Baltimore Evening Sun (8 November 1913): 6.
Be of good cheer, brethren! We will save you! For years and years the speak-easy has been your bane, poisoning you with squirrel whisky and methyl alcohol, filling your arteries with the acrid fumes of near-bear. Relief is now in sight! We will restore the civilized kaif, with its shiny mirrors, its brass spittoons, its elegant free lunch, its honest liquors! Courage, gents! We are coming!
The New York Evening Sun, quoting Dr. Karl Pearson, deplores the fact that the new science of eugenics has fallen into the hands of quacks and ignoranti, and that all of its useful possibilities have been thereby destroyed. A sound lament. The balderdash emitted by some of the eugenists who now cavort in the yellow journals would have made Sir Francis Galton yell for the police. All the facts so carefully collected by Galton, Havelock Ellis, Pearson and their followers are distorted to partisan and stupid uses. No wonder the more intelligent newspapers now treat the whole movement humorously, paying no more serious heed to it than they pay to the vice crusade. Eugenics and vice crusading, indeed, have actually coalesced. The same foolish old maids, male and female, are now preaching both, to the sorrow of the judicious and the damage of public decency. Eugenics has become a branch of pulpit pornography, that reigning passion of the hour. Its first principle is that all male adults are afflicted with its loathsome, incurable and highly infectious diseases, the fruit of a cavian promiscuity. Its second is that the one ambition of such walking cultures is to contaminate the innocent.
Nothing, of course, could be more ridiculous. On the one hand, the prevalence of such diseases among men of ordinary respectability is grossly exaggerated by the roaring old maids, and by the romantic physicians who supply fuel for their doubly needless alarms. And on the other hand, the scoundrelism of such men is much less virulent than these safely quarantined ladies assume. The average man, even the average scoundrel, will go to considerable pains to protect his household from typhoid and smallpox; he will go to the same pains to protect his household from other and worse diseases. If he fails in this last endeavor, ignorance will be infinitely more to blame than turpitude—and ignorance, I venture, is not apt to survive the present unblushing and copious discussion of the subject.
I do not say, mind you, that such things do not happen; all I do say is that they do not happen nearly so often as the so-called eugenists maintain. It is commonly stated, for example, that practically all of the work of gynecologists is so produced—this is evil and preposterous bosh. It is also commonly stated that such diseases are incurable, or that it is impossible to determine with any accuracy whether they are cured or not. This is worse and more evil bosh. The physicians who give countenance to such exaggerations have a heavy responsibility upon them. They are to blame for the enormous prosperity of quacks, and, in consequence, for at least a part of the misery they so piously condemn. Worse still, they are to blame for fears and suspicions which are propagating a national hypochondria and doing incalculable harm.
In view of all this, the Sun proposes that the name “eugenics” be abandoned—or, rather, that it be handed over to the tear-squeezers and Lydia Pinkhams. They have made it ridiculous; let them accompany it into oblivion. But what is to take its place? Race conservation? It suggests Roosevelt and his quackeries. Genetics? A better term–and already used, by the way, by a number of serious students of the problem. But whatever change is made in this direction, it must be plain that heavy and perhaps irremediable damage has been done to the cause. Once more a sound reform has been ruined by the support of ignorant and clownish enthusiasts.
Remarks of Capt. Charles Glen Collins, late of the Cameron Highlanders, as reported by the Sunpaper:
I ’ave spent much money in this country * * * I dropped in to see Mr. Thompson and asked ’im to cash the draft. I ’ave known the gentleman for some time, ’aving met ’im at Atlantic City.
Was the good Captain spoofing the reporter, or is the reporter trying to spoof the readers of the Sunpaper? Since when have British Army officers begun to drop their h’s?
Meanwhile, it is not to be forgotten that the catastrophe to the Anti-Saloon League was also a high tribute to Col. Jacobus Hook.
The following joint resolution has been prepared by learned counsel and will be introduced in the Legislature during the first week of the coming session:
Whereas, During the campaign preceding the late election of members of these Houses, the public prints were filled with paid advertisements attacking the honor and common honesty of gentlemen aspiring to such membership, and
Whereas, Many of these advertisements were composed and published by an organization known as the Anti-Saloon League of Maryland and by an organization known as the Civil Liberty League, and
Whereas, the identity of most of the persons composing these organizations is unknown to the public, and the motives animating them in such attacks remain doubtful and dubious,
Therefore be it Resolved, By the Senate and House of Delegates, jointly, That a joint committee of both Houses be appointed to inquire into the organization, membership and secret motives of the said Anti-Saloon League of Maryland and the said Civil Liberty League, with particular reference to the sources of their income and the manner of its disbursement, and be it further
Resolved, That the said joint committee shall have full authority to hear witnesses under oath, to compel their attendance by summons to compel the production before it of all books and documents whatsoever, and to bring all persons who wilfully disobey its mandates before the bar of the House of Delegates for punishment, and be it further
Resolved, That the said joint committee shall consist of five members of the House of Delegates, appointed by the Speaker thereof, and three members of the Senate, appointed by the President thereof, and be it further
Resolved, That the said joint committee, after its appointment and organization, shall at once report to the House of Delegates the probable amount of its expenditure, that the necessary appropriation may be made.
College yell of the Home Rulers: Let us but appoint the Police Board of Baltimore, and we care not who makes its laws!
The Hon. Cy Cummings, won when the suffragettes were against him and he won when they were for him. Cy seems to be bullet-proof–another subtle proof that virtue is its own punishment.
The Hon. Young Cochran formally admits, in his so-called religious advertisement in the Sunpaper this morning, that the boozehounds met a “reversal” on Tuesday, but the Hon. William H. Anderson still clings to the burning deck and yells “Victory!”