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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: June 13, 1866

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-Page 01-

The Gettysburg Monument
(Column 6)
Summary: The article extols the beauty of the monument erected at the Gettysburg Cemetery to honor the union soldiers who fell in the "fiercest and bloodiest" battle of the war.
Origin of Article: Hartford Courant

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Office Removed
(Column 1)
Summary: Announces that the Repository's office has moved to the Repository Building located on the northeast corner of the Diamond, adjoining the Court House.
A Scrap of History
(Column 1)
Summary: The editors discuss the rift within the state's Union party. Much of the dissension stems from the gubernatorial election of 1863 and Gov. Curtin's nomination to head the ticket.
Full Text of Article:

The Union men of Crawford county have quite an animated and rather bitter contest, so far as the newspapers are concerned, for the nomination for Congress. Until recently we supposed that the struggle, if there shall be a struggle when it reaches the people, would be between Hon. D. A. Finney and Judge Pettis; but from the last Meadville Journal we must infer that the chief editor of this paper is also a candidate in that county, or in danger of being nominated. It devotes a whole page almost exclusively to vituperation of Mr. Finney and Mr. M'Clure, and it certainly is apprehensive that one or perhaps both may be nominated by Crawford county.

The paper is manifestly either edited or its articles dictated by Mr. Pettis himself, and as we happened to state in a recent paragraph that he had opposed the re-election of Gov. Curtin in 1863--after Curtin had been made the standard-bearer of the party--and lost an office therefor by the positive direction of President Lincoln, Mr. Pettis attempts to vindicate himself by abusing us. To that line of vindication we have no manner of objection, as we have been used to the follies of fools and the malice of pretenders too long to care for either. Nor do we object to the testimony of Hon. John Covode, who certifies that Mr. Pettis did support Gov. Curtin. As Mr. Covode openly opposed Gov. Curtin's re-election after the Pittsburgh Convention, just as Mr. Pettis did, until he found it unsafe to oppose him any longer, he is probably the most competent witness Mr. Pettis could call. Having both started out wrong, and the one lost an office and the other likely to lose an assortment of political honors which flitted in his dreams, they both counseled with their fears and ambition and voted the ticket. They are therefore the most admirable sort of witnesses for each other, as "a feller feeling," as Covode would say, doubtless makes them feel "wondrous kind." Mr. Pettis will please have his certificate on the same point ready for Mr. Covode, as he will doubtless need it one of these days.

But Mr. Covode goes farther than the Crawford contest, and plunges into history after the manner of a bull in a china shop, and comes out with the following assortment of broken crockery on his horns. He says:

"Some weeks, or perhaps months, before the nomination of Governor Curtin in 1863, A. K. M'Clure, Esq, editor of the Chambersburg Repository, came with others twice to Washington City to induce President Lincoln to promise the Governor a Foreign mission, in order to take him off the course as a candidate for Governor, alleging that although he could probably get the nomination, he could not be re-elected if nominated, with the men against him in the State who would oppose him. Both attempts failed, when one of the party came to me and said that there was one man who could accomplish the matter with Mr. Lincoln,--and he was a Cabinet Minister--who did succeed in obtaining the promise from the President, but the arrangement was afterwards violated, and after the Governor's friends had availed themselves of the benefit of the offer upon the part of the President.

There are a few immaterial blunders in the foregoing extract, which Mr. Covode will doubtless thank us for correcting. In the first place, Mr. M'Clure never went to Washington for any such purpose as is stated above. In the second place he never proposed to Mr. Covode or any other man that Gov. Curtin should be appointed to a mission because he could not be re-elected. In the third place the effort to obtain a mission never failed with President Lincoln--he having cheerfully assented to it when it was first proposed to him. In the fourth place, Mr. Covode was never present at any conference on the subject and never was asked to aid or interfere in the matter either by Gov. Curtin or any of his friends, so far as we ever had any knowledge. In the fifth place the writer hereof called upon the cabinet officer referred to, without the knowledge of Gov. Curtin and without consulting with any person, and proceeded the same day with the said minister and another gentleman at once to the President, and received from him the assurance that a mission would be placed at Gov. Curtin's disposal at the close of his term in January 1864. In the sixth place, the President never asked Gov. Curtin to decline, and there was therefore no arrangement violated, and in the seventh place we don't exactly see where Mr. Covode comes into the transaction at all. With these slight corrections, we believe Mr. Covode's statement is correct. He probably thought that he had fixed the whole matter, as it was in those days an amiable and we think pardonable weakness, for him to imagine that nothing was done that he did not do himself, but on this question he has committed the too common mistake of reducing his otherwise excusable hallucinations to writing and labelling them history.

The truth is simply this: Gov. Curtin was strongly pressed to become a candidate for re-election in 1863, and his most trusted friends, believing that he was physically unequal to the task, were desirous that he should decline, and in this he heartily concurred. Without his knowledge the writer hereof called on President Lincoln and had a frank consultation in relation to his declination. The next day we asked two eminent politicians of the State to go with us to the President and confer on the subject. They did so, and the result of the conference was that we bore to Gov. Curtin a tender of a mission in the President's hand-writing. Subsequently Gov. Curtin called on the President to thank him in person for the generous manner in which the honor had been tendered, and signified his intention of accepting it, as he had fully made up his mind to go abroad to recruit his health. Circumstances over which Gov. Curtin had no control, being no less than the manifest determination of the Union men of the State to accept no other man as their candidate, compelled him to forego his own earnest wishes an accept a re-nomination. So much for the inside history of the case--the outside history strikes us as rather too familiar to the people of Pennsylvania to need any explanation at our hands.

In conclusion we beg to assure the Meadville Journal that we are not a candidate for Congress in Crawford county, and that we will not accept the position even if it should succeed in blackguarding us into it. We also assure it that it can vilify us to its own satisfaction, as we suppose that nobody in Crawford county cares any more about what it says of us than we do.

The State Deserter Law
(Column 2)
Summary: The piece assails the Harrisburg Telegraph for its "covert assaults" upon Gov. Curtin, whom it criticizes for failing to move more assertively on the deserter law.
Full Text of Article:

The Harrisburg Telegraph has recently been making repeated covert assaults upon Gov. Curtin. If the Executive has failed to discharge his duty to the loyal men of the State his official acts are proper subjects for the criticism of the Union press of the State; but it is most reasonable to expect that a Union journal in discussing the policy and acts of a Union administration, should at least be truthful and just if not generous. The action of Gov. Curtin in holding the act of the last legislature relating to deserters, has been made a pretext by the Telegraph for attacking Gov. Curtin in frequent articles, and in no one of them was the truth fairly stated to the public. But a few days before the Governor approved the bill in question, that journal's malignity seems to have culminated in an article, of which the following is an extract:

"The bill which prevents draft-sneaks and deserts voting is declared by the present eminent Attorney General, Hon. Wm. M. Meredith, to be constitutional, wise, just and necessary. Yet it is not signed; and the Governor seems fearful of invading the Constitution by giving this measure his approval."

The present distinguished Attorney General has never declared the act of the last legislature relating to deserters to be constitutional. We do not know or even guess that he regards it as unconstitutional, as he has not, so far as we have been able to learn, given any opinion on the subject. While he is without his peer as a jurist even among those who are our chosen arbiters of constitutional law, his opinion would not make a single faithless election officer obey the law, while the decision of the court of last resort would command obedience in all sections of the State. We feel assured that Attorney General Meredith would not declare an act of Congress unconstitutional, nor would he assume to declare it constitutional as long as it was not judicially questioned; but when a new enactment of the legislature imposed new and laborious duties, provided new penalties for offenses defined by Congress, and the foundation of the whole structure was contested in the courts, it was not only eminently proper, but an act of manifest duty, for the Executive to call the attention of the court to the great public interests involved in the bill and await its action if it could be had in season to make the law effective. The court did not act with the promptness the public interest palpably demanded, and the Governor, in accordance with his long settled purpose, approved the act.

On another point the Telegraph has done injustice to the Executive and to the public. It has in it repeated demands for the approval of the State enactment relating to deserters, treated it as a measure entirely independent of the law of Congress, and even in publishing the law after its approval, it omits the preamble because it would expose its unfairness, to use no harsher term. The Union men of the State should not be misled into a tendency to lawlessness by the perversions and suppressions of journals, which seem to have no higher ambition than to stab an Executive who has uncounted petty hatreds by his eminently successful and patriotic administration. If the act of Congress disfranchising deserters should be declared unconstitutional, then must the act of the late legislature of necessity fall with the parent law. It is but an auxiliary to the act of Congress, and that the legislature well knew the fact is clearly manifest by its preamble, as follows:

"Whereas, By the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, 'An act to amend the several acts heretofore passed to provide for the enrolling and calling out of the national forces, and for other purposes,' and approved March 3d, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, all persons who have deserted the military or naval service of the United States, and who have not been discharged or relieved from the penalty or disability therein provided, are deemed and taken to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship and their rights to become citizens, and are deprived of exercising any rights of citizens thereof:
And whereas, Persons not citizens of the United States are not, under the constitution and laws of Pennsylvania, qualified electors of this Commonwealth."

It will be seen that the legislation of the State is distinctly predicated on the law of Congress, and very properly so. No lawyer would pretend to assume that the legislature of 1866 could define and enforce new penalties for offences committed in 1864 or 1865, and for a journal or politician to insist that such was the intention of the legislature, is to betray a most lamentable ignorance of well settled rules of law, and to make a severe draft upon the supposed disposition of the people to accept or reject the laws of the land as their political prejudices may dictate. The Union party has thus far been the champion of law and order and so it will remain.

No one will rejoice more than the writer hereof if the act of the legislature relative to deserters shall be sustained and enforced to the uttermost, and we have done our humble share in these columns and elsewhere to attain the great end desired.

Jefferson Davis
(Column 3)
Summary: Despite the recent flurry of activity related to the Jefferson Davis trial, the article contends that it is little more than a sham because the President has "resolved and pledged the traitors of the South that Davis shall not be punished."
Full Text of Article:

Recently the public journals have been crowded with elaborate dispatches from Washington and Richmond relating to the proposed trial of Jefferson Davis. A court was held at Norfolk some weeks ago, at which an indictment was found against Davis for treason, and the same court met in Richmond last week, when an array of able counsel, such as Wm. B. Reed, James T. Brady, and several lesser lights of the law, appeared and demanded a speedy trial.

All these dispatches, speeches, charges of judges, &c., would naturally induce the people to believe that Jeff Davis is to be really tried for treason and punished. We regret to say that such is not the fact. All the parade about the trial of Davis is just so much mockery of a loyal people. President Johnson, after officially proclaiming Davis to be the chief of assassins, has long since resolved, and pledged the traitors of the South, that Davis shall not be punished, and while Andrew Johnson is President, we assure our readers that Davis will never suffer any penalty of the law for his crimes.

Mr. Davis has been charged with the deliberate murder of our brave prisoners at Andersonville and other points of the South, and we have President Johnson's official proclamation still uncontradicted, that the bureau of military justice has evidence of his complicity in the assassination of President Lincoln. Creatures of Davis have been executed by Johnson for both offences. Mrs. Surratt, Payne, Harrold and Azterott have died for obeying Davis, as Johnson has charged, in the murder of Lincoln, and Werz has died for obeying military orders under Davis as Commander-in-chief at Andersonville.

What is to be done with the Chief? The assassination of Lincoln and the murder of prisoners are offences against the laws of war, and the civil courts cannot take cognizance of them. Military courts tried and condemned the subordinates of Davis--why is the responsible criminal not tried in the same way? There can be but one solution of the problem. The President dare not direct the trial of Davis by a military commission because it would result in his conviction, and his execution could not then be prevented; but in the civil courts it is entirely safe to try Davis for treason. However just and loyal the Judge may be, the Marshal appointed by Johnson selects the jurors, and it would not require any extraordinary amount of shrewdness to enable the public to understand, that a southern jury, selected by an office-holder appointed by Johnson for the purpose, will take care that Davis is not convicted, no matter what the law is or how flagrantly he may have violated it. Even Gen. Lee, in his testimony before the Congressional Committee, testified that the jurors of Virginia would not convict Davis of treason, for the reason that they still justify secession.

Let no one, therefore, be deceived by the newspaper parade about the trial of Davis. President Johnson has the power to shield the arch-traitor, and he means to exercise it. Just as soon as he feels that he dare do so, he will release him from prison on the pretext of failing health, and in a short time Davis will most likely be knocking at the door of the U.S. Senate with Stephens and other rebel leaders for admission as our law-makers, and his demand for his place will be sustained by all the power of Johnson's administration. The truth is not always the pleasantest thing to publish, but the sooner loyal men understand that all professions of the Johnson administration relative to the punishment of treason are utterly false, the better it may be for the nation.

The Soldiers In Council The Pittsburgh Convention! A Large Assembly of Heroes! Faithful in War--Faithful in Peace! "God, Grant, Geary, Victory!" "My Policy" Ignored By the Boys in Blue! Gov. Curtin, the "Soldiers' Friend!"
(Column 7)
Summary: A brief account of the proceedings at the Soldiers' Convention recently held in Pittsburg, and a copy of the resolutions passed by the delegates in attendance.
(Names in announcement: Maj. John H. Harmony, Col. D. W. Rowe, Capt. John H. Walker, Sergt. Henry Strickler, Private D. M. McCune)
Full Text of Article:

The State Convention of the Heroes of the war against treason was held in Pittsburgh on the 5th inst. and was very largely attended. Every district in the State was represented and the aggregate of soldiers in attendance with regular credentials was not less than five hundred. Gen. Negley was chosen temporary chairman, and Gen. J.T. Owen, of Philadelphia, was permanent President. Among the delegates in attendance we notice the names of Col D. W. Rowe, Maj. John H. Harmony, Capt. John H. Walker, Sergt. Henry Strickler, and private D. M. McCune. The proceedings were marked by great enthusiasm and unanimity, and it will be seen they declared for Grant, Geary and Curtin, and loyal men ruling the nation rescued by loyal blood. The following resolutions were reported by Gen. Fisher, chairman of the committee and were adopted with entire unanimity:

WHEREAS, The representatives of the soldiers and sailors of Pennsylvania, assembled in convention, in obedience to a call recognized and formally acted on, throughout the Commonwealth, having in remembrance the suffering and trials endured by the soldiers and sailors of the Union in their successful struggle against the gigantic rebellion, and being determined to perpetuate the great principles established by our arms and sanctified by the blood of our fellow comrades, do resolve,

I. That we return to the omnipotent Ruler of the Universe our sincere and heartfelt thanks for the crowning victory vouchsafed to our efforts against a rebellion, which had for its object the destruction of our great Republic.

II. That the tender care exercised by the Government and the people for the remains of our martyred heroes, and for their widows and orphans, commands our warmest gratitude.

III. That it is contrary to public policy and subversive of the great principles won by patriotic blood, to permit any to hold offices of honor or profit under the General Government, who, by word or deed embarrassed the Union armies, or cast odium on the cause for which they fought.

IV. That the soldiers of Pennsylvania should organize in their respective counties to take care that the triumph of our army be not fruitless and the just results of our great endeavors remain ungathered, by concessions of any of the national points at issue in the struggle, to the defeated party; or by yielding advantages fairly won; and we propose the following platform as the basis of organization.

V. That such treatment should be accorded to the defeated foe as the most chivalric magnanimity requires, but without yielding a triumph compromising the right, or, above all, deserting our allies.

VI. That such and so many guarantees shall be demanded from the South, and incorporated in the National Constitution, as are necessary to prevent the recurrence of rebellion, secure justice and freedom to all men of all classes, conditions, and colors, and guard the national faith from violation.

VII. That rebels ought not to be precipitated into power, before such guarantees have been obtained, and that, accordingly, Congress, to which rightfully pertains all questions of reconstruction, should be cordially sustained in their demand for such guarantees.

VIII. That the legislation whereby Congress attempted to defend and protect our allies, the loyal men of the South, against the deadly hatred of the common enemy, and to make good to a race the freedom proffered as the price of aid and awarded as the due of loyalty, deserves unqualified approval.

IX. That with the beginning of the war the nation took a new departure, and henceforth her Constitution will be read in the interests of liberty, justice, and security, according to the lights of its preamble and the immoral declaration of independence, under the teachings of its authors and compatriots. Too long already has it been interpreted in the interests of slavery and caste.

X. That Major General John W. Geary having given just evidence of his devotion to the Union during the great rebellion by volunteering in its defence and serving faithfully during the war, when many, like Heister Clymer, who now claim to be equally patriotic, were rendering aid and comfort to the rebels, and he being now before the people of Pennsylvania as a candidate for the office of Governor, we, his fellow soldiers in that hour of trial, pledge to him our hearty support, and ask the same for him from all those who acknowledge the debt of gratitude due from the country to its saviors.

XI. That the soldiers of Pennsylvania recognize no warmer or true friend than Governor Andrew G. Curtin. His name is our watchword, his fame our hope, and his merit our glory. The unswerving love of the "soldiers' friend' will be reciprocated with unfaltering devotion.

XII. That we appeal hopefully to Congress for speedy action on the question of equalizing bounties to the soldiers.

XIII. That believing "treason is a crime and that traitors should be punished," we demand that leading traitors shall be convicted and executed, as an example to traitors for all time to come.

XIV. That we request Congress so to legislate as to protect American industry by a high protective tariff.

XV. That the Convention is able to express its sentiments upon the whole matter of issues and candidates in few words, which may answer as banner inscriptions in the coming campaign--"God, Grant, Geary, Victory!"

A number of able speeches were made during the proceedings of the Convention, all breathing a true and patriotic spirit, and not one proposed to betray the country into the hands and rule of the traitors they had to overthrow by the sword. Altogether we regard the Solders' Convention as one of the most promising signs of the times, and it gives the loyal men the assurance that neither rebel insolence or northern treachery can compass the overthrow of the Union party in Pennsylvania.

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Local Items--Death of Dewalt Keefer
(Column 1)
Summary: The piece laments the death of Dewalt Keefer, 73, which occurred at his residence in Letterkenny township last Thursday. It is believed that Keefer died from heart disease.
Local Items--Organized
(Column 2)
Summary: Stockholders of the woolen factory met last Thursday and elected James C. Austin, President and Samuel Myers Secretary and Treasurer. Also elected was a Board composed of nine Directors including James C. Austin, Samuel Myers, John Huber, George Ludwig, J. NcD. Sharpe, J. Allison Eyster, T. B. Wood, C. M. Burnett and John Middleton. At the meeting, it was determined that the capitalization has increased to $80,000 due to the $32,000 in added costs incurred by the purchase of C. W. Eyster's flouring mill, which was deemed necessary to secure an unfailing source of water power.
(Names in announcement: James C. Austin, Samuel Myers, John Huber, George Ludwig, J. McD. Sharpe, J. Allison Eyster, T. B. Wood, C. M. Burnett, John Middleton)
Local Items--Court Proceedings
(Column 1)
Summary: On June 5th, the regular session of the Orphan's Court was held and the sessions of the Quarter and Common Pleas were adjourned. Little business transpired, however, due to the backlog caused by the controversy over the Restaurant License Law. The Court received petitions from the Sons of Temperance, Good Templars, and other, similarly oriented groups that protested against the licensing ale houses. The Court held that Chambersburg will be allowed "twelve restaurants and other towns in the county will get a proportionate number." John W. Dittman, Conrad Wagner, Henry Feldman, A. Kyler, and Rodes & Gelwicks were granted licenses to sell liquor in Chambersburg, while Jacob Kriner obtained the right to do so in Waynesboro. Applications were denied to Peter Mehlfedt, of Funkstown, and William Adair, of Fayetteville.
(Names in announcement: John W. Dittman, Conrad Wagner, Henry Feldman, A. Kyler, Jacob Kriner, Peter Mehfeldt, William Adair)
Local Items--Another Barn Burnt
(Column 2)
Summary: A barn belonging to the Furnace property of Mr. Ahl, in Path Valley, above Loudon, burned to the ground last week. It is reported that the blaze destroyed a considerable amount of property.
Local Items--Barn Burnt
(Column 3)
Summary: George Greenawalt's barn was destroyed during the storm last Friday after it was struck by lightning. It is believed that Greenawalt's losses will be severe because he had no insurance on his property.
(Names in announcement: George Greenawalt)
(Column 3)
Summary: On June 5th, Jesse McCumsey and Margaret Lehner were married by Rev. P. S. Davis.
(Names in announcement: Jesse McCumsey, Margaret Lehner, Rev. P. S. Davis)
(Column 3)
Summary: On May 13th, William Marshall, of Hagerstown, and Mary Ellen Heister were married by Rev. J. B. H. Janeway.
(Names in announcement: William Marshall, Mary Ellen Heister, Rev. J. B. H. Janeway)
(Column 3)
Summary: On May 11th, John F. Stouffer, son of Rev. H. Stouffer, died of smallpox in Memphis, Tennessee. The deceased served three years in the army in the 2nd Iowa Cavalry. He was 38 years old.
(Names in announcement: John F. Stouffer, Rev. H. Stouffer)

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