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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: November 23, 1870

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Let Us Beat the Trickster
(Column 01)
Summary: Expresses outrage that Cessna is set to contest his recent defeat at the polls. Lists the untrustworthy actions Cessna has done in the past and sees this as just another example. Calls on all Conservatives to steal a march on Cessna by reporting all illegal Radical votes cast in the election.
(Names in announcement: John Cessna, Meyers, W. S. Stenger, John R. Orr)
Full Text of Article:

Conservatives and Democrats: John Cessna is making an effort to nullify your votes. Repudiated by his constituency, he now seeks, by political legerdemain, to render invalid their judgment of condemnation. Unexpectedly rebuked and rejected by the men whom he had deceived and betrayed, he now strives to hold his place by hook or by crook. He, last week, served a notice upon Mr. Meyers that he intends to contest his seat in the Forty-Second Congress.

Now, look at the "run" which the contemptible little fellow made. In 1868 he was elected by a majority of 144. By the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment, more than one thousand negroes were enfranchised in the district, who actually voted for Cessna almost without exception. If his party friends who voted for him before had supported him at the late election, he should have had a majority of 1150. Instead of that, he is beaten by fifteen votes.

Whilst the campaign was in progress, Cessna was confident of being elected. He did not anticipate defeat. He would not believe in the defection of his party friends on account of negro suffrage, and he thought that the party lash would whip into the traces all the refractory members whom he had treated without any show of decency and who were threatening to "cut" him at the polls. While thus confident and defiant, he said in Mercersburg, when the possibility of defeat was suggested to him, that if Mr. Meyers would get the certificate from the Return Judges, he would not trouble him with a contest. Why doesn't he stick to this declaration?

Well, as Cessna has not sufficient honor left to acknowledge and submit to his defeat and thus make his declaration good, it becomes the people who defeated him, to see to it that they are not cheated out of their votes and thus deprived of the fruits of their victory. It becomes their duty to aid, as far as in them lies, in defeating this last effort of the little political thimble-rigger to represent a people who have positively declared that they will not have him to represent them.

The Conservatives and Democrats of other Counties are all wide awake and hard at work. They are a unit in the determination not to allow Cessna to succeed in this disgraceful undertaking. They know his skill in the manipulation of contested election cases by which he perpetrated the infamous fraud of turning out men who had been elected by majorities running into the thousands, just because they were Democrats, and putting in their defeated competitors just because they were Radicals. They believe that a man who is guilty of such conduct has no conscience left, and they do not intend to be represented by such an one in Congress.

The Conservatives and Democrats of Franklin County will not fall behind their brethren of the other counties. Franklin County defeated John Cessna. Here is the place where his duplicity was chiefly practiced and most widely known. Here is the place where he made his promises only to break them. And for this it was that pure, honest men in the Radical ranks would not bow the knee to Cessna, or wear the collar which he sought to put about their necks. Here, too, is the place where the Democracy despise John Cessna. They hate him with a most intense hatred. They know his disposition--they know his character. They remember the bitterness with which he assailed Democrats when he turned traitor to the party which had nurtured and fed and honored him. They recall the abusive epithets which he applied to men who were far better patriots than himself. For all this they had treasured up their wrath knowing that

"Time at last sets all things even,
And if we do but wait the hour,
There never yet was human power
That could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong."

And when the opportunity came, they made haste to seize it. With alacrity they went to the polls, declaring that no ordinary engagements should keep them from voting against John Cessna. They all seemed to be animated by a common determination to defeat him. This accounts for the splendid vote polled by the Democracy, enabling them to carry Franklin County by a majority of 186, notwithstanding the large number of negroes who voted the Radical ticket. We have no fear that these same Democrats will be indifferent to the contest now, or negligent of the duty which this contest imposes upon them.

What is this duty? John Cessna attacks the vote in several election districts on account of irregularities and informalities which, in his judgment, would have been of no account, if he had only been elected.--He alleges that certain illegal votes were cast for Meyers and he hopes thus to overcome the majority for Meyers. Now there are, doubtless, irregularities and informalities which will weigh against Cessna. There were illegal votes cast for Cessna. It is the duty of Democrats throughout the County to inquire and make diligent search for these irregularities, informalities and illegal votes and report them at once. Let every Democrat who reads this article resolve himself into a committee of one to furnish all the information of this kind that he can gather. Inasmuch as Cessna insists upon a contest, let us make it a battle along the whole line. Let us show him that his own adherents are the men who polled the illegal votes. The truth is that this cry about illegal voting in the rural districts is not of much account.--It is only in large towns and cities that unscrupulous men resort to wholesale frauds. But there are some illegal votes, and we venture the prediction that it will be discovered that there are three illegal Radical votes for every illegal Democratic vote.--There was a large illegal negro vote polled as we hope to be able to show. Let our friends turn their attention to it, and they will find that many blacks were voted who had not arrived at the age of twenty-one years. Send us the names of all such.--Many of them paid no taxes. Find out all such who voted.

A portion of Cessna's $100,000 was floating around through Franklin county. Ascertain whether any votes were obtained for him by the payment of money, or by threats or intimidation of any kind. Look well to the payment of taxes. Ascertain whether persons just above twenty-two years of age who voted for Cessna, were assessed and paid taxes. Learn, also, whether the person who received the taxes were authorized by law to do so. Ascertain when the polls were opened and when closed, and whether during the progress of the election or the counting of the votes, persons not sworn were present in the room in which the election was held. Ascertain every vote of doubtful propriety cast at your respective polls, and report at once the name of the person who cast it and the reason why you deem it illegal, or informal. Wherever election-boards acted illegally and improperly, their conduct should be noted, and the names of all persons who offered to vote the Democratic ticket whose names were rejected, should be reported.

It is necessary that this should be attended to at once, inasmuch as Mr. Meyers must file his answer within thirty days from the time of service of the notice. Let there be no delay therefore. The Bedford Gazette says, "the skunk has been caught and is now to be skinned." Send in your data as quickly as possible addressed to W. S. Stenger, Esq., or John R. Orr, Esq.

Contrast their Conduct
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper criticizes John Cessna for making preparations to challenge the outcome of his failed bid for election as representative of the 16th District. He lost by 15 votes, and had promised ahead of time not to challenge the results.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Scarlet fever is rampant in St. Thomas.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Prof. Kidd will lecture tonight at the Court House.
(Column 01)
Summary: Charles Ridgely's hotel in St. Thomas hosted "a large and brilliant ball." A number of ladies and gentlemen from Chambersburg attended.
(Names in announcement: Charles Ridgely)
Fatal Result of an Accident
(Column 01)
Summary: John Spidle was accidently shot by Frederick Bushman while "out gunning." He passed away last Saturday.
(Names in announcement: John Spidle, Frederick Bushman)
(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. D. Townsend of Chambersburg has been appointed by the Grand Lodge of the I. O. G. T. to travel through Pennsylvania and make speeches in favor of the temperance cause.
(Names in announcement: Rev. D. Townsend)
Teachers' Institute
(Column 02)
Summary: The Franklin County Teacher's Institute met in the Court House. They attended prayer sessions and addresses by prominent teachers.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Gelwicks, Rev. T. Enterline, Hockenberry, Lyman S. Clarke, S. M. Shillito, W. Charles McClelland, Joseph Eckert, Prof. Kidd, A. J. McElwain, Prof. J. H. Shumaker, Wolfe, McFadden, D. S. McFadden, Bender, Foust)
(Column 05)
Summary: Jacob A. Martin and Miss Fannie Martin, daughter of Joseph R. Martin of Green, were married on November 17th by the Rev. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: Jacob A. Martin, Fannie Martin, Joseph R. Martin, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 05)
Summary: Calvin Maloy of Fayetteville and Miss Mary Catharine Speck of Shippensburg were married on November 17th by the Rev. D. Townsend.
(Names in announcement: Calvin Maloy, Mary Catharine Speck, Rev. D. Townsend)
(Column 05)
Summary: Miss Hannah Dice died near Greenvillage on November 5th of bronchitis.
(Names in announcement: Hannah Dice)
(Column 05)
Summary: Christian Brewbaker died suddenly near Welsh Run on November 16th. He was 64 years old.
(Names in announcement: Christian Brewbaker)

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