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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: November 16, 1864

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Description of Page: The page includes advertisements and a story entitled "How a Woman Had Her Own Way."

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The Triumph of Right!
(Column 1)
Summary: The Repository details the final election results for Abraham Lincoln's victory over McClellan. Lincoln received 213 electoral votes and 384,000 popular votes. McClellan received 21 electoral votes from Kentucky, Delaware, and New Jersey and 33,000 popular votes.
Cheating By Rule
(Column 1)
Summary: Criticizes the election judges who discarded army votes to obtain Democratic victories for Kimmell for judge and Coffroth for Congress. The Repository believes Governor Curtin will proclaim Koontz's election over Kimmell. The paper prepares to criticize Coffroth if he accepts the illegal victory.
(Names in announcement: A. H. Coffroth, F. M. Koontz)
Full Text of Article:

The desperation of the defeated Democrats in this Congressional and Judicial district fitly emblems their hostility to law and order, and shows with what tenacity they cling to the spoils of office. After failing in their studied efforts to disfranchise our gallant soldiers, they next resolved to defy the law and defame them out of their votes; and to that end the Democratic return judges have been manipulated by crafty and reckless politicians and driven to open, insolent disregard of the laws they were sworn to execute.

The plain English of the complications in our congressional and judicial districts is that the Democratic candidates for Judge and Congress were defeated at the polls by the army vote; and not relishing defeat they, or their friends, resolved that they wouldn't be defeated if enough of votes could be crowded out to elect them. Just how they were to be crowded out, they did not seem much to care, only so that apparent majorities should come to their side. To this end, Mr. O. N. Shannon, Prothonotary of Bedford county--the same who withdrew his subscription to the soldier bounty fund--took the lead, and manifested his appreciation of his solemn oath of office, and his respect for the integrity of our elections, by usurping the sanctions of a court in a contested election, and rejected such returns as did not suit his views. We say he rejected such as suited him, because he had no right--not even the shadow of a right to reject any; and all his proceedings were extra-judicial to use a charitable phrase, and villainous and fraudulent to apply the honest Saxon. His duties as Prothonotary, touching election returns are thus clearly defined by the law:

Section 1--It shall be the duty of the Prothonotary of the county, to whom such returns shall be made, to deliver to the return Judges of the same county, a copy, certified under his hand and seal of the return of votes so transmitted to him by the Judges of the election, as aforesaid or as officially certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, as aforesaid, by said Prothonotary."

Instead of obeying the instructions "to deliver to the return judges" the returns, Mr. Shannon imagined himself to be judge and jury to determine just what votes should be allowed in the count and what should not ; and of course, he only rejected such votes as did not benefit his particular ticket. To consummate a fraud upon the people, upon the soldiers, and upon Judge Klug and Gen. Koontz, Mr. Shannon deliberately defied the law, disregarded his oath of office, and has clouded himself with infamy. But he was not alone in his insolent disregard of sworn duty. The return judges of the Democratic faith in Fulton, Bedford, Adams and Franklin seem to have been trained to aid in the fraud; and with one accord they seem to have been impressed with the necessity of rejecting enough votes to elect their candidates. How far they, in this doing, disregarded the law, let the law itself explain. Their duty touching election returns are thus defined:

"The return Judges, so met shall include in their enumeration, the rates so returned, and thereupon shall proceed, in all respects, in the like manner as is prescribed by law, in cases where all the votes shall have been given at the usual place of election."

And lest some fool or scoundrel should not understand the law, or pretend not to understand it, its provisions go so far as to expressly forbid that they shall assume to determine the legality of any votes brought before them. It says in section 79:

"The clerks hereupon shall in the presence of the judges, make out returns in the manner here-inafter directed, which shall be signed by all the Judges present, and attested by said clerks and "it shall not be lawful for said Judges or clerks; and it shall not be lawful for said Judges or clerks, in casting up the votes which shall appear to have been given, as shown by the certificates under the 76th and 77th sections of this act to omit or reject any part thereof, except where in the opinion of said Judges, such certificate is so defective, as to prevent the same from being understood, and computed in adding together the number of votes, in which case it shall be the duty of said clerks to make out a true and exact copy of said paper or certificate; to be signed by said Judges, and attested by said clerks, and attached to and transmitted with said return to the Secretary of the Commonwealth & c."

It will be seen by the foregoing section of the law that neither the Prothonotary nor the return judges have any right whatever to determine the legality of the votes returned. They are sword to receive, compute and certify them, and "It shall not be lawful for them to omit or reject any part thereof!" It is to pretended in these cases that any part of the vote returned could not be "understood." The trouble was that it was too easily understood, and for that reason it was rejected. It was understood that it defeated two Democratic candidates, and to defraud those honestly elected, and with that view only could men thus deliberately cast aside their oath of office and usurp the functions of the courts. They are forbidden even to reject for any sort of informality. If the votes lack all the formalities of the law, they must nevertheless be returned by the Prothonotary and counted and certified by the judges. Such is the language of the law, as follows:

"No mere informality in the manner of carrying out, or executing, any of the provision of this act shall invalidate any election held under the same or authorize the returns to be rejected or set aside."

In the face of all these provisions of the law under which the return judges act, and which they are sworn to execute faithfully, the Democratic return judges have pretended to give certificates of election to F.M. Kimmell for Judge, and A.H. Coffroth for Congress, in the face of an undisputed record defeating them both. That Gen. Coffroth will take any sort of a certificate and imagine himself a Congressman until his vain dreams are dispelled when Gen. Koontz takes his seat, is natural enough and will surprise no one; but can F.M. Kimmel accept a certificate in plain violation of law, and assume the functions of an office thereby which charges him with the execution of the laws? Coffroth has nothing to lose--neither reputation nor honors, but Judge Kimmell has been Judge and retired with credit, and he cannot now, in the face of the law, accept so sacred a trust merely because a few mad political partizans have been false to their oaths and faithless to justice. No one knows better than himself that return judges have no right to reject any returns whatever, and that the whole power to determine questions of illegal voting belongs to the courts; and for him to claim the advantage of an insolent wrong--a palpable infraction of the laws of the State, and a shameless disregard of the oaths of the return judges, would make our judicial tribunal but a mockery of justice and of law.

Gen. Koontz has a regular certificate of election; will be proclaimed elected by the Governor, and will be called in the House and sworn. Attempts to defraud him by a bogus certificate given Gen. Coffroth will be entirely futile; but should Judge Kimmell accept the brief and blotted honors presented to him by men who seem insensible to duty or shame, a contest before the legislature must ensue and Judge King would be in the false position of a contestant, while he is entitled by every declaration of the law to his commission on the return. It matters not, so far as the correctness of our position goes, whether the legal votes would elect Judge Kimmell or not. Not knowing anything about it, we do not assume to determine that question; but prima facie Judge King is elected, and the law declares in the most unequivocal language that he shall be so returned, and that Judge Kimmell shall be contestant if they be any contest. We shall see what we shall see, with abiding faith that all will end well.

[No Title]
(Column 3)
Summary: Criticizes the Harrisburg Telegraph for suggesting that Simon Cameron, the chairman of the Union State Committee, intentionally refrained from campaigning in the October elections to reserve his efforts for Lincoln's election in November. The Repository argues that "None but a perfectly original blockhead would decide to lose a State in October in order to gain it in November, and Gen. Cameron is not of that sort."
The Union
(Column 4)
Summary: The Repository criticizes the decision by the election judges to discard election tickets with G. Morrison Coates's name misspelled "C. Morrison Coates."
[No Title]
(Column 4)
Summary: The Repository demands that the Valley Spirit print the correct election results noting that the Democrats only elected one-third of the congressmen and slightly more than one-third of the legislators.
Franklin County Official
(Column 4)
Summary: The Repository prints the official election results for King and Coffroth, for Lincoln and McClellan as well as a history of the two parties since 1854. The faintness of the article makes the list of results illegible, but a summary reveals that the full vote provided Lincoln about 200 to 250 majority in the county.
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Summary: The Repository notes that the recent elections gave the U. S. Congress a two-thirds Union majority making the abolition of slavery by Constitutional amendment doubtless.
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: The Repository ridicules Jeremiah Black for his fears about the advancement of black men.
(Names in announcement: Jeremiah Black)
The Draft
(Column 5)
Summary: Declares the commencement of the draft, at the office of Capt. Eyster, for the district including Adams, Bedford, Franklin, Fulton, and Somerset counties. The article notes the surplus and deficiencies of each county for the 700,000 and 500,000 calls. Franklin County has 44 surplus and 6 deficiencies for the 700,000 call and 27 surplus and 62 deficiencies for the 500,000. Franklin has a surplus on the first call in all sub-districts except three: Southampton, Hamilton, and Warren. Each district is entitled to credit for its surplus.
(Names in announcement: Captain Eyster)
Border Protection
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Summary: Explains the increase in guerilla bands raiding towns with the increased demoralization of the rebel troops. The Repository urges localities along the border to organize companies of 50-100 men to protect their homes and property.

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Description of Page: The page includes advertisements and market reports.

Rebel Movements
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Summary: Describes Chambersburg's panic at the rumor of a rebel company, led by Major Gilmore, crossing the Potomac at Shepperdstown on November 12. The Repository argues that the organization of a company to protect the area would increase feelings of safety.
Full Text of Article:

Chambersburg was thrown into a fever of excitement on Saturday night last, by the apparently well authenticated rumor that Maj. Gilmore with fifty of his rebel command had crossed the Potomac at Shepperdstown on Saturday. Gen. Couch made prompt disposition of his forces to meet any movement of the enemy by throwing his men forward to the border to cover the more exposed points; and as the troops left this point for the border our people were apprehensive that a small raiding party might reach our town. Considerable uneasiness prevailed during the night; but with Sunday morning came assurances of safety, and the venerable village assumed its serenity again. We submit whether it is not worthy of reflection on the part of every able-bodied citizen, whether a rumor of fifty or even five hundred rebels advancing, upon this point, should create alarm and confusion? If there were no military forces here at all, the people of Chambersburg could readily defend themselves against small raids, and they would do so if they had but organization. Let us have organization at once, not only here, but throughout the entire county, and raiding and all danger of raids will be at an end.

The fact which led to the fluster here on Saturday night were about as follows: On Thursday Major Gilmore with perhaps twenty men, was in Shepperdstown. He robbed the stores and individuals in the most approved rebel style, and we learn, killed one man named Snyder for want of promptness in delivering up his pocketbook. After glutting his appetite in the way of free-booting, the command dispersed, and a portion of the party crossed the river and scattered through the country in citizens dress, doubtless to look out good points for plunder. That a portion of them are in this county there is no reasonable doubt, as three of them were arrested on the cars on Saturday last near Newville. The mean robbery, arson and murder if necessary to carry out their plans, and every citizen should be on the alert to compass their arrest. No stranger should be allowed to loiter in any part of the county without being required to give a satisfactory account of his business, and failing to do that, he should be allowed the privilege of explaining his business to the nearest military commander. The common safety demands that suspicious characters should not be tolerated at all in any part of the border, and if honest and innocent men suffer some inconvenience at times, they can well afford it in view of the perils against which we have to guard. Let every citizen be vigilant, and fully prepared for rebel prowlers, and in their vigilance and preparation will be their entire safety.

Arrested As Spies
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Summary: Reports the arrest of three men as rebel spies. The men claimed to be rebel deserters. The Repository doubts their word because they passed several military outposts--including the one at Chambersburg--without surrendering themselves.
Bank of Chambersburg
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Summary: Announces the decision to change the Bank of Chambersburg to a national institution, "The First National Bank of Chambersburg." Armstrong was appointed auditor to determine the value of the stock for those holders who wish to sell. Messersmith remains the cashier. The financial officers--Messersmith, Mull , and Taylor--were given gifts of $1,000, $500, and $500 respectively.
(Names in announcement: John ArmstrongEsq., C. R. MessersmithEsq., Mr. Mull, Mr. Taylor)
Called To St. Louis
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Summary: Announces that Rev. S. J. Niccolls, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chambersburg, was called to lead the Second Presbyterian Church of St. Louis. The Chambersburg congregation appointed Sharpe and Reed as representatives at the meeting at the Presbytery in Harrisburg.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. J. Niccolls, Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Reed)
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports the promotion to captain and assignment as Quartermaster to Maj. Gen. Foster at Hilton Head of James R. Gilmore, chief of the Telegraph Corps in North Carolina. The Repository printed numerous letters sent by Gilmore in the last fourteen months.
(Names in announcement: James R. GilmoreEsq.)
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Summary: Describes the serenading of General Couch and Colonel Stumbaugh by the Union men of Chambersburg. Stumbaugh and McClure gave speeches.
(Names in announcement: Col. Stumbaugh, McClure)
Officers Elected
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Summary: Announces the election of John A. Wright as president of the Connellsville and Southern Pennsylvania Railroad and McClure as a director. The Repository reports that a survey of the proposed route pends.
(Names in announcement: Colonel John A. Wright, A. K. McClure)
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Summary: Reports the presentation of a silver communion service by the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh to the Chambersburg Presbyterian Church. The Chambersburg church's service was destroyed in the fire on July 30.
[No Title]
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that the number of votes counted from the box in Lurgan Township exceeded the number of names on the poll lists.
[No Title]
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Summary: Announces the restoration of the post office at Keeffer's Store and the appointment of William Carper as postmaster.
(Names in announcement: William CarperEsq.)
Speech From The President
(Column 2)
Summary: Prints a speech given by Lincoln on the war's demonstration that a people's government could sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.
Cavalry Fight in the Valley
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Summary: Describes a cavalry fight in the Shenandoah Valley including rebel defeat, the pursuit to Front Royal, and the participation of Gens. Torbert and Sheridan.
Movements on the Border
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Summary: Warns citizens to be watchful for a small band of rebels that reportedly crossed the Potomac and scattered in civilian dress.
Prompt Measures for Defense
(Column 3)
Summary: Describes a meeting of citizens of Chambersburg to organize and arm in protection.
McClellan Resigns His Commission
(Column 3)
Summary: Reports that the War Department received McClellan's resignation of his commission. The editors of the Repository believe that the government will not accept the resignation, but will instead assign him to duty.
Reported Capture of Augusta, Ga.
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Summary: Relates the rumor of Sherman's capture of Augusta, Georgia.
Summary Of War News
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Summary: Summarizes war news including the defeat of Gen. Hood with considerable losses in his first attempt to cross the Tennessee River, the capture of the pirate ship Florida by the Wachusett off the coast of San Salvador, Ewell's command of the rebels in the Shenandoah Valley, the destitution of the rebel army, and Gen. Pleasanton's congratulations of his troops for their defeat of Price in Missouri.
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Summary: Reports the accidental poisoning of Gen. Sheridan and several staff officers in Winchester. A corrosive substance had been mixed with their food.
(Column 3)
Summary: On November 3, by Rev. West, J. Mackey, M. D., State Acting Asst. Surgeon, U. S. General Hospital, Summit House, West Philadelphia, married T. Gamble, of the Dry Run vicinity.
(Names in announcement: Rev. W. A. West, Mr. James W. MackeyM. D., Miss Tirzah J. Gamble)
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Summary: On November 3, at the home of S. Lobler Esq., in Guilford Township, by Rev. S. McHenry, W. Bittner married L. Kohler, both of the Marion vicinity.
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Mr. Samuel KoblerEsq., William Bittner, Miss Lizzie S. Lohler)
(Column 3)
Summary: On October 13, at Laclode, Illinois, David, son of George and Sarah McKelvey, of Path Valley, Franklin County, died at the age of 17 years, 6 months, and 12 days.
(Names in announcement: David McKelvy, George McKelvy, Mrs. Sarah McKelvy)

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Description of Page: The page includes advertisements.