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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: November 2, 1859

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Court proceedings of the trial of John Brown; Disclosure by one of the insurgents;

Joshua R. Giddings On The Harper's Ferry Trouble.
(Column 6)
Summary: Joshua R. Giddings argues that states are not required to protect slavery, and refers to the bitterness among the states (and in people like John Brown) has resulted, and that antislavery will eventually win out.
[No Title]
(Column )

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Serial Fiction on a Haunted House; advertisements.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements; religious story.

(Column 2)
Summary: An article criticizing William Walker's expeditions and efforts to acquire Nicaragua as another slave state. The Gazette also criticizes the administration for allowing the neutrality laws between countries to be violated.
Origin of Article: Pittsburgh Gazette
Full Text of Article:

Whenever a gang of fillibustering plunderers wishes to sail from any port in this country, the feat is accomplished, under one pretext or another. The government is advised in due season, of the preparations for sailing it issues its orders, accordingly, to the collectors and other officers, to keep a sharp look-out and prevent the departure of the illegal expedition, the collectors and other officers proceed to watch the movements of the suspected parties in what they call a vigilant manner; the filibusters [sic] fool them, or throw them off their guard, or sail in spite of them; and then the government officials come out with long explanations to show how it was done. They can always explain how the expeditions get off; but they have never yet succeeded in preventing the sailing of one. The telegraph is now daily burdened with explanations of this kind. First we are told that Walker is at New Orleans, with a gang of cut-throats, rowdies and thieves, all ready for a new foray upon Nicaragua, and that the government knows all about it. Second, that the collector at New Orleans has been instructed to prevent her sailing. Third, that Walker has applied for a clearance and the clearance has been refused. Fourth, that Walker and his crew have sailed without a clearance, the collector having been thrown completely off his guard. And finally, there comes along a voluminous explanation to show how it was the collector imposed upon.

We understand, now, just exactly how it was done. But the curious thing abut the whole matter is that it is always so. The same programme [sic] is observed on all occasions and it invariably ends in the announcement that the fillibusters have succeeded in escaping. Whatever the government may do or say, it invariably succeeds. The conclusion is inevitable. The government does not really desire to prevent the sailing of these expeditions; but it has to keep up appearances with the rest of the world, and it would not do to let the neutrality laws be openly violated. It is necessary, therefore, to keep up the show of resistance to these marauding expeditions; but nothing is ever done efficiently; and the sole effort of the government is to make it appear that it has done all it could, under the circumstances. It apparently strives to enforce the neutrality laws; but practically connives at their violation. Its sympathies are all with the buccaneers; and while, for the sake of appearances, it seems to oppose them, their escape is always permitted. The South is desirous of acquiring more slave territory; Walker will do as well as any one else to lead off in the first effort to acquire it; and as the Administration in reality belongs to the South, it dare not give efficiency to the means it apparently uses against the fillibusters.--Pittsburgh Gazette.

-Page 04-

Description of Page: News of elections around the country; Broderick's last words.

Wise Vs. Buchanan
(Column 1)
Summary: This article suggests that Gov. Wise of Virginia does not trust Pres. Buchanan to punish John Brown--rather that he will appoint Brown to an office in order to get Northern support (just as he did during the war in Kansas to appease the Southerners).
Where Is Judge Black
(Column 2)
Summary: This article criticizes Judge Black for enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law, but not the Act of Congress that forbids the import of slaves. The article suggests that Jerry Black will not prosecute these pirates because he wants the presidential nomination and, therefore, will need Southern support.
Full Text of Article:

A short time since some overzealous advocates of human liberty at Oberlin, Ohio, assisted a fugative [sic] slave in escaping from a greedy negro catcher--a violation of the infamous law of 1850, commonly called the "Fugitive Slave act," which compels every freeman to become a blood hound. The watchful Attorney General, ever on the alert to see that no impious wretch lays violent hands upon Congressional enactments, hurried to the rescue and urges the Marshall, for the district wherein occurred the unlawful act, to spare no efforts to bring the offenders to condign punishment, and, if necessary, the whole army and navy would be sent to back him. How very fearful lest somebody should trample upon so sacred a thing as an act of Congress! Doubtles [sic] the like was never done till then, and the horrified Attorney General was eager to make and example of the audacious being who could raise his puny arm against the immaculate (?) United States Government, with so terrific a cabinet officer as he!

We might admire the zeal of Judge Black, if we did not know that it is nothing but time-serving sycophancy--place-hunting subserviency to the all powerful (with his own party) oligarchy. In defense of our condemnation of the weak-kneed Jerry, we quote from a Southern newspaper, the Memphis Avalanche, the following:

"Three of the six native Africans brought here a few days since, were sold yesterday at the mart of Mr. West, and brought respectively, $750, $740 and $515. The latter sum was paid for a boy about fifteen years old, who seemed to possess more intelligence than any of the others. These negroes are a part of the cargo of the yacht Wanderer, landed some months since."

This is an open, undisguized [sic] violation of an Act of Congress; but the moon-eyed Attorney General cannot see anything wrong in the South. The highest crime known to the laws--Piracy--is carried on by the propagandists of slavery, unblushingly, yet the very sensative [sic] Judge Black, (sensative [sic] when a Northern man dares to give a cup of cold water, or a crust of bread, to a famishing fellow mortal, in opposition to the Fugative [sic] slave law) can not see or hear anything to condemn in that section of the country.

We would like to see the Congressional law prescribing the duties of his office--Perhaps it is worded so as to justify his watching, with sleepless vigilance, the shortcomings of Northern men; and requiring him, under severe penalties, to close his eyes to every outrage, no matter what be its character, which Southern men may commit. If such is its phraseology he may, possibly, hide behind it to screen him from a charge of dereliction of duty. If, however, it requires him to arrest and arraign every offender against the national statutes, no matter where he may, reside, or what may be his name, then we would like to know how he can, as an honest man, allow these pirates to go unwhipt [sic] of justice.

There can be no higher offense against law, good government and human safety, than that odious, diabolical, indefensible crime--piracy. The laws of Congress have pronounced the slave trade to be piracy, and have said that those concerned in the inhuman trafic [sic] shall be punished as pirates. Accordingly, it becomes the duty of the Attorney General to see that no person, either as a principal or an accessory, shall engage in this unholy business. By the foregoing declaration from the Memphis Avalanche, which is so flauntingly thrown into the face of the Attorney General by that paper, the unrighteous, piratical traffic is openly conducted throughout the South. Why does not the Attorney General issue an order to the Marshall of the district in which the Avalanche is printed, commanding him to ferret out these foul offenders against every principle of justice, decency, and humanity, as he did so eagerly, at the instance of the lords of the lash, in the case of the Oberlin rescuers? Where is he now? Why does he not offer the army and navy to crush out these foul violators of Congressional laws?

The difference is that Jerry has an eye to the succession, and the Convention is to meet away down South--in Charleston. South Carolina; in the State where Tories were so thick during the Revolution that, it has been alleged, their toes stuck out over the State lines; in the State which sends to Congress brave, valiant, chivalric men who steal up behind an unarmed, unprotected United States Senator, while at his desk in the Senate Chamber, and strike him to the floor for no offense but loving freedom better than slavery. It is not safe then for timid men to oppose these desperate characters, and then ask office or a nomination from a convention meeting in their State.

The Contrast
(Column 3)
Summary: A comparison between Republican papers--who denounced both the Harper's Ferry Insurrection and the war in Kansas--and the Democratic papers--who, out of fear of Southern reaction, were silent on the riots in Kansas but now condemn the Insurrection at Harper's Ferry. The Repository wonders why the lives lost in Kansas are not as worthwhile as those people killed at Harper's Ferry--and why no Democratic newspaper is brave enough to admit to this.
Politics OF Harper's Ferry Insurgents!
(Column 5)
Summary: This article alludes to an election tally found among John Brown's papers that indicates that there were a significant number of Democrats among his insurgents--including Cook (who declared his political stance to a local in Hagerstown).
Salt River
(Column 5)
Summary: The Repository suggests that fun can be had by reading the leader in the Spirit's issue today, being a "Narrative of the Democratic Expedition up Salt River."
A Falsehood Nailed
(Column 5)
Summary: This article defends against Locofoco newspapers' accusations that Gerrit Smith allied himself with the Republican party. The Repository prints a letter written by Gerrit Smith that criticizes the Republican party for its stance and inaction in respect to the slavery issue.
Progress Of The "Irrepressible Conflict."
(Column 6)
Summary: An article noting the Republicans' rise in power in Congress since the establishment of the party.
Origin of Article: Harrisburg Telegraph

-Page 05-

Description of Page: advertisements; Verdict of John Brown's trial (guilty).

Court Proceedings
(Column 1)
Summary: A description of Court Proceedings for Oct. 31st. The prosecutions against William H. Boyle, George H. Mengle, and Peter S. Dechert for Libel on oath of Col. A. K. McClure, were continued until next term. Miss Disart vs. William Rupert--an Action for Seduction: continued until next term due to sickness. Commonwealth vs. John Williams (colored)--Assault and Battery: Not Guilty and prosecutor pays costs. Com. vs. John Williams--Assault and Battery: Indictment quashed for informality. Com. vs. Ferdinand Evans (colored)--Indictments Quashed for informality. Com. vs. Jacob Wise--Assault and Battery on the body of Whiteman: Not Guilty, County to pay costs. Com. vs Samuel Biggs--Assault and Battery upon the body of Thomas J. Harris: Guilty. Com. vs. James Disart--False pretences on oath of William Rupert. COMMON PLEAS: Smith & Hollenberger vs. Joseph Funk--Action on single bill, judgement for plaintiff for $122.76. Smith & Hollenberger vs. Joseph Funk--Action on single bill, judgment for plaintiff for $94.66. Smith & Hollenberger vs. Joseph Funk--Action on single bill, judgment for plaintiff for $50.49.
(Names in announcement: William H. Boyle, George H. Mengle, Peter S. Dechert, Col. A. K. McClure, Miss Disart, William Rupert, John Williams, Ferdinand Evans, Jacob Wise, Whiteman, Samuel Biggs, Thomas J. Harris, James Disart, Smith, Hollenberger, Joseph Funk)
John E. Cook
(Column 1)
Summary: On Oct. 25th, Captain Cook, of the Harper's Ferry Insurrection, was caught at Mount Alto furnace by Daniel Logan and Cleggett Fitzhugh--the latter is a nephew of Gerret Smith.
(Names in announcement: Cerret Smith, Cleggett Fitzhugh)
(No Title)
(Column 2)
Summary: Mention that Gov. Willard of Indiana, brother-in-law of Captain Cook, is implicated in the Harper's Ferry incident.
Full Text of Article:

The Harper's Ferry emeute, says the Baltimore Patriot, has been solved at last.--We have reliable intelligence from Washington that Gov. Willard, of Indiana, is at the bottom of the whole affair. Cook, who is his brother-in-law, is said to have been prompted by him to inveigle the mad man Brown and his weak-minded followers into the net thus spread for them, and then to desert them, with the assurance that he (Cook) should be let off scot-free, if he should not escape. Willard is now at Charlestown, and Cook is to be used as State's evidence, on condition of his release. This will probably explain the suppression of that letter by Gov. Floyd. The whole outbreak, it is now believed in Washington, was contrived solely with a view to operate politically upon the elections in New York and Maryland. We thought as much from the beginning. The public are requested to keep their eye on Cook, and see whether he is not released.

Union Meetings
(Column 2)
Summary: At the Union Prayer meeting on Oct 30th, the following committee was chosen to prepare for the Grand Union Meeting on Thanksgiving: W. G. Reed of the Presbyterian Church; David Oaks of the United Brethren Church; William Seibert of the Methodist Church; Jacob Smith of the Baptist Church; Joseph Frey of the Lutheran Church; James Chariton of the Berman Reformed Church; Thomas Carlisle of United Presbyterian Church. A meeting will be held Nov. 2nd, at Rev. Mr. Philips' residence at the German Reformed Church.
(Names in announcement: W. G. Reed, David Oaks, William Seibert, Jacob Smith, Joseph Frey, James Chariton, Thomas Carlisle, Rev. Mr. Philips)
(Column 2)
Summary: Rev. L. M. Gardner writes that the new Methodist Episcopal Church, in the Little Cove, will be dedicated on Nov. 20th.
(Names in announcement: Rev. L. M. Gardner)
A Humbug Exploded
(Column 3)
Summary: An article pointing out that not even the fanatical abolitionists can be directly linked to the Harper's Ferry Incident, and certainly NOT the Republicans, who have no intention of meddling with the South's rights to slavery.
What A Contrast!
(Column 4)
Summary: A comparison between Locofocos' reactions to the Harper's Ferry Insurrection and the war in Kansas where Free State settlers were murdered and property destroyed or stolen. The Democrats disregarded or ridiculed the events in Kansas, but are up in arms over Harper's Ferry.
Origin of Article: York Republican
Full Text of Article:

When Buford's Regiment of desperadoes was organized in Georgia and Alabama for the express purpose of levying war in Kansas, and had proceeded thither to burn the property, steal the horses and cattle, violate the women, and murder the Free State settlers, did any one see a Locofoco paper condemn the movement? Not one in the whole lot did so! Yet those free State settlers were men--white men at that--who had gone to Kansas in "pursuit of life, liberty and happiness," and their only sin was an intense desire to be free.

When Atchison led his hordes of Missouri ruffians across the border to scalp free settlers, sack towns, and destroy property, did any Locofoco paper enter a protest against the horrible atrocity of his deeds? Not one!--The leaders in those iniquitous forays into the peaceable and weak settlements in Kansas, with their hands red with the blood of murdered men, were put into high places of trust and profit in the very land they had so outraged, and the wronged people were kept in subjection by United States sabres and bayonets!

When told of these things, the Locofocos sneered at them--the papers in their interest even exulted in them, and the Southern press applauded to the echo! White men were murdered with impunity in Kansas, and the land was bloody where the pro-slaveryites set their feet. Complaints about those outrages were ridiculed in the most unfeeling manner, and the scalping of a Free State man was considered a sure passport to Locofoco favor!

The record of the crimes committed in Kansas is one written with red ink, extracted from the veins of her people; but any appeal to the party in power for a redress of those unpardonable grievances was hooted at, and the sufferers treated with contumely and contempt.

Now comes Harper's Ferry. One of the men, crazed with the enormities committed on him and his, takes up the thunderbolt of revenge, and perpetrates an outrage which is execrated by all men. Suddenly, the Locofocos change their tune. They raise a howl over this murder of white men on Virginia soil, while exulting in it in the hope that they may make political capital out of it! They had nothing to say when white men were shot down like dogs in Kansas for wishing to be free--they ridiculed all that--now they pretend to come to their senses!

How well does the position of the Opposition contrast with their conduct in all this!--The Opposition deplored sincerely the Kansas murders--no less sincerely do they deplore this bloody foray in Virginia. Consistent in their opposition to bloodshed and violence throughout, they stand to-day in bold relief with the canting hypocrites of Locofocoism who looked with complacency on Kansas murders, but now profess to be horror-struck at murders in Virginia! O, hypocrisy!--thy name is Locofocoism!--York Republican.

Thanksgiving Day
(Column 4)
Summary: A Proclamation by Gov. Packer that November 24th is appointed Thanksgiving Day.

-Page 06-

Description of Page: Military story; Anecdotes; Advertisements.

-Page 07-

Description of Page: Advertisements.

-Page 08-

Description of Page: News stories; advertisements; real estate sales.

The Harper's Ferry Insurrection
(Column 1)
Summary: The Gazette argues that the incident at Harper's Ferry is nothing more than the actions of maniacs, but that the South is using it for all its political worth.
Origin of Article: The Pittsburgh Gazette
Full Text of Article:

The idea of calling the farce at Harper's an "insurrection" says the Pittsburgh Gazette, is ridiculous--as ridiculous as the mustering of thousands of soldiers by the government to put down a squad of seventeen crazy white men and five negroes. It had none of the characteristics of an "insurrection." Not one of the numerous slaves of the neighborhood had a hand in the crazy attempt. It was not an uprising of oppressed but misguided men, nor an attempt to throw of [sic] a burdensome yoke; but a foolhardy adventure of a handful of monomaniacs, as audacious as Col. Blood's celebrated attempt to carry off the crown jewels from the Tower of London. The whole project appears so perfectly unreasonable, wild and insane, that, but for the stern record before him, one could hardly suppose that such was the dream of even a fanatical renegade like Brown. He certainly has had too much to do with warfare life not to know how suicidal such a project would be. The idea of anything save a mad house lunatic ever expecting to organize a wide spread insurrection at the head of a raw improvised band of twenty-two white men and negroes, on a public throughfare [sic], easily accessible by telegraph and railroad to important and powerful military aid, is so wild and foolish as almost to defy belief. It was simply a purposeless and senseless riot, the leader of which, well known as "Old Ossawatomie Brown," has been driven to frenzy by the persecutions he endured on the Kansas border. Ever since the death of his son Frederick, who was shot down at his own door in Kansas, by a Missouri mob tenfold more revengeful and bloody than that which lately filled Virginia with terror, and since the old man witnessed, on the same occasion, the destruction of property that he had been a life time in accumulating, he has been a monomaniac. The Chicago Press says:

"He has supposed himself divinely appointed to free all American slaves by some violent and decisive movement, the nature of which we do not know that he ever revealed. Often, we are told, during the Kansas disturbances, he would retire to a secluded place at a distance from his camp, and there, to use his own words, wrestle with the Almighty for hours, to wring from Him the aid which he demanded in the accomplishment of the work to which he thought himself appointed by heavenly favor. His talk for years to his friends and intimates has been of his commission sealed with the blood of the Savior, by which he was directed in the path that he was about to follow. He has entertained no doubt that his life was to be prolonged until he could see the shackles stricken off from every slave in the land; nor has he had a doubt that by his agency, as the instrument of God, specially entrusted with the work, every bondman was to be freed. This delusion has been regarded as harmless, and since he passed out of public view, it has we suppose, been forgotten even by his friends. That he has acted upon the murderous impulse which the violation of his own household roused within him--that his mania has overpowered his reason, and forced him into the commission of a great crime--the history of this Harper's Ferry movement is sufficient proof. We do not wonder, knowing him, as well as we do, as well as from the accounts given by others, that he engaged in an enterprise of such criminality and folly. We are only surprised that he could have found any white man out of Slavery weak enough to have yielded to his crazy suggestions and aided him in his hair-brained attempt. He will doubtless be called upon to lay down his life in atonement for his folly; and though our conviction that he is demented, is strenghened [sic] by this recent event, we can but say that death cannot claim him too soon."

In the full light of the facts so far revealed the whole affair dwindles into utter insignificance. And although so bold, sudden and formidable a course of action, naturally aroused suspicion of a wide spread and pre-concerted movement, the measures adopted for its suppression have a ludicrous disproportion to the necessity of the occasion and the result. The mustering of military companies by the score to put down a few lunatics looks very much like loading a cannon to shoot a robin.

The first feeling excited by the telegraphic account of the affair, and the one which continues after all the facts are know, is that of profound amazement. It is difficult to believe that there were a handful of such fanatics and fools as Brown and his men are represented to have been. A gang of escaped maniacs could not have stumbled upon a freak so horribly foolish. The utter madness of their scheme--the absolute certainty of their sudden destruction--does not seem to have occurred to him. They have paid for their criminal folly with their lives, and it is to be hoped there are no more of the same sort.

The attempt will be made, of course--nay, has already been made--to make political capital out of the affair. There will be a vast amount of political twaddle manufactured out of it. The fire-eaters will be more fierce than ever. The whole North will be charged with the responsibility for the crack-brained doings of a handful of madmen. There are paltry politicians who seek to make capital out of it, but the common sense of the country will be proof against so far-fetched a slander.

There is not a man in the Republican ranks who is at all connected with, or has given any sympathy to this silly movement. That it has had some northern aid, is plain; but the men who have assisted it have never heretofore been and are not now, identified in any way with the Republican party. Frederick Douglass and Gerrit Smith were never Republicans, but were leaders in a little party of their own, polling two or three thousand votes. They ran an electoral ticket against Fremont in New York in 1856, and last year Gerrit Smith ran as an independent candidate for Governor and stumped the State, against the Republican candidate. They have always been the bitterest opponents of the Republican party, because it was not ultra enough; and all attempts to hold our party responsible for their acts will fail. The Republicans disapprove, as heartily as any others can, all attempts to put an end to Slavery, by force. It is no part of their mission to make war upon slavery in the States, either through the powers of the government or by force of arms; and the responsibility for this silly act must rest solely upon the heads of the few wild zealots who conceived it and have perished in trying to carry it into execution.

The Real Authors Of The Mischief
(Column 3)
Summary: The Patriot argues that Brown is not the instigator of the Harper's Ferry insurrection--rather ex-President Franklin Pierce, Senators Douglas, Mason, and Hunter, and all the supporters of the Nebraska bill.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Patriot
Full Text of Article:

It is childish and absurd for Governor Wise to seize and sit astride the wounded, panting body of Old Brown, and think he has got the villain who set this mischief on foot. By no means. The head conspirators against the peace of Virginia are ex-President Franklin Pierce and Senator Douglas. These are the parties he should apprehend, confine and try, for causing this insurrection. Next to them, he should seize upon Senators Mason and Hunter, of Virginia, as accessories. Let him follow up by apprehending every supporter of the Nebraska bill, and when he shall have brought them all to condign punishment, he will have discharged his duty, but not till then.--Baltimore Patriot.

(Column 5)
Summary: On Oct. 27th, Rev. S. McHenry married Charles Hoffman to Margaret Cover, both of Franklin County; On Oct. 6th the Rev. W. B. Raber, married Samuel Gelsinger to Elizabeth Palmer, both of Guilford township.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Mr. Charles Hoffman, Miss Margaret Cover, Rev. W. B. Raber, Mr. Samuel Gelsinger, Miss Elizabeth Palmer)
(Column 5)
Summary: On Oct. 22nd, John Knight died, infant son of John K. and Elizabeth Shryock.
(Names in announcement: John Knight, John K. Knight, Elizabeth Shryock Knight)