Strikes Basis of Revolution in Red Plot

New York Tribune

January 5, 1920

Documents Reveal Communists Planned to Control Unions and Fan Walk-Outs Into Revolt

 ‘Bore From Within’ Program of Action

“Manifesto” Calls Federation of Labor “Bulwark of Capitalism”

Plans of the Communist and Communist Labor parties, against which the great raids by government agents started Friday night, to gain control of all labor organizations as the means of fomenting revolution were revealed tonight in documents made public by the Department of Justice.

Assistant Attorney General Garvan made public the documents which were seized in several cities, with the desire, he said, that “the American people learn the real purposes of these menacing groups and the nature of the poison they were spreading.”

In their plan to “bore from within” in the labor unions, as disclosed in the “manifesto and program,” the leaders of the Communist and Communist Labor parties outlined for their adherents the program for inciting simultaneous small strikes and development of these small strikes into mass action. The plan of action was given in detail from “small strikes to minor mass strikes, from minor mass strikes to general strikes, and from general strikes to the dictatorship of the proletariat through revolution.”

“Unionism Bulwark of Capitalism”

Deploring the trend of development of trade unionism, the “manifesto” says:

“The older unionism was based on the craft divisions of small industry. The unions consisted primarily of skilled workers whose skill in itself is a form of property. The unions are not organs of the militant class struggle now. Today, the dominant unionism is actually a bulwark of capitalism, merging in imperialism and accepting state capitalism.”

The “manifesto” admonishes the followers of the parties that they “must actively engage in the struggle to revolutionize the trade unions.” It adds that as against the unionism of the American Federation of Labor, there is need for emphasis of revolutionary implications and that:

“We recognize that the American Federation of Labor is reactionary and the bulwark of capitalism.”

Pledged to Join Mass Strikes

The Communist party members pledge themselves, the manifesto shows, to participate in all mass strikes, not so much to achieve the ends of the particular strike but to further its program of revolution. Complete capitulation by capital in all strikes is given as one aim, while collective bargaining or dickering of any kind between employer and employee has no place in the radicals’ scheme of overthrowing the present political economic system.

“The manifesto of the Communist International.” Which was made public as one of the documents subscribed to by both the Communist and Communist labor groups of this country, characterizes the League of Nations as “the cover under which the world capitalists prepared for their final battle.”

The League covenant itself is described as only “a deluge of pacifist phrase-mongering, a desperate effort made to pull together the tumbling capitalistic system.”

Action of the government in obtaining an injunction against the leaders of the bituminous coal strikes was employed by the Communist party heads as ammunition in their campaign, declaring that the capitalist used the government’s power, a weapon which the workers could not muster. This evidence is contained in a pamphlet printed within a few days after Attorney General Palmer had reached an agreement with officials of the United Mine Workers.

(Source: Chronicling America,


The Task at Paris

The New Republic/March 22, 1919


by Walter Lippmann

IT looks as if a large number of Americans were thoroughly frightened at what a world war can do to the world. Curiously enough this state of fear seems to exist among those who not only were heart and soul for the war themselves, but were convinced that they were a little more heart and soul for it than anyone else. They expected better of this war, and they are really rather disappointed at the way things are working themselves out. They had anticipated that once the Hun was licked, the world would automatically return, if not to righteousness, at least to something rather like what it enjoyed in the days when the Kaiser was still flattering millionaires and professors. Instead they discover Mr. Wilson engaged in making a peace that to them passeth all understanding; instead of the comfort of having won and letting the other fellow worry, it seems to be the victors who have to perform the extremely complicated and unmistakably dangerous task of setting the earth to rights. The old idea that to the victor belong the spoils, has turned into the victor’s duty of listening to everybody’s troubles. Not only that. His duties do not end with listening, but do actually involve a mass of responsibility for the future of which it is fair to say most Americans had no notion when they entered the war. They did not suppose that so many things would be irrevocably changed. “War measures”—the vast interruptions necessary to the fight—they endured without murmuring, but now they would like to resume.

It becomes clearer every day that the war was not an interruption which will end with the end of the war. For the plain fact is that international relations as they existed in 1914 were almost completely determined by the military imperialisms of which Prussia was the chief. And until we master the fact that the empires of Hohenzollern, Hapsburg, Sultan and Czar were the foundations of law and order in Europe before 1914, we shall not understand either the meaning of their destruction, or the consequences of our own victories. They were the basis of “peace,” such as it was, and of normal conditions, as men suffered them. Only America seemed to lie outside the orbit of their influence, and this proved in the end to be a delusion. The ambitions, intrigues, necessities, and tyrannies of those empires were the point of reference for all the world. They set the pace in armaments. Those towering systems of power necessitated the building of another system of power to balance them. The character of the competition they created in the backward portions of the globe stimulated an imitative competition. It did not matter who liked their game or hated it. They made the game, and reluctantly or otherwise the game was played.

From Prussian Germany came the example of how to modernize and make a success of ideas at which this generation was inclined to jeer. She was not the first of the imperial despotisms, nor altogether unique either in manners or morals. Where her peculiar danger lay was that in all the others there had arisen controlling popular forces, or, as in Russia, the administration of tyranny was collapsing through sheer incompetence. But Prussia was competent, and because of that competence she threatened to erect a dazzling modern triumph out of ideas which lingered only fitfully in the dusty corners of stale chancelleries. She came uncomfortably close not only to making her will the law of three continents, but to making her ideas the pattern of conventional human thought. She almost demonstrated how tyranny could be made successful and on a worldwide scale.

Her downfall brought down with it the hopes of those feebler empires which existed as competitors or vassals or imitators, and made a mockery of those empires which existed in the dreams and propaganda of hopeful jingoes. ‘Europe,’ as it presented itself to the old-school diplomat, is gone. The continent is still there, most of the population is still there, to be sure, but Europe as a diplomatic system is hopelessly gone. Its organization from the Rhine to the Pacific, from the North Sea to the Moslem world is broken, and all the subsidiary organizations which leaned upon it, and against it, are suspended on nothing. Only small groups of far-seeing men have comprehended even partially that this is what the “victoire integrale” would mean; that victory would compel us to make a new framework for human society. It is no wonder, then, that many elder statesmen, educated in that ruined order, should still act for the ideas which belonged to it, that Baron Sonnino should behave like a diplomat of the Triplice, or M. Pasic should be puzzled by the younger Serbs, that M. Pichon should have forgotten nothing but a little of what democratic France has professed.

The meaning of complete victory was certainly not known to those statesmen who wrote the secret treaties and memoranda which passed between the Allies in 1915 and 1916. To be sure, the execution of what they claimed would have required clear victory over the Central Powers. But although the victory was to be decisive, it was somehow to change nothing very radically. These documents belonged in spirit to a world in which Prussia was temporarily defeated, but in which Prussianism survived as the pacemaker of Europe. Moreover, they presupposed an easy victory—a victory which did not wrack every nation to its depths, and call forth the suppressed energies of revolution. They were written under the double illusion that the Europe of Sazanov, Sonnino, the Quai d’Orsay and the Morning Post was strong enough to defeat the German Empire—and that having defeated her, Europe could carry on as before. Events proved that Prussia could not be replaced by paler reflections of herself. For in destroying her, it was necessary to awaken dormant peoples and submerged classes and the western hemisphere.

Why anyone should suppose that it was possible to tear down the authority which ruled in central and eastern Europe without producing disorder, it is difficult to understand. We have torn down authority. We have willed to tear it down. It was a vile authority, but it was the existing authority in law and in fact. We sent two million men to France with orders to tear it down, to crush it beyond hope of resurrection. And when you tear down, you have torn down. We started to destroy a supremely evil thing and it is destroyed. The result of destroying it is destruction, and what is left are fragments, and possibilities, the stirrings of new life long suppressed, old hopes released, old wrongs being avenged, and endless agitation. It is chaos by every standard of our thinking, wild and dangerous, perhaps infectious, and thoroughly uncomfortable. But we cannot, having deliberately torn a central part of the world order to pieces, leave the wreckage in a panic and whimper that it is dreadful. Nor can we spare it, or save ourselves, by calling everybody who examines it dispassionately some idiotic name like pro-German and Bolshevik.

It calls for imagination to picture just what has happened to Europe and the world by the disappearance of its imperial organizations. We find ourselves in a world where four of the eight or nine centres of decisive authority have collapsed; where hundreds of millions of people have been wrenched from their ancient altars of obedience; where the necessities of bare existence are scarce, and precariously obtained. These people have lost homes, children, fathers. They are full of rumor and fear, and subject to every gust of agitation. Their leaders are untried, their lands undefined, their class interests and property in a jumble, they cannot see ahead three weeks with assurance. It was inevitable that it should be so, once the decision was taken to destroy autocracy to its foundations. For Prussian Germany was the last strong source of authority in Eastern Europe, and the only bulwark of absolutism to which the old order could turn for help.


Texas City’s Woe

The Mitchell Capital/September 21, 1900


Frightful Devastation Wrought by the Great Storm

May Be 5,000 Dead

Ghouls and Vandals Are Shot Down in the Streets by Troops.

History Affords No Parallel to the Awful Visitation and the Succeeding Condition of Affairs—Flood is Followed by Famine—Pestilence Threatens the City—Victims Are Cremated, Thrown Into the Sea, or Buried in Soggy Trenches.

Probably 5.000 lives lost, property destroyed to the value of many millions, seventy-five towns more or less damaged, and some of them virtually wiped out, Galveston nearly in ruins, its great wharf frontage destroyed, ocean-going steamers and small coasting vessels sunk and stranded in every direction, are some of the mournful details of the havoc wrought by wind and wave on the Texas coast and the interior of the state. The fury of the hurricane was spent ere many tours, but its period was long enough to cause almost unprecedented destruction.

From the best reports it is evident that the storm began between 9 and 10 o’clock on Saturday forenoon. Driven by the fury of the gale the waves of the gulf inundated the long, low. sandy island upon which Galveston is built and which at its highest point is not over five feet above the Gulf level, and before dark the whole city was under water from three to six feet. Thence the water gradually encroached farther inland and beyond the water mark the storm swept on with cyclonic fury, demolishing towns and villages along its course to a point eighty miles north of Houston. Mountain region and table land suffered alike, the gale razing houses, tearing up trees, ruining farms, and leaving behind it a wide wake of desolation. Southwest it swept along the coast as far as Corpus Christi and northeast across the Louisiana boundary. It may be possible in the future to make something like an accurate estimate of material losses, in which the damage to the cotton and fruit crops will be a large item. It is not likely that the entire number of persons killed will ever be known, but a conservative estimate places the number in the vicinity of 8,500.

Full Story Can Never Be Written

It is hardly possible that the true story of the frightful catastrophe will or can ever be written. The terror, despair and desperation of the population when at last they realized, Saturday evening, that they were face to face with death cannot be pictured by those not there. Such an experience has fallen to the lot of few since the world began, for no one was optimistic enough to harbor the hope that the entire city was not soon to be swept out of existence. No aid was near; escape was impossible; it was as though the 40,000 people of Galveston were on a vessel which was sinking at sea, the captain having informed them that the ship could survive but a few moments longer. For nearly thirty-six hours the situation was appalling and the inhabitants of the town were compelled to face conditions the like of which have rarely been known. The hurricane, before it reached the city, had lashed the waves of the bay into the utmost fury. The water steadily advanced toward the island upon which Galveston is located, and as it was thrown upon the beach by the .storm the residents there fled from their homes to the higher places. Against such a combination of the elementals no forethought could provide.

It does not lessen the horror of this disaster that Galveston seemingly invites such a fate. Practically, it is upon a level with the waters of the Gulf and hurricanes are no strangers in that region. Starting in the West Indies, sometimes they sweep northeast along the Florida and up the Atlantic coast, but they are just as likely to take the opposite direction and visit their fury upon the Texas coast. In such case, when one of these hurricanes reaches its maximum velocity, Galveston is absolutely unprotected. Even in an ordinary storm the water rises in its streets. The despair of the situation is that human skill can devise no means to protect it. Great sea walls cannot be built, as no foundations can be had for them in the shifting sand, and the whole island is a long, narrow, sand spit, so low that an extraordinarily high tide will cover it. The only protection Galveston has lies in the fact that hurricanes of this magnitude do not often occur, probably only three or four in a century, and after one has visited them its people live in the hope that they may not be exposed to another for many years to come.

It probably will be so in this instance. The dead will be buried, the damage will be repaired, the destroyed structures rebuilt, and the hurricane of 1900 will soon be only a memory. The living will go on their way as unconcerned as those who live in an earthquake region or in the vicinity of a volcano. Added to the destruction accomplished by the wind of the hurricane was that of the succeeding flood, and houses which had resisted the pressure of the gale fell when the water came. The people had the choice of being killed in their homes or drowned in the streets, and the indications are that the majority of the victims preferred death in the water. Like rats in a trap the sufferers simply waited to ascertain what was to be their doom.


Five Thousand are Dead

It is my opinion, based on personal information, that 5,000 people have lost their lives here. Approximately one-third of the residence portion of the city has been swept away. There are several thousand people who are homeless and destitute—how many there is no way of finding out. Arrangements are now being made to have the women and children sent to Houston and other places, but the means of transportation are limited. Thousands are still to be cared for here. We appeal to you for immediate aid.


Mayor of Galveston.


Stories of the Storm

Seventy-five outside towns were wiped out.

Several negroes were shot while looting houses.

Helen Gould sent 50,000 army rations to Galveston.

Five thousand families were made utterly destitute.

Ghouls stripped dead bodies of jewelry and articles of value.

Cities in all parts of the country have volunteered to aid the storm sufferers.

Prof. De Voe, Chattanooga, Tenn., predicted the Texas cyclone in an almanac.

The governors of various states offered aid and sympathy to the Texas sufferers.

The War Department ordered a special train from St. Louis to carry supplies to Galveston.

Martial law was declared at Galveston owing to the rifling of dead bodies and robbery of stores.

Idlers were pressed into service at the point of the bayonet and made to help clean up the debris.

Chicago sent a relief train to Galveston. The Rock Island road offered to transport provisions and furnishings free.

When the water had receded so far that it was possible to dig trenches bodies were buried where found. Debris covering bodies was burned where it could be done safely.

President McKinley ordered 50,000 army rations and tents for 6,000 persons placed at Gov. Sayers’ disposal. Revenue cutters were sent to nearby ports.

Gov. Sayers of Texas has been asked to call a special session of the legislature in order to take steps to relieve the suffering. The state has approximately a surplus of $2,000,000. Not a single church, school or charitable institution, of which Galveston had so many, is left intact. Not a building escaped damage and half the whole number were entirely obliterated.


Dead in Many Cities

Great Storm Claimed 800 Victims Outside of Galveston

The extent and character of the calamity which has befallen the people of Galveston is so great and overwhelming that losses of life and property at other small towns in the track of the hurricane have been lost sight of. There are probably seventy-five villages and towns that were swept by the storm, and in most of these places loss of lives is reported. It is reliably estimated that the loss of life, exclusive of the death list of Galveston, will aggregate 800. Several towns were swept completely out of existence. Through the devastated district the scenes of desolation were terrible to witness. The storm was over 200 miles wide and extended 200 miles inland from the Gulf.

In Brazoria and other counties of that section there is hardly a plantation building left standing. All fences are also gone and the devastation is complete. Many large and expensive sugar refineries are wrecked. The negro cabins were blown down and many negroes were killed. On one plantation a short distance from the ill-fated town of Angleton three families of negroes were killed, the death list of that place alone amounting to fifteen people. All relief is being centered at Galveston for the present, but succor will reach the smaller places and the country people just as soon as the relief work can be systematized. Gov. Sayers received upward of 1,000 telegrams Tuesday from parties in the East and West offering assistance to the flood sufferers at Galveston, and from various portions of the state reporting the collection of money and supplies.


Railroads Heavy Losers

Great Property Loss Suffered by the Lines in Texas

The railroads will suffer the loss of millions of dollars in actual damage, to say nothing of the loss from stoppage of business. At Galveston their wharves, warehouses, depots and tracks are ruined. The costly bridges which connect the island are in ruins and must be entirely rebuilt. The International and Great Northern and Santa Fe have considerable track washed out.


Disaster Not Magnified

Total of Deaths in Stormswept District May Reach 10,000.

As indicated by dispatches from Galveston the magnitude of the calamity grows. The newspaper statements seem to have been too conservative in their efforts to guard against extravagance or exaggeration, and the loss of life in Galveston is greater than has been generally reported.

A boat owner of Galveston, Captain Charles Clarke, is quoted as saying that 10,000 would be reached before the mortuary list of Galveston and vicinity would be closed. He has been about on boats in the waters around Galveston day and night since the storm and bases his statement on what he has seen.

D. Dillon, commercial agent of the Santa Fe, has returned from a trip over the line of his road from Hitchcock to Virginia Point on foot and he gives a graphic account of his journey, which was made under many difficulties. “Twelve miles of track and bridges are gone south of Hitchcock,” said he. “I walked, waded and swam from Hitchcock to Virginia Point, and nothing could be seen in all of that country but death and desolation. The prairies are covered with water, and I do not think I exaggerate when I say that not less than 5,000 horses and cattle are to be seen along the line of the tracks south of Hitchcock. The little towns along the railway are all swept away. When I reached a point about two miles north of Virginia Point I saw some bodies floating on the prairie, and from that point until Virginia Point was reached many bodies could be seen from the railroad track. At Virginia Point nothing remains.”


Many Ghouls are Shot

Summary Punishment Dealt Out by Soldiers and Citizens

A reporter telegraphed from Laporte the story of the robbery and mutilation of the dead in Galveston and the death of the offenders. The ghouls were holding an orgy over the dead. The majority of these men were negroes, but there were also whites who took part in the desecration of the dead. Some of them were natives and some had been allowed to go over from the mainland under the guise of “relief” work. Not only did they rob the dead, but they mutilated bodies in order to secure their ghoulish booty.

A party of ten negroes were returning from a looting expedition. They had stripped corpses of all valuables and the pockets of some of the looters were fairly bulging out with fingers of the dead, which had been cut off because they were so swollen the rings could not be removed. Incensed at this desecration and mutilation of the dead the looters were shot down. During the robbing of the dead not only were fingers cut off, but ears were stripped from the head in order to secure jewels of value. A few government troops who survived assisted in patrolling the city. Private citizens also endeavored to prevent the robbing of the dead and on several occasions killed the offenders. It is said that at one time eight were killed and at another time four. Singly and in twos and threes the offenders were thus shot down until the total of those thus executed exceeds fully fifty.


Bodies Are Burned

It became evident Tuesdav that burying the dead would have to be abandoned. The heat was so intense that bodies decomposed before they could be taken from the debris. Torches instead of shovels became the order, and wherever bodies could be seen in ruins, the ruins were lighted and the flames licked up the dead.

Relief parties report thousands homeless in the towns and country about Galveston and in great need of immediate assistance.

(Source: Chronicling America,

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Hitler Wants to Rule Central Europe, Hitler Tells US Envoy

Gettysburg Times/March 2, 1940

Germany will fight until Britain and France recognize a “German Monroe doctrine” for central Europe and restore her war-lost colonies—this was described by sources who know Adolf Hitler’s mind as the burden of the message he delivered today to President Roosevelt’s emissary, Sumner Welles.

Another point in the message given by the fuehrer to the American undersecretary of state in their 94-minute conference in the chancellery was understood to be that England must renounce “her strangle-hold control” of the strategic lanes to the world’s raw materials.

Germany’s price of peace, according to this version of Hitler’s declaration, includes permanent German hegemony—political domination—over Bohemia-Moravia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, making the reich proper a solid bloc of about 130,000,000 population.

Other Requirements

Hitler was said to have argued further that disarmament must begin by England’s relinquishing military control of Gibraltar, the Suez canal and other strategic points held in the midst of non-British territories.

Improvement of German-American relations also was declared to be most desirable, according to this version of Hitler’s talk, but to be impossible so long as Washington declines to name an ambassador for the now-vacant post in the Berlin embassy.

Welles, accompanied by Alexander C. Kirk, United States charge d’ affaires, both in formal morning clothes, entered Hitler’s chancellery at 10:53 AM (4:53 AM E.S.T).

A company of honor saluted Welles, which Nazis said was an unusual honor for one not a state visitor. At 11 o’clock the Americans began their meeting with the Nazi chieftain, who was supported by Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop.

Asks U. S. Attitude

Informed persons said the uncompromising, aggressive fuehrer, with American illustrations ever at hand, asked Welles what the United States would do if, say, some Asiatic or European power tried to stir up trouble in Mexico.

It was not disclosed whether Welles replied.

Hitler’s thesis was said to be that the seas never can be considered free as long as Britain has military control of all the important trade lanes of Europe and Asia, and can at any time choke off aspiring young nations such as fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

In this connection, Hitler was said to have asked Welles how the United States would like for some non-American power to have control of the Panama canal.

Hitler was reported to have lived up to a reputation for adapting himself to the psychology of the person with whom he confers while at the same time defending Germany’s position aggressively.

His argument was said to have run to this effect:

Just as the United States, largest and most powerful nation of the western hemisphere, has assumed obligations for all of America so far as interference from European or Asiatic powers is concerned, so Germany considers it her moral obligation to see that central European living space be guaranteed once and for all from the interference of Britain and France.

(Source: Google News,,5171934)


Powers Ponder Mussolini Defi

Pittsburgh Press/August 30, 1935

European Statesmen debate Italy Avowal of ‘Nation On The March’

The world sat back today to take stock of Benito Mussolini’s virtual admissions that Italy prefers the ways of war to the paths of peace.

Military activities—out in the open for all to see—overshadowed diplomatic moves in the news dispatches. More than ever the statesmen of Europe deliberated the consequences of Italy’s avowal that she is a nation on the march.

But their ponderings were behind tightly locked doors. In their chancelleries they confronted the alternatives—League of Nations pressure against Italy with every peaceful weapon available or recognition of the “purely colonial character” of Italian aims in Ethiopia.

Italy has promised that sanctions (throttling economic boycotts by her critics) will mean war.

The purport of Il Duce’s dramatizations at Balzano was:

“Let me go unchecked, unhindered for the next few months and I will eliminate the Ethiopian problem from the domain of European politics.”

France said she would do so when Premier Pierre Laval organized his delegation for next week’s League council session and when he conferred with Vittorio Cerruti, Italian Ambassador to Paris. The French busied themselves with finding a formula under the League covenant justifying a  Black Shirt punitive expedition against Addis Ababa and consequent Italian military occupation of Ethiopia.

Britain said she would think it over when Foreign Secretary Sir Samuel Hoare canceled plans to vacation at Aix Les Bains, France. He called Capt. R. Anthony Eden to reconsider British policies at Geneva.

Assured by Mussolini that Italy will not endanger Britain’s supremacy of empire the British decided apparently to take a chance. But finding the French still working with Rome they decided to go through with their display of armed might to make doubly certain Il Duce will confine his adventuring to “slave-ridden, uncivilized Ethiopia.”

(Source: Google News,,5090035)

An Open Letter to Benito Mussolini

Virgin Islands Daily News/June 13, 1940

By Dorothy Thompson

Duce: Before you take your nation into this war, think well and long concerning the United States of America

We are an odd people, Duce. Our democracy may seem to you sprawling and uncompact, composed of all the peoples of Europe, divided in its opinions, quarreling among ourselves as often over trivial as over important matters.

But that is only one America. The other is the America that files together in an emergency; that being slow to anger, is terrible in wrath; that detesting imposed discipline, can impose it upon itself; that, being individual, can be briefly or for long, united in gregarious self-discipline.

We are a nation of sportsmen. On Saturday afternoon millions of Americans participate in sports. We love a fair game. We are a peace-loving nation, Duce, but we have fought plenty of wars.

Although we detest aggression, particularly the aggression of the strong against the weak—we despise the vulture who strikes down, the wounded, who waits until his prey is locked in a life and death struggle and then falls upon him from behind.

We are idealistic nation, Duce. In us is still a crusading and evangelistic spirit. Not dead in us, Duce, is a sense of historic mission, a chivalric impulse, a sympathy for the under-dog—a sympathy which our strength allows us to indulge.

For we are very strong, Duce. We are stronger than you know; stronger, even, than we know. From Italy, Germany looks mighty to you. You see her great industries, her imposing furnaces, mills, factories, storehouses, turning out and boarding for these many years airplanes, and tanks, and explosives, and great guns.

These do not impress us, Duce. The potential industrial power, the backbone of modern warfare, is not in Germany. It is in the United States. That potential of power is five times that of all Europe combined. We have at this moment the capacity to produce 8,000,000 automobiles yearly in factories running only on day shift; our tractor production runs into millions; and motorized equipment and tanks are only automobiles and trucks with tin hats on. We can produce more steel than all of Europe combined; we are a land built of skyscrapers and steel construction; our workers know how to handle steel, and their numbers are legion.

We have no desire to turn the instruments of peace into death-dealing instruments, but if we choose to do so, then, beware! If fifty thousand planes a year are not enough we can double the number. We could swarm the seas with torpedo and mosquito boats. Our resources will not run out. They are within our borders. They are in our own hands.

Do not be deceived, Duce, by what is termed “public opinion.” Ours is a genuine public opinion, and moves with and responds to events. Did you observe that defense vote in the Senate, Duce? Can you recall another time when the Senate of the United States has passed a unanimous vote 78 to 0?

Duce, you have spoken of Roman pride. It is no mean or empty word. Yours are a great people, skillful, lucid, intelligent and brave. Brave, Duce, in a cause in which they believe. The world has said of them that they desert alliances, and that, no doubt, has rankled in your mind. The world also has said that they wait to choose the winning side.

Proudest is the nation that chooses what is right, in harmony with its own instinct. Your people Duce, do not want this war. Let a stranger who has been briefly in your country tell you what you yourself must know. They do not believe in this war. They believe in neither side though their spontaneous sympathy goes out to France. But not to Germany, Duce, no more than to England.

Their instinct tells them that Italy will not win this war for Italy, if she goes into it. But she may lose it for Europe—for the Europe which Italy cradled and of which she is an indissoluble part.

Your people have good instincts, Duce. A fortnight ago, in Italy, when for a moment it seemed as though a detente had occurred and Italy would stand aloof, your people were wreathed in smiles and expressed their joy even to the casual traveling stranger. A leader is great in so far as he expresses and incorporates the instincts of his people. When he runs athwart then his star is lost.

You said some days ago, “Italy cannot stand permanently aloof from the vicissitudes of Europe.”

Duce, the vicissitudes of Europe are the vicissitudes of the world. Do you think that the United States of America can stand aloof from the vicissitudes of the world? This continent lying between two oceans; these forty-eight entities looking westward, looking eastward, vast and free? Do you think that the United States will live in this world on the terms of any power or combination of powers?

We, too, Duce, shall help write those terms, or we shall oppose those terms.

And when we oppose them it will not be we who will be exhausted by wars, or short of materials. Not we. And we shall have no sympathy for the vulture, for the profiteer on the misfortunes of others.

Contempt, Duce, is more poisonous than anger. It smites casually and surely. And nations recognize it and feel it themselves. Even in moments of power, they know self-contempt.

(Source: Google News,,3636238)

Mussolini’s Dictatorship Finds Growing Opposition

The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL)/November 12, 1924

Foes Draw Up Proclamation Condemning Fascist Rule—

Premier’s Majority May Be Weakened in Coming Session

Two years from the time he led the Fascisti black-shirts in the triumphant march to Rome, Premier Benito Mussolini finds the opposition to himself and his party so formidable that the hitherto invincible Fascisti parliamentary phalanx may be shattered when the chamber reconvenes.

While Mussolini pleaded for continued support before a meeting of government deputies Tuesday, members of the opposition drew up a proclamation to the country condemning Fascist rule and reiterating the determination of the opposition deputies to refuse to participate in the Fascist-bossed parliament which meets Wednesday.

“Fascism has forced Italy to concentrate all her energies in conserving public and private liberty and representative institutions,” the opposition deputies declared in their message to the people. “Italy cannot overcome this crisis until power is restored to popular sovereignty and the opposition cannot abandon the fight until Italy knows how to redeem her liberty.”

Situation Precarious

Mussolini’s situation is precarious because his majority in the chamber is not composed entirely of members of the Fascist party. There are Liberals and former-combatants among his supporters and if these could be coaxed over to the side of the opposition, the Italian dictator would find himself stripped of a parliamentary quorum and the choice of governing without a parliament, or of entering into a doubtful general election which would be thrust under the government’s nose.

The opposition deputies are making the most of the incidents of Nov. 4, the Italian Armistice day, when regimented Fascisti and members of the ex-combatant organized by a descendant of Garibaldi fought in a public square in Rome following a misunderstanding for which each blames the other.

Mussolini’s 24-month dictatorship has caused tremendous dissatisfaction among Liberal elements who were gradually alienated from his cause as he unfolded his political theories including the famous tenet expressed in a speech several months ago that democracy is a futile thing with which Fascism would not toy.

Continuous Bloodshed

There has been continuous bloodshed in Italy, culminating in outrages perpetrated by hoodlum bands of Fascisti and opposition supporters. The Fascisti themselves had pointed the way to summary and unlawful punishment of dissenters to their scheme of government with the famous castor oil cure which many Romans and provincial Italians suffered.

Neither Mussolini’s nor his authority of government nor his authority can be compared with the almost chaotic situation that is resolving itself out of the dictatorship of General Prime De Rivera in Spain, but it is significant that the two great south European dictatorships are simultaneously experiencing opposition which may topple them from power.

The Italian opposition demands a general election to be held without the interference or dominance of the Fascist party which has developed an uncanny ability to influence the trend of balloting.

Whether Mussolini will accede to this request depends upon the attitude of his extra-Fascist supporters who hold the balance of power in the Italian parliament.

(Source: Google News,,1546203)



More Changes are Outlined by Mussolini

Sarasota Herald-Tribune/September 15, 1929

Premier of Italy Tells His Party Details Of His Reorganization

 Further changes in the Fascist dictatorship of Italy, following close on the sweeping reorganization of the cabinet, were outlined today by Premier Benito Mussolini in a speech to the grand assembly of the party in the Venezia Palace.

Although in the cabinet shakeup Mussolini retained only the interior portfolio of the eight cabinet posts he had occupied, he disclosed today that the composition of the Fascist grand council is to be modified to concentrate all powers in the hands of a few. He said that with the present 52 members of the council it was impossible to discuss or decide anything in secret. The general staff of the party will therefore be reduced to a minimum.

The premier, while denying that the Fascist party was to be suppressed as a political unit, announced that it would become an organ of the state. The secretary of the party henceforth will be appointed by royal decree and the federal secretaries by decrees of the premier.

Mussolini gave the strength of the Fascist party on September 7, 1929, at 1,020,000 registered male members, 93,495 women besides thousands of boys and girls in organized groups. (The population of Italy is about 40,000,000.)

The 800 members of the assembly composing the upper hierarchy of the party heard him review the work of the Fascist government and dwell at length on the relations between church and state. He minimized certain differences of views between Rome and the Vatican but emphasized that the change in the name of the ministry of public instruction to the ministry of national education was intended to confirm in the most explicit manner that the state alone has not only the right, but the duty, to educate people instead of merely instructing them.

(Source: Google News,,218258)

NEW from Nellie Bly

Homeless, Hopeless!

The New York World/February 9, 1896

Nellie Bly in a Night Haunt of the City’s Wretchedest of Women

Boards Their Beds

Happy to Sleep in a Station-House, but Roosevelt Says “Turn Them Out!”

The Last Step But One

An old woman stood with her back tight against the side of a building. Over her head was a ragged shawl that had once been red. Around her knees hung a limp and shapeless calico skirt. The rain and sleet were falling steadily and lay thick and slushy upon the streets.

I shivered as I stopped to watch the woman, in spite of my ample protection against the cold and wet. But if the old woman felt the cold she gave no sign. She stood motionless, peeping around the corner. Her eyes were fixed upon the door of the Oak Street Station-House.

Just then three small boys, unmindful of the weather, came trudging down the street. The smallest one carried proudly a tin tomato can. His companions were industriously gathering every white spot that showed upon the pavement to add to the black snow-balls they held in their wet red hands.

Turning the corner suddenly they came upon the old woman. For a second they paused and looked at her and she glared at them. It reminded me of the way dogs behave when they turn a corner and espy a cat. There seemed to be no need for an exchange of thought. The old woman started on a frantic hobble across the street, the boys after her. Their black snowballs landed squarely and soakingly against her bent back, and were quickly followed by handfuls of dirty slush grabbed from the pavement.

The old woman shouted things as she ran, things that do not sound well and are never by any chance reproduced in print, but they seemed to increase the delight of the fiendish boys. Although she shouted at them, the old woman never slackened her pace. As fast as she could hobble she made for the station-house and the boys pursued her, pelting her with wonderful rapidity until the door closed behind her.

Unable to follow further they turned away, when they saw two men walking down the street. One glance and the treasured tin can was flung away and the young rascals took to their heels. The men never even looked after them, but walked quietly into the station-house. I followed.

I was just in time to see the old woman disappearing through an inner door. I was in the station-house proper. The sergeant, very good-looking, sat in all the glory of uniform and command behind the bar. Acting Captain Thompson stood idly in a side door that led to his private office.

“I would like to see where the homeless women sleep,” I explained to him and he bade me follow him.

We went by the same door through which the old woman passed. But she was not to be seen. Instead I saw some policemen sitting around a large stove upon whom a sudden silence fell at our appearance. The only business-looking part of the room was a stout old-style oak table on which a large ledger lay open.

“That is where we put the names of our free lodgers,” Mr. Thompson said, “But you can see it later.”

Sordid Surroundings

Through this second door we stepped into a dark and dismal paved court. The sleet was coming down briskly on our heads and the slush lay thick beneath our feet.

When I grew accustomed to the gloom I saw by the light that struggled faintly through the windows a small two-story building with grated doors on the first floor and iron staircases, one on the right and one on the left, that led to the second story.

Had I not known it was station-house I should have supposed from the noise that it was an asylum for insane. Some drunken men prisoners were shouting and howling and amid it all. I could hear the voice of a woman is a maudlin attempt at singing.

Mr. Thompson led the way to the right staircase, so I knew without being told that the men prisoners went to the left. On a landing at the top of the staircase Mr. Thompson pushed open an unbolted door and I stepped inside.

The light from a single gas jet burned so dimly that it took me a few moments to see my surroundings. I had an indistinct impression of a number of shapeless forms huddled up on a board platform.

“Ladies!” Mr. Thompson addressed the queer, shapeless objects. “Here is a lady for an association. She wants to see what can be done to help you, so I want you to treat her nicely.”

There was a movement among the bundles as it they heard and understood without any special feeling of delight.

“You are not afraid to stay alone?” Mr. Thompson asked me.

“No,” I answered. “I prefer to.” As the door closed behind him the bundles came to life, and heads were lifted and I was surveyed curiously.

I looked on with much interest. I had never seen the way the city lodges its homeless women, and I was very much interested, especially as I knew that such places are to be abolished after Feb. 14.

The room was not large, and but for narrow passages at the three sides was filled with an iron structure that was built one foot from the floor and adjacent to the side wall. This iron structure supports the board planks that constitute the beds for homeless woman.

The planks are about six feet long and half a yard wide. They stand on end in the corner, near the door, and when a woman comes in she takes a board and places it on the iron brace. That is her bed.

The walls are plastered, and, judging by the dim light, are very dirty. The floor is cemented. The room is heated by a pipe that comes from a stove in the jail beneath. Near the door is a closet where the water dripped all the time, and though I am told disinfectants are used daily, the stench was terrible.

Adjoining this is another room exactly similar, so that I shall not repeat the description. The ventilation is poor and the odor indescribable.

As Mr. Thompson went out what had appeared to be mere bundles of rags assumed some shape.

On the extreme end nearest the door two women had placed their planks close together to form a double bed, as it were.

The first woman jumped to her feet. They were bare feet and very dirty ones. She wore a calico wrapper, and as it was open to the waist I saw that she wore nothing else. She had a broken nose, three teeth, a whiskey breath and uncombed brown hair.

Her companion had a ragged flannel petticoat wrapped around her head and shoulders. She sat with her feet under her, and tried patiently to put braid as laces in a pair of laborer’s heavy shoes.

There was a space between her and the next woman, who sat on her board, her knees gathered up to her chin and her long, bony bare arms folded around them.

The woman was very ragged and very dirty. Her gray hair was matted, and as she lifted her thin, yellow face from between her knees to look at me, I saw a sharp nose that almost met an equally sharp chin. She had toothless, shrunken jaws and bleary, vicious eyes.

The next woman was the most fortunate one in the place. She had the half of a red cotton comforter wrapped around the lower part of her body. It wasn’t long enough to reach her shoulders or to cover her horrible bare feet that stuck; dirty and spotted with sores, over the edge of the board.

But she had a ragged red handkerchief bound tightly around her head, which rested on a bundle of filthy rags.

The woman next to her was large and husky. Her hair was turning gray, and her face was red and dirty. She seemed to have more clothing than the others, and she wasn’t sleeping in it, either. She had taken off all but a red flannel skirt. Her brown plaid shawl, folded, made a pillow, and her ragged clothing was used for bed covers.

Close beside her lay a little white-haired, white-faced, pudgy woman with all her clothing on and her arm folded under her head for a pillow.

The next and last woman sat facing the room, her feet down in the space left between her board and the other woman’s. Her chin was buried in her breast, and she seemed asleep, so still and silent did she sit.

The woman that had jumped to her feet looked at me a moment and then, as if reassured, approached me.

Bless me, blessed lady,” she whined in whiskey-laden tones. “I’m willin’ to work if I kin only find a job.”

“Indade, an’ so air we all,” declared the woman in the red flannel undershirt, rising to a sitting position. “But we’re in God’s hands.”

“He’s our only friend,” groaned the woman with the red comforter, without altering her position.

“Hist! ye fools! Shet up!” cautioned a deep husky voice. It came from an ancient crone that sat huddled up with her head resting on her knees.

“Bliss His name!” murmured the woman in the red handkerchief. If he was not with us we’d a been ded long ago.”

The little pudgy woman sat up and smiled silently at nothing in particular. The woman beyond her sat motionless, her head hanging forward. Around the corner of the narrow passageway I saw a white head peep cautiously from the other room.

I began to think I had made a mistake and entered a mission instead of a station lodging-house. I felt somewhat abashed before all this goodness and faith, especially as the woman in the red undershirt began to mutter something like a prayer.

“I don’t belong to a mission,” I explained timidly.

“What air ye, thin?” demanded the first woman who spoke.

From Piety to Curses

The woman I had suspected of praying came to an abrupt pause and broke out into a string of picturesque and emphatic profanity. I can’t tell you what she said, but the gist of it was that she knew I was no praying visitor, and that the woman who had whispered so to her had done her a deadly injury and me a deadly insult.

“Beware! Beware!” croaked the old dame from between her knees.

“Where are your underclothes?” I asked of woman No. 1, as she came close to me and stood watching me with an admiring and friendly smile.

“Me underclothes!” she repeated, with a yell of delight. “Oh, I’ve got underclothes—yes, an another dress.”

“Where are they?” I persisted.

“I put ’em away. I’ve got ’em, but they’re pawned. Not for much though,” with a gleam of hope. “If I get work I can soon get ’em out again.”

“And do you mean to say you go out in the street with nothing else on?” I asked wonderingly.

“These are her shoes,” spoke up the woman who was trying to get the braid into the round holes in the shoes. “I’m fixin’ them for her.”

“An’ I’ve got that shaul,” pointing to a ragged brown affair, “an this skirt.” A ragged calico. “But we have to use our own dry goods here to keep us warm.”

“Shut up, ye fool! Ye’re a doin’ fur yerself.” Croaked the old dame, but the woman paid no attention to her.

“Darlint, don’t leave me behind,” she pleased, clinging to my arm. “I’m a good cook.”

I shuddered and tried to forget her remark.

“What air ye goin’ to do fur us?” demanded the vigorous woman in the red undershirt.

“I don’t know,” I answered undecidedly. “What do they do for you here?”

“They don’t do nothin. We might as well be dead as be alive,” she answered.

“We’ve only got this board to sleep on an’ we have to crawl out in the wet an’ cold at 4 o’clock in the mornin’. They make us scrub the whole place before we go out. An’ that in cold water,” said the woman in the calico wrapper.

“Bad luck to yer lies!” shouted the woman in the flannel undershirt. “when this doorkeeper’s on we get four cans o’ hot water.”

“Ye get all the hot water ye want from this man,” coincided the woman with the handkerchief over her head.

“Take ye to hell if ye do,” woman No, I shouted back vigorously.

“Ye air a doin’ fur yerself, ye fools!” croaked the old hag as she glared at me from between her sharp knees.

“What is wrong with her?” I asked my single-garment friend.

“Oh, don’t mind her, darlint! She’s out o’ her head,” she replied fondly.

“Ye kin escape from a thief, but ye can’t from a liar,” muttered the hag solemnly.

“Did you ever have a home?” I asked my friend, silently ignoring the old woman.

“Did I, darlint?” she answered gayly, “I had a good home in Boston”—

“Ha! ha! ha! Listen at the liar!” shouted the woman with the handkerchief over her head.

“This is the finest home ever you put your foot into,” vowed the woman of the flannel undershirt.

Misfortune and Whiskey

“And what brought you to this?” I asked when the others subsided into horse grumblings.

“Misfortune and whiskey,” she answered.

“Whiskey! Ha! ha! Whiskey,” repeated she of the aforesaid flannel undergarment.

“Anybody’s got a home that’ll work for it,” observed the woman who was working with the shoes.

“What a cruiser! Listen to it preach!” shouted the emphatic woman in flannel. I had decided that it must be her flannel that made her so vicious. She was a hopeless cynic.

“Do you think drinking helps your position any?” I asked my single-garment friend.

“It’s cold in the streets. What can you do, darling, when you have no work?” was her reply.

“I had a home,” announced the woman in flannel. “A fine home it was, too. I was a lady, I wasn’t brought up to live like these cruisers here. I had a boardin’ house at 62 Pell Street, an’ then me man died an’ six o’ me chilern. I’ve got one girl of fourteen in a home where she’s bein’ brought up properly to be a lady.”

“And you drink?” I questioned.

“The divil, an’ I do,” she answered frankly. “It’s small enough comfort.”

By this time curiosity had brought the white head that had been peeping around the corner into full view.

“What are yer comin’ out fur?” fiercely demanded the lady of one garment. “Stay in there an’ mind yer own business.”

A hand that belonged to the white head motioned entreatingly for me to come her way as she, in obedience to the rough command, vanished around the corner.

The woman who had all this time sat silent at the end of the room suddenly rose to her feet and began to remove her rags.

“Don’t strip yerself before the lady or I’ll knock yer head off,” declared the woman of a single garment. “Have ye no shame er decency?”

The woman huddled down on her boards again.

“Beware! Beware! A nice mess yer a makin’ fu yerselves!” croaked the old dame from the top of her knees.

“How old are you?” I asked her. She looked to be at least seventy years old.

“I’m thirty-eight,” she replied with a snap.

“Get on to the old bum!” chuckled the woman in flannel.

“Shut up an’ let me be or I’ll lick yer!” shouted she of one garment.

“Come on, ye soak. Let’s see ye do it!” retorted the other.

They grew so loud, so profane and so fierce that I scarcely knew whether to run or to see it out.

“If there must be a fight,” I said as soon as I could make myself heard, “let me be referee.”
They laughed at me and peace was restored for the time.

“When this place is closed where will you women go at night?” I asked.

They Trust to Fate

“If one place isn’t open for us another place will be,’ said the woman with a handkerchief over her head.

“They can’t let us freeze in the street” said the one in calico

“Who cares?” demanded the cynic in flannel. “If ye starve it’s only yer own stomach. It doesn’t pain no one else. If ye ask for a bite ye get the door banged in yer face.”

“We’re put out in the streets at 5 in the mornin’ an’ all day we have to keep out of the way of the street loafers and bad boys. They pelt us to death and call us old bums. Think of that? Old bums!”

“There’s nowhere to go or put in time until its 5 o’clock, an’ then we can come back here.”

“How do you get your food?”

“We don’t get much. Sometimes we get a day’s washin’ an’ we’ll get a plate for soup wid it. Or we get a few pennies for startin’ fires. Well, if we get five cents it wouldn’t buy us much food, but it’ll buy us a drink o’ whiskey that’ll warm our insides an’ cheer us up a bit.”

“Why don’t you get a place to work for some family?” I asked.

“I have a chance fur a place but I don’t like the looks o’ the lady,” she replied.

“I could live out, but I don’t like to live out,” said my friend in the calico wrapper, “One thing, I can’t eat the food of people I live with.”

The door opened and a clean, very well-clad woman entered. She went to the corner, got a board and laid it on the floor in the passageway at the end of the room. Then she began to remove her wet garments.

The matron came in to look around. She stopped before the woman with the red handkerchief over her head.

“This woman,” she said to me, “has a home and children who would support her, but she prefers to get drunk and to sleep in the station-house. How often have I locked you up?” (to the woman.)

“I never seen you before in my life,” the old woman vowed.

“Look at her lies!” chuckled Madam Flannel.

“I remember you very well. You’ve been coming here for four years to my positive knowledge,” said the matron.

“You only looked me up once,” answered the woman, when she saw no way out of it.

An Aphorism Revised

“An open confession is good fur de truth,” chuckled my cynic.

“I looked you up only a short time ago,” said the matron.

“Was it here they brought me the second time?” asked the old woman, cornered again.

“Oh, yar only an’ old bum!” sneered the cynic.

“If I am, I bum wid my own,” retorted the woman.
“What are those sores on your feet?” asked the matron.

“That’s nothing,” answered the woman, trying vainly to conceal them beneath her bit of red comforter. “My feet feel the smart of the wet day.”

“I suppose your shoes are thin,” said the matron.

“She ain’t got a rag that she didn’t beg for,” chimed in the cynic.

“I haven’t enough on me to dust a fiddle,” confessed the woman. She began to sing.

I’ll give a ’alf crown/To kill a far down—

“I’m a far downer from Ireland,” she broke off, “but divil a bit of a home or anything have I now.”

“Isn’t there a lodging-house where you women can go when this place is closed?” I inquired.

“There’s one in Rivington Street,” replied the cynic, “but no lady would go there. Only common women go on Rivington Street. We’re ladies. We’re no common women.”

“An’ ye have to pay 20 cents for lodgings,” said the one in the calico wrapper. “That’ll buy four whiskeys. I’ll take the whiskeys and the station-houses.”

The woman with white hair made her appearance at the corner of the passageway only to be met with shouts to go back where she belonged.

“You only shows the height of ignorance,” she observed mildly, waving frantically to me.

“Have you no home?” I asked the newcomer, who had placed her board upon the floor.

“No,” she said, beginning to cry; “I earn my living by the sweat of me brow. I do anything I gets to do.”

“Were you ever here before?”

“Never!” she vowed.

“You’re a liar to say so!” shouted the cynic, who never missed a word.

A little later I caught the new woman taking a bottle from the folds of her skirt and giving it to the woman with the calico wrapper. The other woman had finished her labours on the shoes and was calmly puffing away at a big wooden pipe.

Same Story Over Again

In the next room I found a number of women sitting or lying upon their board beds. One woman had taken off every garment and had made an attempt to cover herself with a bit of a faded black shawl. As it would cover only half her body at once, the result was painful.

I talked to every woman with the exception of the naked one, who slept soundly. It was all the same story. No home, no friends—drink.

“There’s no use lying about it,” said a sad-faced woman and the most intellectual one in the lot. “Whiskey is our curse. It robs us of everything and we get down to this, and then we drink to forget our misery.

“All we care for is to get enough pennies to buy our whiskey and to have a place to sleep in at night. I don’t think we’d even look for shelter at night if the loafers didn’t beat us.

“What will become of us when this place closes I can’t say, but I suppose the city will take care of us somehow.”

“I can’t work,” chimed in the woman with white hair as she exhibited a crooked wrist.

“See! I broke this goin’ over a banana peel.”

“Do you drink?”

“There’s no use lyin’ about it; drink is me curse! If it hadn’t been for that I’d a-never been here,” she answered.

“Did you have a home?” I asked the first woman.

“Yes; and a family. My husband died twenty-five years ago, and all my children since then. I am glad, for one is enough to be in such misery. I can blame drink for everything. What I earn in six months I can lose in one night drinking.”

Hope Only To Forget

“Do you want to reform?”

“No. What’s the use? I only want enough drink to forget!”

“With a hempty stomache a wee bit o’ whiskey will soon make you light in the ’ead,” added the white-haired woman.

“And yet I suppose none of you want to die?” I suggested.

“What will we die for? This is bad enough. There are none of us so miserable that we want to die.”

“And when you do die, what becomes of you?”

“Oh, the city kindly gives us the Potter’s Field,” she said, smiling.

The woman in the calico wrapper was getting very merry over her whiskey.

“Come here, darlint,” she said to me and pulling me towards her she jerked me down on her knee and began to sing:

I wish I was in yonder hill,
For there I sat and cried my fill;
For every tear will turn a mill;
Good laugh, Mavourneen!
For the lad of my heart from me has gone:
Time alone can heal my woe,
Since the lad of my heart from me did go:
Oh, Johnny’s gone for a soldier.

“How old are you?” I asked to gain my release and stop her singing.

“Ninety-one! That’s me, me darlint! I’ll fight the divil in the dark. I’m ninety one years of age, an’ I’m only afraid of me own shadow.”

The cynic jumped from her board and came to us.

“Ah!” she sneered, “she ain’t that old. She’s only ninety!”

“I’m ninety-one. I ain’t afraid of the divil. I throwed dirty water in the face o’ them that wished me well.”

For there I sit an’ cry me fill;
Oh, Johnny’s gone for a soldier!

I had to go out of the room after a while, because the foul air had given me a pain in my head. As I closed the door I heard the old croaker saying:

“Now yez have done it! She’ll be aputtin’ us all in a home. Woorah! Woorah! An’ what will ye be a-don’ for company thin! An’ yer whiskey! Woorah! Woorah!”

This was greeted with yells and oaths that completely drowned whatever else the old croaker said.

I sat with Mr. Thompson and Doorman Smith and admired Minnie, the Fourth Ward cat that has but one ear and the record of being the toughest inhabitant of the precinct. Dogs are her delight, and she makes friends with no one, though the officers are most attentive to her.

When Minnie bored us we went out and listened to the sergeant getting information out of the drunks as they came in.

A Late Comer

It was almost midnight when a little old woman slipped in the door. She was very comfortably dressed, but was frightfully wet.

“May I stay all night?” she pleaded timidly. “I have no money.”

“Go back there,” said the Sergeant.

Doorman Smith stopped her in the second room.

“What’s your name?” he said, pen in hand.

“Elizabeth Taylor,” she answered in a frightened tone.

“Where’s your home?”


“Your age?”


“Ever been here before?”

“No, and, please God, if I get work I’ll never have to come again.”

“Do you have to support yourself?” I asked her.

“I have nothing in the world but what I get with the sweat of my brow, she answered brokenly “All I had have gone before me.”

The doorman told her the way to the lodging-room. A little later I followed her to see what she was doing among the rough set. They were all asleep and snoring.

Elizabeth Taylor was sitting on edge of her board. Her old hands covered her face, and her body was shaken with sobs that she tried to smother.

(Source: Nellie Bly Online,

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The Great War Reporter

ISBN: 978-0-9907137-4-6/List Price: $24.95/Online Price: $19.95

The well-traveled and photogenic Richard Harding Davis represented all that was edgy and glamorous about the new breed of American journalist: foreign correspondent. Fearlessly tramping by rail, road and horseback to the front lines of the “Great War,” he sent back colorful dispatches on the murderous trench warfare in France, shocking German atrocities in Belgium, and the convoluted fighting in the Balkan mountains, where tribal loyalties and murky national rivalries created a confusing strategic chessboard. Davis ran serious risks to his life and freedom; on one nearly fatal day he was arrested by the Germans as a British spy, and managed to turn the incident into one of the most famous newspaper stories of the entire war.  The Great War Reporter: Journalism 1914 – 1916 is the first compilation of Davis’ reporting in history, a publishing landmark that will help students, historians and casual readers understand the most important single event of the 20th century.