Valley Spirit: January 1, 1868Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
General Winfield S. Hancock
(Column 01)Summary: Calls on Congress to pass a vote of thanks for General Hancock's conduct as a district commander in reconstructing Southern States. Compares Hancock's deferment to civil law over other district commanders enforcement of civil rights for African Americans. Quotes President Johnson's praise for the general and also says Hancock is the perfect model to show both America and Europe that republican government is not dead.
Full Text of Article:Grant and the Presidency
During our late war, whenever a signal victory was won, it was the custom of Congress to pass a resolution embodying a vote of thanks to the commander of the triumphant forces. This action was doubtless based upon the idea that a prompt recognition and proclamation of meritorious conduct would stimulate our soldiery to nobler deeds of courage and their leaders to greater activity. It was also deemed desirable to trumpet our successes to the whole country, so as to encourage the nation in the work of crushing the rebellion. Exceeding care was taken, too, to let the European world know that victory had perched upon our banners, so as to intimidate those foreigners who were inclined to aid the South in the attempt to dissolve the Union. With all this we have no fault to find. It is but right that he who perils his life in the defence of his country should receive his due need of praise. Love of country is not the only stimulant of the soldier. Ambition often impels men to the display of extraordinary heroism. Love of fame is sometimes stronger than love of country. But whether it is patriotism or ambition that animates the military hero, there is nothing which spurs the one or intensifies the other more than the plaudite of his fellow men. The surest way, therefore, to excite men to a continuance in well-doing, or to an effort after higher and nobler things, is to see to it that they get the proper credit for what they have already done. These thoughts have been called forth by the conduct of General Hancock in the South. As everyone knows, the acts of Congress pretending to look to the reconstruction of the Southern states conferred almost unlimited power upon the district commanders. Sheridan and Pope took advantage of this power and advancing, retarded healthy reconstruction. Under their administration, the State governments were rapidly handed over to the control of the negro. from constable up to Governor, were removed without any hesitation on political grounds. The process of the Courts was unobserved and openly disregarded. The writ of habeus corpus was trampled beneath the feet of their soldiery wearing the United States uniform. Trial by jury had become a farce. Negroes stepped into the jury-box and were declared competent and free to fill the highest offices in the States.
But when Hancock took command of the district over which Sheridan had played the tyrant, a different order of things was established. He declared the civil law to be supreme. He announced his determination to uphold and protect the courts in the exercise of their lawful authority. He shewed himself unwilling to blot from his memory the recollection of those great rights which the Barons of England wrung from King John on the plains of runnymede, and which have become the chartered privileges of the American people. He regards the military not as an instrument to oppress but, on the contrary, to protect the people. The soldiers under his authority are to be used to enforce, not to violate the law. The sacred right of trial by jury is not to be taken away in violation of the constitution of the United States. The privilege of the writ of habeus corpus is to be preserved at all hazards. The liberties of the citizen are not to be guarded as of no account, but are to be guarded with the most scrupulous care. No selfish ambition moved him to the exercise of unconstitutional measures in order to render himself popular with the fanatical magnates in Congress.
In thus determining to bring the Southern States again under the operation of the civil law, General Hancock has shown an appreciation of the true spirit of our republican institutions which entitles him to prompt consideration at the hands of Congress.--And President Johnson suggested something eminently appropriate in his special message to Congress when he recommended a public recognition of his patriotic conduct.
Such action would be proper for three reasons. First, it would have an excellent effect upon General Hancock himself. It would stimulate him with fresh vigor for renewed efforts in behalf of constitutional liberty. It would bear to his heart the fact that his unselfish patriotism has been duly appreciated by those who legislate for the country. It would teach him to continue in the good work of exacting a rigid observance of the law in preference to the exercise of unrestrained arbitrary power. No doubt he has the approval of his own conscience which is a sufficient reward for the faithful performance of his duty, but there is nothing like sympathy felt, and sympathy expressed, in nerving a man for the performance of difficult undertakings.
Secondly, it might exert a salutary influence upon the nation. In these days of wholesale corruption, it is refreshing to find a public man who stifles his lust for power, if any he has, and refuses to shape his course with a view to conciliate the ruling party. When other district commanders are reveling amid the pomp and pageantry of their military power, it is gratifying to see a General marking his every act by the strictest republican simplicity. Whilst Pope is putting forth every energy with a view only to better his standing with a particular organization and with the avowed purpose of reconstructing the Southern States in the interest of the Radicals and the negro, it is a source of unbounded satisfaction to discover one whose only anxiety is to so act that the Republic shall receive no detriment. Well has the President said, "of such an act as his, at such a time, it is but fitting that the dignity should be vindicated, and virtue proclaimed, so that its value as an example may not be lost to the nation." Our people have become too familiar with the abuse of their dearest rights by high military officials during the war. They have seen the safeguards of their liberties stricken down. They have trembled at the growing inclination to do away with the time-honored usages of their ancestors, and to substitute new and startling customs in their stead. Hence they can not be too soon familiarized with the old forms of law which the war temporarily set aside. The true greatness of this nation lies in the path which our constitution marks out. Let it be taught to applaud public virtue, republican simplicity and a rigid observance of the laws.
Thirdly: The cause of republicanism throughout the world will be advanced by an official utterance on the part of Congress of their approval of General Hancock's course. By the word republicanism, we mean the principles of republican government. It was the boast of the monarchical governments of Europe when our civil war began, that our republic was a failure. They argued that strength and stability could alone be found in their system. The wish as to us was, with them, doubtless, father to the thought. The splendor of our young republic so dazzled their eyes that they imagined that it would soon outstrip all other governments in the contest for preeminence. They naturally became envious of its successful operation, and, consequently, gloried in the internal dissensions which threatened its dismemberment and downfall. And when our war closed, and Radicalism seized upon the military power as an engine of oppression, they naturally supposed that we were gravitating towards a stronger government, and that soon our boasted institutions would pass from the hands of the many into the hands of the few. They cannot understand a system of government based on the judgments and consciences of the masses. They are partial to military governments, just as they are to monarchies, because they smack of despotism wielded by a privileged few.
Let the announcement go out therefore to the world that republican government is not a failure--that we have no idea as a nation of wiping out republican institutions--that we are wedded to the old faith of our forefathers who rebelled against the tyranny of Great Britain--that the majesty of our law is more impressive, and more worthy of our sacred regard than the splendor and power of royalty, and that we honor those most of all who yield their first and truest allegiance to the constitution which is our supreme law. By all means, let Congress bear public testimony to the value of General Hancock's services.
(Column 03)Summary: The editor responds to the Franklin Repository's praise of General Grant by opposing Grant's nomination for president for the Democratic party. Analyzes a letter Grant wrote protesting the removal of Sheridan and Stanton to show how unfit he would be as president for either party. Constantly cites Grant's refusal to take a stand on issues or principal.
Full Text of Article:Another Negro Murder in North Carolina
The Repository refers us very politely to the letter of General Grant addressed to the President protesting against the removal of Sheridan and Stanton, as an evidence of his loyalty and peculiar fitness for the Radical nomination. We have never questioned General Grant's loyalty. We knew, too, that the man who wielded the strength of the Union armies and periled his life in defence of his country would naturally be very favorably disposed towards a companion in arms who had borne himself bravely and won fame in the contest for our National existence. We do not wonder therefore at General Grant's sympathy for Sheridan. But it is not loyalty alone, even judged by the strange standard which was set up during the war, that is to win a nomination at the hands of our opponents. In the words of the Morning Post of Philadelphia, "to say that Grant is loyal is not enough; we must know whether he is Radical." No matter what his predilections are for certain officials; no matter what is the construction which he puts upon a particular law; no matter that he is mortified at the summary decapitation of his military friends,-- all this has very little to do with his fitness for the nomination as the candidate of the Radical party for the Presidency. The one consideration, overshadowing all others, is his position on the question of the rights of the negro. Is he in favor of negro suffrage? Is he willing to place the negro on terms of perfect political and social equality with the white man? If not, he can not be the standard bearer of the Radical party. The argument of availability will not stifle the voice of principle. Men there are, strong, able men among the Radical leaders who would rather suffer overwhelming defeat than surrender their fanatical notions. They are determined on having the issue distinctly made without regard to the consequences. Can the Repository show us anything from General Grant favorable to negro suffrage? Does the letter to which we are referred commit him in favor of that doctrine? Not at all. Then why should our neighbor pretend to glean any comfort and encouragement from it? The truth is, the Repository has staked the success of the Radical party upon a throw of the die. It is trusting to blind fate, hoping that the good fortune which attended its organization during the war, will replace the disasters which it has so recently experienced. We have carefully read the letter to which our neighbor has called our attention, but we have utterly failed to discover anything therein on the question of negro suffrage.
But, we must be allowed to say further that the Repository has exhibited an unusual degree of dullness of comprehension if it has for an instant supposed that we desire the Democracy to nominate General Grant for the Presidency. It says, "it(the SPIRIT) has heretofore betrayed a great desire to capture him as an available candidate for the Democracy." Permit us to correct you once for all, neighbor. We have never experienced such a desire, entertained such a hope, or written a line with a view to accomplish such a purpose. We would not favor General Grant's nomination under any circumstances. In the first place we prefer a civilian, and, in the second place, we do not believe that General Grant is composed of the stuff of which Presidents ought to be made. If the Radicals shall see fit to select some other man as their standard-bearer, we will not favor the General's nomination by the Democracy as a matter of expediency. Observing, as we think we do, the distinct line which separates the two great parties of the present day, we can not give our confidence to a man who refuses to speak and let the nation know what his opinions are or the great questions at issue. We would not give a picayune for the man who has not sufficient strength of intellect to entertain an opinion and sufficient independence of character to express it regardless of personal consequences. Reticence in a public man might be excused if his personal interests were alone involved. But when the public weal is at stake--when enormous deception may be practised by reason of his impenetrability, his duty as a patriot requires him to give utterance to his political opinions. If nobody were interested in the question who shall be President but General Grant, it might make no difference what General Grant's opinions are. But when every measure now introduced into our governmental system is of such vital importance and transcendent interest to the whole American people, neither General Grant, nor any other man who is likely to be called upon to take charge of our national affairs, has a right to seal his lips and refuse to commit himself upon the leading question which agitates the public mind. We imagine that General Grant has concluded not to commit himself until such time as he thinks he has divined the direction in which the popular current is running. It seems to us that if he were gifted with ordinary preceptive faculties, it would not take him long to see that the people, whose will he has declared is the law of the land, are not very favorably disposed towards the doctrine of negro equality. He seems, however, to have no skill in foretelling events by the shadows which they cast before them. In this very same letter, to which our special attention has been directed, he took occasion to use the following language with reference to Sheridan:
In conclusion, allow me to say as a friend desiring peace and quiet, the welfare of the whole country, North and South, that it is in my opinion, more than the loyal people of the country--I mean those who supported the Government during the great rebellion will quietly submit to: to see the very man of all others who they have expressed confidence in removed.
The result thus predicted has not been realized. So far from refusing to submit quietly to this action of the President, the people have given it their hearty approval. The attempt to lionize the deposed General was a wretched failure. Americans know how to appreciate courage and military genius upon the battle field, and, at the same time, to rebuke acts of tyranny proceeding from a disposition to oppress the vanquished and a desire to subordinate the civil to the military power. They love republican institutions, and will not rally to the standard of any man who desires to supplant them, or who would be willing to commit them for safe keeping into the hands of an ignorant and degraded race which has never shown any capacity for self-government. The removal of Sheridan, therefore, contrary to General Grant's expectations, has not awakened any considerable indignation or clogged the wheels of government for a single instant.
As to Stanton, about whom General Grant was also exceedingly exercised, the cause is still worse. The great "organizer of victory" has sunk almost completely out of sight, if not altogether out of mind. The only occasions on which he is expected to engage public attention is when some one of his victims drags him into a court of justice, to seek redress for the high-handed outrages of which he has been the villainous perpetrator. Nobody weeps for Stanton, and even General Grant himself, after declaring in this letter to which our attention is specially directed, that "his removal can not be effected against his will without the consent of the Senate," becomes in fact the instrument of his removal by inditing a short letter over his own signature, to which Stanton surrenders as a "superior force" which he cannot resist.
It gives us pleasure always to make others happy. In thus assuring our neighbors of the Repository of the fact that we have no designs upon General Grant, we experience extraordinary felicity for the reason that their nerves will be thereby soothed, this phantom which their own imaginations have conjured up to haunt them will vanish, and their cup of joy will be filled to the brim.-- Once for all then, we disclaim any partiality for, or interest in General Grant as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency. We shall make no attempt to capture him as an available candidate. The Democratic party is able to stand or fall upon principle. Reverses can not annihilate it. It has borne, and risen superior to, too many defeats to fear permanent disorganization therefrom. It has confidence in its fundamental doctrines. No personal popularity can demoralize its rank and file. The honest, exultant masses who glory in the name of Democracy have refused to bow the knee to the ebony idol which Radicalism has set up, and they will move in solid column against any man who worships at its shrine. Let our neighbor rest assured that if Grant is rejected by the Radical Convention, he will not be the nominee of the Democratic Convention, and that if he shall be declared the standard bearer of the Radical party, not all his splendid military record can save him from the crushing defeat which will be administered by the men who have determined that this shall be emphatically a white man's government.
(Column 07)Summary: The paper reports the alleged murder of a white man by a young African American. The paper declares it "another of those negro outrages so frequent at the South since the emancipation of that unfortunate race."Alabama: Negro Demonstration at Montgomery--Incendiary Speeches
(Column 07)Summary: The paper reports on an African American political meeting in Alabama.Freedmen Starving. A War of Races Impending.
(Column 08)Summary: The paper prints reports that free African Americans exist in a "starving condition" that the editors attribute to "radical policies."
Lecture for the Benefit of the Poor
(Column 01)Summary: Rev. S. H. C. Smith will deliver a lecture at the Court House that will accompany a collection for the poor. Rev. B. S. Schneck will oversee distribution of the proceeds.Important Arrest
(Names in announcement: Rev. S. H. C. Smith, Rev. B. S. Schneck)
(Column 01)Summary: William Stoner was arrested for the shooting of David Montgomery that occurred at the shop of Frank Jones in Wolffstown. Montgomery survived but Stoner escaped into the mountains above Mercersburg. Mr. P. Hamman, Constable of the North Ward, took the prisoner into custody after his arrest in Williamsport.Dedication
(Names in announcement: William Stoner, David Montgomery, Frank Jones)
(Column 02)Summary: A dedication ceremony will take place at the new Lutheran Church in Orrstown. The Revs. Ziegler and Alliman will preside.Death of Dr. Harbaugh
(Names in announcement: Rev. Ziegler, Rev. Alliman)
(Column 02)Summary: Rev. Henry Harbaugh died at his residence in Mercersburg "after a protracted and painful illness." The newspaper declares him "one of the brightest intellects of the German Reformed Church."The Week of Prayer
(Names in announcement: Rev. Dr. Henry Harbaugh)
(Column 02)Summary: The Evangelical Alliance issued guidelines for a "week of prayer," with suggested topics for each day.Married
(Column 04)Summary: Samuel Metz of Winchester and Miss Barbara A. Dynart of Franklin were married on September 24th by the Rev. Dr. Schneck.Married
(Names in announcement: Samuel Metz, Barbara A. Dynart, Rev. Dr. Schneck)
(Column 04)Summary: Abraham Pittinger and Miss Sarah Jane Missavy, both of Greencastle, were married on December 24th by the Rev. W. E. Krens.Married
(Names in announcement: Abraham Pittinger, Sarah Jane Missavy, Rev. W. E. Krens)
(Column 04)Summary: Elijah H. McFern of Guilford and Miss Elizabeth Knepper of Quincy were married on December 26th by the Rev. W. E. Krens.Married
(Names in announcement: Elijah H. McFern, Elizabeth Knepper, Rev. W. E. Krens)
(Column 04)Summary: William Bender of Marion and Miss Sarah Ann Wagoner of Hamilton were married at the residence of the bride on December 10th by the Rev. J. Dickson.Married
(Names in announcement: William Bender, Sarah Ann Wagoner, Rev. J. Dickson)
(Column 04)Summary: Samuel P. Wingerd and Miss Salome Shaffler, both of Franklin, were married in Greencastle on December 24th by the Rev. S. A. Moner.Married
(Names in announcement: Samuel P. Wingerd, Salome Shaffler, Rev. S. A. Moner)
(Column 04)Summary: Jacob F. Christman and Eliza C. Crider, daughter of Jospeh S. Crider, were married in Greencatle on December 25th by the Rev. S. A. Moner.Married
(Names in announcement: Jacob F. Christman, Eliza C. Crider, Joseph S. Crider, Rev. S. A. Moner)
(Column 04)Summary: W. A. Hollenberger of Chambersburg and Miss Sarah J. Weaver of Gettysburg were married on December 19th by the Rev. E. Breidenbaugh.Married
(Names in announcement: W. A. Hollenberger, Sarah J. Weaver, Rev. E. Breidenbaugh)
(Column 04)Summary: John W. Sell, of Illinois, and Miss Mary C. Croft, daughter of John Croft, were married on December 25th by the Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: John W. Sell, Mary C. Croft, John Croft, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 04)Summary: Soloman S. Oyer and Miss Susanna A. Hoover, both of Strasburg, were married on December 26th in the Lutheran parsonage, Chambersburg, by the Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: Soloman S. Oyer, Susanna A. Hoover, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 04)Summary: Samuel S. West and Miss Martha A. Snyder, both of Hamilton, were married on December 26th by the Rev. J. Keller Miller.Married
(Names in announcement: Samuel S. West, Martha A. Snyder, Rev. J. Keller Miller)
(Column 04)Summary: John J. Burns and Miss Annie Mary Shatzer, both of St. Thomas, were married on December 26th by the Rev. J. Shaffer. Rev. W. Polsgrove assisted.Married
(Names in announcement: John J. Burns, Annie Mary Shatzer, Rev. J. Shaffer, Rev. W. Polsgrove)
(Column 04)Summary: T. J. Nid of Hagerstown and Miss E. J. McLanahan of Chambersburg were married on December 24th by the Rev. J. A. Crawford.Married
(Names in announcement: T. J. Nid, E. J. McLanahan, Rev. J. A. Crawford)
(Column 04)Summary: Adam Nicklas and Miss Mary M. Oyler, both of Chambersburg, were married on December 24th by the Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.Married
(Names in announcement: Adam Nicklas, Mary M. Oyler, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 04)Summary: Daniel Ebersole and Miss Carrie Bixlar, both of Fayettville, were married on December 26th by the Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh.Died
(Names in announcement: Daniel Ebersole, Carrie Bixlar, Rev. H. Y. Hummelbaugh)
(Column 04)Summary: Mary E. Staver, wife of John Staver, died on November 17th at the age of 45.
(Names in announcement: Mary E. Staver, John Staver)
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