, to such an extent has the body been stripped of its dignity that the negro Senator himself has been already most thoroughly disgusted, and is reported as having turned his attention to the study of the rules of etiquette, as well as those which were intended and are supposed to govern the body of which he is a member, so that he may be able, both by precept and example to instruct some of his white Radical brethren as to the proper way to behave themselves. This may be a libel on the white Senators, but certain it is that the news from Washington a few days ago, indicated that Revels could not endure the infraction of the rules of the Senate, of which so many of his Radical peers were guilty. He has never moved in the best society, but he says that he has been accustomed to observe the whites about him in the South, and that they are infinitely superior to Sumner, and Wilson, and Drake, and Yates, in point of good manners and good breeding. We may expect to see him, therefore, attempting to enforce upon his Radical peers, the necessity of giving a higher tone to their disputations and of exhibiting a more polite bearing towards each other. If he succeeds in the effort, perhaps the people may consider that some little ground for dealing more leniently with them for perpetrating the outrage of admitting a negro to the United States Senate.

It is astonishing how willing these Radical Senators are to disregard the Constitution to suit their purposes. The Constitution of the United States makes it one of the qualifications of a United States Senator that he must have been a citizen of the United States for nine years. Has the negro been a citizen of the United States for nine years? Nine years carry us back to a period before the war. Nobody then claimed citizenship for him. The Dred Scott decision was then the latest opinion of the Supreme Court on the subject, and, certainly, it did not recognize the negro as a citizen. Then came the war, and with it the abolition of slavery, and then came the contest for clothing the negro with citizenship. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was proposed and adopted, by the Radicals themselves to make the negro a citizen. They have succeeded in making him an elector, and putting him on a plane of perfect equality with the whites as to political rights, and now they override the Constitution, under which they hold their own places, in order to carry their fanatical doctrines to the farthest extreme, and gratify their wish to see the negro elevated to a position of superiority to the great majority of white people.

Suppose a man were to be elected to the United States Senate who was only twenty-nine years of age. How quickly he would be informed that he must attain the age of thirty years before he could be admitted, because that is one of the qualifications prescribed by the Constitution. Why has not the same rule been applied to this negro as to this other requisite qualification, vis: a nine years citizenship? Surely, common prudence would have dictated that the Constitution should be upheld in this particular, so that the colored race, so suddenly emancipated and enfranchised, might have the opportunity to prepare themselves, by a proper study of our form of government, to assist in making laws for the nation. Think of a negro, who never cast a vote until within the last year, elevated at once to the United States Senate to legislate for a mighty Republic like ours. Could fanaticism possibly go further?

In order to satisfy our readers that Revels is a fit associate for the leaders of "the party of great moral ideas," it may be well for them to know something of his antecedents. He was once pastor of a negro church in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was charged with embezzling the Church funds, and thereupon sued for libel, but the jury found his alleged libeler not guilty. Here is a card, signed by six of the jury, which is decidedly interesting in this connection:

"LEAVENWORTH, AUG. 27, 1867.

"We, the undersigned, were jurymen in the case of the State of Kansas vs. John H. Morris, in which one Hiram R. Revels was complaining witness. Said suit was instituted by the said Revels in the form of a criminal prosecution, for an alleged libel in charging the said Revels with embezzling the funds of his church; with falsehood and hypocrisy, in a certain pamphlet entitled: 'A humbug.'

"The defendant (Morris) took the ground that the alleged libel was true, and proved to our satisfaction that the said Hiram R. Revels had embezzled certain funds belonging to his church, and has been guilty of falsehood, and had unnecessarily forced a quarrel on the said Morris, thus compelling him to act in vindication of his own character.

"In short, we found that the alleged libel was true, and that it was published for good motives and justifiable ends, all of which it was necessary to prove to secure an acquittal in a suit for libel.
"E.M. RANKIN, Foreman;

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Olive Logan's Lecture
(Column 01)
Summary: Miss Olive Logan will lecture in Repository Hall on March 19th. Her subject will be "Girls." She comes very favorably reviewed. She is sensitive to her subject but also exposes "the follies of the 'girl of the period.'"
(Column 04)
Summary: Dr. A. H. Strickler of Mercersburg and Miss Clara A. Besore of Waynesboro were married at the residence of George Besore on February 24th.
(Names in announcement: Dr. A. H. Strickler, Clara A. Besore, George Besore)
(Column 04)
Summary: Solomon D. Fegan and Miss Sarah Bell Culbertson, daughter of John Culbertson and all of Doylesburg, were married on February 16th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Solomon D. Fegan, Sarah Bell Culbertson, John Culbertson, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 04)
Summary: Anthony K. McCurdy of Metal and Miss Kellie Flickinger, daughter of William H. Flickinger of Fannett, were married on February 17th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Anthony K. McCurdy, Kellie Flickinger, William H. Flickinger, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 04)
Summary: Major Samuel Fisher died in Shady Grove on February 22nd. He was 64 years old.
(Names in announcement: Maj. Samuel Fisher)
(Column 04)
Summary: Hannah F. Shillito, wife of James O. Galbraith and formerly of Chambersburg, died in Ohio on February 21st. She was 42 years old.
(Names in announcement: Hannah F. Shillito, James O. Galbraith)

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