Baltimore Evening Sun (19 January 1914): 6.


From the estimable Towel’s advance notice of the impending public victualing of the Eastern Shore Society:

The menu, like the speeches, will be typical of the Eastern Shore.

But where is hog and hominy? Where is stewed muskrat? Where is chitlings a la Salisbury? Where is candied yams? Where is scrapple? Where is slider soup? Where is fried perch? Where is shoulder and brassica oleravea? Where is jowl and sprouts? Where is pigs’ knees and boiled radishes?

A DAILY THOUGHT. Was die Menschen Glück und Unglück nennen, ist nur der rohe Stoff dazu.--The Hon. Otto Ludwig.

The organization of the Boy Snouts and of their distaff auxiliary, the Hypodermic Girls, calls attention to the strange and lamentable decay of the vice crusade in our fair city. No more than a year ago it was flourishing superbly and its great saints and wiskinskis were constantly in the newspapers. One recalls, indeed, with something approaching regret the half-forgotten events of that melodramatic campaign: the closing of Watson street and Rogers avenue, the raiding of assignation houses and family entrance hotels, the establishment of the Rev. Dr. Kenneth G. Murray’s burlesque bastile for the penitent, the appearance of the Hon. Alfred S. Niles, of the Police Board, upon the suburban Chautauqua circuit, the loud public burbling of the Hon. Max Carton, the Hon. Samuel E. Pentz and the Hon. Eugene Levering, the formal announcement by Dr. Howard A. Kelly that Baltimore was practically cleaned up, the appointment of Capt. Charles M. Cole to turn the Western tenderloin into one vast Sunday-school, the siege of Captain Morheiser by the snouters and “moral squads” of the Pentz Society, the organization of a foot company of sniffling policewomen, the threats of the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte to impeach the Supreme Bench, the noble efforts of the same gentleman to prove that all of his opponents, including even clergymen of his own church, were either cappers for brothels or frequenters thereof, the call for volunteers to help in the saturnalia of snouting, the whooping of the suffragettes for the mutilation of sinners, the invasion of the field by “expert investigators” from near and far, each with something to sell; the eager and ecstatic pursuit of offenders against the Mann white slave law, the sudden popularity and prosperty of sex hygiene, that ludicrous quackery; the public and pathetic defense of the Hon. Samuel E. Pentz by the Hon. Eugene Levering and Abbot Morriss, the circulation of sensational poppycock about the prevalence and virulence of venereal disease, the gallant effort to make every woman believe her husband a leprous scoundrel and her son a daily associate of prostitutes, the rise and magnification of such amateur “experts” as Dr. O. Edward Janney, Dr. Kelly, the Rev. Dr. Murray, the Rev. Dr. Oliver Huckel and Dr. Donald R. Hooker, the ill-natured and slanderous attacks upon such genuine investigators as Mr. Grgurevich, Capt. John Logan and former Justice Eugene E. Grannan, the bumptious and stupid intervention of the women’s clubs, with its inevitable accompaniment of low comedy; the astounding “warning to girls” issued by the United Women of Maryland, the extension of the jehad to the counties, the breaking down of long-honored newspaper prudery so that sexual maladies and aberrations were discussed with the most appalling frankness, and the general obsession with sex, sex and nothing but sex.

All this a short, short year ago. But today, alas, the vice crusade would seem to be a dead duck. Dr. Kelly, once its chief patron, is now engrossed by other concerns; the Rev. Dr. Murray hasn’t broken into the newspapers for three months; Dr. Janney, Dr. Hooker, the Hon. Eugene Levering, the Hon. Mr. Carton and the rest of the evangelists are maintaining a magnificent and impenetrable silence; even the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte, though he still addresses the public with heat and eloquence, no longer addresses it upon the subject of man’s villainy and woman’s sin. What is worse, the Pentz Society gives out the mild gases of an extinct volcano, a cooling crater. What is still worse, the Police Board turns its “moral squad,” once the plaything of the Hon. Mr. Pentz, to more decent and lawful uses, and the frightened boarding-house keepers in the Western district are no longer under espionage. And what is worst of all, the sweet music that we once heard about closing up all the disorderly houses and making Baltimore a “model” city is heard no more, and scores of such places still lure the sinful stranger and not a few new ones, unless my snouters lie more than usual, have opened since the pother about them began.

Such is the net effect of the great vice crusade of last year. One views it with sorrow, even with a touch of tears. Ah, that the best-laid plans should go so horribly aglee! How did it happen? If you seek the causes in the Courthouse you will not fail, I believe, to find them. In brief, the grand and petit juries of Baltimore busted the vice crusade, the former by refusing to indict more than half of the sinners so diligently snared and the latter by refusing to convict the remainder. Our juries represent, not the highest moral thought of the community, not the thought of the sanctified, but the average thought, the normal thought, the thought of everyday men. That thought is opposed to snouting; it is opposed to alliances between the Police Board and dubious private societies; it is opposed to the whole scheme of making men virtuous with the sword. And it is opposed to these things because it holds them to be futile, Pharisaical, stupid and immoral.

When I speak of grand juries I do not allude only to that contumacious one which openly flouted the Police Board and denounced its morganatic marriage to the Pentz Society. No, I allude to grado juries in general, to all of them. One and all they have refused to indict on the unsupported evidence of spies and tempters or to give any aid to the press-agenting of self-consecrated seraphim, each with something to sell. And the petit juries have joined them in this deviltry, not only in the State courts, but even in the Federal courts. We had an impressive example not long ago. A man accused of violating the Mannl white slave act admitted his technical guilt and the judge instructed the jury that he had undoubtedly broken the letter of the law. But the jury, scarcely leaving the box, found him not guilty. The judge was right--and so was the jury. The trouble was with the law. The whole value of the jury system lies in the fact that it puts common sense and common justice above the letter of imbecile and hypocritical laws.