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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: February 8, 1860

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Description of Page: Articles on U.S. Congress, fight over House speakership.

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The Representatives Hall As Seen From the Gallery
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Summary: Article offers analysis of the shifts in the makeup of the House and suggests that the Southern Congressmen hold the advantage in parliamentary maneuvering and debating skill.
Origin of Article: N. Y. Times

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Description of Page: International news.

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The Organization
(Column 1)
Summary: Editorial calls for the Congress to get down to business, in particular to pass a revision of the tariff.
Full Text of Article:

At length the discordant elements which for weeks have agitated the assembled wisdom of the land, in the South wing of the capitol, at Washington, have become calm and composed. The Republicans have elected a Speaker; the Union still remains; the temple of liberty continues intact; the chivalrous sons of thunder have not put into execution their treasonable threat -to tear down the capitol "from turret to foundation stone" -and we are not likely to have a civil war as the consequence of a Republican triumph; the majority ruling.

We trust that no time will be consumed by gassy debaters with buncombe speeches, before relief is given to languishing industry. The first subject which should claim the attention of our lawmakers is the revision of the Tariff. No measure is more needful. If the Protectionists of the House were to adopt the act of 1842, which gave so much comfort eighteen years since, and attach it to the first measure the Administration ask for -The Post Office appropriation, for instance,- we could have the blessing of a wise system of protection in less than a fortnight.

If the friends of Protection seize upon this favorable opportunity they my accomplish the cherished object of their mission to the national capitol. The Administration party played out their role in their silly attempt at forcing the majority to yield to the minority. They caused their own people, the contractors under old Mr. Buchanan's administration, and the administration itself, in every department, to become bankrupt. Consequently, they cannot afford to protract the passage of an appropriation bill -having in it a set of Tariff sections.

Whenever, in the course of events, the Opposition to the Sham Democracy elect a majority of Congressmen, the leeches, unwilling to let go their hold upon the body politic, and the financial crib, struggle with shameful tenacity to hold on to the public teats. Should they succeed by any of these disgraceful operations there never would be any such thing as living with the cormorants thereafter. Therefore it becomes the lovers of true, genuine, Jeffersonian Democracy to prevent, by all honorable means, as the present majority have done, the success of the schemes of the rule-or-ruin party.

The old adage, To the victors belong the spoils, is held to be good when the Nigger Democracy carry the day at the polls.--They expect the Opposition to stand back whenever they -the office-mongers- are triumphant. Knowing so well how to claim what belongs to political success, it is but reasonable to look for them to accord to others what they are so ready to demand. If the ever-grasping, loaves-and-fishes-seeking party were as willing to give as to take there never would be such deplorable scenes as have been witnessed in the popular branch of Congress during the past two months.

They have, however, fought their last battle. Their doom is sealed. The fiat has gone forth. The death-rattle is in the throat of the Nigger Democracy. In their dying spasms they clutched at shadows. They succeeded in keeping the House disorganized for eight weeks; but, after the present session, they will scarcely ever be heard of again; they will not be possessed of sufficient vitality to secure their recuperation. The blow which will be dealt out to the administration of old Mr. Buchanan by the present Congress, will forever prostrate all the energies of the party, once powerful for harm, that placed the old imbecile at the helm of the ship of state.

The corruptions, frauds, peculations and profligacy which a Congressional Investigating Committee will expose, to the astonished gaze of an indignant people, as the means whereby the present polluted, abominable, national administration man aged to squander the scores of millions of the people's money, during times of peace, to buy partisan subserviency, and to perpetuate slavery, will cause the honest, unsuspecting portion of the rank and file, the hard-working white masses, of the once potent democracy to flee from the cold, clamy embrace of the living political skeleton, which holds the reins of power, like rats from a ship on fire.

Inspired with the vain desire to cover up the slimy tracks of the most wicked, hurtful dynasty that ever attempted to rule a free people with a rod of iron -the administration of James Buchanan- the servile followers of the man in power debased themselves by stooping to means which they would have scorned under different, and more favorable circumstances. We find them alternating, in their votes for Speaker between a Nullifier and a Know Nothing; the first class of who were once routed by the brave, fearless Jackson -but, alas, no advocate of his doctrines dare hold up his head in the present democratic political church. Jacksonism is below par, at Washington, since the old Federalist, James Buchanan, has under taken to teach his cringing followers lessons for them to obey. To abuse the "intollerance of Know Nothingism," as the locofocos were always accustomed to denounce the peculiar tenets of the American party, was, for a number of years, the only stock in trade of the administration partisans. Now, however, with the advice and encouragement of the chief foe to this organization -ten cent jimmy- we find the most unsparing calumniators of the doctrines of Americanism actually voting for one of that party for the third office under the Government.

Forney Vs. Buchanan
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Summary: Article describes the falling out between John W. Forney and President James Buchanan, calling him "the old celibate (the old denizen of "Bachelor's Roost")."
Full Text of Article:

Four years, sometimes, produce strange developments. In every department of life we may find startling changes in this period. Friends, between whom and ourselves the warmest attachment existed, may, in the short season of four years, become our most inveterate foes. Those for whom we may have been willing to do anything in our power four years since, may, in that time, be classed with our relentless, implacable enemies, and, thereby become the very last for whose prosperity we are disposed to exert ourselves. When these sudden, and unnatural changes, however, do occur there is, generally, very good reasons therefore. We propose noticing one of these phenomena.

In the year 1856, there lived in Pennsylvania two remarkable personages. The one old, cold, heartless, aspiring. The other young, warm-hearted, admiring.--The first had managed, through mean adulation of greater ones than himself, and by base partisan subserviency, to fill many prominent, public, political positions. He was never extraordinarily qualified for these different posts; but, no matter, his party -led for a number of years by the gallant, fiery youth, before alluded to -bestowed the honors upon him and he meekly kneeled to received the proffered marks of distinction, and, while bowed down, to do homage at the shrine of party. His willing humiliation at the altar of party was mistaken, by the single minded devotees of democracy, for genuine political piety -true patriotism. But beneath the sheep's garb of democratic professions there lurked the wolf of Federalism. Any person can recognize, in the professedly democratic, though actually federal politician, in the picture we have faintly drawn, the familiar features of Pennsylvania's favorite son -par excellence- James Buchanan.

The other character with whom we have to do, believing, in his inmost heart, that the man whom he was anxious to elevate, over all others in the land, was all that his fondest wishes, and hopeful imagination painted him to be, spared no efforts to bring about his dearest political desire -elect to the Presidency James Buchanan. None need be told that the ardent, zealous friend of the old celibate, (the old denizen of "Bachelor's Roost," -Wheatland-) The sleepless guardian of the old reprobates political fame, was Col. John W. Forney.

The friendship of Forney for Buchanan -equal to the affection of Jonathan for David; but returned as was Sampson's love by Delilah- was the mainspring in the great political machinery which was in motion at Cincinnati in June, 1856, which produced the nomination of Buchanan for highest office in the gift of the American people. The platform the and there erected, at Forney's instance, was the only one upon which the old man feeble could have been elected. Getting his favorite upon the track, Forney put himself to work, as one in earnest, to accomplish the great desire of many years of his life -elect "old Buck" to the Presidency. No man in this, or any other State, worked harder, few labored half as assiduously as did he, to place within the old ingrate's reach the much coveted boon.

Through the eloquence of Forney's tongue, and the insidious appeals of his pen, a large body of the people of the old Keystone were induced to vote for one of their own citizens for that high office. He led them to believe that the policy of the platform upon which Buchanan stood, and which he heartily endorsed -even to the humiliating extent of losing his personal identity in it -was the embodiment of the principles of the Declaration of Independence; was the same as those which fired the blood and braced the nerves of our Revolutionary sires, and that its success -permitting the people of a Territory, like those of a State to make their own laws -was the best and only practicable method of settling the vexed question of Slavery as connected with our western territories.

The Republicans did not believe -although we do all now think that Forney was sincere- that the Locofocos intended to give the citizens of any of the territories a fair chance; hence they favored the doctrine of Congressional legislation to prevent the curse -Slavery- extending one Rood beyond its present limits; not desiring to interfere with it in the States.

The result has shown that we were right, and that Forney was deceived. Old Mr. Buchanan was scarcely warm in the Presidential chair till he kicked down the ladder by which he climbed into power. The gallant Col., feeling that his own reputation, as well as that of Buchanan, and the good of the party, were all imperiled by the old man's movements, did everything in his power to prevent the old codger disgracing himself and those who voted for him. All his importunities were disregarded, and he was threatened with being driven from the Presidential mansion, as a traitor -not to principle, certainly, but to men- and that he would be ruled out of the party if he did not consent to debase himself in the same manner his chief had done. Forney's nature rebelled. He wished to save his party idol; but would not at the expense of principle.

A fierce political warfare, thence, began between John W. Forney upon the one hand, a private citizen of Pennsylvania -without power and with no official patronage at his disposal- and the President of the United States, with all his significant appliance, on the other hand. The contest was equally balanced. The one had millions of money, the other had Gibraltar of principle. The right succeeded; and now, after all that Buchanan could do to humble, and degrade Forney, we find him elevated by the People's representatives -many of them not of his own party- to a high and important office, right under the nose of the President -and, at the same time, while Forney is floating upon the surface of political prosperity, there is none to be found, who respects himself, so low as to do honor to Buchanan.

Names For New Streets
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Summary: Writer urges naming new streets in Chambersburg after Revolutionary War heroes, Nathaniel Green and Marquis LaFayette.
Trailer: Franklin

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The Franklin Railroad
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Summary: Article announcing the first train to operate in Greencastle.
(Names in announcement: Levi McCormackEsq., C.V. AyersEsq., George W. SimmonsEsq.)
Camphene Lamp Explosion
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Summary: Article details the explosion of a lamp in the Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Thomas on Sunday.
(Names in announcement: Rev. McCord)
Serious Accident
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Summary: Article reports that Louis Weiser, a worker at the straw paper mill of Jacob Heyser, fell into a vat of boiling lime water solution. He died two days later from severe burns.
(Names in announcement: Louis Weiser, Jacob Heyser, Dr. Boyle)
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Summary: Announcement of service at the German Reformed Churck
(Names in announcement: Rev. Samuel Philips, Elder William Heyser)
Admitted to Practice
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Summary: T.J.C. McGrath admitted to practice at the bar in Franklin County and associates with the firm of McLellan and McClure.
(Names in announcement: T.J.C. McGrath)

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Description of Page: International news.

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Description of Page: Articles advocating temperance.

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Northern Cowardice
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Summary: Article defends Northern willingness to fight against Southern claims of Northern cowardice.
Full Text of Article:

The Administration, says Forney's Press, having exhausted argument, and been foiled at every point by the sound logic of such Representatives as Hickman and Haskin, at last falls back upon the ultima ration remug, and evinces, it would appear, a determination to bring all questions to arbitrament on the plan of the ancient and almost forgotten Roman gladiatorial arena. In this view, late events and discussions upon the floor of the House of Representatives compel us to the reflection that one ingredient of character is lacking in those who speak for the North in that body. Heretofore, the people of the free States, in their selection of legislators, have considered it primarily necessary that their Representative should be learned in the Constitution and the laws -that they should know well the interests of the whole Union, and every section of it, and be ready to do even and exact justice to them all; and that, above all, they should be pure in personal character, high in gentlemanlike courtesy, and filled with profound devotion to the Union of the States.--It is with reluctance we admit that these characteristics of true statesmanship have become worthless and out of date, and that we must mend our ways, else our Representatives will become mere manikins and automata in the halls of the National Legislature. We must begin to take lessons from the brute creation, and learn that mere muscle and pure physical force, like those of the bull-dog, are far superior qualifications in the statesmen of this day to the mental acquirements we have already recited. We know that the student who has been brought up with a distaste and horror of personal combat, and who comes from a people where such things are looked upon as worthy of civil and criminal disabilities, is no match for him whose life has been spent amid bloody brawls and deadly personal recontres. The habitue of pistol gallery from early youth is certainly, in such contests, the superior of the man who has been educated in the belief that personal combat was only worthy of the Dark Ages.

And since the necessities of the times demand it, there seems to be but one alternative left for the Northern consideration. We desire, therefore, to propose an addition to the usual qualifications for a Northern Representative. We suggest that the Northern States shall hereafter choose, from those of their people whose habits and profession have placed them high upon the roll of the "fancy," and so make them fit colleagues for those who are sent there for the purpose of civilized legislation. It shall be the duty of these new Representatives to hold themselves, on all occasions, in readiness for combat, whether upon the floor of the House or upon the more elevated stage of the duelling ground. New York, for want of a better, might send "the Benicia Boy," now absent on a congenial mission in England, and Pennsylvania, borrowing from the superfluity of New York, might send Morrisey, or Mulligan, or any others of that gladiatorial corps, at this time so efficient in sustaining Mr. Buchanan's Administration. It shall be the duty of these gentlemen to fight on the slightest provocation, or, for want of any, to create it -to fight either with the "daddles," or the "long bunch of fives," wherein the danger would not extend beyond a bloody nose or a black eye, or, if a more sanguinary result is demanded, with the sword, pistol, or double-barreled gun, of course including the novel refinement of the navy revolter. They shall be willing to "sink point" on the "first blood drawn," or to carry the matter a l'outrance. If it be objected that the gentlemen named have not the sangre azule, or are not of the pure human porcelain, then there are to be found in all our fashionable clubs a number of young patricians, who boast of their achievements in arms, and, discarding all knowledge of American politics, are fond of criticising the action of our legislators. From this variegated list may be selected candidates for Congress in the respective districts upon the same platform. And, in addition to other appropriations from the treasury vaults which this patriotic Administration is asking, we suggest one for the construction of an arena, to adjoin the Congressional burying-ground, a coliseum, upon the Roman model, which will afford ample accommodation to the spectators who come to witness the doings of our national rulers and agents. Members of Congress should have front seats, and citizens, as in the galleries of the House of Representatives, other seats, but not so far removed as to obstruct the view, nor so near as to interfere with those more nearly interested than themselves. It should be a standing order of the House that, a fight once agreed upon, the members should instater adjourn to witness the exhibition.

Our glorious Republic has been an example for all the civilized nations of the globe, and, in this suggested reform, we will, of course, be imitated by England and by France. In these countries, (if not in the secession South, at the instigation of the Administration, where the privilege has fallen into disuse,) freedom of speech is allowed. In the French Senate and the British Parliament, courtesy, and high breeding, and intellectual gifts, stand first, but if the innovation indicated be made here with us, no doubt Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon III will decree its establishment for more vigorous and healthy legislation under their rule. It is true that only lately France has terribly punished the unhappy lieutenant who was so unlucky as to run Monsier de Pene through the body, because he had offended in the discussion of a political question in his newspaper, and that England has ever held the practice in such deep detestation, as to have met it with such vigorous retribution, as to have driven it, disgraced, beyond the pale of decent society. But we must hope that our bright example will persuade these semi-barbarous nations to follow obediently in our wake.

Seriously, and badinage apart, has it come to this that the North is to be stigmatised by the South as wanting that element which so commends the soldier and the gentleman?--Has there ever been a time in the history of this country when the North showed that it lacked that vulgar attribute of humanity, mere physical courage? "Go back to the first gun that flashed at Lexington and Concord, and to the last sword that gleamed at Chepultepec." Upon land and sea the North has signalized her courage in defence of her rights and those of the country. From the day that Warren fell at Bunker Hill to the hour which saw the lamented Lawrence go down into the hospital of his ship bleeding from a mortal wound -from the day that Hull and Bainbridge and Decatur hoisted the American flag triumphant over the trailing British ensign -from the hour that Scott rode victorious over hosts of discomfited Mexicans- from then, till now, the North has never yet failed to give proof by her sailors and her soldiers of as much desperate valor as was ever displayed by the fiercest Southern Hotspur of them all.

We have no desire to remind the South of the devotion of Pennsylvania to the Union; we have no wish to recall to her the fact that in this city the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed, and the Constitution itself constructed; nor yet to revive the recollections of the battles of the Revolution fought in the neighborhood of Philadelphia. As Mr. Webster said of Lexington and of Bunker Hill, in his defence of Massachusetts, against Mr. Hayne -"the past, so far as these are concerned, is at least secure." But we do desire to speak of the living present. In the Mexican war there were more regiments offered to defend the South, and vindicate the honor of the country, in a battle fought for Southern interests -growing out of the annexation of Texas to this Union- more regiments offered by Pennsylvania, and refused by the Federal Government, than were offered by all the Southern States put together. Not this alone; but the glorious "Old Dominion" herself, through some of her bravest sons was not ashamed to come to Pennsylvania, and to eke out her feeble numbers with volunteers from the Keystone State. The names of Patterson, Cadwalader, Wynkooop, Bowman of Luzerne, Black, Hambright, Roberts, Wunder, Bachman, Robert K. Scott, Charles J. Biddle, and thousands of others, now sleeping under the sods of the valley, are the assurances that Pennsylvania needs no vindication, either in the patriotism of her people or in her physical courage; and if we desire to cross the Delaware and to go into our sister State, New Jersey, we might recall to the recollection of the South Robert F. Stockton, another Northern man, whose courage has been signalized on both continents, and who is, today, a strong symphathiser with the Northern sentiment against the secessionists of the South.

But we forbear. God grant that the day may never come when these memorable qualities (now slumbering and latent) preserved in history, and admitted by all candid men, must be employed for the purpose of putting down that foul spirit of disunion, which, for the first time in our annals, is being deliberately encouraged by a Federal Administration, and is running resistlessly riot in the councils of the Federal Government?

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Summary: Marriage announcements.
(Names in announcement: Rev. William A. West, John Sutton, Henrietta E. Shaiffer, Rev. Jacob Oller, Samuel McKinzy, Catherine Small, David M. Lowry, Mary Ann Small, Rev. S. McHenry, Abraham Stamy, Catharine Foreman)
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Summary: Death notices.
(Names in announcement: Ann Armstrong, Martha V. Meals, Anna Elizabeth Stouffer, John Stouffer, Ann Stouffer)