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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: March 23, 1870

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The Border Claims
(Column 01)
Summary: Reprints an article from another journal sympathetic to the payment of border claims. Highlights the suffering that people of the border endured, and the justness of the measure. The editors rebut the charges of speculators, and give details of the proposed bill.
Full Text of Article:

The Reformed Church Messenger, published at Philadelphia, has an article on the Border Claims, which we presume was written by that excellent gentleman, Rev. Samuel R. Fisher, D. D., who was on the border during the war and is perfectly cognizant of the extent of the losses of our people. He was himself a sufferer by the fire that destroyed Chambersburg. It would be well for some of the Philadelphia dailies which have abused us so vigorously and energetically, and who yet pretend to treat us fairly, to exhibit their fairness by publishing an article like this which takes the right side of the question. We give this article prominence for the reason that it is moderate in its tone and correct in its statements: "Two weeks ago some reference was made in our columns to what are termed the Border claims. An effort is being made to secure from our present State Legislature, the passage of a bill, which shall make provision for their payment. We had hoped that the justice of these claims would be generally admitted, and that the movement referred to, would meet with little or no opposition. Our expectations in this direction, however, we are sorry to find, are sadly disappointed. Most of our city papers, as well as some others in different parts of the State, have manifested a most violent opposition to it. In some instances, the most flagrant slanders upon the people on the border are indulged in, and resort is also had to the most flimsy arguments.

"We happen to form a portion of those, who are called border sufferers, and passed through their sorry experience. On this subject, therefore, we speak from personal knowledge. The claim, as far as our knowledge of them extends, we believe to be just. They are no trumped up affairs, as has been alleged. They were passed upon by disinterested persons, from another part of the State, appointed for the purpose by the Legislature. Some of them are far from being equal to the losses really sustained. Such we know to be the case with those, in which we are interested. If fully paid, they will cover but little more than half of the actual loss.

"Some of the city dailies soberly argued against these claims on the ground that, during the war, in other parts of the State, in Philadelphia and Pittsburg, for instance, great losses were sustained from the suspension of business, and their payment might be pressed with as much justice as those of the people on the border. It should be borne in mind, however, that the claims of the border people are not for any such losses as these. On this score their losses, for which they set up no claim, were much greater even than those of the people of Philadelphia and Pittsburg. The interruption of business in these cities, altogether covered only a few weeks. On the borders, they continued for months during each of a series of years. Those who witnessed the continual swaying backward and forward of the distracted people, as the army of the enemy approached or withdrew, know what that to which we refer means. Had those, who set up this objection to the border claims, known something of this by experience, they would be ashamed to offer such a flimsy plea of opposition.

"The border people are charged with treating our soldiery, not only with indifference, but also with culpable neglect, and are even represented as being disloyal! Never was any charge more unfounded. The people cheerfully co-operated with the friends of the government, in their efforts to put down the rebellion. To this end they contributed both men and means, as largely as any other portion of the country. The soldiery themselves, who spent any time among them, can bear witness how cheerfully everything in their power was done to administer to their comfort. We, personally, along with others, cheerfully devoted both time and money in this direction.

"It is said again, these losses were sustained in the common cause of the country, and therefore recourse should be had for their payment, to the General, and not to the State Government. Those who urge this plea forget, that it is only through the State Government that payment for these and similar losses is to be secured from the General Government. The States of Ohio and Indiana promptly paid their citizens the losses sustained from the Morgan raid, and have long since been re-imbursed by the General Government. The great State of Pennsylvania should act as magnanimously towards its citizens.

"It is further said, that these claims are presented, not by the original sufferers, but by others who have bought them up at a large discount, and that the most corrupt means are resorted to for the purpose of securing their payment. We know not how it may be with the claims of others. Those, in which we are interested, remain in first hands. Besides this, we do not know what particular appliances are brought to bear to secure the passage of the act asked for from the Legislature. Certain it is, however, we would never give out countenance to any thing that is illegal or improper. Knowing our claims to be just, all we ask is, that their justice may be acknowledged, and their payment promptly provided for in a legitimate way. These claims, we doubt not, will eventually have to be met, even though the present opposition should succeed in causing delay.

"After the above was in type, we were pleased to learn, that a bill for the relief of the border sufferers has been reported on favorably in the House of Representatives. The provisions of the bill are so reasonable, that they cannot fail to recommend it to general favor. In its present shape it must pass both houses, receive the signature of the Governor, and thus become a law.--Some light seems to dawn upon the darkness of those, who have so long suffered from the sore losses inflicted upon them by merciless foes. The bill, as reported, provides that the State shall devote all the monies which it may hereafter receive from the counties of Adams, Bedford, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Perry and York, for direct taxes, and taxes on railroads, &c., within their limits, to a fund, from which the claims shall be paid as fast as the fund accumulates. Certificates of indebtedness of the value of $100, $300, $500, and $1000, shall be issued by the treasurer, which shall bear interest at the rate of five per cent until paid."

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New Proprietors
(Column 01)
Summary: Jacob Enber and Henry Feldman are the new proprietors of the Union Hotel. They "intend to devote themselves to the work of making it an excellent house for public entertainment."
(Names in announcement: Jacob Enber, Henry Feldman)
Gone West
(Column 01)
Summary: R. A. Orr of Orrstown has left for Sidney, Iowa, where he plans to settle.
(Names in announcement: R. A. Orr)
The Franklin County Bank
(Column 01)
Summary: Chambers McKibbin and Charles H. Taylor have purchased the Banking House of Austin, Elder, and Fletcher. "These gentlemen are well known to our citizens as men of probity and honor." "We cannot doubt they will be successful."
(Names in announcement: Chambers McKibbin, Charles H. Taylor, Austin, Elder, Fletcher)
Franklin County Horticultural Society
(Column 02)
Summary: The Franklin County Horticultural Society met on March 15th. J. P. Keefer read an essay on "Gathering and Storing of Fruits." "Much useful information can be gathered by attending these meetings, and our citizens should more generally improve the privilege of being present. The election of ladies to membership in the society is exerting a favorable influence, and they now frequently grace its meetings."
(Names in announcement: J. P. Keefer, Suesserott, Jenkins, Reed, Hamilton, Hazlett, Keefer)
(Column 04)
Summary: John C. Aughinbaugh of Chambersburg and Miss Annie Werner of Guilford were married on March 8th by the Rev. D. Townsend.
(Names in announcement: John C. Aughinbaugh, Annie Werner, Rev. D. Townsend)
(Column 04)
Summary: David Sherman and Miss Annie Draner of Chambersburg were married on March 17th by the Rev. L. A. Gotwald.
(Names in announcement: David Sherman, Annie Draner, Rev. L. A. Gotwald)
(Column 04)
Summary: Abraham Kaufman and Miss Kate Wineman, both of Franklin, were married on March 17th by the Rev. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: Abraham Kaufman, Kate Wineman, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mr. Samuel Smith died near Greencastle on March 10th. He was 81 years old.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Smith)
(Column 04)
Summary: Mrs. Elizabeth Kennedy, wife of Cyrus Kennedy, died in Mercersburg on March 12th. She was 26 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Kennedy, Cyrus Kennedy)
(Column 04)
Summary: John Lantz, Sr., died on March 11th. He was 77 years old.
(Names in announcement: John LantzSr.)

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