Valley Spirit: September 05, 1866Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Speech of J. McDowall Sharpe, Esq.
(Column 3)Summary: Contains a copy of the speech given by J. McDowall Sharpe on February 24, 1866, before the House of Representatives, regarding the bill for adjudication of and payment for military damages.
Full Text of Article:
In the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, on the Bill for the Adjudication and Payment of Military Damages.
DELIVERED FEBRUARY 24, 1864.
MR. SPEAKER: On last Wednesday the courtesy of this House assigned this evening for the consideration of this bill. It is not my purpose to waste precious time, or to trespass upon the patience of this House, by making a tiresome political harangue.--I have said from the first, and I repeat it again, that there are no politics in this bill, and that there ought to be none in its discussion. When the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Kelley) introduced his resolution of instruction to the select committee to whom this bill had been committed, I was induced to make some remarks, because I at the time believed that the resolution contained a covert attack upon the loyalty of my constituents. Since that time the gentlemen has disavowed all such intention; I am bound to accept his disavowal for truth, and I do so cheerfully. On last night the gentlemen from Dauphin (Mr. Alleman) made a positive and direct accusation of disloyalty against some of my constituents. I hope to have an opportunity, on some future occasion, to answer the gentleman. But I will not undertake to do so to-night, because I have matters of far more importance entrusted to my charge for this evening.
Mr. Speaker it may be proper for me to say, whilst standing on the threshold of this debate, that I have no pecuniary interest whatever in the passage of this bill.--Should I be betrayed, in the heat of discussion, into what may seem unusual seal in its support, I trust that my earnestness may be charged to the account of that nobler impulse of the heart which prompts the representative, under all circumstances consistent with his duties to the State at large, to maintain the rights of his constituents. I do confess a deep, intense and abiding interest in the fate of this bill. Nor is there a single gentleman upon this floor who would be surprised at this, could he walk with me through the beautiful valley of the Cumberland and examine for himself the blighting ravages committed by an insolent foe flushed with success, and still to be read upon the ground in desolated farms, prostrated fences and ruined forests? Would that you had an opportunity to mingle with my constituents, and to hear the sad tale of the husbandman, stripped of the means of livelihood, and turned over, with his family, to the cruel tyranny of poverty. Would that you all could hear the touching story of the fond mother, how the rebels came in their pride and power, and drove away the favorite horse of her darling boy--who was far away from home and kindred--in the land of the stranger and enemies, fighting for the imperiled Constitution, with his eye fixed even in death upon the flag of his country. Would that you all could listen to the still more pathetic tale of the widow who has given all her household gods as offerings upon the altar of patriotism--husband and sons--and now by the fortunes of war a bankrupt not only in heart, but also in property; a husbandless, childless, penniless female, dependent upon the bitter bread of charity. The fate of this bill may, indeed, be of little consequence to man y upon this floor. They can return to their homes where the tread of armed legions have never left their footprints of blood, and where the hum of honest industry has never been drowned by the roar of cannon or the roll of musketry, believing that they have done a wise thing in voting against this bill. What matters it to them? These things are but history to them--not living truths. But to me they are stern realities. Even here, in this presence, methinks I hear the Macedonian cry of my constituents, calling to all the loyal and true-hearted sons of Pennsylvania. "Come over and help us!" These scenes, like Banquo's ghost," will not down at my bidding. They need no magician's wand to call them up before my mind's eye; they are there always--living, stubborn, stern realities.--Mr. Speaker, is it surprising that I am earnest in this cause? Would it not rather be amazing if I were not? Could any heartless cold and hard than adamant, listen with stolidity and indifference to the voice of duty which "pleads like angles, trumpet tongued," against the selfish parsimony which could contemptuously refuse the measure of this relief?
But the success of this bill needs no support from that morbid sympathy which is ever prone to weep at the tale of suffering. It stands fairly and squarely upon the broad foundation of its own intrinsic merit. I trust this measure with confidence to the calm, sober, unbiased judgemen of this House. I invoke not in its behalf those tender emotions which overflow the flood gates of the heart whenever the fountain has been started by the hand of violence and outrage. But I also, on the other hand, deprecate that blind and unreasoning prejudice which would condemn my cause before it is heard. Every principle of State duty, every principle of right and justice demand, in imperative tones, the passage of this bill.
Will the House indulge me whilst I strive in my own feeble way to prove this? A fair understanding of the act will prove synonymous with its passage.
A brief history of the origin of these claims for damages may become necessary at this point.
Scarcely had the last sounds of the bombardment of Fort Sumfer died upon the air--hardly had the pulsations of the national heart recovered from the shock of the deep mouthed cannon of treason, ere Harper's Ferry and all the country on that side of the Potomac were seized by the Virginia troops. They kept up, for a considerable length of time, a menacing attitude towards the State of Pennsylvania. There were no forces upon our borders, to repel the threatened invasion, and no natural obstructions, except the narrow Potomac, to prevent their penetration into the Cumberland Valley, and the burning of this capital. At this juncture it was deemed advisable by the military authorities of the Government to concentrate the opposing force at Chambersburg. The Seventh, Eighth and Tenth regiments of three months' Pennsylvania volunteers were ordered to that place. They took possession of the farm of a loyal citizen, being contiguous to that borough, and occupied the same as a military camp for the period of about two months. In the month of June, 1861, the Government determined to increase the force on the border to a corps numbering about twenty-five thousand muskets, with the view of pushing them down the valley of Virginia, under the command of General Patterson.--This augmented force spread their encampments over large tracts of the most fertile land in Franklin county, whilst the crops were beginning to whiten for the harvest, and remained in the occupancy thereof for about three weeks. It requires no fancy to conceive how great would be the injury to crops, fences and timber at the hands of so large a force of then raw and undisciplined soldiery. These troops were in the service of the United States. But no steps have as yet been taken by the General Government or by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, for the adjucation and payment of the damages inflicted by them upon the citizens of this Commonwealth. It is true that Governor Curtin appointed two very competent citizens of Franklin county to make assessments of these damages. The commissioners so appointed have done their work well, and have made report of their labors to the Executive. But inasmuch as their appointment by the Governor was unauthorized by law, and no legislation has ever been had to validate their reports, and no appropriation has ever been made to pay the claims adjudicated by them, their labors have ended in faith, not in fruition. In September, 1862, the rebel General Longstreet's corps took possession of Hagerstown, in the State of Maryland, and all the territory intervening between it and the State of Pennsylvania. A universal panic seized upon the whole country. The heart of the North stood still, as if paralyzed with sudden fright. The Governor, with commendable zeal and earnestness, sounded the alarm bell, which struck a sympathetic chord in every heart. His proclamation calling upon the citizens of Pennsylvania to come up to the help of the Government against the mighty, to shoulder the knapsack and musket, and marching to the border, there, upon the confines of their native State, to receive upon the points of their bayonets the insurgent hordes that were reveling in the intoxication of victory of the second fatal Bull Run, sped over mountain, through valleys and across streams, like the ominous symbol borne by the fleet footed Highlander in days of yore, known and recognized by all the clans, as the bloody signal of their chieftain which summoned them to the harvest of death. With the same heroic devotion with which the clansman was wont to answer the fatal summons of his chief, did the true hearted and sturdy sons of this grand old Commonwealth answer the call of their Executive. The voice of duty had scarcely ceased to speak, before thousands answered it, in person. The farmer left his plough in the furrow, the merchant forsook his merchandise, the lawyer forgot his cause, the minister turned his back upon his pulpit, and the artisan rushed from his shop, and all with one common purpose and firm resolve marched forward toward the foe, keeping step to the music of the union. The earth, like a prolific mother, seemed to have brought forth in a single night, innumerable legions of armed men. Transportation could not covey them to the borders as fast as they desired to go. Thousands of them were quartered upon the farms and in the buildings of citizens of Pennsylvania. This large force, thus suddenly put into the field, could not, by any possible exertions of the military authorities of the State, be adequately provided with tents rations and other necessasies for their comfort. They had a good right to make themselves comfortable, and I hope I may be pardoned for saying that they exhausted all the resources within their reach, to attain this desirable consummation. We were glad to see them there and we do not complain against them now, because they left a record behind them of their presence, which can be read to this day upon our farms, buildings and forests. In addition to this militia force the Governor ordered the "Anderson Troop" to the border, which was at that time lying in the barracks at Carlisle. Time could not be spared to mount these troops in the regular way. It was of the highest importance that they should be put into the saddle, as scouts, without delay; and no other alternative remained but to impress the necessary number of horses, with their accoutrements, for immediate service. After the exigencies of the occasion had passed away, many of these horses were returned to their owners, in a very bad condition, and others never returned at all.--These horses were taken out of the plows of our farmers in the fields, and out of their wagons on the public highway, yet so high is the standard of loyalty among my constituents, that not only did they not murmur against this act of oppression, but they indeed acquiesced in it with alacrity and cheerfulness. These claims have also been adjudicated and assessed by two very intelligent citizens of Franklin county, acting under the appointment of the Governor. This appointment was also, at the time it was made, unauthorized by law, and consequently nothing has been done toward the payment of these damages. In October, 1862, the rebel General Stuart, with a cavalry force numbering about two thousand sabres, passed through parts of the counties of Adams and Franklin, destroying considerable property, and taking with them large numbers of horses. At the last session of the Legislature an act was passed, approved on the 22d day of April, 1863, which prouided that the court of common pleas of Dauphin county should appoint three appraisers, who, after being sworn, should proceed to examine and ascertain the losses and damages sustained by citizens of this Commonwealth, by reason of the occupancy of and trespass upon their lands by any part of the militia force which was called into active service in September, A. D. 1862, for the purpose of defending the southern border of the State; also, to examine and ascertain the losses and damages sustained by the citizens of this State by reason of the impressment of their horses, wagons, teams, forage and other property, into the service of the United States for the use of the Anderson cavalry in the month of September, 1862; and also the losses and damages sustained by citizens on the southern border of the State by reason of the rebel raid under General Stuart, on the tenth and eleventh days of October, 1862. The appraisers were also required to make report of their assessments of losses and damages, together with the testimony taken by them, to the court. It was made the duty of the court to review these reports, and authority was given to approve or set them aside, in whole or in part. In pursuance of this act of Assembly the court of common pleas of Dauphin county appointed General Worral, Judge Hiester and Mr. Weidle, three intelligent and upright gentlemen of this county, who have so far discharged their duties as to have ascertained all the losses and damages occasioned by the Stuart raid, and the court is now in possession of their reports. Since the passage of the ac tof April, 1863, it has become a part of the history of this war, that General Lee. with his whole army, has invaded the State causing immense loss to the citizens of the border counties, in crops, grain, forage, horses, cattle, and other property. That again the loyal and devoted sons of the Commonwealth rushed to the border to defend, from the contaminating touch of the vandal hordes, that sacred soil which William Penn had dedicated to peace and good will toward all men, more than a century ago. Again our citizens suffered the ravages of a badly provided and poorly fed body of undisciplined troops. It is also well known that considerable damage was doneto the property of citizens of Allegheny county, and of other counties, by the erection of defensive works by our troops, and in various otherways during the excitement of last summer. The bill now before the House simply proposes to enlarge the powers of the commisioners so as to enable them to ascertain and assess all damages occasioned by the enemy and by our own troops, State and national, within the limits of this Commonwealth, since the commencement of the war. Thus, that which was made local and special relief by the act of 22d of April, 1863, has been changed, by the present act into a redress as broad as the boundaries of the State herself. This is eminently right and proper. This act also contemplates that the appraisers shall make their report to the court of common pleas of Dauphin county, and the same duty is laid upon the court to review these reports, and dispose them in such a manner as to court may seem right and just. The commissioners are also required to administer oaths, and to reduce the testimony of claimants and witnesses to writing and to return the same to the court. This bill also proposes to give the commissioners the right, if they think proper to do so, to adopt the assessment heretofore made by the appraisers appointed by the Governor, and to return them to the court as part of their report, with the same duty of review imposed upon the courts as in other cases. The bill also requires the attorney General of the Commonwealth to depute an attorney for each county to which its provisions may apply, to appear before the board of commissioners as counsel for the State. Each claimant is also required to file, with his claim, an affidavit setting forth, in specific terms, that he has never borne arms against the United States or the State of Pennsylvania; that he has never given aid, information or encouragement to those in armed hostility to the Government, that he has never discouraged enlistment in the armies of the United States; that he will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Pennsylvania, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and behave himself as a loyal citizen thereof. When these damages shall have finally adjucated, the bill provides that the State of Pennsylvania shall issue coupon certificates of indebtedness to the claimants, bearing five per centum interest per annum, payable semi-annually, at the State Treasury, redeemable in twenty years or sooner, at the option of the State, and that an additional tax of one quarter of a mill shall be laid on all property now taxable for State purposes, and the fund arising therefrom shall be appropriated solely to the redemption of these certificates.
Such, Mr. Speaker, is a brief and cursory narrative of this origin of these claims, and such a rough and hasty sketch of the measure of redress proposed by the bill. Is there any gentleman upon this floor, whose heart prompts him to ask me, why do your constituents come here asking for relief? I answer him, in their name (for I am only authorized to speak for them,) because they have a right to do it. The first and highest duty of a State is protection to her citizens in life, liberty and property. Protection is the price of allegiance, and allegiance is the duty that follows protection. Where one of these duties dies, the other dies with it. They are reciprocal, co-extensive and coordinate obligations. They can no more be separated from each other and live, than can the soul and body be severed and natural life remain. In a state of nature, man has an inalienable right to consult his own safety, welfare and interest, in his own way, and in obedience to no restraints, except his own unchained volitions. The result of this was that might made right. The strong oppressed the weak. No man was safe in his life liberty or property, so long as there lived a stronger than he, who might deprive him of these inestimable blessings. A universal feeling of security reigned throughout the earth. The want of a power that could restrain the strong arm of the oppressor, shield the weak, help the helpless and coerce the untutored volitions of the natural man, was universally felt and acknowledged. It was at once discovered that this power could only be found and lodged in an aggregation of individuals. Mankind was not long in learning that an aggregations of individuals cannot exist without government, and that as all could not be governors there must necessarily be a class whose duty it was to govern, and a class whose lot it was to be governed, and whose duty it was to obey. Starting with these things in view, men agreed to form a government and to surrender to their rulers a part of their unlicensed freedom which they had enjoyed in a state of nature, in consideration of the security they expected to possess as the fruit of the government. This we believe to be the true origin of all human governments and from these premises, we can with ease deduce the co-relative duties of the people. The one owes protection, and the other allegiance. Different forms of government have appeared upon the earth. We have had and now have, despotism, constitutional monarchies and republics. But no difference what shape the government may assume, it never can rid itself of the original object of its institution--protection to its people in all their rights. There never has been a despotism in all the annals of history that has ever forgotten this high obligation which it owed its subjects when their interests had been infringed upon by other nations. No matter how cruel might be the heel of domestic tyranny upon the necks of the citizens, still the despot in dealing with his subjects and foreign states, stood true as the needle to the pole in his discharge of this holy and sacred trust. Even now the Emperor of France has upon this continent a powerful army whose eagles have overrun a neighboring republic, in a crusade for the restoration of the violated rights of his citizens. Can it be that this great State, the theory of whose government is founded upon the broad and eternal principle that the people are the source of all powers--that they indeed are the sovereigns, and the rulers, for the time being, the servants? Can it be, sir, that this great Commonwealth, with such a political conception as that, can swerve the tithe of a hair from her high mission? Can it be that the people who, in this State are the government, shall fall below the standard of security which despotism has set up for the rights of its subjects? Can it be that this people, through their representatives on this floor, will so stultify themselves as to deny protection to themselves? Until it is shown that those whom I represent here have thrown off their allegiance to their government, and forfeited the right of protection; until it is proved that they are derelict in their duty; until it is shown that they have struck, with parricidal hand, a blow at the heart of that government that nursed them in safety during infancy, and protected their property in manhood; sir, until these things are shown here upon this floor, I ask this relief for my constituents not as a matter of grace--I demand it as a matter of right.
Is there still some gentleman in this House who ask why my constituents come here and ask for this relief? I answer him because they deserve it. The highest civil duty of the citizen is to discharge his duty to his government. There may be some gentlemen upon this floor who may think that I put the case too strongly, when I say that under all circumstances, fully performed every obligation that they owed to the Government. I repeat, sir, with emphasis that they have done so, and I challenge contradiction, come from what quarter it may. There is a passive obedience to the Government which a citizen may give, and which is enough, in ordinary circumstances, to entitle him to protection in life, liberty and property. In other words, every State is bound to protect her citizens against all assaults upon their rights, so long as they hold allegiance to that Government, and do not act in open hostility to it. This is the universally acknowledged obligation of States to their citizens. But it may be argued that the relief provided by this bill is unusual and extraordinary. Sir, let it be so admitted, for the sake of argument, (but only for the sake of argument,) and I still insist that my constituents are entitled to it, because their obedience to the Government has been an extraordinary and willing one--a service of the heart, not of the lips.--Their burdens and their struggles have been extraordinary in its behalf, and when compared with those of the other citizens of the State, may, in a certain sense, be termed works of supererogation. Mr. Speaker, my district sent one of the first companies that arrived in this city, after the bombardment of Fort Sumpter. It furnished that glorious battery of artillery commanded by the gallant Captain Easton, which covered itself with honor at Drainesville, and whose heroic commander, rather than surrender his guns to the enemy, upon the first of the seven ill-fated days before Richmond, calmy bared his breast to the storm of lead, exclaiming with his dying breath, "This battery never Surrenders!" It furnished two full companies to the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. It sent the first Pennsylvania Regiment to gather laurels upon the battle fields of Kentucky and Tennessee; I refer to the 77th Pennsylvania volunteers. It sent a full battery with that regiment to the Army of the Potomac. In August, 1862, it sent the famous 126th regiment now commanded by the gallant Capt. Mc Dowell. It furnished the 107th regiment to the same army, and upon the blood enriched fields of Fredericksburg, the grass grows over the graves of many of both regiments. It has furnished three cavalry companies for the war. It has filled up its quota under the impending draft, and besides that has furnished recruits to other portions of the State. Upon every battlefield of this cruel and unnatural war, the sons of my district have been found lying with their feet to the foe and their faces towards the stars. There were no politics in their deaths, as there had been none in their lives, after the stability of the Union was imperiled. There they lay, cold in death, Republican and Democrat, side by side, just as they had fought in life. Remember Mr. Speaker this is the military record of a district that lies within cannon shot of the enemy's country. This is a military record of a people whose homes were daily threatened with desolation, and which have, in truth twice been ravaged. Have I not reason, sir, to be proud of such a constituency? Have I not, sir, just cause to be sensitive, when I am told, by gentlemen on this floor, that my people invited and abetted this invasion of this Commonwealth? Did I say one word to much, sir, when I declared that my constituents desire the relief of this bill? But, sir, the one-half is scarcely told. We have paid our taxes promptly. We have invested our means liberally in government securities. I make no merit of this, sir, because all good citizens have done the same. But, sir our country has twice been overrun with the rebel hordes. Twice have our citizens been robbed and plundered by an insolent foe. Twice have our people been drowned by the deluge of militia men who swarmed over our fields like locusts, and eat up our substance. Many of our tenants have lost their entire stock, which they gathered together by the patient industry of a life time. They are now penniless and without the means of livelihood. Our mothers, our wives, our sisters and our daughters, have stood upon the streets of our towns and villages, and at our railroad stations, to feed the hungry and nurse the sick soldiers, who had come from afar to defend their homes. We have lived in a State of constant suspense and dread. In the morning our families were forced to exclaim, "would to God it were evening," and in the evening, "would to God it were morning." Our business has been broken up. Our grass crops have been permitted to rot in the fields, and our grain to perish for want of the sickle, and our corn has been trusted to the dews and rains of a beneficent Creator, unassisted by human labor. Our industry as been paralyzed, and our times put out of joint. Yet all this we have borne without a murmur. The cry of my constituents for help and protection went up and filled the ears of those in power, at Washington yet no heed was given to their call. Desparing of assistance beyond their own border, they at last only implored for permission to keep their own citizens, which had entered the service of the United States, at home, as a guard to protect themselves against sudden calvalry raids.--The necessities of the nation demanded that this prayer should also remain unanswered. Thus were we compelled to send from our midst those who otherwise could and would have defended our property, at least from the rebel raid of Stuart. We did not slumber upon the brink of ruin, nor blindly shut our eyes to the danger that environed us. We made known our apprehension to the government, and we fully informed those in authority of the consequences of neglecting our demands. But they were as those who had heard not, though having ears.--Under such depressing circumstances, and treated with such stoical indifference, did my constituents falter in their loyalty?--No, not they. They had hearts large enough to comprehend that their government was not indifferent to their fate, only too impotent, at the time to help them in their sore straits. They had intelligence enough to understand that the kind mother that had nursed them into prosperity, failed only to come to their rescue, because she was herself struggling in the expiring throes of impending dissolution. They could pity the anguish of a parent, stung to death by the serpent tooth of her own children's ingratitude. They could sympathize as well as blame, and when they cast their eyes over and across the troubled sea of revolution, and beheld the ship of State struggling amid the boisterous waves, with night and the tempest closing around her, when their eyes peered through the murk atmosphere of the battlefield, and followed with long and anxious glances the starry banner of their country through the varied and chequered fortunes of each bloody day, the words of cavil and complaint changed upon their lips into shouts of honest admiration for the sublimity of the struggle, and the divinity of the fortitude it exhibited.--Therefore, Mr. Speaker, my constituents stand to-day, as they have stood in all time firm as a rock, against which all the mad waves of rebellion and civil strife may dash; but still the receding flood will leave them fixed and immovable as before. They have borne long and patiently, even for three long, weary years. They now stand in this presence, and through me, as one of their representatives, demand that tardy justice shall at last be done to them. Did I Mr. Speaker, go beyond the bounds of moderation and prudence, when I declared these people deserve this relief?
Is there still some gentleman upon this floor whose heart prompts him to ask, why do your constituents demand this relief? I answer because there is no reason founded in either justice or right, why they should be compelled to carry heavier burdens than other portions of the State, more fortunately located. Look at this question, Mr. Speaker, in a spirit of candor and fair dealing. We are all sons of Pennsylvania alike. The aegis of the same Constitution protects us all alike. We have a common heritage of State glory and renown, we have a common duty of allegiance to bear toward our government, we have common burdens to bear, and common aspirations and common hopes. The golden thread that links us in a common state brotherhood, begins on the shores of Lake Erie, and runs over mountains, through valleys and across rivers, until it gathers within its links, us who dwell near the banks of the Potomac. If all things else be common, why should our misfortune be peculiar?--If we have a joint tenancy of everything else, why should we suffer the fortunes of war in severalty? There can be now answer adverse to my cause, unless it be spoken by the force of that selfish parsimony, which, wrapping itself up in the mantle of its own affluence and contentment, can shut his heart against the pleadings of justice, and turn a deaf ear to the tale of sorrow. There is no use in mincing words about this matter. Cold, calculating selfishness can alone deny the provisions of this bill. No higher impulse will or can have aught to say, in making such a decision.
Is there still some gentleman upon the floor who inquires, why do your constituents ask this relief? I answer him, because they have precedent for it. The principle that peculiar hardships experienced by any portion of the people beyond the ordinary hardships of the masses, is entitled to the special redress, has always been recognized since the first dawn of our national existence. The journals of every Congress and State Legislature are filled with successful applications of this character. So important have these causes become in our country, that a peculiar court has been created for their settlement. I know of no civilized nation that does not acknowledge the binding force of this obligation. The destruction of property by mobs in our cities, as by express legislation been compensated out of the common public purse. If any gentleman will cast his eyes over the House file, he will discover more than one relief bill. Individuals are here year after year applying for relief. Here it is, the surety of a defaulting officer that prays he may be released from his bond--there it is, a man who has been unsuccessful in some enterprise, out of which he expected to make a fortune--then again, it is some poor unfortunate who lost his limbs in his country's service. It may be answered that those relief bills are of small amount. But I care not for the amount; it is the principle I am seeking for. The principle involved in a small bill is the same principle that is involved in a large one. Since the principle ahs been established, it is too late to retrace our steps because the amount is larger than usual. Is that not rather a reason why we should go forward? If the relief is too much for the state to give, it is too much for my constituents to lose. If is too much for my constituents to lose, then it is too much for the State to give. I stand then, sir, upon the principle of the precedents, which loom up at all points along the pathway of our State and national legislation. Is there still some one here who feels disposed to inquire why do your constituents come to us for this relief? I answer because they have nowhere else to go. The Treasury of the United States Government is barred against them. I believe this to be right, because the General Government could not without going into a commission of bankruptcy, begin to pay all the damages which loyal men have suffered since the war began. The day may, no doubt will come, when the government can do so, but not now. But the case is different with Pennsylvania.--She can well afford this relief to her own citizens. What do I ask of her? I ask her to pay claims which will not exceed one million of dollars--at least one half of them incurred in repelling invasion and in defending her own existence. I ask her to issue certificates of indebtedness to her creditors, under this bill, bearing five percentum interest per annum, and redeemable in twenty years, or sooner, at her option. I ask her to levy an additional tax of a quarter of a mill on all property now taxable for State purposes amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually, until a sufficient fund is raised to pay these certificates of indebtedness. Is this "the whole front of my offending?" Is this the measure of my demand? Is this indeed, all? No, no this is the lowest part of my request; this is the mercenary portion of my demand. I ask what is of far more value than this. I ask Pennsylvania to be true to her high duty. I ask her to be worthy of herself. I ask her to be just, not generous to her citizens. This, this is the sum total of my offence.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I have endeavored to prove that my constituents may well demand this relief as a matter of right. I have shown that they deserve to have it--that there is no just or true reason why they should be subjected to greater misfortune than other portions of the State more happily located --that their claim has been established by a long and unbroken chain of precedents, and that they have no other place to go for this redress. I cannot, therefore conceive what plausible objection the most refined cavalier can raise to the bill, unless it be that it is premature; tat it is too soon to pay these claims. I confess, Mr. Speaker, that until within the last few days this objection never occurred to my mind. I chanced in the matter: I happened to meet, the other day, an intelligent and respectable Senator, walking though the capital grounds. In the course of conversation, I spoke of this bill and expressed a hope that he would support it. "Sir," said he, "your bill is premature; it is too soon to pay these claims." I am candid enough to admit, Mr. Speaker, that I was startled by the novelty of the objection. "Sir, your bill is premature; it is too soon to pay these claims." The words kept ringing though my head and fell upon my heart like the incubus of a night-mare. I have often read how the fatal words, "it is too late," have been wrung from the anguish-riven soul of ambition, when it saw its last chance pass by and its sun begin to set. I have often heard of it being "too late" to do justice. We are told that the sinner's death-bed often witnesses the expiring cry, "it is too late" to be saved. I have often thought that the most melancholy sound in all the realms of the lost, will be the despairing soliloquy of the soul that has gone down to death from the mount of gospel privileges, "It is too late for mercy here." But, sir, I have never yet heard or read that when wrongs have been suffered which the State is bound to redress, that justice can come too soon. I have yet to learn that relief, when deserved, can be premature. What, sir, would that patriot statesman whose chair you now occupy, have said had he been told that the redress, which our Revolutionary fathers demanded of the British crown, was premature? What would he have answered had he been told that it was too soon to resist oppression and tyranny of the mother country? What would he have said, sir, if he had been told that the blood of Lexington was shed too soon? What would he have answered had he been informed that the Declaration of Independence was premature, and our whole Revolutionary struggle a fatal mistake? Methinks I see his venerate form rise from the grave and fill that chair once more, and as his eye once more flashes forth the lightening of his soul, he exclaims in tones of stern rebuke. "Such counsels, if heeded, would have strangled patriotism, made the American Revolution an untimely birth, and left all its heroes slaves. Never again let such ill-omened words drop from the lips of the patriot so long as there is still a struggling son of his country presenting his claim for a redress of his wrongs at the august tribunal of the people."
Mr. Speaker and gentleman representatives, go home to your constituents if you can. Go home if you dare and tell them you voted against this bill. Go home to your constituents if you can, go home to them if you dare, and tell them that Pennsylvania, the brightest star in the galaxy of States, the cradle of American freedom, the nursing mother of the Declaration of Independence, rich in the hallowed memories of Valley Forge and Germantown, having within its limits the birth-place of our nation, and the grave of treason close by the consecrated sepulchres of Gettysburg's heroes--an empire of three millions of people whose mountains milk the clouds, and whose valleys run with fatness, having within her bowels coal enough to warm all her friends, and iron enough to cool all her foes--a Commonwealth abounding in prosperity, intelligence and civilization, unknown elsewhere--tell your constituents, I repeat it, that this State, such as I have described it, through you as her representatives on this floor, has refused to be just to her citizens, and has declared herself to be too weak and poor to protect them. You may carry home to your people this disgraceful confession, but I humbly thank that beneficent Being, who has hitherto guided and protected me, that he has given me strength enough to declare upon the floor that I have neither part nor lot in tarnishing thus, the fair escutcheon of our State pride. I shift the responsibility from my shoulders, and here in this very presence, I shake off the dust from my feet as a moment against such a premeditated outrage.
Col. McClure on the Deserter Question
(Column 1)Summary: After delivering a rebuke to the editor of the Repository for his alleged about-face on the issue, the editorial condemns Republican attempts to disfranchise deserters as unconstitutional.
Full Text of Article:A Card From Post-Master Deal
The effrontery of the editor of the Repository is most wonderful. The coolness with which, in his last week's issue, he stultifies himself on the deserter question, is positively refreshing. He seems to have forgotten that his private opinion on this subject has been given time without number, and, what is still more strange, he is apparently oblivious of the fact that, in the columns of his own journal, he has placed himself in an attitude of direct opposition to the one which he now assumes. That cause must be indeed hopeless which requires such desperate remedies. Driven to the wall, totally defeated in his efforts to procure the sanction of the Supreme Court upon the attempt to disfranchise certain American citizens without due process of law, he now endeavors to deceive the honest, law-abiding judges of election of our county as to their duty in this matter, by the assertion that the decision of the Supreme Court in Huber vs. Reilly is not to be regarded, for the reason that there is an Act of the State Legislature upon which that Court has not passed an opinion.
He would have the judges believe, that this Act of the State Legislature is binding upon them, and that they are in duty bound to reject the votes of all persons who are marked down as deserters upon the record of the Provost Marshal.
That this is not the case, we propose to show by the construction which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has given to the Act of Congress, and by the editor of the Repository himself.
Section 21 of the Act of Congress approved March 3d, 1865, reads as follows:
SECTION 21. And be it further enacted, That in addition to the other lawful penalties of the crime of desertion from the military or naval services, all persons who have deserted the military or naval service of the United States, who shall not return to said service or report themselves to a provost marshal within sixty days after the proclamation hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed and awaken to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship and their rights to become citizens; and such deserters shall be forever incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under the United States, or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and all persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction of the district in which he is enrolled, or go beyond the limits of the United States, with intent to avoid any draft into the military or naval service, duly ordered, shall be liable to the penalties of this section * * *
It will be seen by this section, that "all persons who have deserted the military or naval service," shall be deemed to have forfeited their rights of citizenship. Such persons are not entitled to vote.
But how is the fact of desertion to be ascertained? Is it to be taken for granted upon mere rumor? Is suspicion of the fact to be regarded as proof? Is the mere writing down of the word deserter by a Provost Marshal opposite a man's name, to be considered as evidence of desertion? No.--The Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania, provide, that in "all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel," "nor can he be deprived of LIFE, LIBERTY OR PROPERTY WTIHOUT PROCESS OF LAW." There can be no conviction unless by the judgement of his peers, the law of the land, and innocence is presumed until guilt is proven. Thus it will be seen that the fundamental law of the land guarantees to every citizen the inalienable rights of life, liberty and property.
The construction which the Radical party now seeks to give this Act of Congress would "tear down and scatter to the winds all these safeguards of life, liberty and property."
IN ORDER TO DEPRIVE A CITIZEN OF THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE, HE MUST FIRST BE CONVICTED OF SOME INFAMOUS CRIME BY A COURT CIVIL OR MILITARY. Listen to the ruling of the Supreme Court in Huber vs. Reilly, speaking of the Act of Congress of March 3d, 1865. "It means that the forfeiture which it prescribes, like all other penalties for desertion, must be adjudged to the convicted person after a trial by court-martial and sentence approved. FOR THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCE OF SUCH A COURT THERE CAN BE NO SUBSTITUTE. They alone establish the guilt of the accused and fasten upon him the legal consequences. Such we think is the true meaning of the Act."
Again, "on the other hand, if a record of conviction by a lawful Court be not prerequisite to suffering the penalty of the law, the Act of Congress may work intolerable hardships. The accused with thus be obliged TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE whenever the registry of the Provost Marshal is adduced against him. No decision of a board of election officers will protect him against the necessity of renewing his defence at every subsequent election * * "It is well known also that some who were registered deserters, were at the time actually in the military service as volunteers and honorably discharging their duties to the government"
The plaintiff NOT HAVING BEEN CONVICTED of desertion and failure to return to the service, or to report to a Provost Marshal, and NOT HAVING BEEN SENTENCED TO THE PENALTIES AND FORFEITURES OF THE LAW, WAS ENTITLED TO VOTE."
This is the language of the highest judicial authority in our Commonwealth, and as such is binding upon every citizens.
Summed up in a few words, it means, even granting that Congress may pass an Act of disfranchising a citizen for desertion, the fact of desertion must be established by proof of the conviction and sentence of the deserter by court-martial. No judge of an Election Board dare reject a vote on this ground until such proof is furnished. Without such proof, every vote he rejects, he rejects at his peril.
We come now to the record which the editors of the Repository has made for himself upon this question.
At the session of the State Legislature in the year 1865, a bill was introduced providing for the disfranchisement of deserters.
On pages 611 and 612, of the Legislative Record will be found the remarks of Col. McClure on this bill. We regret that we can not give them at length. Want of space requires us to content ourselves with a few extracts:
Mr. McCLURE. Mr. Speaker, the safety of the country, imperiled by civil war, is to be found in a faithful adherence to its Constitution, its fundamental law. * *
If it is possible to make a bill clearly and unqualifiedly unconstitutional, this bill is so. It is in direct violation of the language and the entire spirit of the Constitution. I ask the majority of this House to pause before putting upon the statue book a law which the courts of this State, I care not how construed, must set aside as an infaction of the organic law of the Commonwealth. The Constitution of the State defines the qualifications of an elector. This bill proposes to disqualify an elector, in direct opposition to the terms of the Constitution. * * * * * * *
Here you propose to aim a blow at the very heart of the Constitution, by providing that a man shall cease to be a citizen if he has disregarded a law of Congress. * *
Why, Mr. Speaker, I profess, as a member of the Legislature, to have some knowledge of the Constitution, and I cannot consent to transfer to the Supreme Court the performance of the duty which is incumbent upon me to determine, in the first instance, the constitutionality of every measure for which I vote. If I err in my judgement, the Supreme Court will correct me; but I cannot consent to a vote for a bill directly violative of the Constitution, and console myself with the refection that the Supreme Court will set it right. I beg the gentleman to pause, and not ask a majority of the members of this House to stultify themselves by walking squarely into the very vitals of the Constitution.
There is no power in this legislature by which we can deprive a DESERTER of the right of citizenship; and so long as he has the RIGHT of citizenship, he is ENTITLED TO ALL its advantages. * *
I MUST, THEREFORE, VOTE AGAINST THIS BILL, THOUGH EVERY MAN ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE SHOULD VOTE FOR IT.
How proud the editor of the Repository then was of his reputation as a lawyer!--With what lofty scorn he informs the gentlemen of the House that he has "some knowledge of the Constitution" and that he "determines, in the first instance, the constitutionality of every measure for which he votes!" We take the editor of the Repository at his word. That bill was unconstitutional. This bill which he now sustains is precisely similar in its provisions.--Can it be anything else than unconstitutional also? We submit to the honest, law-abiding Republican citizens of Franklin county whether or not stronger language condemnatory of this bill ever escaped the lips of any Democrat than that to which the editor of the Repository has given utterance as quoted above.
But the Act of Congress disfranchising deserters was passed March 3, 1865. An Act of the State Legislature followed, providing for the carrying out of the provisions of the Act of Congress. Meanwhile the case of Huber vs. Reilly had been decided by his Honor Judge King, and preparations were being made to carry it to the Supreme Court, Colonel McClure himself being one of the counsel for Plaintiff in Error. Governor Curtin hesitated about signing the Act passed by the Legislature, doubtless on account of doubt as to its constitutionality on his own part, and very likely influenced by the potent argument (published in the Legislative Record of 1865) of his intimate friend Colonel McClure. But the "loyal soldiery" of the country were soon to meet in Convention at Pittsburgh. Intimations were thrown out to the Governor that unless he signed this bill, he would be denounced by that Convention in unmeasured terms. The bill was signed.
And then the editor of the Repository took the position that if the Act of Congress should fall, the Act of the Legislature would amount to nothing. On the 6th of June last, we find this language in the letter of the Harrisburg correspondent of the Repository:
The Governor has signed the bill of the last legislature, providing for the more faithful execution of the law of Congress disfranchising deserters. It is expressly predicated upon the act of Congress; recites its title and main provision in the preamble and proceeds to define certain duties and penalties for public officers to secure the enforcement of the law of Congress. If the act of the Congress is not constitutional, then the act of the legislature of necessity falls to the ground, for its whole vitality is dependent upon the enactment of the general government.
Not satisfied with this, aiming to create an impression that he was inclined to be candid and honest in this matter, on the 13th of the came month, he says editorially:
If the act of Congress disfranchising deserters should be declared unconstitutional, then must the act of the late legislature of necessity fall with the parent law. It is but an auxiliary to the act of Congress, and that the legislature well knew the fact is clearly manifest by its preamble, as follows:
"WHEREAS, By the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act to amend the several acts heretofore passed to provide for the enrolling and calling out of the national forces, and for other purposes," and approved March 3d, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, all persons who have deserted the military or naval service of the United States, and who have not been discharged or relieved from the penalty or disability therein provided, are deemed and taken to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship and their rights to become citizens, and are deprived of exercising any rights of citizens thereof:
"And Whereas, Persons not citizens of the United States are not, under the constitution and laws of Pennsylvania, qualified electors of this Commonwealth."
It Will be seen that the legislation of the Stale is distinctly predicated on the law of Congress, and properly so. No lawyer would pretend to assume that the legislature of 1866 could define and enforce new penalties for offences committed in 1864 or 1863, AND FOR A JOURNAL OR POLITICIAN TO INSIST THAT SUCH WAS THE INTENTION OF THE LEGISLATURE, IS TO BETRAY A MOST LAMENTABLE IGNORANCE OF WELL SETTLED RULES OF LAW, AND TO MAKE A SEVERE DRAFT UPON THE SUPPOSED DISPOISITON OF THE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE LAWS OF THE LAND AS THEIR POLTIICAL PREJUDICES MAY DICTATE.
Can language be stronger? The Supreme Court of the State has said that under the Act of Congress, the man who has not been convicted of desertion by a court martial has a right to vote. Will Colonel McClure "pretend to assume that the Legislature of 1866 could define and enforce new penalties for ofences committed in 1864 or 1865?" Or that the Judges of Election can take less proof of desertion under the act of the Legislature than is required under the Act of Congress? But Colonel McClure gives further evidence of his disbelief in the binding effect of the Act of the Legislature. After the decision was announced in Huber vs. Reilly, to wit, on the 27th of June last, he says in his paper:
It is true that we have an act of the last legislature imposing penalties upon election officers for accepting such votes, and also upon deserters for offering their votes; and that law, being as yet unquestioned judicially, is the law of the State; but the recent decision of course declares in advance that the act of the State will be set aside as soon as the Supreme Court can get a chance to do so.
And yet, although expressing the conviction that "the Act of the State will be set aside as soon as the Supreme Court can get a chance to do so," he counsels the Judge of Elections that this is their duty to carry out the provisions of this Act.
What shameless audacity! Regardless of his own private declarations made to numbers of our citizens that this Act of the Legislature is utterly null and void; regardless of his utterances as published in the Legislative Record, that such an Act as this one in question is clearly unconstitutional regardless of his editorial statements to the same effect; in open defiance of the decision of the Supreme Court of the State in a case which he took before that Court himself, Col. McClure has the effrontery now, for base partisan purposes to advise honest citizens to do, what he believes, and has declared to be, illegal and unconstitutional.--He has sunk his manhood. He has given the lie to his professions of candor and honesty. He has condescended to practice deception upon the men of his party who look to him for honest counsel. It seems strange indeed that for the purpose of attaining political ends, men will sometimes "throw conscience to the dogs" and become as unscrupulous as the Devil himself.
We have exposed the duplicity of the editor of the Repository . We have shown his own record. We now say to the Judges of the Election in Franklin county. The man who has been convicted and sentenced by a court martial for desertion, has no right to vote. If that fact is proven to you, reject his vote. If the proof is not clear against a citizen THAT HE HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF DESERTION BY A COURT-MARTIAL AND SENTENCED TO THE FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES OF THAT CRIME, YOU MUST ACCEPT HIS VOTE. The Democracy have determined that no man shall go unpunished who deprives a single citizen of his vote on the ground of desertion without clear proof of his conviction and sentence by a court martial.
(Column 3)Summary: Recounts the politcal conversion and reversion of J. W. Deal, who, the article maintains, became a loyal Johnson supporter to keep his appointment before returning back to the Republican fold.
(Names in announcement: A. K. McClure, John W. Deal)Origin of Article: RepositoryEditorial Comment: "The following card, written by A. K. McClure and signed by John W. Deal, appeared in last week's Repository:"
Full Text of Article:The County Ticket
To the Editors of the Franklin Repository: Having been selected by the Central Committee of the National Union Party, without any knowledge and consent, a delegate to the late Philadelphia Convention which had called the convention, was a loyal party, with loyal principles and could not make common cause with traitors and copperheads.
In that convention no word was uttered against treason, no word of cheer or assurance of protection was given to the loyal men now oppressed by traitors in the South, and its chief work was to form a coalition with unrepentant enemies of the government to restore them to honor and power.--Nor did it stop with the principle that traitors must be restored to the power they used to betray the Union into the power of treason, but the National Union party was transferred bodily to the copperheads in the North, and the demand made that the friends of the administration must support the copperhead candidates for Governor, Congress and the Legislature. Having long cherished political convictions which are not in harmony with the principles of the administration as now declared, it is but an act of justice to myself to say that I shall hereafter, as heretofore, cordially support the entire Union ticket and give my best efforts for its success. If for thus maintaining fidelity to the principles taught the nation by Andrew Johnson, I shall prove offensive to his administration as an official, my place is at his disposal, but my convictions and my sense of duty are my own.
JOHN W. DEAL.
Chambersburg, August 25, 186.
In the face of the facts which are well known to everybody in this community, the publication of the above card is decidedly cool, and must have required a degree of assurance that we did not suppose even Mr. Deal possessed. It is not a pleasant duty for us to expose the shameless hypocrisy and deception, not to say knavery, which it is known Mr. Deal has been practicing for two or three months past in order to retain possession of the Post Office. But as he has voluntarily, and we think, imprudently put himself into print, he must abide by the consequences, and not complain if the record which we shall truthfully make for him is not calculated to elevate him in the estimation of high-minded and honorable men.
And now let us look at the facts of the case. Some two or three months ago Mr. Deal conceived the idea, or rather it was suggested to him by another more practiced in these arts than himself, (our readers can easily guess who?) of securing his re-appointment as Post Master by deceiving the Administration as to his position on the great issues of the day. To this end an agent, whom we will not name, was sent to Washington to carry the scheme into effect. The agent succeeded in "shutting the eyes" of Senator Cowan and Montgomery Blair, who were induced to believe that Mr. Deal was an ardent and earnest supporter of the President's policy. Subsequently, however, he received a very pointed letter from the Post Master General asking him to define his position in writing. This letter he showed to a prominent republican of this place and told him of the plan he had adopted or rather that had been suggested to him by the man behind the scene, for deceiving the Post Master General. And that was put on a bold face in his reply, referring Mr. Randall in confident terms to Mr. Cowan and Mr. Blair for information in regard to his political status. Mr. Randall, supposing him to be "all right," if Messrs. Cowan and Blair endorsed him, sent in his appointment. Thus his nomination to the Senate was secured. He then got his radical friends here to write letters to Senator Wilson and other radical Senators assuring them that he was "all right" with them too. In this way he secured his confirmation by the Senate. Great chuckling and rejoicing was indulged in radical circles over the successful accomplishment of this great act of deception and fraud, and many were the witty remarks perpetrated by the "head devil" in the business at the expense of prominent Democrats who were supposed to have been so completely out-witted.
But it was soon found that it was one thing to obtain an appointment by practicing deception, and quite another and more difficult thing to retain it by such means.--Troubles began to loom up almost immediately. Orders were received by Mr. Deal to attend the Philadelphia Convention. Here was trouble sure. They demanded a public acknowledgment of his faith. How could he do this and retain his standing as a sound radical. He flew to his great counselor for advice. The advice was characteristic of the giver. "Go to the Convention, keep your mouth shut, come home and practice the deception to the end." He went, but like many other hardened sinners who have gone to protracted meetings determined to persist in their sins and yet returned home converts to the truth. Mr. Deal, on the first day of the Convention, was smitten with conviction, and on the second day publicly professed an entire change of heart on the political questions of the day. On the evening of the second day of the Convention he came to the writer of this article, at the Merchant's Hotel, and voluntarily made the following statement, in substance, to wit: "I came here without the least expectation of being able to give the action of the Convention my approval. I so told my friends before I left home. But since my arrival here, hearing Gov. Orr's speech, and seeing the spirit of genuine patriotism and sincerity which seems to animate the delegates representing the Southern States, and the spirit concession and conciliation prevailing on every hand and among all parties represented in the Convention, I confess that my prejudices have all been removed. I feel that I can heartily support Mr. Sharpe for Congress, and as for Geary and Clymer, I prefer supporting Clymer for the reason they are both Democrats, and I believe Clymer to be an honest man, whilst Geary is not." This Statement we are willing to substantiate by affidavit if necessary. He afterwards had an interview with William M'Lellan, Esq., in his room at the Merchant's Hotel, where he made substantially the same statement. He openly avowed himself a convert to the policy of the Administration, in the hotels and on the streets of Philadelphia, to every acquaintance with whom he came in contact. His endorsement of the action of the Convention and his open declarations in favor of the conservative cause after his return home are familiar to all our citizens, and need not be repeated here. He even went so far as to go into conference with some of our leading Democrats, and counseled them in relation to the plans of the campaign, all the while professing his entire willingness to co-operate with them cordially and in good faith. But scarcely a week had elapsed before it was rumored that, like "the old dog returning to his vomit and the sow to her wallowing in the mire." he had backslidden from the faith he had so lately professed affording another striking illustration of the truth of the adage that "sudden conversions are seldom lasting." Under the influence of a pressure which he had not the moral courage to resist, and through the manipulation of his master behind the curtain, these rumors soon culminated in reality in the appearance of the card which we have quoted at the beginning of this article.
Such are the facts of the case. We have made statements reluctantly, for we wish it to be understood that towards Mr. Deal personally we cherish none but the kindest feelings. We would not have exposed the vacillation, the weakness and the folly of hi course, had not the publishers of his hypocritical card made it an imperative duty on our part. We could not, if we would, permit a false impression to go abroad in regard to this matter, without an effort to counteract its evil influence. The cause of Truth and Right demanded that the exposure should be made, and we have now performed what we conceived to be our duty honestly, fearlessly and truthfully.--For his sake, and for his only, we could have wished that he acted more consistently. As for the Democracy, his going back to his "first love" was a great relief to them--it was positively an act of kindness towards them, though doubtless not so intended by him. During the few brief days of his conservatism it became pretty well established that he could control no vote but his own, and even his own was from the first considered by many as doubtful. But admitting that his vote would have been sure, according to promise, to pay two thousand dollars a year for one vote was thought to be rather steep. Hence universal joy prevailed in Conservative circles when the announcement was made that he had gone back.
The record of "Post Master Deal" is before the public. We are willing that the public shall judge whether he has come out of the conflict with clean hands and unsullied honor?
(Column 5)Summary: Provides a brief biography/endorsement of each of the Democratic nominees for office from Franklin county.
(Names in announcement: R. W. McAllen, William D. McKinstry, H. C. Keyser, Daniel Gelwix, John L. Deitrich, John Lindsay, John Small, William D. Guthrie)Full Text of Article:Resolution
The Democratic County Convention which met in this place on Tuesday of last week, to nominate a ticket to be supported at the ensuing election, on the second Tuesday of October next, performed its work well. The ticket formed is among the strongest that has been put forward by either party for some years. The gentlemen comprising it are all men of high character, enjoying the unbounded confidence and respect of the communities in which they reside, and are will qualified to perform the duties of the various positions for which they have been named. It is emphatically a strong ticket, and by a thorough organization and faithful exertions on the part of our friends throughout the county, it can easily be elected.
The nomination of Gen. R. W. McAllen for the Legislature, is one that was pre-eminently fit to be made. Gen. McAllen was amnng the first in this county to respond to the call of his country for volunteers in the spring of 1861, to defend the capital of the nation against the assaults of the rebel insurgents. He organized, immediately after the bombardments of Fort Sumter, a regiment of men who were encamped for several weeks at "Camp McAllen," west of town awaiting orders to march to the front, but through some misunderstanding with the military authorities, the regiment was not accepted. Sometime afterwards he, in connection with others, organized the 107th regiment. He was elected and commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, and marched with it to the front. This regiment did heroic service in defence of the Union, participating in some of the hardest fought battles of the war. It was in the battle of Cedar Mountain, along with Pope in his disastrous campaign, which ended in the second defeat at "Bull Run," and also in the great battles of South Mountain and Antietam. All through these terrible engagements, Col. McAllen was constantly with his regiment, the command frequently devolving upon him in the absence of the Colonel. Shortly after the battle of Antietam, his health, naturally delicate, having become very much impaired from exposure in the camp and field, he was compelled to resign his commission and return home.--Col. McAllen has been a brave and faithful solider, and the gallant soldiers of this legislative district will not fail to give him an enthusiastic support at the polls. AS a citizen he stands no less high than as a soldier. He is loved and respected by all who know him as a man of stern integrity, ability and purity of private character. He is deserving of the vote of every honest and patriotic man in the district.
His associate on the ticket for Assembly, Thomas Adams, Esq., of Perry, we do not know personally, but learn that he is a substantial farmer of Perry county, enjoying a high reputation for honesty and integrity, in the community in which he lives, and will make an excellent and efficient Representative.
Our candidate for Associate Judge, Wm. D. McKinstry, Esq., is well known to the people of this county. He filled the office of County Treasurer a few years ago with great credit to himself, and for the best interests of the tax payers of the county. He has been tried in a responsible position and proved faithful to the people's interests, and the people will not now turn their backs upon him. His election is certain.
H. C. Keyser, Esq., our candidate for Prothonotary, being one of the editors and proprietors of this paper, it might not be considered appropriate or modest to say much in his praise in these columns. Suffice it to say that he filled the position once for the full term of three years, to the entire satisfaction as far as we know, of the court, and the people of the county, and we hazard nothing in saying that, if elected, he will do so again.
For Register and Recorder no better nomination could have been made. Daniel Gelwix of Letterkenny, is a plain, honest, hardworking mechanic. He has literally fulfilled the scriptures, during a life of more than fifty years, in earning his bread by the sweat of his brow. Mechanics and workingmen of Franklin County, this is a nomination which appeals directly to your sympathies and your pride. Rally to his support as one man, and vindicate the honor and respectability of your calling by rolling up an overwhelming majority for one of your own numbers. Letterkenny is god for 150.
John L. Deitrich, of St. Thomas, is the nominee for Clerk of the Courts. He too is a soldier who has seen service. He is also a mechanic, and is now earning a livelihood by daily working at his trade as carpenter. His fellow soldiers and mechanics will see to it that he is triumphantly elected. His clerical abilities are of the first order, and he is in every way well qualified to discharge the duties of the office faithfully and well.
John Lindsay, of Green, for Commissioner, John Small, of Quincy, for Director of the Poor, and William D. Guthrie, of Chambersburg, for Auditor, and are all "good men and true," and will make honest, faithful and efficient officers.
Such, Democrats and Conservative men of Franklin County, is the ticket presented for your suffrage. Rally in your strength to its support. Organize in every election district at once. Be earnest, be vigilant, be active. Push forward the whole column for the whole ticket. See to it that not a man is sacrificed. Let not a single name be scratched, but vote the entire ticket as it came from the hands of the Convention.--Do your whole duty manfully and faithfully as becomes men engaged in a great and holy cause, and a glorious triumph will crown your labors on the evening of the second Tuesday of next month.
(Column 6)Summary: Includes a copy of the resolutions adopted by the Democratic County Convention.
Editorial Comment: "The following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted at the Democratic County Convention last week:"
Full Text of Article:[No Title]
Whereas, The Democratic and Conservative citizens of Franklin county have witnessed with inexpressible pleasure the meeting of the National Union Convention in the city of Philadelphia, and noted with pride its harmonious action and glorious results; and
Whereas, The delaration of principles and purposes there unanimously adopted and published to the world, are eminently wise and patriotic, and should receive the unqualified and cordial approval and support of every citizen who has the true interest of the Union at heart; therefore be it
Whereas, That we call particular attention to that portion of the Declaration which says "representation in the Congress of the United States, and in the electoral college is a right recognized by the Constitution and abiding in every State, and is a duty imposed upon the people, fundamental in its nature and essential to the existence of our republican institutions."
Whereas, That in Andrew Johnson, the President of the United States, we have a man fully adequate to discharge the high and responsible duties of that office, a man of unselfish patriotism and sterling worth, whose whole course in public life has demonstrated his attachment and devotion to the Constitution and the Union, and whose plan of reconstruction establishes his wisdom, foresight, and statesmanship, and must succeed; and we tender to him our earnest co-operation in his patriotic efforts to preserve intact the Constitution, protect and guard the rights of States, secure peace and harmony throughout the Union and elevate us as a nation to a degree of prosperity and greatness unexampled in the history of the world.
Resolved, That we recognize in Hiester Clymer the democratic candidate for Governor, a man of high and unspotted character, a democrat of true and tried fidelity--an able and fearless champion of the rights of the States in the Union, and of the rights of the citizen in the States. The freemen of Pennsylvania will elevate him to that high position which his virtues and statesmanship will so much adorn, by an oldfashioned Jackson majority of fifty thousand.
Resolved, That we hail with feelings of pride and admiration the nomination of J. McDowell Sharpe, for Congress, a pure man and a true democrat, an able lawyer and a profound thinker. In the councils of the nation his learning and eloquence will reflect credit upon his constituency and will plead with persuasive and political voice for the integrity of the Constitution and the perpetuity of the Union.
Resolved, That we will give our hearty and united support, to the ticket this day put in nomination, and will labor with unbending zeal to secure its triumphant election.
Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be, and are hereby tendered to the Hon. George W. Brewer, Chairman, for the very able and eloquent address delivered on this occasion and for the efficient manner in which he has presided over the deliberation of this body.
(Column 6)Summary: Using an extract from the Repository in which whites are admonished to behave with more decorum when in public, the Spirit chastises its rival for asserting that blacks act more dignified than whites.
Origin of Article: RepositoryFull Text of Article:[No Title]
IT is with inexpressible mortification that we are compelled, as truthful chroniclers, to state that the celebration of the colored people, on the 1st of August, passed off without any riot or drunkenness or fighting; whereas on the Saturday when Mr. Light went up in his balloon, the white citizens spent enough for liquor to employ a first class teacher or preacher for a whole year. In a few years, if we progress, a Darkey mother will whip her boy if she sees him playing with white children. We have a suggestion to make to those who were opposed to the negro procession. Long time ago, in Scotland, the rival clans gave so much trouble and annoyance to the government that they determined to let them fight it out with champions selected from both sides. The plan was perfected, and both sides got enough.
We reproduce the above from the Repository of a few weeks ago, in order that our readers may know in what estimation they are held by our neighbor. In the above extract, the negro is held up as a pattern of sobriety and a model of good behavior, worthy of all imitation, whilst our white citizens, are, in effect, stigmatized as drunken rowdies. If negro suffrage be not an issue in the elections this fall, as is asserted by the Repository and kindred journals, negro equality certainly is not. The above places the negro in such apposition of superiority that our debased white race can scarcely hope to attain anything near it.--White men of Franklin county, what do you think of the position accorded you by the Repository? Will you support a party whose organ places you lower in the scale of morality than the miserable African?
As to the "suggestion" made in the extract, we think that if acted upon the writer of the above were one of the champions he would act much in the same manner as the young chief of the Clan Quehole in the famous contest alluded to.
(Column 8)Summary: Informs white men that the Pay Department is preparing to disburse bounties to black soldiers as prescribed by the Congressional Act of June 26th, which will total around $20,000,000.
Local and Personal--Democratic County Committee
(Column 1)Summary: Lists the members of the Democratic County Executive Committee.Local and Personal--Turn Soldiers
(Names in announcement: H. F. Kimmel, H. M. White, Calvin Duncan, Alex Martin, J. N. Shilloh, Samuel West, John Goshorn, James B. Orr, R. C. McCurdy, Henry Brendle, C. W. Rodes, J. W. Hays, Jacob Miller, Samuel Nickodemus, William Boyd, John GillanJr., William Piles, Dr. William A. Hunter, Jacob Elliot, Daniel Stake, John S. Simmons, E. J. Small, Denton Brewer, George Johnston, D. F. Ritchie, Wesley Howe, Henry Skinner)
(Column 1)Summary: Announces that a meeting of honorably discharged soldiers "favorable to the policy of President Johnson, and the election of Hiester Clymer" will take place at the Court House on Sept. 5th. The objective of the meeting is to organize a permanent Johnson and Clymer Club.Local and Personal--Hon. Montgomery Blair
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that Montgomery Blair, a "distinguished advocate of President Johnson's Restoration Policy," will be speaking in Chambersburg on Sept. 6th at the Court House.Local and Personal--Teachers' Institute
(Column 1)Summary: States that the Franklin County Teachers Institute will hold a five-day seminar in Greencastle on November 12th.Local and Personal--A Uniform Series of School Books
(Names in announcement: P. M. Shoemaker, J. R. Gaff)
(Column 1)Summary: Lists the books used by the Franklin county schools.
(Names in announcement: P. M. Shoemaker)Full Text of Article:Local and Personal--Serious Accident
At a meeting in this place, on the 31st ult., of delegates appointed to recommend a uniform series of School Books for Franklin county it was resolved that the following series be recommended for adoption:
Osgood's Speller and Reader; Gould and Brown's English Grammar; Martindale's U. S. History; Goodriches' General History; Webster's Dictionary; Dean's Series of Arithmetics; Davies' Algebra; Brook's Normal Geometry; Potter & Hammon's Penmanship; Mitchell's Geographies (new series); Warren's Physical Geographies; Smith's Astronomy; Natural Philosophy, [UNCLEAR] ; Peterson's Familiar Science; Cutter's Physiology; Mayhew's Book Keeping; Shepard's Constitutional Text Book; Apgar's Geographical Drawing Book.
Resolved, That the county papers be requested to publish the proceedings of this Convention. P. M. Shoemaker,
HENRY ONWAER, SEC. President.
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that an accident involving two women, Miss Myers and Mrs. Ditch, occurred when the buggy they were riding in was upset while they were on their home from town.
(Names in announcement: Miss Myers, Mrs. Ditch, Jacob Ditch, Daniel Myers)Origin of Article: Waynesboro RecordMarried
(Column 4)Summary: On August 14th, Charles Rupert, of York, and Nellie Shillito were married by Rev. N. S. Buckingham.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. N. S. Buckingham, Charles Rupert, Nellie Shillito)
(Column 4)Summary: On August 30th, Franklin Vandaraw and Maria Mowers, of Fayetteville, were married by Rev. F. Dyson.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. F. Dyson, Franklin Vandaraw, Maria Mowers)
(Column 4)Summary: On August 22nd, George Harper, of Adams county, and Elizabeth Franklin were married by Rev. G. Roth.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. G. Roth, George W. Harper, Elizabeth Franklin)
(Column 4)Summary: On August 30th, George Miller and Mary J. Stoops were married by Rev. J. Dickson.
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Dickson, George H. Miller, Mary J. Stoops)
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