Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Gillette’s Social Redemption
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The Lawlessness of the Law. Strikes and Injunctions” [chapter 3]
Author(s): Severy, Melvin L.
Publisher: Herbert B. Turner and Co.
Place of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Year of publication: 1907
Part/Section: 6
Pagination: 295-310 (excerpt below includes only pages 297-98)

Severy, Melvin L. “The Lawlessness of the Law. Strikes and Injunctions” [chapter 3]. Gillette’s Social Redemption. Boston: Herbert B. Turner, 1907: book 6, pp. 295-310.
excerpt of chapter
McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); McKinley assassination (religious response: criticism); John W. Malcolm (public statements); McKinley assassination (religious response).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Emma Goldman; DeWitt Clinton Huntington; John W. Malcolm; William McKinley.
From title page: Gillette’s Social Redemption: A Review of World-Wide Conditions As They Exist To-Day, Offering an Entirely New Suggestion for the Remedy of the Evils They Exhibit.

From title page: With Illustrations and Index.

From title page: By Melvin L. Severy, Author of “Fleur-de-Lis, “The Darrow Enigma, “The Mystery of June 13th,” etc.


The Lawlessness of the Law. Strikes and Injunctions [excerpt]

     Leon Czolgosz, a poor, misguided youth whose mind was in all probability unhinged, assassinates President McKinley, and straightway the country goes into hysterics against anarchy. Both the pulpit and the press, with rare exceptions, lose their heads. A wild cry for vengeance,—the word is used advisedly—is heard in all parts of the land. To read the press reports one would think the President were a being capable of a million-fold the suffering of an unofficial man. In our own town one shop-keeper filled one of his windows with miniature instruments of torture, with placards indicating that they should be applied to the assassin. A Methodist clergyman of Chicago hysterically exclaimed: “Pray for Czolgosz? No. The assassin is fixed irrevocably. No murderer shall enter the kingdom. This is enough. Man might as well pray for the devil.” [297][298]
     Chancellor Huntington, of the Nebraska Wesleyan university, gave utterance to a similar brand of “Christianity” in an address to the students of his university. The Rev. John W. Malcolm, of Cleveland, uttered the following noble protest against the cheap clamour of those who mistook their brutal desire for vengeance for a genuine sympathy:
     “Ah, my friends, a true sorrow does not play with language. A man who really mourns neither swaggers nor swears. People truly sad have few words and no revenge. It isn’t possible for a man or woman to feel real grief and real revenge at the same time. It isn’t possible for a man or woman in the tears of a wounded love to talk blood and bereavement in the same breath. All this bluster and threat have betrayed both a lack of character and the lack of a genuine sense of loss.”
     A little later a wave of hysterical anti-anarchistic legislation swept the country. And what was the cause of it all? This. Czolgosz asserted that he had derived his murderous inspiration from a lecture delivered by Emma Goldman at Cleveland. The “Chicago Tribune” published an abstract of the speech referred to, from which it appears that the speaker not only did not advocate assassination but opposed it. There has never been anything, so far as we are aware, to indicate that the assassin acted on any other than his own initiative or that he took anyone else into his confidence. He himself stated emphatically that no one else had anything to do with his crime or knew of his intent to commit it. It will be seen, therefore, that the atrocious act was not part of a conspiracy and was in no way chargeable to anarchists as a class.



top of page