Franklin Repository: December 11, 1867Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The President's Message
(Column 4)Summary: Contains a copy of President Johnson's address to Congress.
(Column 3)Summary: The editors urge readers to consider the consequences of delaying payment on government bonds and dismiss the arguments in favor of repudiation as dangerous to the nation's economy and future security.
Full Text of Article:The President's Message
While all Americans, from the men with the best minds in the country down to those with the most simple and ignorant of the day, are forming plans, and alike in the halls of Congress and in the little group around the family fireside are proposing theories for changes in the financial policy of our Republic; when taxation is drawing a powerful brake on every manufacturing wheel and pulley in the land and takes a heavy toll from every product of agriculture; when rich and poor alike feel an inconvenient want of sufficient money to meet the ordinary exigencies of life, and we have so great temptation to rid ourselves of our national burdens for the present, even at the price of placing greater difficulties in the way of our progress and prosperity in future years; let us beware lest we are betrayed into dishonor and probably ruin by permitting ourselves to be led into the specious snares of some system for repudiating our government securities by gradual and subtly concealed processes of financial jugglery; by giving ear to plans apparently calculated only to postpone the payment of our debts indefinitely at the pleasure of the debtor and regardless of the specific terms of the loan, but in reality tending to a state of governmental finances which must eventually result in absolute repudiation. We know there are many men in the territory of the late rebel confederacy, and some even claiming a home among the loyal people of the North, who to-day desire and advise open and immediate repudiation of our debt. But the loyal people of this country are too numerous, too honest and too wise ever to be in any danger from a frank and aboveboard plan, for and iniquitous and disgraceful refusal to pay the securities for which the national faith has been pledged. The government bonds were given in a day of trial, for money lent to the government during a desperate war waged against the nation's life, and without that money which purchased arms and ammunition, and clothing and food, for our armies in the field, the Union would have gone down before the cannon of the Slaveholders' rebellion. Our people are not blind to these now historic facts, and they know too well the sacred nature of the debt ever to openly repudiate it. They know that in foro conscientiae every cannon and shell, musket and cartridge, every battle-flag, belonging to the nation, every stone in our capitol, every acre of our public domain, all our public possessions, and not less all our private property are as it were mortgaged for the payment of our government's indebtedness. The American people are also fully aware that policy and the safety of the country, aside from honor and honesty, require that we should be scrupulously exact in fulfilling our promises to repay our creditors. When the great rebellion was inaugurated we found it impossible to carry on the war without borrowing large amounts of money, and we learned to prize our government's credit as we valued our national existence. We all comprehend that if we do not pay our just debts already contracted, when the next formidable enemy foreign, or domestic, advances toward Washington, no one will be willing to lend to a dishonored borrower, and for want of money to maintain war we must meet our foes at a disadvantage under which it is not probable even the bravery of our soldiers will be able to triumph. Americans understand these dangers and the nation will not drink the poison unless it be disguised. It is concealed financial dangers we ought most to dread, and already alarming propositions for hazardous changes in our financial system begin to appear on the surface of American politics. We need scarcely advert to the notorious Ohio plan to pay off, at once, all our bonds with a flood of depreciated non interest bearing greenbacks, which would soon become as worthless (we do not mean to detract from or question the value of the wisely limited number of greenbacks already issued), as the oyster-shell money of the regime of William the Testy. The scheme is too preposterous, too transparent, to deceive even the most credulous and unwary. But there are other projects for changing the shape of our debt which are more dangerous, because they present more engaging features, and come clothed in honest garments, not in the criminal convict suit of fraud. Some of them are the result of the thought of able and patriotic men, who would rather lose their right arm than pen a word in favor of what they believed national dishonor. False doctrines, however, all the world over are not less fraught with evil because they are promulgated by tried and trusted leaders. Prominent among these plans stands that to pay in greenbacks part of those of our bonds which were fairly understood as pledged to be paid in gold, and thus deluge the country with a depreciated currency--inflate prices, by inflating prices increase the necessary annual expenditures of government, so plunge the government deeper and deeper into debt, thus necessitating a further issue of more and more paper money--while the disordered and continually depreciating currency would embarrass trade, check manufactures and eventually undermine the national wealth to so great a degree that repudiation would be the only escape toward regaining a healthy financial basis. Another mode of gradual repudiation sometimes resorted to by governments is simply to indefinitely postpone payment of their securities, which may be done either by a decree that they will not be paid until a subsequent time, or by compelling the creditors to accept in their stead other securities made payable at some time far in the future. This practice is not only dishonest but if wantonly persisted in amounts to practical repudiation. If a government wish to postpone payment of a loan, let them give notice to the creditors, that such of them as may so desire, will be at liberty to exchange their securities for others payable at a subsequent time, and then let the government borrow on new bonds issued to a later day, gold or its bona fide equivalent, to pay off at the time they fall due such of the old bonds payable in gold as the holders ask the money for. Of course there are cases where a government's credit is bad in which this cannot be done, as the money cannot be borrowed on the new bonds and "necessity knows no law." But the credit of the United States has not sunk to that point yet, and if we deal honorably with those who have trusted our national good faith, it never will sink so low. We do not desire to propose any pet project of our own for solving the great financial questions, but we ask the people to require that whatever course we may pursue shall not lead to dishonesty and so destroy our public credit. We must try each plan however plausible and from whatever source, first by the all important criterion of honesty, and if it is not entirely honest we should reject it without further consideration. Strict adherence to honest principles is our only safeguard against final repudiation. We should remember the terrible consequences of repudiation by a government are the same, whether to the creditor of an eastern potentate, who asking payment is not only met with a rejection of his just claim, but loses his head for the presumption and temerity of his demand, or to the lender to a more civilized country, who is paid with a flourish of national honor, in a currency of no real value, proportionate to the consideration he has given and the risk he has taken. Let us be careful that we are not in a future hour of need compelled to pay for borrowed money not only a fair interest, proportionate to the inconvenience occasioned the lender in losing the use of his money for the time, but also an additional premium, in substance a consideration for a risk that we may choose never to pay back value, and thus we be forced to allow insurance as well as interest proper on our securities. Let us keep our escutcheon clear of dishonest stain. And while we should pay our interest punctually and the principal as speedily as we can without disastrously crippling our manufactures and trade, we should not be disheartened into lending ear to unfair projects, because we cannot wipe out all our debt in a breath. "The world was not made in a day" and we must bide our time to be rid of our creditors justly. With all our practically boundless natural resources, and so strong a tincture of what political economists term "the effective desire of accumulation" in the American temperament, our country's wealth must increase year by year in almost a geometrical progression, and when a few more harvest moons have rolled over the land, the mighty flood of our augmented wealth will wash out our now formidable debt, as the wide river without an effort floats from sight, a log, which the little rivulet, near its source, could not move with a struggle.
(Column 4)Summary: The editorial criticizes President Johnson for his intransigence on the issue of reunification and characterizes his speech work as the work of an "accomplished demagogue."
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
The story of the indignant juror, who after having voted one hundred times for acquittal against the eleven solid votes of his fellow jurors for conviction, prefaced his request to the Court for a discharge by the remark that he had sat sixteen hours with eleven of the stubbornest men God ever made, and that there was no chance of bringing them to terms, is traditional, and for aught we can show to substantiate the fact of his existence, the said juror may be a myth. But it is of no consequence now whether the story is true or false. Its only purpose was to illustrate a particular kind of human weakness, and since Mr. Johnston, our illustrious President, has furnished the world with a stronger and better illustration of the same thing, we can well afford to part company with the juror aforesaid. From this time forth, whenever an illustration of these particular defects in human character shall be needed to point out a moral or adorn a tale, it stands to reason that the excessive vanity and unlimited obstinacy of a President will be preferred to the immodest assurance and unreasonable persistence of our old friend the juror. Apart from any advantages Mr. Johnson may have had over him by reason of his exalted position, the example he furnishes will make a better and more pointed illustration. The juror's speech, as an illustration, was good, unquestionably, but compared with the last message of his Excellency it is tame and flat; and besides is not nearly so comprehensive as the message. In addition to the positive qualities of conceit and obstinacy, the message illustrates other unfortunate trials of human character just as well. Inordinate vanity is not illustrated any better than brazen effrontery and impudence; nor is mulish obstinacy better exemplified than reckless audacity and unblushing dishonesty. The juror, never so far as we know, insulted his fellows at any time during the sixteen hours confinement, nor did we ever hear of his proposing to dispense with their services and bringing in a verdict himself. It may be that he wasn't altogether fair in his arguments, but the story does not relate this against him, and we cannot in justice assume that he was. But on the other hand, see how magnificently Mr. Johnson does all this and more. He tells Congress--a body generally supposed to know a thing or two, and credited by many with somewhat of honor and patriotism, composed at present of about two hundred and fifty members, more than two thirds of whom have dared to differ with his Excellency, encouraged to do so by the popular sentiment of the country,--that they are oath-breakers, and faith-breakers and Constitution-breakers. Did the world ever hear more magnificent impudence than this? Harmless it may be, but still downright, positive, excellent impudence. Just think of it. Mr. Johnston is President; how he became President is immaterial. Because Congress will not permit him as President to usurp all the powers of the Government, he turns upon it with his sublime impudence and effrontery, and charges it with being guilty of the very crimes for which he is now in danger of impeachment. He says it has broken faith with the country, inasmuch as it declared while the war was in progress that it was being conducted for the preservation of the Union, and now that it is over it alleges that the war, though triumphant, severed the Union. Mr. Johnson before he was President declared that in the great work of reconstruction loyal men alone should take part, and that all who had been disloyal should take back seats. On declarations such as these he was trusted and accepted by the people as their Vice President. No sooner is he placed in power than he breaks faith with those who elevated him and deserts to the enemy. Refreshing impudence in such a man to upbraid others for bad faith! He declares that Congress by interfering in the government of the late rebellious States violated the constitution; when he, Andrew Johnson, President, had set it the example, by placing military governors over each of them, and with an assumption of power that would have seemed arrogant in a Sultan or a Czar, compelled their legislatures to make laws to suit him. He accuses it with trying to prevent an early restoration of the Union, when he, as President, is using his influence to prevent the Southern States from accepting the generous terms offered them, and is refusing to execute the laws enacted for that purpose. We challenge the world for a better illustration of brawling impudence than this. Then again he tells these same intractable and unfaithful servants of the public, that he, in consideration of their offences, has deliberated much upon and felt very anxious to reach a proper conclusion in regard to the question of how far his duty as President will require him to go in opposing their unconstitutional measures, and with most admirable audacity, after denouncing what they have already done as violative of every principle of the constitution, and as highly dangerous to the organic structure of the Government, tells them to their teeth that if they will do such things he, "the elected defender of the people," "must take the high responsibilities of his office and save the life of the nation." How? By civil war, he says. In the name of all the Gods at once, was ask, was ever mortal so heroically audacious as this man? Plunge the country into civil war for what? Because a majority of the men who compose the 40th Congress will not abuse themselves by a faithless disregard of their duty to the country, and their pledges to the people as he has done himself; because they will not quietly submit to a usurpation of power by him that would make him a despot and them slaves. For these reasons he unbridles his audacity and threatens to ride rough shod over all who have the temerity to stand in his path. His dishonesty finds expression in every paragraph. With an utter disregard for truth, he suppresses important facts and taxes his ingenuity to invent others. He maligns and impugns the motives of others, and claims for himself a fidelity and integrity that would, if he possessed them, make him another and a different man. With the skill and flippancy of the accomplished demagogue, he makes professions and gives assurances, while at the same time his official action is directed to the accomplishment of the very opposite of what he professes and promises.
These are some of the remarkable features of this remarkable document. Who, after reading it, would interpose to save from oblivion our old friend the juror?
(Column 5)Summary: The editors respond with an emphatic no to the Valley Spirit's demand that they remove "Grant for President" from their masthead.Defeat of Impeachment
(Column 6)Summary: Reports that the House of Representatives voted against impeaching President Johnson by a tally of 108 to 57 last Saturday. Among the delegates from Pennsylvania, the vote was 9 in favor and 11 opposed, with 4 abstaining.
Origin of Article: Pittsburg CommercialFar Off Chats With Old Friends
(Column 7)Summary: McClure's article describes Virginia City, religious life in the Montana Territory's capital, and the "most important criminal trial that has ever occurred in Montana."
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that Owen McGovern, reportedly from Chambersburg, was killed in a bar room brawl in Pitt township on Nov. 28th. McGovern initiated a fight with James Montooth, who after suffering a series of insults and punches from McGovern, cut his assailant in the throat, causing him to bleed to death.Local Items--New Enterprise
(Names in announcement: Owen McGovern, James Montooth)
(Column 1)Summary: Notes that the stockholders of the Ryder Nursery Association met at the Law Office of Everett & Cook on Dec. 9th, where they selected officers and formalized the organization.Local Items--Stopped Short
(Names in announcement: B. L. Ryder, William G. Reed, W. S. Everett, John Stouffer)
(Column 1)Summary: Last Thursday, says the article, a group of black residents were serenading a newly married couple in the alley on Main St. when the performance was suddenly cut short by the arrival of Chief Houser, who chased the musicians away using his cane to disperse the crowd.Local Items--Personal
(Names in announcement: Chief Houser)
(Column 2)Summary: Relates that A. K. McClure and his family were met with a warm welcome in Virginia City.Local Items--Tribute To Fireman
(Names in announcement: A. K. McClure)
(Column 2)Summary: Notes that the Hope Fire Company has erected a "beautiful" tombstone in Cedar Grove Cemetery in memory of Frederick Householder.Local Items--Religious
(Names in announcement: Frederick Householder)
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that Rev. Irving Magee, of Baltimore, will preach at the Lutheran Church this weekend.Local Items--Badly Burned
(Column 2)Summary: Henry Ward's young son suffered serious burns to the side of his face after he fell against the stove last week. He is expected to recover.Local Items--Fair
(Names in announcement: Henry Ward)
(Column 2)Summary: The A. M. E. Church will hold a fair to benefit the Preachers' Aid Society. The fair opens on Dec. 19th.Local Items--Sudden Death
(Column 2)Summary: Mrs. Walker, wife of Dr. Thomas Walker, died suddenly last Wednesday in Waynesboro. She had been a "helpless invalid for a number of years from the effects of inflammatory rheumatism."
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Walker, Dr. Thomas Walker)Origin of Article: Waynesboro RecordLocal Items--Call Accepted
(Column 2)Summary: Reports that Rev. Irving Magee, of Baltimore, will take charge of the First Lutheran Church.Local Items--Appointments
(Column 2)Summary: The County Commissioners made the following appointments last week: William S. Everett, Counsel; George Foreman, Clerk; Dr. John Lambert, Physician to Jail; McGinley Skinner, Mercantile Appraiser; Samuel McGowan, Janitor to Court House.Local Items--Hotel Sold
(Names in announcement: William S. Everett, George Foreman, Dr. John Lambert, McGinley Skinner, Samuel McGowan)
(Column 2)Summary: Relates that Jacob Lightfoot purchased McGrath's Hotel last Monday. H. C. Keyser was the real estate agent who handled the transaction.Local Items--Notaries Public
(Names in announcement: Jacob Lightfoot, H. C. Keyser)
(Column 2)Summary: Informs readers that Thomas Carlisle and John Jeffries are the Notaries for Chambersburg, Jacob Hostetter in Greencastle, and J. F. Kurtz in Waynesboro.Married
(Names in announcement: Thomas Carlisle, John Jeffries, Jacob Hostetter, J. F. Kurtz)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 28th, John Minehart and Elizabeth Summers were married by Rev. A. Buhrman.Married
(Names in announcement: John Minehart, Elizabeth Summers, Rev. A. Buhrman)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, Michael Delp and Elizabeth Ledy were married by Rev. W. E. Krebs.Married
(Names in announcement: Michael Delp, Elizabeth Ledy, Rev. W. E. Krebs)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, Henry Reitzel and Anna Fortuna were married by Rev. B. S. Schneck.Married
(Names in announcement: Henry Reitzel, Anna Fortuna, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, William A. Snyder and Nancy Lehman were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: William A. Snyder, Nancy Lehman, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, Amos H. Bittinger, of Arendtsville, Pa., and Mary C. Myers were married by Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: Amos H. Bittinger, Mary C. Myers, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 28th, George S. Aughinbaugh and Abigail S. Trill were married by Rev. S. Young.Married
(Names in announcement: George S. Aughinbaugh, Abigail S. Trill, Rev. S. Young)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 4th, Rev. Corwin V. Wilson and Mattie M. Hughes were married by Rev. William Eyster.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. Corwin V. Wilson, Mattie M. Hughes, Rev. William Eyster)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 8th, Martin L. Higgens and Mary J. Clopper were married by Rev. David Rollen.Married
(Names in announcement: Martin L. Higgens, Mary J. Clopper, Rev. David Rollen)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 8th, Jacob Wengard and Margaret Strine were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.Married
(Names in announcement: Jacob Wengard, Margaret Strine, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, Samuel H. Cook and Nancy A. Forney were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.Married
(Names in announcement: Samuel H. Cook, Nancy A. Forney, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 5th, William G. Etter and Elizabeth C. Huber were married by Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.Married
(Names in announcement: William G. Etter, Elizabeth C. Huber, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 13th, Isaac O. Manning and Rebecca G. McNair were married by Rev. William H. Smith.Married
(Names in announcement: Isaac O. Manning, Rebecca G. McNair, Rev. William Smith)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 10th, Charles Jones and Mary J. Mitchell were married by Rev. S. Bigham.Died
(Names in announcement: Charles Jones, Mary J. Mitchell, Rev. S. Bigham)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 17th, Frances, relict of Joseph Culbertson, died. She was 82 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Frances Culbertson, Joseph Culbertson)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 25th, Maria, wife of Anthony Shoemaker, died. She was 64 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Maria Shoemaker, Anthony Shoemaker)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 28th, William McClelland died.Died
(Names in announcement: William McClelland)
(Column 3)Summary: On Nov. 28th, Abraham Wingert died. He was 62 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Abraham Wingert)
(Column 3)Summary: On Dec. 3rd, John Brotherton, formerly of Waynesboro, died in Springfield, Ill.Died
(Names in announcement: John Brotherton)
(Column 3)Summary: On April 18th, 1866, Ellie Susan died at 5 months old; on Nov. 13th, Carrie May died. Both were five months old at the time of their death, and were the children of Daniel and S. E. Dietrich.
(Names in announcement: Ellie Susan Dietrich, Carrie May Dietrich, Daniel Dietrich, S. E. Dietrich)
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