Franklin Repository: April 07, 1869Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
(Column 01)Summary: This editorial calls for a serious civil service examination system to fight corruption and gross patronage, serious problems in the authors' opinion.
Full Text of Article:A. J.
The people of both parties believe that the Government has been plundered and bled remorselessly and without stint by a large part of the office holders during Mr. Johnson's administration. Every stump speaker charged it on the stump in the late campaign, and every political journal alleged it in its columns. The great falling off in the revenues proved it, although the burdens of the taxpayers were not lightened. There is no disputing that corruption and incompetency in official positions have come to be regarded as the most alarming troubles which threaten us, and honest taxpayers and the true friends of the Government look to Congress for relief. The collection of revenue seems especially to have something demoralizing in its nature, and taxpayer and tax collector combine only too often to defraud the Government.
The two hundred millions of dollars annual stolen outright, are just so many reasons why there should be a thorough overhauling of the civil service - more especially the manner of selecting persons for appointments. Long experience in other countries - to say nothing of our own - has demonstrated the necessity for looking beneath the surface for the moral and intellectual qualifications of applicants for office. It is not placing too low an estimate on human nature to hold that the few and not the many will stand the test. If no real test be applied, what proportion, under the most favorable circumstances, will be likely to come up to the requirements of a well devised civil service system? Were candidates for admission to the army and navy subjected to no other scrutiny than is given to appointees in the internal revenue service, to what state is it probable that army and navy would be bought, and that, too, right speedily? The war has left the country in a condition rendering thorough examination into the qualifications of candidates for civil stations, as absolutely necessary as was such examination into the qualifications of candidates for important military service at any time during the war. We learned in the war slowly but dearly the necessity for rigid scrutiny. We paid a heavy penalty for going ahead pell mell, with no better guide than the recommendations of those whose first object it was to pension favorites on the public treasury. Are we doing better now in collecting the revenue? The startling fact that two hundred million dollars are annually stolen, to say nothing of the failure through dishonesty and incomptency to collect, affords a sufficient answer. As during the war a certain amount of experience sufficed to cause the application of the only remedy to save the nation from further consequences of appointing to important service dishonest and incompetent men, so we may conclude - and there is some comfort in contemplating the prospect - that there will come a time, not far distant it is to be hoped, when a like remedy will be applied to repress the evils incident to the civil service, not in relation to the revenue alone, but every branch of it. As we have said, the people on whom the consequences fall are even now right; it is Congress that refuses. Whoever contemplates the present scramble for office at the capital will not be at a loss for the reason. And in the reason inhered that which forbids the hope of anything much better in the future than in the past, only that we have an Executive and an administration which will be prompt to detect and remove the incompetent, and if necessary punish the unfaithful. This, in the absence of a proper Civil Service Law, is our hope. With officers selected almost at random in the recommendation of representatives, who, in too many instances, are intent chiefly on promoting their own chances of re-election, or to reward some past service which would scarcely stand the test of scrutiny, it will necessarily follow that the appointing power will make serious mistakes and have early and frequent occasions to make changes, and bring the civil service up to something like a proper standard. It cannot be done in the first or perhaps second attempt. The assurance of President Grant that he will as readily remove his own appointee, if he be unfaithful or incompetent, as that of his predecessor, is in the best spirit of a true civil service law; and it is on this that the country will chiefly rely till public opinion, making itself felt in the halls of Congress, will cause a well digested civil service law to be placed among the national statutes.
(Column 01)Summary: This parting shot at Johnson, now that he is no longer in office, attacks his (lack of) actions regarding the rights of black citizens and calls him an obstructionist.
Full Text of Article:
Man in his brief life plays many parts, but to few men is it given to exhibit to the world in so many and opposite characters as to Andrew Johnson. From a real Moses to a harlequin the distance is doubtless infinitely great, but a single step may separate a counterfeit Moses from a natural born knave and fool. But six years - from 1863 to 1869 - do the business for A. J. He returns to Knoxville, where he once had assumed the stately vestments and the sublime demeanor of a prophet and a deliverer of the people, and exhibits himself in his true character, arrayed in the tricks and trinkets of a buffoon. He deceived the people of Tennessee into the belief that he was a sublime patriot. He was lying. They can believe him now, he speaks for truth. This last appearance is not in an assumed character, it is real. It is Johnson as he is. These words came from the bottom of his heart. "I would to God that the Government had not had the credit to borrow a dollar to carry on the war." Those other words; "I will be your Moses to lead you out of bondage into a land of freedom" were lies. He tells the colored people, now, that freedom is only liberty to work, and backs it up with the declaration that he never deceived them. If the latter be true they must have known him from the beginning.
His modesty, so characteristic of Johnson, doubtless restrained him from speaking of much of the inestimable good he has done his suffering country, but from what he does say he must have had a rough time "clinging to the constitution." He modestly admits that he was badly bent, though not quite broken, "by the storm which had nearly wrecked the Ship of State," and adds "that he stood like a breakwater at the head of the American Government, and arrested its progress for a time, at least until the people knew what was going on." That last bit of truth shines like a gem amid the surrounding falsehoods. He did arrest the progress of the Government for a time, until the people knew what was going on, when they elected General Grant, removed the obstruction, and allowed the Government to continue on in its progress. Thank God he will never arrest its progress again.
Assistant U. S. Treasurer at Phildelphia
(Column 01)Summary: Capt. George Eyster of Chambersburg has been appointed assistant U.S. Treasurer at Phildelphia. He is a well-known member of the Franklin County Bar. He has served as District Attorney and war-time Provost Marshal for the 16th Congressional District. He is an enthusiastic Republican and the paper applauds the appointment.Rare Treat
(Names in announcement: Capt. George Eyster)
(Column 01)Summary: Rev. Dr. Schwartz of Carlisle will deliver a lecture in the Court House on Saturday. His topic is "No man owns deeper than he plows." A collection will be taken for the benefit of the Young Men's Christian Association.The Mercersburg Railroad
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. Schwartz)
(Column 02)Summary: The citizens of the southern part of Franklin County are working hard to secure a railroad. They have raised more than $80,000 in Mercersburg, and men have been appointed to raise more in Greencastle. Marion has not yet become involved. "Every man knows the importance of this enterprise and the great benefit it will be to our county."[No Title]
(Column 02)Summary: The paper reports that there has been a great demand for money in town, but that currency is scarce.Wilson Female College
(Column 02)Summary: Officers of the Board have been chosen for Wilson Female College.Personal
(Names in announcement: Rev. Tryon Edwards, Albert Small, W. S. Fletcher, Rev. I. N. Hays, Rev. J. A. Crawford, Rev. J. W. Wightman, Rev. W. Wallace, Rev. Thomas Creigh, Rev. E. B. Raffensperger)
(Column 02)Summary: Mr. C. Ulrich and his family set out on a move from Fayetteville to Iowa. Four families have already left Franklin for the West this spring. At least 25 young have also left.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: C. Ulrich)
(Column 02)Summary: The Franklin County Horticultural Association met in the rooms of the Ryder Nursery Association on March 30th. There was a large attendance. John P. Keefer read an essay on "Pears."[No Title]
(Names in announcement: John P. Keefer, Ryder)
(Column 02)Summary: "A Citizen" of Amberson's Valley writes that Mr. S. J. Eckenrode and family are setting out for a move to Illinois. Eckenrode plans to go into the mercantile business. He is a "fine jovial fellow and a thorough business man" who will be "greatly missed" in Amberson's Valley.Confirmation at the Episcopal Church
(Names in announcement: S. J. Eckenrode)
(Column 02)Summary: The Rt. Rev. William B. Stevens will visit the parish of Trinity Episcopal Church in Chambersburg. He will lead services and conduct the rite of confirmation.[No Title]
(Column 02)Summary: B. F. Zook took charge of the Heidler Hotel in Greenvillage on April 1st. "'Ben' will make a good landlord, and will leave nothing undone to accomodate his patrons. He has refitted the establishment. His table will always be ladened with good things, and his bar will contain the choicest liquors."[No Title]
(Names in announcement: B. F. Zook)
(Column 02)Summary: Samuel Dine, who "served faithfully" throughout the war in the battery recruited by Col. Housum died on Thursday and ws burried in Cedar Grove Cemetery with military honors. The Housum Zouaves presided.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Samuel Dine)
(Column 02)Summary: The citizens of M'Connellsburg are pushing for a connection between the Western Maryland Railroad and Pennsylvania Central at Mount Union.Married
(Column 03)Summary: John Malone and Miss Susan Lilley, both of Franklin, were married on March 30th by the Rev. S. A. Mowers.Died
(Names in announcement: John Malone, Susan Lilley, Rev. S. A. Mowers)
(Column 03)Summary: John Wunderlich, formerly of Chambersburg, died in Shippensburg on March 29th. He was 63 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: John Wunderlich)
(Column 03)Summary: Florence Ellen Scott, daughter of Timothy and Ellen Scott, died near Chambersburg on April 2nd. She was 3 years, 11 months old.
(Names in announcement: Florence Ellen Scott, Timothy Scott, Ellen Scott)