Baltimore Evening Sun (17 June 1912): 6.


The betting odds in the Eutaw street poker rooms:

4 to 1 that Teddy puts it on them at Chicago. 1 to 40 that Harry gets away with it.

Not to be outdone by the enterprising Col. Hook, Dan Loden is seding out a box of Preston matches with every water bill.—Adv.

Relese Julie 1–For Sale.................. {illustration?} AT A SACRIFICE–18,500 Preston buttons 22,000 boxes Safety Matches, 82 Megaphones, 6 Painted Banners, 4 bales Assorted Bunting, 100 dozen Photographs. Apply to MR. LEE, 244 W. Hoffman st.

Posted as overdue or missing at Lloyd’s:

The League for Medical Freedom, Maryland Branch. The Maryland Antivivisection Society. The Greater Baltimore Committee.

The thoughtful connoisseur of juridic grappling, reviewing the late bout between the contumacious professor Boardman and the Old-Fashioned School Board, will note many gross errors of technique on the part of both contestants. In the first place, as I have hitherto pointed out, Professor Boardman, if he really wanted to prove his charges, made a serious mistake when he chose the role of defendant, for he might have had the superior one of prosecutor for the asking. Had he filed those charges with the super-Mahon, instead of appealing vaguely to public sentiment, the super-Mahon would have been compelled, under the charter, to give him a public hearing, and inasmuch as that gentleman, though sitting as judge and jury, would have been himself the chief defendant, the ensuing trial would have had a high and gamey flavor, for the super-Mahon’s extraordinary disquiet under attack is notorious. No man in this town, indeed, is quicker to run amuck when walloped, and no man introduces more fantastic steps into his running.

But this mistake of the professor’s, after all, had no practical effect upon his own fortunes, for he would have been canned in any event and the shortness of the trial before the School Board, if anything, saved him a bit of money. The doings of the School Board, on the other hand, were just as inept and will cost it a lot more in the long run. Its obvious cue was to give the professor a copious and solemn trial—to admit all of his evidence, much of which was probably hearsay and weak, and then to have the Hon. S. S. Field, an indubitably able lawyer, riddle and explode it. That procedure, though without influence upon the ultimate verdict, would have at least inoculated the public with the notion that the board was trying to be fair and aboveboard, and might have even cooled the fires of Professor Boardman himself.

But the School Board, instead of taking this prudent and oleaginous course, chose to make the whole affair a burlesque. A week or more before the trial, before anyone knew what the professor would be able to prove, the president of the board declared heatedly that all of his proofs would fail, and several other members gave equally impressive evidence of their determination to find him guilty at all hazards. Again, when the charges against him were handed to him they were found to be vague and general, and his reasonable demand for a more specific indictment was foolishly ignored. Yet again, he was not given a fair chance, when he actually came to trial, to present anythirg like a coherent case, nor to summon important witnesses. And finally, to crown the comedy, one of the members of the board, a gentleman distinguished for his grotesque blunders in the past, let slip the fact he had prepared a written verdict in advance, apparently before any evidence whatever had been heard.

No doubt the members of the School Board, despite all this, look back upon the trial with considerable satisfaction, for it cost Boardman his job and proved their own might. But it is in that very satisfaction that their folly is visible, for the actual effect of the whole affair has been to damage the board a great deal more than the professor, who has a better job waiting for him. The real defendant, in truth, was not the professor at all, but the super-Mahonic system. and certainly no sane man could watch that system and a man guilty before hearing him without carrying away the notion that it was dubious, and that a thorough ventilation of it would be embarrassing to its apostles.

Now, it is precisely this notion which the super-Mahon and his janissaries have to fear. The success of the system depends, not at all upon their mere power to enforce it, but upon the public’s opinion of it. Once the majority of Baltimoreans decide that it is founded upon error, or worse still, that it is founded upon pothouse politics, that soon will it begin to go to pieces. Weak members of the board will go over to the opposition, teachers with eyes to the main chance will follow them, and in the end the super-Mahonic board will find itself upon exactly the same reef that wrecked the Van Sickle board. In brief, it is public opinion that counts in the long run, and every act which shakes the faith of the public is an act of gross imprudence, if not of downright suicide.

The super-Mahon himself, for all his apparent belief in mere force and for all his insistence that his opponents can’t stop him so long as he is Mayor, is yet keenly alive to the dangers inherent in unfavorable public opinion. This is shown by his constant effort to discredit the newspapers that presume to criticize him. In brief, he tries to fight those papers with their own weapons. In the long run, of course, he will fail, for in the first place the papers reach the public far oftener than he does and in the second place their good faith is far better established than his own, but meanwhile his policy is undoubtedly founded upon a sound psychology. The School Board, however, merely blunders along. Instead of seeking to conciliate its foes—to win their reluctant good opinion by proofs of high intent—it engages in buffooneries which confirm them in their opposition and turn a steady stream of former supporters toward them.

That the Hon. Mr. Boardman deserved to be acquitted I do not venture to say. As a matter at fact, it seems obvious that be deliberately provoked dismissal. But the violent eagerness with which the honorable commissioners heaved him out, without stopping to make the slightest investigation of his very serious charges, left the board in a ridiculous and dubious position, and undoubtedly aroused suspicions in the mind of many Baltimoreans who had hitherto accepted it at its own valuation. It was not the unfairness of the board that left a bad taste so much as its palpable terror. The chatty professor lost his job, but if his moving aim was to shake public confidence in the board he plainly won the day.

Bob Lee found two more men willing to wear Preston buttons yesterday. That makes eight in three days.