Baltimore Evening Sun (3 October 1913): 6.


The Hon. William H. Anderson to the legislative candidates:

The league will * * * support a man who makes a satisfactory SECRET pledge against one who says nothing.

First the poor preachers, and now the poor candidates! What is the plain purport of this amazing offer? Obviously, to put a premium upon false pretenses. On the one hand, the candidate is to pretend publicly that he is against the Anti-Saloon League, and so gain the support of those citizens who tire of its sinister intrigues, and, on the other hand, he is to vote for the Anti-Saloon League when he gets to Annapolis! Could chicanery further go? Could there be a more bold and brazen attempt upon the honor, and even upon the common decency, of candidates for office? Does the whole history of politics offer a more insulting and revolting proposition?

But after all, there is nothing surprising in it. The fact that the Anti-Saloon League practices a strange and unearthly variety of morality, wholly unknown to the text-writers, has been long farnillar. This is the new morality, the supermorality, the special morality of the “moral element.” Its first and only rule is that any trick is fair which brings in a vote or a dollar. According to this morality, the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s astounding proposal to the friars minor was not only highly respectable but even laudable. Not even an Anti-Saloon League clergyman, you will note, has ever denounced it from the pulpit. The Hon. Young Cochran, that sweet, sweet archangel, has never protested against it. There has never been the slightest mention of it in the “religious” advertisements printed in the Evening News on Saturday afternoons. Scores of other persons have been excoriated in these advertisements, but never the Hon. Mr. Anderson, and never the predatory clerics who accepted his graft.

There is one virtue for the “right-thinking” and another and quite different virtue for ordinary sinners. If the Hon. Bob Crain had offered to show saloonkeepers how to tap the tills of the brewers, there would have been an ear-splitting yell by the “moral element,” but when the Hon. Mr. Anderson tried to show the clergy how to trim their deacons, not a whisper was heard. So in the present case. Those candidates who accept the hon. gent’s proposal will be guilty of a deception so gross and so cold-blooded that the average mining stock broker will stand aghast before it, and yet I offer 100 to 1 that not a single professional moralist will denounce it, and that not the slightest reference to it will be made in the Hon. Young Cochran’s eloquent bulls to the unregenerate.

But let me say in all fairness that I do not hold the Hon. Mr. Anderson responsible for this new and outrageous violation of the first principles of sound ethics. Left to himself, the hon. gent. would conduct the business of the Anti-Saloon League in a manner satisfactory to all respectable men. But he is surrounded, as everyone knows, by a horde of persons of defective ethical sense, and their influence upon him is often very pernicious. In the case of his offer to the preachers, for example, I am informed on the highest authority that he did not originate it, and was even opposed to it. He was forced to make it at the behest of others, and those others were scheming dominies who hoped to profit by it. Such are the difficulties and temptations of an honest man engaged in the dangerous profession of moral endeavor.

Headline on the last page of this morning’s Sunpaper:


Managing Editor Of The Sun Ar- rested For Disregarding Rule.

Bit by bit the evidence accumulates that the Hon. Dashing Harry is right when he denounces The Sun office as a nest of anarchists, a den of crime.

The Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D., on the late investigation and report of the grand jury:

An inquiry * * * conducted by a small group of men who had neither the previous information nor the interest, experience and prominemce in social work, nor yet the personal standing which might have fitted them to investigate such questions adequately and fairly, or might have entitled their judgment to respect.

Typically Bonapartean; wholly disingenuous and sophistical. As the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte is well aware, the question before the house is not the grand jury’s standing in moral endeavor, but his own. The Society for the Suppression of Vice, of which he is vice-president and chief serpent, was detected in practices so subversive of public order that they caused a public scandal and attracted the attention of the public authorities. The Hon. Mr. Bonaparte has made no explanation of these practices. On the contrary, he has sought to conceal them by engaging in a {...} and ridiculous attack upon the grand jury, a body of men who gave their time and their best efforts to {...}ful ignorance, and general incompetence.

The grand jury need make no apology for doing its lawful work. But the work done by the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte in the Society for the Suppression of Vice is not and never has been lawful. He is a volunteer of virtue, a self-elected guardian of other folks’ morals. He bears no commission from anyone save himself. So long as he shows sense and sincerity in his operations, no good citizen, I take it, will make complaint against him, but in the present case both his sense and his sincerity are gravely in question. In brief, he is in the uncomfortable position of an archangel caught with the goods, and until he offers an intelligible defense of himself not many sane men will be disposed to listen to his reviling of others. He cannot drag a herring across the trail. He must meet the issue squarely and frankly or be forever under suspicion.

The hon. gent. makes much of the fact that the grand jury’s report has caused little public discussion. The reason is plain enough: the public is wholly satisfied with it. Not a single private citizen, so far as I know, has made an attack upon it, nor has there been any criticism of it from the bench. The only persons who have ventured to make war upon it are the unfortunate gentlemen who find themselves in the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte’s position--that is to say, gentlemen whose stupidity, idle pretentions and petty despotism were revealed by the jury’s inquiry. The people of Baltimore now know more about these bogus “experts” than they knew before. In particular, they know more about the alleged sagacity and good faith of the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D.

Meanwhile, the genial ex-Sheriffs hang on to the taxpayers’ money.