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Valley of the Shadow

Semi-Weekly Dispatch: May 17, 1861

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-Page 01-

Description of Page: Advertisements, column 1; poem, column 2; Southern items, column 3

The American Race
(Column 3)
Summary: Reasons that America's population has increased by one-third in the past ten years because of the intermarriage in the United States of the races of Celts, Teutons, Anglo-Saxons, and North American Indians. This mixing of the races has made the "stock" more "vigorous" and will ultimately produce a peculiar "American race," which will exhibit the different positive characteristics of all these distinct peoples.
Full Text of Article:

The present census reveals the astonishing fact that the population of the United States has increased thirty-three per cent, within the last ten years. The Roman Empire, approaching the culmination of its power, increased about thirty per cent each hundred years, but no nation in recorded times has afforded any parallel to the advancement of our own. Spain has been depopulating for a thousand years; England is not three times more populous than three centuries ago, and Italy is no more important numerically than she was in the days of Pliny; but within three quarters of a country the population of the United States has risen from three to thirty millions. It is a common error to attribute this vast increase to immigration from foreign countries; but of the twenty-three millions enumerated in '50, not three millions were of foreign birth. Vast as the annual immigration is, it bears no proportion to the yearly increase by birth, which in itself, independent of immigration, averages thirty per cent, every ten years of the present century. This wonderful fecundity is not unexplained by physical law; it is observed that in populous countries of Europe where the same people continually intermarry, the increase is comparatively insignificant; on the same principle the aristocracy of England is observed to diminish rather than multiply, because interest and pride confine people to intermarriage to people of the same race, and often within the circle of consanguinity. But in the United States various races amalgamate; the stock becomes more vigorous, there is less of disease and early death, and the population consequently increases with a prodigious ratio. Whatever hatred the Celtic Teutonic people may bear towards the Anglo-Saxon race, because of ancient oppression and spoliation, it is not to be denied that the hated Anglo-Saxons are the masters of the world, giving new language to strange people, and destroying every impediment in their progress. It is computed that at least one-third of the population of the U. States are descendants of the Puritans, who were Anglo-Saxons; this strong-willed, enterprising and indomitable race, intermingling with others, has preserved ascendancy and produced a people superior in physical strength and in those attributes of mind most required in the rapid development of the great Empire of the West. Humiliating as the institution of any analogy may appear to man of the immortal mind, he must submit to the laws governing the rest of animal creation in which the union of distinct stocks produces improvement. Some of the finest examples of physical beauty have resulted from the intermarriage of Europeans and North American Indians; and, indeed, instances are not wanting where the offspring has been endowed with wonderful intellectual strength. If the laws of nature require the marriage of separate kindreds, why may not corresponding improvement result from the intermingling of distinct nations? It does so happen, and the American nation, surpassing all others in indomitable enterprise and in ratio of increase, is a clear demonstration of the fact.

From this representative union of nations another greater, more powerful, and partaking of the physical and mental qualities of all, will demand recognition in the family of races--the "American race," combining the courage of the Saxon, the patient industry of the Teuton, the reflection of the Celt, and the impetuous unrest of the Frank. That race exists now in the increased millions revealed by the census of the complete decade. The ten thousands of intelligent, strong-limbed children who beseige [sic] our schools may proudly claim to belong to that separate people of the West who, a century hence, will outnumber the population of ten European kingdoms and empires, and will be in strong conflict with the conquering Saxon. Celt and Saxon and Teuton have become confused at the altar and the font, and, borrowing a language from the strongest, are correctly pronounced a new race, eclectic, composite, but none the less distinct. Nationality, customs, language, race, must all be lost in the Union of multitudinous descendants of distinct peoples, as rivers running into the great ocean become deep. Whatever may have been their pride and power when dashing through the mountain gorge or overflooding the plain, their strength becomes mightier, their anger more terrible, their roaring more sublime, when, with united power, they smite the unyielding rock and lift their hoary crests to heaven.

More Volunteers
(Column 4)
Summary: Lists new volunteers from Newville who enlisted at Chambersburg.
(Names in announcement: Wm. Bentzel, Thos. Shillen, Jos. Duffield, Geo. Walker, John Welsh, Levi Rousch, John F. Butts, Wm. Givler, Jas. Nicholson, John Lewis, Henry Minor)
Origin of Article: Newville Star
(Column 4)
Summary: W. E. Jones of Lower Path Valley, Franklin County, was killed when struck in the head by a stake which had caught in the wheel of a sulkey in which he was riding.
(Names in announcement: Mr. W. E. Jones)
Origin of Article: Newville Star

-Page 02-

Description of Page: Reports minor actions of the army--movement of troops, etc.--column 4. Advertisements, column 5

Slavery Question
(Column 1)
Summary: Editor comments that the North should simply concentrate at this point on preserving their own liberties by fighting to sustain the Union. The slavery question should be secondary.
Full Text of Article:

The question of Slavery, at present, is not a question for the North but for the South. Let it be our business to preserve our own liberties, by sustaining our Constitutional Government, and let the adjustment of the Slavery Question be an after consideration, or find its own adjustment.

Occupancy of Baltimore
(Column 1)
Summary: The government now occupies Baltimore. The editor points out that General Butler has vowed not to interfere with the "occupation of any citizen" except with those citizens of Baltimore who are aiding the rebellion. In those cases, munitions of war and other property will be seized.
Out of Place
(Column 1)
Summary: Editorial responds to papers that have attempted to blame the Republicans for the war. The editor argues that in most cases, both Democrats and Republicans have put aside the question of who or what has forced the country into war. Expresses satisfaction that few Northern papers have attempted to "stir up such a spirit of vile partisanship."
Full Text of Article:

The man who would sow discord in the ranks of our army, is quite as much guilty of treason as he who gives aid and comfort to the enemy; and a pretended friend, in time of war, is worse than a hundred open enemies. Treason is the more dangerous when disguised; and he who, under pretence of loyalty, takes occasion to upbraid the defenders of the cause, and bring them and their cause into disrepute, must be regarded as a traitor. We have been called upon to make these remarks by noticing in several of our exchange papers, articles calculated to stir up strife and discord among the loyal people of the country, by invidious slurs upon the Republican party, and holding us responsible for the war now forced upon us. The Republican party, as a party, has, for the time at least, dropped the discussion of the question, as to who or what has endangered our liberties and forced us into a civil war. The respectable, responsible and influential portion of the great Democratic party has done the same, and we notice, and rejoice at it, that but few northern papers are found so low as to attempt to stir up such a spirit of vile partizanship, and as truly glad to find the few attempts of the kind which have been made, sternly frowned a display of the Stars and Stripes, or in hypocritical speech profess a love of country which they cannot feel.

The North is united, and although an occasional Arnold may be found, we firmly believe in the integrity, intelligence, and patriotism of the great mass of our fellow citizens, and as confidently expect them to resist all attempts at introducing the firebrands of party crimination into the ranks of our people, and force the public press into an attitude at least of decency.

One Thing at a Time
(Column 2)
Summary: Reprints an editorial from the New York Tribune stating that there is disagreement over whether the war is to be a war to end slavery. The editor believes that declaring the war for Union a war to end slavery would alienate many Union supporters at the North. On the other hand, it is impossible to guarantee that the war will not affect slavery, since no one can foresee how the slaveholders themselves will act.
Full Text of Article:

There are many persons in the world who, with good abilities and intentions, fail to accomplish anything by attempting too much. They have no faith in the doctrine of "a half loaf being better than no bread," and with them it is all or none; if they cannot save the ship, the cargo must be suffered to sink also. Such persons always are on a hobby, and no matter what the occasion, hobby must always go along. In the present crisis of our country we see cases of this kind, not only of private individuals but of public, and even of the press itself. The hobby to which we now particularly refer is the question of Slavery. To all interested, we commend a careful and thoughtful perusal of the following, taken from the editorial columns of the N. Y. Tribune.

"Many persons seem anxious to complicate the struggle now making for and against the integrity of the Union with questions concerning the perpetuation of Slavery.--Some require the war for the Union to be a War for the extinction of Slavery; while others would have pledges given by the Unionists that Slavery shall in no case suffer from our triumphs. Each of these demands is in our eyes ultimately and unreasonable. This War is in truth a War for the preservation of the Union, not for the destruction of Slavery; and it would alienate many ardent Unionists to pervert it into a War against Slavery. And on the other hand, no pledges can be given that Slavery shall receive no damage from a Union triumph, because (among other reasons) no one can foresee how the Slaveholding interest will behave itself. Our own judgment confirms the testimony of cool observers that the conspiracy against the life of the Nation is rather that of the political aspirants than the slaveholders of the South--that, as a general rule, the slaveholders have been but reluctant backers of Secession, ninetenths [sic] of whose noisiest champions are as destitute of slaves as of loyalty or patriotism. If the slaveholders as a class would only speak and act as they think and feel, we should have the head conspirators before Grand Juries within three months. That the South, and especially the slaveholders, whose property is visible an tangible, are destined to be ruined by Secession, is plain. This rebellion found good field-hands worth $1,000 to $1,200 each; they can now be bought for half the money: and will be sold for a fourth of it before the war is ended. If the slaveholders do not interpose to stop the strife, the day predicted by John Randolph, when the masters would run away from the slaves to escape ruin, may be much nearer than is imagined.

Hitherto the armies of the Union have observed, and are disposed to observe, a scrupulous respect for all rights of property as defined by law. As yet, every solicitation that negroes should be allowed to engage in the War of the Union, has been unhesitatingly rejected. As yet, every fugitive slave who has run for protection to the Federal troops whether in Florida or Maryland, has been returned to his legal master. On the other side, money has been squeezed out of negroes to fill the ever-yawning treasury of Secession, and we are threatened in various quarters with the arming of negroes to fight against the Union.

We believe the general inclination of the Unionists is to let Slavery alone provided it lets them alone. We believe that Slavery has nothing to fear from a Union triumph unless it should throw itself across the way of that triumph. But if Slavery should insist on making up an issue between itself and the Union, then we are sure it would do so to its own peril. Whenever the issue shall be--"Shall the American Republic," "be destroyed or shall Slavery perish?"--we believe the overwhelming response of the patriots--Democrats quite as generally and heartily as Republicans--will be, "The Republic must live, "even though Slavery should have to die!" It rests with the Slaveholders--especially those of them who are rich and powerful--to say whether that question shall be so raised and so pressed to a decision.

-Page 03-

Description of Page: Advertisements, columns 3-5

(Column 1)
Summary: Reports that two drunken African Americans went into the confectionery store of Mrs. Booth, purchased some "nick-nacks," and then made some "quite familiar" remarks to the storekeeper. They then proceeded to threaten Mrs. Booth with a pistol before being driven off by a neighbor.
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Jane Booth)
Full Text of Article:

On Wednesday afternoon, a pair of drunken negroes entered the confectionary store of Mrs. Jane Booth on South Main street, and after purchasing a few nick-nacks, proceeded to make themselves quite familiar in their remarks, when the woman requested them to leave the store. They refused to go, stating that in these times every one expressed their opinions, and they would express theirs. They became so outrageous as to draw a pistol and threaten her life. Calling in one of the neighbors, the rascals were driven off, making threats against her, and swearing that they had a right to cut whosoever throat they pleased. A warrant has been issued for their arrest.

[No Title]
(Column 1)
Summary: Lists officers elected for the coming year at a meeting on May 14 of the Farmers and Mechanics Industrial association. James Orr was elected president; Jacob Nixon, James Davidson, Henry Keefer, and William Bossart, vice-presidents; W. S. Everett, recording secretary; Snively Strickler, corresponding secretary; Emmanuel Kuhn, treasurer; and John Ruthrauff, H. B. Davison, J. W. Craig, P. C. Duffield, James G. Elder, John Gillan, Samuel Myers, D. K. Wunderlich, Josiah Besore, A. B. Wingert, H. C. Greenawait, and D. O. Gehr, managers.
(Names in announcement: James B. Orr, Jacob S. Nixon, James Davidson, Henry Keefer, Wm. Bossart, W. S. Everett, Snively Strickler, Emmanuel Kuhn, John Ruthrauff, H. B. Davison, J. W. Craig, P. C. Duffield, James G. Elder, John Gillan, Samuel Myers, D. K. Wunderlich, Josiah Besore, A. B. Wingert, H. C. Greenawalt, D. O. Gehr)
Regimental Parade and Flag Presentation
(Column 1)
Summary: Describes a parade through Chambersburg on the previous Wednesday by the 7th and 8th regiments station at Camp Sliver. William S. Stinger, on behalf of the ladies of Chambersburg, presented a national flag to the 7th regiment, Col. Rippey also gave a speech, and the band played.
(Names in announcement: William S. StingerEsq., Col. Rippey)
I. O. of O. F.
(Column 2)
Summary: The Chambersburg and Columbus Lodges were visited last Tuesday by the secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and other high-ranking Lodge officers. The article reports that the Order of Odd Fellows is growing daily more popular, has removed many of its "objectionable features," and is doing good work everywhere.
Brave Soldiers
(Column 2)
Summary: Reports that an older man of Chambersburg was accosted on a bridge in Wolffstown by four soldiers, one of whom insulted him while another struck him "a blow upon the jaw." After a short fight, the soldiers left.
Full Text of Article:

We have just been informed of a circumstance which, if true, and our informant is a man of veracity, is not calculated to throw great credit upon either the morals or bravery of some of the troops stationed here.

It appears that a few evenings since an old gentleman of our place, having some tenants in the portion of the town known as Wolffstown, went over, accompanied by his son. In one of the houses he found four soldiers to whom he gave some good advice, for which they thanked him. On his return home, the four were standing on the bridge, and as he passed by, one of them made some insulting remark; upon which he turned about and told them they would be much better in camp than there at that time of night. Turning away he received from one of them a blow upon the jaw, which the old gentleman returned under the fellow's chin. After two or three passed of the kind, the brave fellows concluded it best to leave, which they did at a quick march.

Soldiers, whose bravery allows them to strike a man old enough, for their grandfather ought to be scarce. What few are here ought to be taught better.

(Column 3)
Summary: W. S. Everett and Jennie E. Cree, both of Chambersburg, were married on the 16th of May.
(Names in announcement: W. S. EverettEsq., Miss Jennie E. Cree)
(Column 3)
Summary: Mr. James King of Chambersburg and Mrs. Rebecca Cobaugh of Shippensburg were married on the 28th of April.
(Names in announcement: Mr. James King, Mrs. Rebecca R. Cobaugh)
(Column 3)
Summary: Dr. Wm. D. Senseny, son of Dr. A. H. Senseny, died this morning in Chambersburg at the age of 23, following a lingering illness.
(Names in announcement: Dr. Wm. D. Senseny, Dr. A. H. Senseny)

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Description of Page: Poem, column 1; advertisements, column 2, 3, 4, and 5