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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: August 31, 1859

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: News stories, many of which feature guns going off, piece about the death of Benjamin Franklin and anecdotes.

The Basis of Union
(Column 1)
Summary: The New York Tribune critiques the Philadelphia North American for suggesting that the Opposition drop the slavery issue in order to better unite and "attain the great good of a more perfect Union." The Tribune asserts that slavery is central to the Presidential election and recommends that the Opposition select a candidate who "fairly reflects its views" on the slavery extension issue. The article goes on to assert that if Southern Oppositionists do not support their candidate, thereby giving the contest "somewhat of a sectional aspect, upon them will rest the responsibility."
Origin of Article: New York Tribune
Full Text of Article:

A few candid journals, which sincerely desire the defeat of the Democracy in the coming Presidential election, offer such a basis of co-operation for effecting this object that the Republican party cannot for a moment entertain the idea of entering into a union with them on the terms proposed. Among these journals, one of the most respectable and influential is the Philadelphia North American[.] In a recent elaborate disquisition on this subject it says:

"It is only by coperation, [sic] concession, and the forbearance of impracticable ideas, that success can be assured. To achieve it, the Opposition must unite, and sink those differences of opinion which are, from education and conviction, in their very nature, irreconcilable. Similar differences existed when the Constitution was formed, and yet they were harmonized and subordinated to attain the great good of a more perfect Union."

The "difference of opinion" mentioned in this extract relate[s] to the subject of slavery. -- Not forgeting [sic] the liberal treatment which the Republican cause and candidates received from the North American in the severe contest of 1856, and in a State and city where aid to both was much needed; and with an earnest desire on our part to have the powerful assistance of such a journal in the conflict before us, we must, nevertheless, assure our cotemporary [sic] that what it desires to see done cannot be accomplished. The Republican party has no thought or purpose of abating its opposition to the extension of slavery. To resist the schemes of the negro propagandists, it was called into existence. Its first general battle was fought on that ground. Though the precise question at stake then -- the liberties of Kansas -- has, thanks to her brave sons, and the Republican party and its anti-Lecom[p]ton allies, been settled in favor of freedom, the primary principle involved in that memorable contest is as much and as really at issue now as it was then. The field of combat is changed. The grounds of quarrel remain the same.

But, while the question involved is of the like generic character now as then, it is assuming vastly more portentous proportions in the pending Presidential campaign, than those it exhibite[d] in the last. Then we resisted an attempt to force slavery upon a single territory of the Union. Now the design is to plant and protect that institution in all existing territories of the Republic, by means [o]f legislative, executive, and judicial intervention -- to acquire by purchase, or conquest, foreign territories, to be in their turn blighted with the same curse, and to reopen, under legal sanctions, the African slave-trade, in order to supply the necessary means for thus enlarging the area of human bondage on this continent. If, therefore, there was a necessity for the organization of the Republican party in the years 1855 and 1856, to meet the single issue which the slavery extensionists tendered to the country then, are there not far stronger reasons for its continued existence to encounter, and if possible master, the manifold issues which the same interest is pressing into the current contest?

Even if the Republicans were themselves willing to "sink" the slavery issue out of sight, to withdraw it altogether from the canvass, and abandon, without further struggle, all the old landmarks of freedom set up by the fathers, the attempt would be as idle as it would be criminal. The slavery extenders of the south will not allow that question to be ignored. They have thrust it into the Presidential arena, and they will keep it there during the conflict, even though every Republican and every northern and southern conservative should consent to its withdrawal. -- Can so intelligent a journal as the North American have overlooked these patent palpable facts? In the recent elections in the South was not slavery by far the most prominent subject, indeed almost the only subject, in the press and on the stump? Was it not the Alpha and the Omega of the canvass?

Is not the Democratic party, North and South, shaken to its centre by antagonistic creeds and personal feuds, originating in this fruitful theme? Does not everybody anticipate that, directly and indirectly, as it shall modify platforms and measure candidates, it alone will agitate and possibly divide the Charleston Convention? In a word, is it not the political topic on which the great mass of the American people think, feel, write and talk, more than upon all others put together? To these queries but one answer can be given. We submit, then, to our respected Philadelphia cotemporary, [sic] and to all others of like mind that to attempt to divert the public attention from this question, and to force upon the popular consideration others about which it cares relatively little, would be to the last degree preposterous in purpose and fruitless in result.

All that is left for patriotic men, then, is to determine on which side of this controversy they will throw the weight of their influence. And, when this alternative is as evident to our Philadelphia neighbor as it is to us, we have no doubt of the position it will occupy in this unavoidable conflict.

Recurring to the extract we have taken from its calm and conciliatory article, we would suggest whether the only practicable basis of Union for 1860 is not that which we have from time to time proposed? We will state it in the briefest terms: Let so much of the Opposition as agree in substance upon the slavery issues involved in the Presidential contest, unite to elect a candidate who fairly reflects its views, and will resolutely carry out its policy; in the mean time "sinking differences of opinion" on other and subordinate matters. Now, we admit that this is the precise opposite of the basis of Union proposed by the North American. We also admit that it is more than probable that the large body of the Opposition in the South might refuse to unite with the Republicans and anti-Lecompton Americans and Democrats of the North, on this basis. But if, by this course, they should give to the contest somewhat of a sectional aspect, upon them will rest the responsibility. The basis proposed is as broad as the constitution, and as national as the policy of our revolutionary fathers. We believe that thousands upon thousands of high minded men in the South would cordially go with us in such a union; and we know that it would place in the Presidential chair a man who would rebuke, by word and deed, that narrow and groveling policy which aims to make negro slavery the dominant element in the federal government. -- N. Y. Tribune.

Trailer: N. Y. Tribune
Letters of Acceptance from Messrs. Cochran and Keim
(Column 4)
Summary: The letters of Thomas E. Cochran and W. H. Keim, addressed to John S. Pomeroy, Joseph Garretson and J. H. Seltzer, Esqs., Committee of People's State Convention, graciously accepting nominations for Auditor General and Surveyor General, respectively.
(Names in announcement: Thomas E. Cochran, W. H. Keim, John S. PomeroyEsq., Joseph GarretsonEsq., John H. SeltzerEsq.)
Editorial Comment: "The Committee appointed by the People's State Convention to Notify Messrs. Cochran and Keim of their nomination, have received the following notes in reply. They are both candid and out spoken, and there can be no doubt but the nominations of the Convention will be handsomely ratified by the People at the ballot-box in October next."

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Includes a poem, a story and advertisements.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Includes a poem, stories and advertisements.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: Another tirade against the Valley Spirit for "fiendish attacks" against Col. A. K. McClure and a reprint of the People's Party ticket.

The Shadow of Coming Events
(Column 1)
Summary: Another blast against the Locofocos asserting that they will not win the next Presidential election.
Change of Time
(Column 3)
Summary: Changes in times and speakers at the various meetings of the People's Party throughout the county are noted. The Hons. Joseph Casey, Thomas E. Cochran, and Edward McPherson are all scheduled to speak.
(Names in announcement: Hon. Joseph Casey, Hon. Thomas E. Cochran, Hon. Edward McPherson)
Glory Departing
(Column 3)
Summary: Another article deriding the Locofocos, this one points out the gains the Opposition has made in the thirty-fifth Congress, particularly in mustering the votes of congressmen from Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Quite Gratifying
(Column 5)
Summary: Cadet J. W. Reilly, son of Hon. Wilson Reilly of Chambersburg, is reportedly excelling at West Point.
(Names in announcement: J. W. Reilly, Hon. Wilson Reilly)
A National Convention
(Column 5)
Summary: A notice from William Seibert suggesting that the local Methodist Episcopal brethren meet at the upcoming Camp Meetings at Mercersburg and Newville to pick delegates to a national convention of local preachers belonging to the M. E. C. to be held in Baltimore October 1st.
(Names in announcement: William Seibert)
Trailer: William Seibert
The Great Aurora
(Column 5)
Summary: Description of the aurora witnessed by many the past Sunday night.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Kane)
New Democratic Paper
(Column 6)
Summary: Conjecture about whether the Democrats of Chambersburg will reform the "dirty, abominable" Valley Spirit or start a new paper.
Will Not be Behind
(Column 6)
Summary: The Cumberland Valley Rail Road, in procuring the very latest invention for issuing and stamping tickets, is subject to some gentle teasing -- "No addition could improve, and less than it is imperfect" -- by the author, who was permitted to examine "this superior piece of Mechanism" by the "gentlemanly" Clerk, A. H. McCulloh, Esq."
(Names in announcement: A. H. McCulloh)

-Page 05-

Description of Page: Includes an updated schedule of the meetings of the People's Party throughout the county, market reports, national news stories and advertisements.

Agricultural Society
(Column 1)
Summary: The "Farmers and Mechanics Industrial Association of Franklin County" is offering certificates of life membership for $10.00.
[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: The People's Party Senatorial Conferees of the Senatorial District (Adams, Fulton and Franklin counties) met at A. Mishler's Public House in Chambersburg and nominated Col. A. K. McClure for Senator and Col. D. O. Gehr for Senatorial Delegate to the next State Convention. William King (President; Adams Co.), L. W. Tritle (Secretary, Fulton Co.), James Pott (Fulton Co.), H. S. Stoner, William Hammett, George Jarrett (all Franklin Co.) were the delegates present.
(Names in announcement: Col. A. K. McClure, Col. D. O. Gehr, William King, L.W. Tritle, James Pott, H.S. Stoner, William Hammett, George Jarrett, A. Mishler)
Our Improvements
(Column 2)
Summary: Last week's article about the brick building boom omitted the names of J. Lutz, Samuel Ott, John Miller (a mason) and John Miller (an innkeeper), all of whom have buildings in progress. The article goes on to describe the two three-storied buildings Matthew Gillan is building on West Market Street, with bricks supplied by Benjamin Uglow for $15.00 per thousand bricks.
(Names in announcement: J. Lutz, Samuel Ott, John Miller, John Miller, Matthew GillanEsq., Benjamin Uglow)
The Chambersburg Academy
(Column 2)
Summary: The Chambersburg Academy starts classes September 1st. Mr. Shyrock is Principal, aided by a "corps of teachers" including Rev. Jas. Kennedy, Mr. B. Frey and Miss R. A. Schively.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Shyrock, Rev. Jas. Kennedy, Mr. B. Frey, Miss R. A. Schively)
Welcome Surprise
(Column 2)
Summary: The editors thank Samuel M. Armstrong, Esq. for a large basket of "the most luscious plums" that he had delivered to the "sanctum" of the Franklin Repository.
(Names in announcement: Samuel M. ArmstrongEsq.)
Balloon Ascension
(Column 3)
Summary: John A. Light, "youthful aeronaut," made another successful ascension from the diamond in Chambersburg, witnessed by several thousand spectators. His passengers were a dog and a pigeon, who were released -- the former with a parachute -- from midair. The article includes another jab at the Valley Spirit, this time for publishing a letter purported to be by Mr. Light, "but it savors so much of a certain pill shop in West Market street where we believe it was boiled that we pronounce it a humbug and decline publishing it." Curiously, this "Balloon Ascension" article in the Franklin Repository is flanked by advertisements for Nixon's and Miller's Drug Stores, both posing as stories about the balloon ascension.
(Names in announcement: John A. Light)

-Page 06-

Description of Page: A poem, story about Napoleon III, anecdotes and advertisements.

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Miscellaneous anecdotes.

-Page 08-

Description of Page: Includes "Rural Matters" column and advertisements.