"The Business Prospect for 1859">
Page covered by a transcript of Governor's message to the legislature.
Remainder of the Governor's message to the legislature
Speaker of the House
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The contest for Speaker of the House was quite spirited at Harrisburg for several days between Mr. Lawrence, of Cauphin, and our fellow-townsman, Mr. McClure, and the result occasioned very general disappointment in this section.--The Press of the State--an unerring index of popular sentiment--had indicated Mr. McClure with singular unanimity as the proper man for the position, and bore the highest testimony to his fitness for the trust. With that expression he was content, and he did not seek to prove that it was unmerited by traversing the State to importune members to vote for him, nor did he have others do so in his behalf.-- He made no pledges, accommodated himself to no predjudices [sic], and avoided all complication--preferring defeat to climbing into the chair at the cost of his integrity and the respect and confidence of the House. He has therefore come out of the contest enjoying the increased regard and devotion of his friends, and commanding the universal respect of those who from various causes were induced to oppose him.
For Mr. McClure we have no regrets. He can and will be of infinitely more service to his district and the State generally and win a more enviable distinction on the floor than in the chair; and his recent unexpected struggle against fearful odds, has only given a new proof of the power he exerts upon the politics of his native State. When the party not only in this section, but throughout the Commonwealth, confidently expected to see him called to preside over the House, he was met at Harrisburg with a combination of influences and elements which should have been unknown in the contest. One who has now a seat in the highest legislative tribunal in the land with at least questionable honor, and who now seeks to climb to the highest civil position in the world, seems to have demanded that the way to position in the legislature must be through the slimy channel of his favor, and the price of that favor was a blind subserviency to his wild ambition. That Mr. McClure did not bow, need not be told to those who know him; and hence a U. S. Senator was found at Harrisburg for days before the caucus met, armed with all the appliances potent in moulding [sic] legislators, and pleading, begging, threatening and dickering to gain the empty bauble of an organization wedded to his associations.
We need not say that howsoever or by whomsoever defeated, Mr. McClure gave his cordial adhesion to the will of the majority, doubtless feeling that the triumph of the People at the late Election must be directed to substantial results. The people justly expect of the legislature harmonious action in the honest discharge of its legitimate duties; and no man, however conspicuous or powerful, is of sufficient importance to interpose his personal interests to distract the majority on the very threshold of its power, without fearful peril to himself. When his competitor was nominated, Mr. McClure promptly moved to make the nomination unanimous amidst a thunder of applause, and he at once pledged himself to sustain Mr. Lawrence, not only in the election, but to give his cordial support to the Speaker in the discharge of the arduous duties of the chair. The Harrisburg Telegraph, which was unfriendly to Mr. McClure, thus notices his course:
"Too much praise cannot be awarded to his opponents, Col. A. K. M'Clure, of Franklin, and S. B. Chase, Esq., of Susquehanna, for the gentlemanly and conciliatory course which marked their action in the contest, and the magnanimity displayed by them when it was ascertained that Mr. Lawrence was the choice of the caucus. Col. M'Clure, submitting to the will of the majority with his usual good grace, promptly and cheerfully moved the unanimous nomination of the successful candidate, and was among the first to congratulate him. Popular as the gallant Colonel was before, his course in the caucus won him additional friends, and increased the respect which has always been entertained for him by the party of which he has for years been one of the most active and prominent leaders. We predict that he will make his mark in the present House as he did in the last. The House met at twelve o'clock, today, when Mr. Lawrence was elected, receiving the unanimous Opposition vote."
Mr. Lawrence, the Speaker of the House, is quite a young man of much energy and more than ordinary capacity. We trust that he may be eminently successful in the responsible position that has been assigned him.
Abolition of the Canal Board
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--A number of the members of the Luthern [sic] Congregation, took occasion, during the hollidays [sic], to surprise their Pastor, Rev. Mr. Eyster, by taking possession of his house on pleasant afternoon, and when they left he and his family were some two hundred dollars better off than when the fair donors took charge of the domicil [sic]. Cannot other churches imitate this praise-worthy example? We will see who comes next.
Chambersburg Library Association
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This movement is in the right way to supply our community with a public Library, which is much wanted for the public benefit. We have had improvements in Railroads in Telegraph and in the introduction of Gas into our dwellings and other places of public accommodation. Yet in moral and intellectual improvement, how do we stand? If not retrograding, we are not more than stationary in this age of progress. The want of a public Library is a reflection on the taste and public spirit of our Borough.
It is public policy to bring the means of education and facilities for the acquisition of knowledge so as to be accessible to the people from their homes. For one who has the means pursuing education, with expense at some distant institution, there are twenty of as good capacity that cannot afford the expense or the time. To such, education is denied, unless facilities for acquiring knowledge is furnished near their homes.
Our citizens of liberality and public spirit should come to the aid of the Library Association. It addresses itself to the patronge [sic] of all our citizens. There is no family in which its youth, or middle aged members may not be benefited by it, whatever their circumstances may be, and all should contribute to such an institution as a public library.
The advantages to a community from a well selected public Library, are incalculable. Its tendency is to excite youth to the acquisition of knowledge, improve parents in knowledge so as to qualify them more to aid, encourage, and direct the education of their children. All who have the care of apprentices should consider the interests of those apprentices, and their own responsibilities, and foster the establishment of a Library and its use. An inquisitive mind in youth is to be encouraged and commended. It is said to be the key to knowledge, and a well selected Library will be a storehouse for supply.
Boys who have improved the advantages derived from their Teachers and modern School Books, in the Common Schools of our Borough, will be able to use the instructive Books of an accessible Library with improvement, and advance in knowledge.
Those whose circumstances allow them to prosecute their studies in the higher branches of English, as well as classical education now afforded in the Chambersburg Acadamy [sic], will have minds so well educated and disciplined, as to be able to extend their education and knowledge to any extent desired, with the advantages afforded them by a public Library. Let youth be encouraged by Parents, Guardians, and others having their care, to cultivate their minds by useful reading. There is no occupation of our youth required in the shop of the mechanic, the store or office, or family, that will not allow a considerable portion of time to be given to useful reading for the acquisition of knowledge and intellectual improvement.
Modern elementary Books in Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, embracing Chemistry and Botany, are so prepared and illustrated as to allow our youths with application to be their own successful Teachers. With such assistance, all that is wanting is application.
The library should be selected with judgement, excluding everything of a pernicious tendency. It should comprise standard writers, on the various subjects of Science and the Arts, of History, Biography and Travels, as well as the best Poets and classical literature.
Such a Library will furnish sound and useful information to the man of years; advanced in knowledge, as well as to the illiterate and inquisitive youth whose education has been very limited.
Such a Library may be instrumental in rescuing many youths from indulgence in dissipated and vicious habits, and from bad and corrupting company, found in the haunts of intemperance.
The benefits to families from improvement in morals and intellectual culture by such instrumentality are greater than can be numbered or measured.
It will expose us to ridicule, to boast of the public buildings that adorn our Borough and the public works connected with it, when to an inquiry, as to the place of a public Library and the number of its volumes, we must be ashamed to acknowledge, that we have none; that our improvements are in brick and mortar, and the Iron Railway, but in the want of a Public Library, we are behind the age, and towns of less population and more limited wealth and resources.
There are in our Borough many large private Libraries, owned by persons of accommodation and liberality, who lend their Books to a careful inquirer. There is however, many a young man, who feels restrained by delicacy and diffidence from asking for such favors, whereas if there was a public Library accessible to him, on terms with in his power, he would have an opportunity of surveying the field of knowledge before him, and getting from it such Books as he desired without embarrassment or dependance [sic].
If not trespassing on the columns of your paper, we will pursue our remarks in another communication, on self culture and its success, in education by inquiring minds, with the aid only of Books.
We will be pleased to hear from "C." on this or any other subject upon which he may see proper to write.--Eds.