Valley Spirit: April 6, 1870Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
The Border Claims
(Column 01)Summary: Laments the failure of the border claims bill to pass the legislature. Blames special interest groups in the big cities, Republicans, and especially Governor Geary. Again stresses the sacrifices border men made to the cause and how they deserve their just compensation. Says the bill may still pass in the future.
Full Text of Article:The Fifteenth Amendment
The people of the border counties have been refused payment of the debt which the State owes them. This rich Commonwealth, through her Legislature, has refused to be just to her citizens, for the movement to secure payment of the losses sustained at the hands of Union and Rebel forces was not an appeal to the generosity, or magnanimity of the Legislature. It was an earnest and respectful demand for justice. That movement has failed for the present, and the men who are staggering under the terrible losses which fell upon them during the war, have been told by the representatives of the people that they must bear their heavy burdens alone, or, if unable to bear them, must sink under their weight. There is apparently no disposition to shift these burdens from the shoulders of the few to the shoulders of the many, and to make the tens of thousands who lived in peace and comfort during the war, share, in some degree, the losses which befell, in a common cause, those who were always open to the ravages of the enemy. We say in some degree, for even if every dollar that was lost on the border, in horses, cattle, grain, household goods and comfortable homes, had been paid, in accordance with our demand, the compensation would be inadequate. Talk of the losses which Harrisburg, or Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh sustained. A Philadelphia paper gravely commented on the loss that Philadelphians sustained, owing to the interruption of business. That article was exceedingly ludicrous to our people. Had Philadelphians witnessed the total suspension of business here, not for days, or weeks even, but for whole months--had they seen the hurried packing and shipment of goods, time and again--had they seen the droves of cattle and horses that were captured--had they seen large store rooms broken open and plundered--had they witnessed the ransacking of private houses from garret to cellar--had they stood where property and life were endangered by the terrible conflict that raged all around them--had they been forced to fly from their homes, fired by the torch of the invading foe, and when night came, found themselves without any roof above them except God's own arched sky, they might talk and write of the loss which Philadelphians sustained. But until such has been their experience, let them cease to compare their trivial annoyance to the gigantic misfortunes and calamities which have deranged the business, blighted the hopes, and crushed the hearts of the people of the border counties.
For our part, we are in favor of letting Philadelphia prosper without the trade of the border counties. We have no idea that grass will grow in her streets on that account. We are not inclined to magnify the advantages which accrue to the City of Brotherly Love from this quarter. But we are not disposed to help, in any degree, those who not only refuse to help us, but who accompany their refusal with insults that have made the blood boil in our veins--insults unmerited, unjust and, besides, most infamous in their nature.
We know that the excuse is made that the business men of Philadelphia knew nothing of these attacks before they were made, and that they ought not to be held responsible for them. But we cannot see the force of this assertion. Granting that they did not instigate these attacks, which they were very likely to do in order to avoid increased taxation, why did they not protest against them? Why did they not memorialize the Legislature, praying that body to pass a bill which would indemnify us for our losses? Silence, under such assaults, known to be utterly groundless, was criminal. If Philadelphia desires to have the money of the people of the border counties in the way of trade, let her business men understand that these claims of the border counties against the State must receive the support of the people of Philadelphia. To business men and all citizens therefore, we say buy your goods and transact all your business in Baltimore and New York, until the business men of Philadelphia awake to the necessity of doing something for us. Touch the pockets of men and you touch their hearts. The trade of the border counties is not to be despised. They can wield a power which will be no weak weapon in their hands, if they do but form the determination to wield it.
Again. There are some politicians who think that they can gain popularity by opposition to these claims. They imagine that, as the greater portion of the State lost nothing by the war, the majority of the people of the State are opposed to the payment of these claims. But they forget that the people outside of the border counties will not be governed in casting their suffrages by the question, Is he in favor of, or is he opposed to the payment of the border claims? They will vote upon different grounds altogether.
But let the people of the border counties rally as a unit, determined to know no question before the payment of the border claims.
Let them instruct their Senators and Representatives in the Legislature not to vote for any man for any office who refuses to pledge himself publicly in favor of the payment of the Border claims.
Let them vote for no man for Congress who has failed in his duty in this effort to secure the payment of these border claims.
Let them thus show that they are in earnest in this matter, and that they mean to continue in earnest until the claims are recognized and paid. By adopting such a course, men throughout the State will see that these claims are not in the hands of speculators, but that the people who bore the losses are demanding payment. And the patrons of daily papers will give the proprietors to understand that they can not libel with impunity a people who have made such enormous sacrifices for the Union as the people of the border counties have made.
Prominent among these politicians is the Governor of this Commonwealth. He was opposed to the payment of these claims this winter. He so informed his friends privately in the House of Representatives. Men of prominence there asserted that if the bill did pass it would meet with the Executive veto. The Topic, a new daily paper published at Harrisburg, which claims to be the "organ" of His Excellency, asserted in an article, which we publish in another column, that had the bill passed, "it would have put the Governor to the painful necessity of vetoing it." And as though the injury done to our people by the defeat of the bill was not sufficient, it adds to it a gross insult by the comment, "there is nothing like putting down a rebel raid on its first appearance." If the State Government had thought of that in 1862, and kept our gallant Reserve Corps on the border, instead of sending it to the bloody battle-fields of Virginia, Stuart's rebel raid would have been put down on its first appearance, and the claim for damages sustained by reason of this neglect would not now be made.
The Editor of the Topic does not seem to have a good memory, however. This "rebel raid," as he chooses to call it, did not make its first appearance this winter. It is almost eight years since Stuart's raid. It is seven years since Lee's invasion. It is six years since McCausland's deed of vandalism. Ever since then, the people of the border have pressed upon the State Legislatures the justice of their claims. And during all this time, whilst the loyal people of this Commonwealth have exulted over the victory which crowned our arms at Gettysburg, the representatives of this same people have persistently refused to make their patriotic constituents bear their share of the losses which fell upon the people of the border by reason of that battle.
We desire to inform the Editor of the Topic and his master, the Governor, that as this was not "the first appearance" of this "rebel raid," so it will not be the last. It will return again to plague the inventors of malignant falsehoods against the border sufferers. It will not "down" at the bidding of any man. The claim is as just as any that was ever made, and it will be pressed until it shall have been liquidated. If this generation fails to secure it, the next will. The intention is to fight it out on this line if it takes a century.
The Topic says the Governor would have been under the "painful necessity" of vetoing the bill. What would have been the necessity? Why would it have been painful? If the Governor uttered his true thoughts and feelings at Mercersburg when he expressed his sympathies for the men who bore these losses, and his opinion that the State ought to assume the burden, then clearly his approval of our bill would not have done violence to his feelings or his judgment. There would have been no reason for him to encounter the pain which a veto would have occasioned.
If the Governor's sympathies were with the people of the border--if he believes, as he can not help believing, that their claim against the State is just, how could he be under the necessity of vetoing this bill?--Was there any other reason operating upon his mind? Is there a power behind the throne greater than the throne itself? Is the Governor a mere catspaw to pull roasted chestnuts out of the fire for a small oligarchy? Did somebody suggest to him that the people of the border ought not to be paid because that might interfere with certain operations in which they were both interested? Or, if he acted on his own responsibility, does he wish to believe the report that has been heretofore widely circulated with reference to him, that the surest evidence that he does not mean to do a thing, is a declaration from him that he does mean to do it? These are questions which we can not answer because we can not peep behind the scenes. We can not know the inside workings of the Gubernatorial Ring.
But no matter what were the motives that influenced the Governor, certain it is that he is responsible for the defeat of the bill. He said distinctly that he would take the responsibility, and upon him let it rest.
He need not lay the flattering unction to his soul, however, that this bill is buried beyond the hope of resurrection. It only sleeps. The time will come when the representatives of the people of this Commonwealth will make haste to discharge these obligations.
(Column 02)Summary: Announces with bitterness the passage of the 15th amendment. Gives the examples of New York and Indiana and Georgia to show how it was passed fraudulently and against the will of the people. Also ridicules Grant, saying he does not care about the blacks at all but only wants their votes.
Full Text of Article:
The Secretary of State has issued a proclamation declaring the Fifteenth Amendment adopted by three-fourths of the States. He claims thirty States for the Amendment. In this number New York, Indiana and Georgia are included. New York rescinded her ratification before the requisite number was obtained. In Indiana, only a majority of the Legislature ratified the Amendment, whereas the Constitution of the State requires two-thirds for the passage of any act or joint resolution. Georgia gave her consent in obedience to the mandate of General Terry, who is her military dictator. In addition to this, all the States that seceded were dragged into the support of the Amendment by the bills which passed Congress for their re-admission. Thus was the ratification of this Amendment obtained. Not by the free will of the people, but by the basest chicanery and fraud. The party in power did not hesitate to override State Constitutions and the National Constitution, in order to carry out their cherished scheme of enfranchising the negroes.
And yet this Amendment, thus incorporated into the Constitution by unconstitutional and tyrannical means, will, we doubt not, be enforced. The blacks will be allowed to vote in Pennsylvania this fall, and the opinions of the majority of the people of this Commonwealth will be utterly disregarded.
President Grant thought the issuing of this proclamation a proper occasion to send a message to Congress. He adverts to the Constitution as "that revered instrument." Yes, "revered" with a vengeance! If he had said that despised Constitution, he would have come nearer the mark. He urges the newly-enfranchised race "to make themselves worthy of their new privilege." Were they not worthy before? Are they not worthy now? Why invest them with this right until they have made themselves worthy?
He seems to have a high regard for Washington in this address. He quotes him freely. Washington was a man to whom Grant ought never to refer. His whole public life is one complete condemnation of the motives that have actuated Grant and the line of policy which he has seen fit to pursue. This very message which the President sent to Congress was sent for no other purpose than to influence the negro vote by causing the negroes to think that he feels a great interest in having them educated and elevated, when, in reality, he cares more for his cigars and terrier pups, and billiard tables, than he does for them.
(Column 01)Summary: A Literary Exhibition will be held in New Guilford School House on April 9th. The event will include dialogues and speeches.Go to Hear Miss Dickinson
(Column 01)Summary: Anna E. Dickinson will speak next Tuesday in Repository Hall. "She is not surpassed in eloquence by any woman in the Union." Tickets are 75 cents and will go to benefit the Monumental Association.Married
(Column 04)Summary: The Rev. B. G. Huber of Ickesburg Circuit, Pennsylvania Conference of the U. B. Church, and Miss Nannie J. Cormany of Franklin were married at the residence of the bride's parents near Pleasant Hall on March 30th by the Rev. H. W. Rebok.Married
(Names in announcement: Rev. B. G. Huber, Nannie J. Cormany, Rev. H. W. Rebok)
(Column 04)Summary: Charles Maurer and Miss Amanda G. Wagner, both from near Greencastle, were married at the residence of the bride's father on March 24th by the Rev. D. F. Good.Married
(Names in announcement: Charles Maurer, Amanda G. Wagner, Rev. D. F. Good)
(Column 04)Summary: Charles E. Armor of Gettysburg and Miss Susan Dixon of Franklin were married on January 31st by the Rev. W. H. H. Deatrich.Died
(Names in announcement: Charles E. Armor, Susan Dixon, Rev. W. H. H. Deatrich)
(Column 04)Summary: Mr. J. Porter died in Stoufferstown on March 31st.Died
(Names in announcement: J. Porter)
(Column 04)Summary: Mrs. Sheets, wife of John Sheets, died in Chambersburg on April 2nd.Died
(Names in announcement: Mrs. Sheets, John Sheets)
(Column 04)Summary: Mrs. Mary Wigfall, formerly Miss Mary Chambers, died in Chambersburg on April 2nd.Died
(Names in announcement: Mary Wigfall, Mary Chambers)
(Column 04)Summary: Miss Helen M. Sibert died in Chambersburg on April 1st. She was 23 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Helen M. Sibert)
(Column 04)Summary: Edward E. Etter, son of John M. Etter, died in Hamilton on March 24th. He was 5 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Edward E. Etter, John M. Etter)
(Column 04)Summary: Mrs. Susan R. Resh, wife of Mr. M. B. Resh, died near Waynesboro on March 15th of consumption. She was 40 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: Susan R. Resh, M. B. Resh)
(Column 04)Summary: William Mohler died in Shippensburg on April 1st. He was 30 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: William Mohler)
(Column 04)Summary: H. C. Lesher died in Chambersburg on March 20th. He was 26 years old.Died
(Names in announcement: H. C. Lesher)
(Column 04)Summary: John Bowermaster died in Southampton on March 28th. He was 66 years old.
(Names in announcement: John Bowermaster)