Valley Spirit: January 03, 1866Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The Radical Programme
(Column 5)Summary: Contains a transcript of a speech given by Thaddeus Stevens before Congress, in which he denounced President Johnson's Reconstruction policies and vowed to block all efforts to re-admit the former Confederate states until their constitutions mandate black equality.
Editorial Comment: "Thaddeus Stevens Makes a Violent Assault upon the Policy of the President. He Adheres to His Desiring of [unclear] Suicide. The Southerners not to be Admitted until They Comply With His Requirements. Slavery not Dead Yet. The Constitutional Amendment not Ratified. Congress govern the southern states as territories for Years to Come. No Admission for Them until the Negro is Made the Equal of the White Man. This not a White Man's Government. The House sitting in Committee of the Whole on the State of the Country, and the President's Message being under consideration, Mr. Stevens spoke as follows:"
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
SPEECH OF MR. STEVENS.
Mr. Stevens said: A candid examination of the power and proper principles of reconstruction can be offensive to no one, and may possibly be profitable by exciting inquiry. One of the suggestions of the message which we are now considering has special reference to this. Perhaps it is the principle most interesting to the people at this time. The President assume what no one doubts, that the late Rebel States have lost their constitutional relations to the Union, and are incapable of representation in Congress, except by permission of the Government. It matters but little, with this admission whether, you call them States of the Union and now conquered Territories, or assert that because the Constitution forbid them to do what they did do that they are therefore only dead as to all national and political action, and will remain so until the Government shall breathe into them the breath of life anew and permit them to occupy their former position--in other words that they are not of the Union, but only dead carcasses lying within the Union. In either case it is very plain that it requires the action of Congress to enable them to form a State Government, and send representatives to Congress. Nobody, I believe, pretends that, with their old Constitutions and forms of government, they can be permitted to claim their old rights under the Constitution. They have torn their Constitution into atoms, and built their foundation fabrics of a totally different character. Dead men cannot raise them selves; dead States cannot restore their own existence as it was. Whose especial duty can do it? In whom does the Constitution place the power? Not in the judicial branch of the Government, for it only adjudicates and does not prescribe laws. Not in the executive for he only executes and cannot make laws. Not in the Commander in Chief of the armies, for he can only hold them under military rule until the sovereign legislative power of the conqueror shall give them law. There is fortunately no difficulty in solving the question. There are two provisions in the constitution under one of which the case must fall. The fourth articles says "new States may be admitted by the Congress into this union." In my judgment this is the controlling provision in this case. Unless the law of nations is a dead letter, the late war between two acknowledged belligerents severed their original compacts, and broke all ties that bound them together. The future condition of the conquered power depends on the will of the conqueror. They must come in as new States, or remain as conquered provinces. Congress--the Senate and House of Representatives--with the concurrence of the President, is the only power on earth that can act on the matter. But suppose as some dreaming theorists imagine that these States have never been out of the Union, but have only destroyed their State Governments so as to be incapable of political action, then the fourth section of the fourth article applies, which says "the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of Government." Who is the United States? Not the Judiciary, not the president; but the sovereign power of the people exercised through their representatives in Congress, with the concurrence of the Executive. It means the political Government, the concurrent action of both branches of Congress and the Executive. The separate action of each amounts to nothing, either in admitting new States or guaranteeing Republican Government to lapsed or outlawed States. Whence springs the preposterous idea that either the President, or the Senate, or the House of Representatives, acting separately, can determine the right of States to send members or Senators to the Congress of the Union? To prove that they are and have been out of the Union for all legal purposes, and are now conquered subjects in the absolute disposal of Congress, I will suggest a few ideas and adduce a few authorities. If the so-called Confederate States of America were an independent belligerent, and were so acknowledged by the United States and Europe, or had assumed and maintained an attitude which entitled them to be considered and treated as a belligerent, that during such time they were precisely in the condition of a foreign nation with whom we were at war, nor need their independence as a nation be acknowledged by us to produce that state.
Mr. Stevens then quoted from Mr. Justice Grier in the prize cases all the law on these points. After such clear and repeated decisions, he said, it is something worse than ridiculous to hear men of respectable standing attempting to nullify the law of the nations, and declare the Supreme Court of the United States in error, because as the Constitution forbids it, the States could not go out of the Union de facto. After proceeding further in his argument, he remarked, it is obvious that the first duty of Congress is to pass a law declaring the condition of these outside defunct States, and providing proper civil government for them. Since the conquest they have been governed by martial law. Military rule is necessarily despotic, and ought not to exist longer than is absolutely necessary. As there are no symptoms that the people of these provinces will be prepared to participate in a Constitutional Government for some years, I know of no arrangement so proper for them as Territorial Governments. There they can learn the principles of freedom, and eat the fruit of foul rebellion under such governments. While electing members to the Territorial Legislatures they will necessarily mingle with those to whom Congress shall extend the right of suffrage. In the Territories, Congress fixes the qualifications of electors, and I know of no better place or better occasion for the conquered rebels and the conqueror to practice justice to all men, and accustom themselves to make and to obey all laws. As to these famed rebels, they cannot at their own option re-enter the heaven which they have disturbed, not the garden of Eden which they have deserted, as flaming swords are set at the gates to secure their exclusion. It becomes important to the nation to inquire when the doors shall be re-opened for their admission. According to my judgment they ought never to be recognized as capable of acting in the Union or being counted as valid States, until the Constitution shall have been so amended so as to make it what its framers intended, so as to secure a perpetual ascendancy to the party of the Union, firm and stable forever. The first of these amendments is to change the basis of membership to actual voters. Now all the colored freedmen in the Slave States and three-fifths of the slaves are represented, though none of them have votes. The rebel State have 19 representatives of colored slaves. If the slaves are now free, then they can add for the other two-fifths, 18 more, making the slave representation 32. I suppose the free blacks in those states will give at least five more, making the representation of the non voting people of color about 37. The whole number of representatives of from the Slave States is 70; add the other two-fifths, and it will be 83.
If the amendment prevails, and those States withhold the right of suffrage from persons of color, it will deduct about 37 leaving them but 43. With the apportionment unchanged, the 83 Southern members with the Democrats that will in the betimes be elected from the North, will always give them a majority in Congress and in the Electoral College. They will at the very first election take possession of the White House and the halls of Congress. I need not depict the ruin that would follow. The assumption of the rebel debt or repudiation of the Federal debt would be sure to follow. The oppression of the freedmen and the re-amendment of the State Constitutions, and re-establishment of Slavery would be the inevitable result. That they would scorn and disregard their previous Constitutions, forced upon them in the midst of martial law, would be both natural and just. No one that has any regard for the freedom of elections can look upon those governments, forced upon them in duress, with any favor. If they should grant the right of suffrage to persons of color, I think there would always be Union white men enough in the south, aided by the blacks, to divide the representation and thus continue the Republican ascendancy. If they should refuse thus to alter their election laws it would reduce the representatives of the late Slave States to about 4 and render them powerless for evil. It is plain that the amendment must be consummated before the defunct States are admitted to be capable of State action, or it never can be. The proposed amendment to allow Congress to lay a duty on exports is precisely the same situation. Its importance cannot well be overstated. It is very obvious that for many years the south will not pay much under our internal revenue laws. The only article on which we can raise any considerable amount is cotton. It will be grown largely at once. With ten cents per pound export duty it would be furnished much cheaper to foreign markets than they could obtain it from any other part of the world. The late war has shown that. Two millions of bales exported at 50 pounds to the bale, would yield $100,000,000. This seems to be the chief revenue we shall ever derive from the South. Besides it would be a protection to that amount to our domestic manufactures. Other proposed amendments to make all laws uniform, to prohibit the assumption of the rebel debt, are of vital importance and the only thing that can prevent the combined forces of copperheads and secessionists from legislating against the interests of the Union whenever they may obtain an accidental majority. But this is not all we ought to do before these inveterate Rebels are invited to participate in our legislation. We have or are about to turn loose 4,000,000 of slaves without a hut to shelter them or a cent in their pockets. The infernal laws of Slavery have prevented them from acquiring an education or from understanding the commonest laws of contract or from managing the ordinary business of life. The Congress is bound to provide for them until they can provide for themselves. If we do not furnish them with homesteads and hedge them around with protective laws, if we leave them to the legislation of their late masters, we had better have left them in bondage. Their condition would be worse than our prisoners in Andersonville. If we fail in this great duty now, and when we have the power we shall deserve and receive the execrations of history and all future ages. Two things are of vital importance. So to establish a principal that none of the Rebel States shall be counted in any of the amendments of the Constitution until they are duly admitted into the family of States by the law-making power of their conquerors. For more than six months the amendment of the Constitution abolishing Slavery has been ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States, that acted on its passage by Congress which had Legislatures, or which were States capable of acting or required to set on that question. I take no account of the aggregations of white-washed Rebels, who, without any legal authority, have assembled in the capitols of the late Rebel States and stimulated legislative bodies. Nor do I regard with any respect the cunning by play into which they deluded the Secretary of State by frequent telegraphic announcements that "South Carolina had adopted the Amendment," "Alabama has adopted the amendment, being the twenty-seventh State," &c. This was intended to delude the people and accustom Congress to hear the names of these extinct States as if they were alive, when in truth they have no more existence than the revolted cities of Latuim, two-thirds of whose people were colonized and their property confiscated and their right of citizenship withdrawn by conquering and avenging Rome.
It is equally important to the stability of this republic that it should now be solemnly decided what power can revise, recreate and reinstate these provinces into the family of States, and invest them with the rights of American citizens. It is time that Congress should assert its sovereignty and assume something of the dignity of a Roman Senate. It is fortunate that the President invites Congress to take this manly attitude. After saying with great frankness in his able message his theory, which, however, is found to be impracticable, and which I believe very few now consider tenable, he refers the whole matter to the judgment of Congress. If Congress should fail firmly and wisely to discharge that high duty, it is not the fault of the president. This Congress owes to its own character to set the seal of reprobation upon a doctrine which is becoming too fashionable, and, unless rebuked, will become the recognized principle of our Government. Governor Perry and other Provisional Governors and orators proclaim that this is the white man's Government. The whole copperhead party, pandering to the lowest prejudices of the ignorant, repeat the cuckoo cry, "This is the white man's Government." Demagogues of all parties, even some high in authority, groveling, shouting, "This is the white man's government." What is implied by this? That one race of men is to have the exclusive right forever to rule this nation and to exercise all acts of sovereignty, while all other races and nations and colors are to be their subjects and have no voice in making the laws and choose the rulers by whom they are to be governed. Wherein does this differ from slavery except in name? Does this not contradict all the distinctive principles of the Declaration of Independence? When the great and good men promulgated that Instrument and pledged their lives and sacred honors to defend it, it was supposed to form an epoch in civil government. Before that time it was held that the right to rule was vested in families, dynasties or races--not because of superior intelligence or virtue, but because of a divine right to enjoy exclusive white privileges. Our fathers repudiated the whole doctrine of the legal superiority of families or races, and proclaimed the equality of all men before the law, upon that they created a revolution and built the Republic. They were prevented by slavery from perfecting the superstructure whose foundation they had thus broadly laid. For the sake of the Union they consented to wait, but never relinquished the idea of its final completion. The time to which they looked forward with anxiety has come. It is our duty to complete their work. If this Republic is not now made to stand on their great principles, it has no honest foundation, and the Father of all men will [unclear] shake it to its centre. If we have not yet been sufficiently scourged for our national sin to teach us to do justice to all God's creatures, without distinction of race or color, we must expect the still more heavy vengeance of an offended Father [unclear] increasing his inflictions as he increased the severity of the plagues of Egypt until the tyrant consented to do justice, and when that tyrant repented of his reluctant consent, and attempted to re-enslave the people, as our Southern tyrants are attempting to do now, he filled the Red Sea with broken chariots and drowned horses, and strewed the shores with dead carcasses.
Mr. Speaker--I trust that the Republican Party will not be alarmed at what I am saying. I do not profess to speak their sentiments, nor must they be held responsible for them. I speak for myself and take responsibility, and will settle with my intelligent constituents. This is not a white man's Government in the exclusive sense in which it is used. To say so is political blasphemy, for it violates the fundamental principles of our gospel of liberty. This is man's government, the government of all men alike. Not that all men will have equal power and sway within it; accidental circumstances, natural and acquired endowment and ability will vary their fortunes--but equal rights to all the privileges of the Government is innate in every immortal being, no matter what the shape or color of the tabernacle which it inhabits. If equal privileges were granted to all I should not expect any but white men to be elected to office for long ages to come. The prejudice engendered by Slavery would not soon permit merit to be preferred to color. But it would still be beneficial to the weaker races in a country where political division will always exist their power, joined with just white men, would greatly modify if it did not entirely prevent the injustice of majorities without the right of suffrage in the late slave States. I do not speak of the Free States. The slaves had far better been left in bondage. I see it stated that very distinguished advocates of the right of suffrage declared in this city that they do no expect to obtain it by Congressional legislation but only by administrative action; because as one gallant gentleman said the State had not been out of the Union; then they will never get it. The President is far sounder than they. He sees that administrative action has nothing to do with it. If it ever is to come it must by Constitutional amendments, or Congressional action in the territorial and enabling acts. How shameful these men of influence should mislead and miseducate the public mind. They proclaim this is the white man's Government, and the whole coil of copperheads re-echo (hiss) the same sentiments, and upstart, jealous Republicans join the cry. Is it any wonder ignorant foreigners and illiterate natives should learn this doctrine and be led to despise and maltreat a whole race of their fellowmen. Sir, this doctrine of a white man's government is as atrocious as the infamous sentiment that damned the late Chief Justice to everlasting fame, and I fear to everlasting fire.
(Column 7)Summary: The freedmen on South Carolina's coast are refusing to make labor contracts nor will they vacate the lands that they assert were given to them by the government.
Democratic State Committee
(Column 1)Summary: Announces that the Democratic State Committee will meet at the Democratic Club Room in Harrisburg on Jan. 4th.Let Andy Johnson Stick to his Text
(Column 1)Summary: The article champions Johnson and his policies, and predicts that he will "defeat the schemes of the fanatics."The Sixteenth Congressional District
(Column 2)Summary: Reproaches the board of return judges and Congress for their failure to seat the duly-elected representative from the Sixteenth Congressional District, which includes Franklin county.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
The Sixteenth District of the State of Pennsylvania, of which Franklin County forms a part, is, it appears, without a representative in Congress. In this respect it is no worse off than many other districts in the Southern States which have legally elected members of that body. It is clear to us that both are entitled to representation, yet if our great men at Washington choose to exclude from their "loyal" company the members of the States lately in rebellion, for the reason that they were not elected by negro votes, it is not our purpose at present to complain on that account. We do however complain of the exclusion of the legally elected member from this district. The objection against the right of southern members to Seats, does not lie in this case, and if it did, it might be urged that if niggers were not permitted to vote in the district, white men--having as little right to the elective franchise in Pennsylvania, did vote. We can assure Congress that at least two hundred "loyal," "union" abolition soldiers from the States of New York, Massachusetts and elsewhere, having no more right to vote here than "the American citizens of African descent," exercised the right of suffrage in this county alone and voted for the regular loyal-union-abolition candidate. This assurance with the further evidence of the attempt at fraud by the bogus board of return judges should satisfy Congress that the election was such an one as deserves recognition on their part. They should therefore give the seat to one of the claimants without further delay.
It matters very little as far as regards the material interest of the people of the district whether they are represented or not in the present Congress. As a matter of right, however, they are entitled to representation, and one or the other of the Brigadiers should be admitted.
(Column 2)Summary: Criticizes "Gossip," a writer for the Repository who attacked a sermon given on Thanksgiving by the Rev. John Chambers, as an excellent "specimen of blatant disloyalty."
Origin of Article: RepositoryFull Text of Article:"Republican Ascendency"
I trust every voter in Franklin county has read the Thanksgiving Sermon of the Rev. John Chambers. It is about as fine a specimen of blatant disloyalty as was ever spoken. God protect the human being he prays for: J. C. aims at a short cut to notoriety. Like the knave who burnt the temple of Diana, or the fool who jumped into Etna.--Gossip in Repository
We publish, on first page of this paper, the Thanksgiving Sermon alluded to above, in order that our readers may read and appreciate the "disloyalty" contained in it.--We leave them to judge, after reading it, who is the "knave" or who the "fool"--the Reverend utterer of its patriotic and Christain sentiments, or the poor driveler who penned the above attack.
(Column 3)Summary: Ridicules the proponents of black suffrage, particularly Thad Stevens, and assails any notion that Democrats would seek to utilize the black vote for their own benefit.Rev. John Chambers' Sermon
(Column 3)Summary: Offers unadulterated praise for the sermon given by Rev. John Chambers on Thanksgiving Day.Sumner, Stevens, and the President
(Column 4)Summary: Reprimands Stevens and Sumner for their attacks on President Johnson, contending that their actions were disrespectful and showed poor judgment.
Origin of Article: Philadelphia LedgerFull Text of Article:[No Title]
The style of debate recently adopted by Mr. Sumner in the Senate, and Mr. Stevens in the House, is not calculated to raise them in the esteem of their countrymen. Perhaps, indeed, Mr. Sumner does not care, for we understand that he has no regard for white people. There was a time in the Congress of the United States when the members of that body had sufficient respect for their own dignity to receive and treat with courtesy a message from the President, who is their equal as a co-ordinate branch of the Government. But some of our modern lawgivers have changed all that. The Senate Sends to the President a resolution asking to be informed of the condition of the States lately in rebellion, and for certain reports on the subject. This information is promptly and courteously furnished by the President, and thereupon the Senator from Massachusetts, because the message does not agree with his ideas, stigmatizes the communication as a "whitewashing report." What can be expected of a Senator who thus permits passion to cloud his judgment, and personal spleen to overcome a proper sense of official decency?
A similar scene took place in the House on Monday last, showing a total disregard of that courtesy (to say nothing of good feeling) which should prevail between a member of Congress, who is part of one branch of the Government, and the President, who is head of another. Mr. Stevens, pretending to state the positions of Mr. Johnson, wholly misrepresented them, giving a distorted view of his opinions; and then with a perfect knowledge that the President has officially acted on the ground that all the States are still in the Union. Mr. Stevens characterized those who held such opinions as "dreamy theorists." Nothing could be more offensive or insulting than such language used by one officer to another, and it was only surpassed by the savage and almost blasphemous attack made by Mr. Stevens, in the same speech on a dead Chief Justice of the United States. If Andrew Johnson were a bad man, or a man of doubtful loyalty, or of weak mind, or ambitious of power to be used for his own advancement, instead of being a strong, firm vigorous thinker, an unimpeachable patriot, and jealous of the one-man power, the remarks used by Mr. Sumner and Mr. Stevens might have some color or excuse, but as the case stands they are such as the people should unanimously condemn.
As to the matter which called out Mr. Sumner's improper words, the people have had an opportunity to judge. They will fail to find in the plain, dispassionate and clear statement of the condition of the Southern States, which Mr. Johnson sent into the Senate, anything which calls for such offensive observations. It must be remembered that he has the whole case before him, and no other member of the Government has, either inside or outside of Congress, and therefore his judgment is entitled to respect, as it is most likely to be correct. And it should also be borne in mind that he had just been strengthened in his opinion by the report of General Grant, who was fresh from an extended Southern tour of examination on the very subject on which the Senate asked to be informed. General Grant's opinion is identical with that of the President. He had talked with all kinds of people, as he was traveling, with leading Southern men in the principal towns, and with his own officers, high and low, and he came back "satisfied that the mass of the thinking men of the South accept the present situation of affairs in good faith," and that they regard the decisions which had been given against them on the battle field "as a fortunate one for the whole country." In another place in his report he says that there "is such a universal acquiescence in the authority of the General Government" in the parts of the country he visited, that the mere presence of small portions of the military is sufficient to preserve order. The people will be much more likely to put faith in the President and General Grant than in Mr. Sumner and Mr. Stevens, and it is gratifying to find that no one in the Senate echoed the offensive words of the Massachusetts Senator. Such influential Union men as Mr. Doolittle, of Wis., and Mr. Dixon, of Connecticut, and Mr. Sherman, of Ohio, took opposite ground, and two of them administered to him a strong and proper rebuke.--Philadelphia Ledger.
(Column 4)Summary: Using a extract from Gen. Grant's report, in which he expresses the belief that the South should be returned to the Union as soon as possible, the Spirit points to the glaring differences in opinion between the moderate and radical Republicans.
Origin of Article: Gen. Grant's ReportThe Lancaster Daily Intelligencer
(Column 4)Summary: Informs readers that a dispute between the editors of the Spirit and the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer, another Democratic organ in the state, has resulted in the discontinuation of the exchange between the two journals.
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
Some months ago this journal became displeased with us and stopped our exchange. We regretted it at the time as the Intelligencer is one of the ablest Democrat-papers in the State and we were pleased to receive it. Our offence was a trivial one--having copied one of its editorials from another paper which had stolen it, thereby becoming the receiver of stolen goods, not knowing them to have been stolen. The Intelligencer has at length recovered its equanimity, and overlooking our past delinquency, comes to us again. We welcome its reappearance with pleasure and hope that nothing may occur in the future to mar existing friendly relations, or to disturb the equanimity of either.
(Column 5)Summary: Providing the gruesome details of a case in which a soldier scalped an American Indian woman and killed her child, the article castigates the Republicans for their stand regarding Native Americans.
Origin of Article: Patriot & LedgerFull Text of Article:Meeting of the Legislature
A CAPT. JOHN T. HILL, of the 6th California Volunteers, while with his command in northern Nevada, found a dead Indian woman, upon whose breast was a babe with a bullet wound in the shoulder, but alive.--Hill ordered that the woman be scalped and the babe killed, which was done--the babe being thrown over a high precipice and slashed to pieces. A court martial at San Francisco took his case in hand and sentenced him to be dismissed from the service and undergo imprisonment on Alcatraz island for thirty days. Gen. M'Dowell refused to approve the findings on account of their being too light. In the meantime Hill is in the enjoyment of the liberty of the city, and no more will be heard of the case. We haven't any comments to make upon Hill's [unclear] conduct. When the Governor of Minnesota sent South to purchase bloodhounds at one hundred dollars a piece, with which to hunt down Indians--men, women and children--and when General Pope and thousands of other Christains approved of the plan, and nobody but "copperheads," in press or in pulpit, condemned the Governor or the General, we began to think it must be a recognized principle of Christian warfare to kill Indians in any way and without regard to age or sex. If we had any doubts upon the subject they have been since dissipated. When Federal officers on the plains took to poisoning squaws and children by wholesale with strychnine, without reproof from loyal press or pulpit, and not even the intimation of a court martial, we came to the final conclusion that a "copperhead" unrefined by a knowledge of the "higher law," and to whom "grand moral ideas in the interest of God and humanity" are utterly unknown, is incapable of a clear judgment upon questions of humanity and religion. Of course, therefore, Hill was right--the Governor was right--so was the General and the strichnine officers--and so is every loyal press and preacher who, by silence, says they were right.--Patriot and Union
(Column 5)Summary: The Legislature of Pennsylvania convened in Harrisburg on Jan. 2nd, where it is expected that the Republicans, who have a large majority in both houses, will appoint Kelly as Speaker of the House and Benedict as Clerk. In the Senate, the article maintains, Fleming is pegged to be re-elected Speaker while Hammerly is slated to become the Clerk.A Republican Opinion
(Column 6)Summary: Showcases an article written by the Washington correspondent for the Cincinnati Commercial, a Republican journal, that is highly critical of the Radicals' agenda, which, the piece claims, is designed to "humiliate the South rather than restore the Union."
Origin of Article: Cincinnati CommercialEditorial Comment: "'Mack,' the special correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial writes as follows about the political situation."
Trailer: "Mack"[No Title]
(Column 6)Summary: Defending the President from the Radicals' critique, the article casts "Sumner and his allies" as "unjust, if not unscrupulous, in their action."
Origin of Article: Pittsburgh CommercialEditorial Comment: "The Pittsburgh Commercial, decidedly the ablest Republican journal in Western Pennsylvania, is earnestly and actively combatting the wild and destructive theories of Stevens and Sumner. The following articles are from its issue of Friday last:"The Dying Negroes
(Column 7)Summary: The piece attributes soaring mortality rates among blacks in Macon, Georgia, to their "insane desire" to leave the comfortable surroundings of their masters' homes for the city, where they are ill-prepared to fend for themselves.
Origin of Article: Macon TelegraphFull Text of Article:Summary of Late News
The population of this city, all told, is about 10,000 souls--one half white and the same number black. The monthly average of the mortality in the city, before and during the war, when the negroes were taken care of was about forty, proportioned according to population. The mortality among the negroes in this city during the past month was as near as can be ascertained, about five hundred, while the number of deaths among the white population remained substantially the same as before the war.
The cause of this difference in the mortality of blacks needs explanation.--When the United States forces took possession of Macon the negroes were all declared free. It was in vain that it was urged that neither would the state of the growing crop justify the laborers in leaving the fields nor should humanity suffer women and girls to [unclear] will into the streets in the midst of such excitement as was then existing, unrestrained by any influences to defend them from ruin. Nothing availed. The flat had gone forth and was maintained, whether for the weal or the woe of the negro. The fields were deserted by the laborers, and almost in a body, the women and children employed as house servants in the city, left comfortable homes seized with a sudden passion for freedom and independently setting up themselves. Instigated by an insane desire for city life and under the apprehension that their freedom would not be completed if they did not leave their former homes; nor permanent unless under the eyes of the United States soldiery, the negroes flocked from the country into the city, and the result is what it is.
(Column 8)Summary: It is reported that there is constant fighting between American Indians and white settlers in Arizona.Summary of Late News
(Column 8)Summary: Provides an account of a man who has filed a suit in New York, claiming that he was injured when the city directory mistakenly listed him as "colored." The mix-up occurred when the man, who is a bill collector by vocation, was identified as "col'd," a racial designation, rather than "coll."--the proper abbreviation for his profession. The man is seeking an award of $5,000.Summary of Late News
(Column 8)Summary: Recounts an incident that occurred when a party of former planters from one of the Sea Islands tried to return to their homes, which they had abandoned early in the war, in an effort to reclaim their land. Though accompanied by two of General Sickles staff officers, the group's attempt was rebuffed by "sixty armed" freedmen who refused to permit them to come ashore. The officers later returned, this time with two regiments of soldiers to quell any resistance. Reportedly, the officers tried to explain to the former bondsmen that the government did not intend on giving them the land they were currently living on and had been tilling independently for the past three years.
Local and Personal--Normal School
(Column 1)Summary: Gives a brief synopsis of the resolutions passed at the convention held on Dec. 29th to discuss the establishment of a Normal school in Franklin county. During the meeting, delegates were selected to represent the county at the District Convention, which is scheduled to convene in Chambersburg on January 10th.Local and Personal--Homocide
(Names in announcement: John Orr, J. W. Douglas, A. M. McElwain, F. M. Kimmel, P. M. Shoemaker, John Croft, William B. Gabby)
(Column 1)Summary: A homicide took place in Gastenburg Springs on Dec. 22nd, after an altercation broke out between a soldier and the owner of a hotel where he was staying. After being ordered to leave, the soldier apparently refused the landlord's demand and a fight ensued. In the midst of the struggle, the hotel owner's son "grasped a gun and discharged its contents into" his father's attacker, causing him to die shortly afterward. The shooting was ruled justifiable by the coroner.Memorial
(Column 2)Summary: The article reports on a meeting held on Dec. 22nd at the Court House in Chambersburg, where a memorial was adopted by the town's residents, appealing to the State Legislature for compensation for damages inflicted by Confederate raiders.
(Names in announcement: Col. D. O. Gehr, William StengerEsq., J. W. DouglasEsq.)Full Text of Article:Married
At a public meeting of the citizens of Chambersburg, held in the Court House, on the 22nd of December, 1865, to memorialize the Legislature for relief for Chambersburg, Col. D. O. G [unclear] was chosen President, and W. S. Stenger, Esq., Secretary. J. W. Douglas, Esq., on behalf of the Committee appointed for the purpose, reported the following Memorial, which was adopted:
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
After four years of the most fearful internecine strife known to modern history, it hath pleased Almighty God to bring this people back again into the paths of peace. The throes and convulsions of a gigantic and unjustifiable rebellion have passed off and the Republic lives. The war commenced and waged at first to save the Union and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, widened and deepened in its sweep until it crucified slavery--not only that the safety of the Union might be secured, but that it might also be perpetual.
But the life of the Nation was not rescued from the jaws of death without immense sacrifice, and intense sufferings. The waste of treasure, property and life, has no parallel in modern warfare. To attempt to speak of our fallen braves, in this memorial, would be unjust. "The whole earth is their sepulchre, and all time the millenium of their glory." To tell here, the sad story of the bereaved ones would be a work of [unclear], for a partial people has already embalmed them in a hallowed memory, and the beneficence of a munificent government will minister to their daily wants.
Death and bereavement are everywhere throughout the land. No community, and very few families, escaped these common calamities of the war. Such losses are incapable of compensation, because incapable of computation. But, whilst it is eminently proper that such afflictions should occupy the most commanding position in the public eye, it is also right that a reasonable share of consideration and importance should be given to those calamities of the war, which were peculiar, and confined to particular localities. In calling, therefore, in this unostentatious manner, the attention of the people of Pennsylvania to the extraordinary misfortunes of the citizens of the border, and particularly of Chambersburg, it is by no means our object to dwarf the sacrifices of other portions of the State, or to magnify our own. We simply desire to commit our cause to the magnanimity and justice of a great Commonwealth.
It has passed into history that three times during the rebellion the insurgent forces invaded the border counties of Pennsylvania, committing great waste and destruction of property. During their last visitation, on the morning of the 30th of July, 1864, they sacked and burned Chambersburg. During the last two sessions of the Legislature, the citizens of the border counties have been seeking, through their representatives, such legislation as would enable them to have an adjudication of their losses, with a view to their ultimate payment by the United States. The wisdom of the Legislature overruled the application, chiefly upon the ground that it would be dangerous for the State to take any steps that might work towards a recognition of these claims until the war should close. The concurrent decisions of two successive Legislatures having been given against any obligation on the part of the State to pay, the citizens of the border counties have very generally acquiesced in the judgment, and are disposed to wait the action of the general government. But there is a growing feeling all along the border, and we are happy to believe that it is gaining strength throughout the State, that the Legislature should make a liberal appropriation to the sufferers by the burning of Chambersburg.
We will briefly state a few of the reasons which now are molding public sentiment in its favor.
1st. It was an extraordinary and crushing calamity, unparalleled in extent and ferocity throughout the war. Two-thirds of a loyal and thriving town of five thousand people are laid in ashes, nearly three thousand people are made homeless, and one-half of them reduced to want. Two millions of property is destroyed. Families arose from their beds in the morning in comfortable circumstances, and before night were entirely impoverished. Nothing comparable to this was suffered by any other community. This calamity towers above all others of the like kind--like Mount Blanc above her sister Alps.
2d. It was not an accidental or fortuitous destruction. Abundant proof can be had that it was deliberately resolved upon and ruthlessly executed in pursuance of the orders of Gen. Jubal Early, as an act of fiendish vengeance, and to strike the North with terror. The blow that struck Chambersburg down, was aimed at every loyal town in the State. Her sacrifice paid the penalty of concentrated rebel revenge and hate.
3d..Chambersburg having sent her sons into the army, and having shared the dangers and the honors of every battle-field of the war, left by the General and State government without adequate protection, the most tempting prize within reach of rebel attack, to become a victim to the horrors of plunder and conflagration, now claims that common sympathy and common justice in her behalf which uncommon misfortune universally commands from a great and benevolent Commonwealth.
4th. The necessities of the sufferers most imperatively demand that a liberal appropriation should at once be made. The contributions from all sources, public and private, amount to about one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. This sum has been largely sufficient to relieve from actual suffering and to supply the necessaries of life. It has not availed anything towards the rebuilding of the town, or the re-establishment of the sufferers in business. It is a melancholy truth, that fully two-thirds of those who suffered at all, have been entirely ruined. Wherever they have made an effort to re-build their dwellings, or to establish a business, it has been done upon borrowed capital. It is a grave mistake to suppose that the new town, that is rising like the Phoenix from the ashes of the old, has been built upon the wealth or substantial prosperity of its own citizens. He who trades or builds upon borrowed capital, sleeps upon a bed of thistles. Without immediate and efficient help, bankruptcy and despondency will overwhelm the community. This is not an ostentatious parade of our necessities before the public eye; it is simply the voice of truth speaking to the humanity and justice of a liberal people.
5th. The only argument that could ever have been used with fairness against a liberal appropriation, has now been entirely destroyed by the overthrow of the rebellion. The prudence and caution which prevented former legislators from giving a large appropriation, whilst the danger of renewed invasion was imminent, were wise and entitled to great respect. And no one treated them with more respectful consideration than the sufferers themselves. But now, when the Union has been established again upon the foundation stone of liberty, and the sounds of war have died away throughout our borders, such an objection would be foolish and insincere.
Lastly. The finances of the State will justify such an appropriation as would be of essential aid to our people. The exhibit of the condition of the Treasury shows a surplus fund of more than two and a half millions of dollars. No embarrassment would be entailed upon the treasury, and not a single feather's weight would be added to the taxes of the citizens by such a contribution. Why then shall it not be made? If a most astounding and crushing calamity, incurred by a loyal people, not through any fault of theirs, but as an expiating sacrifice for the whole State, which as impoverished over three hundred families, is not to be redressed at the close of the war, by a State with a plethoric treasury, and without laying additional burdens upon the taxpayers, those ought certainly to be made very strong and convincing reasons for remarkable harshness and injustice.
In some quarters there has been a reason given, and it may be again urged, but it is unworthy of the head and heart of a true man. It has been asserted that the people of Chambersburg ought to have defended their own. We will not strive to vindicate ourselves from this implication. The pen of an impartial historian has already blown away this cruel and insulting accusation. His Excellency, Gov. Curtin, in his special message to the Legislature at its extraordinary session in August, A. D., 1864, gave the following narrative of the military operation that resulted in the destruction of Chambersburg. He says:
"On Friday, the 29th of July, the rebel brigades of Johnson and M'Causland, consisting of from two thousand five hundred to three thousand mounted men, with six guns, crossed the Potomac at Clear Spring ford. They commenced crossing at ten o'clock, A. M., and marched directly on Mercersburg. There were but forty-five men picketed in that direction, under the command of Lieut. M'Clean, U. S. A., and as the enemy succeeded in cutting the telegraph communication, which from that point had to pass west by way of Bedford, no information could be sent to Gen. Couch, by telegraph, who was then at Chambersburg. The head of this column reached Chambersburg at three o'clock, A. M., on Saturday the 30th.
"The rebel brigades of Vaughn and Jackson, numbering about three thousand mounted men, crossed the Potomac at about the same time at or near Williamsport; part of the command advanced on Hagerstown; the main body moved on the road leading from Williamsport to Greencastle. Another rebel column of infantry and artillery crossed the Potomac simultaneously at Shepherdstown, and moved toward Leitersburg. Gen. Averill, who commanded a force, reduced to about two thousand six hundred men, was at Hagerstown, and being threatened in front by Vaughn and Jackson, on his right, by M'Causland and Johnson, was also threatened his rear, and on his left by the column which crossed at Shepherdstown, he therefore fell back upon Greencastle.
"Gen. Averill, it is understood, was under the orders of Gen. Hunter; but was kept as fully advised, by Gen. Couch, as was possible of the enemy's movements on his right and on his rear. Gen. Couch was in Chambersburg, where his entire force consisted of sixty infantry and forty five cavalry, and a section of a battery of artillery, in all less than one hundred and fifty men. The six companies of men, enlisted for one hundred days, remaining to the State, and two companies of cavalry had, under orders from Washington, (as I am unofficially advised,) joined General Averill. The town of Chambersburg was held until daylight by the small force under Gen. Couch, during which time the Government stores and train were saved. Two batteries were then planted by the enemy, commanding the town, and it was invested by the whole command of Johnson and M'Causland. At seven o'clock, A. M., six companies of dismounted men, commanded by Sweeney, entered the town, followed by mounted men under Gilmore. The main force was in line of battle. A demand was made for one hundred dollars in gold, or five hundred thousand dollars in Government funds, as ransom, and a number of citizens were arrested and held as hostage for its payment. No offer of money was made by the citizens of the town, and even if they had any intention of paying a ransom, no time was allowed, as the rebels commenced immediately to burn and pillage the town, disregarding the appeals of women and children, the aged and infirm, and even the bodies of the dead were not protected from their brutality. It would have been in vain for all the citizens of the town, if armed, to have attempted, in connection with General Couch's small force, to defend it. General Couch withdrew his command, and did not himself leave until the enemy were actually in the town. General Averill's command being within nine miles of Chambersburg, it was hoped, would arrive in time to save the town, and efforts were made during the night to communicate with him. In the meantime, the small force of Gen. Could held the enemy at bay. Gen. Averill marched on Chambersburg, but did not arrive until after the town was burned, and the enemy had retired. He pursued and overtook them at M'Connellsburg, in Fulton county, in time to save that place from pillage and destruction. He promptly engaged and defeated them, driving them to Hancock and serves the Potomac."
Gen. Couch, the Commander of the Department of the Susquehanna, also bore this testimony to the gallantry of the people of Chambersburg. In a dispatch to the Secretary of War, dated July 22, 1864, he said: "During the recent raid into Maryland, the citizens of Chambersburg turned out with a determination to stand by the few soldiers present, and hold the town against any cavalry force that might assault it."
Such testimony ought to be sufficient to convince every candid mind that the accusation of want of spirit and [unclear] among our citizens, is not only groundless, but malevolent.
Our cause is now before the people of Pennsylvania. If its feeble presentation shall have the effect to turn public attention towards us, to stir up a feeling of sympathy in our behalf, to cause men in the hurry of life to stop and reflect upon the justice and propriety of the claim, we will not cease to cherish the hope that tardy relief will come at last. We feel sure, that to all fair and reasonable minds, quick and strong upon knowing, sympathizing, and reflecting, will come the sudden impulse to help and to save.
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 19th, David F. Stouffer and Maria Banker were married in a ceremony conducted by Rev. S H. C. Smith.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. H. C. Smith, David F. Stouffer, Maria Banker)
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 28th, James A. Wily, of Adams county, wed Catherine E. Stokes. Rev. S. H. C. Smith performed the ceremony.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. H. C. Smith, James A. Wily, Catherine E. Stokes)
(Column 4)Summary: On Nov. 23rd, Israel Baker and Louisa M. Gelwicks were married by Rev. S. McHenry.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Israel Baker, Louisa M. Gelwicks)
(Column 4)Summary: Michael Osell and Hannah Lowry were married on Dec. 21st, by Rev. S McHenry.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. McHenry, Michael H. Osell, Hannah Lowry)
(Column 4)Summary: John B. Kreps, of Mercersburg, and Nancy Jane, daughter of F. Smith, were married on Dec. 28th, by Rev. Thomas Creigh.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. Thomas Creigh, John B. Kreps, Nancy Jane Smith, F. Smith)
(Column 4)Summary: John Russell, of Adams county, and Anna Maria Ward were wed on Dec. 26th, by Rev. J. Benson Akers.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Benson Akers, John Russell, Anna Maria Ward)
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 29th, Phillip Funuiry, of Washington county, Md., and Susanna Moss were married by Rev. A. Bohrman.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. Bohrman, Phillip Funuiry, Susanna C. Moss)
(Column 4)Summary: Andrew Denter and S. C. McKee were married on Dec. 28th, by Rev. A. Bohrman.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. Bohrman, Andrew J. Dentler, S. C. McKee)
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 28th, William Nortling, of Belleville, St Clair county, Ill., and Mary C. Sanders were married by Rev. A. Bohrman.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. Bohrman, William Nortling, Mary C. Sanders)
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 20th, John H. Hamilton and Mary R. Clayton were married by Rev. C. F. Thomas.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. C. F. Thomas, John H. Hamilton, Mary R. Clayton)
(Column 4)Summary: William M. Byers and Clamina M. Fasker were wed on Dec. 28th, by Rev. A. K. Nelson.Died
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. K. Nelson, William M. Byers, Clamina M. Fasker)
(Column 4)Summary: On Dec. 15th, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph and Mary Ripple, died. Mary Elizabeth was 11 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mary Elizabeth Ripple, Joseph Ripple, Mary Ripple)
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