Franklin Repository: February 17, 1869Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
(Column 01)Summary: The editor heartily endorses the movement towards black suffrage, either through state legislatures or by Constitutional amendment.
Full Text of Article:Our Common Schools and the Colored People
The proposition to confer suffrage upon the black citizens of the republic, is a measure of justice due to that recently enfranchised class and a most natural result of our recent civil war. Whether this right be established as Mr. Sumner and some others propose by legislative enactment or the safer and surer plan of constitutional amendment, it is clear that until the decree shall in some manner have gone forth, there remains for the American people a period of trouble and unrest. Nor should this seem strange upon contemplation of the recent past.
Exasperated at the efforts of an aristocracy to blight our entire domain with the curse of human slavery, the people arose eight years ago and declared in tones not to be misunderstood that its encroachments must cease. The masters and their minions resented this determination by rebelling against lawful authority. As long as the nation endeavored to assert its authority and at the same time allow slavery to remain intact, the issue of the conflict was doubtful; when it loosed those that were bound and allowed the oppressed to go free, victory perched upon its standards.
Just as the Bull Run of 1861 pointed the way to the physical enfranchisement of the blacks, so do the complications of the present indicate their political disenthrallment. Until this be accomplished, we can have no enduring repose. We could not make it different if we would. The great ruler of men and nations will make us just whether we will or not. He may not send down to us by some chosen messenger fresh from His presence on the quaking mount the tablet of the law inscribed as he would have it, but he will convulse us as with the thunders of Sinai, or confuse us as at Babel, or overwhelm us as at the Red Sea, unless we execute His purposes - and this the more because we have His revealed will and therefore we know our duty.
All arguments advanced against this act of justice to the black citizen disappear in the light of truth. It is said that it would be dangerous to entrust the blacks with political power because of a different race that may some day assume control of the whites? Andy Johnson's twaddle about a war of races was received with a shout of derision and showed the popular appreciation of such a suggestion. The Anglo Saxon race can never be dominated over by another until it has so far degenerated as to fear competition and refuse a chance in that race for political immunities that has been the crowning glory of its civilization.
It is said that the black man has not earned his right to the enjoyment of the elective franchise? Can any man remember his long years of patient, unrequited toil, and deny him? When his master rebelled, he remained loyal. When master and sons went to the insurgent camp, he remained on the plantation. When upon disloyal territory the master's wife and daughters spit upon the soldier of the republic, the salve along remained to welcome him and salute the flag he bore. When the spy was sent forward by our generals to search out information, he usually obtained it from the slave. When the captured soldier escaped from his prison pen, it was the slave, not the rebel, who fed and piloted him. When an opportunity was afforded the slaves to enlist in our armies, they went, not in pairs or in dozens, but in thousands, to be enrolled. When in the loyal States compulsory military service was exacted, the blacks equally with the whites were drawn from the wheel, and uncomplainingly went to perform the behests of a blind fate. And shall it now be said after their physical disenthrallment - the only bar heretofore to their political enfranchisement - that they are to remain outcasts in the land of their nativity, pariahs in the country they helped to save? Nor will we be relieved from our obligation on the score of gratitude by pointing to the proclamation of emancipation and the amendment of the constitution confirmatory of it. We freed the slaves because we had to do it. If we ever owed them anything we owe it yet.
The arguments against negro suffrage drawn from prejudice and hate scarcely deserve refutation. The man who hates his fellow will scarcely listen to reason. He that would ostracize the black man because of his color, to be consistent should at the same time express his belief in the monarchical dogma of the divine right of kings. Where do even the native white class in this country obtain their charter to govern? Clearly from their birthright, participation in the government being a privilege conferred upon aliens under the forms of law. Has not the negro this birthright? In what code, civil, natural or revealed, do the whites obtain the right to hold the blacks in perpetual political subserviency and debar them from the franchises of American citizens? We are told that to adopt a constitutional amendment against the wishes of a portion of the States, would be arbitrary and in derogation of their sovereign rights. We thought the doctrine of the sovereignty of the States had been pretty well exploded, but the enemies of human progress do not hesitate to revive it when it suits their purposes. A State cannot carry a letter, coin a penny or make a treaty - where then its sovereignty?
But the movement to confer the suffrage upon the blacks has a practical aspect in which it were well Republicans should view it. As in war the negroes were their allies, so will they in peace. As they directed their bullets in a way that told for the cause of their country, so will they their ballots. To suppose that they will do differently is to suppose them outside the pale of humanity. Their enfranchisement would bring an accession of at least seventeen thousand voters to the Republicans in Pennsylvania alone, enough to insure perpetual ascendancy to the party of progress. Is not this a consideration worth being set over against any repugnance to the measure arising out of an unworthy prejudice, albeit one that is difficult to be divested? Has it ever occurred to apathetic or hesitating Republicans who sometimes feel like striking hands with the wary Democrats in opposing so just and beneficent a measure as negro suffrage, that our opponents play upon our prejudices for the purpose of strengthening ourselves and enabling themselves to regain ascendancy?
(Column 03)Summary: An anonymous contributor reports an incident at the local schools wherein a previously home-schooled black girl was entered into local public schools. Because she was ahead of her classmates, she was put at the head of the class, but because parents complained about her "trapping" their children, she was placed at the bottom of the class again. The contributor strongly condemns this and demands an explanation from the School Board.
Full Text of Article:That Church "Raid" or Surprise
To the Editors of the Franklin Repository.
Our Common School System is justly the pride and boast of our noble old Commonwealth. For many years its introduction and establishment as the law of the land was fought with all the bitterness and prejudice that ignorance could develop. But at last Justice and Right triumphed, and the people in the Constitution of 1838 decreed that "the Legislature should provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the State in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis," and the first article of the 23d section of the school law of 8th of May, 1854, provides "that the Directors of every School District shall establish a sufficient number of Common Schools for the education of every individual above the age of five and under twenty-one years, in their respective district, who may apply for admission and instruction, either in person, or by parent, guardian or next friend." The 24th section of the same act also provides that "the Directors of every school district shall be required to establish separate schools for the tuition of Negro and Mulatto children wherever such schools can be so located as to accommodate twenty or more of such pupils - "and when such separate schools are established and kept open four months in any year, the Directors shall not be compelled to admit such pupils into any other school of the District."
The evident purpose of the people by the adoption of the Constitutional provision for general education, and the Legislature by the passage of the law just referred to, was that the children of the Commonwealth should be all educated at the public cost, without regard to color or race; and when thrown together by the failure of the Directors of any school district to provide separate schools for the tuition of the race apart, that those thus thrown together should have equal rights, privileges and treatment. The law is no respecter of persons, the lives liberty and privileges of all, are esteemed equally sacred before it. White and black are entitled to the same opportunities for advancement, and the same incentive to study, and the like opportunities to excel are open to all of every class and condition, and he who attempts to restrict either, or to allow one child those incentives and opportunities, and refuse them to another because of race or color is recreant to his duties as an officer of the law and is acting contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution.
I have been induced to make this reference to the law, and these remarks upon its purpose, because of a most flagrant violation of its spirit, which I have been informed has recently occurred in one of the school districts of our county, to the everlasting disgrace of the school board of the district, if the statement reported be true.
The account as given to me is thus: Joseph R. Winters, a former resident of the Borough of Chambersburg - a mulatto in color, but an honest, industrious and well behaved citizen and an ingenious mechanic, the possessor of some property, which he has earned by his own industry - a short time ago removed with his family to the St. Thomas School District, where he purchased a farm of about seventy acres of land, which he has greatly improved, and which is worth some $4,000, and is nearly paid for. He has a young and interesting family of children, and being himself a man of considerable education, made it his business to teach his children at home, and they therefore are far in advance of many others who have had far greater opportunities to acquire knowledge. After becoming settled in his new home, his children were allowed, without objection, to enter the district schools, with the children of his white neighbors - the Directors of the district not having provided separate schools as authorized by the law.
One of these mulatto children, a girl some twelve or thirteen years of age, as I am informed, and who had never before gone to school, was entered as a pupil in one of the St. Thomas Districts Schools for white children, and placed in classes appropriate to her acquirements. The story runs that this poor child was so unfortunate as to excell all the companions of her class in study, and in retaining what she did acquire, and committed the unpardonable sin of "trapping" her white class-mates down and getting to the head of her classes, which position she was so presumptuous as to retain.
The Democratic Directors of the district could not stand this specimen of "nigger superiority and insolence," and as their children could not eject their copper-colored associate from her fairly earned pre-eminence by intellectual superiority, the reserved powers and authority of the Board were called into requisition, according to my information, and the teacher of the school was directed to put the offender to the foot of her classes and now allow her to wound the feelings of her associates by "trapping" any more.
Now, if this statement be true, those Directors, whoever they be (and we know them not) have grossly exceeded their powers, and have committed an offence against the law, and against public sentiment, that should cause them to hang their heads in shame forever hereafter. I trust that the facts are not as they have been represented to me. But if they are, I also trust that this specimen of official misconduct will at once be reconsidered ere the law be appealed to for redress of so gross an outrage upon the rights of one whom the Father of us all has created of a different color from our own. I call upon the School Directors of St. Thomas township to know if this story be true or false. EQUAL RIGHTS.
(Column 04)Summary: S. Barnes writes to the Repository to explain that the gift-giving visit by the congregation of the Methodist Church caught the inhabitants of the parsonage by surprise. He praises the good-will the congregation displayed in bestowing $160 worth of gifts and provisions upon the pastor.
(Names in announcement: S. Barnes)
(Column 01)Summary: The editor strongly condemns the actions of the St. Thomas School Board in suppressing a black girl who excelled beyond her classmates.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
We would call the attention of our readers to the communication from "Equal Rights," which appears in another column. It presents a statement of facts that make us ashamed of the prejudice and inhumanity of some of our citizens. It is outrageous that six men, composing a school board of a township, in this age of advancement, in Franklin county, six pure blooded, noble, high-minded Anglo-Saxons, should persecute a poor little colored girl, because, forsooth, she excels their own children in intellect. It will call a blush to the cheek of every man who believes that God is the common father of all, to know that in a free State, such a narrow minded and degrading pride can have an existence. Joseph R. Winters is the peer of any member of this board, and if he has devoted time and attention to the education of his little ones, and these haughty men have neglected their duty, it is but just that he should be encouraged in so doing. Just think of it. Six School Directors, elected by the people of St. Thomas township, in meeting assembled, solemnly discuss and debate how to prevent the advancement of a little girl of about twelve years of age, who surpassed her school mates in learning. How grave their proceedings must have been, how eloquent their discussion. Nasby's letters no doubt were read and re-read. They must have felt the vital importance of their action on this momentous occasion, and certainly took into consideration the great influence it would have upon the country at large. And then when they come to select the individual who should bear to the father of the child, the intelligence that they had resolved to publicly confess, that his daughter was the superior in intellect of any of her companions, and that she must be suppressed and humbled, how overwhelming must have been that ambassador's feelings. His bearing no doubt was lofty and proud, and when his duty was discharged his conscience (if he had any) must have whispered approvingly. Our correspondent does not know these men, we do. We have their names. We demand of them what is right and just, that they at once reconsider their action in this manner, and give this child an equal opportunity of promotion with others who attend the school.
(Column 01)Summary: The paper reports on the recent committee meeting of the Democrats of Franklin county, whose nomination of Asa Packer for Governor created disagreement with neighboring counties who preferred General Cass.
(Names in announcement: Col. B. F. Winger, J. Orr, M'Lellan, Sharpe, Brewer, Stenger, Asa Packer)Full Text of Article:I. O. G. T.
The Democratic Committee of Franklin county, met on Saturday last, and elected J. Orr. Esq. as Senatorial and Col. B. F. Winger as Representative delegates to the next State Convention. It will be remembered that a few weeks since Messrs. M'Lellan, Sharpe, Brewer, Stenger and others, who are regarded as the leaders of the Democracy of this county, wrote a letter to Hon. Asa Packer, asking him to be a candidate for Governor. Mr. Packer replied in substance that should the State Convention confer that honor on him, he would not feel at liberty to decline. This was the first notice the public had of this gentleman being a candidate. He doubtless supposed the above named gentleman would have considerable influence in the furtherance of his ambitious plans, and they no doubt imagined themselves as the influential men of the next (?) administration. It was not supposed for a moment that any humble Democrat whose name was not signed to the letter would have the audacity to favor another candidate. The neighboring counties having instructed for Gen. Cass his friends determined to rally for him. They worked quietly and astonished the Packer men on the 14th inst., by determining to send to the next State Convention two warm friends of Gen. Cass. There was no little dissatisfaction at these proceedings, but Orr, and Crisswell, of Cumberland county, were masters of the situation. Mr. Packer's friends are in a rather ludicrous position, and don't know how to extricate themselves. Mr. Packer will transfer the management of his wire pulling to shrewder politicians, and Gen. Cass will hold in grateful remembrance Messrs. M'Lellan, Brewer, Sharpe, and Stenger.
(Column 01)Summary: The members of M'Murray Lodge No. 119, I. O. G. T., installed officers on February 1st.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: W. S. Roney, W. E. Tolbert, Lizzie Gilmore, H. C. White, C. B. Ludwig, D. B. Kirby, E. W. Burns, J. Harper Black, John Vance, Caddie Jeffries, Laura Dyson, Cartie Barber, Wilber M'Keehan, Benjamin Metz)
(Column 02)Summary: The members of the Greenvillage Lyceum chose officers at a regular meeting.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: William Clark, C. Ditzler, J. A. Miller, John P. Wallace, Jeremiah Ott)
(Column 02)Summary: The Repository office announces it has valuable information for Owen M'Govern, who served in Co. D., 6th Pennsylvania Reserves, and Edward H. Barry of Co. F., 2nd Virginia Vol. Infantry.Temperance Convention
(Names in announcement: Owen M'Govern, Edward H. Barry)
(Column 02)Summary: A convention of Franklin, Snowflake, and Mt. Alto Lodges of Good Templars will be held in the Lutheran Church in Quincy on February 22nd.[No Title]
(Column 02)Summary: Gen. Tyler, commander of the brigade to which the 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers belonged, was in town visiting Col. Elder.Married
(Names in announcement: Col. Elder)
(Column 02)Summary: John Alexander and Miss Susan A. Rook, both of Franklin, were married at the Montgomery House in Chambersburg on January 21st by the Rev. S. Barnes.Married
(Names in announcement: John Alexander, Susan A. Rook, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 02)Summary: Zachariah Crouse and Miss Mary Ann Harkens, both of Franklin, were married on February 10th at the National Hotel in Chambersburg by the Rev. S. Barnes.Died
(Names in announcement: Zachariah Crouse, Mary Ann Harkens, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 02)Summary: Mrs. Louisa M'Kee, formerly of Chambersburg, died near Hagerstown on February 6th. She was 63 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Louisa M'Kee)
(Column 02)Summary: Henry S. Harper, formerly of Quincy, died in Fayetteville on February 12th. He was 63 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Henry S. Harper)
(Column 02)Summary: Jennie B. Uglow, infant daughter of Nicholas and Mary Uglow, died on February 13th. She was 9 months old.Died
(Names in announcement: Jennie B. Uglow, Nicholas Uglow, Mary Uglow)
(Column 02)Summary: George Walburn died at the residence of Henry Neif in Green on February 9th. He was 70 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: George Walburn, Henry Neif)
(Column 02)Summary: Jacob Reichard Stickel, son of Simon and Louisa Anna Stickel, died in Fayetteville on February 10th. He was 1 year old.
(Names in announcement: Jacob Reichard Stickel, Simon Stickel, Louisa Anna Stickel)