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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: June 23, 1869

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Flee For Your Lives
(Column 01)
Summary: When the Democratic paper, the Spirit, claims that the Republican government will break up marriages and make whites marry blacks, the Repository responds, referring to this and other accusations as "childish imbecility."
Full Text of Article:

The fountains of the great deep of the Spirit's sorrow were broken up by the news of the Washington election last week, and torrents of tears, and frantic threats, and childish imbecility chased each other through its columns in rapid succession. We are not sure, but think that is about the order in which they came. The tears and prolonged howls we will pass by. They have been so common of late years, as Heaven's relentless iconoclast has shattered Democratic idol after idol, that no one is any longer moved by them, unless it be to laughter. The threats only excite contempt. They, too, have grown into an oft told tale, and rarely effected anything more serious than disguised assistance to rebels during the active years of the rebellion, the murdering of helpless negroes and their teachers, and the destruction of negro school houses and asylums. Hence, when the Spirit renews the oft repeated cry, "The war of races is coming," we feel constrained to say, Gentlemen, wipe your weeping eyes. There will be no war of races. The negroes want none. They would lose everything and gain nothing by arraying themselves against the white population of this country. While it is true that for all their unnumbered wrongs the white race is responsible, it is equally true that white men have been instrumental in undoing the wrongs inflicted upon them. It is only when laboring in harmony with the whites, and not when in antagonism with them, that they can raise themselves from the degradation which slavery and their own ignorance has heaped upon them. Their elevation either in intelligence, wealth or influence, or in civil and political rights, is not secured at the expense of white degradation, as the Spirit would have us believe. In a war of races, if one could be inaugurated, the negroes would lose everything already guaranteed to them, and make their condition even more deplorable than it was before the war, if that were possible. It is not probably, then, that they would be guilty of anything so stupid and insane; and certainly the white race have no occasion to war upon a handful of colored people, as compared with themselves, who have proved themselves long suffering, patient and submissive to the laws under the most trying circumstances. There can be no war of races. The cry is but the Shiboleth of the dying Democracy as it finds itself disintegrating under the powerful action of a better and truer civilization.

We said something of childish imbecility, in connection with the Spirit's account of the Washington election. Perhaps we were mistaken. Here is what it said. Our readers may tell whether or not we have properly designated it:

"Under the temporary rule of the Devil and the Radical party, it seems we are to be forced to submit to negro voters, negro printers, negro jurors, negro councilmen, negro alderman, negro mayors, negro congressmen, and negro Presidents. Those of us who are married may be forcibly divorced by the Act of a Radical Legislature or Congress and compelled to intermarry with these pets of "the party of great moral ideas." There is no extreme to which this party will not go now for the elevation of its ebony idol."

From the beginning to the close of the war, and since the war until now, the Republican party has drawn many of its ablest and best representatives and champions from the ranks of the Democracy, but we deny that the great high priest of that party has ever shown any sympathy with republicanism, nor is it likely that he will so long as the Democracy yield such absolute submission to his authority.

We beg, therefore, while we admit negroes have the right to be all things which the Spirit charges and so bitterly bewails, to be excused from accepting the only thing which the Democracy possesses in its entirety, the rule of the Devil. Without principles and without power, with an appetite, sharpened by a long and painful abstinence for public plunder, we advise them to stick to this Prince of Evil.

But there is one class of Democrats who fears the Spirit has cruelly trifled with. We mean the married class. And it is our duty as journalists to correct this. No doubt many worthy but unsophisticated members of the Democratic fold, who live in the retired places of the county, and read no newspapers but the Spirit, daily look with fear and trembling to see themselves torn from the partners of their bosoms, and incontinently wedded to these sweet scented Africans, by a cruel edict of a Radical Congress. This statement is the less excusable for the reason that, as a party, the Democracy have always cherished an abiding fear that a negroes highest ambition has ever been to marry a white Democrat, and a corresponding doubt as to their power to resist ebony blandishments. Why only those who are already married are in danger of being subjected to the Radical outrage we are not informed, and cannot tell. But if it be a Radical measure, we object to it as unfair to the unmarried Democracy. Or rather we deny that it is a Radical measure, because Radicals are in favor of equal rights to all.

Our mind is sometimes vexed with serious doubts whether the queer articles which find their way into the columns of our neighbor, the Spirit, are intended as earnest arguments and exhortations to sensible men, or whether they are written as caricatures and burlesques upon the teachings and history of the Democratic party. Such extravagant rhodomontade, such charges upon windmills, as the following, are exquisite as satires, but seem like prodigious nonsense in any other view:

"We call upon all white men to join hands to break the power of this terrible, destructive fanaticism. Open your eyes. Look about you. Read in these signs of the times the total overthrow of the republic and the fearful reign of anarchy, unless something be done and done speedily to crush this party of but one idea. And seeing the danger, meet it like men. Grapple with it and put it to flight. Redeem the country from the thraldom of its negromania and proclaim to the world that 'white men must rule America.'"

Who sees a great wave of destructive fanaticism rolling over the country? Why when we open our eyes and look about us, we see the perpetuity of the Union assured in the overthrow and defeat of a mighty rebellion, inaugurated against it by the Democratic party. We see the area of the reign of anarchy daily growing narrower and narrower. But a few short years ago it spread over all the South, like a great ocean, and its turbulent waves dashed far into the free States. That was the time to give the alarm. Then was the moment to point to the threatening danger, and to appeal to men to strand up for their country. Then men did grapple with it and not only put it to flight but slew it. Why talk of such things now ? when the danger is past and the country redeemed. Our neighbor is just awaking from a sleep, and beholds things with distorted vision. Let him rub his eyes and wash the blindness of prejudice from them, and these visions which so terrify his imagination will all be gone.

Our Border Claims
(Column 03)
Summary: This letter to the editor advocates the creation of a Border Claims Party. The author, disgruntled at both political parties for ignoring the plight of the border claimants, argues that only a new political organization, specifically for obtaining state reparations, may finally bring justice to those border residents who suffered during the war.
Full Text of Article:

To the Editors of the Franklin Repository.

That those citizens of our border counties who sustained losses by the rebels during the recent great civil war, have a fair, just and equitable claim upon the State for remuneration, cannot with any show of reason be denied. Protection was a duty the State owed to her people; and the obligation has been admitted in the partial remuneration the citizens of Chambersburg received for their losses, out of the State Treasury. And if it was just and right that those who were so unfortunate as to live in Chambersburg, should have any part of their losses made good by the State, why should not those who lived in the other towns, and in the rural districts of the "Border" have equal consideration extended to them. Many of our best, most loyal and law abiding citizens in these towns and districts, lost their all, and were reduced to penury by their losses, and yet to them not one dollar of aid has been extended. The injustice of this all admit. Why then have not these just and righteous claims been recognized and paid? They have been estimated by fair, competent and impartial men, at least three times, and the result of their findings, and the testimony they took in relation to them, are on file in the Departments at Harrisburg. The aggregate of the claims, exclusive of the amount yet due the people of Chambersburg, does not, I think, exceed the sum of $2,000,000. With the amount due the citizens of Chambersburg yet, viz: $1,500,000, the sum total unpaid to the sufferers would not exceed $3,500,000, a mere trifle to so great and wealthy a Commonwealth as Pennsylvania.

It is idle to expect payment from the general government. The nation has as much to pay as it can well get along with - and Congress cannot establish a precedent acknowledging the national liability for the losses caused by the war. To do so, would be ruinous to the national credit, and would cause national bankruptcy at no distant day - for the amount of claims of this character would be so enormous, were the national liability once admitted, that no administration could bear up under it - and none would dare assume it.

But with the State of Pennsylvania it is very different. She proved able to pay all her war expenses, and yet at the same time reduce her State debt, several millions. In truth she came out of the war richer than she went into it. Her ability therefore to repay her citizens all that they lost by her inability or neglect to protect them at the proper time, is undenied, and undeniable. And were she to do, that which she should, none of her people would feel the additional burden imposed upon them, so great is the extent of her resources - so easy, and almost imperceptible might be the measures adopted for payment.

Why then is not the obligation assumed at once? Why have not provisions been made long ago for payment? Why has the Legislature year after year refused to act upon the petitions of the sufferers? Simply because but a part of the people of some six or seven counties along the border of the State are interested pecuniarily in the matter, and they send so few representatives to the Legislature that their wishes do not impress the balance of their fellow members. They are not feared as a power in the Legislature. They cannot, because of diversity of sentiment and feeling among themselves, make their influence be felt, or essential to either of the great parties in the Legislature, and therefore the claims of their constituents are disregarded year after year, and will continue to be disregarded, and remain unpaid, until these things are all changed.

I have, Messrs. Editors, been led to these thoughts, because of the recent action had by the border claimants of Franklin and one or two of the adjoining counties. They are again moving for payment of their losses; and to secure that result have been holding Conventions, raising money, and passing resolutions. I predict the same result to these efforts, as to those of a similar character in the past. No satisfactory result will be reached - nor what is more important - any MONEY secured by such measures. Many of those who are losers have become discouraged, and don't feel disposed to contribute, as they think it is throwing good money after that which is already lost. It will therefore be impossible to raise money enough to put a bill of such magnitude through the Legislature, and obtain its approval, and I don't suppose that any one is foolish enough to contemplate the undertaking. Those who oppose and defeat the payment of these claims come from sections of the State where they never saw a rebel, unless he was a prisoner or a fugitive. They know nothing personally of the horrors of the war, nor did their constituents ever sustain a dollar of losses. Therefore they cannot, and do not feel any interest favorable to those who did lose. They think that it was our misfortune to be here, and sustain losses, but they do not believe themselves in any measure liable to make good those losses. They forget that we were the breakwater that prevented the devastating surges of the rebellion from rolling over them, and they are therefore indisposed to tax themselves, through State recognization, or assumption, to repay losses none of which they participated in. Their representatives in the Legislature sympathize fully with them and refuse to vote for these claim bills, because they say that however right and just in principle, such votes would be their own political destruction, no difference to which party they might belong.

In my opinion the border claimants will never have their losses secured, or paid, until they make themselves felt as a POWER in the State; a power strong enough to dictate terms to both Democrats and Republicans, and able to control both the Legislature and the Executive. And there is but one way to accomplish that, and that is through the organization of a BORDER CLAIMS PARTY, whose members should be solemnly pledged to support no man for any office in the State who would not openly and unreservedly pledge himself to work and vote for the payment, out of the State Treasury, of all the war losses sustained by our citizens.

When the border claimants become a unit in their votes, then they will make themselves felt and feared, and their demands will be acknowledged and their losses paid.

It is too late now to take any action prior to the next Gubernatorial election; but no more propitious time could be expected in other respects. The nation is at peace, the national finances in a good condition, a President and Congress in perfect accord, whose policy will not be changed for near four years to come. The necessity, therefore, for an unwavering adherence to party ties, by either of the great parties of the State, is not apparent. Therefore this is an excellent time for border sufferers and their friends to prepare to sever old party associations, and through a new "Border Claims Party" organization fight for the redress of their own great grievances.

You may, Messrs. Editors, smile and say that the plan is futile. But not so, in my opinion. Look at it thus. There are fully five hundred voters in this county (including the people of Chambersburg) who have a direct pecuniary interest in the payment of these losses. And those five hundred could each influence one other disinterested person, when it would come to voting, for there are many who would sustain the payment of these claims from a belief that the State is both morally and legally bound for them.

Now suppose that five hundred of the voters of this county unite together in Border Claim Leagues or Associations, all over the county, and pledge themselves one to the other that they will support no man for any office, large or small, who will not pledge himself to support the payment of these losses. Suppose that they demand that the candidates offering for office in our county shall each one, without respect to party, give a like pledge, on pain of being cut by them at the polls. Suppose also that they demand that the several parties of the county shall through their conventions pass resolutions demanding payment of these claims. What candidate, what party will dare refuse such a request, coming from five hundred of our voters? None! To refuse would be sure defeat; for a much less number than five hundred of our voters acting together can carry our county just as they please.

The same result, upon the same kind of action, would follow in York, Adams, Cumberland, Perry, Fulton, Bedford and Somerset counties. All that is necessary is that those who are interested should be true to themselves until their wrongs are redressed.

Now carry the proposition a little further. Suppose that under action of this character the counties named shall have elected Senators and Representatives all pledged to the payment of border claims. We would then have four Senators and seven Representatives who would be pledged to act together as a unit, and who could by so acting, and making use of the power in their hands, control the organization and action of the Legislature upon all important measures - and make themselves so respected as a power among the powers, as to secure anything they might desire.

It is not to be expected that this result can be secured this year - nor perhaps next - nor even perhaps the year after. It will require time, and united and energetic action. The initiatory steps must be taken in the border counties. The claimants must associate themselves together, and by their position and action show both great parties that they are in "dead earnest." When it is seen that as they go so these counties will go - and that those only whom they support can be elected; then the politicians will begin to fear them, and when their power is feared, and felt, all parties will be found seeking to secure its aid by pledging their candidates to support its requests.

These border counties at the last Presidential election cast 51,591 votes. Less than one-half that number of votes will at all elections carry the State, for whatever party they may be cast in favor - and let it be once known that there is a Border Claims Party in existence numbering even 10,000 voters, whose members will support no man for any State office who will not pledge himself to advocate their demands, and long before the Gubernatorial election of 1872, we will see both the great parties of the State seeking that vote, and through their State Conventions, resolving that the State must do justice to her loyal people who suffered in the war. And when that time comes, then the day of payment is near; and when justice has been done to those who suffered for the "common weal" then the Border Claims Party may be disbanded and remembered only as among the things that have been. But until then there is little reason why those who have suffered so much, and lost so largely, should continue to pay fealty to either of the present political parties who have so contemptuously disregarded their petitions for redress.


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Franklin County Horticultural Society
(Column 01)
Summary: The members of the society met on Tuesday in the seed store of the Ryder Nursery Association. Reports were read regarding the recent fair and exhibition at which the group raised $112. Some members gave addresses on various aspects of plant cultivation.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Boyle, Col. Elder, Jenkins, J. S. Nixon)
Mercersburg College
(Column 01)
Summary: The Washington Literary Society of Mercersburg College recently celebrated their fourth anniversary. Festivities were held in the German Reformed Church, Mercersburg. The paper praises the literary talents of the students who participated. "Chaste music" also entertained the guests.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Thomas G. Apple, J. W. Apple, J. S. Wagner, Robert Zahner, H. N. Davis, J. C. Bowman, G. F. Mull, Louis Zahner, A. Ralph Carothers, Rev. E. V. Gerhart)
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The masonic lodges of the district including Franklin presented R. H. Thomas of Mechanicsburg with a gold watch in honor of his service to the order. Speeches were delivered by other prominent members in the exercises held at Shippensburg.
(Names in announcement: R. H. Thomas, G. W. Brewer, James B. Orr, P. M. Emminger)
[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Good Templars will hold a union basket picnic at Brown's Mill on Thursday. Delegations from Mercersburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, Quincy, and Fayetteville will attend. The Cumberland Valley Railroad is offering excursion fairs: 35 cents from Chambersburg and 20 cents for children.
Knights of Pythias
(Column 02)
Summary: A number of new officers were installed at Chambersburg's Kearny Lodge No. 159, Knights of Pythias. Philip Lowry, Jr., Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, led the ceremonies assisted by Venerable Grand Patriarch Rheem, Vice Grand Chancellor Hoyt, and Grand Guide Nichols.
(Names in announcement: Philip LowryJr., Rheem, Hoyt, Nichols, A. H. M'Culloh, F. S. Stumbaugh, S. G. Lightcap, T. J. Grimason, W. S. Roney, J. E. Matthews, W. D. Guthrie, Frank Henderson, P. H. Peiffer, A. Matthews, H. H. Elliott)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Keefer, and Mr. Boyle send a card on behalf of the Franklin County Horticulural Society to the ladies and other supporters who assisted at their recent fair.
(Names in announcement: Jenkins, Keefer, Boyle)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Columbus Lodge No. 75, I.O.O.F. had a delightful time at Brown's Mill last Friday. They took their wives, families, and friends to enjoy the picnic with them. "This Lodge is in a flourishing condition, and numbers among its members some of our best citizens."
Lay Representation
(Column 03)
Summary: The members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of the U.S. are holding an election on the question of lay representation. Both men and women may vote.
Friendship Fire Company
(Column 03)
Summary: The members of the Friendship Fire Company will hold a basket picnic at Marion on July 3rd. President A. Metz and Secretary J. N. Shillito extend and invitation to all persons, especially members of the Hope Fire Company.
(Names in announcement: A. Metz, J. N. Shillito)
German Building Association
(Column 03)
Summary: Nicholas Gerwick, president, announces that the German Building Association will meet on June 29th in Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Nicholas Gerwick)
Attention Housum Zouaves
(Column 03)
Summary: Henry Elliott calls on the Housum Zouaves to meet at the armory for parade in full uniform on June 25th.
(Names in announcement: Henry Elliott)
Franklin County Medical Society
(Column 03)
Summary: The society will hold its next meeting in Chambersburg on the first Tuesday in July.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Dr. E. Culbertson of Chambersburg's Columbus Lodge No. 75, I.O.O.F., has been elected District Deputy Grand Master of Franklin County.
(Names in announcement: Dr. E. Culbertson)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The Housum Zouaves plan to march to Gettysburg to participate in ceremonies that will take place there on July 1st.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper reports that Chambersburg boasts eleven churches, eight hotels, eight restaurants, two liquour stores, and two breweries.
(Column 05)
Summary: A. L. Irwin and Miss Maggie Brewster, both of Newville, were married on June 10th by the Rev. Crawford.
(Names in announcement: A. L. Irwin, Maggie Brewster, Rev. Crawford)
(Column 05)
Summary: Dr. Charles H. Ingram of Philadelphia and Miss Helen M. Seibert of Chambersburg were married in Chambersburg at the Methodist Church on June 16th by the Rev. S. Barnes.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Charles H. Ingram, Helen M. Seibert, Rev. S. Barnes)
(Column 05)
Summary: Dr. Samuel S. Huber and Miss Millie M'Nair, both of Franklin, were married on June 17th by the Rev. Dr. B. S. Schneck.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Samuel S. Huber, Millie M'Nair, Dr. B. S. Schneck)

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