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  • Emancipation Proclamation, Greensburg Herald

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    Emancipation Proclamation - Complete Edition of the Greensburg Herald.  Dated: December 31st, 1862.  Conveying the news and text of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.  Vol VII - No. 49.  Wednesday Morning, December 31, 1862 edition.   In excellent condition.  "The Herald: A FAMILY NEWSPAPER: Devoted to Local Intelligence, Literatures, Science, Morality, Politics, and General Miscellany; Edited & Published Every Wednesday at Greensburg, Westmoreland County, PA. By D. W. Shryock. 

    David W. Shryock, Esq., of Greensburg, was a native of Westmoreland County, and was born in 1816, eight miles north of that borough, upon a farm which his grandfather purchased in 1782, for "forty-five pounds, Pennsylvania currency," the deed of which is registered on page 55 of volume i. of Westmoreland County records of deeds. His ancestry on his paternal side were German. John Shryock, his great-grandfather, with two brothers of his, and with other German Palatines, landed in Philadelphia in 1733. He settled in York County, Pa., where he died in 1778.

    At the age of twenty-seven years he married Miss Dickie, daughter of a worthy farmer in the county, and to gratify the wishes of his parents he took up his residence at the old homestead, where he conducted the farming operations for several years. In the fall of 1850 he purchased the office of the Westmoreland intelligencer, a weekly newspaper, published at Greensburg, and the organ of the old Whig party in the county. He moved to town, and on the 8th of November, 1850, the first issue under his editorial conduct of that paper appeared. The construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad through the county was then in progress. The heavy work in the vicinity of Greensburg brought there a large increase of population, which gave a new impetus to its growth and enterprise, making dwellings and suitable business houses scarce. For several years Mr. Shryock, like all other new-comers, labored under inconveniences from this source, but in 1855 he purchased a lot on Main Street, adjoining the Methodist Episcopal Church, from which a previous owner had removed all the antiquated buildings. On this he erected that year the large two-storied brick now there, and which he designed for his dwelling and printing-office mainly, but had in it also a law-office and storeroom to rent.

    Mr. Shryock subsequently changed the name of his paper to that of the Greensburg Herald, and from the time he entered upon his editorial career up till 1870, twenty years, his was the only organ in the county to antagonize the old Democratic party, which up to 1860 was in the majority from one to two thousand votes. Some of the gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns between 1850 and 1870 were very heated, and sometimes bitter and personal. During that period there were times very trying to those at the head of public journals, who realized the responsibilities of the position, and felt the necessity of moulding a right public sentiment on all the questions before the country. The editorial columns of the old Herald bear ample testimony to Mr. Shryock’s faithfulness in the position he occupied, as well as fearlessness in the advocacy of the doctrines of the party with which he affiliated, and his true loyalty to his country during the four years of civil war. He seems to have had the confidence and respect of his party in an unusually high degree. He was made one of the delegates for the Twenty-first District to the National Republican Convention of 1860, where he voted for the nomination of Mr. Lincoln, after casting his first ballot for Mr. Cameron under instructions from the State Convention.

    In August, 1862, after the passage by Congress of the first internal revenue act, Mr. Shryock was commissioned by the President assessor of internal revenue for the Twenty-first District of Pennsylvania, then embracing the counties of Fayette, Westmoreland, and Indiana. This office imposed upon its incumbent duties of the most laborious, responsible, and perplexing character. Here was a new law to execute, the provisions of which were new to everybody. It taxed for war purposes every branch of business in the country. In its execution the assessor and his assistants were the first officers to come in contact face to face with the people, allay their prejudices, and try to reconcile to and secure their prompt compliance with the law. Nor was this all: there were no decisions, explanations, or instructions, based upon the law to guide them in determining the true meaning of its elaborate and multifarious requirements. And yet justice and uniformity in its interpretation were expected at their hands. For over four years he discharged the duties of that office, and at the same time edited and published the Herald. But his loyalty to the Republican party and its pronounced doctrines, and his refusal to indorse Andrew Johnson and those who became his special exponents and had practically left the party, among them Senator Cowan (in aid of whose election as senator Mr. Shryock had given his best endeavors), procured the latter’s removal from office. Soon thereafter Mr. Shryock associated with him in the publication of the Herald his son, John D. Shryock, who was then chief clerk in the Soldiers’ Orphans’ School Department at Harrisburg, under the administration of Governor Geary. His son’s health, however, failed, and he died in October, 1871. Soon thereafter the health of Mrs. Shryock, the mother of his six children, gave way also and she died. Under these afflictions Mr. Shryock disposed of his newspaper to two gentlemen, who immediately united it with the Tribune, which had been started eighteen months previously by J.R. McAfee, Esq., and since the early part of the year 1872 the Tribune and Herald has been a weekly organ of the Republican party in the county.


    Inventory Number: DOC 110