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Source: Profit and Loss in Man
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “A Curse, a Crime, and the Cure” [chapter 10]
Author(s): Hopkins, Alphonso A.
Publisher: Funk and Wagnalls Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1909
Pagination: 251-82

 
Citation
Hopkins, Alphonso A. “A Curse, a Crime, and the Cure” [chapter 10]. Profit and Loss in Man. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1909: pp. 251-82.
 
Transcription
full text of chapter; excerpt of book
 
Keywords
McKinley assassination (personal response: prohibitionists, temperance advocates, etc.); liquor and liquor traffic; McKinley assassination; McKinley assassination (public response); anarchism (public response); McKinley assassination (news coverage); society (criticism); McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); Grover Cleveland (public statements); McKinley assassination (personal response); Newell Dwight Hillis (public statements); political parties (criticism); St. Clair McKelway (public statements); law (criticism); governments (criticism); lawlessness; Theodore Roosevelt (personal history); Alphonso A. Hopkins; law; anarchism (compared with liquor traffic); William McKinley (personal history); William McKinley (opposition to liquor traffic); Prohibition Party; resolutions (Board of Excise, Newark, NJ); anarchism (government response); anarchists; liquor and liquor traffic (poetry).
 
Named persons
Henry Ward Beecher; Josh Billings; Grover Cleveland; Richard Croker; William S. Devery; Ulysses S. Grant; John W. Griggs; Newell Dwight Hillis; Alphonso A. Hopkins; Jesus Christ; St. Clair McKelway; William McKinley; Johann Most [variant first name below]; Carry A. Nation; Paul; Samuel B. Pearson; Horace Porter (b); Theodore Roosevelt; Carroll D. Wright.
 
Notes
The chapter (below) is prefaced on page 250 with the following: “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;  *  *  *  and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?—Jeremiah 5, 30, 31.”

This book is copyrighted for 1908; however, the year 1909 is given on the title page.

From title page: By Alphonso A. Hopkins, Ph.D., Author of “Wealth and Waste.”
 
Document

 

A Curse, a Crime, and the Cure

 

I. PREVALENCE OF THE CURSE

A CURSE was upon our people, but they gave it small heed. It festered in the city slums; it poisoned the villages; it blighted the hamlets; it shadowed the homes; it corrupted the citizens; it polluted politics; it endangered the foundations of society; it menaced the maintenance of the State; it sapped public morals; it paralyzed private industry; it robbed the purse of Labor; it stole from the tills of trade; it calloused conscience, and hardened manhood, and weakened brain, and shrivelled [sic] character, and strangled religion, and perverted patriotism.
     It did all this, and more—so much more that words and patience fail me for the sickening recital, and I must draw on your imagination for the further awful array of facts; and yet the people gave it little heed, or heeding made no sign. And the Curse went on, gathering force and power, increasing and widening its effect, becoming constantly a greater peril and more aggressive, dominating legislation and administration, nominating the officers of law, nullifying law itself, breeding misrule, defying Authority, prostituting Government, and shaming Mankind.
     But still the great mass of men were not concerned about it, or if they were they held their peace. A few cried out against the Curse, and would not cease to cry; [251][252] the many would not hear, or hearing went their way and smiled at those who feared.
     A Crime smote the people, as if it were a lightning-bolt from out serenest blue. Men staggered where they stood. For an hour, for a day, the social fabric reeled. The finger of an assassin, pressing the fatal trigger, felt for and almost found the Nation’s heart. For the assassin’s victim was the Nation’s head—honored and beloved; he typified the Republic; he was the Government embodied. To shoot him down was to strike a blow at our national institutions; and this blow these felt in every fiber; under it they quivered even to the core.
     The shot of the Anarchist at Buffalo, on the 6th of September, 1901, was heard round the world. And the world went into mourning, not merely because a great and good ruler was gone, but because in such a land as this a ruler such as he could meet an end like his.
     By the manner of his taking-off, the Nation’s grief over President McKinley’s death was intensified to a degree almost without historic parallel, until even the heart-beats of trade and business were hushed, from ocean to ocean, as they laid him in his tomb.
     And a great chorus of outcries went up against this awful Crime—against the spirit of Anarchy that could inspire it—against the conspirators responsible for it. From the Pulpit and the Press these outcries were heard; and one demand was voiced by them all—the Anarchist must go. This clamor grew insistent, from the hour of that cruel, unchristian deed on the Pan American Grounds until the hour of Mr. McKinley’s Christian death, and after that it swelled like a spring torrent, and swept across the land like a cyclone, and the wrath of a great people against Anarchism was as mighty and wide-spread in [252][253] expression as was their grief over the Crime which Anarchism had wrought, or their sorrow over the loss which came of that Crime.
     And yet in all the hundreds of printed columns, in all the scores of daily newspapers, that I read during those twelve dark days between the President’s assassination and sepulture, not one single paragraph appeared suggesting a natural and logical connection between the Crime and the Curse. We were told, it is true, varying tales that connected the assassin with saloons—that a part of his education had been in a saloon his father kept; that he had been a barkeeper himself not many months before, or had worked in a brewery and haunted saloons; that he was harbored in a Raines Law hotel of Buffalo when he went there for his deadly work. We were told how the police, in search for other anarchists, went naturally and first to saloons, to find the men they sought; we were even advised by a high police official of New York City (Mr. Devery) that the very chief of anarchists (Herr Most) never could talk till he had “two or three kegs of beer in him”; but through no line or sentence of printed comment or declaration did the great daily Press make charge that the Saloon is the mother of Anarchy, the hot-bed of lawlessness, the foe of government—that the Saloon is itself the most dangerous anarchist America has ever known.
     In certain weekly papers, of less influence, but with more clearness of perception or more boldness of spirit, this connection between the Curse and the Crime was boldly proclaimed. The New Voice said:

     “It is much to be doubted if an active anarchistic propagandist or an active anarchistic assassin has ever come into prominence who was not both physically and intellectually the product of the [253][254] saloon. It is to be doubted if an anarchist’s plot was ever laid save over a beer can, or an anarchist’s headquarters ever established more than arm’s-length away from a saloon.”

     And the fact stands that Herr Most’s headquarters for anarchists, in New York, were always in just that close relation to the saloon he was said to have owned.
     The New Voice further said:

     “The point of supreme importance is the fact that for a full half-century it has been taught from one end of the country to the other, by the most forceful object lesson possible, that law has no sacredness, statutes no force, and the will of the sovereign people no meaning, when the liquor traffic is concerned. No one feature of American life is more universal than the liquor traffic’s contempt of law.
     “Whether the statute be regulative or prohibitive, whether it be enacted by a municipality, a State Legislature, or the United States Congress, the liquor traffic has demonstrated, not only that it is not minded to regard it, but that it need not regard it.
     “At the behest of the saloon, the officials of city and county violate their oath of office—have violated it so long and so commonly that the fact has ceased to provoke comment anywhere. At the behest of the saloon, State officials disregard the will of the people as expressed upon the statute books. At the dictation of the liquor traffic the representatives of the people at Washington ignore legislation and even nullify the most specific enactments, while Congress makes the Capitol itself the scene of violation of law.”

     The Defender put into different phrase the same terrible truth, and gave it still sharper point, in these words:

     “Violence is by no means the only sign of anarchy, and if it were the violence which attempts to kill Presidents is not the only way in which it seeks manifestation. Anarchists, emerging from their headquarters in the gin-mills, have been maiming and killing God’s innocents, Presidents in embryo for all we know, ever since the government was formed, and scarcely a wail save [254][255] that of the dying and broken-hearted has gone up to heaven in protest.
     “The whole liquor power of the country has been in one constant conspiracy of lawlessness for generations. The liquor traffic has sought from the State laws permitting and protecting the business, and has with perpetual insolence and cunning ignored and violated the statutes of its own asking, and has done so with the connivance of the State’s own officials. Disrespect for law has thus honeycombed the atmosphere, and it is but a step in the descending order of education from the gibbeting of a statute to the assassination of a President.”

     But such utterances concerning the Crime were confined to journals which had long been crying out against the Curse; they were not heard from the seats of the mighty in journalism; they did not come from editorial pens which wield power with the multitude, which mold public policy.

II. OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CRIME

     On that mournful 19th of September, when all the nation stood as with bared head beside the dead President’s bier, and when all the air throbbed and sobbed, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with the pleading and pathos of that hymn which had come to be known as his—on that day when hearts beat in a unison of sorrow around the globe, and when public teachers from every walk of life stood up in the presence of great public gatherings and paid the tribute of tender speech to the man whom Anarchy had slain—on that day when tears, perhaps, but fear and partizanship [sic] never, should dim the vision of teachers and preachers and stay their faltering tongues, many things were said that were inspired of courage, many patriotic declarations were made as to the sins and shame of our people; and these the daily papers [255][256] printed and magnified, as if in these were found the cure for Anarchy in this country; and amid all these the Saloon had slight if any mention—the Curse was not held responsible in any measure for the Crime—the removal of the Curse was not demanded as a condition essential to protection from crime of like nature, conceived at the same source, in years to come.
     And why this remarkable silence as to this awful Curse in presence of this awful Crime?
     Over and over again I have put this question to myself. But one answer seems to me possible, which is not an evasion—
     The relation of the Curse to parties that control government, and the subjectivity of good men to the bad parties which control them.
     Yellow Journalism was condemned, and its prohibition more than suggested; but no man, minister or layman, so far as reported, dared and did say in bold, plain English—“We must pull down the black flag of the Saloon!”
     Anarchy was denounced with vigor, and anarchists were eloquently and properly stigmatized, but preachers, teachers, Congressmen, Senators and Governors—all who stood up before their fellow men on that sore day and shaped their thought in speech—apparently overlooked the one American institution that, in the language of The Voice, “more than all others combined, is the breeder and feeder, instigator and abettor, of Anarchy—THE AMERICAN SALOON.”
     Said the only living ex-President, Grover Cleveland, in an address before the faculty and students of Princeton University:

     “We can hardly fail to see, however, behind the bloody deed of the assassin horrible figures and faces from which it will not do to turn away.” [256][257]

     And these horrible figures and faces, we may add, are seen oftenest and surest in the saloon.
     Said Mr. Cleveland further:

     “If we are to escape further attack upon our peace and security, we must boldly and constantly grapple with the monster of Anarchy;

and we can boldly and constantly grapple with this monster only where he constantly abides—in the Saloon.
     Speaking further of this monster Mr. Cleveland said:

     “It is not a thing that we can safely leave to be dealt with by party or partizanship [sic]. Nothing can guard us against its menace except the teaching and the practise [sic] of the best citizenship, the exposure of the ends and aims of the gospel of discontent and hatred of social order, and the brave enactment and execution of repressive laws.”

     Where the teaching and practice of the best citizenship become dominant, the Saloon is impossible; where the Saloon dominates, the teaching and practice of the best citizenship can not prevail; and repressive laws can not be bravely enacted and executed under a partizanship [sic] that serves the Saloon, in a party dominated by the Saloon.
     Among the noblest utterances heard that day were those of a man standing in the most famous pulpit of America—the successor of Henry Ward Beecher, in Plymouth Church—Rev. Dr. Hillis. Truly and well did he say:

     “In the highest sense our President has now entered into the Holy of Holies bearing the sins of his people with him. Reverently we confess that he was wounded for our transgressions and he was bruised for our iniquities. Black and grievous the story of the sins of the nation. In a Republic founded on law we have fostered anarchy and lawlessness.”

     Yet in his recital of our transgressions, of our anarchy and lawlessness fostered, the great preacher, so far as [257][258] report said, spoke only of irreverent criticism, of brutal blame, of class bitterness, and all that, and did not once flame out in righteous arraignment of the unrighteous Saloon, and of the system which perpetuates it and insures the perpetuation of lawlessness and anarchy. But in closing he did say a little, in a single sentence, that implied much, and that men may well remember:

     “If today, assembled in church and hall, the [p]eople register a vow that they will so strengthen the home, the school, the press and the church, through wise legislation and noble precept, as to expel anarchy, lawlessness, injustice and class hatred from the land, our martyred President will not have died in vain.”

     Was any such vow registered by the American People? Then it means that we shall acknowledge and arraign the Liquor Curse; that we shall admit its connection with Anarchy and shall profit by Anarchy’s foulest Crime; that we shall recognize honestly and honestly apply the only Cure.
     And what is this only Cure? Who proposes it? Who can honestly and successfully apply it?
     The Democratic Party says of the Curse:
     “We will cure it by License. Where Personal Liberty prevails a public curse cannot be prohibited. Or if you do prohibit the many you must permit a few. Every man has a right to make a beast of himself, and some other man must be authorized to assist him according to law.”
     So, perpetuating the Curse, the Democratic Party would perpetuate and legalize opportunity for the Crime.
     Says the Republican Party:
     “We will cure this Curse by a Tax. We will apply to it such a Tax Law blister as will draw millions into our State Treasury. The effects of the Curse may continue, but we will poultice them with Revenue, and mollify [258][259] them with Income Ointment, and thrive upon our partnership with vice and sin.”
     And so in Brooklyn the Republican system of Cure breeds two thousand Raines Law hotels (according to Dr. Horace Porter, then assistant of Dr. Hillis), where a baker’s dozen of hotels had been sufficient before that system was inaugurated; the dive and the den and the house of the scarlet woman multiply and infest the City of Homes, and the City of Churches becomes in shame and infamy the city of drunken women and Sunday sales; and from a Raines Law hotel in Buffalo, product of the Republican Cure for our State and National Curse, goes forth the anarchist assassin, product of Liquor lawlessness, to slay the Republican President!
     “What is the remedy for poverty?” thundered a Socialist orator, as if the conundrum could be answered only by himself. And a man in the back seat quickly responded—“You might try the Gold Cure!”
     The Republican Party is trying the Gold Cure for this Curse of the Liquor Traffic; and the Curse grows more virulent every year. Over Eighteen Millions of dollars went into the Gold Cure Treasury of New York State from that traffic in 1907; and the United States government accepted a revenue from the same source in the year 1900 of $183,429,571.67.
     Ah, yes! we have tried and we are trying the Gold Cure with a vengeance, but our vengeance is not for the Curse—it is for ourselves; for the womanhood outraged, the childhood starved, the home defrauded, the school robbed, the church crippled, the State debauched.
     Healing and salvation must be found another way.
     What is it? Who proposes it?
     Bear in mind that no Cure is proposed for this Curse, [259][260] by even those least radically minded, which does not find embodiment in some form of Law. Unless we are all to be anarchists, and to assume and assert that all law is to be set aside, we must admit that the Liquor Traffic should become and remain amenable to Law—that it can not otherwise be dealt with and the State be safe. The only question then is—
     What law, honestly applied to this Curse, can work the Cure?
     If all forms of law had not been tried, this question might not be so easy to answer. Where every form has failed, more or less, to find the reason for failure may assist in determining which form has in it the largest element of success.
     On that sorrowful 19th of September, among those laymen who delivered Memorial Addresses was a distinguished editor of Brooklyn who spoke in one of the Brooklyn churches—Mr. St. Clair McKelway, and as if by verbatim report the papers told us that he said:

     “Anarchy, of course, strikes at the head of the State. One cause of anarchy is unenforced law. Government breaks down at the point at which law is not enforced. Government breaks down at no one point without the weakening of it at other points, and the creation of contempt for it in thoughtless, desperate, vicious, idle or frivolous minds. Contempt for government in any degree is a partial adoption of anarchy. Some Laws are not enforced because they are unenforcible [sic]. Unenforcible [sic] laws are anarchy breeders. Their passage is wrong, not their failure. They are passed to make votes where they do not apply. Both parties have equally offended in this respect.”

     With much that Mr. McKelway thus expressed we can heartily agree. Government does break down, pitifully and criminally, at the point where it fails to enforce law; and through the weakness of government at this point [260][261] has it grown weak all along the governmental line. But what laws are unenforcible [sic], where government has kept itself pure, and clean, and strong?
     As to but one class of laws has this claim of Brooklyn’s distinguished editor been generally put forth—prohibitive laws concerning the Liquor Traffic. And this claim has usually been urged by editorial and other advocates of License or Tax. I have long admired Mr. McKelway’s brilliant gifts as a writer and speaker, but when he echoes this old claim as to the weakness of law and the power of lawlessness, I am tempted to quote, as I often have quoted, a remark made by Josh Billings when, speaking of or to editors, he said (and from my own long editorial experience I can enjoy the saying):

     “It’s a great deal better not to know so much than to know so many things that ain’t so.”

     One of the things that decidedly “ain’t so” is the implied (and often alleged) non-enforcibility [sic] of prohibitive laws against the beverage Liquor business.
     If the fact that a law is not well enforced proves that it is not enforcible [sic], then all permissive or but partially restrictive laws are demonstrated more non-enforcible [sic] than laws which are prohibitive alone. For I declare, and challenge successful contradiction, that the Democratic dispensary and license laws, and the Republican Tax and mulct laws, are more openly and widely defied, and more grossly and wantonly outraged, in the hands of their friends, than is the law of Prohibition in the hands of its enemies.
     “By their fruits ye shall know them” is as true now concerning laws that affect men, as in the time of Christ concerning trees. And even in Republican Kansas, [261][262] before the hatchet-ation of Mrs. Nation, the fruits of Prohibition in unfriendly Republican hands were vastly better than the fruits of Raines-Lawism in New York, administered by the Raines-Law party; and the violation of law in Kansas, openly permitted or secretly encouraged by the administration in power, gross and wicked as it was, did not nearly match in extent and grossness the boldness of liquor insolence and lawlessness all over the Empire State.
     In Republican Maine, even before Sheriff Pearson demonstrated what Prohibition law can do with an honest official behind it, the law was not so glaringly defied as is the Mulct Law of Republican Iowa, or the Dispensary Law of Democratic South Carolina; and the fruits of Prohibition in Maine, during the years it has had but unfriendly support from the ruling party, are incomparably superior, morally and materially, to the Mulct Law fruits in Iowa, or to those of South Carolina’s Dispensary System, though in each of these two States the law has been backed by the party which begat it.
     These facts may not have been familiar to Mr. McKelway, but they should be, when he assumes to say what laws are anarchy-breeders. Indeed, he may have had them in mind when his utterance was made, for he charged both parties with equal guilt in the passage of laws which breed anarchy because not enforcible [sic] (in his opinion), and neither the Democratic nor the Republican party, in any State, has passed a Prohibition law for years. If guilty in this regard, it must have been along Tax or License lines.
     But what would this distinguished editor, and others like him, really have? If government breaks down at the point of law’s non-enforcement, as we admit; if Pro- [262][263] hibitory law, as to the Liquor Traffic, is non-enforcible [sic], as we assume him to mean; and if License and Tax laws, being at least equally unenforced, are at least equally non-enforcible [sic], as we assert and as we think he implies; what are we to do?
     Must we, then, make laws merely for the lawless? If laws which men will not obey, and which we can not or do not enforce, breed anarchy, shall we proceed simply to make laws for the anarchists we have bred? Shall we lower all law, so far as it concerns them, to the level of men who oppose all law?
     If the editor will follow his own logic where it leads, it will take him that far. Is he willing to go? Going that far, will he not have landed in anarchy himself?
     Admitting that government breaks down at the point of law’s non-enforcement, and admitting that an unenforced law is a breeder of anarchy, what shall we say when a law of Congress is broken down by government itself, is openly nullified in behalf of the traffic which breeds anarchy? And in that case is it the law that is the anarchy breeder, or the man behind the law, in whom government is embodied, and through whom government breaks down the law while being broken down itself? And in that case, to press the question one step further, shall we say that the charge of breeding anarchy must lie against the Anti-Canteen law, which was not enforced, or against Attorney-General Griggs, whose nullifying decision stayed its enforcement, or against the President who appointed the Attorney-General and permitted him to remain Attorney-General in spite of his nullifying attitude?
     The non-enforcement of law is due not to the power of lawlessness, but to the weakness of government; and the [263][264] weakness of government is found at the saloon door, through which government goes to compel tribute, within which parties win support and insure victory. Reason for the failure of Prohibition, where it has partially or entirely failed, rests not in the law, or its alleged unenforcibility [sic], but in the failure of government to assert its power over anarchy for the preservation of law and order.

III. SUNDAY ASSERTION OF LAW

     To the man who in his own person became beneficiary of Buffalo’s awful Crime, this country owes a debt we may well remember, when we think of law as a Cure for the country’s awful Curse. Theodore Roosevelt was made President by the act of an assassin. A deadly infraction of law placed at the head of this people a man who had boldly demanded and compelled the enforcement of law—of law relating to the Liquor Traffic—of law prohibitive as to that traffic, of law in the seething center of a population supposedly resolved upon maintaining that traffic every day in the week—of law actually prohibiting that traffic on Sunday, the hardest day of every seven to enforce Prohibition anywhere.
     Have you forgotten what Theodore Roosevelt did as Police Commissioner in the great City of New York? The liquor-sellers have not. He was not a Prohibitionist, he was not even a total abstainer. He had no standing quarrel with the Liquor Traffic. But he believed in Law. He respected it. He had taken an oath of office. He respected that. He found a law on the statute-books which had not been respected by others, and he said they should respect it.
     Men laughed at him; they sneered at him; they threat- [264][265] ened him. They treated him as if he were a Prohibitionist. They even said to him, as they have said to Prohibitionists—“You can’t do it; the law was never intended for enforcement; you can’t enforce it; it is unenforcible [sic]; you’ll ruin the party, you’ll kill yourself, if you do enforce it; hands off the saloons!”
     But Mr. Roosevelt went right on trying to do his duty; he did it, like a brave and honest man, as a fearless official should; he shut up the bars of New York, Sunday after Sunday; he made law a fact instead of a farce; he stopt [sic] the breeding of anarchists by non-enforcement; he demonstrated that the cry of non-enforcibility [sic] is false. That his work failed of permanency was not his fault. He had shown Law’s largest possibilities where they seemed the least. He had answered forever the stale excuse of hypocrits [sic] and cowards that you can’t prohibit the Liquor Traffic in a large city.
     It had been answered before, in cities of considerable size on this continent. Cambridge had answered it, every day of every week for years; and maintains the answer yet. Worcester had answered it, more briefly. Atlanta had answered it, through twelve prosperous months, with conclusive emphasis. Portland had answered it, in large degree, for a generation.
     I went once to lecture in Toronto, a city of 150,000 people. I was to speak in that great Horticultural Hall, seating 2,700, where on every Sunday afternoon, for a large part of each year, a great Temperance Meeting is held.
     I arrived in the city at 5 o’clock on Saturday P. M., and after supper my host said, “Would you like to walk down King Street?” and down that handsome thoroughfare we went. Presently a bell began striking. My host stopt [sic] and laid a hand on my shoulder. [265][266]
     “Do you hear that?” he asked.
     “Yes,” I answered.
     “And do you see that—and that—and that?” said he, as he pointed to the doors of as many saloons near us, that were going suddenly shut.
     “Yes,” I answered, “I see. But what relation has the bell to those doors?”
     “It is seven o’clock,” he said, “and our saloons must close on Saturday evening at this hour.”
     “But do they really close?” I asked him.
     “You saw those,” he made answer; “you’ll not see any open, farther on.”
     And we didn’t. But presently he stopt [sic] me again, and in front of a door that was open, and pointing to that he asked again:
     “Do you see that?”
     “Yes,” again I answered.
     “What does that place look like?” he continued.
     “Like a bank,” I said, as we stood and looked inside, where business was going on; “like a savings bank.”
     “Yes,” he told me, “it is a savings bank. We close our saloons on Saturday evening, but we keep our savings banks open.”
     “We do just the reverse on our side of the line,” I commented, “and the saloons get the savings.”
     “Tell me more about this,” I urged, as we walked on; to which he replied, “I’ll do better—I’ll take you to the Police Inspector of this First Precinct, who is the same as Chief of Police for the city, and let him tell you;” and to him we went, at once.
     I found the Inspector a man of large frame and honest face, of quiet, manly speech—not a sport, or a political bum. After his courteous gr[e]eting he said: [266][267]
     “What can I do for you, Mr. Hopkins?”
     “Tell me about your Sunday Closing, Mr. Inspector, if you please,” I made answer.
     “What would you like to know about it?” he asked, with a smile.
     “Do you really close the saloons of this city at seven o’clock every Saturday night?” was my inquiry.
     “We really do.”
     “And when do they open again?”
     “At six o’clock on Monday morning.”
     “And they stay closed all the time between?”
     “They do.”
     “How many are there?”
     “Three hundred.”
     “That is a small number for a city of such size,” I commented, “does your High License fee keep the number down?”
     “Not at all,” he said; “we have many more applicants for License every year. The number is limited to 300, and no more can be licensed.”
     “Do many of them violate the law?”
     “Very few.”
     “Isn’t it hard to convict them of violation?”
     “No; it is easy. We put the burden of proof on the saloon-keeper, if he is even suspected of violation. If there is a light seen in his place, or a door open, or the least sign of anybody inside, when the place ought to be shut, we make him prove his innocence, we don’t have to prove his guilt.”
     “Is it not harder to enforce the law on Saturday night and Sunday than it would be for the same length of time the rest of the week?”
     “Very much harder.” [267][268]
     “Could you enforce the law all the time as easily as you enforce it this portion of the time?”
     “More easily, sir,” he answered with emphasis; “much more easily, and at much less cost. I would take the contract to keep the saloons closed all the time with 75 per cent. of our present police force.”
     And then he added, with an earnestness I shall never forget—
     “I am praying for total Prohibition!”
     It may be doubted if the Chiefs of Police on our side the [sic] Canadian border ever pray for anything.

IV. LAW’S EDUCATIONAL POWER

     But suppose prohibitive laws really were unenforcible [sic]. Suppose any given good law can not be enforced, and that its non-enforcement breeds anarchy. Shall we then favor bad laws which breed anarchy whether enforced or not? Has law no standard quality, no high, supreme function, which must be recognized and asserted by the State?
     If in Paul’s time, as Paul taught, the law was a schoolmaster to bring men unto Christ, why should not the law in our time be “our schoolmaster” to bring men up to the highest levels of Christian Citizenship?
     I lectured one night in the city of Corinth, Mississippi, near which place the Union forces under General Grant won an important battle for the law of national unity. When the lecture was over, among those who came and shook my hand was a tall, typical Southern gentleman who promptly said:
     “You do not make enough of the educational power of law.” [268][269]
     I asked him what he meant, and with increase of emphasis he answered:
     “Precisely what I said. You men of the North do not make enough of the educational power of law. I used to hold slaves in this State; my neighbors held slaves. We thought we had a right to hold them. There was no sentiment in Mississippi against our holding them. But you came down here, you men of the North, and you said to me, you said to my neighbors, ‘You shall hold no more slaves.’ There was absolutely no sentiment to justify you in saying it; but you said it, with the power of Government behind you; and today you can’t find three men of any thousand, in all Mississippi, who ever held slaves, who would take them back if they could do so by a turn of the hand. It is the educational power of law!” was his final declaration.
     But it was enduring law that had wrought this educational work—law based on a principle, and permanent because of this principle. Suppose the slaves of Mississippi had been taken from their owners by some policy of Local Option, under which, in two or three years, they could have been restored; suppose the same policy had prevailed in the other Southern States; what would have been the result? The Slavery Question would be unsettled now.
     Atlanta, Ga., had Prohibition one year, and lost it, through Local Option. Could she have kept it five years longer, through the power of law, she would have it now.
     The power of law in the State Constitution, reasonably permanent because not easily changed, gave permanent Prohibition to Maine, Kansas, and one of the Dakotas; and the educational effect of it has been such that even Resubmission could not wipe it out, in those States, will not be given a chance. [269][270]
     “Contempt for government in any degree is a partial adoption of anarchy.”
     True enough. But what breeds contempt for government? Unenforced law? Perhaps; but unwholesome, unrighteous law, surely. Any law which lowers the moral standard of society is bound to breed contempt for government. Any law which allies government with evil is cause for contempt. Any law which establishes government as a protectorate over the sources of vice and crime is itself a breeder of anarchy. The following statement, in The New Voice of Sept. 12, 1901, should be reflected on soberly:

     “The very legalization of the saloon, in the present enlightened condition of the public conscience, is of the essence of anarchy. It is a violation of the most sacred rights, a contravention of the very purposes of civilized government. When a state or a municipality, professing to rest its political system upon the fundamental charter of American Liberty, legalizes vice and crime, sells license to create domestic discord and public robbery, that state by that act strikes at the very fundamentals of government, and puts before the people an object lesson of anarchy high as heaven and loud as thunder.”

     Strong Drink is the Essence of anarchy. Laws to legalize the sale of it are essentially and fundamentally anarchistic.
     The very man who fell, upon the 6th of September, 1901, so bright and shining a mark before the assassin’s bullet, must have held something like this opinion when his public life began. For in 1874 the people of Oh[i]o were called upon to revise their State Constitution, which forbade licensing the sale of intoxicating liquors. A proposition was made that License be incorporated in the new charter of liberties. Then William McKinley, on [270][271] the 10th of July, in that year, 1874, in a paper published in his own town of Canton, over his own signature, said to his fellow citizens:

     “We need scarcely remind you that the liquor traffic, which is sought to be legalized by the License section, is one that deeply concerns not only the honor of this great State, but also the material, moral, and social interests of all the people. There is not a home or hamlet in the land that is beyond its influence. Its evils are wide-spread and far-reaching.”

     In further discussion of it Mr. McKinley said:

     “Consider what the consequences will be if the License section carries.
     “First, we will legalize this great wrong. We will give the sanction of the Constitution and the laws of this great, free, and intelligent State to this most degrading and ruinous of all human pursuits, so that the men who are spreading ruin and death may say to all protestors [sic]: ‘Stand aside, my business has received the sacred sanction of the law, and is therefore legal and right.’ Can we afford thus legally to sanction a great wrong?
     “Second, by legalizing this traffic we agree to share with the liquor-seller the responsibilities and evils of his business. Every man who votes for License becomes of necessity a partner to the Liquor Traffic and all its consequences.”

     And all that Mr. McKinley said so well in 1874, as to License and the Liquor Traffic, is true today, in yet more painful degree. The honor of every State is outraged where License prevails. The men who sustain License—who become partners to the Liquor Traffic by their votes to sustain it—are parties to the outrage, the defiling shame. They share with the liquor-seller in his responsibilities; they prostitute government to the level of their partnership with vice and crime; they bring government into contempt, by giving to men who are spreading anarchy, ruin and death “the sacred sanction of the law.” [271][272]
     Yea, verily; “to preserve the honor of the State,” as Mr. McKinley said in 1874, “and to protect the truth and the right”—so ran his very words—there is a better way.

V. THE ONLY CURE

     What is it?
     The way Mr. McKinley then believed right and advocated—Prohibition of the Liquor Traffic, not License for it.
     Who propose it now?
     Prohibitionists. It is—
     The law and policy of Prohibition, proposed by Prohibitionists, which can be applied with fairness and success only by and through a party declaring plainly this policy and standing boldly for this law.
     Why Prohibition?
     Because it is the only form of law which does not mean perpetuation of the Liquor Traffic—the only form which, fairly tested, is a Cure for the Curse.
     Why a Party?
     Because through parties only are political policies applied; because the law of Prohibition must come through a political policy; because law must be enforced through or by officials whom a party elects.
     Why a Prohibition Party?
     Because no other party can honestly adopt the Prohibition policy, and honestly enforce a Prohibition law. Because any other party will, as every other party does, mortgage itself to the liquor vote to win success, and must expect foreclosure if it fail to meet the saloon demands.
     But may there not be a union of citizens, for good [272][273] government, outside party lines, that shall down the saloon?
     No, for two reasons:
     First—No union of citizens, call it what you please, can down the saloon, so long as it subordinates that purpose to any other and fears to make it supreme.
     Second—Any union of citizens, making a supreme effort to down the saloon, in order to win must make that effort so long, and its organization so permanent, as to become in actual fact a party. For a party is but “one of the parts into which a people is divided on questions of public concern.” If the division be but brief, the parts may not call themselves parties, yet such in effect they will be. If the division be for any considerable period, they will take to themselves party names. There may be a union of one part of the people in Greater New York to down Tammany, and this union may be composed of several organizations avowedly partizan and non-partizan [sic], but the whole form for the time being the Anti-Tammany Party; and the effort is essentially a party effort, while it lasts. In the intent of its leadership, in the spirit of its composition, it may be an honest effort for Good Government, but such effort will fail of such end while the Anti-Tammany forces fail or fear to assail the stronghold of Tammany—the saloon.
     Successfully to fight the devil in politics, men must go where he is; they must go where they hunt the anarchist—to The Saloon.
     One spelling-lesson, as taught by an Englishman, should be learned by all good Americans before they enter upon a Good Government campaign. He was liberal with his “h’s,” this Englishman was—sometimes, but with these he taught the correct way to spell saloon— [273][274] “with a hess, and a ha, and a hell, two hoes and a hen”—the “hell,” you see, square in the middle of it. And there it is, and there the Anti-Tammany men propose it shall remain—the hell in the middle of the saloon—because the German must have his beer, and the Irishman his whisky, and the anarchist both.
     The first reported meetings of anarchists held after the assassination of President McKinley, were held in saloons, within forty-eight hours after he was shot; and one which was held after his death—and held within three days of his burial—occurred in the rear of a saloon on Long Island.
     “From outside,” said one report, “it could be heard that the saloon was doing a large business, as the cash-register bell was constantly jingling. Occasionally a round of cheers could be heard coming from the dance hall extension,” said this report, and in this dance hall extension the anarchists were gathered, 500 strong, listening to the beery harangue of their leader, Herr Most.
     Yes, the saloon was doing a large business—the saloon, with the hell in the middle of it, and the dance hall at one end, and the devil in John Most inciting those 500 to hatred of Good Government and outrages on Morality and Law. The saloon was there, with its cash register registering the Beer Vote on which Tammany depended for power, and which Anti-Tammany, the same fall, proposed to win over and register for Good Government by letting the saloon stay!
     The saloon was there, and the anarchists were there, and their orator—out on bail from a previous arrest, and again arrested before he could leave the dance hall—was the same man Most, in whose paper, Die Freiheit, a few years ago, appeared that summary of the creed of the [274][275] anarchists quoted in a previous chapter, which it will profit us to repeat and fasten in memory—

     “We wish to be free from the control of the State. We will have no masters. To make the existence of government needless we deny the need of moral laws. There can be no immorality where there is no teaching of morals.”

     It is the creed of the saloons—“We wish to be free from the control of the State. We will have no masters. We deny the need of moral laws.” They teach it and preach it all the time. For this creed every saloon is a sanctuary, and it finds an altar at every bar.
     On the night before President McKinley’s burial, the Excise Commissioners of Newark, N. J., after denying license to a certain “Hill” resort where an assemblage had insulted the martyr’s memory, adopted the following preamble and resolutions:

     “Whereas, It has come to the notice of the Board of Excise that certain saloon-keepers of this city have been guilty of permitting Anarchists to assemble in their places of business and make speeches against the head of our Nation, therefore be it
     “Resolved, That any saloon-keepers in this city who shall be charged by the police with harboring Anarchists or permitting them to hold meetings in their places of business, and make speeches against the government and the good order of the community, shall be deemed to be not the kind of persons to conduct a business of this character, and any person guilty of such an offense shall suffer the revocation of his license and be debarred from again receiving a license to do business in this city.”

     A wise utterance this, by that Board, surely—wise, and opportune, as far as it went; and it went as far as those men could go, perhaps, under the License Law. But is it really worse for a man to permit the gathering of anar- [275][276] chists in front of his bar, and allow speeches by them against the government, and the good order of community, than for him to stand behind his bar, and there daily defy law and antagonize good order? Are not “the men who are spreading ruin and death” (note the force of Mr. McKinley’s words) by their business behind the bar, as perilous to government as their patrons can be by any speech of theirs before the bar?
     If men who cry out against Law, and who “make speeches against government and good order in the community,” or who permit this to be done in their places of business, are “not the kind of persons to conduct a busines [sic] of this character”—a business that lives by law-breaking and breeds disorder everywhere it exists—in the name of all that is pure and holy and patriotic by what kind of persons ought that business to be conducted?

VI. A CRIMINAL PARTNERSHIP

     In a century and a quarter of national life the Spirit of Anarchy has killed three Presidents of the United States. In the last ten years the Curse of the Liquor Traffic has killed a million citizens of the United States.
     And so the Curse, to a degree that should appall every patriot, has itself become a Crime, and fearfully cumulative. Once it may have been only a vice, as murder is said once to have counted; and then the murderer was considered only vicious. But then the government, as we are told, finding this vice growing more rampant, laid a tax upon the murderer, and his act became criminal, but in his crime the government had share.
     And every license or tax law, demanding tribute of the Liquor Traffic, is essentially criminal. The citizen who [276][277] supports it has criminal share in the criminality—“becomes of necessity a partner” if Mr. McKinley’s declaration was true; and the party whose policy upholds it is criminal with the citizen—party and citizen are guiltily criminal together while the criminal policy goes on.
     If old-party leaders would utter their actual thought about it all, in every campaign they would say or sing:

“Yes, we know that the tolls which in taxes we take
Come at last (or at first) from the many who make
     By the bar and the brothel their manhood a lie;
     But so long as the tax (or the license) is high,
Then the millions we get from the sin and the shame
Shall begild all the vice and efface all the blame,
     And the men who pray loud for the coming of Christ
     Will with gold to our guilty success be enticed.

We will talk of Taxation, and smile as we see
Still how easy to fool the poor tax-payers be;
     We will tell how the bar and the brothel have paid
     The high taxes that on the poor voter we laid;
For the dollar we show he will vote for the dive
That, so long as it lives, on his pocket must thrive;
     But we never will tell him—we haven’t the tongue—
     Thus to save by the ballot is waste at the bung!

     As has been said, there are 250,000 accepted criminals in this country; they cost the people of this country at least a round Billion of Dollars every year, of which at least one-half is chargeable to Intemperance, to the Curse which is mother of Crime; and Carroll D. Wright, official statistician, testifies that for every dollar which government receives from the Liquor Traffic it costs this country twenty-two dollars and a half; yet License party leaders, [277][278] notwithstanding these facts, will smile serenely at the License party voter, and say—

“But we never will tell him—we haven’t the tongue—
Thus to save by the ballot is waste at the bung!”

     And in every campaign they will implore, they will beseech him, for sake of the party, or some new fiction of reform that shields the saloon, just this one time more to rally around the bung-hole—rally to put the Democrats out, rally to put Croker out, rally to put everything out but the Beer, and the Bar, and the Liquor Business that is and that makes the Curse that is and that breeds the Crime that calls for the only Cure.
     And the fact stands, for you to quarrel with as you see fit, that any movement, by any party or other division of citizens, which openly or tacitly favors letting down the bars of Law by keeping up and open the bars that are lawless, to win the support of any class of people who believe the Law too strict—any movement that to down Tammany and kill Tammanyism consents or implies that the Saloon may down Sunday and kill Christian sentiment—any movement which thus eliminates morality and principle while professing to be moral and pure—outrages the basic principles of Good Government, has in it the Spirit of Anarchy, and breeds and increases the most dangerous contempt for Law.
     To promise or imply non-enforcement of any law, in order to win the votes of any persons who oppose that law, is to assist in bringing Law and Government into disrepute—is to assassinate Good Government at the Ballot-Box, where to every American it should be sacred, and where it should be defended loyally by every loyal man. [278][279]
     The Curse of the Liquor Traffic will never be cured, the Crime and the crimes of that Curse will never cease, until the law shall prevail in its purity, and majesty, and power.
     To be a Prohibitionist is to believe in Law’s purity, instead of its prostitution for political ends; to demand the application of its power for the uplift of human life and the elevation of the State; to stand for its majestic rule, in behalf of Manhood and Morality, at all times and in all seasons, and especially to stand for this, as the defender of Home and School and Church, on the throne of Good Citizenship, upon the sovereign day of civic duty when Suffrage makes every American citizen a King.

VII. CIVIC SOVEREIGNTY

     A friend of mine once told me how there came to him, upon that day of sovereign opportunity, a great convincing light. He had rank in the high places of men; was President of a College; carried the prefix “Rev.” before his name, and affixed to it the degree letters, S.T.D. and LL.D.; believed in Law and Righteousness.
     One Sunday morning—the last Sunday before the Election of that year—he filled the pulpit of his church membership, in the city of his home; and he said plain things about political righteousness and the moral situation at large; he laid particular stress upon certain local conditions which were disgraceful, and went so far as to designate by name one of the liquor-sellers, and to hold this worst man of this bad class up to public execration and contempt. He fairly put this man in pillory, from that pulpit, until those who listened began to fear evil [279][280] consequences to the preacher, from the saloon-keeper or his kind. And there was harsh talk by them, because of the preacher’s harsh truth, upon the streets next day, and behind the bars.
     Then Tuesday came, and this Doctor of Sacred Theology, this good and honest Doctor of Laws, this eminent educator of youth and of men, went to the Ballot-Box, for the discharge of his sovereign duty as a citizen. He had always voted the ticket of his party of high moral ideas. He held now its ticket in his hand, as he approached the throne of Citizenship. He joined the line of sovereigns like himself, and step by step he neared the supreme place, awaiting his turn to vote.
     Another man stept [sic] up behind him, and followed on. The flavor of liquor from his breath polluted the air this College President must breathe. It was the liquor-seller whom the President had so boldly and bitterly denounced. And step by step, step by step, these two men marched up to the Ballot-Box, each holding his party ballot; and when the Doctor of Sacred Theology had cast in his, and was turning to go, in the proud consciousness of a sacred civic duty done, he saw that the liquor-seller’s ballot precisely duplicated his own, upon which it fell in sweet companionship.
     He went away less proud, but more thoughtful. The more he thought, the more disgusted he grew. When he got home for dinner he was in an unusual mood, and his wife wondered.
     “What is the matter?” said she.
     “I am mad!” said he.
     “Why, what is the matter?” she asked again, and again he answered:
     “I am mad!” [280][281]
     “Has anybody insulted you?” she finally inquired, when he sat and said nothing more.
     “Yes,” he admitted, with some reluctance.
     “Who did it?” was her eager question.
     “He did it,” said the Doctor, slowly, significantly pointing to his own breast; “he is the guilty man! I have insulted myself!”
     And then he told her the story. And since that day he has known, what it takes many wise men a long while to learn, that a Prohibition party is needed politically to differentiate the Doctor of Divinity, and the Sunday School Superintendent, and the Christian Voter, from the dive-keeper, the drink-seller, the gambler, the distiller and the brewer, the breeder of Crime, the perpetuator of Drink’s awful Curse.
     I know another Doctor of Divinity, at the head of a Theological institution, who has not learned that yet. He is a clean and royal man, of high ideals. He goes to the polls with as much solemnity as he manifests when entering the pulpit; and when he casts his ballot he reverently lifts his hat and stands with uncovered head. But he votes the other ticket of those two parties in which the Bishop and the Brewer, the Doctor of Divinity and the Distiller of Death, the Sunday School Superintendent and the Saloon-keeper, go shoulder to shoulder and cast ballots identically the same.
     These two men, these long, long years, have represented one great class, whose division only makes possible, yea insures, perpetuation of the Liquor Curse. When we bring them together, with a common purpose, at the Supreme Place of Civic Sovereignty, the Crime of the Liquor Traffic will cease, for the legal Curse of that Traffic will have found its only legal Cure. [281][282]

Will you wear the party collar, or the voter’s kingly crown,
     When Election Day invites you to a sovereignty sublime?—
Shall the dive’s debasing dollar drag your princely purpose down
          To the low, corrupting level of a crime?
Will you bow in meek surrender to the tyrant that would reign
     Over Home and School and hamlet, in the city’s crowded street?
Will you stand a sure defender, for some share in guilty gain,
          Of the Curse that claims your vassalage complete?

In the nest of Human Freedom sits a vulture—bird of prey—
     And it hatches foulest brood that ever darkened fairest sky;
Till our land has grown an Edom for God’s Children, on their way
          To the better Land of Promise by and by.
And the birds of evil breeding sweep their shadows over all,
     While the blight of their corruption spreads its poison everywhere;
     And the smitten, sore and pleading, in their weakness faint and fall,
          For there comes no Christian answer to their prayer.

Love is weak, and Law it falters to uphold the Truth and Right,
     And the brave become as cowards, breathing poison’s fetid breath,
Till the fire on Freedom’s Altars feebly flickers to its flight,
          And the Curse would strangle Manhood to its death.
But the Better Day is nearing, when the vulture shall be slain,
     When its brood of evil breeding shall be smitten ere they fly,
When a Christian Manhood, hearing weak and wounded cry in pain,
          Shall make answer from its throne of purpose high.

Be a unit for the glory of the land we love so well,
     Not a fraction in the forces that its glory would efface;
Have a part within the story that the Better Day shall tell,
          When the Ballot ends forever Law’s disgrace;
Wear no more a party collar, in the country or the town,
     When the Nation’s weal commands you to assail a Curse and Crime;
Hold the Man above the Dollar, wear your Manhood’s kingly crown,
          On the Sovereign Day of Duty all sublime!

 

 


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