Baltimore Evening Sun (5 April 1913): 6.


It don’t hardly seem to make half as much fuss when Bill Broening goes to work and tries them stuffers as what it done when Al Owens went to work and didn’t.

The Hon. Daniel Joseph Loden, K. T., has told off two clerks in his office to do nothing all day but sign the Harry petition.--Adv.

Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Dr. William J. Morton, son of Dr. William T. G. Morton, discoverer of ether anesthesia, are serving one-year terms in the Atlanta Penitentiary for using the mails to defraud. Oh, you Eugenics!

A few chance words, printed in this place the other day, in favor of a dollar a day tax upon bachelors have brought an unexpected flood of letters of approval. And strange as it may seem to anthrophobes of the baffled sex, the great majority of these letters are from bachelors. The writers, let it be remembered, do not hate money; they are not spendthrifts; they like taxpaying no more than anyone else. But they realize to the full the value of the high liberties and immunities that they enjoy, and they are willing to make payment for them in cash. They ask charity of no man, not even of the community in general. As one of them says:

I ascribe all my present prosperity to my lack of a rowdy wife and extravagant family, for on the one hand it has enabled me to devote my whole energies to my profession, and on the other hand it has kept my expenses moderate. I frequently lend money to married men with twice my ability, but, poor fellows! they can never get ahead in the world. Time was when I would have been forced into marriage by law, or at least by custom. The removal of that old necessity has been valuable to me. I am willing to pay a reasonable indemnity.

From another comes this curious and confidential revelation:

I have a married sister somewhat older than myself. When I reached the age of 25, she decided that it was time for me to be married. Thereafter, for 10 long years, my life was a curse. Scarcely a week passed that she didn’t trot out some new candidate. I was lured into scores of embarrassing situations. I was baited with widows, grass widows and maidens. Two or three times I made very narrow escapes, indeed. Finally, about a year ago, I decided to put an end to this persecution. I went to my sister, assured her on my word of honor that I was fully determined to remain a bachelor, and offered to give her $10 a week for letting me alone. Convinced at last, she accepted, and today I am a happy man. When I go to her house for dinner, all of the guests are now either men, or married women with their husbands. I have no more nightmares. The $500 a year is a fine investment. My new found peace of mind has enabled me to lift my income by fully $2,000 a year. Incidentally, my brother-in-law is well pleased. He has a deuce of a time making both ends meet.

And here is a confession that is even more curious:

So thoroughly am I in favor of a tax on bachelors, as a fair payment for their superior ease and happiness, that I have actually tried, in a modest sort of way, to pay it. That is to say, I have made a practice of sending $100 to the City Collector’s conscience fund once each year. But I would be better pleased, of course, to make payment openly, and to have my resultant rights clearly understood. I think a dollar a day would be very fair. The money might be used to increase the pay of woman employes of the city, who are now underpaid and discontented, and so constitute a permanent menace to bachelors.

A fourth correspondent thus considers the practical bearings of the proposed tax:

The only sound objection I have ever heard to the tax is that it would cause thousands of bachelors to submit to marriage. This, of course, would greatly increase turmoil and conflict, and perhaps do serious injury to civilization. But it might be prevented by laying a heavy penalty on bachelors who marry--not on young bachelors, but on the old fellows. Let the marriage license for a man less than 25 be $1, as at present, but double it every year thereafter. At 35 it would be 1, 000. Most men would rather pay $100 a year than $1,000 in a lump.

This difficulty is also considered by several other correspondents. One of them, at least, is sure that no such epidemic of marriages would result from the tax. Says he:

The only bachelors who would marry to escape payment, would be (a) those who couldn’t afford to pay, and (b) those who were too stingy to pay. If there are women willing to marry such rats,{?} then let them do it, say I. The noble fraternity of bachelors--numbering, as it does, such men as Dr. Welch and the Hon. W. S. Bryan, Jr.--would be well rid of them. The tax would give us bachelors a definite and dignified status, just as the framed license behind the bar given a definite and dignfied status to a kaif. Today all bachelors are in the humiliating position of speakeasies, as it were. They are ferae naturae.

And so the letters run, with unqualified approval of the proposed tax as their dominant note. True enough, a few objections are offered, but not by bachelors. The following, from a suffragette, is a sample:

Your propopal is pernicious, immoral and idiotic. But I would not be surprised to see it adopted. Under our present laws, men are grossly favored. All of the advantages of life are on their side. Not until women have the vote will they escape from the intolerable conditions which now oppress them.

Nevertheless, I don’t see how the possession of the vote would give women much help in the present case. Certainly they cannot be nursing false hopes of forcing bachelors into matrimony by law! The day for that sort of thing has gone by. The more stringent the laws, the more savage the penalties, the more desperstely all bachelors of the better sort would evade and defy them.

A more serious criticism is advanced by a widow lady. Says she:

What about widowers? Why should they escape? It seems to me that all widowers should be forced to remarry within five years. They haven’t the excuse that they have conscientious objections. They can’t say they can’t afford it. An unmarried widower constitutes a subtle criticism of marriage; bachelors are always glad to point him out as a sort of horrible example. Such things ought to be stopped.

Well, it mout be. But I do not venture to discuss these difficult subphases of the main problem. All I desire to do to to show that bachelors, as a class, are by no means opposed to special taxation. In all my acquaintances, indeed, there is not a single one who offers serious objection to the proposed tax. There remains, of course, the difficult business of working out its exact amount, manner of application and mode of collection. The one thing needed to determine these things is a frank and free public discussion. The views of such eminent sociologists as Bishop Wegg, of Havre de Grace, Dr. Donald Rt. Hooker, Dr. Zechla Judd, Clark d’Arlington, the Hon. William H. Anderson, Miss Alice Hackett and Miss Jane Snookums would be interesting and illuminating.


Cheer up, gents! It might be worse! Suppose John Walter had made the Hon. Mr. Schoenewolf Internal Revenue Commissioner!

The vice crusade! The vice crusade! Oh, sing me Schubert’s “Serenade”!