Franklin Repository: May 18, 1870Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The "Spirit" and the Colored Voters
(Column 01)Summary: The Repository notes that no blacks will vote for the Democrats in the upcoming election because the party "to him is but another name for slavery." The editorial also charges that the Democrats are attempting to draw white voters away from the Republican party by emphasizing the issue of black suffrage.
Full Text of Article:Decoration Day
The Spirit has at last broken the strange silence it has observed since the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment, and declares itself and its party to be opposed to negro suffrage. It thus takes occasion to confirm what one of the colored orators told his audience at this place on the 26th of April last, that the Democratic party was pledged to take away the right of suffrage from the colored race and reduce them to a state of servitude again whenever it had the power. In last week's Spirit, in a leader under the same original and progressive captain used by the Carlisle Volunteer, which we had occasion to notice, namely, that "White men must rule America," it lays down the possition to be held by its party during the approaching political campaign. It thus puts its party unmistakably upon the record against the negro, and we have no doubt from the deliberation it has exercised and the length of time it has spent in coming to this determination, that it has not acted rashly, whatever we may think as to its wisdom. The article has been written with unusual dare, and the writer has well concealed the motives which dictated it, yet we are at no loss to understand why he should deliberately set against his party a large body of voters such as the colored vote of this county is.
In the first place, he did not do this until time enough had passed to satisfy every person that the Democratic party could not possibly secure even an insignificant portion of the colored vote in the coming election. There was no sacrifice made by arraying the party against the negro. Emissaries of the party leaders were sent among the negroes, they appeared at their meetings, and gave them friendly greetings on the streets, but the black man could not be tempted to swerve from his principles. No matter how friendly Democrats might be, for Democracy, which to him is but another name for slavery, he had nothing but detestation, and he allowed no occasion to escape for making his sentiments known. Indeed it would have been unaccountably strange if any number of the colored voters had been willing to pervert their newly won rights by aiding to put in power the party that had always labored to perpetuate the slavery of the black race. Democrats call them ignorant and stupid and debased. We have yet to see one in our midst ignorant or stupid or debased enough to admit that he was willing to vote the Democratic ticket.
It is apparent, if this be so, that in proclaiming for a white man's party the Spirit sacrificed no colored votes for the present at least. But by this course of action it hoped to secure some white voters who heretofore voted with the Republican party. And this is the secret of its only opposition to the negro, after the Constitution had armed him with the ballot. After all, principle had nothing to do with this determination of the Spirit. It obeyed merely its conviction as to good policy casting principle to both sides of the question and reached the conclusion that to oppose the negro would give its party in this section of the State the greatest number of votes. It could lose no colored voters, because it had none, it might gain a few disaffected white voters to its side, if there be any among the Republican ranks. This is the way the Spirit reasoned with itself, but not the way it reasoned on paper, for the public. There it became important to conceal the real design and if possible make it appear that it was the duty of the white race to hold the negroes in subjection and to exclude them from having any voice in the government, or any protection against wrong, save as a sense of justice might operate upon and control the actions of the whites.
From the weakness of the argument employed it is easy to perceive how impossible it is to elevate a mere matter of party trickery to the dignity of a principle. If it had been addressed to the party prejudice of the Democracy without disguise it might at least have incited them to undertake the work of the campaign but it is addressed to Republicans, and must fail. Even admitting that there are some dissatisfied ones which we do not, because the real motive is not that which is put forward. The real motive is the success of the Democratic ticket. The one advanced is the protection of our republican institutions. But we doubt if any Republican foresees danger to our republican institutions in ceasing to do wrong and beginning to do right toward our fellow men be they white or black.
The Spirit skilfully begins by a false assertion to excite prejudice. It says that "the best men everywhere are disgusted with the doctrine that the negro is the equal of the white man." It knows that there is no such doctrine either for white men or for negroes. Each white man is not the equal of every other white man, nor is a negro necessarily the equal of a white man. It happens that some negroes are better than some white men, and some white men are better than others. What is true is this, that all men, white or black, are entitled to equal rights. That is the only equality. The Spirit merely assumed as the basis of its article something which never has and never can exist.
It follows this by a funny statement that our territory is very vast and our Government machinery very complicated and that it needs the best thoughts of the best minds, &c. to keep it in good running order, and that if negroes are introduced among our voters and have a controlling voice in making and administering the laws there can be no hope of the permanent prosperity of the nation; that thoughtful men see in this result either a dissolution of the States of the Union or a conversion of our Republican Government into some other form - a monarchy we suppose - and to prevent these fearful disasters the Democratic party will stick to the doctrine that white men must rule America.
The force of this certainly is not strengthened when we reflect that we have just rescued the Government from anarchy and dissolution at the hands of a white man's party, the Democratic party with four millions of human beings without any voice in the Government as a bone of contention. After our bitter experience we had better try the doctrine of equal rights to all, as a mere matter of policy without regard to the eternal principles of justice and truth and right, before flying into the arms of another white man's party, which has nothing higher and nobler to offer than the degradation of one race of human beings at the expense of another. But the real object of this strange article is found in the following extract:
It is high time that Conservative men, heretofore identified with the Republican party, who were hostile to negro suffrage and who, if an opportunity had been presented them as was pledged to them by their party leaders, would have voted the amendment down by overwhelming majorities - it is high time for such men to sever the leading strings of party, and cast their votes with men who are in favor of white men ruling America.
So the whole thing resolves itself into a bid for Republican voters. We confidentially believe that if there be any who have heretofore voted with the Republican party, and can meditate uniting with the slave Democracy since the negroes have attained the right of suffrage, they are not worthy members of the one and had better at once put themselves in ranks of the other. But even in this extract there is a falsehood. Negro suffrage was an issue fairly before the people of the State in the last election. The Democratic party platform declared the determination, if successful in carrying the Legislature, to repeal the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, and the Republican State Convention passed resolutions endorsing the Legislature which had ratified it; the question was discussed during the campaign everywhere throughout the State, and the Spirit has scarcely forgotten how a Republican Legislature was elected on that issue. Let us at least hear no more of that.
To the colored voters we have nothing to say further than to express our entire confidence in their good sense and honesty. We believe that they fully understand where their true interests lie, and that they would not have been mistaken even if the Spirit had not done them the favor to make it impossible for them to vote with the Democratic party, and preserve their manhood.
(Column 02)Summary: The Repository announces the third annual Decoration Day, to honor the men killed in the Civil War, and notes that the day should remain free of partisan and political interference.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
The 30th day of May has been selected by Gen. John A. Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, as the day for decorating the graves of the soldiers who perished in the war for the suppression of the rebellion. This is the third year of the observance of this solemnity, and it is to be hoped that the ceremony will be as general as it was on the two preceding occasions. Its object is to pay homage to the memory of the dead who died for their country. It has no political significance , and heretofore has been participated in by soldiers without regard to party opinions or feelings. If it should ever become perverted into a party observance all its sacredness would be lost, and it had better be burried out of sight or forgotten. But there is no reason that it should be, any more than there was no reason why Democrats and Republicans should not have joined together, as they did, in suppressing the rebellion. Men without a thought to which party they adhered fought the battles of the late war, and without such a thought now they should join in honoring the memories and decorating the graves of their fallen brothers. If they had died in a mere war of factions, if it had been a conflict of rival powers, it would doubtless be wise to forget it as speedily as possible. But this is not such a case. They died to save their country and government, and to solve the gravest problem ever presented to a free people. The principles which they upheld by their death are necessary to the welfare of humanity, and it is for the great boon they conferred by their death that their memory should always be honored and revered.
But there are no Posts of the G. A. R. at this place, and it is perhaps as well for this purpose that there are none. It enables the soldiers to do this work without the interposition of organizations created since the war. Let a general call be issued for a meeting of the soldiers for the purpose of making all the necessary arrangements and appointing the committees and officers needed to carry it out. Let the ladies again be asked to aid them by furnishing flowers for the occasion, and then let all with feeling and thankful hearts devote one day to the sacred duty of visiting and decorating the graves of our fallen patriots.
(Column 02)Summary: The paper gives a nuanced opinion on the income tax. The editors concede that it offends people's feelings of indpendence and is easy to evade, but point out that the tax benefits the poor. Only a small percentage of the population is liable to the tax since it only affects those making more than $1000. Still, public opinion is opposed to the tax, and in the end the editors endorse following the will of the public.The White Man's Party
(Column 03)Summary: In this letter to the editor, a reader mocks racial attitudes in the Democratic party.
Full Text of Article:
To the Editors of the Franklin Repository.
I have been prospecting a little, in a political way, in order to locate myself before the nominations are made for the next election. Times change and we change with them. The issues of by-gone years have been settled to a great extent, and many of the most carefully prepared theories have been exploded. I do not wish to be gobbled up by any of the political parties by ad captandum vulgus appeals, so I have gone to work in a quiet way in order to post myself in regard to the material of which the parties are composed. In examining the press I discover that a new party is about to come on the tapis, to be called the White man's party, i.e., the old Democratic party is to be rejuvenated and set agoing with a platform peculiarly adapted to the fastidious nasal organs of its members. The plausibility of such an organism at once attracted my attention, and I think I shall cast in my lot with them and try to induce any others who may be lying about loose to come and enjoy our fellowship. I have not been taken in yet, but have been making the acquaintance of some of the more prominent of that great party. There are some that I have seen who would do credit to themselves if they would say as little as possible about color, but lights and shades you know give variety and attract notice. I would particularly call attention to the moral aspect of this great party. We don't intend to be squeamish at all but we have some of the best men in the vicinity who, especially after a draft of benzine, will swear their biggest oaths and curses against all politics and religions that would set aside God's law in regard to distinctions. There is Deacon G--, he swears he'd leave the church in a minute if the niggers are to be brought in, and the only hope he has of escaping the contamination of the black men is in joining the White men's party. Dr. T-- says he'll attend to their sore shins and broken bones for their money but he can't degrade himself with the idea of voting for the same candidates for office that they do. Merchant L-- says he solicits their quarters and half dollars, and will wait on them complacently for even five cents, but he never will pray or vote along side of any such cattle. Farmer B-- says he has from his boyhood, occasionally, worked along side of them, on his own and his neighbor's farm, and when both were hired at the same wages, but the idea of a lawyer, a Congressman or a Senator having to work beside them is repugnant to all our sense of the difference that should exist between a farmer and our public servants. In fact, I feel encouraged by certain indications to hope that our white man's party will be a breakwater against all those old fashioned ideas which would lead us to estimate men by their intellectual or moral attainments. It's the color of a man, I care not how ragged, how lazy, how drunken, how profane, how dishonest, - nay how he be, it is this color that makes the man eligible to our party, and when I see a member of our great white party through his fumes of bad whiskey, curse the nigger, I hail him as a brother confirmed in the faith and proof against all liability to fall from the grace wherewith we are called.
(Column 01)Summary: This article reports that Union veterans are preparing for Decoration Day by appropriating tasks and inviting local citizens.
(Names in announcement: Col. J. G. Elder, Jere Cook, Col. Theodore McGowan, T. J. Grimison, G. W. Skinner, T. M. Mahon, J. G. Elder, J. L. P. Deitrich, G. W. Skinner, S. W. Hays, D. F. Leisher, J. A. Seiders, S. G. Lane, C. Cressler, G. F. Platte, G. W. Welsh, G. Wampler, H. Strickler, W. Clugston, S. Barnes)Full Text of Article:[No Title]
On Monday evening, the 16th inst., a meeting of soldiers of Chambersburg and vicinity was held to make provisions for decorating the graves of deceased soldiers on the 30th inst. Col. J. G. Elder presided, and Jere Cook was made Secretary. Col. Theodore McGowan was chosen Marshal for the occasion and instructed to appoint the necessary Assistant Marshals.
T. J. Grimison, G. W. Skinner and T. M. Mahon were appointed a special committee to procure flowers, and were requested to invite the ladies, both of Chambersburg and the surrounding neighborhood to join with them for that purpose.
Special invitations were extended to the Housum Zouaves, to the clergy of the town, and to all citizens to participate in the exercises.
A committee on general arrangements was then appointed, composed of J. G. Elder, J. L. P. Deitrich, G. W. Skinner, S. W. Hays, D. F. Leisher, J. A. Seiders, T. J. Grimison, S. G. Lane, C. Cressler, G. F. Platte, G. W. Welsh, G. Wampler, H. Strickler, W. Clugston and S. Barnes.
The meeting then adjourned to meet at the office of T. J. Grimison on Monday evening next. It is specially desirable that as many of the old soldiers as can make it convenient will attend on that occasion, in order to perfect the necessary arrangements for the exercises of the 30th inst.
(Column 01)Summary: The Grand Lodge of the I.O.O.F. of Pennsylvania will meet at Philadelphia. Jacob Snider will represent Columbus Lodge No. 75 and George Remp will represent Chambersburg Lodge No. 175.Orrstown Ratifies the Fifteenth Amendment
(Names in announcement: Jacob Snider, George Remp)
(Column 02)Summary: The Repository notes a local election where Republicans triumphed in a previously strong Democratic area.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Knisely, Charles Dehart, Dr. Maxwell Kennedy, William Orr, John Parker, Peter Bowers, PowdersJohn)Full Text of Article:Base Ball
On the 7th inst. at an election held in this former Democratic stronghold for Borough officers, the following gentlemen were elected:
Chief Burgess. - Samuel Knisely.
Town Council - Charles Dehart, Dr. Maxwell Kennedy, Wm. Orr, John Parker, Peter Bowers
Street Commissioner - Jno. Powders.
Mr. Knisely is the first Republican who was ever elected Burgess in this town and his success took the Democrats very much by surprise. Mr. Dehart is also a good Republican. The election of these gentlemen denotes progress in this section of the county. We are glad to see that the Democrats of Orrstown refute their old motto about white slavery and avail themselves of the first opportunity to endorse the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.
(Column 02)Summary: A baseball match was played between the Quickstep Nine and the Academy Nine of Chambersburg resulting in a victory for the Quicksteps.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Finafrock, Nicholas, Tolbert, Fleagle, Mull, Spahr, Flack, Grier, McLanahan, Burnett, Morris, Robison, Ferguson, Boyd, Loose, Edwards, Duffield, C. Gelwicks, D. W. Nevin, C. Henninger)
(Column 02)Summary: The Franklin County Horticultural Society met on May 3rd. More ladies attended than usual. Prof. J. H. Shumaker read a lecture on tomato cultivation. The group is planning an exhibition for the 10th and 11th of June.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Prof. J. H. Shumaker)
(Column 02)Summary: H. C. Keyser will replace Harry S. Shade in the office of Register and Recorder. The paper regrets the dismissal of shade because of his affiliation with the Republican Party, but the editors are satisfied with the choice of Keyser.I. O. G. F.
(Names in announcement: H. C. Keyser, Harry S. Shade)
(Column 02)Summary: The members of Fayetteville's Gilmore Lodge No. 358, I.O.G.F., elected and installed a number of officers.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: J. Burns White, J. L. Wolfe, Sadie J. Black, A. B. Shively, B. F. Peters, John Long, James Downey, Harry Myers, Frank Mowers, Laura Boggs, Nan White, Lib Black, Emma Mentzer, Joseph Mentzer)
(Column 02)Summary: The paper reports that the real estate market is up in Chambersburg. Maj. Austin sold a house to J. Allison Eyster for $10,000. Chambers McKibbin purchased Mrs. Radabough's property for $10,000.[No Title]
(Names in announcement: Maj. Austin, J. Allison Eyster, Chambers McKibbin, Mrs. Radabough)
(Column 02)Summary: Mrs. Jacob Mickey has opened a ladies' ice cream parlor in Chambersburg.Married
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Jacob Mickey)
(Column 05)Summary: Benjamin F. Barr and Miss Abbie L. Myers, both of Antrim, were married on May 10th at the Indian Queen Hotel by the Rev. Mr. Lesher.Married
(Names in announcement: Benjamin F. Barr, Abbie L. Myers, Rev. Lesher)
(Column 05)Summary: George F. Deitrich of Altoona and Miss Lizzie S. Butler of Chambersburg were married on May 12th by the Rev. L. A. Gotwald.Died
(Names in announcement: George F. Deitrich, Lizzie S. Butler, Rev. L. A. Gotwald)
(Column 05)Summary: Charley Harrison Ocker, son of Harry C. and Susan Ocker, died on May 15th. He was 6 months old.Died
(Names in announcement: Charley Harrison Ocker, Harry C. Ocker, Susan Ocker)
(Column 05)Summary: James Kerr Strealy died in Chambersburg on May 8th. He was 18 years old. He was an "estimable young man" of "mature christian character" who was "thoughtful, affectionate, gentle, kind, and forgiving." He died from the effects of an injury sustained in 1868 while working in the employ of his father.
(Names in announcement: James Kerr Strealy)