Valley Spirit: January 8, 1868Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The Fearful Condition of the South
(Column 01)Summary: A vicious indictment of Republican reconstruction policy. Blames it for the sad state of affairs in the South, especially the lack of industry and commerce crippling the region. Calls on the government to abandon reconstruction and preferable treatment of black southerners, whom the editor considers lazy and unfit to rule. Feels this course of action will stimulate commerce, end burdens like taxation on the North, and bring prosperity to all.
Full Text of Article:Pope's Decapitation
The state of affairs in the South is becoming more terrible every day. The picture presented is a dark one indeed. The heart sickens at the recital of the wants of her people and the dangers to which they are exposed. Starvation is staring many of them in the face. Labor does not meet with proper remuneration. A man may work himself to death and still not earn enough to subsist himself and family. Three millions of people, white and black, are clamoring for bread, and are devoid of the means with which to purchase it. The accounts of the necessities of the poor are becoming more and more painful. The man in the North, surrounded by the comforts, convenience and luxuries of life, blessed with an abundance of money with which to procure all that his appetite craves, little appreciates the horrible condition of those in whose bodies hunger is a never dying worm which keeps gnawing at their vitals continually. His ears are not greeted with the cry of despair which goes out from famishing bodies. He knows not the anguish of heart which he endures who sees his own flesh and blood perishing for want of bread, or shivering and freezing for want of fuel as the cold wintry winds howl around his desolate home. And yet, in the South this is all a painful reality. The necessaries of life cannot be had without money and many have no money at all. They must either starve therefore, or commit crime of some kind to maintain themselves. Hence stealing has become so common. Society has become completely demoralized. Pilfering, petty larceny, cattle-slaying, house-burning and murders are every day occurrences.--Bands of thriftless, wandering negroes roam over the country, seizing whatever lies to their way and converting it to their own use, notwithstanding the fact that they are the only class for which the government appropriates money. Whilst thousands of whites are suffering the horrors of starvation, knowing no place to look to for assistance, the Freedmen's Bureau is in full operation, supplying, as far as its money goes, the wants of the blacks exclusively. The money by which this Bureau is sustained comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers of the North. They have thus the spectacle presented to their eyes of worthless negroes reaping the sole benefit of the immense sums which Congress has appropriated, and which the people must raise, while thousands upon thousands of the men of their own race are in utter destitution and dying for the want of food.
This deplorable condition of affairs is undoubtedly the result of the iniquitous legislation of Congress. When the war closed, the people of the South went to work manfully. They ceased to discuss politics. They left the settlement of the vexed questions flowing out of the war to the victorious North, relying upon the magnanimity and sense of justice of its people. They turned their attention to labor in order to supply themselves with the necessaries of life, thinking that, by the speedy restoration of their respective States to their former harmonious relations with their sister Commonwealth, industry would be stimulated, domestic trade would be revived and prosperity would flow in upon them. But soon Congress began to seek to retard reconstruction instead of endeavoring to hasten it. The majority party dreaded the return of white representatives to the halls of Congress, fearing that it might thereby lose its ascendency and its hold on power. They therefore set themselves to work to manufacture public sentiment against the representation of those States until such time as they could be assured that men would be sent from them to Congress who would adopt their own rule of political action. This programme has been persistently adhered to, and is to be carried out, regardless of the suffering to which individuals may be subjected, or the detriment which the nation will receive therefrom, socially and financially. The whole machinery of government in the South has been stopped. Emigration from the North has been prevented to an enormous extent, for who feels like exchanging a government of law and order for one of anarchy? That free intertercourse between neighboring communities and States which is the very life of business is rendered impossible. Meanwhile the people of the South, cut off from all the benefits of a free interchange of opinions on measures which injuriously affect their interests are burdened with taxation which exhausts the scanty returns of their labor. It is the crying shame of our nation and our generation, that we are waging a vindictive war against not only the men, but the helpless women and children also of the South--not a war of gunpowder, bullets and bayonets, but one which cuts off the supplies of bread from hungry mouths and exposes naked bodies to the extreme cold of this inclement season--and all for the purpose of subjecting that fair territory to negro supremacy, in order that the Radical party may thereby continue to administer our National Government.
It seems, too, as though this blistering disgrace is to continue. Congress appears to be deaf to the wail which comes up from the South. Instead of devising ways and means to minister to the wants of that famishing people--instead of seeking to discover the cause of this distress and attempting to alleviate it--the time of the representatives of the nation is squandered in President making. The moves on the political chess board are more important to them than the cries of millions in want. The remedy must come from the people. These unfaithful servants must be dismissed. They will not obey the behests of their masters. Already have the sovereign people thundered their wishes and commands in their ears, but they have been totally disregarded. How long shall they abuse our patience? How long shall they resist and disobey our commands? These questions are important. The affairs of the nation were never more terribly mismanaged.--General distress in the South; thousands upon thousands out of employment in the North; want of confidence among men in themselves, in each other, and in the government; crime stalking all over the land; national bankruptcy threatening us; repudiation of the public faith hinted at--surely all this should arouse us to thought and action in order to remedy these gigantic evils. The fundamental cause of all this trouble is the mistaken policy of reconstruction of the Radical party. As long as it is continued, there can be no hope of a better condition of things. As long as the South remains unrepresented by men who know her wants and her resources, and who reflect the wishes and sentiments of her people, so long will business remain stagnant, trade continue paralyzed, financial affairs admit of no regulation, terrible distress and want prevail, and the incentives to crime exist.
But change the policy of reconstruction. Abandon the idea of legislating the negro into an equality with, and a superiority to the white man, which is, owing to his nature and the unchangeable decree of the Almighty, an utter impossibility. Abolish the infamous military governments to which the South is subjected. Wipe out the lines which bound the five military districts. Let the civil law have unobstructed sway in all the States of the Union. Admit representatives from the South at once to Congress, not black, but white. Let the cry for confiscation cease,and soon will be witnessed a blessed change. Mutual confidence will be revived, and with it will come a free interchange of the products of the several States. All the markets of the Union will be open to everybody. The wealth of the South will be developed. Her people will labor with a hope of seeing some return therefrom. The negroes will see the necessity of working for themselves in order to provide against want, and will thus contribute in their proper spheres to the establishment of a new order of things, instead of being pampered and encouraged in idleness and vice. The burden of taxation will be lighter upon the people of the North because the South will be able to share it. The Freedmen's Bureau will be swept out of existence and an immense leak in the National Treasury will be thereby stopped. The standing army can be reduced, for no soldiers will be needed to hold the South under military rule. In this way also, the National expenses will be diminished. Retrenchment will begin everywhere. Business will cease to languish. Free trade will be established. Our commerce will be extended. Our Flag will again be the symbol of a united people, and, underlying all, will ere long be the feeling of good will toward each other, which is alone the basis of a permanent Union.
(Column 02)Summary: Applauds President Johnson for removing General Pope from command of the Third Military District of the South. "He is a brave, rough, honest soldier to whom this semblance of war was doubtless disgusting."General Grant's Loyalty
(Column 03)Summary: The paper asserts that General Grant aided the President in removing General John Pope "who is one of the radical advance guard." The editors urge Republicans to ponder that fact.Starvation in the South
(Column 03)Summary: The article reports a "gloomy state of affairs" in the South including "murders, riots, robberies, and burnings."
Origin of Article: Philadelphia LedgerExtension of the Franklin R. Road
(Column 07)Summary: Reports on plan to extend the Franklin Railroad to Hagerstown.
Origin of Article: Hagerstown Mail
(Column 01)Summary: The Rev. Irving Magee, pastor elect of the Lutheran church, will give an introductory sermon on Sunday.Serious Accident
(Names in announcement: Rev. Irving Magee)
(Column 01)Summary: A German named Fredrick Frey fell from his wagon and was run over near Hamilton.Took Possession
(Names in announcement: Fredrick Frey)
(Column 01)Summary: Capt. George W. Skinner, a Democrat, took his position as County Treasurer. The paper applauds the development, and is confident in his abilities and good conduct.General Kenton Harper
(Names in announcement: George W. Skinner)
(Column 01)Summary: The paper prints an obituary for Confederate General Kenton Harper who was born in Chambersburg but moved to Augusta County, Virginia.The Price of Goods
(Names in announcement: Kenton Harper)
(Column 02)Summary: The paper urges buyers to take advantage of the low cost of goods in Chambersburg, since news from New York suggests a general rise in prices soon.Married
(Column 02)Summary: Thomas Kennedy, M. D., and Miss Mary Witherspoon, oldest daughter of William Witherspoon, both of Franklin, were married on December 28th by the Rev. J. A. Crawford.Married
(Names in announcement: Thomas KennedyM. D., Mary Witherspoon, William Witherspoon, Rev. J. A. Crawford)
(Column 02)Summary: Thomas Kyner, of Shippesnburg, and Miss Margaret McKee, daughter of James McKee of Franklin, were married on January 2nd by the Rev. J. A. Crawford.Married
(Names in announcement: Thomas Kyner, Margaret McKee, James McKee, Rev. J. A. Crawford)
(Column 02)Summary: Emanuel T. Anderson and Miss Elizabeth Bash, both of Shippensburg, were married on November 14th by the Rev. J. Hessler.Married
(Names in announcement: Emanuel T. Anderson, Elizabeth Bash, Rev. J. Hessler)
(Column 02)Summary: John Nickles and Miss Catharine P. Fortsky, both of Shippensburg, were married on December 26th by the Rev. J. Hassler.Married
(Names in announcement: John Nickles, Catharine P. Fortsky, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 02)Summary: James A. Waddle and Miss E. M. Allen, daughter of Jeremiah Allen, both of Shippensburg, were married on December 26th by the Rev. J. Hassler.Married
(Names in announcement: James A. Waddle, E. M. Allen, Jeremiah Allen, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 02)Summary: John W. Cradler of St. Thomas and Miss Mary Ann Palmer of Hamilton were married on December 31st by the Rev. J. Shaffer.Died
(Names in announcement: John W. Cradler, Mary Ann Palmer, Rev. J. Shaffer)
(Column 02)Summary: Margaret J. Leberknight, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Leberknight, died in Hamilton on January 1st. She was 9 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Margaret J. Leberknight, Daniel Leberknight, Elizabeth Leberknight)
(Column 02)Summary: A. Wilson Skinner died near Dry Run on January 1st. He was 21 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: A. Wilson Skinner)
(Column 02)Summary: Sylvester Ramsey, son of Brice Ramsey, died near Dry Run on January 2nd. He was 11 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Sylvester Ramsey, Brice Ramsey)
(Column 02)Summary: Rev. James Hynton Bratten died in Chambersburg of chronic bronchitis on January 3rd. He was 59 years old. Bratten was "well known to the people of this town" and "a man of noble and generous impulses, of great energy and perseverance of character." After a conversion 20 years ago, he went into the ministry. He first served the United Brethren Church before joining the Lutherans. He leaves a wife and four children.
(Names in announcement: Rev. James Hynton Bratten)
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