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Valley of the Shadow

Valley Spirit: July 8, 1868

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The National Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports on the opening of the Democratic National Convention and early balloting for presidential nominees.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Convention
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports on the opening of the Conservative Soldiers' and Sailors' Convention in New York. They cheered General George McClellan, resolved that widows and orphans of soldiers and sailors should be viewed as "the special wards of the nation," and made plans to march in the city streets.
The Amnesty Proclamation
(Column 02)
Summary: Praises Johnson's recent action pardoning everyone who took part in the rebellion. Also criticises Congress for opposing the measure, saying a Democratic president would never be a puppet to Congress like Grant supposedly would be. Claims all Radical propaganda about violence in the South are vicious lies.
Full Text of Article:

Andrew Johnson took the best possible way to celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. In the exercise of his clear constitutional "power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States," he issued an amnesty proclamation which removes all pains, penalties and disabilities from all who were engaged, directly or indirectly, in the rebellion, except those who are under presentment or indictment for treason, or other felony. The wonder is that this step has been so long delayed. The people of the South long ago manifested a disposition to accept the result of the great contest in good faith, by acknowledging the supremacy of the National Government. No opposition to the enforcement of the laws has been shown since the surrender of the rebel armies. Men who went into the war and fought for the establishment of the Southern Confederacy with all the energy and enthusiasm of their fiery natures, at the close of the struggle, went quietly to work to sustain themselves and families and to rebuild their shattered fortunes. Notwithstanding the sensational dispatches with which the people of the North have been regaled--notwithstanding the false reports of numerous outrages said to have been wantonly committed, the truth is that nowhere in the Union has there been greater security for life than in the South. It has been the constant aim of the Radicals to create the impression that the spirit of rebellion has all along been nursed in that section and has only been kept in subjection by the presence of the military forces.--Upon this allegation, Congress has based its legislation so inimical to the interests of the Southern people and so destructive of the most sacred principles of the Constitution. It was high time, therefore, that the President should disabuse the public mind of this impression wherever it has taken hold. We apprehend that the admirable preamble to the proclamation will do this effectually.

The Radical papers assert that it evinces a fresh disposition on the part of the President to renew the quarrel with Congress.--The New York Times says that he should not have ventured on this step without consulting Congress, although it admits that he is acting within his constitutional power.--That is a rich idea, that the Executive is to be such a puppet in the hands of the Legislative Department, that he dare not exercise the authority clearly vested in him, and him alone, by the Constitution without asking its permission. General Grant, if elected, will be willing to demean himself to that extent, but it must not be expected of a Democratic President. And especially would it have been refreshing to see Andrew Johnson getting down on his knees to a Congress that has made use of all the unparliamentary epithets towards him that the English language can furnish--a Congress that has sought to strip him of all the powers with which the Constitution clothes him--a Congress that in its madness and fanaticism, sought to depose him for attempting to remove a Cabinet officer--it would have been peculiarly refreshing to witness Andrew Johnson bending as a suppliant at the bar of the House and making its gracious permission to do what no power on earth can prevent him from doing.

Andrew Johnson has had the independence and moral courage to do what he thought right in this matter. He has lifted a burden from the necks of the Southern people. All honor to him for this proclamation.

The Registry Law
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper praises Pennsylvania's Supreme Court for declaring the Registry Law unconstitutional.
General F. P. Blair's Position
(Column 03)
Summary: Refers to a letter by Frank Blair denouncing the Military Reconstruction Governments in the South. Editor agrees wholeheartedly, speculates that if Johnson had vigorously stated what Blair said, he would have been reelected. Repeatedly calls the Reconstruction governments unconstitutional and degrading to the South.
Full Text of Article:

The letter of General Frank P. Blair which we print in another column will well repay perusal. It surely gives out no uncertain sound. Its author is frank and bold. He knows well--no man knows better--that the object of the Northern soldiery in fighting the battles of the country, was not to establish such bastard governments in the South as have been formed by the Radical Congress. He sees, as all intelligent soldiers see, that instead of the war preserving the "dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired," it has robbed the Southern States of their dignity, impaired their equality, and stripped them of their constitutional rights. A set of Northern squatters has assumed to control the negro population and, through it, the State governments. This has been done in pursuance of the Congressional policy. General Blair is in favor of uprooting this policy. He desires the issue to be put plainly before the country so that the sovereign people may declare whether or not they will tolerate such trampling under foot of State rights. He believes the Reconstruction acts to be in palpable, flagrant violation of the Constitution, and hence he would treat them as null and void from the beginning, and all action taken under them as illegal and consequently of no binding force. He asserts that it will be obligatory upon the President elect, on account of the oath which he takes, to defend the Constitution from the terrible attacks made upon it by Congress. Such action on the part of the new President would make short work of the carpetbaggers and place the State Governments under the control of the citizens of the several states. The day of negro rule would soon be over and the states of the Union would soon enter upon a new career of harmony and prosperity. General Blair, in our judgment, strikes at the root of our difficulties and strikes boldly. The same principle and spirit in Andrew Johnson would have saved the country the ignominy into which the Radicals and their proteges, the negroes, have plunged it. Had he treated the Reconstruction acts as null and void on account of their unconstitutionality, he would have rallied around him a great and strong party which would have born down all opposition, whether wordy or warlike, and ten chances to one, reelected him to the first office in the gift of the American people.

Gen. Grant's Negro Governor
(Column 04)
Summary: The paper denounces General Grant for appointing an African American Governor of Louisiana.
General Frank P. Blair Defines his Position
(Column 05)
Summary: Letter from General Frank Blair outlining his views on national politics. He states that the best way to achieve reunion is to declare all the reconstruction legislation null and void.
Is Grant a Drunkard?
(Column 05)
Summary: Article attacking Grant Grant for his drinking habits.

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To the Democratic Electors of Franklin County
(Column 01)
Summary: B. Y. Hamsher, the chairman of the Democratic County Committee, calls Franklin Democrats to meet to select delegates for the convention that will choose candidates for local office. Representation is set as follows: Antrim 6; North Ward 3; South Ward 4; Concord 3; Dry Run 3; Fayetteville 4; Greenvillage 3; Guilford 4; Hamilton 3; Letterkenny 4; Lurgan 3; Metal 3; Montgomery 3; Orrstown 3; Peters 3; Quincy 5; Southampton 3; Sulphur Spring 3; St. Thomas 4; Washington 5; Warren 3; Welsh Run 3; Total number of delegates 81.
(Names in announcement: B. Y. Hamsher)
Attempted Burglary
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that an African American man attempted to enter a house occupied by Christian Brandt. The editors attack "the black rascal" and opine that "the same scoundrel, in all probability, attempted to enter the house of Mrs. Dechert."
(Names in announcement: Christian Brandt, Mrs. Dechert)
Gone to California
(Column 02)
Summary: Dr. C. L. Bard of Chambersburg left for California where he will permanently relocate.
(Names in announcement: Dr. C. L. Bard)
Federal Hill Seminary
(Column 02)
Summary: Rev. A. S. Foster arrived in Chambersburg to begin planning the opening of a Ladies Seminary at the Federal Hill property he recently purchased. Parents interested in enrolling their daughters are encouraged to meet with the Reverend.
(Names in announcement: Rev. A. S. Foster)
County Commissioner
(Column 02)
Summary: Letter suggesting Capt. John K. Keyser of Welsh Run for the office of County Commissioner.
(Names in announcement: Capt. John K. Keyser)
(Column 04)
Summary: B. Harrmann and Miss Mollie V. Boyd, both of Chambersburg, were married on July 5th by the Rev. S. Barns.
(Names in announcement: B. Harrmann, Mollie V. Boyd, Rev. S. Barns)
(Column 04)
Summary: William M. Savage of Chambersburg and Miss Lucy J. Hatton of Shippensburg were married on June 11th by the Rev. J. Hassler.
(Names in announcement: William M. Savage, Lucy J. Hatton, Rev. J. Hassler)
(Column 04)
Summary: Solomon Holtry and Miss Lavina C. Yos, both of Franklin County, were married on June 18th by the Rev. George H. Beckley.
(Names in announcement: Solomon Holtry, Lavina C. Yos, Rev. George H. Beckley)
(Column 04)
Summary: Catharine Umsted, wife of Samuel Umsted, died on June 28th in Green township. She was 79 years old.
(Names in announcement: Catharine Umsted, Samuel Umsted)

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