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Publication information
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Source: Lucifer, the Light-Bearer
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Home Colonists”
Author(s): Chamberlain, Ed. W.
Date of publication: 7 November 1901
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 43
Series: third series
Pagination: 350

 
Citation
Chamberlain, Ed. W. “The Home Colonists.” Lucifer, the Light-Bearer 7 Nov. 1901 v5n43 (3rd series): p. 350.
 
Transcription
full text
 
Keywords
Comstock laws; anarchism (government response: criticism); anarchism (Home, WA); Leon Czolgosz (trial); Thomas Penney; Discontent [newspaper]; anarchism (newspapers, magazines, etc.); James W. Adams; anarchists (Home, WA); obscenity.
 
Named persons
James W. Adams; Charles L. Govan; James E. Larkin.
 
Notes
The date of publication provided by the magazine is November 7, E. M. 301.

Whole No. 890.

Alternate magazine title: Lucifer, the Lightbearer.
 
Document

 

The Home Colonists

     Under the pretense of promoting purity the Comstock law is responsible for more unalloyed devilishness than any other accessory of malignity. It has just been pressed into service to harass and annoy, for the third time, the little colony at Home, Washington.
     These frugal, thrifty, inoffensive people have gone as pioneers to a remote place, where they hope to realize their aspirations in the homes they are establishing by their industry.
     Many violent people, today, are clamoring that Anarchists should be exiled to isolation. The Home colonists are Anarchists, and they have practically exiled themselves to the wilderness to escape the offensive hypocrisies of these very people who are thus clamoring. It would seem that both parties should be satisfied with the situation, but the malignity of the persecuting spirit has followed the Home colonists to their retreat and attacks them once more with the Comstock law.
     The assassination of the president staggered the pulse of the nation. Legally the trial of the assassin presented as simple a case as any prosecuting attorney ever had to try. Witnesses of the act were abundant, the fact of premeditation was clear, no defense could have prevailed but the one which should have prevailed, that of insanity. But a vain prosecuting attorney was not content with this simplicity. He wanted to flourish his importance before public attention, and his weak brain, nourished probably on dime novels and yellow journals, conceived the silly idea of a conspiracy of Anarchists, and he started a crusade against Anarchists in our large cities, exciting a frenzied horror against them, to the great delight of the corrupt police, very much as Jew-baiting crusades were started in several European countries. And in the vindictiveness thus excited the very people who shout for “Law and Order,” and who cry out against the blackmailing practices of our vice-promoting police, took up the cry against Anarchists, overlooking the fact that they were thereby serving the worst purposes of the corrupt police.
     Among the victims of this hue and cry were the Home colonists, who published a little paper called “Discontent.” The meddlesome officials of the postal censorship, jealous of seeing all the credit of persecuting Anarchists go to the police, determined to display their activity to advantage, and so they attacked this little paper by means of the Comstock law, procuring the indictment of three of the colonists upon the entirely false charge of mailing obscene matter published in “Discontent.”
     In the case of one of the colonists, James W. Adams, the matter pretended to be obscene, of which he was the author, was printed as long ago as last January and was evidently raked up as the most available matter for the purpose of a prosecution which would never have been thought of had the censors not seen a chance to make capital out of a show of great activity in the suppression of Anarchy.
     Adams had nothing to do with the mailing of this and so could not be convicted under the law, and no indictment could have been found against him except as a result of perjury before the grand jury. The article itself is in no sense obscene, nor is the other article relied upon for the conviction of the other colonists, Larkin and Govan, obnoxious to the law in any sense. The colonists have reprinted these articles and circulated them widely, so that the falsity and the wickedness of the charge against them may be apparent.
     The whole scheme is as wicked an outrage upon the constitutional right of free press as could be devised, and should be resented by every patriotic citizen. The time fixed for trial of this abominable charge is February next. Possibly by that time public sentiment will have so changed that the officials will not have the effrontery to press it, but it is not safe to anticipate any change of heart in those who have so little moral character as to make such an attack and it will be well to watch the proceedings and to furnish these worthy Home colonists with moral and financial support in the struggle which has been so outrageously thrust upon them.

 

 


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