Franklin Repository: June 06, 1866Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The Test Oaths
(Column 7)Summary: The article summarily dismisses President Johnson's argument that the test oath should be modified or repealed because there are not enough men to fill the national offices who can take the pledge.
Full Text of Article:
The plea of the President and two or three of his Cabinet Ministers for a repeal or modification of the test oath is, that there are not men enough to be found in the South to fill the national offices, who can take that oath. The Union men of Alabama, however, effectually exploded this plea, by enrolling themselves and demonstrating by actual count that there are, in that State alone, nineteen thousand men who did not bow the knee to Baal; and the Judiciary Committee of the House at Washington offer the further fact that there were forty-two thousand men in the Union army drawn from every Southern State except South Carolina.
But the case of Mr. Giers, of Alabama, recently made public, shows that the difficulty does not grow out of lack of men who can take the oath, but out of the preference which the administration naturally feels for men who were tainted with the Rebellion. Mr. Giers was an applicant for an appointment as Commissioner for the collection of direct taxes in that State. He bore recommendations signed by Abraham Lincoln, November 13, 1863; by Andrew Johnson, Sept. 30, 1864; by Gen. Thomas, May 14, 1865; and by Gen. Grant, Feb. 18, 1866. Mr. Andrew Johnson endorsed him as "a gentleman of integrity and respectability; and one of the few in the country who stood firm to the Union;" and Gen. Grant endorses him as "competent and reliable."
Yet this true, loyal, competent and reliable man was not appointed. He was willing and able to take the test-oath; but he was thrust aside and the place conferred upon one F. W. Sykes, a member of the Rebel legislature of Alabama, and who cannot therefore take the test-oath. And Mr. McCulloch, through whose department this appointment was made, asks Congress to modify or repeal that oath because he cannot find men, qualified for office, who cannot subscribe to it!
There is no such dearth of loyal men at the South as the Administration would have us believe. There are enough of them and to spare, for all the national offices. But the trouble is they are not Johnson men. They can take the test-oath, but do not belong to the "Incorruptible Host." They find the rebels, to whom they have been opposed for five weary years, all full of devotion to the President, and naturally enough they do not like to follow where such men lead. Hence the Administration ignores them, and asks Congress to repeal the test-oath because it is an impossibility to fill the national offices otherwise.
(Column 2)Summary: Relates that the Senate has modified the third section of the Reconstruction Committee report, omitting the clause disfranchising rebels until 1870 and replacing it with a provision prohibiting southerners who held office before the war and later served in an official capacity in the Confederacy from office once again holding a civil or military office."They Vote As They Fought"
(Column 1)Summary: The editors comment on an article from last week's Valley Spirit, which reported on the organization of a soldiers' club in York county. According to the Repository's rival, one of the veterans' first actions was to pass a resolution in support of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Heister Clymer. The editors sarcastically note that a similar process is unfolding throughout the South as members of Lee's demobilized army return home and cast their support for like-minded unpatriotic politicians.
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The above is the caption of an article in the Spirit of last week, with reference to a club recently organized in the Borough of York, the members of which claim to be veterans of the late war. Judging from the resolutions adopted, and which are commended by the Spirit to the soldiers of this country, we do not hesitate to say that the assertion of the Spirit is literally true. We notice that about this time the veterans of Lee's army throughout the South are adopting similar resolutions with singular unanimity, and we have no doubt that they will vote to support them with the same singleness of purpose. The Spirit not having stated definitely to which army the York veterans belong, the matter might have remained in doubt, but the following resolution adopted by them settles their status decidedly:
"Resolved--That we belive the Hon. Hiester Clymer, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, holds upon all the great principles of public policy views similar to our own, and is a firm supporter of President Johnson, and that therefore we will support him with our voices and votes."
During the war of the rebellion, Mr. Clymer was a Senator of Pennsylvania, and the recognized leader of his party in the State. On the records of that body are to be found his views on public policy as represented by his speeches and votes. We propose to present a few of them. At the beginning, in common with the Democratic party, he admitted the right of secession, and denied the right of the nation to preserve its integrity by resisting the rebellion. When the war had actually begun, and the rebels were advancing upon the borders of our State, threatening invasion, and a loan of $500,000 was proposed for the defence of the State, it was against Mr. Clymer's "views of public policy" and he accordingly voted no.
It was against his "views of public policy" that any conscription bill should be passed and a draft made to reinforce the armies of the Union, and relieve the brave men at the front struggling against overwhelming odds, and so he voted.
It was against his "views of public policy," and against his indignant protest and vote, that the soldiers from Pennsylvania, who were exposing and losing their lives in the cause of the country, were allowed to vote.
It was against his "views of public policy" that 180,000 colored soldiers were employed, who thereby served their country and occupied the place of a corresponding number of white men.
In short, the only instance known where his "views of public policy" were affirmative, were in 1864, when he and his friends declared the war "a failure," and the rebellion consequently a success, or when measures were proposed to embarrass our own government or aid and abet the rebellion morally and materially, as far as was prudent without committing the overt act.
And we must do Mr. Clymer the justice to say, that the "views of public policy" he held during the war, are still consistent with those he holds now. Although he and his friends were perhaps premature in declaring the war a failure at Chicago in 1864, it will not be denied that they are exerting themselves manfully to make it a failure now. When, with the assistance of the man whom the resolution of the York veterans declares they delight to honor with Mr. Clymer, the rebel States are again represented in Congress by such patriots as Davis, Stephens, Cobb, Breckenridge and others of that ilk, then indeed will the war be a failure, as far at least as the hopes and expectations of loyalty, christianity, and civilization are concerned.
Such a consummation will, however, be devoutly wished for and ardently urged by all supporters of Mr. Clymer's "views of public policy." It would suit Lee's veterans exactly--they see in it a future payment of back pay, bounties and pensions--the Southern people see in it payment of the Confederate debt and relief from their share of the tax for the payment of our debt--to say nothing of the possible reduction of the negro to a state of Slavery not inferior to his former condition.
The advantages it presents to loyal men, and especially to those who have been soldiers in the Union Army, is not so clear. To the loyal people at large the issue will be repudiation of your own debt or assumption of the rebel debt. Loyal soldiers are competent to judge for themselves what regard will be paid to their rights, when Davis, Stephens, Breckenridge, & Co. are once more seated in the United States Senate, and a host of other rebels in the lower House, who will have a supervision of the subjects of pensions, equalization of bounties, &c. Union soldiers have had a taste of their legislation already in the State of Kentucky, where by act of Assembly Union soldiers are held responsible for all acts done during the war, even in the line of their duty, while on the other hand rebel soldiers are expressly exempted. The "civil rights bill," passed by a Union Congress over the President's Veto, is all that stands now between the Kentucky Union soldier and rebel prosecution and persecution.
Mr. Clymer's "views of public policy" are so well defined, that it is not worth while to refer to those of his competitor. Every true soldier instinctively turns to the gallant soldier who leads the Union column in this State in the present struggle, and will be found shoulder to shoulder with him in the last and perhaps greatest contest in which our country will be called to engage, and which is to decide whether indeed the war is a failure, and we are betrayed into the hands of our enemies.
With General Geary will be the men who were always to be found in the front of the battle. With Heister Clymer will be found the supporters of his policy and "my policy," the grand army of deserters, draft rioters, Lee's veterans and the York veterans--who will of course all "vote as they fought."
(Column 3)Summary: The state supreme court adjourned the Harrisburg term without issuing a judgement on the constitutionality of the congressional act disfranchising deserters. Reports indicate that the justices may render a decision "on some collateral question without deciding the great issue." If the court fails to come to a clear decision, says the writer of the article, its inaction would represent "an unpardonable disregard of the gravest public interests."The Memphis Riots
(Column 4)Summary: In compliance with a resolution from the House, the Secretary of War sent that body General Stoneman's report on the Memphis Riot. According to Stoneman's findings, rioters under the influence of whiskey, including "police, firemen, and rabble, and negro-haters in general with a sprinkling of Yankee-haters," unleashed an orgy of destruction that resulted in the murder of 24 blacks in the first three days of May. The report attributes the violence in part to the simmering hostility between white residents of the city and black troops stationed nearby. The source of the tension stems from the fact that the black troops were used as "instruments" of the government, given the unenviable task of executing unpopular orders, which often brought them "in contact with the law-breaking portion of the community and the police."
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The Secretary of War sent on Thursday last to the House, in compliance with a resolution of that body, the report of General Stoneman relative to the recent Memphis riots. The latter says that upon investigation by the commission, it appears there were killed out-right twenty-four negroes, eight of whom were discharged soldiers. The 3d colored artillery had been stationed at Memphis since its organization, and consequently were not under the best of discipline. Large numbers of the men had what they call families living in South Memphis, contiguous to the fort in which the soldiers were stationed.
These soldiers had been used as instruments to execute the orders of Government agents, such as provost marshals, bureau agents, etc., and consequently had been more or less brought directly in contact with the law-breaking portion of the community and the police, which is far from being composed of the best class of residents here, but principally Irishmen, who consider the negro as his competitor and natural enemy. Many negro soldiers have, from time to time, been arrested by the police, and many whites, including some of the police, have been arrested by the negro soldiers, and in both cases those arrested have not unfrequently been treated with a harshness altogether unnecessary.
After giving the particulars of the riot, General Stoneman concludes by saying: "The rioters were composed of the police, firemen and rabble, and negro-haters in general with a sprinkling of Yankee-haters, all led on and encouraged by demagogues and office-hunters, and most of them under the influence of whisky." It appears in evidence before the commission that John Creighton, recorder of the city, made a speech to the rioters, in which he said: "We are not prepared, but let us prepare to clear every negro s-- of a b-- out of town." Very few paroled confederates were mixed up with the rioters on Tuesday and Wednesday, the large portion being registered voters. Who commenced the incendiarism on Wednesday night remains to be developed.
(Column 4)Summary: It is reported that a commission has been convened in Norfolk by order of Gen. Grant to investigate the recent riot in that city. The proceedings will be closed to the public and the findings submitted directly to Gen. Grant.
Local Items--Shameless Vituperation
(Column 1)Summary: The article appearing in the Hagerstown Mail ridicules the consequences of the Civil Rights bill, maintaining that its implications will radically transform the social order.
Origin of Article: Hagerstown MailEditorial Comment: "The Hagerstown Mail, a semi-rebel organ, thus shamelessly insults Dunkards and misrepresents the official proceedings of their national meeting. They are, as a class, a loyal men, and for that offence the Mail makes haste to traduce and ridicule them. We copy the following article from that journal of last week."Local Items--Before the United States Commissioner
(Column 2)Summary: A follow-up report on the fate of Sam Seylor who was arrested some months ago on the charge of passing counterfeit notes. Seylor, along with his associates, were committed to jail in default of their bail of $5,000.Local Items--Recovery of Body
(Column 2)Summary: Informs readers that Joseph Frey continues to have success locating the remains of deceased local soldiers who were interred on battlefields of the South.Local Items--Painting the Steeple
(Column 2)Summary: Samuel Park has been contracted to paint the steeple of the German Reformed Church.Local Items--Homicide
(Column 2)Summary: Last Friday, Walter Fields shot and killed James Fennel in an altercation in Fayetteville. The violence occurred after a quarrel broke out between the two black men, though Fields initially sought to avoid physical confrontation, but was forced to take action when Fennel rushed him with an axe. Fennel was carried to the Alms House where he died. Fields has not been arrested.Local Items--Affirmed
(Names in announcement: Walter Fields, James Fennel)
(Column 2)Summary: Of the three cases from Franklin county that have made their way to the state supreme court, three had been disposed of by the adjournment of the last session. The case of Com. vs. Stump was not heard at all owing to the informality, and the judgements in Bonebrake vs. Douglas and Funk vs. Ely were affirmed.Local Items--The New Five Cent Coin
(Names in announcement: Stump, Bonebrake, Douglas, Funk, Ely)
(Column 3)Summary: Announces the introduction of the new five cent coin, which is similar in size to the three dollar gold coin.Local Items--Personal
(Column 3)Summary: Maj. Gen. S. W. Crawford was in town last week to visit his father, Rev. Dr. Crawford, at his farm near Fayetteville.Married
(Column 4)Summary: On May 30th, D. Rank, of Massilon, Ohio, and Maggie J., second daughter of Robert Mahon, of Scotland, were married by Rev. J. Moore.Married
(Names in announcement: D. Rank, Maggie J. Mahon, Robert Mahon, Rev. J. Moore)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 22nd, Andrew Ralston, of Cumberland county, and Anna B., daughter of Andrew McElwain, were married by Rev. J. H. B. Janeway.Married
(Names in announcement: Andrew Ralston, Andrew McElwain, Anna B. McElwain, Rev. J. H. B. Janeway)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 14th, George Monath and Eliza Lavely were married by Rev. W. C. Stitt.Married
(Names in announcement: George Monath, Eliza Lavely, Rev. W. C. Stitt)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 24th, Jacob Wiland and Anna Laidig were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: Jacob Wiland, Anna Laidig, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 24th, J. M. Long and Nannie A. Rhodes were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.Died
(Names in announcement: J. M. Long, Nannie A. Rhodes, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 19th, Denny West, 5, died; the following day his brother, Albert McLellan, 4, died. They boys were the children of Simon and Mary Jane Piper.Died
(Names in announcement: Denny West Piper, Albert McLellan Piper, Simon Piper, Mary Jane Piper)
(Column 4)Summary: On May 20th, Elizabeth, wife of Peter Mourer, died near Upton. She was 25 years old. One week later, Emma, daughter of Elizabeth and Peter, died. She was a year old. They were buried in the same grave on the 30th.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth Mourer, Peter Mourer, Emma Mourer)
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