Baltimore Evening Sun (10 May 1913): 6.


The Hon. Isaac Lobe Straus is shocked into convulsions by the thought that the Hon. Woodrow Wilson should have a candidate for the United States Senate. But he seems to be perfectly content that the Hon. William H. Anderson should have a candidate.

Unless my spies lie, the Hot Towel is finding it less easy than it used to be to shake down the Prominent Baltimoreans. A large number of them, I hear, are refusing to come across with their $100 bills for space in the Domesday Book, and some are even going to the length of refusing with appreciable heat. The Prominent Baltimoreans grow rebellious and contumacious. Let them have a care. The Towel never forgets “an enemy to Baltimore.” Its “reciprocal favors” work both ways. It can sandpaper as well as grease.

Now that the Hon. S. S. Field has been solemnly tried and acquitted by his codefendants of the Board of Awards, the four ex-Sheriffs are talking of trying one another and having it over. Meanwhile, the Hon. Mr. Field is preparing bullet-proof alibis for two of his judges, the Hon. Messrs. Richard Gwinn and ------ing Harry, joint wiskinskis of the Calvert Bank. Such is gemüthlichkeit!

Indiscreet remarks of the Hon. Aristides Sophocles Goldsborough, head scorpion to the Archangel Harry, in the current Municipal Journal:

A sound, solid, tremendously powerful public opinion is a dangerous thing to oppose.

Witnesses: the Hon. Mr. Harry, the Hon. Sunday-School Field, the Hon. Paving Bob, the Hon. McCay McCoy.

Death rates since 1901 in American cities of more than 500,000 population, as reported by the Bureau of the Census on April 30:

   Annual Ave. 
New York15.
St. Louis15.415.815.814.715.617.7

The evil eminence of Baltimore is here very plain: our death rate is today, and has been for years, the highest among American cities of the first class. What is worse, it shows but little tendency to decline, despite the gallant efforts of the Health Department and the Intelligent co-operation of a large number of our physicians. During the period 1901-5 there were three cities with an average death rate of 19 or more--New York, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Since then the death rate of New York has declined to 15.2, or 20 per cent., and that of Pittsburgh to 14.9, or 25 per cent., but that of Baltimore has declined but 8 per cent.

According to the Health Department, which now keeps very accurate statistics, the local death rate for 1912 was 18.33, a further decline of but two-thirds of a point. The negro, of course, is chiefly to blame for this high rate. The mortality among the negroes in Baltimore is nearly twice as great as among the whites. All Southern cities, for the same reason, have comparatively high death rates. But even so, Baltimore has a higher rate than either St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati or Birmingham, Ala., all of which have large negro populations. And our white death rate, separated from the general rate--last year it was 16.05–is higher than the general rate of any other first class city save Boston and Philadelphia. I say higher than the general rate: no doubt the white rate, at least in Philadelphia, is lower than our own.

All of these facts deserve the serious attention of intelligent Baltimoreans. A general conference upon the death rate, presided over by some sanitarian of long experience, might make some progress toward a solution of the problem, or at least toward its clear understanding. The boomers and the Hot Towel, of course, would oppose such a conference on the ground that it would “hurt” the city, but the day of listening to boomers and Hot Towels is passing. The civilized people of Baltimore are beginning to realize how much wind music and false pretenses have cost all of us; they are ready to face the health problem as unsentimentally as they have begun to face the public improvements problem.

Baltimore has an excellent Health Department, but it is oppressed by administrative routine, and hampered in constructive work by lack of means and authority. Under a truly civilized government, help would come from the Mayor and City Council, but no sane man expects anything from the present camorra of job-grabbers and donkeys. The Mayor is busy with other enterprises, some of them public and some personal, and the majority of Councilmen are too stupid to take any interest in such things Their minds seldom rise above peanut politics and petty jobs. They are tenth-rate men, and it would be dangerous to let them monkey with the public health.

In this emergency, an unpaid, unpolitical medical commission might do a useful service--not, perhaps, in actually undertaking reforms, but studying the situation and making plans for the future. The present City Council, it is probable, will be the last of its kind. The people will clean out the ward-heelers when they get rid of the super-Mahon. Once the city government is in the hands of intelligent men, and the existing stench is dissipated, it will be time enough to undertake remedial measures. But meanwhile, a lot might be accomplished by discussing and determining the exact nature and extent of those measures.

Mother Elizabeth Towne, the lady pope of the New Thoughters, in the Nautilus:

If the Spirit moved me I would treat ANYBODY, with or without his consent, for Health, Freedom, Power, Universal Love, Peace, etc., but I would never treat a certain person John to fall in love with a certain other person Mary. * * * As to catching a patient’s disease through treating him, it is well to insulate yourself before you begin to treat. Affirm yourself as being one with God, fully protected by your own aura of GOD’S WILL. (Elizabeth’s own italics.)

Enter New Thought ethics. Enter New Thought asepsis.

Complaint of a moral gladiator, characteristically anonymous in the Letter Column:

At most, the matter of which H. L. M. treats (when he treats of any matter at all), is purely a case for opinions, and when it comes to opinions, one man’s is as good as another’s.

Not only as good, but sometimes even better. But admitting a perfect equality, this brave critic’s case at once goes to pieces. No one objects to the malignant moralists expressing opinions. What we sinners complain of is their efforts to enforce those opinions with the policeman’s club.