Publication information
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Source: Friend
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Precautions Against Anarchists”
Author(s): T., W. P.
City of publication: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 12 October 1901
Volume number: 75
Issue number: 13
Pagination: 101

T., W. P. “Precautions Against Anarchists.” Friend 12 Oct. 1901 v75n13: p. 101.
full text
anarchism (personal response); anarchism (dealing with); anarchism (government response).
Named persons
William Butler; James A. Garfield; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.


Precautions Against Anarchists

     An Anarchist is defined by Webster to be one “who promotes disorder.”
     In view of the sudden, distressing and unfeeling attack upon President McKinley and its sad, sad results, for which the whole nation deeply mourns, the public mind naturally turns to the most feasible and legal means of preventing the recurrence of such distressing events. This one differs in some respects from the two preceding ones on Presidents Lincoln and Garfield, in that the poor, misguided man, without hesitation, avows himself to be an Anarchist, virtually a foreigner, whose object is to destroy governments; what they would do without one, does not appear. It may be that more stringent naturalization laws are needed. There is no doubt however, that a very close scrutiny on the part of the Judges of our Courts before admitting immigrants to the right of citizenship should be exercised.
     If all Judges were to exercise the same close scrutiny practised by Judge William Butler, Senior, whilst presiding over the United States District Court in Philadelphia, there would probably be less danger to be apprehended from this class of misguided men. During his judicial career in that Court a man presented himself asking to be made a citizen of the United States. Judge Butler being a man of very close observation had his suspicions aroused that this applicant belonged to a society whose avowed object is to overthrow all governments.
     He usually, or frequently permitted the clerk of the Court to propound the proper questions to be asked applicants, but in this instance he appears to have made the inquiries himself.
     Something like the following in substance took place: “Are you a member of any secret society? Yes, I belong to a benevolent (or some such organization). Have you a copy of the Constitution of that society? No, he had not, but his friend who had come to vouch for his good character had. The Judge asked for it, and at his leisure carefully examined it, and found that this applicant, on becoming a member of that society, had taken an oath to use all his efforts to overthrow and destroy the government of the United States.
     On his appearance in Court the next morning to learn the Judge’s decision he was addressed by the Judge in language something like the following:
     “I have examined the Constitution of the society of which you admit yourself to be a member and I find by that, you have bound yourself by oath to use all your efforts to overthrow and destroy this government. Now you come here and propose to take an oath to support the government of the United States. I cannot permit you to perjure yourself—you may go.” There were other instances of the same close scrutiny on the part of Judge Butler and to such extent as to bring upon him the censure of that class of men.



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