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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: December 14, 1859

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Description of Page: Literature and Book Notices

The Truth About Helper
(Column 6)
Summary: Report on the character of Hinton R. Helper, from a North Carolina Senator. Illegible at the bottom.

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Description of Page: No Page Information Available

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Description of Page: Congressional report.

Helper and His Friends--Their Revolutionary Platform
(Column 2)
Summary: Quotes from Impending Crisis on the evils of slavery. The Spirit claims that Helper recommends treason and insurrection. List of Republicans in Congress who support Helper's views.
Full Text of Article:

Mr. Helper alias Heifer, a native of North Carolina, who some years ago, left his State for his State's good, published a book in which he expressed the following sentiments:

"No man can be a true patriot without first becoming an Abolitionist."

"Henceforth, sirs, we are demandants, not suppliants. We demand our rights-- nothing more, nothing less. It is for you to decide whether we are to have justice peaceably or by violence; for, whatever consequences may follow, we are determined to have it one way or the other.",

"The diabolical institution (slavery) subsists on its own flesh. At one time children are sold to procure food for the parents; at another, parents are sold to procure food for the children. Within its pestilential atmosphere nothing succeeds; progress and prosperity are unknown; initiation and slothfulness ensue; everything becomes dull and unprofitable; wretchedness and desolation stand or lie in bold relief throughout the land; an aspect of most melancholy inactivity and dilapidation broods over every city and town; ignorance and prejudice sit enthroned over the minds of the people; usurping despots wield the sceptre of power; everywhere, and in everything, between Delaware Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, are the multitudinous evils of slavery apparent.

"Inscribed on the banner which we herewith unfurl to the world, with the full and fixed determination to stand by it or die by it, unless one of more virtuous efficacy shall be presented, are the mottoes which, in substance, embody the principles, as we conceive, that should govern us in our patriotic warfare against the most subtle and insidious foe that ever menaced the inalienable rights and liberties and dearest interests of America."

"1. Thorough organization and independent political action on the part of the non-slaveholding whites of the South.

2. Ineligibility of pro-slavery slaveholders; never another vote to any one who advocates retention and perpetuation of human slavery.

3. No co-operation with pro-slavery politicians; no fellowship with them in religion; no affiliation with them in society.

4. No patronage to pro-slavery merchants; no guest-ship in slave-waiting hotels; no fees to pro-slavery lawyers; no employment to pro-slavery physicians; no audience to pro-slavery parsons.

5. No more hiring of slaves by non-slaveholders.

6. Abrupt discontinuance of subscription to pro-slavery newspapers."

This book, containing the above extracts, recommending treason and insurrection, the abolition by violence of an institution which fifteen sovereign States of the Union approve and maintain, under the express sanction and guarantees of the Constitution; and the excommunication of all who uphold that institution, and their exclusion from social, religious, and business fellowship,--has been openly and emphatically endorsed, and a hundred thousand copies of it circulated by the leaders of the Black Republican party, including sixty-eight members of Congress, whose names we append:

Schuyler Colfax J. E. Farnsworth Anson Burlingame C. C. Knapp Owen Lovejoy R. E. Fenton Amos P. Granger Philemon Bliss Edwin B. Morgan Mason W. Tappan Galusha A. Grow Charles Case Joshua R. Giddings T. Davis, (Iowa) Edward Wade James Pike Calvin C. Chaffee Homer E. Boyce William H. Kelsey Isaac D. Clawson William A. Howard A. S. Murray Henry Waldon Robert B. Hall JOHN SHERMAN Val. B. Horton George W. Palmer Freemen H. Morse Daniel W. Gooch David Kilgore Henry L. Dawes William Stewart Justin S. Morrill Samuel R. Curtis I. Washburne, Jr. John M. Wood J. A. Bingham John M. Parker William Kellogg Stephen C. Foster E. B. Washburne Charles J. Gilman Benjamin Stanton Charles B. Hoard Edward Dodd John Thompson C. B. Thompkins J. W. Sherman John Covode William D. Brayton Cad. C. Washburn James Buffinton Samuel G. Andrews O. B. Matteson Abraham B. Olin Richard Mott Sidnew Dean George R. Robbins Nathaniel B. Durfee E. P. Walton Emory B. Pottle James Wilson DeWitt C. Leach S. A. Purviance John F. Potter F. E. Spinner T. Davis, (Mass.) S. M. Borroughs.
For the Valley Spirit
(Column )
Summary: Letter that describes abolitionism as profoundly dangerous to the Union. The Democracy is on the side of the Union, unlike the Republicans.
Trailer: [illegible]
The Pottawatomi Creek Massacre
(Column 5)
Summary: Report about John Brown's crimes in Kansas.
Origin of Article: Westport (Mo.) Border Star
Execution of the Insurgents
(Column 5)
Summary: Further details of the execution of John Brown and his men.
The Virginia Legislature: Message of Gov. Wise--The Harper's Ferry Outrage Fully and Freely Discussed
(Column 6)
Summary: Report from the Virginia legislature on Gov. Wise's annual message and on Harper's Ferry. Virginia feels that it is somewhat under siege from Northern states.
Full Text of Article:

Both Houses of the Legislature of Virginia were organized at Richmond on Monday.

The Governor's Message reviews the Harper's Ferry affair at great length. It speaks of the spirit of fanaticism and one idea of Abolitionists, which has seemed to madden whole masses of one entire section of the country; which enters into religion, education, politics, and prayers, courts of justice, and legislatures; which has trained up three generations in moral and social habits of hatred to the masters of African slaves in the United States, but turns not upon slavery elsewhere; which has sent comfort and counsellors, and would have sent rescue, to assassins, robbers, murderers and traitors, whom it has sent to felon's graves. Unless the numerical majority will cease to violate the confederate faith, and cease to disturb our peace, to destroy our lives and property, and to deprive us of all protection and redress, under the perverted forms and distorted workings of the Union, we must take up arms. The issue is too essential to be compromised any more.--We cannot stand such insults and outrages as those committed at Harper's Ferry, without suffering what is even worse than the death of our citizens--without suffering dishonor--the death of a State!

'Tis not to be denied that we have many sound and sincere friends in the non-slaveholding States; but the conservative elements are passive, whilst the fanatical are active. The former are fast diminishing, whilst the latter are increasing in number and force.

With regard to the insurgents, the message says: 'Tis mockery to call them monomaniacs. The leader himself spurned the plea, and it was not put in upon the trials. They were prompted by the evil spirits of incendiarism, which demoralized numerous hosts behind them who now sympathise with their deeds before the world. These men hired them--even to madness--and that John Brown despised the hypocritical cant of their pretenses that he was insane. The execution of our laws was necessary to warn future victims not again to be tools of this sympathy. We have friends or we have not, in the States whence these invaders came. They must now be not only conservative, but active, to prevent invaders coming. It was impossible for so much sympathy to exist without exciting bad men to action of rescue or revenge. On this reasoning he acted.

He had been compelled by the apprehension of a most unparalleled border war to place the State in as full a panoply of military defense as if a foreign enemy had invaded the United States. Indeed, one of the most irritating features of this predatory war is, that it has its seat in the British provinces, which furnish asylums to our fugitives and send them and their hired outlaws upon us, from depots and rendiavous [sic] in bordering States. There is no danger from our State of colored people. The slaves taken refused to take arms, and the first killed was a respectable free negro while running from the "philanthropists" who came to liberate the black race.

In closing the message the Governor says: We must rely upon ourselves and fight for peace-- we must organize and arm--we must demand of each State what position she means to maintain in the future with respect to slavery, and provisional constitutions, the laws of the United States, and the provisions of our State laws for its protection in our federal relations, and to be governed according to the manner in which the demand is answered. We are in arms!

With regard to the reports and rumors of organized conspiracies, the Governor says they were from so many sources, so simultaneous, or far apart, from persons so unlike in evidences of education, they could be from no conspiracy to hoax. But he relied not so much upon them as upon the earnest, continued and general appeal of the sympathisers with the crimes of the insurgents.

Let us defend our own positions or yield it at once, or let us have action and resolve on a definite settlement. No more temporizing the Constitution--no more compromise.

The other convicts await execution. They will be executed, unless the General Assembly orders otherwise. This will meet the open invasion, but acts only on the individual convicts and does not settle the question of our peace and protection in the future.

It remains only for me to offer myself--all that I am and all that I have, to the Commonwealth, whenever she may order me or mine in her service, when the term of my present office closes.

The second message makes detailed recommendations and alludes to State matters generally.

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Description of Page: Markets in column 5.

Editorial Deserts
(Column 1)
Summary: Praise for editors and the good work that they do for their parties.
Sudden Death
(Column 2)At Work in Earnest
(Column 1)
Summary: Gitt has been engaged as a surveyor for the new railroad to run from Gettysburg to Waynesboro.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Gitt)
A Change
(Column 1)
Summary: Bonner has retired from the Franklin Ledger.
(Names in announcement: B.E. Bonner, I.W. McCreary)
Perpetuity of the Union
(Column 2)
Summary: Original title = The Citizens of Richmond. Anger about the Tribune's favorable coverage of Brown. Also complains about Emerson and Beecher. Stresses dangers to the Union.
Origin of Article: Baltimore Daily Exchange
Editorial Comment: "We commend to conservative sentiments catalogued in your following article, which a current thinking friend furnished us, copied from the Baltimore Daily Exchange and desires its republication to shame the schemers and fanatics who preach up dissolution of the Union."
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on December 9.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Kealon Hill, Joseph Clugston, Mary Wolfinger)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on December 1.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. E.S. Schneck, Abraham Hunsaker, Miss Amanda Kaufman)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married on December 8.
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. E.S. Schneck, Samuel Lesher, Barbara Lehman)
(Column 5)
Summary: Married "some time ago."
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. E.S. Schneck, Henry Canaday, Mariah Goshert)

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A Woman's Appeal on Behalf of the Union and the Constitution
(Column 1)
Summary: Woman appealing on behalf of Union. Begins with caveat that she is not an advocate of women's rights. She argues that the South has not been the aggressor in present conflict. Patience may soon cease to be a virtue. Some pro-slavery argument stuff.
Origin of Article: Morning Pennsylvanian
Full Text of Article:

Though I am no advocate of "Women's Rights," save in their appropriate sphere, by the domestic hearth, and in the home department yet I would ask from you a brief space in your paper, that as a wife and mother, and, therefore, holding a large stake in the welfare of our country, I may make an appeal to the hearts of those who for political purposes are striving to exasperate the sectional prejudices of the people; and who, for the gratification of a paltry ambition, and in the much abused name of liberty and religion, are willing to sever the fraternal bonds of our confederacy, and plunge our peaceful and happy country into the horrors of civil war. I am no politician--no missionary with strength and courage to attempt the Quixotic enterprise of reforming society and redressing wrongs, but I have never turned away where woman's true ministry was needed, nor hardened my heart against the cry of the poor and oppressed; if I believed that freedom would be a blessing to the race of slaves at the South, I should be a most strenuous advocate for general emancipation; but believing, as I do from my inmost soul, that it would be a curse, whose blighting influence would be felt alike by masters and slaves, I feel irresistibly impelled to protest against it, though the "still small voice" of my appeal may be lost and unheeded amid the wild warfare of political passion. The fanatics of the North have now entirely thrown off the thin mask they have hitherto worn, and openly proclaim their determination to free the slaves by any means and any sacrifice to the South. They would turn loose on their white brethren a horde of ignorant and ferocious savages, who, freed from all restraints, and owning no law save that of their own unbridled passions, would soon convert the smiling and prosperous homes of the South into waste and barren deserts. A war of races, when once commenced, must be one of extermination, nor would the conflict cease until one or the other was utterly destroyed. But granting that this is an extreme view to take of the case, still the result of emancipation could not be otherwise than ruinous to the South, because only by slave labor can the culture of the great staples of the Southern States be carried on to advantage. The experiment has been tried in the British West Indies, and the result has been alike disastrous to slave and master; the negro is inherently idle and improvident, he will not work to-day that he may have food for to-morrow, he would far rather bask in the sunshine and let the future provide for itself. Were the North therefore sufficiently strong to use coercion, and bestow immediate freedom on the slaves, it needs no prophetic fire to predict the result. Perfectly intoxicated with their liberty, they would construe it into a right to pass their time either in sleep or lawless revelry, the majority of them would refuse to work for any wages, the rich soil of the South would be an uncultivated waste, and where peace and smiling plenty formerly reigned, would be seen nought but desolation and despair. The lure held out to the laboring classes in the North, to secure the election of the Republican party is, that slave labor once disposed with will render wages higher and work more scarce, an invention truly worthy of the "Father of Lies." No white man could stand the burning sun which is to the swarthy sons of Africa but a genial heat; and to persons not thoroughly acclimated it is almost certain death to breathe the pestilential atmosphere of the rice fields.--But even if white labor could be made equally available, and the planters not be entirely ruined by the freedom of their slaves, how is it intended to dispose of these millions of our sable brethren, so suddenly made their own masters? Do the Christian philanthropists at the North advocate their being sent back to Africa, there to relapse into heathenism--or was it Captain Brown's intention to take them off in a body to the far West, and form a new settlement on utopian principles, where freedom would be allowed a thorough and practical development? No political economist has yet advanced an idea on the subject of the disposition of the slaves when once liberated, and it is one which might indeed afford matter for grave and anxious debate.--But this question it is not my present purpose to discuss. I merely state the difficulty which I would be glad to have satisfactorily answered. My wish now is to prove, if possible, that the majority of the slaves are happier and more contented in their present position than they would be if the ill-advised plans for their benefit could be carried into effect by their self-called friends. The North does not understand the slave system, which, as it exists at the South is a Patriarchal form of government, and love, not fear, is generally the ruling principle. The would-be philanthropists, who expend so much sentiment on the sufferings of the slaves, we find no language strong enough to execrate the cruelly of their masters, should look on both sides of the question and qualify themselves to form a just opinion before they attempt to influence others. Let them take a calm dispassionate view of the subject, and they will find, perhaps, that the sympathy expended on their sable brethren would find a more legitimate field among the laboring classes at the North. The slaves are well fed and clothed. The interest of their owners requires that they should be so. Should sickness occur they have good medical attendance, and are carefully nursed, and when old age incapacitates them from labor, they are taken care of for the sake of former services, until death closes the scenes. How is it with the white slaves at the North? Go to one of the large factories where the staple of the South is wrought into cloth; do you consider the operatives who toil from morn till night, in an unwholesome atmosphere, and amid the noisy din of machinery, more free and happy than the Southern slaves? So long as the white laborer has health and strength to work, he can obtain needful food and clothing, but when disabled by sickness or accident, are his wages continued by his benevolent master? By no means; with his usefulness ends all claim upon his employer. When helpless with old age or disease, he is thrown upon [his] own resources, and humanity shudders to think of the sufferings which are only known to the All-seeing eye of God! We employ our domestics at the North so long only as they are useful to us; when they become sick or infirm we do not consider ourselves pledged to support them; on the contrary, we believe that we are fully justified in replacing them with more efficient help; with their after fate we have no concern. While they were with us we paid for their services and there our responsibility ended. How different it is in Southern families. The domestics about the house are considered in the light of humble friends, rather than slaves, and in sickness and old age are sure of kindness and a comfortable support. I spent last winter on a sugar plantation in Louisiana where I had every opportunity of forming an opinion of the institution of slavery as it exists at the South, and but for the want of freedom, which in their case is but an empty name, I consider their situation infinitely preferable to that of the laboring classes at the North.--There was no attempt to bias my judgement in the matter, nor were the family whose guest I was, placed under any constraint by the idea that there was "a chiel among them takin' notes." We rarely conversed on sectional topics, and it seemed to be forgotten that I was not really one of themselves. The slaves appeared to me happy and contented, and there was certainly every provision made for their comfort which a kind and considerate master could suggest. I walked around the fields where they were at work, and not a single instance of cruelty or oppression ever came to my knowledge [text missing] of all extra work performed by the slaves, writing down on paper the amounts due, which they presented on Christmas Eve to the master, who, seated at a table with a pile of silver and gold before him liquidated the claims as they were handed in. Old and young were assembled in a body, and none seemed to go away empty or dissatisfied. During the holiday week the annual ball and supper, given to the slaves at the master's expense, took place,--music, dancing and feasting continued until a late hour next morning, and a scene of more perfect enjoyment it would be difficult to find anywhere on earth than existed among these artless children of nature. Nor are they debarred from religious instruction, as many seem to think. On Sunday afternoon, the lady of the mansion assembled all who chose to come-- for there was no compulsion,--read to them in the Scriptures, taught them the "Belief" and the Lord's Prayer, and closed the exercises by repeating a hymn which they delighted to sing. Such is slavery at the South--the institution which fanaticism is moving must share a common ruin should fanatics [text appears to be missing] and is involved in that of the South, and that both not to perceive how much of her own prosperity [text appears to be missing] short-sighted, so blind to her own interest as heaven and earth to destroy. Is the North so unscrupulous politicians prevail against justice and right. The South has never been the aggressor in this sectional warfare, nor seemed disposed to retaliate on the North, the injuries and insults which have been heaped upon her; on the contrary the magnanimous forbearance of her sons has truly proved that

"Forgivness [sic] to the injured doth belong,
They never pardon who commit the wrong."

But there is a limit beyond which patience ceases to be a virtue. When that is reached, and it cannot now be far distant, farewell to the peace and prosperity of our country! But is there no conservative party--no "forlorn hope"--to step into the breach and save the Union in this hour of desperate peril? Is there no one to fill the place of Henry Clay in the sublime and blessed office of Peace-maker--to say to the North and to the South, "Ye are brethren, do not wrong and defame each other; your ancestors fought side by side in defense of one common country--do not raise your fratricidal hands against kindred breasts, nor seek to destroy the noble edifice cemented by the blood of your sires?" To such an appeal let all true patriots respond with heart and hand, and rallying around the standard of the Constitution never cease their efforts until our noble confederacy stands on a firm basis, and "peace and good will" once more unite North and South in the bonds of fraternal fellowship.