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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: March 03, 1869

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The State Temperance Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: This article attacks the actions of the recent Temperance Movement Convention, not because the author believes alcohol to be anything but evil, but rather because he feels that moral education rather than politics is the correct venue for pursuing it.
Full Text of Article:

The most intemperate of all persons are those enlisted in the cause of temperance. Perhaps no moral evil appeals so loudly to the reformer as the evil of intemperance. None, we are sure, has called forth so many honest, earnest and unwise opponents. History, we believe, records that moral reformers are for the most part a set of impracticables, and history doubtless tells the truth.

It is not pleasant to say anything against the manner of prosecuting the temperance movement, now so earnestly advocated, for the reason that those who direct and control it seldom discriminate between him who opposes the measure itself and him who objects to the means employed to advance it. Even at the risk of being misinterpreted, we cannot fail to comment, a little, on the proceedings of the annual temperance convention held at Harrisonburg, last week.

The spirit of the evil one, if invoked to aid bad men in resisting the cause of temperance, could suggest no better plan than that advocated by the convention, and it is possible he was present. If temperance is a political question the convention was right. If it is not, the convention was wrong. We think it is not; and that so long as it is sought to involve it in political agitation, so long must it fail to succeed. But a restless itching drives these reformers, many of whom are fanatics, to sink the sacred cause of temperance in the not over clean pool of politics. They see clearly that the end of temperance is grand and good, but are utterly helpless as to any means of attaining it. They would make men temperate by wholesale, as Charlemagne made christians, by driving them to the river in droves and baptizing them. But the latter were not christians, except as the half-civilized chieftain understood the term, nor would the former be temperate. He would be deemed an unworthy preacher of the Gospel who applied to the Legislature to do fill his church with members by act of Assembly. And yet it would be about as rational as what these men ask the Legislature to do in the cause of temperance. Perhaps the most reasonable resolution of the convention is the following:

Resolved, That the manufacture and sale of intoxicating drinks are everywhere a public injury, and should be held to be a public crime.

And yet it is not true. The manufacture and sale of intoxicating drinks are not a public injury, and should not be held to be a public crime. The buying and drinking intoxicating drinks are sinful and injurious, and herein is the legitimate field of the reformers, to teach men to abstain from drinking intoxicating drinks. These people are illogical. It is not the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors which cause intemperance. It is just the opposite. The intemperance of the people causes its manufacture and sale. Remove the one and the other will fall of itself. So long as it remains no power on earth can prevent its manufacture and sale. This is not hard to understand, and yet the failure to understand it has knocked the vitality out of more temperance movements than would, if properly directed, have saved the lives of thousands of human beings, and prevented untold woe and misery.

Let these reformers begin at the other end. Let men and women, yes! we say women, abstain from tippling, and bring up their children to be temperate. It is defective education that makes drunkards. Children are sent to school for the purpose of training and developing their intellects, but the moral nature is left, in a great degree, to take care of itself. Hence we often see the ablest intellects, the most besotted drunkards. At home, in the school-room and in the church the cause of temperance must be strengthened and made powerful, if at all. Here are the agencies both to restrain intemperance and to reclaim the intemperate. If these are properly used, the manufacture and sale of the infernal decoction will come to an end.

The President of the convention understood this, and, before adjoining it took occasion to say:

He felt that the friends of temperance were taking advance steps in the glorious reform, and hoped that they would go from this place feeling that the meeting was a profitable one; and hoped they would go, trusting in no human strength - that the strength of man was not possible to accomplish this great work - it was not possible to accomplish this great work - it was not possible to accomplish it outside of the Christian Church; he hoped they would remember that God worked many reforms. As the Christian Church is the representative instrument through which He works, let us seek to bring up action in the temperance reform, and that they would unite upon one basis and one plan of action.

Democratic Extravagance
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper praises Republican journals for denouncing attempts of some Republican members of the legislature to "squander the people's money." The editors hold that "demagogues and corrupt men may creep into the party," and it is the duty of the press to expose them. They denounce the Republican newspapers that did not.
For Our Neighbor
(Column 02)
Summary: This article supports the Fifteenth Amendment, recently passed out of the Senate after Conference Committee.
Full Text of Article:

By a vote of three to one the Senate of the United States, on Friday, accepted the report of the Conference Committee on the Constitutional Amendment, guaranteeing impartial suffrage throughout the United States. It has already been adopted by the House, and is now ready to be submitted to the State Legislatures for their approval or refusal. The provision is simple even to plainness, and puts all male citizens of the United States in exactly the same relation.

The right of the citizens of the United States shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Congress has dared to be just, to do exactly what is right, to take the last step which was required to prove that the Republican party is both in word and deed the party of equal rights to all. Whether this amendment be accepted by the States or not, it can no more be said that it fears to practice what it preaches. After rescuing the government from dismemberment, and traitors themselves from the curse of slavery, it has taken the declaration of principles of the fathers of the Republic and given it force and vitality. It has declared no new doctrine. The contest for Independence was fought and won upon this issue. But all that was involved in the contest was not secured. With this amendment made a part of the Constitution it is secured forever, and the condition, without which the Republican party would never have existed, ceases. This amendment secured, the political agitation, which has shaken and distracted the country for years, will be at an end, and for the first time in its history we will have a united people. Our practice will then conform to our principles; we will assure justice to ourselves by doing justice to others, and the status fo the negro will be settled for all time.

It is possible it can have taken us so many years, and cost such rivers of human blood, and such countless treasure to learn to know and practice the golden rule? So it seems. But Governments learn slowly and at bitter cost. What they have learned they are not likely to forget.

That Coffee Pot
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper scoffs at charges made by Democratic Party Chairman William A. Wallace that Republicans are planning fraud in the upcoming elections. The editors charge that it is the Democrats who resort to fraud. "The unwarranted outrages committed by Democratic Election Boards, last fall, surpassed all former efforts in magnitude and success." The article finishes with a plea for Republicans to mobilize for the spring elections.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: This article calls Johnson as morally deficient as the Devil and generally evil.
Full Text of Article:

ANDREW JOHNSON is in every sense of the word a bad man. As President he ever sought out the worst thing to be done and did it. But he was only human, and his capacity for doing evil, like Sam Weller's vision, was limited. He was always ready to give the loyal people "the best he had in his shop," which is technical, among sports, for the worst.

He was not really as bad as the Devil, chiefly on account of the aforesaid limitation: but old Diabolus, who was pretty severely handled by one John Milton, in his time, was always spoken of in respectable English, even though there was nothing good to be said of him. Not so, however, does John W. Forney discourse of the retiring Johnson. Last Saturday's Press tells us that -

Next Thursday for the last time will Andrew Johnson, in nebulous imagination, behold himself near that colossal altar, within that vast and shadowy amphitheatre from which gaze the thirty millions of the American people. Can we not have some last words and dying confession? Or will the Tribune of the people "Veto" the inauguration oath of his successor?

We venture to guess that we can, and that he will not; though we are by no means confident that our guesses are correct.

Alas! poor Johnson. It were better a thousand times hadst thou been impeached and convicted. For then at least would'st thou have escaped this horrible beplastering of meaningless words, rained down upon thy defenseless head from the "nebulous imagination" of the Press.

Cannot Something Be Done?
(Column 06)
Summary: This letter to the editor calls for action against a vagrancy problem.
Full Text of Article:

To the Editors of the Franklin Repository

I mean, cannot something be done by law - either by our Borough or State law - to compel those street-loungers and idlers of our town, to follow some employment or other, in order to keep their families from being a charge upon the people, or else from starvation? It is a well known fact, that there are a number of black and white families in town, the husbands and fathers of which don't want to work, and who spend, what money they do earn, in drinking whiskey, whilst their wives and children have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, and nothing to keep the house warm in winter.

You can see half a score of sable idlers and loungers every day at "Wallace's corner," and anon you can see them taking a "penny collection" among themselves (chicken and turkey money, mayhap), to buy a bottle full of poison from some respectable retailer, and then they have a jolly time of it. Meanwhile their wives and children are crying for bread and other necessaries of life, and the Christian sense of our community will not allow them to suffer, nor should they.

The same thing if true of not a few miserable men with white skins. You can't get them to do steady work, not at the highest wages. They will do just like their equals of Wolfstown, work up little "chores," just sufficient to buy a jug of liquid fire from some unprincipled licensed or unlicensed rumseller, and wife and children are either suffering at home, or else are aided by the charitable and humane of the town.

Now I ask, is there no remedy for this state of things? Can nothing be done to compel these wretched, miserable husband's and fathers, to support their families? Our people cheerfully give of their means to aid the deserving poor, the sick and the unfortunate. But to help to feed not only the families of these besotted idlers, but to some extent these idlers themselves, is carrying charity and good nature a little too far. And hence I ask again: Can nothing be done to reach these wretched men, and compel them to work?

To send them to jail as vagrants won't help the matter, as our jail is now conducted. But could it not be so conducted as to make its inmates perform work of some kind? I know that this plan is carried out elsewhere. I have just now before me the following item, which is copied from a Philadelphia paper:

In the Chester county prison last year about seven thousand yards each of check and carpeting, and a considerable quantity of other articles, were manufactured by the inmates. The goods sold by the prison authorities amounted to $5,261, and the sum drawn from the county treasury was $4,700. The labor of the prisoners thus paid more than half the expenses, and they were protected from the evil effects of idleness and promiscuous association.

Now it strikes me, that if we had a place where these vagrant, vagabonding men could be placed, and compelled to work, it would be doing a great blessing to them, to their families and the community. I would like to know, Messrs. Editors, whether in this or some other and perhaps better way, anything could be done in the direction referred to. A CITIZEN.

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[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that the Housum Zouaves are rehearsing for a dramatic entertainment they are planning to give in Repository Hall. The proceeds will go to pay debts incurred in equipping the company.
The Chambersburg Woolen Manufactory
(Column 01)
Summary: The Chambersburg Wollen Manufacturing Company is making efforts to increase its capital stock. If more money is not raised, production will have to be suspended and employees laid off. The paper urges Franklin citizens to come to the rescue.
Business Change
(Column 01)
Summary: J. P. Keefer and Frank U. Keefer have formed a partnership.
(Names in announcement: J. P. Keefer, Frank U. Keefer)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: G. W. Skinner, County Treasurer, announces that the following have been named as collectors: Henry Balsley, Antrim; D. D. Swanger, Lurgan; Jacob Haulman, Peters; William F. Horner, Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: G. W. Skinner, Henry Balsley, D. D. Swanger, Jacob Haulman, William F. Horner)
Fire in St. Thomas
(Column 01)
Summary: Peter C. Hollar's steam saw mill in St. Thomas caught fire on February 1st. The blaze did $200 in damage.
(Names in announcement: Peter C. Hollar)
(Column 01)
Summary: Dr. W. B. Brown of Chambersburg graduated from Dr. Tralls Therapeutic College in New Jersey.
(Names in announcement: Dr. W. B. Brown)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Samuel Seibert sold his dwelling house and lot on Second Street to Chambersburg's Episcopal congregation for $7,500. They plan to erect a church there.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Seibert)
Temperance Lecture
(Column 02)
Summary: William Nicholson of Philadelphia will deliver a free lecture on temperance on March 16th at the Court House. The event is sponsored by the Falling Spring Division, Sons of Temperance.
(Names in announcement: William Nicholson)
(Column 02)
Summary: J. P. Keefer and Co. purchased the lot adjoining the residence of J. P. Keefer from John B. Stuart for $800.
(Names in announcement: J. P. Keefer, John B. Stuart)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Franklin County Poor House spent $13,477.42 for the year 1868, $1,953 less than the previous year.
(Column 02)
Summary: John F. M'Cleary, compositor in the Repository Job office, and Ellen V. Keefer from near Chambersburg, were married at the M. E. Parsonage in Shippensburg on February 17th by the Rev. W. A. Houck. A poem of congratulations is included.
(Names in announcement: John F. M'Cleary, Ellen V. Keefer, Rev. W. A. Houck)
(Column 02)
Summary: Jonathan Jones and Miss Sarah Conner, both of Franklin, were married at the St. Thomas residence of Solomon Hollar on February 23rd by the Rev. S. A. Mowers.
(Names in announcement: Jonathan Jones, Sarah Conner, Solomon Hollar, Rev. S. A. Mowers)
(Column 02)
Summary: John Dysert and Mary Bowen, both of Franklin, were married on February 16th by the Rev. Dr. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: John Dysert, Mary Bowen, Rev. Dr. Schneck)
(Column 02)
Summary: L. L. Gilbert and Miss Kate F. Shank, both of Leitersburg, were married in the National Hotel on February 25th by the Rev. I. N. Hays.
(Names in announcement: L. L. Gilbert, Kate F. Shank, Rev. I. N. Hays)
(Column 02)
Summary: Samuel Crider of Newburg and Miss Amanda C. Detwiler of Franklin County were married on February 4th by the Rev. J. Hassler.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Crider, Amanda C. Detwiler, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 02)
Summary: Miss Elizabeth J. Clark of Chambersburg died on January 20th. She was 43 years old.
(Names in announcement: Elizabeth J. Clark)

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