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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: 11 15, 1865

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-Page 01-

Where They Got The Notion
(Column 7)
Summary: Reports that blacks in the South are under the impression that land re-distribution is imminent. The article places blame for the perpetuation of this misinformation on southern politicians, who, in attempting to galvanize the support of whites for the Confederate war effort, said that "if they did not succeed in secession their lands would be divided amongst their slaves," a myth that blacks "were foolish enough to believe."
Origin of Article: Flake's Bulletin
Editorial Comment: "It is well known that the negroes at the South have very generally the idea that a division of lands is soon to take place; some of them look for it at Christmas, and some at New Year's. A paper printed at Galveston, called Flake's Bulletin, thus explains the origin of this idea:"

-Page 02-

Shall Treason Regain Its Power?
(Column 1)
Summary: The editorial contends that there will undoubtedly be a showdown when the 39th Congress convenes in a few weeks whether the representatives from the former rebel states should be seated. Ultimately, this decision will have profound implications for the nation's future.
Full Text of Article:

We are within a few weeks of the meeting of the 39th Congress. Memorable as is the history of many in the past, none has ever equalled in monument--whether regarded as effecting the present or the future--the Congress to convene on the first Monday of December next. Various complex questions will demand solution at its hands; but the gravest of all will meet it at the very threshold of the session, and on its determination will depend much for weal or woe to a Nation just rescued from treason by the matchless heroism and countless sacrifices of a loyal people.

When the roll of the new Congress shall have been called by the Clerk, the Representatives from all the States lately in rebellion against the government will demand that their names be added so that they may participate in the organization of the House. Mr. McPherson, the Clerk--who is the presiding officer of the House until a Speaker is chosen--will refuse to recognize the members from the seceded States and on the determination of the inevitable motion to have the rebel names added to the roll, he will call only the members whose States have maintained their fidelity to the Union and thus submit the question to the deliberate consideration of Congress. In this he has no alternative. The law defines his duty and he can but obey it. Were he to do otherwise he would commit a most flagrant usurpation, and would predetermine the most important issue to be decided by the coming Congress. If he should once place their names on the roll and call them on all questions arising in the organization, we should witness the marvelous spectacle of a band of rebels, fresh from their inglorious fields and murderous prison pens, voting themselves into Congress and into power in the government they had exhausted themselves in a vain effort to destroy.

We do not overrate either the magnitude or the danger of the issue. Encouraged by the leniency of the administration, the Southern members will be clamorous for their admission, and there will not be wanting those who will bend before a united South as in olden times, and yield to the pressure for their success. We shall hear much of fraternity and harmony, of brotherly love; of the ties of race and language, and it is not improbable that even at this early day, with the blood of the Five Forks still unwashed from the soil of the Old Dominion, we shall have threats of turbulence, discord and it may be disintegration if they are denied a voice in our highest legislative tribunals. For all this loyal Congressmen must be prepared, for thus will the conflict come and whether it shall be mighty or but a ripple on the surface, depends upon the fidelity with which it is met. If there shall be fear and trembling, then will the appliances of power and the thunder of lordly-traitors gain ground daily, and the admission of rebel delegations into our National legislature will be but a question of a few weeks at most.

Should they be admitted? We are not insensible to the fact that they are to form a part, and no unimportant part, or our regenerated Nation, and we concede that the time must come, and we hope at an early day, when they shall justly regain their proper position in all departments of the government. Because they have rebelled is not, in itself, a reason for their exclusion. If it were, they should be forever excluded. Nor can they be placed on probation until they think, feel and act on all questions as do the people of the North. They will ever cherish their heroes, mourn the bereavements of their friends, and will not soon learn to love the hated sons of the North whose sterner qualities they proved so fearfully for themselves on many battlefields. To ask that they should forget their convictions and their affections, before restoring them to power, would be to doom them to lives of dependence. But we must not be unmindful that we have just emerged from a terrible war--a war that has left its hundreds of thousands of untimely graves; that has staggered the Nation with billions of debt--a war causeless, wanton, wicked and most cruel, forced upon an unwilling people without recourse to the constitutional redress for real or imaginary grievances, and a war which has tangible, logical results now patent to the civilized world. If these results were alike acceptable to all, then would immediate fraternity in our National legislature be the first duty of the vindicated government. But the deadly, desolating civil war of America does not differ from other great wars in having victors and vanquished; and it but repeats the history of the arbitrament of the sword in all times past, in making up its results at the cost of the discomfitted. The North has lost nothing in the great issues of the war, the South has lost everything it staked on the conflict. The North has deep wounds to heal in broken circles, and its full share of war's inexorable exactions, but it has won the great principles for which it gave its noblest blood. The South has no less sorrows to solace and has lost the issues it staked in the deadly struggle. It is defeated, subjugated and bows sullenly to hopeless disaster. It yielded nothing while the sword could be drawn in wrath; while man could meet man in bloody strife. A common Government, a common Nationality and a common Inheritance, weighed as nothing in giving us peace. It was a surrender to the direst necessity, and they now come with life, property, honor, citizenship, everything forfeited by treason--with nothing more to lose and everything to gain, whether little or much, in the work of restoration and yet we learn from their leaders that their representatives have unquestioned right to seats in Congress to determine the penalty for their own offences and to direct the destiny of the government they failed to overthrow.

The results of this war are far from defined and settled in the policy of the government. Slavery has been abolished by the war we are told. How? If the States are in the Union, and ever were, then was Emancipation a monstrous usurpation, unless accompanied by constitutional amendment, and if they are sovereign States in the Union, so that they are entitled to representation without question, then are their provisional Governors usurpers, and the Presidential instructions that they must abolish slavery, repudiate debt, &c. the work of a dictator and confronting the very genius of our institutions. We accept the destruction of slavery as one of the logical, inevitable results of the war, but how and upon what terms is it abolished? Georgia demands compensations for slaves, so does Louisiana, and so would all if they sacrificed discretion to truth. It will be for Congress to determine whether slavery shall fall as a legitimate fruit of treason's war or whether it shall be compensated and the Nation give still millions more to compromise with its crowning crime. Who should determine this grave question? The North whose valor fairly won the results? Or the South who made the war for slavery and lost it?

The South comes professing no surrender of principle. It justified the war on the plea of State rights, and yields not its favorite fallacy in demanding admission. Shall this question remain as heretofore a stumbling block for honest men, and a stepping stone for future traitors to inaugurate fresh discord and probably future war? If not, who should and who must, adjust the question for the safety of the Nation? Should the friends or the foes of the government devise the measures necessary to avert war and preserve the Nation's life by peaceful means? It is confessedly wisdom to leave no important questions open to latitude of construction for present or future traitors, and who should judge the remedy? Those who in their richest blood and with boundless treasure maintained the right? Or those who deluged a continent in gore to overthrow its authority? Our debt is crushing; it weighs heavily upon the loyal millions who cheerfully incurred it for government and law; but it is an accepted law of war that its authors may be made to bear its fullest burden. Such was the policy of this government, which relentlessly confiscated the property of every loyal man North and South that it could reach, and such was the deliberate enactment of our own Congress. In the South every claim due the North, and the property of every loyal man was confiscated. Real estate may now be restored, but who is to restore the millions of dollars plundered from the loyal citizens in the South which perished in its use? Shall restitution to such be made from the property of those who inaugurated the war? Shall it be done from our common treasure, or shall it not be done at all? These inquiries are yet to be answered by the highest legislative power, and who shall decide them? Shall the men who made the war and the debt, and who were instrumental in the spoliation of loyal citizens in the South, become judges in Congress in the adjudication of these momentous questions? Our Congress has solemnly enacted as a punishment for treason, that no traitor shall sit in our National legislature--that none but such can affirm that they have not aided or abetted the rebellion can be qualified as members. The strict enforcement of this law should exclude every Southern member elect. Should they be admitted in violation of the law and aid in the determination of the issue whether this penalty for treason should be revoked? If treason is thus to sit in judgment upon treason, where will be the penalty for the crime?--where the reward for virtue? Our organic law may prove to be defective--unequal to the preservation of our great National compact; and to whom should be entrusted the responsible duty of adjusting it to heal a country's woes? Surely not to those who have ever struggled to weaken and subvert our great charter and ended their perfidy in revolution. There are billions of rebel debt. Shall it be paid in part or in whole? There are thousands upon thousands of rebel maimed and scarred, won with a heroism worthy of a better cause, and there are other thousands of bereaved mothers who would have irresistible claims upon the generosity of a government to which they had been faithful? Shall they be pensioners upon our common treasury? These are issues which treason does not flaunt upon its banner as it thunders at the doors of Congress, but they must be met, and who shall meet them? If met by united delegations of rebels from the Southern States, with their concentrated power to appeal to ambition, well may the patriot despair of the Republic.

Let no Union man from Pennsylvania presume so much upon a faithful constituency as to hazard every issue of the war by the admission of the rebel delegations into Congress. They come in pursuance of no law; the offspring of a provisional organization that is but a petition to Congress for acceptance; and we owe it to the faithful people who have maintained the government; to the hundreds of thousands of our martyred heroes who were sacrificed upon the altars of our liberties; to the hopeful living who are stricken in their holiest affections by the madness of treason; and above all do we owe it to the future peace and harmony of a mighty Nation, that every issue of the war shall be definitely and irrevocably adjusted; that its full fruition shall be fixed as the stars in the spheres, before one faithless representative of a faithless State shall sit in judgment on Freedom's noblest struggle for mankind!

The Parasite's Eulogy
(Column 3)
Summary: In response to accusations leveled by the Harrisburg Telegraph that the Franklin Repository has failed to support President Johnson's policies, the editor asserts that the Repository will "endorse his administration, as we endorse every other public man or measure--when consistency and right demand it." The Repository "censured him months ago, as did every other Union journal of character, and would do so again under similar circumstances."
Live The Republic!
(Column 4)
Summary: The article celebrates the Republican victories in the elections held on November 7th: "Not an Executive, not a legislature, not an important officer of the opposition was chosen in any of the States which voted--the last elections of the year 1865 but consummating what all previous ones were steadily effecting--the universal discomfiture of the so-called Democracy."
Koontz vs. Coffroth
(Column 4)
Summary: The article argues that the congressional contest between Gen. Koontz and Gen. Coffroth was plagued by corruption and "organized fraud," and casts blame for the irregularities on the Democrats, who refused to allow the soldiers' vote.
Full Text of Article:

Owing to the flagrant disregard of the law by certain Democratic return Judges in this Congressional district, General Koontz's name is omitted from the Governor's proclamation certifying to the list of members of Congress elect from Pennsylvania. Gen. Coffroth is also without the formal recognition of the Executive proclamation, and the certificate on which he relies to give him his seat entirely omits the vote of Somerset county, where a majority of over 800 was cast against him. His friends, in insolent disregard of their solemn oaths, and in disregard of the plainest provisions of law, rejected a portion of the soldiers' vote, even after it had been computed by the return Judges of Fulton county, and thus made an apparent majority for him; but when the district Judges met, they concluded to do the clean thing, and they made out a return for him omitting an entire county and on that they gave him a certificate.

Owing to the organized fraud in a circle of Democratic return judges--that party having the control of the Boards of four of the five counties--Gen. Koontz was unable to get the full and correct vote certified by the persons chosen to perform that duty; but he has it properly certified from the records, under the seals of the respective Prothonotaries, and will thus present it to Congress. The official vote was as follows:

County Koontz Coffroth Adams 2,525 2,759 Bedford 2,145 2,515 Franklin 3,508 3,457 Fulton 552 851 Somerset 2,512 1,592 Total 11,242 11,174

Koontz's majority, 68

That this vote was cast and properly returned to the Prothonotaries of the proper counties no one pretends to deny; and that it was the duty of the return judges to compute it and issue a certificate of election in accordance therewith, is clear from the following section of the law:

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 present the same from being under stood, and computed in adding together the number of votes.

In open disregard of this law the army vote was withheld, and while it did not secure Gen. Coffroth a certificate, it did deprive Gen. Koontz of such testimonials as are necessary to enable him to be placed on the rolls when Congress meets. Certainly one of these men is entitled to be sworn as prima facie elected, and we submit to Congressmen whether the man who has, confessedly, a clear majority of the whole vote returned in the district, is not that man. It is not disputed that Gen. Koontz has such a majority, and we insist that he shall be admitted at once on the evidence to that effect, and thus prevent a district from being entirely disfranchised for two or three months until a committee shall decide the case. If illegal votes have been polled, let Gen. Coffroth contest in the regular way and establish, if he can, that the majority for Gen. Koontz is made up of illegal votes. If he can prove that such is the case he will be justly entitled to his seat; but until then the clear majority cast and regularly returned gives Gen. Koontz a just and legal claim to the seat until his vote is shown to be fraudulent.

We ask the attention of Congressmen to this peculiar case and ask only that it shall be judged by law and equity according to the well settled rules which govern elections. If it shall be so judged, Gen. Koontz will be sworn at once in obedience to the instructions of the House, and a fair contest, if Coffroth shall so determine, will establish the folly of his claim to represent us in defiance of the vote of the people.

Execution of Wirz
(Column 5)
Summary: Reports that, up until his execution, Wirz "persisted to the last in denying that he had willfully starved, murdered or maltreated Union prisoners."
Full Text of Article:

Henry Wirz, the jailor of the charnel house of Andersonville, was executed in Washington on Friday last in the Old Capital Prison yard, in obedience to the finding and sentence of the military commission as approved by the President. He persisted to the last in denying that he had willfully starved, murdered, or maltreated Union prisoners, although the testimony on the trial was overwhelming and cumulative to an extent that precluded the possibility of doubt as to the fiendish character of the man. He gave to the reporters of the press a detailed account of his life, carefully establishing his good traits, as though he dreaded the imputation of the unnatural crimes charged against him next to death. His last letter was written to one of his counsel just before mounting the gallows, in which he appealed for assistance for his family. He said in it that "if anyone ought to come to the relief of my family it is the people of the South, for whom I have sacrificed all." After his execution, his body was delivered to Father Boyle, his spiritual adviser, for interment.

Thus has the creature of murderous treason atoned for the monstrous atrocities which doomed twenty thousand Union prisoners to loathsome disease, lingering starvation and death; but where are his principals? The record of the trial of Wirz shows that he was arraigned, tried and convicted for "combining, confederating and conspiring together with Jefferson Davis, James A. Seddon, Howell Cobb, John H. Winder, Richard B. Winder, Isaiah H. White, S.P. Moore,--Kerr, late hospital steward at Andersonville, James Duncan, Wesley W. Turner, Benjamin Harris, and others unknown to injure the health and destroy the lives of soldiers in the military service of the United States, then held and being prisoners of war," &c. Upon this charge Wirz was found guilty--not guilty merely of murdering Union prisoners himself, but guilty of "combining, confederating and conspiring together" with Davis, Seddon, and others to accomplish the deliberate murder of prisoners of war. This finding the President approves with the sentence, and upon this record, sanctioned by a court martial and approved by the highest officer in the government, the poor creature--the miserable tool of the chief murderers,--is executed. What shall be the fate of his principals? When and how will they be tried? Is justice to be satisfied by the punishment of an irresponsible subordinate, while his superiors whose bidding he was bound to obey are enjoying their freedom and helping to reconstruct the government, or calmly waiting in comfortable confinement, the coming day when they may be discharged with impunity?

[No Title]
(Column )
Summary: The article asserts that there is a disconnect between the pace of reconstruction "on paper and in the speeches of delegations" and the actual process in the South, where antebellum leaders continue to wield power.
[No Title]
(Column 6)
Summary: Responding to a query from the Bedford Gazette, the editors re-state their position that "secession of the Southern States was an accomplished fact," therefore it is up to "Congress to determine when and on what conditions they shall regain their position as States in the Union."
Origin of Article: Bedford Gazette

-Page 03-

Local Items--Court Proceedings
(Column 1)
Summary: A summary of the cases tried during the second week of Chambersburg's Courts, including Com vs. William H. Boyd, William H. Boyd, Jr., John Reasner, Michael Houser, and William H. Wannamaker--Charge of taking sand from the public road so as to injure the road in divers ways. Defendants pleaded guilty: a fine of $5 and costs.
(Names in announcement: William H. Boyd, William H. BoydJr., John Reasner, Michael Houser, William H. Wannamaker, E. V. Houghwont, J. Ely, S. Ely, Eliza Jane Trindle, Samuel B. Doyle, Mary A. Clark, Charles Evans, William Rodgers, William Keyser, John Beaver, D. Watson Rowe, William S. Stenger, K. Shannon Taylor, J. Porter Brown, Jacob S. Eby)
Local Items--Contested Election
(Column 2)
Summary: A copy of Col. Rowe's petition to the Quarter Court. The court is scheduled to hear the case on January 11th.
(Names in announcement: Andrew Eiker, J. S. Brand, John Suter, George Palmer, J. B. Miller, D. O. Gerr, P. Hamman, Daniel Trostle, Samuel Detrich, Jacob Conrad, K. S. Taylor, Christian Oyster, J. L. Suesserott, George F. Platt, Emanuel Kuhn, D. L. Taylor, A. Kyler, John Huber, Abe A. Huber, R. E. Tolbert, Lewis Shoemaker, S. F. Greenawalt, N. D. Grove, E. G. Etter, James Hamilton)
Editorial Comment: "Colonel D. Watson Rowe filed his petition in the Court of Quarter Sessions last week as a preliminary step to contest the right of W. S. Stenger, Esq., to hold the office of District Attorney for this county. The following is a copy of the petition:"
Full Text of Article:

CONTESTED ELECTION.--Colonel D. Watson Rowe filed his petition in the Court of Quarter Sessions last week as a preliminary step to contest the right of W. S. Stenger, Esq., to hold the office of District Attorney for this county. The following is a copy of the petition:

To the Honorable the Judges of the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace in and for Franklin County.

The petition and complaint of the undersigned, qualified electors of the county aforesaid, respectfully represent:

That at an election held on the 11th day of October, ultimo, in and for said county, the electors of said county voted inter alins for the office of District Attorney of said county, and that by the return of the judges of said election, made on the 25th day of October, ultimo, it appears that there were cast for William S. Stenger three thousand five hundred and forty-eight votes, and for D. Watson Rowe three thousand five hundred and forty-five votes, showing a majority of three votes in favor of the said Wm. S. Stenger, and that the said judges thereupon issued a certificate of election to the said William S. Stenger.

And your petitioners would further represent, that at the time of the meeting of said return judges, the returns of the election for said county, held in pursuance of law by persons in the military service of the United States in the State of Texas, to wit: the 77th Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers and Battery (26th Ind. Penna.) had not been received and were consequently not counted; but your petitioners are informed, and verily believe, that at said election in said military organizations, the said D. Watson Rowe had a large majority of the votes cast, to wit: at least fifty majority and that adding the votes cast for the said D. Watson Rowe in the said military organizations to the votes cast for the said D. Watson Rowe in said county, and already enumerated by the said return judges, the said D. Watson Rowe has a majority of all the votes cast and was duly elected District Attorney of said county, and that your petitioners cannot annex a schedule of said votes so as aforesaid cast in said military organizations, because no official report of the same has yet been received.

And your petitioners further show that the said election was undue, and that the said D. Watson Rowe was duly elected District Attorney of said county, and not the said William S. Stenger, and they set forth the following facts: That at the said election the four following (among others) illegal and fraudulent votes were cast for the said William S. Stenger, to wit: the vote of Curtis Danielson and George Miller, who voted at the election held at the public house of Jacob Elliott, for the part of Montgomery township; the vote of John Talhelm, who voted at the election held at the house of John Adams, in the Borough of Greencastle, for Antrim township and parts of Peters and Montgomery, and the vote of Abraham Sheely, who voted at the public house of David Taylor, in the South Ward of the Borough of Chambersburg, at an election held at said house for said ward, all which votes were illegal and fraudulent, because the said named voters were, at the time of said election, deserters from the military service of the United States, having been drafted into said service and having failed to report to the Provost Marshal of the 16th District of Pennsylvania, composed in part of the said county of Franklin, for muster into service according to law, and remaining at the date of said election registered on the records of said Provost Marshal's office as deserters.

The petitioners therefore pray the court to hear and determine this complaint and they will ever pray.
Andrew Eiker
J. S. Brand
John Suter
George Palmer
J. B. Miller
D. O. Gear
P. Hamman
Daniel Trostle
Samuel Detrich
Jacob Conrad
K. S. Taylor
Christian Oyster
James Hamilton
J. L. Snesserott
Geo. F. Platt
Emanuel Kuhn
D. L. Taylor
A. Kyler
John Huber
Abe A. Huber
R. E. Tolbert
Lewis Shoemaker
S. F. Greenawalt
N. P. Grove
E. G. Etter

State of Pennsylvania, County of Franklin: S. S.--Before me, the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county, personally came J. L. Snesserott and Emanuel Kuhn, two of the within petitioners, and after having first been duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say that the facts stated in the foregoing petition are true to the best of their knowledge and belief.
J. L. Snesserott
Emanuel Kuhn

Sworn and subscribed November 6, 1865, before me.
H. B. Davison. J. P.

The court has appointed Thursday, January 11, for hearing the above case.

Local Items--Teachers' Convention
(Column 2)
Summary: The Franklin County Teachers' Annual Convention took place last week and, by all accounts, it was a success. County Superintendent McElwaine presided over the conference.
(Names in announcement: County Superintendant McElwaine)
Local Items--Capt. Michael W. Houser
(Column 2)
Summary: An announcement confirming that Capt. Michael W. Houser has been appointed High Constable. He replaces Mr. Caseman who recently died.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Michael W. Houser, Caseman)
Local Items--Daniel Skinner
(Column 2)
Summary: A notice informing readers that Daniel Skinner has assumed his duties as the new Commissioner.
(Names in announcement: Daniel Skinner)
Local Items--Sheriff Doebler
(Column 2)
Summary: After assuming his duties last week, Sheriff Doebler appointed Josiah W. Fletcher his Deputy.
(Names in announcement: Sheriff Doebler, Josiah W. Fletcher)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Nov. 9th, John Martin, of Loudon county, Va., and Susan Callum were married by Rev. J. Dickson.
(Names in announcement: John Martin, Susan Callum, Rev. J. Dickson)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Nov. 9th, John Calvin Cook and Elizabeth Helser, of Washington county, Md., were married by Rev. J. Benson.
(Names in announcement: John Calvin Cook, Elizabeth Helser, Rev. J. Benson)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Nov. 7th, Rebecca V., wife of Henry Neil, died near Spring Run. She was 51 years old.
(Names in announcement: Rebecca V. Neil, Henry Neil)
(Column 4)
Summary: On Oct. 28th, Mary Ann Nill, 57, died in Chambersburg.

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