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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: January 17, 1866

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-Page 01-

Scrap of History
(Column 8)
Summary: The extracts contained in the article offer an interesting account of the history of slavery in the United States and the causes of the Civil War from a Confederate perspective.
Origin of Article: Cincinnati Gazette
Editorial Comment: "The Cincinnati Gazette says: A friend of ours has sent us one of the unbound sheets of a Confederate school book, entitled "Geographical Reader for the Dixie Children," which shows the state of happy innocence in which the youth of that favored land would have grown up had not the unbelievers been permitted to prevail. The chapter under the head "The United States," is a compendium of the political, moral, and religious history of the rise and progress of the rebellion:"
Full Text of Article:

The Cincinnati Gazette says: A friend of ours has sent us one of the unbound sheets of a Confederate school book, entitled "Geographical Reader for the Dixie Children," which shows the state of happy innocence in which the youth of that favored land would have grown up had not the unbelievers been permitted to prevail. The chapter under the head "The United States," is a compendium of the political, moral and religious history of the rise and progress of the rebellion:


1. This was once the most prosperous country in the world. Nearly a hundred years ago it belonged to England; but the English made such hard laws that the people said they would not obey them. After a long bloody war of seven years they gained their independence, and for many years were prosperous and happy.

2. In the meantime both English and American ships went to Africa and brought away many of those poor heathen negroes and sold them for slaves. Some people said it was wrong, and asked the King of England to stop it. He replied that he "knew it was wrong, but the slave-trade brought much money into his treasury, and it should continue." But both countries afterwards did pass laws to stop this trade. In a few years the Northern States, finding their climate too cold for the negro to be profitable, sold them to the people living further South. Then the Northern States passed laws to forbid any persons owning slaves in their borders.

3. Then the Northern people began to preach, to lecture and to write about the sin of slavery. The money for which they sold their slaves was now partly spent in trying to persuade the Southern States to send their slaves back to Africa. And when the territories were settled they were not willing for any of them to become slaveholding. This would soon have made the North much stronger than the South. And many of the men said they would vote for a law to free all the negroes in the country. The Southern men tried to show how unfair this would be, but still they kept on.

4. In the year 1860 the Abolitionists became strong enough to elect one of their men for President. Abraham Lincoln was a weak man, and the South believed he would allow laws to be made which would deprive them of their rights. So the Southern States seceded, and elected Jefferson Davis for their President. This so enraged President Lincoln that he declared war, and has exhausted nearly all the strength of the nation in a vain attempt to whip the South back into the Union. Thousands of lives have been lost, and the earth has been drenched with blood; but still Abraham is unable to conquer the "rebels," as he calls the South. The South only asks to be let alone, and to divide the public property equally. It would have been wise in the North to have said to her Southern sisters, "if you are not content to dwell with us longer, depart in peace. We will divide the inheritance with you, and may you be a great nation."

5. This country possesses many ships, has fine cities and towns, many railroads, steamboats, canals, manufactures, &c. The people are ingenious, and noted for their tact in driving a bargain. They are refined and intelligent on all subjects but that of negro slavery; on this they are mad.


3. This is a great country. The Yankees tho't to starve us out when they sent their ships to guard our seaport towns. But we have learned to make a great many things; to do without others; and, above all, to trust in the smiles of the God of battles. We had few guns, little ammunition, and not much of anything but food, cotton and tobacco; but the people helped themselves and God helped the people. We were considered an indolent and weak people, but our enemies have found us strong, because we had justice on our side.

4. The Southern people are noted for being high-minded and courteous. A stranger seldom lacks friends in this country. Much of the field work is done by slaves. These are generally well used, and often have as much pocket money as their mistresses. They are contented and happy, and many of them are Christians. The sin of the South lies not in holding slaves, but they are sometimes mistreated. Let all the little boys and girls remember that slaves are human, and that God will hold them to account for treating them with injustice.

5. The Southern Confederacy is at present a sad country; but president Davis is a good and wise man, and many of the generals and other officers of the army are pious. There are a good many good praying people in the land, and we may hope that our cause will prosper. When the righteous are in authority the nation rejoiceth, but when the wicked bear rule the nation mourneth. Then remember, little boys, when you are men, never vote for a bad man to govern the country.

-Page 02-

An Important Decision
(Column 1)
Summary: In his much anticipated ruling in the Rowe vs. Stenger case, Judge King has determined that "the penalty of forfeiture of citizenship" cannot be "inflicted without due process of law," therefore, deserters "can be disfranchised only upon conviction of the offence by some competent tribunal." Though the editors respect the Judge's decision, they maintain the hope that the state supreme court will review the case since, as it stands, there is still considerable confusion over whether deserters will be punished for their refusal to serve in the late war.
Full Text of Article:

Judge King yesterday delivered a most important decision in the court of quarter sessions of this county, in the case of Rowe vs. Stenger. Mr. Stenger was returned as elected to the office of District Attorney last fall, and Colonel Rowe contested the election on the ground that the majority of Mr. Stenger was made up of votes cast by men who were deserters from the draft or from the military service, and are disfranchised by the act of Congress.

Judge King held that the penalty of forfeiture of citizenship could not be inflicted without due process of law, and that deserters can be disfranchised only upon conviction of the offence by some competent tribunal. As the act of Congress makes no provision for the judicial ascertainment and conviction of the crime, and the laws of the State make no such test of the qualification of the voters, the votes of such men must be accepted. In the decision he does not raise the question of the power of Congress to impose a penalty effecting the right of suffrage in a State, and he expressly waives the issue raised as to whether or not the act of Congress is an ex post facto law, inasmuch as the point decided is conclusive of the case.

Such a decision coming from a judicial officer second to none in the State in high legal attainments, and eminent for his devotion to the loyal cause, presents the question of the disfranchisement of deserters as one yet to be perfected by the legislature if it is to be enforced at all. It is an issue of too much magnitude to be left in doubt, and we hope to see this case reviewed by the court of last resort in the State. But by the time it will reach that court, the legislature will have adjourned and if the decision of our court should be sustained, we shall have another year of doubt and defiance of the law of Congress by the only party that can hope to profit by the votes of those who deserted their country's cause in the day of peril. Just as is the penalty of the act of Congress, its enforcement must have all the sanctity and ceremony of law, and to this question the attention of the legislature should be deliberately, wisely and promptly directed. We must either have such enactments as will ensure uniform enforcement, or the punishment of desertion must be abandoned. The general government has abandoned it, and it is for the States to declare by their legislation whether they will do likewise.

We do not receive a copy of Judge King's decision in time for this week's issue, but in our next we shall give it in full.

State Treasurer's Report
(Column 1)
Summary: In his annual report, William H. Kemble, the State Treasurer, offers an optimistic assessment of the Commonwealth's finances, noting that, despite the "extraordinary expenditures of the State during the war," its current economic condition is superior to what it had been on the eve of the conflict. To maintain this prosperity, Kemble suggests three particular policy changes should be enacted: the abolition of the tax on tonnage and the substitution a of a tax on receipts of railroads and canals, the imposition of a tax upon National bank stock, and the repeal of the tax on real estate. Though the editors understand the Treasurer's reasoning, they question the sagacity of the proposed legislative changes, contending that Kemble's recommendations could have a desultory effect on the state's economic growth.
The Spirit and Gen. Coffroth
(Column 3)
Summary: The editors rebuke their counterparts at the Spirit for belatedly endorsing Gen. Coffroth. Coffroth was elected to Congress last year in a contest widely touted as fraudulent. His reputation was further tarnished by revelations that he voted in favor of controversial Republican initiatives to placate his Republican detractors, who had questioned the legitimacy of his victory.
Full Text of Article:

The Spirit, after long hesitation, has been brought to the support of Coffroth, and in its last issue defends the frauds of the Democratic return judges, so ably exposed by Judge Black, and urges Coffroth's admission. It is too late in the day to discuss the trickery, perjury and persistent disregard of law by which Gen. Koontz was defrauded out of his certificate; but it is something to see the Spirit find itself on one side or the other of the Coffroth fraud. It has finally concluded that he is "a clever fellow," and "personally" the Spirit has a "high regard" for him. It therefore forgives "his political slip in view of his steadfast adherence to the party since." It then goes at the rumor that Gen. Coffroth bartered his vote for the constitutional amendment abolishing Slavery, to propitiate the Republican Congressmen in his favor in this contest, and pronounces the intimation "just so much stuff, utterly without foundation--the promptings of political malevolence or personal jealousy."

Just who would be capable of "personal jealousy" of Gen. Coffroth is to our mind a problem that would be difficult of solution. If there are any such men in this region, we must confess to entire ignorance of them personally, and also of entire ignorance of any man or class of men who have reached such a point in the retrogression of the race. We know whereof we affirm when we say that he exhausted his efforts in the House last winter to barter his vote on the amendment for Republican favor in securing his seat in the present contest, and we believe that the Spirit is also fully satisfied of the truth of what we assert. It is refreshingly stupid at times we confess; but we must protect it against the imputation that it is so consummately stupid as not to know that Gen. Coffroth offered his votes all last winter to secure a seat in the present Congress, to which he was not elected. Equally at variance with the truth is the Spirit's endorsement "of his steadfast adherence to the party since." We grant that he is, in feeling and sympathy, all that the Spirit claims him to be on this point; but while he makes ultra Democratic speeches--like all suspected virtue, going farther than the farthest in denouncing in others what he does himself--and votes the Democratic ticket, he professes at Washington to have sacrificed himself in his party by his vote against their prejudices, and appeals to Republican sympathy on that ground. At home he is a Democrat of the most boisterous pretensions, and at Washington he persistently appeals to Republicans to save him because he is not enough of a Democrat to hurt anybody. On the merits of his case Judge Black has ably argued him out of all claim to be sworn, and his attempt to subsidize himself and play double with everybody must win for him the utter contempt of all. We doubt not that he will soon be officially notified that, if he would get his seat, he must contest it regularly and prove that the majority of Gen. Koontz is made up of illegal votes, and we presume that he will take advantage of his own fraud and become a pensioner under the rule that allows contestants mileage and pay. Beyond this he can have no hope, and since he has just as much claim to a seat as member from Oregon, we see no good reason why he does not shift his contest and get a good round mileage while he is at it. Go in freely, General!--Uncle Sam pays the piper!

Lee and Early
(Column 3)
Summary: Though the article commends the Spirit's denunciation of the rebel Gen. Early, who led the 1864 raid on Chambersburg, it criticizes the Democratic journal for failing to criticize "his superior officers, whose bidding he obeyed." Employing a letter written by the commander-in-chief of the Confederate army to substantiate its claim, the piece notes that Lee offered "cordial and unequivocal approval" for Early's military actions throughout most of the war and only relieved him of his duty in March 1865 after Sheridan had defeated him three times.
Important Military Order
(Column 4)
Summary: Throughout the South, reports the article, "'erring brethren' of the rebel States" are prosecuting "Union men and officers and soldiers in the Union army" for damages that they suffered as a result of military movements during the late war. In reaction, Gen. Grant has issued an order prohibiting the prosecution of all such cases.
[No Title]
(Column 5)
Summary: It is reported that C. M. Duncan submitted his response to the committee of the Senate regarding the charges levelled at him by David McConaughy, his opponent in the late senate race. In his defence, Duncan concedes that his election was secured through the votes of deserters, but he asserts that the law denying deserters their franchise is unconstitutional.
(Column 6)
Summary: The Repository's Washington correspondent reports that one subject has dominated news in the capital over the past week: the bill to grant suffrage to blacks in the District of Columbia. According to the correspondent, opposition to the proposed legislation is not restricted to local whites who are "very bitter against the bill," but is endorsed by northern Democrats as well, many of whom intend "to make it an issue in the coming election."
Superintendent of Common Schools
(Column 7)
Summary: In his letter, Vindex nominates Samuel Bates, of Crawford county, for State Superintendent of Common Schools.
Trailer: Vindex

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Local Items--Gossip With Our Friends
(Column 1)
Summary: Gossip offers his support for the establishment of a Normal School in Chambersburg, asserting that the arrival of the "eight hundred temporary citizens" who would attend the institution would greatly benefit local businesses.
Local Items--Real Estate and Loan Agency
(Column 2)
Summary: Announces that A. K. McClure has resumed his law practice in partnership with Mr. Stewart. The men have "established a Real Estate, Loan and general Claim Agency in connection with their legal business."
(Names in announcement: A. K. McClure, Mr. Stewart)
Local Items--Mustered Out
(Column 2)
Summary: Notes that Maj. Generals Crawford and Campbell, both of Franklin county, have been mustered out by the order of the President. Crawford, a Lieutenant Colonel by commission in the regular army and a brevet Brigadier General, will remain in the service while Campbell, who was only a volunteer officer, will retire from the army.
(Names in announcement: Maj. Gen. Crawford, Maj. Gen. Campbell)
Local Items--Fatal Accident
(Column 3)
Summary: Christian Brechbill's grandson suffered a fatal injury near Greenvillage on Thursday after his right leg became entangled in the large horizontal revolving shaft of the "horse-power" he was using. The accident resulted in "a shock to the system" that was "so great that re-action never fully took place." The boy died on Saturday after being attended to by Dr. S. S. Huber and Dr. Sensenny.
(Names in announcement: Christian Brechbill, Dr. S. S. Huber, Dr. Sensenny)
Local Items--Directors Elected
(Column 3)
Summary: At the meeting held last Tuesday the following men were elected Directors of the National Bank of Chambersburg: William McLellan, Barnard Wolff, Edmund Culbertson, James C. Eyster, William L. Chambers, S. M. Linn, and G. W. Immell. At a meeting of the Directors, William McLellan was re-elected President and George R. Messersmith was made Cashier.
(Names in announcement: William McLellan, Barnard Wolff, Edmund Culbertson, James C. Eyster, William L. Chambers, S. M. Linn, G. W. Immell, George R. Messersmith)
Local Items
(Column 3)
Summary: The First National Bank of Shippensburg has elected Dr. Stewart, David Middlecoff, David Spencer, William M. Maine, Philip Martin, Enos Forney, and George C. Clever to be Directors of the institution for the upcoming year, and is now offering a dividend of 5 percent.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Stewart, David Middlecoff, David Spencer, William M. Maine, Philip Martin, Enos Forney, George C. Clever)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 9th, John F. Metz and Maggie McCans, of Adams county, were married by Rev. Dr. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: John F. Metz, Maggie McCans, Rev. Dr. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 11th, John A. Boggs and Kate M., daughter of George Crouse, were married by Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: John A. Boggs, Kate M. Crouse, George Crouse, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 11th, Johnson R. McCaslin and Judith M., daughter of Issac Mason, were married by Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: Johnson R. McCaslin, Judith M. Mason, Isaac Mason, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Dec. 25th, Franklin Huber and Susan O. Burkhart were married by Rev. G. H. Beckley.
(Names in announcement: Franklin Huber, Susan O. Burkhart, Rev. G. H. Beckley)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 13th, Christian Sarfass, 10, died near Greenvillage.
(Names in announcement: Christian Sarfass)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 2nd, Lizzie M., daughter of Samuel Holiday, died at Dry Run. She was 14 years old.
(Names in announcement: Lizzie M. Holiday, Samuel Holiday)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 10th, Rachael Miller, 72, died at the residence of William Blair near Dry Run.
(Names in announcement: Rachael Miller, William Blair)
(Column 3)
Summary: On Jan. 11th, George Stuff, 48, died in Peter's township.
(Names in announcement: George Stuff)

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