Franklin Repository: May 10, 1865Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
J. Wilkes Booth
(Column 3)Summary: A short biography of Lincoln's assassin and the details of his final moments alive.Surrender of Johnston
(Column 5)Summary: An account of Gen. Johnston's final surrender to Gen. Sherman, following Gen. Grant's arrival in Raleigh with the news that the terms of the first surrender had not been accepted by the federal government.
Origin of Article: Pittsburgh Dispatch
The Measure Of Retribution
(Column 1)Summary: With the war coming to a close, the editors contemplate the proper punishment for the rebels.
Full Text of Article:Exit Mosby
War has fulfilled its terrible arbitrament. Victor and vanquished are accepted terms throughout the whole crimsoned theatre of the sanguinary strife. The mission of the sword is ended--that of Pacification has begun. What monuments shall mark its history? Shall it be fruitful of peace and tranquility? Shall it bring a cemented brotherhood made sacred by its fearful baptism in fraternal blood? Shall it be peace and union from sympathy and conviction?--from enmity schooled by mingled power and magnanimity to veneration for our common Nationality? Or shall it be the calm of death; the sweep of vengeance; the painful stillness of despotic might, which deepen hatreds, intensify the horrors of submission, and plant anew the seeds of disorder and perfidy to weaken the power and beset the pathway of the Republic?
Since the Nation was plunged into the profoundest grief by the assassination of our venerated Chief Magistrate, we have purposely refrained from any allusion to the absorbing question as to the policy of the government in dealing with its millions of criminals. We have left to others the easy task of demanding the fullest measure of vengeance. Our own columns last week gave a warning voice from the sacred desk, that the pound of flesh was so denominated in the bond, and must be taken; and again to-day a communication shows how easily it is for even intelligent men to mistake vengeance for the administration of public justice. If we should prefer to minister to the passions which the full fruition of treason, as exemplified in the assassin, have naturally engendered, we would doubtless present views acceptable to the major portion of our readers. But such is not the mission of the faithful journalist. Passions and resentments, however fierce and relentless, must fade away. Sooner or later calm reason, and liberal, enlightened judgement must assert their supremacy. The patriotism of the Nation, so long and so sorely tried, will find higher and holier duties than those dictated by vengeance; and justice will reach its grandest triumph as a rescued government proclaims its power and permanency by the generous magnanimity that will go hand in hand with its terrible punishment.
Just now the spirit of vengeance is rife throughout the land. It greets us at every step. It comes from almost every voice. It thunders from the pulpit. It is applauded in popular assemblages. All breathe it, feel it, sympathize with it, bow to it. The assassin's hand has stricken the President down, and the demon of treason shouted its appalling triumph over the noble victim. Just when his wisdom and patriotism had made every knee to bow and every tongue confess--just when in the fullness of a Nation's love, he was murdered; and it was treason that nerved the arm and directed the swift instrument of death. For such a crime the Nation has no name, and no penalty is ample for atonements. It has dried up the generous fountains of the popular heart. It has called forth the curse of vengeance throughout the loyal States, and every untimely grave, every withered field and every shadowed circle, seems to join in the demand for bloody retribution.
Let us pause in the midst of this mingled sorrow and resentment, and look well at the solemn duties and momentous issues interwoven with the Nation's treatment of a vanquished foe. Not less than three million traitors have given helping hands to the desolation and bereavements of this cruel, wanton war. Judged by every moral standard they are murderers--remorseless fratricides. From their fugitive chief to the humblest in their ranks--soldier and citizen, father and son, matron and maiden, who counseled causeless strife, conceived in perfidy and waged against humanity and government, are alike authors of the bloody drama just closed. Treason swept tornado like over the sunny South, and engulfed whole States in its deadly embrace. The colossal proportions and power of crime gave it conventional dignity. The traitor became a public enemy, and treason was clothed here and throughout the world with belligerent rights. Necessity made it law. For four years we warred as with a foreign foe, and at last the God of battles and of justice has scattered the legions of the treacherous usurper, and given decisive victory to Liberty and Law.
The sword has now performed its cruel work. Our Nationality is preserved. Its foundation is unshaken; but its imposing columns are not unscathed. It has broken joints, dismantled ornaments, and gaping scars for time and wisdom to heal. It has States without government, without law, without representation, and with an estranged people, to gather into the folds of the Republic again. They were enemies but yesterday--to-day they are integral parts of our common country. Their legions have scattered with the mercy of a beneficient government recalling them to fidelity. The army of Lee, including its commander the great captain of treason, is disbanded with the plighted faith of the Nation that they shall not die. This was the last great act of our martyred President--it will be recorded as one of his noblest. His successor takes his place, and declares that treason is a crime and must have its penalty. But he means justice--not vengeance. While the sorrowing Nation was bearing its murdered ruler to the tomb, the new Executive accepted the surrender of Johnston and his army. He demanded just what Mr. Lincoln demanded of Lee. He was magnanimous that he might the better be just to the guilty and to the country. He will pardon freely; but punish pitilessly. Few, perhaps none, may give life to vindicate justice in atonement for treason. The surrendered armies of crime are saved by the terms of capitulation. Those who dealt out death in our midst, are exempt from the law that demands life for life. The deluded will be forgiven; the weak and erring will be told to sin no more, while those who betrayed them and sought to give over a continent to bloody anarchy, will drink the cup of justice, and live and drink its embittered draught through weary, aimless, hopeless life. The few who could not live, will hasten to foreign lands--self-banished, self-expatriated. Marked and shunned by all the world, they will be without honor, without home, without country, and still denied refuge of the grave unless as suicides.
Of those who remain, to whom a merciful government has granted life, let no one dream that justice in its most terrible form will not follow them. Vengeance will not blot the history of our regenerated Nationality; but stern, relentless justice will pursue its even course and end its inexorable mission only with their death. Lee and Johnston and Beauregard and their lesser comrades have life; but no "mawkish sentimentality" has given them mercy. They are strangers to their country and its institutions. They are aliens to their own homes and property. They are ineligible to the honors of State or Nation. Their own bondmen have become more than their peers. Thus smitten in fortunes, in pride, in honor and in citizenship, they are doomed to live in pitiless scorn, to teach mankind how fearful is the retribution of a magnanimous and mighty Nation. Incapable of good and impotent for evil, it will be theirs to live and witness the growing power and measureless blessings of a disenthralled Republic, hastened to its stainless perfection of Freedom by the madness of their crimes. Such will be the inflexible course of justice. It will make no martyrs. It will bring no stain of vengeance. It will leave no sympathy for treason. It will estrange none from fidelity. It will break not the bruised reed; but it will gather into the folds of our proud inheritance all who, misled by the perfidy and ambition of others, have learned the sad lesson of treason and now give sincere and cordial support to the best of civil governments.
The stain of the assassin, whether by act, by counsel, or otherwise, should be the mark of death. The world should be too small to shelter the murderers of a chief ruler. It is a crime against the laws of God, the laws of Nations, and the laws of War. It has nothing to plead in extenuation of it. The code of belligerents pronounces it accursed, and there can be but one atonement to a bereaved people and to mankind. This penalty treason must pay--it is the author of the atrocious deed. Thus far and no farther would we crimson the bright morn of Peace. We would let justice follow those who have been clothed with power to betray States and make people their own and their country's foes. We would have the retributive arm of the government teach them that inordinate ambition for power has made them powerless, citizenless, homeless and friendless--disinherited in a great Nation's patrimony, and left as blotted monuments to prove how basely men may live--how ignobly die. This is the just measure of the Nation's retribution. It will give peace and brotherhood to the faithful, whether they have been unfaltering friends or erring foes. It will so deal justice, inflexible and ceaseless in its terrible mission, that treason and traitors will die dishonored; and the Republic of the Western World will go onward in fulfillment of its destiny for generations to come, as the established citadel of Freedom, regenerated and sustained by an enlightened and noble people, and blessed and protected by a just and beneficent God.
(Column 2)Summary: No longer enjoying the cover provided by the war for his nefarious activities, Gen. Mosby, the famed Confederate guerilla leader, has left the country, reports the article.[No Title]
(Column 3)Summary: The editors chastise their counterparts at the Valley Spirit for proposing that the guerrillas who sacked Chambersburg, should they be brought to justice, be tried by the national authorities rather than in the criminal courts of Pennsylvania.
Origin of Article: SpiritEditorial Comment: "The Spirit, speaking of the proposition to indict the free-booters McCausland, Gilmore and others and demand their rendition for trial in the civil courts, says:"
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
THE Spirit, speaking of the proposition to indict the free-booters M'Causland, Gilmore and others and demand their rendition for trial in the civil courts, says:
"The District Attorney of Franklin county will be guilty of no such superlative folly. We are acquainted with that official, as well as with some of his ancestors, and feel satisfied that there hasn't been a fool in the family for more than half a century. If the wretches Early, Gilmore, McCausland, Smith and others, can be brought to book for their crimes against our people, it must be done by and through the national authority. County courts are not the proper tribunals to punish such offenders."
We presume that the Spirit speaks authoritatively as the recognized organ of the District Attorney, who is also the chairman of the Democratic county committee; but if the bombastic announcement was authorized that officer may learn to regret it. Whether McCausland and his subordinate vandals are belligerents in the sense that would shield them in the criminal courts of Pennsylvania, is a question that the court, and not the District Attorney, may assume to determine; and it is not improbable that the court may differ with the official prosecutor of the county and instruct him to send bills to the grand jury against the men who stand confessedly guilty of the gravest crimes alike against the laws of the State and the laws of war.
If there can be no punishment for the atrocities committed by M'Causland and his command, then we should abolish our courts of justice. When and how Pennsylvania acknowledged them as belligerents so that arson, high-way robbery and murder committed by them upon unoffending citizens, cannot be regarded as an offence against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth, and be punished as such, we are at a loss to know; and until the question is judicially determined--not by the flash of bombast of the article we quote from the Spirit, but by the proper legal tribunals, the people will feel that it is at least worthy of the consideration of our courts.
It may be possible, as stated by the Spirit, that "there hasn't been a fool in the family" of the District Attorney "for more than half a century;" but if it is authority as to his actions in this case, the friends would do well to remember that even after fifty "years of failure," there may be a notable exception to the rule.
(Column 4)Summary: In light of the Union's victory, the article ridicules the editor of the Somerset Democrat who declared a year earlier that the war was a failure.
Origin of Article: Somerset Democrat[No Title]
(Column 4)Summary: The piece informs readers that the president, who "regards the war as ended, and with it all arbitrary arrests and summary punishment," issued a general order releasing all political prisoners, including those who had been tried and sentenced to imprisonment during the war.[No Title]
(Column 5)Summary: Reports on the death of James Lesley, Jr., Esq., who died in France on April 15th. Lesley, whose father was the Cashier of the Bank of Chambersburg, was married to the daughter of late Judge Thompson, of Chambersburg. For two years, Lesley served as the Repository's correspondent in Philadelphia.Capital Punishment
(Names in announcement: Judge Thompson)
(Column 7)Summary: Categorizing capital punishment as "a divine institution," the writer of the letter offers a religiously-inspired rebuke to commentators, such as the editor of the New York Tribune, who are "earnestly opposed" to the death penalty.
Local Items--The Cattle Law
(Column 1)Summary: The editorial casts its support for the new fence law which prohibits "cattle, horses, sheep, and swine from running at large" in Franklin county. According to the piece, the animals are the "common pests and foes of successful and thrifty agriculture" because, as a result of their foraging, they "cost the farmers of the vicinity more than" their "worth each summer season."
Full Text of Article:Local Items--The Breaking Up Of Our Army
THE CATTLE LAW.--We have received many inquiries and some complaints in reference to the provisions of the new law prohibiting cattle, horses, sheep and swine from running at large in this county. The law is widely misunderstood. It is not an essential departure from the principle of the law that has been in existence for many years; but it differs in its details of execution. It has been the law of all the leading agricultural counties for several years past, and no community that has tried it would be without it. Of course there are men who love to grumble, and if their way to heaven was smoothed by any new plan, they would grumble still. There are others who complain because it denies them the right to subsist their stock on their neighbors, regardless of the loss inflicted thereby; and it is possible that there are some who misunderstand the law and its operations.
Stock at large are the common pests and foes of successful and thrifty agriculture. They are a curse to owners and neighbors. They are illy fed, and poorly repay the trouble and necessary expenses their owners must incur for them, and as a rule they destroy their full value for farmers each year. There is not a cow in or about Chambersburg that forages on the streets and wanders around the skirts of the town, that has not cost the farmers of the vicinity more than the worth of her head each summer season. If we had bought and given away all the town cows four years ago which hitherto have been turned out every morning to hunt their food, and thus secured immunity from their depredations, we should have made money by the operation, and such is the experience, to a greater or less degree of every farmer in this neighborhood. We don't make fences to protect our crops from our own stock, for it is not allowed to go at large; but we have that luxury to guard against the stock of our neighbors, and up to this time have found no fence maker so skillful as to protect grounds securely from their depredations. Hunger knows no law in men or brutes, and farmers find their greatest trouble usually in saving their crops from a few starved cattle which invariably defy all fences and bad droves with them to the work of destruction.
It is wrong in principle and in policy to allow stock to wander at will on the public highways. We have seen the lives of more than an hundred people periled a score of times by cattle upon railroads. Such roads cannot be closed against them as the necessities of the public require crossings, and every one should be prohibited, under severe penalties, from thus endangering the lives and limbs of passengers. It is equally pernicious in principle. No man has a right to turn his cattle out to forage upon his neighbors any more than he has to turn his children out before breakfast and tell them to steal their food. Even owners of property are not permitted to use it in their own enjoyment of it so as to do injury to their neighbors, and there is no dictate of policy or justice that warrants constant peril and frequent damage to farmers by stock running at large.
The law is far from being oppressive. It does not, as some have represented, prevent the pasturing of cattle in the mountains, as is the habit of many people in their vicinity. It does, however, require an obviously just and proper condition precedent to that. The consent of the owner of the lands to be pastured is necessary, just as it always was, and the risk is then accepted by the proper person to be consulted. The same rule applies everywhere. Any farmer may consent that stock shall run at large on his premises, and the penalties of the law are obviated. We presume that in some sections the evil is not so grave as in others, and in such localities the law will effect little or no change; but it would be best for our agricultural interests that its provisions should be enforced. It will be advantageous to all classes. Men will be amazed to find how cheaply they can keep a cow honestly and well, when they find that they cannot let them have fasts and feasts as they may happen to plunder the neighboring farms. We feed all our cattle from this time until after harvest from the lawn about our house, and feed them well--much better than if they were pastured. It takes less labor than it would require to hunt the wandering stock every day, and they are regularly fed, regularly milked, and with little cost to us and none to our neighbors.
(Column 2)Summary: It is reported that the army has begun to thin its ranks. By the end of May, the editors suggest, it will be reduced to one-quarter its size during the last three years.Political Intelligence
(Column 4)Summary: With twenty-one states having ratified the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, including Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas, only one more state is required to approve the measure in order to make it law. In addition to the remaining southern states, there are several Union states that have yet to approve the proposed constitutional change--New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Oregon, and California--all of which, the editors optimistically assert, will soon consent as well.Rewards For Leading Traitors
(Column 4)Summary: A copy of a President Johnson's proclamation offering rewards for the capture of Jeff Davis and other Rebel leaders, who are implicated in the assassination of President Lincoln.
Origin of Article: WashingtonFinance and Trade
(Column 5)Summary: With the war all but over, there has been a sharp increase in the number of U. S. Bonds sold, which, according to the report, is a wise decision. Though the official hostilities will soon cease, there will still be the need for a large army, "certainly not less than 100,000 men" whose expenses "will not be less than $1,000,000 per day," though there is not one-third that amount in the Treasury. For at least the next year, then, the government will have to rely on the money raised from bonds to finance the enormous costs that will accompany the Union's victory.Married
(Column 5)Summary: On April 23rd, Andrew Wise, of Virginia, and Susan Shank were married by Rev. John Eshelman.Married
(Names in announcement: Andrew Wise, Susan Shank, Rev. John Eschelman)
(Column 5)Summary: On April 30th, Deloss Bebee, of Madison county, N. Y., and Helen McIntyre were married by Rev. S. H. C. Smith.Died
(Names in announcement: Deloss Bebee, Helen McIntyre, Rev. S. H. C. Smith)
(Column 5)Summary: On April 3rd, William B., son of D. M. Leisher, Esq., died at the Fifth Corps Hospital, of wounds he suffered during the Battle of Five Forks. The younger Leisher served in Company D, 210th, Penna. Vols. He was 20 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: D. M. Leisher, William B. Leisher)
(Column 5)Summary: On April 13th, Charles W. Skinner died in Philadelphia from a disease he contracted while in POW camp in Salisbury. Skinner was 37 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Charles W. Skinner)
(Column 5)Summary: A copy of the resolutions passed at the meeting of the members of the Co. I, 198th, Reg. in honor of First Lieut. Andrew A. Pomeroy, who died during the war.Died
(Names in announcement: First Lieut. Andrew A. Pomeroy)
(Column 5)Summary: On Oct. 5, 1864, Capt. James A. Carman, Co. C, 107th Regt. P. V. V., died in Charleston, South Carolina, of yellow fever after escaping "unharmed from a dozen battle-fields" and "coming out unscathed from the horrors of fourteen months prison life."Died
(Names in announcement: Capt. James A. Carman)
(Column 5)Summary: At a meeting of the officers of the 209th Regt. Pa. Vols, a series of resolutions were passed in honor of Capt. J. P. McCullough, who died on April 2, 1965 in Petersburg, Va.
(Names in announcement: Capt. J. P. Cullough)
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