Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Two Kinds of Anarchists”
Author(s): P., M. T.
City of publication: Johnson City, Tennessee
Date of publication: 18 April 1907
Volume number: 24
Issue number: 1188
|P., M. T. “Two Kinds of Anarchists.” Comet 18 Apr. 1907 v24n1188: p. .|
|assassinations (comparison); McKinley assassination (personal response); Leon Czolgosz (trial: personal response).|
|John Adams; George E. Baker; Leon Czolgosz [misspelled below]; Diana; Jeremiah Dixon; Sally Freeman; William Freeman; William Goebel [misspelled once below]; Thomas Jefferson; Jesus Christ; James Madison; Charles Mason; William McKinley; James Monroe; Peter the Hermit; William H. Seward; John Van Buren; John G. Van Nest; George Washington; Phoebe Wyckoff [misspelled below].|
Two Kinds of Anarchists
Not many citizens of the United States have
thoroughly analyzed the true inwardness attending the assassination [of] Gov.
Goebel in 1899 and President McKinley in 1901. Both cases rest upon exactly
the same moral basis in every respect, but there was more or less difference
of detail in the execution of the scheme of murder. In the case of Goeble the
plotters sent over to Cincinnati and got steel bullets to be certain that the
messenger of death would break any bones it should strike in his body. This
not only shows intelligent forethought in preparing for the bloody work in hand,
but it also shows many days of deliberation to perfect the plans to carry it
out. The man whose room was to be used rushed off to Louisville so as to be
able to prove an alibi on the trial, and the man on the firing line had the
shelter of a half open window blind to conceal himself behind. That shows he
was a cowardly cur without the manhood to face the responsibility of the base
act he was committing. He was what is usually known as a sneak thief who conceals
his own vile carcas [sic] while stabbing his real or fancied enemy.
But how was it in the case of McKinley? Here a young man of feeble intellect and but little, if any, moral training, was used to do the work of the assassin. He undoubtedly had been coached by shrewder men and carefully instructed in the whole vile plot to put an entire nation in mourning. Like the simpleton who fired the temple of Diana at Ephesus that his name might go do [sic] down in history coupled with his crime, we may be sure Czolgoz had his vanity excited to madness by the glory of killing the president. Now after this preparation to execute the will of others, suppose a wicked hypnotist took charge of him and trained him in hypnotic suggestion. Suppose further, the hypnotist was present on the ground and kept his snake-like eyes on Czolgoz at the psychological moment when Mr. McKinley began a general hand-shaking, I would like for some one to tell me which of the two would be responsible for the murder. The one incited it and the other, like a machine, executed his master’s will, but demonism was at the bottom of both cases. And demonism is by no means a recent discovery, for it stained the earth in Eden with a brother’s blood, and like the poisoned shirt of Nessus, has clung to the human race for six thousand years.
But let us follow these two cases into the temple of justice and see if the blind goddess holds the scales in equal poise to measure out even-handed justice on both sides of Mason and Dixon’s line. Czolgoz was arrested on the spot in the presence of his victim and securely lodged in prison. After a reasonable delay for appearance sake he was tried, convicted by a Buffalo jury and executed. In all this no voice was raised among the millions of southern people in criticism of the illegal jury by whose verdict he was convicted and executed. And why? Simply because the people of the south do not deny to New York the right of self-government, including the absolute right to deal with her own law breakers [sic], anarchists and all other criminals.
How was it “away down in Dixie” when the concealed assassin sent the steel messenger of death into the vitals of his victim? Ah, a little army of patriots who had become accessories before the fact had been mustered into Frankfort and were quietly waiting to aid and abet the assassin and cover his retreat when the criminal work was done. And how was it with two governors of Indiana and one governor of New York and the national republican convention at Philadelphia in 1900, all of whom honeyfuggled with one of the conspirators and became accessories after the fact? How can these things be and not excite our special wonder? But why is it that everything in the south from the highest courts down to the private opinions of the citizen are criticised and condemned by our northern brethren? Do they honestly believe we are not capable of self-government, or have they mounted such a high horse in their wild flight as a “world power” that it has crowned them with an imperial glory and honor until it has become their right and duty to dictate our laws and customs?
All students of American political history can now see that it was the thirty-two years of federal administration by those four illustrious Virginians, Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, that made a constitutional republic possible. The four years of John Adams had piloted the federal ship of state onto the breakers of British hereditary aristocracy, and another term by the same pilot would have swamped her in that great Hamiltonian trough of the sea—a limited monarchy and an elective king.
That all anarchists are simply demonized human beings I think can not be disputed, but some are more completely under the control of the wicked spirit than others is equally clear. But passing by the many cases where Christ and the apostles cast them out, let us take a clearly marked case in our own history. In 1845, at Auburn, N. Y., William Freeman entered the house of John G. Van Nest at 10 o’clock of the night and butchered Mr. Van Nest and his wife, carrying an unborn baby, a child sleeping in the bed, and the mother-in-law of Van Nest, a Mrs. Wykoff. Taking a horse from the stable he fled, but was followed and brought back. After lying in jail many months he was put upon trial for these five murders. William H. Seward, an eminent lawyer of Auburn, volunteered for the defense. Two weeks were spent with experts before a commission in lunacy. Eleven of the jurors said he was responsible for his crime, but one juror who had been put on the panel evidently for that purpose, said he was morally insane and should not be tried for his life. The attorney-general was John Van Buren, an ambitious democrat. Mr. Seward was a famous criminal lawyer and saved most of his clients by the insanity dodge, but he stood at the head of the whig party in the state. This enabled him to put the case on a political basis. The defense was moral insanity, but it failed and the negro was convicted. While awaiting the day of execution the negro took sick and died. And now the experts got another whack at him, and uncapped his brain in the post mortem and looked at the cerebrum, and cerebellum, and the nudulla [sic] oblongata and all the convolutions of the brain, but found no nidus where the soul had rested nor any dent where his conscience had nestled, and so they reported him with an abnormal brain. That was all Mr. Seward needed. He could twist the law and the the [sic] facts and juggle with words as well as any other crafty lawyer.
But let us take a look at Freeman himself. Sally Freeman, his mother, had an Indian for her father and a negress for her mother. She lived on a very low plane and would get drunk on occasions, and had the savage blood of both Indian an [sic] negro in her veins. When her son, William, was about seventeen years old he was convicted of crime and sent to the penitentiary there in Auburn. On his release from prison doubtless the wicked one had taught him to hate white people and filled his heart with murder, and he selected the Van Nest family as the place of least danger to himself.
I do not believe any fair-minded man can take up this case, read the case and the pleadings, and especially the argument of Mr. Seward, and fail to see he was actuated alone by malevolent spirit to foment discord between the sections which finally led up to the war in 1861. He was like Peter the Hermit who lashed all Europe into frenzy to rescue the “Holy Sepulchre” from the Saracins [sic] until 12,000,000 of deluded mortals perished from the earth. See Manifold Cyclopedia, vol. 34, and Baker’s life of W. H. Seward, pp. 99, 123, 243, 302, 414.