Source: Memphis Medical Monthly
Source type: journal
Document type: public address
Document title: “Man—The Product of Two Forces”
Author(s): McSwain, I. A.
Date of publication: December 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 12
Pagination: 617-28 (excerpt below includes only pages 626-27)
|McSwain, I. A. “Man—The Product of Two Forces.” Memphis Medical Monthly Dec. 1901 v21n12: pp. 617-28.|
|I. A. McSwain (public addresses); crime (dealing with); McKinley assassination (personal response); lawlessness (mob rule).|
“President’s address, read before Tri-State Medical Association of Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, Memphis, Nov. 19, 1901” (p. 617).
From page 617: By I. A. McSwain, M.D., Paris, Tenn.
Man—The Product of Two Forces [excerpt]
In dealing with criminals and outlaws we must appreciate the fact that their own disregard of law and the principles of government will not be cured by mob violence. The dogma of our homeopathic neighbors of similia similibus curantur is inapplicable and inefficient as a remedy for crime, if not disease. Anarchy is not a cure for anarchism. The nation is to be congratulated on its conduct in the trying ordeal through which our country has recently passed, when President McKinley, a noble and pure man and ruler, was struck down by a vile and misguided fiend, in not visiting upon the wretch summary vengeance; but on the contrary, exemplifying in a marked degree our high state of civilization and respect for law by an impartial trial and a speedy execution of the murderer. We must be allowed in this connection to state that the delay in the prosecution and execution of criminals by the useless quibble of lawyers and the slow and uncertain process observed in courts of justice, is largely responsible for the spirit of mob violence. Our people are naturally and by education law-abiding, but having witnessed so many instances of crime that should have been promptly dealt with, and many cases where  through questionable means criminals have evaded the processes of law and been turned loose, ready again to perpetrate further crimes, the people becoming disgusted at such proceedings have been prompted to take the matter in their own hands, especially if the crime involve the safety of womanhood, in whose defense every Southern man is willing to sacrifice his own life. What we need is speedy arrest, conviction and punishment of criminals. Were this invariably done, mob violence, with a few rare exceptions, would come to an end.