Albert P. Lewis, 8 Spring Terrace,
Boston:—The head of a great nation, a worthy citizen, defender of
the flag and constitution in the dark days of civil war, an old
and honored hero of those grand days when character, courage and
honesty were of more account than birth or wealth; loved and respected
by all, as husband and friend, more than President or successful
politician, now lies stricken by the bullet of assassination. The
seeds of crime sown by heartless tyrants in the long centuries gone
by, have borne fruit, and the innocent, the free ruler of a free
people must reap the harvest. It has been the past boast and glory
of our republic that its executive could mingle freely with his
fellows, as any other citizen, without being hedged about by bayonets
and guards, like a criminal in fear of the lynch-mob, or a European
tyrant in fear of the avenger. Must we go back to such conditions?
Lynch law is getting more popular every day; not in the south alone
but in all parts of the country. You hear of threats of lynching.
An “Anarchist,” murderously honest, shoots the President, and instantly
sober, respectable citizens cry, “Lynch him!” and for a moment becom
e [sic] as murderously inclined as their victim.
This crime has injured not one man
alone—the President, but seventy millions of people who read and
hear of the crime. A feeling of wrong and hatred for the assassin
and all his class rises in their hearts, and sows the seeds of many
future crimes. Virtue, honesty, charitableness and love beget their
like; and crime begets crime. You cannot destroy Anarchy by killing
the Anarchist. Force has never yet reformed any man. One force creates
another, which in turns destroys its creator. Intelligence and kindness
are the enemies of life-destroying, force-performing men called
Anarchists. Education is the only force capable of wiping Anarchy
from the face of the earth.