Baltimore Evening Sun (4 October 1913): 6.


My exposure in this place yesterday of the Hon. William H. Anderson’s sinister proposal to the legislative candidates has brought me a number of abusive letters from the “moral element,” but the leters of commendation from good citizens outnumber and outweigh them, and in addition I have received four boxes of cigars and a gold-headed cane. The whole history of Maryland politics affords no parallel to this amazing proposition. Every candidate who accepts it will be guilty of a plain fraud upon the electorate. It is as if a man were to run for office as a Democrat, and then cast all of his legislative votes with the Republicans. The chicanery involved, indeed, is far worse than this, for the boozehounds and Rum Demonists are much further apart than the Democrats and Republicans, both of whom are pledged to civilized government.

Will any of the candidates accept the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s terms? I hope not. But meanwhile, it will be well to watch some of them carefully. Keep your eye upon every man who, while falling to yield his neck to the Anti-Saloon League publicly, is yet not denounced as a sot and devil. But even that test, of course, will be far from infallible. The Hon. Mr. Anderson is not above denouncing a willing yielder to deceive the voters, and then passing secret orders to the “moral element” to get behind him on election day. Thus a serious and difficult situation confronts the people of Maryland. They seem doomed to be tricked. The diabolical ingenuity of the Hon. William H. Anderson has prevailed against them once more.

Chorepiscopus Wegg, the Belair General Booth, in the Letter Column:

Strike out Mencken and Gibbs, and what is left of The Evening Sun would be dear at 25 cents a year.

But why bother to mention Gibbs? And why put the price so high? And why forget Prof. Alexander Geddes and the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D.?

The estimable Hot Towel on a distinguished feat of rhetoric:

Col. Jacob W. Hook * * * managed to get the sum of $845 from the Noard of Estimates by an address that consisted of something like 200 words.

Each word a pearl; each pearl a prayer!

Forty cents cash for the name and address of an anti-suffragist who would refuse public office if it were actually offered to her.

Table showing the consumption of distilled and fermented liquors in the United States during the last 18 years:

Per Capita Per Capita Total Population (Special) Distilled Distilled Fermented Fermented Per Fiscal Estimate by Spirits Liquors Liquors Liquors Capita Year. Census Bureau) (Gallons) (Gallons) (Gallons) (Gallons) (Gallons)

Population Estimate
by Census Bureau
Per Capita Distiled Liquors
Fermented Liquors
Per Capita Fermented Liquors
Total Per Capita

All the triumphs of prohibition, the benign effects of the “reform” wave, the affecting feats and victories of the “moral element”! According to the Anti-Saloon League, the increase in the consumption of distilled liquors this year is a mere appearance, due to the forcing of whisky out of bond. The law allows a distiller to keep his product in bond but eight years. At the end of that time he must take it out and pay the tax upon it, whether he has sold it or not. But does this fact account for the increase of 97,000,000 gallons? It does not. Investigation shows that but 2,730,040 gallons was thus forced out during the fiscal year ended June 10 last. The rest of the increase represents actual consumption.

Besides, look at the fermented liquors column. Fermented liquors are never kept in bond long enough to be forced out: they would spoil before the time was up. Yet the increase in consumption was nearly 100,000,000 gallons, or 5 per cent.! And during the year the population of the country increased less than 2 per cent.! Ah, the joys of local option!

The Bixby case in Los Angeles, just terminated by the acquittal of the Hon. Mr. Bixby, has entertained cognoscienti with an inside view of conditions in a large city after its “purification” by policewomen and vice crusaders. The Hon. Mr. Bixby, it appears, was the victim of blackmailers who sought to punish him for his war upon those conditions. Among the things discovered was a college of vice! Imagine it! A college of vice with a faculty made up of unutterably degraded men and women, and students drawn from the local high schools!

But this discovery, after all, was not very surprising, despite its novelty. The effect of attempts at suppressed vice is invariably to make vice worse, if only by making it secret. What is done under the eye of the police must be done with a certain respect for public decency, and the competition it offers tends to keep down more exaggerated evils. But the moment the police are charged with making the vicious virtuous overnight, the vicious retire to secret places and wallow in vileness without restraint. This is what has happened in Los Angeles, the chemically pure. In the police reports the town appears as decorous as Catonsville, but in reality it is a moral hogpen, with many other joints like the notorious Jonquil Club. Baltimore, under segregation, has never had any such joints. But Baltimore, under suppression, will have them inevitably.

Incidentally, did you notice the interview with the Hon. Samuel L. Shank, Mayor of Indianapolis, in The Evening Sun of September 26? The Hon. Mr. Shank was elected upon a “clean-city” platform: he promised the “moral element” that he would close all disorderly houses if elected. What is more, he kept his promise. But now he frankly admits that he is sorry he ever made it. Conditions in Indianapolis are worse than ever before. “Vice crusades,” says the Hon. Mr. Shank, “not only fail to cure the social evil; they actually exaggerate it.”

Not a word from the Hon. Eugene Levering on the grand jury’s embarrassing view of the Society for the Suppression of Vice! Not a word from the Hon. William H. Morriss!