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Valley of the Shadow

Franklin Repository: August 24, 1870

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The Coming Contest
(Column 06)
Summary: In this reprinted article from the New York Independent, Vice President Schuyler Colfax touts Republican achievements in preparation for the upcoming election.
Origin of Article: New York Independent
Full Text of Article:

By Hon. Schuyler Colfax.

No one can shut his eyes to the fact that the Democratic leaders enter upon the contest just opening for the control of the next House of Representatives with more confidently expressed hopes of victory than for many years past; and it is timely at the moment to examine into the grounds of these sanguine expectations. They can be summed up as follows:

They have dwarfed, if not ignored, the differences existing in their own ranks on funding the debt and how it should be paid, its taxation, etc, on which so many prominent Eastern Democrats disagree so radically with their brethren in the West.

They have hopes that, reconstructive legislation have been virtually completed, the new issues as to the finances, the tariff, internal taxation, and foreign policy many tend to disintegrate, and thus render powerless the hitherto compact and invincible Republican phalanx.

They draw encouragement, too from disaffections as to patronage; and the fact that victory for ten consecutive years, embracing three presidential contests, tends to weaken a party so long in power giving its opponents more opportunities for attack.

But their highest hopes is in the severe and sweeping criticisms of Congress, during the recent session, by prominent and influential Republican papers, editors and correspondents permanently alienating tens of thousands, as they trust, and thus, if their theory is correct, converting the Republican majority of the past into a minority, ready to be overthrown by the united forces of the Democracy, energized now by their long exile from power and animated by the zeal and confidence with which they are preparing for the contest.

It needs, however, only thorough unity, an energy worthy of their principles and a zeal akin to that which has given them so many brilliant victories, to enable the Republicans to baffle all these hopes, as they have baffled them before, and to place their flag again in triumph on the Capitol. Contests in which our opponents opened more hopefully than now have resulted in their defeat. Even the Congressional contest of 1862, when the Democracy carried every Northern State from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, was saved for the right by unexpected victories in the Border States of the South. And the greater contest of 1864, when after the nomination of President Lincoln, disaffections in our ranks led to a rival national convention and nominations and up to August defeat seemed possible, was, by the energy and unity of the succeeding months, converted at last into the most magnificent political and national victory ever won in this country.

It is easy to criticise Congress - nay, it is popular to do so. The dangers to the land and the institutions when Mr. Johnson was president caused these criticisms to be suspended, after the issue was clearly manifest to the people; for they realized then, as never before, the value and the power of that Congress. But with that danger removed, it became easy again, with the tendency to criticism so marked amongst our independent thinkers, and never to be deprecated except when carried to excess, to review sharply and complainingly the action or non action of those in power. Let us look calmly at some of these complaints.

All through the session there was fault-finding at the differences in Congress as to financial plans and their failure to agree till near the period of adjournment. But in these differences, be it remembered, the Republican majority exactly represented the people behind them. Take one hundred of the leading Republican papers of the nation, from Maine to California, last winter and spring, and you will find precisely the same conflict of opinions. Nay, more assemble at that time one hundred of the leading Republicans of any State, and insist that they should agree on a specific plan, and you would have found the same divergence in their views. What was finally agreed on, after months of debate and comparison of plans, I will briefly allude to hereafter.

While the appropriation bills were passing through the two branches of Congress, the people were almost to believe that the Senate especially were loading them down with almost innumerable and indefensible, if not profligate amendments. The two hundred and fifty-six amendments of that body to the legislative, executive and judicial appropriation bill were specially and severely criticised, as all will remember. What were they? A half dozen, on which there were no party divisions in the Senate, and which were finally abandoned at the demand of the House, embraced such items as the extension of the capital grounds, a new State Department, which is how occupying a former orphan asylum, not fire proof, and the increase of the salaries of the United States Judges - the Supreme Judges receiving now $2000 per year less than the Cabinet, and $4,000 per year less than the police justice of New York city. Nearly all the remainder of these multitudinous amendments about "the pilling on of which by the Senate" so much has been said, related to the clerical forces in the departments, the sub treasuries, custom-houses, &c. The House had retrenched in all of them severely. The Senate preferred to follow the estimate of the Administration. And as nearly every paragraph in the bill contained one or more items of this kind, the number of Senate amendments needed to bring up the curtailed House bill to the official estimates seemed extraordinary. I may add that in the conference committee an average of the views of the two houses was settled on - perhaps more wisely than the extreme views of either. Many similar charges could be easily explained.

From these criticisms, also, vast numbers of the people doubtless inferred that lobbyists for subsidies, etc, were triumphant as never before - When Congress adjourned, however, it was found that neither the Senate nor the House had voted a single dollar out of the Treasury for subsidies to steamboat lines to the Mississippi levees to railroads or to private or public companies of any character. With a river and lake commerce estimated at fifteen hundred millions of dollars per year, a river and harbor improvement bill of four millions (less than one-third of one per cent.) had passed; but this had been usual under all administration. And landgrant bills which had passed the Senate all failed, in the House except two - the supplemental North Pacific, and one through a country mountainous and mainly unsettled, from Portland, Oregon, to Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia river.

Let us turn from this brief review of the strictures to which I have alluded, to an equally abbreviated statement of what has been done by the Republican administration and Congress for which it deserves well of the country

1. Reconstruction. When Congress convened, last December, four of the insurrectionary States were still unrestored "to their practical relations to the government." When it adjourned, in July, they were all restored, and every star on our banner symbolized a State.

2. The 15th Amendment. Not only was this irreversible guarantee of equal rights and self-protection enshrined in our National Constitution but Congress enacted legislation, against the bitterest opposition, to enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments against all who would seek to nullify or violate them.

3. The National Revenues. The fidelity of the administration in collecting the revenues is signally illustrated by a comparison whose figures are more impressive and conclusive than the most potential argument. General Grant, in his sixteen months of service (from March 4, 1869, to July 1, 1870,) collected $32,006,735 more internal revenue than was collected in the last sixteen months of Mr. Johnson's service (from November 1, 1867 to March 4, 1869,) no taxes having been increased during General Grant's term, and having the same country to collect from all the same laws to collect under. During the same sixteen months General Grant's officers collected $19,401,193 of duties under the tariff more than Mr. Johnson's officers collected during his closing sixteen months. When the gain of fifty-one millions is cited, the answer is sometimes given that the assessors and collectors had to be confirmed by a Republican Senate under Johnson's administration. The reply to this is obvious. Saying nothing of the officers who changed their politics with him, and who, being already in office, were beyond the power of the Senate, that body cannot nominate any one, and often had to except the best they could get from him and that, besides, the inspectors, weighers, gaugers, etc. were not within their control at all.

4. The Debt. The few millions of the national debt paid during the last sixteen months of Mr. Johnson's term will be remembered, and the contrast between that exhibition and the $140,000,000 paid by President Grant during his first sixteen months rejoices all who hold that the national debt, as the cost of our national existence, must be paid to the uttermost farthing. Not so rapidly, it may be hoped, in the future but that each year shall see its volume and its burdens materially reduced.

5. Retrenchment. In every department there has been retrenchments. The clerical force at Washington has been reduced by the thousand, every year finding it smaller. The large force of civilians in the employ of the quartermaster's bureau has been steadily curtailed, devolving their work, as far as possible, on soldiers. The army has been ordered to be reduced, and the large surplus of officers are to be mustered out. The grades of general and lieutenant-general, created by the war, are to cease when vacancies occur in them. The major-generals are to be reduced to three, and the brigadiers to six, as vacancies occur. And, after this year, four millions per annum will be saved by the various retrenchments of the army bill, without impairing its efficiency Thus, with honest collections, the destruction of the whisky rings, (relieving the honest taxpayer from bearing his own burdens and the burdens of the dishonest besides,) with economy in expenses, with retrenchments in every branch, with the appropriation bills for the future below the estimates, with the national credit maintained, and with the national debt steadily diminishing, Republicans have no cause to fear an appeal against them to the country.

6. Reduction in Tariff and Taxes. With all this healthy financial result, the Republicans in Congress were able to pass a bill, for which the Democracy refused to vote, reducing the burdens of internal and external taxation in the aggregate about eighty millions per year. In changing the duty on Bessemer steel rails from ad valorem to specific (that is from a per cent on value to a fixed amount) a slight apparent increase has caused them to be denounced. Without arguing the point, for I have desired to state facts rather than to argue them, a word of explanation may not be amiss. Ad valorem duties give high duties when not needed. Specific duties enable all, consumers as well as producers, to know precisely how much duties are to be paid, irrespective of fluctuations in cost. When Bessemer steel rails, then a new invention, were taxed 45 per cent. ad valorem, under the tariff, their cost was about $150 per ton. The duties then amounted to over $60 per ton. Increased production and competion on both sides of the ocean brought the price down to $100, $80, $60, and finally about $50 per ton. The last Congress made the duty on them hereafter specific, (as it is on tea, coffee, sugar, etc.) and fixed it at one and a quarter cents per pound, or twenty-eight dollars per ton. This would be less than twenty per cent on their price when first introduced into use, and would, if they rose to over $60 per ton, be a less rate than the fluctuating ad valorem duty which it supersedes. But, without claiming that every feature of this bill is exactly and absolutely correct, (for no tax bill in all its details ever fully satisfied all who voted for it or support it,) its great leading objects commend it to all who feel the burdens of taxation.

7. Funding. Congress also passed, over the opposition of the Democratic members, a bill for funding the national debt, on which six per cent interest is now paid, into bonds to run 30, 25, and 10 years respectively at 4, 4 1/2, and 5 per cent interest; saving if all are funded, twenty six millions of interest per year. The rise in gold occasioned by the war may retard this desired consummation; but if our opponents regard the new rates of interest as too high and too liberal, their capitalists have an excellent opportunity now to avail themselves of them.

8. Increased Banking Circulation. Without inflating the currency, but at the same time saving nearly a million and a half of interest per year to the Treasury on forty-five millions of three per cent, certificates, Congress authorized seventy nine millions of additional circulation to the South and West; which had now less than their share of national circulation.

9. Pensioners. A much-desired change was effected by Congress in providing for the payment to all pensioners quarterly hereafter, instead of semi-annually, and in checks sent to their homes: the Government paying all the expenses of the necessary vouchers, instead of deducting it from their pensions, as has been the practice hitherto in all our history. And, as the artificial supplied to our crippled soldiers wear out, on an average, in five years, or the money value thereof if they are unable to use them.

10. Peace. Despite our strong and undisguised sympathy with all who struggle for liberty and self-government, we have been fortunately preserved from any embroilments abroad, from war or entangling alliances, as well as from the threatened Indian war on the Plains; leaving our work of development to progress unchecked; our national wealth to increase; our national sinew and muscle to handle the plow, rather than the rifle; our debt to diminish; and, till European war disturbed the money markets of the world, gold to steadily settle downward till within nearly ten per cent of par.

I must not trespass further on your space. The pictures thus imperfectly presented is one of which none need be ashamed. The Republican party represents the power, growth, progresss, development, and humane and liberal ideas of the American people. Every lover of liberty and human rights throughout the world sympathizes with it. Millions at home as well as abroad rejoice over its triumphs or are saddened over its reverses. Unity in its ranks guarantees the one; disaffections and divisions hazard the other. Grave will be the responsibility in any whose course should bring to it defeat instead of victory.

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The Franklin Repository, A Campaign Paper for the People
(Column 01)
Summary: The Franklin Repository will be offered at discounted rates to ensure wide circulation during the upcoming election campaigns. "The Democratic or White Man's Party hope to succeed in the campaign by appeals to the prejudice and passions of the people. The Republican Party, with more respect for the intelligence of the masses, address themselves to the understanding and judgement." The editors encourage formation of clubs and subscriptions to the paper at the special rates: 10 copies to one address for $2.50; 20 for $4.00; 30 for $5.25; and 50 for $7.50.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: Several hand-organ grinders with monkeys were performing in town last week. A snake handler was also in town.
A Lying Slander
(Column 02)
Summary: This article attacks and seeks to correct the Bucks County Mirror's report that all criminal defendants before the Franklin County Court were black.
(Names in announcement: Samuel Rohrer, Mordecai M'Mahon, John Swingler, Samuel Stumbaugh, Peter Lenhart, George Brown, Harry Jones, Mary Ellen Swingler, Rebecca Lane, Sarah Ramsey, Ida Carroll, Charles Stevenson, Mary Jane Lotsbaugh, John Kimple, Samuel Stokes, Hugh Larman, Abraham Seidenstricker, Emanuel Hess, Joseph Knepper, Robert Palmer, John Smith, William Davis, Mary Snyder, Michael Miller)
Full Text of Article:

The Bucks County Mirror, one of those waspish little Democratic sheets which amount to nothing if they do not lie and slander; and next to nothing if they do, undertook to inform its readers last week that the Franklin County Court had before it a two week's criminal trial list, "all the parties being colored and living in Wolfstown." There was but one week of Court instead of two, and though there had been two weeks ordered the second was exclusively assigned to civil causes.

We suppose however that the Spirit will be received as good authority on the question of white and black criminals in our court, and from its report of the criminal court last week we take the following:

Samuel Rohrer (white) convicted of assault and battery, with intent to ravish. Sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Eastern Penitentiary.

Mordecai M'Mahon (white) charged with stealing a horse. Acquitted on the ground that he was laboring under an attack of delerium tremcus when he took the horse.

John Swingler (colored). Surety of the peace. Case dismissed.

Samuel Stumbaugh (white). Surety of the peace. Complaint dismissed

Peter Lenhart (white). Assault. Guilty.

George Brown (colored). Surety of the peace. Complaint dismissed.

Harry Jones (colored). Fornication. Guilty.

Mary Ellen Swingler (colored). Adultery. Guilty.

John Swingler (colored). Assault and battery. Defendant plead guilty.

Rebecca Lane, Sarah Ramsey, Ida Carroll and Charles Stevenson (all colored). Sureties of the peace. Cases dismissed at cost of complainant.

Mary Jane Lotsbough (white). Two indictments, procuring goods by false pretense. Defendant plead guilt in both. Sentenced to county jail for three months.

John Kimple (white) charged with forging the orders passed by Mary Jane Lotsbough. Case abandoned by District Attorney and a verdict of not guilty rendered.

Samuel Stokes (white). Larceny. Charged with stealing a $20 U. S. Government bill from a letter. The bill was stolen but proved to be counterfeit and a verdict of not guilty was rendered.

Hugh Larman (white). Assault and battery. Defendant plead guilty. Fined one dollar and costs.

Abraham Seidenstricker (white). Surety of the peace. Sentenced to pay the costs.

Emanuel Hess (white). Assault and battery. Defendant plead guilty and sentenced to pay fine of $10 and costs.

Joseph Knepper (white). Fornication and bastardy. Defendant plead guilt. Sentenced to pay $15, lying in expences and 75 cents per week for seven years.

Robert Palmer (white). Surety of the peace. Defendant held in $100 to keep peace and sentenced to pay costs.

John Smith (white). larceny. Sentenced to three months imprisonment in county jail.

William Davis (white). Rape. Defendant was charged with having violated the person of Mary Snyder, in January, 1866, she being then only nine years of age. She is a sister of the criminal's wife.

The facts were horrible and proved the man a fiend. He was cutting wood in the woods. The little girl going an errand passed through the woods, when she was seized by this beast and outraged. She told her sister, and when taken home shortly afterward told her mother. Shortly after this Davis left the State and participated in the robery of an Express office in Maryland, for which he had to flee. Since then he has been flitting between Virginia, Maryland, and this State. Recently he was arested and tried. the facts were clearly proved and he was sentenced to twelve years in the Eastern Penitentiary.

Michael Miller (white). Selling liquor on Sunday. Guilty. Sentenced to pay $10 fine and costs, and be imprisoned ten days in county jail. These were all the cases that were tried during the term of court.

We have nothing to say against the whites nor in favor of the blacks. Too many of each color find their way into the criminal courts for violating the laws, and it is only a fool or an ass, like the editor of the sheet we have mentioned, that would make such wholesale and ridiculous charges as he did for political effect.

Van Amburgh's Menagerie
(Column 02)
Summary: Van Amburgh and Co.'s "great animal exhibition" will visit Chambersburg. The menagerie is not a circus but an "exhibition of natural history." Van Amburgh has many rare animals, some of which perform tricks. Two hundred horses are needed to pull all the cages and 150 persons are employed by the company.
Military Reunion
(Column 02)
Summary: This article announces a military unit's reunion, noting that the veterans will be welcome in Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Col. F. S. Stumbaugh, Col. Pifer, Capt. G. W. Skinner)
Full Text of Article:

We learn that the survivors of the old 77th Regiment intend holding a reunion in this place, on the 13th day of October next. Col. F. S. Stumbaugh, the first commander of the regiment, is president of the association. There are besides a large number of gentlemen residing in this and adjoining counties who were members of the regiment, either as privates or officers, and a full attendance of them may be looked for on the occasion of the reunion. Col. Pifer, of Lancaster, will deliver the annual oration, and Capt. G. W. Skipper has been chosen to deliver the address of welcome. We have not been informed of the particulars of the occasion, but we have no doubt that the reunion will be full of interest both to the gallant survivors of the old 77th and to the citizens of Chambersburg, who have always had a specially warm feeling for the regiment. The last, and we believe the only reunion of the regiment, was held in Pittsburg, last October, when the people of that hospitable city strove to make the occasion pleasant and interesting to the gallant soldiers. We believe that the citizens of Chambersburg will take great pleasure in doing the same thing when they meet at this place.

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: The Franklin County Horticultural Society met on August 16th. R. P. Hazelet was appointed to collect membership dues. Joseph Deckellmayer exhibited a selection of pears from his garden. The fall exhibition will be held September 23rd and 24th.
(Names in announcement: R. P. Hazelet, Joseph Deckellmayer)
Distressing and Fatal Disaster
(Column 03)
Summary: A man named Duffield residing near Upton was killed after being thrown from his horse.
(Names in announcement: Duffield)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: Tolbert Lodge, I.O.G.T. of Greenvillage, selected officers at a recent meeting.
(Names in announcement: C. M. Ditslear, Emma A. Miller, Dr. B. F. Raifsnyder, Sadie E. Embich, Henry LutzJr., William Lutz, William Rathe, John H. Hoover, Eva Embich, Rachael Reifsnyder, Robert Hockersmith, Sue M. Embich, Ellie Clugston, John C. Walker)
Camp Meeting
(Column 03)
Summary: The United Brethren Church is holding a camp meeting on the land of Samuel Harbison northwest of Greenvillage.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The Ladies' Committee of the Lutheran Church festival of Loudon presented the Repository office with a beautiful cake.
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: The money recently stolen from the U.S. Treasury at Philadelphia has been recovered, much to the relief of Assistant U.S. Treasurer Capt. Eyster and his friends.
(Names in announcement: Capt. Eyster)
[No Title]
(Column 03)
Summary: David Montgomery died at the county almshouse. He had been a long-time inmate of the institution.
(Names in announcement: David Montgomery)
(Column 05)
Summary: Jeremiah Donavan, Jr., and Miss Mary C. Deckellmayer, both of Chambersburg, were married at Christ's Church on August 23rd by the Rev. E. T. Fields.
(Names in announcement: Jeremiah DonavanJr., Mary C. Deckellmayer, Rev. E. T. Fields)
(Column 05)
Summary: John A. Murphy of Metal and Miss Jemima Potts from near Shade Gap were married on August 4th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: John A. Murphy, Jemima Potts, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 05)
Summary: William V. Shaffer of Fannettsburg and Miss Margaret Jane Wilson of Spring Garden Mills were married on August 11th by the Rev. William A. West.
(Names in announcement: William V. Shaffer, Margaret Jane Wilson, Rev. William A. West)
(Column 05)
Summary: Miss Isabell P. Mackey, daughter of William A. Mackey, died at Spring Run on August 8th. She was 25 years old.
(Names in announcement: Isabell P. Mackey, William A. Mackey)
(Column 05)
Summary: Mrs. Susannah Murphy, widow of the late Maj. Greenbury H. Murphy of Chambersburg, died in Carlisle on August 2nd. She was 90 years old.
(Names in announcement: Susannah Murphy, Maj. Greenbury H. Murphy)
(Column 05)
Summary: John Edmund Gruber, infant son of Adam and Sarah E. Gruber, died on July 22nd. She was 3 months old.
(Names in announcement: John Edmund Gruber, Adam Gruber, Sarah E. Gruber)
(Column 05)
Summary: John Findley died near Burnt Cabins on August 20th of typhoid fever. He was 66 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Findley)

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