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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: May 05, 1869

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Courage, Sisters
(Column 01)
Summary: This article reports on and subtly mocks a speech by a female Dr. Lydia, who, after reading that Grant had refused to see a woman unless she was wearing a full dress, gave a speech in Washington arguing that women should be able to wear pantaloons and blouses. This attribution to Grant turns out to be false, however. The Repository compares the idea of a woman in pantaloons and blouses to a donkey in a lion's skin - as soon as the donkey opens its mouth the illusion is broken. Indeed, the author continually portrays women in such an outfit as pretending to be men.
Full Text of Article:

There is a good time coming for you and all your sex. You shall be emancipated from the thraldom of petticoats, right speedily. Crinoline and trailing skirts and huge bustles shall no longer weigh and drag you to the earth. You shall disport yourselves in pantaloons and blouses. You shall climb fences, leap ditches, skim the plains and scale mountains, if so be that you want to do any of these things; aye, you shall mount the panting steed, his nostrils breathing fire, his limbs trembling with impatient desire to fly over the ground, and ride him as does the tawny spouse of Hole-in-the-Day, or Little Wolf, because you shall wear pantaloons and blouses. So says the great National Dress Reform and Equal Rights Association, which held a meeting in Union League Hall, in Washington City, a few days ago.

But who is to accomplish this astonishing reformation ? and by what magic will volumnous and expansive skirts contract to the narrow dimensions of pantaloons, and the close-fitting bodice expand to a loose and easily-fitting blouse?

We answer, two Doctresses, whose warrant of sincerity, to use the language of one of them, is the fact that they have worked their way to the full fruition of their ideas in dress, and whose warrant of success is the fact that they have dares to assail the conqueror of the rebellion, the impregnable occupant of the White House himself, Doctress Mary Walker, of Washington, and Doctress Lydia Sayre Hasbrouck, of Syracuse, N.Y.

The indignant Doctress Lydia, at her quiet home in New York, had noticed in a newspaper that her worthy associate, Doctress Mary, had been honored with a message by President Grant, "that he would receive her when she came dressed in garments suitable to her sex." But for this offensive paragraph Doctress Lydia would not have been present at the petticoat-a-the National Dress Reform Convention, and President Grant would have escaped this most terrible hackling. But that determined her. She came to Washington, and in the very atmosphere of the White House, shook her fist and wagged her tongue at the high and mighty representative of all the pantaloons and coat wearing citizens of these United States. Gen. Grant, she said, aspires to fashion woman's dress as well as to appoint the office holders of the land. He should have a cabinet member to determine the length of skirt that woman should wear to be respectable; and then she called him a Grand Mogul, which was very hard on Grant, indeed, and made her audience of boys shout "Go it, old gal, go it." And then she did "go it," and told them how that she was that person, spoken of in the New York Tribune, who had first nominated the Grant Mogul for the Presidency, and that this fact should have been recognized in the organization of the new cabinet. Properly under way, now, the eloquent Medical Doctress told the audience how "we sneer at the idea, that the women of America cannot appear before the crowned heads of Europe without donning the trappings of court, but here we find our republican President, but lately a hauler of logs and a tanner of skins, with his few weeks of Presidential honors, reported as dictating court suits to women." It wasn't quite the fair thing to drag those Missouri logs, and parade those Illinois calf-skins before the funny boys, and neglect to say that Grant's last tanning contract had been more successful than the first, and that he had tanned some of the finest stock in the South; but it was all the same to them, and they hurrahed for the tanner lustily and long. But Doctress Mary Walker, who had been starved and imprisoned in Libby, had been snubbed by the President, even while he was nominating prominent rebel officers to lucrative official positions, and that was not to be borne. She would say that the President was recognizing personal favors in making these nominations, because he could not have reached the Presidency but for this rebellion, and that he showed his appreciation of the deeds of the leaders of the "lost cause" "by feeding them on the richest pap in the Presidential nursery." We do think that women who wear pantaloons and blouses should be careful not to use figures and illustrations drawn from the nursery. It shows that the illusion is not perfect, that the emancipation is not complete. It reminds one of the fable of the donkey in the lion's skin. They no sooner open their mouth than the fraud is discovered. Then that vehement assault upon the President's favorite vanity, his cigar, was wholly unbecoming pantaloons and blouses. Who ever heard of the legitimate occupants of pantaloons and blouses cry out against "the tobacco poluted atmosphere that surrounds the inhabitant of the White House?" Why no one ever did, of course. But Mrs. Dr. Hasbrouck did, and therein she did a very unmanly act, and subjected herself to the ridicule of a very large and respectable part of the human family, whom she was unsuccessfully attempting to imitate.

Mrs. Dr. Walker, we cannot help thinking a little ungenerously, slightly damaged the speech, which the good Doctress had come all the way from New York to deliver, by getting up and announcing that she felt bound in justice to President Grant to state that the incident related by her had never occurred. President Grant's reputation for gallantry, we are glad to say, still stands as high as that for courage, which is unimpeachable, and we feel sure, in spite of his fondness for cigars, and horses too, he would not damage it by discourtesy to any woman, especially to such an excellent woman as Mrs. Dr. Walker, even though she affects pantaloons and blouses.

Virginia Conservative Convention
(Column 02)
Summary: The Repository reports on a recent convention of conservatives in Virginia. At the convention 'negro suffrage' was left open to voters to decide, while the group recommended working against the constitutional amendments.
Full Text of Article:

The anti-deluvians of Virginia, the conservatives, met in State Convention at Richmond on the 28th, and took a look at things. The Committee on Business, a pretty comprehensive committee, read a report; accepting the resignations of the conservative candidates of 1867, and complimenting them for their zeal in the cause, and urging conservative voters to consolidate to defeat the obnoxious provisions of the constitution. The convention declined to make any recommendation to voters regarding negro suffrage. The report was signed by Oulds, Baldwin, Edwards, M'Mullen, Sutherlin, Cameron, Moseby and others.

Oulds made a speech in favor of the report explaining that it was a compromise of different opinions, and left conservative voters free to vote for or against negro suffrage, against the constitution as a whole, or for it as expurgated.

A minority report signed by three of the committee was also read, advocating such startling innovations as the control of the State by the white race, reasserting the principles of the last conservative convention, and declaring that this convention has no right to abandon the same. It also declared the law of congress, requiring the adoption of the fifteenth amendment by Virginia as a condition of its admission into the Union to be unconstitutional. It preferred the military rule of a white man to an irresponsible government by negroes, and calls on the white people of the State to vote down the constitution.

A resolution was adopted to admit only representatives of the conservative press of the State.

There is nothing of consequence in the convention that we can see, unless it be the venerable antiquity of the concern. There used to be old, very old fellows in the North who occasionally entertained themselves by getting together and talking very much in the same way, but that was before the war. They don't do it any more, and even Virginia Conservatism, though it follows a great way off, nevertheless follows. Why this convention is willing to allow voters to vote for or against negro suffrage just as they may see fit. Of course they are following. It need not be wondered at, if, in the course of two or three hundred years, they admit representatives of the press to witness their deliberations, no matter what their political sentiments. The world does move. Galileo was right.

The Soldiers' Monument
(Column 04)
Summary: "Soldier" writes to complain about the lack of progress in constructing a soldier's monument. The editors explain that the delay is due to a lack of money.
Full Text of Article:

To the Editors of the Franklin Repository

Can you inform me what is being done towards erecting a monument to the memory of the departed soldiers of Franklin county. Is the movement in this direction to be stopped, after nearly $1,000 have been raised. The people are interested in this matter and would like to know something about it. SOLDIER.

[There was one poorly attended meeting of the Monumental Association after last winter's fair. Since then, all efforts to push this matter have ceased. The scarcity of money no doubt is the reason of the temporary delay. We understand, however, that new exertions will soon be made that promise success--ED.]

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Captain George Eyster
(Column 01)
Summary: Notice from the Philadelphia Press that Capt. George Eyster, a member of the Cahmbersburg bar, ex-district attorney of Franklin County, and ex-provost marshal of the 16th congressional district during the war, has been commissioned as United States Treasurer. He will take possession of the Philadelphia Treasury and Mint on May 1st. The article praises Eyster's character and qualifications.
(Names in announcement: Capt. George Eyster)
Origin of Article: Philadelphia Press
Horrible Death
(Column 01)
Summary: Henry Spannuth, who lived west of McConnellsburg, died on Sunday of the "loathsome disease of 'Glanders.'" "Mr. S., it is said, has been dealing in 'Glandered' horses for the last few years, and several have died for him. About a week ago he took sick and since that time to his death developed this offensive and dangerous disease in all its forms."
(Names in announcement: Henry Spannuth)
Origin of Article: Fulton Republican
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: D. H. Seibert, formerly of Chambersburg, has been appointed clerk to the assessor of Internal Revenue of the Schuykill county district.
(Names in announcement: D. H. Seibert)
Wilson Female College
(Column 02)
Summary: Rev. Dr. Edwards, president of the board of Wilson College, received a $5000 donation from a member of Philadelphia's Episcopal Church.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. Edwards)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Susan M. Everrett, M. D., who favorably impressed the women of Chambersburg during her series of lectures, is now addressing large audiences in Reading.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Republican County Committee and the School Directors of Franklin County met in Chambersburg yesterday.
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: A man named Baker was arrested near Greencastle for concealing stolen horses.
(Column 03)
Summary: Peter E. Clemens and Miss Mary E. Armstrong, both of Franklin County, were married in Chambersburg on April 29th by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: Peter E. Clemens, Mary E. Armstrong, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 03)
Summary: Phil O. Crider of Hamilton and Miss Margaret A. Coble of St. Thomas were married on April 27th at the bride's home.
(Names in announcement: Phil O. Crider, Margaret A. Coble)
(Column 03)
Summary: Dr. J. Stickel and Miss Lizzie Eberly, both of New Cumberland, were married at the residence of the bride's father on April 27th by the Rev. I. X. Quigley.
(Names in announcement: Dr. J. Stickel, Lizzie Eberly, Rev. I. X. Quigley)

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