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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: May 16, 1860

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-Page 1-

Description of Page: Letter from the Southwest and proceedings from the Constitutional Union Convention in Baltimore.

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Description of Page: Article on Education, "Tutor and Pupil," in fiction format.

The Yankee Girl
(Column 1)
Summary: Long poem tells story of Yankee girl rejecting Southern suitor's advances.

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Description of Page: Article on "Fast Women" tells stories of set of women in New York city with loose morals.

Fast Women
(Column 1)
Summary: Article on women with loose morals.
Origin of Article: New York Tribune
Full Text of Article:

Among the swarms of male and female adventurers who lead lives compact of subtlety and recklessness, says the New York Tribune, and are drawn to great cities by a love of luxury and by the surer field there afforded for a campaign against society at large, the most subtle and dangerous of all would seem to be that arch adventuress--the modern Fast Woman. Her prototype existed ages since, as long ago as when Samson bartered everything for Delilah; or later, when "Thais. like another Helen, fired another Troy." You can trace her down to latter times, through all historical fact and fiction, finding her likeness in many a comedy of Moliere, in many a novel of Fielding, or print of William Hogarth. But it is in the exciting and fortune-making modern American life that she has more fully developed her operations, gaining, at pleasure, the entree to our changeful and not over scrupulous upper circles, and having her own wicked say about half of our real-life tragedy and farce.

There was the body of a murdered women, found floating in the Jersey City docks about a fortnight since. Her head, preserved in spirits, after days of mystery, is at least identified by men, to whom, more than to the passing crowd, it must seem a dreadful sight. For those features, now foul and ghastly enough, to be sure, not long ago were a portion of their several daily lives; not long ago those eyes, now "staring through muddy impurity," looked with the semblance of love into their own. For she was the lawful wife of one, whom she deserted to lead the dashing life of an American fast woman. Becoming accomplished in this life, she seized the other in her toils; took charge of his body character and purse; debauched the first, beclouded the second, scattered recklessly the contents of the third. She shifted her abode, we are told, from place to place.--She lived at her victim's expense, successively, at the Brandreth House, at the St. Denis Hotel, at a doctor's in Astor place, at the St. Jullien Hotel, at the Lafarge House, at more than one private boarding-house. All this within two years. And when her provider saw through the flimsy veil of her affection for him, she still maintained her extravagance, applying upon his terror of exposure as skillfully as she had before played upon his yielding folly. She spent $20,000 of this one man's money in two years. During this time she had other visitors, doubtless other victims. How many she has ruined He only knows who has at last called her to account. Such was the life, and such the end, of one modern "fast woman." Well might the man we speak of, when asked to identify those shapeless features, do so at his first glance and shudderingly turn away!

It is only now and then that the career and terrible influence of the Fast Woman are thus impressively set before the public. An act of violence is committed, a bank forger ruins his family and himself, a broker comes to grief, and to the story of his wicked excesses, there is the invariable fast-women accompaniment. She does not share the criminal's trial and conviction, however, and the world's interest in her soon passes by.

But she is everywhere and busily present in American cities, and in New York most of all. Look, for a moment, at her method and appearance.

The Fast Woman is by no means a common harlot. In nine cases out of ten she has never walked the streets, nor boarded in a house of bad repute. Only once in a while one of the vulgar sisterhood rises, by superior shrewdness and accomplishments to the ranks of the demi-monde. The Fast Woman affects the private boarding-house. But the hotel is the place to which she gains unquestioned access, where she lives most at her ease, and is enabled (in her own language) to bag the most game. And it is owing, first of all, to the wretched, conglomorate, [sic] American hotel system that fast women of late abound in such numbers, and are so dangerous to society.

There is always a mystery hanging about the Fast Woman's antecedents. One thing is certain, though found on every New York square, she is rarely a New-Yorker by birth. Few city girls, who have the accomplishments necessary to render a fat woman's career successful, enter upon a fast woman's life.--She comes to us after an apprenticeship in Boston or Philadelphia, and she probably went to those cities from the country long before. But no one city, not even New York, can detain her long. Her genus travel from spot to spot. A placer failing them in Boston, they go "prospecting" to other towns. From the Revere, where their last arrangement was "played out," they come to the St. Nicholas to see "what they can make."--And in the Summer they go in throngs from one watering-place to another. Generally two or three unite their forces for the Summer campaign. Not unfrequently one accompanies a genteel looking sporting man as his sister, while two others figure as cousins or family friends. Together, they are a formidable set.

Mysterious as are Fast a Woman's antecedents, her presents, except in the assumed Summer disguise refused to, are still more so. She comes to the "respectable" private boarding-house almost always as a married woman. Unfortunately her husband's business is of a nature that keeps him travelling. He is the collector and general agent for some commercial firm, or he is engaged in buying flour at the West, or he is sojourning in Europe. The California story of the husband in successful San Francisco business, and of remittances always expected, is about played out. The sobriquet of "California widow" provokes suspicion at the outset.--Not a few fast women hunt in couples; one who has passed through years of atrocious experience unites her willingness to the beauty and youth of another new to the trade, and the two, as mother and daughter, or more frequently aunt and niece, easily locate themselves in any boarding-house they choose.

Once settled down in a new place, the Fast Woman's method is simple. It is true that she alternates, through life, between stages of magnificence and squalor. Rarely saving her extortionate gains, she is frequently unable to pay her board, or buy her clothing, when fairly shaken off by an outraged victim. But suppose her in funds, and just arrived on new ground. She has her qualities, to begin with. She is a woman of passion, is handsome, dressed with the usual good or bad taste of monied American females, signs a little, plays a little, dances a great deal. Is quiet and behaves herself.

But, Mesdames Boarding-house keepers, you can always tell her by one sign. Before she has been with you a week, she will be acquainted with every man in the house who is open to attack--be he lawyer, broker, merchant, or merchant's clerk--and will know very few, if any, of your lady inmates. The latter, with their finer female instincts, will find her out, at any rate to their own satisfaction. By-and-by, perhaps, though very quiet and companionless at first, she will have many gentleman visitors. Perhaps you will then recollect that when she applied for board she referred you only to gentlemen--and highly respectable gentlemen they were, too--for information as to her means and character. Now, if these things are in combination, you may be wronging an innocent female in doing what we say you have a right to do--that is, in strongly suspecting your fascinating and unprotected lady border to be a Fast Woman, and, in keeping a very close watch upon her movements--in expecting, sooner or later, to hear of her fastening herself upon some fellow with more money than brains--to hear of her living in great splendor at some hotel--to hear of her name vilely exposed in connection with some startling case of fraud and dissipation--to hear, sooner or later--of en evil ending and an uncared-for grave.

Much remains to say; but here we must quit the subject. If the Fast Woman lives through all her reckless dissipation, through all the sloughs she is ever in from the vengeance or desperation of her victims, to a period past the bloom of youth, when she can of herself, ruin men no longer, she may still gain a vile subsistence by linking her fortunes, as has been said above, to those of some younger adventuress. Or she may degenerate to the keepership of some houses supported by the lusts of men. But, in the one case and in the other, it is a fearful retribution that the Fast Woman incurs for the brief triumphs of a profligate youth.

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Why Not Submit.
(Column 1)
Summary: Editorial explains the Northern Democrats stand against the Southern Democrats at Charleston as a product of the "influence of the Republican masses, at the polls, if not by personal presence at Charleston."
Not Afraid of Their Own Hobgoblin
(Column 2)
Summary: Editorial suggests that if secession were a real threat, then the Northern delegates at Charleston would have submitted to Southern demands, not broken the Convention.
Full Text of Article:

The election of 1856 was carried, in some of the Northern States at least, as much by the bug-bear cry of dissolution of the Union, if Southerners were not permitted to have things just as they desired them, as from any other single cause Locofoco stump speakers pretended to be greatly exercised in their minds at the apparent prospect of breaking up our excellent form of government, and establishing upon its ruins either a monarchy or the worst form of anarchy. To have listened to their speeches and read their papers, a person--sufficiently credulous to believe anything a locofoco says, politically considered--could not have supposed that they themselves would ever dare to encounter the fierce wrath of the "Union smashers." No person of ordinary judgment could well have imagined that the next locofoco National Convention which would assemble would not be able to nominate candidates for President and Vice President, because of the Northern wing of the party rebelling against the insolent dictatorship of their Southern brethren--even at the risk of dissolving the Union.

The bursting up of the confederacy dodge must be about played out, since it fails to produce any impression upon a locofoco President-nominating convention, composed largely of Northern dough-faces. The manner in which the "Union Smashers," Keitt, Pryor & Co., were attended to in Congress, within the last several years, by Northern representatives, has shown the weak-kneed locofocos of the Free States that the Southern braggarts are not half so dangerous as they would like people to believe them to be--hence the nerve manifested at Charleston by Northern delegates. If the braggadocios from the South, in Congress, had not been taken down by truly brave men from the North, the hobgoblin of disunionism would have frightened the whole Charleston Convention into submission.

There could be no stronger illustration given of the utter insincerity of locofocos while pretending to believe the South desired to dissolve copartnership with the great, industrious North, than was exhibited by that very party at Charleston. If they believed that to offend Southern hot spurs endangered the perpetuity of the Union, either they are all disunionists and took the course they did to undermine the foundations of the glorious Republic, or else they would have yielded to all the insolent, unreasonable demands of the oligarchy.--They may take whichever born of the dilema [sic] they prefer. It is impossible to escape from the consequences of their own voluntary act. Either they do not believe that offending the oligharchy [sic], as they did at Charleston, can effect the Union, or they have precious little regard for the Union, about which they prate so much.--After frightening a great many old women, and some timid men, at the North by their unsightly hobgoblin--dissolution of the Union, and a bloody civil war--the locofocos have shown by their recent course that there is no danger to be apprehended from that source. It is to be hoped, therefore, that we will hear no more about dissolving the Union--so long used by locofocos as a political hobgoblin.

A Lesson To Republicans
(Column 4)
Summary: Editorial suggests the highly partisan nature of the County School Superintendent race and claims that the Democratic Directors voted uniformly for Shoemaker while Republicans were split.
(Names in announcement: Shoemaker, Campbell, McElwaine)
Full Text of Article:

When will the Republican party learn the lesson that the Locofoco party carry their political principles with them, as an infallable [sic] directory, into every election, no matter what the office may be, and that they tenaciously cling to their political friends, no matter what their qualifications. The election of County Superintendent of Common schools, held in this place on the 7th inst., abundantly attests this fact MR. SHOEMAKER sought and obtained pledges of a large number of Republican Directors, on various pretences, such as that it was not a political question, that there would be no opposition, that he voted for good men of whatever party, and that he was not bound by party ties. All this in the face of the fact, that he himself was elected on party principles three years ago over MR. CAMPBELL, in every respect his superior in qualifications. Still 21 of our unsuspicious Republican friends, with a clear majority of ten votes in the last Convention, voted for MR. SHOEMAKER, thus giving him two-thirds as many votes as he had political friend in the Convention, and that on the ground that they had pledged themselves to support him, while the Locofoco Directors, every man of them, voted for him, all the time deploring the evil of making it a party question. MR. M'ELWAIN submitted his name to the various DIRECTORS he chanced to meet, asking no man to pledge himself until he would see who might be before the Convention as candidates, receiving no pledges but one, and that one a Locofoco, who of course, when the test came, voted for MR. SHOEMAKER. Let this lesson suffice to teach our party, that the Locofoco drill-masters are always on the alert; at every spring election that look ahead in order to see who the School Directors will be in the tri- ennial Convention to elect the Superintendent. Let our friends be on their guard against his insidious whinings about the evil of making this a political question, while the fact stands out in bold relief, that the Locofoco Directors, every man of them, voted in accordance with, and against their pledges, for their party man.

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Local Items
(Column 1)
Summary: Article gives the results of the local elections: Burgess--I. H. McCauley; Town Council--Charles Hutz, Calvin M. Duncan, Andrew Banker, Matthew Gillan, James King; School Directors--Joseph Clark, D. K. Wunderlich, P. B. Houssum; Borough Auditor--Wm. Adams; High Constable--George Gross. Article goes on to discuss local political issues, such as town debt and city improvements, in a sarcastic light.
(Names in announcement: I. N. McCauley, Charles Hutz, Calvin M. Duncan, Andrew Banker, Matthew Gillan, James King, Joseph Clark, D. K. Wunderlich, P. B. Housum, Wm. Adams, George Gross)
Full Text of Article:

Among other matter that was crowded out of our last issue was the result of the Borough Election, held on Monday of last week. The following gentlemen were elected to fill the respective positions named:

Burgess--J. H. McCauley.

Town Council--Charles Hutz, Calvin M. Duncan, Andrew Banker, Matthew Gillan, James King.

School Directors--Joseph Clark, 3 years, D. K. Wunderlich, 3 years, P. B. Housum, 1 year.

Borough Auditor--Wm. Adams.

High Constable--George Gross.

The Spirit claims the result as a Locofoco victory, and we are glad it does. It goes to show Republicans that if they can be deceived into the support of Locofocos under any pretext, by any specious plea, or by any false cry, the result is afterwards crowed over as a Locofoco triumph. Republicans are too apt to listen to the voice of their adversary, and thus frequently contribute to disorganize their own ranks, while the deceivers chuckle over the success of their plans, and grin at the credulity of their dupes.

The little success that the Locofocos met with in this election, was brought about by the hue and cry of extravagance on the part of the Republicans in the management of our School and Borough affairs, oppressive taxation, &c., and headed their ballot "ANTI-TAX TICKET," the better to cover up the trick, and enough of votes were thus seduced, to defeat a part of the People's Ticket, and succeeded then only by mixing the names of other Republicans than those regularly nominated with a few of their own "kith and kin."

Now what is the truth of the matter? It is alleged that a "torrent of extravagance" and a "wanton expenditure of the people's money" characterized the management of our Borough affairs. We are surprized that such sweeping charges should be made against Borough officials who were among our very best, most judicious cautious citizens.--That our late board of Councilmen improved our town in many localities by the most substantial and desirable improvements, we freely admit; and that every improvement thus made, probably without an exception, was urgently demanded by the Spirit, and when completed also approved by the Spirit, in its usual felicitous style, cannot be denied.--Then where is the justice in its wholesale and unwarrantable denunciation, or the fairness of its party friends in assailing those who have but discharged their duty creditably to themselves and to our Borough.

Our Borough Debt may be some 7 or $8000. What is such a sum to Chambersburg, compared with other towns? The whole of it could be paid by our people in two years without serious inconvenience. We have nothing before us by way of making a comparison, but we will venture the assertion that if a comparison be instituted, there will not be found another town in Pennsylvania, of equal size and population, that has so little [sic] debt, or whose people are so lightly taxed. This debt, however, small as it is, was not all contracted by the late board. The greater part of it has been hanging over for years past.

If we are to have no more improvements by the town Council, the present Board may congratulate themselves upon the fact that they find many of the streets and alleys graded, picked and in fine condition, and several durable bridges built. Of course it is understood by the vote by which they were elected, that they are expected to make no further improvements, and any expenditure of the people's money in such a foolish and useless thing as beautifying and improving our town will be considered "wanton extravagance."

Certainly they will not so far disregard the voice of the people by which their "democratic triumph" was achieved "to check the torrent of extravagance that has gained the ascendancy," as to complete any improvements that have been commenced by their predecessors; if, however, they should determine, in their wisdom to fill a few mud holes, or repair some of the streets in spots, it is to be presumed they will not undertake to contract for any new improvement, the cost of which will exceed $233 1/3. Any improvement contemplating a greater expenditure, will be regarded as "wanton extravagance" by those who achieved so glorious a "democratic victory" in the late election.

The purchase of fire apparatus of any kind they are not to think of. Our town has been providentally preserved from the devouring element, and providence will be as kind in the future as in the past--so that our new town fathers need give themselves no trouble on this score. If the property of citizens should, however, be wrapped in a devouring conflagration, and the result should prove that we are destitute of sufficient means to stay it, that is no concern of theirs. "Anti-Tax" was the cry upon which they were elected, and it binds their hands as with a cord. Any provision, therefore, that looks to the safety of the town in this particular, must be provided for in the future, by the friends and advocates of "wanton extravagance," after, may be, half the town lays in ashes.

We take the liberty to suggest to our new Board of Councilmen, the propriety of shutting off the gas on our streets. Here would be a saving of several hundred dollars, and who would be the poorer in consequence? This would be a stroke of economy, and it would go far to enable them to pay the interest of our crushing and oppressive debt. Put out the extravagant and costly light. Our grandfathers got along very well without gas light, and so can we. To keep it up is only a "wanton waste" of the people's money, and leads to "oppressive taxation." The spirit of improvement must be repressed--the go-aheaditiveness of "Young America" must be checked, the Rip Vanwinkle slumbers of Chambersburg must not be disturbed, and of new town fathers will be held responsible for any infraction of the rules that prevailed in the days of Adam and of Eve.

Rail Road Meeting
(Column 2)
Summary: Article calls for Franklin Co. to move actively to secure Chambersburg as the starting point for a proposed railroad to intersect the Connellsville and Allegheny Railroad. Editors suggest that Franklin Co. get organized to represent its interests at an upcoming convention of railroad men in Harrisburg.
Full Text of Article:

By reference to a communication on the fifth page of this paper, it will be seen that a Convention of Rail Road men is to be held in Harrisburg on Wednesday, the 23d inst., to take into consideration the propriety and practicability of building a Road to intersect the Connellsville and Allegheny Road. Franklin county is deeply interested in this matter, and steps should be taken without delay to have her represented in that Convention. Chambersburg is, without doubt, the most practicable point from which to start; as it is the terminus of the Cumberland Valley Road. As this Road will eventually be built, should not the Penn. C. R. R. Company take the matter in hand?--aided by the capitalists of Philadelphia. If it does not, New York capital will, and Philadelphia will be injured to that extent, by having trade and travel that the region of country through which it will pass, and which naturally belongs to Philadelphia, diverted to New York by way of the Lebanon Valley Road. Let the Penn. C. R. R. Company and Philadelphia see to this matter. By this route a Road will be made sooner or later. MR. HEGE, in 1938, in making a survey of this Southern route, reported it as much more practicable for constructing a Railroad, than the country through which the Cen. R. R. now runs,--an if that Company would have adopted it, thousands upon thousands of dollars would have been saved in the construction of their Road. As this Company now has a large interest in the Cumb. V. R., it should make it the starting point for this contemplated Southern route West, which would develope the resources of a region of country rich in mineral and agricultural resources now laying unproductive, but which would spring up and pour its flood of wealth over the Cumb. V. R. into Philadelphia. If this is not done, New York will eventually build this Road and derive the advantages flowing from it. This matter is worthy of the earnest consideration of the Penn. C. R. R. Company and of Philadelphia.

The New York Company propose to make Burnt Cabins a point, through Perry County. Chambersburg is distant from Burnt Cabins but 22 miles by the common road, but the Rail Road it might extend to 30, and the Penna. Central could reach at that point from Chambersburg at one-third the cost that the New York Company could. So that every advantage is possessed by the Penna. Central and Philadelphia, if they are wise enough to take advantage of it.

(Column 2)
Summary: Article reports on the Franklin County Educational Association's meeting in Green Castle.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Emerson, Mr. Apple, )
Messrs. Editors
(Column 3)
Summary: Letter to the editors suggests the new town council break up a gang of rowdy boys.
Editorial Comment: "Well, as in keeping the boys in order will cost nothing, we trust the prayer of "A Citizen" will be attended to; but as cleaning the gutter referred to may cost three fips, we hope the Council will pay no attention to it."
Full Text of Article:

As we now have a new Town Council, I will take the liberty of calling their attention to an annoyance that I trust they will abate. It is the assemblage of a crowd of boys in the Market House on Sabbath day, and other times, who, by their improper conduct, not only annoy the congregation worshiping immediately opposite the Market House, but the surrounding neighborhood as well.

Permit me, also, to say, that the Market-Master, who ever he is, ought to keep the gutter at the Market House a little cleaner than has been done for the last year. .A CITIZEN.

[Well, as keeping the boys in order will cost nothing, we trust the prayer of "A Citizen" will be attended to; but as cleaning the gutter referred to may cost three fips, we hope the Council will pay no attention to it.--ED's]

Trailer: A Citizen
Railroad to the West
(Column 3)
Summary: Letter to the editors calls for Franklin Co. to interest itself in the proposed Railroad to the west in Southern Pa. and attaches a letter from another county vying for the railroad.
Trailer: Franklin
The Central Club
(Column 4)
Summary: Notice details the meeting of the People's Party Central Club.
(Names in announcement: J. S. BrownEsq., G. H. Merklein, J. W. Fletcher, David Wertz, Geo. Jarrett, Capt. J. S. Eyster, T. L. Fletcher, Lafayette Wood, Jacob Henninger, George Heck, Wm. Murray, David Newman)
The Williamsport Boom Broken
(Column 4)
Summary: A heavy flood in West Branch broke the boom at Williamsport and let go "about eighty million feet of lumber."

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Description of Page: Advertisements.

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Description of Page: Advertisements.

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(Column 5)
Summary: Hiram White married Charlotte R. Greenawalt on May 9th.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Sam'l Philips, Hiram WhiteEsq., Charlotte R. Greenawalt)
(Column 5)
Summary: Peter Cook, Sen., died on May 29th, at the age of 87.
(Names in announcement: Peter CookSen.)
(Column 5)
Summary: Col. John Kegerries died of consumption on the evening of May 12th, at the age of 59.
(Names in announcement: Col. John Kegerries)
(Column 5)
Summary: George Wineman, Sr., died in Path Valley near Fannettsburg on May 10th, at the age of 91.
(Names in announcement: George WinemanSr.)
(Column 5)
Summary: David Royer died in Washington Township after a brief illness on May 4th, at the age of 70.
(Names in announcement: David Royer)
Our Country
(Column 2)
Summary: Article uses the 1860 census numbers to project changes in the Congress. The editorial from Memphis Enquirer suggests that the largest growth in the future will be in the Midwest North and that the South should look to New England, another declining region in population, for political support for cotton and slavery.
Origin of Article: Memphis Enquirer
How "Non-Intercourse" Works At The South
(Column 3)
Summary: Article notes the rise in the export of shoes from Boston to the Southern states and wonders about recent calls for non-intercourse.
Origin of Article: New Orleans
Full Text of Article:

The New Orleans Picayune notices the fact that, notwithstanding all the clamor about non-intercourse, the exports of shoes from Boston to the Southern States, show a considerable increase for the last three months, over the corresponding period of 1859, and asks: Of what effect is all the cry of non-intercourse when, in the very heat of excitement against northern manufactures, the trade of the South with the most obnoxious of northern States grows, as shown by these statistics?

Railroad Employees and Politics
(Column 4)
Summary: The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Railroad adopted resolutions against interfering with politics.