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and Mrs. Ballington Booth seceded from it, and in
bringing about a more reliable financial state of affairs,



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 343

She is held in special esteem by the Scandinavian
portion of the Salvationists, who figure large in the
membership of the American wing of the Army. At
the time of her brother's secession, she was sent by her
father to use her influence in restoring her brother and
his wife to the Army. But she arrived too late, if in-
deed she could have succeeded under any circumstances.

When the majority of the staff officers virtually
pledged themselves to follow the seceder, Miss Booth,
by the charm of her personality and a splendid diplo-
macy, succeeded in urging most of them to pause,
and nearly all of these are occupying important offices
in the American Army to-day, with her as their Chief.
She is a keen Bible student, and fond of dogs and
horses. Her chief passion is talking. Her voice is a
powerful instrument, and her lung power has been
equal to the strain of addressing ten thousand people
in the open air for over two hours. She is not married.

MRS. BOOTH-HELLBERG, youngest daughter of the
General, like her sisters, entered the Army when quite
a girl, and was entrusted with administrative respon-
sibility without having had any previous field expe-
rience. She had uphill work in consequence.

At the time she had assumed this responsibility
there were many officers better qualified to train the
minds and guide the characters of hundreds of young
men and women cadets. This was one of several
appointments that strengthened the impression that
prevailed at one time, that the Army was more or less
a family concern. Miss Lucy Booth married a highly
gifted Swede named Emmanuel D, Hellberg, for many



344 GENERAL BOOTH

years the Chief Secretary and virtual leader of the
Army's work in Sweden. Together the Hellbergs
had command of the Army's stations in India, Switzer-
land, and France. To the grief of the entire Army,
Mr. Hellberg died in 1909. Mrs. Booth-Hellberg is
now in charge of the work in Denmark, and is reported
to be a success. Though possessing few of the gifts
of her more brilliant sister Eva, she is quite an effective
platform speaker and a diligent worker and a most
loyal upholder of the Army. The intention of the
General is probably to make her leader of the move-
ment throughout Scandinavia.

COMMANDER BOOTH-TUCKER. The most versatile
and brilliant officer in the Army. He gave up a lucra-
tive position in the Indian Civil Service to become a
Salvationist, and came to London in 1880 ; and having
decided to be an officer, was sent to India with a small
band of officers to organise the work there. He was
arrested in Calcutta and imprisoned for causing disorder
in the streets. His family having borne an honoured
name in the history of British rule, a wave of indig-
nation swept over the country and he was liberated.
His moves and measures aroused considerable oppo-
sition among the Europeans. He adopted native names,
native dress, native food, and many native habits.
For a season these measures attracted the natives to
the flag of the ' ' Muktif au j . ' ' Startling reports appeared
in the Indian and English War Cries that tens of thou-
sands were being converted and were abjuring their
religion. The work, however, like the Welsh revivals,
did not sink very deeply into the native mind, and the



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 345

majority of officers raised up from the movement be-
longed to semi- Christian classes a fact that was disputed
for some time by Mr. Tucker. There is no doubt that
his bold policy prepared the way for the Army to win
a place among the low castes. One of Mr. Tucker's
methods was to make the English officers wear caste-
marks on their foreheads. Many of the officers suffered
in their health. Some of the cream of the Army's
flesh and blood were enchanted by the eloquence and
devotion of Mr. Tucker to the cause of India and went
out and died. The subject is dealt with elsewhere.

Marrying Miss Emma Booth, the General's second
daughter, in 1891, Mr. Tucker's command was marked
with more rational care for his officers, and he added
a social side to the missionary operations of the Army.
Owing to the sickness of his wife he had to return to
England, when the General placed the work of the
Foreign Office in his hands.

Here he proved a great success and raised the whole
tone of the Army's relations on the Continent.

When Mr. and Mrs. Ballington Booth left the move-
ment Mr. and Mrs. Booth-Tucker took their place, and
by a series of daring exploits in the social regeneration
of the submerged he won a high place in the social and
religious circles of the United States. Mrs. Booth-
Tucker proved of invaluable service to her husband,
and at the height of their joint success in saving the
Army from permanent disunion, she was killed in a
railway accident while on her way to Chicago to assist
her husband in the conduct of a Salvation campaign
there. He married for the third time Colonel Minnie



346 GENERAL BOOTH

Reid, a talented and successful officer, and he is once
more directing the affairs of the Army in India, but
within certain limits set forth in his memorandum of
appointment. Commissioner Tucker is the author of
the official life of the late Mrs. General Booth. By his
second wife Mr. Tucker has six children, some of whom
are destined to shine as able Salvation Army officers.
COMMISSIONER THOMAS McKiE (Sweden). An or-
dinary Tyneside lad, Thomas McKie was charmed into
the service by the " Hallelujah lasses," who made such
commotion in the North of England during the latter
part of the seventies in the last century. He at once
displayed remarkable enthusiasm for the cause, and
at one leap became the idol of the British field as an
evangelist Captain. He evangelised the biggest halls
in England, including the Bristol Circus, the " Ice-
house," Hull, the Grecian Theatre, City Road, London,
and the Congress Hall. He is a whirlwind Salvationist !
On a Sunday night his meetings would last for four and
five hours. He would often lead them wearing a red
guernsey, the sleeves of which would be rolled up.
His preaching was of the old Methodistic order. Like
a flaming sword, metaphorically speaking, he would
raise his voice to a loud key and describe mankind
" rolling down in a lava of shame to the pit of hell,
the smoke of whose torment ascendeth up now and for
ever " ; and bending over the rail, with perspiration
standing like crystal beads on his forehead, he would
cry, " Will you be there ? Yes ; I will tell you this :
you may be taking your breakfast to-morrow morning
amid the raging billows of the wrath of God ! " Thou-



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 847

sands and tens of thousands flocked to his meetings,
and with one or two exceptions " Tom McKie " has
probably won more converts to the Army than any
other officer in the movement.

COMMISSIONER ADELAIDE Cox, Mrs. Bramwell
Booth's " right-hand man " in the management of
Women's Social Work of the Army, was the daughter
of a Congregational minister. She was won to the
Army by the eloquent appealings and self-sacrificing
life of Mrs. Booth-Clibborn, and laboured for some
time as an officer in France and Switzerland. For the
past twenty years she has been in her present position
of careful, conscientious organiser. Of wide sympathies
and strong convictions as to the soundness of her theo-
ries for the salvation of the people. Without her aid
Mrs. Bramwell Booth could not have achieved the
results now obtained by the Women's Wing of the
social work. She is a member of the Hackney Board of
Guardians. She has six hundred officers under her
direction. The one standing criticism of her depart-
ment of Salvationists is that it is too exclusive. Com-
missioner Cox speaks French and German, and she has
often addressed large gatherings and filled the pulpits
of Nonconformist churches on Sundays.

COMMISSIONER T. B. COOMBS. Son of a poor shoe-
maker in the Midlands. He, like Commissioner McKie,
was placed in charge of big concerns when but a lad.
He had charge of the Army's work in Wales, twice in
Canada, Australia, and in Great Britain. He is a born
financier, and has a special capacity for finding right
men to organise departments. He is an acceptable



848 GENERAL BOOTH

speaker and singer, and has great influence in drawing
men and women to the penitent form. In later years
he has unfortunately vitiated this gift by tactics
that amount to almost profane tricks. His work as an
evangelist has degenerated to the level of a third-
rate American " Cheap Jack " advertiser of Salvation.
It was stated that he had resigned, but Headquarters
have treated the very idea as libellous.

COMMISSIONER EDWARD HIGGINS. One of the rising
men in the movement. Son of the late Commissioner
Higgins, one of the early pioneers in money-raising.
He is a man of considerable executive ability and direc-
tor of large issues. Won his spurs in the United States
under Commander Booth-Tucker and Miss Eva Booth.
A pure office man, but in that line a great strength to
his chiefs.

COMMISSIONER JOHN A. CARLETON. An Irish gentle-
man who has made an indelible mark upon the move-
ment. For many years he was at the head of the Trade
Emporium of the Army, and placed it on a business
foundation, which would have been an even greater
success than it is, had he been able to exercise something
of the despotic power wielded by the authorities of
101 Queen Victoria Street, who treated the depart-
ment for many years as a sort of philanthropic annexe
of the Headquarters. In consequence of this a most
shameful waste of money was incurred by delays in
printing, and an upsetting of general orders after having
been passed, induced by a fickle policy that marked
the conduct of the leaders of the Salvation Army.
In nearly all the departments with which they did not






THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 349

interfere the result was invariably profitable. His
Celtic nature resented the continual chopping and
changing, and it was to the mutual advantage of all
concerned when he was appointed some fifteen years
ago to the development of the Salvation Assurance
Society. As the Managing Director of this peculiar
institution, he has been an asset to the standing of
the Salvation Army in the city of London. His name
is a guarantee of reliable business methods. Apart from
the wisdom or otherwise of the department as a
business concern, the premium income of fifteen years
ago was 50,000. It is now 300,000. Commissioner
Carleton has had a large experience in dealing with the
legal affairs of the Army. He has a few hobbies, such
as music, photography ; is a very engaging conver-
sationalist ; and one of the enigmas of the Headquarters
is that a man of such fertile brains and such solid and
consummate ability has not been more to the front of
the movement. At one time he was the Army's Com-
missioner for literature.

COMMISSIONER ELIJAH CABMAN (Travelling Evan-
gelist). One of the " characters " of the Army.
He was brought up as a sweep in the town of Rugby.
He climbed chimneys in the days when boy labour
was employed instead of the reversible brush. His
back bears evidence of the cruelty that was then
practised. He was converted under the instrumen-
tality of some Primitive Methodists when he had charge
of a boxing-saloon. Ignorant, and surrounded with
every social and moral disadvantage, he became a sober,
industrious, and conscientious worker. As soon as he



350 GENERAL BOOTH

saw the Army he felt that it presented to him the
platform of his life. The General engaged him as a
Salvation speaker. The personality and originality
of the man attracted attention wherever he went,
and he was soon raised to the rank of Major. He
opened the work of the Army in Yorkshire. For
years he was scarcely ever out of trouble with either
police or publicans or hooligans. Of an aggressive
temperament, he is essentially a despot and bigot,
but with some of the old-time passion for the glory
of God and the deliverance of the nation from its
idols. He is an orator of the Methodists' " Peter
Mackenzie " order. Gifted with a rich supply of mother-
wit and the faculty of telling a story with dramatic
effect, he also possesses a clear, resonant voice. The
Bible and human nature are his textbooks, and his
own experiences of a hard and sinful life his chief
commentaries. Commissioner Cadman is one of a type
of man rapidly dying out of the Army and other
organisations. His commands in the Army included
the Men's Social Wing and the Hadleigh Farm Colony.
He has visited all the countries in which the Army is at
work, and in many of these is much better appreciated
than he is in his own land.

COMMISSIONER THOS. HENRY HOWARD. An officer
who has had charge of the leading commands in the
movement : in Great Britain at the International
Training Homes, in Australia, and at the Foreign
Office, A teacher of the Army's doctrines, his chief
asset is reliability. He is a grand humdrum officer,
He is in no great hurry to be carried to the seventh



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 351

heaven by the proposals of every Salvation enthu-
siast, and therefore has suffered undeservedly,
inasmuch as in an organisation where people have had
positions accorded them for which their goodness
rather than their practical knowledge of men and
things has been their chief qualification, his rigid,
two-and-two-are-four method of arriving at the kernel
of a matter has been displeasing. He is an economical
manager, even to parsimony. A safe financier, his
defect, and one which has interfered with his advance
as an actual leader of men, is a halting, nervous man-
ner, and an over-careful regard for that whimsical
article called reputation. Nevertheless, he is an in-
valuable man.

COMMISSIONER JAMES HAY (Australia). A Scotch
lad from the banks of the Clyde. He is a type of the
industrious and climbing Caledonian. Overfed with
the Salvationism of the movement, all his reading is
vitiated with the idea that it must be boiled down
to the platform of the Officers' Council, with the dis-
astrous results that this young man, one of the Army's
best leaders, is abusing his rare gifts. Commissioner
Hay is a first-rate example to younger men to work
and to conquer. When he entered the Army his hard,
Celtic brogue placed him at a disadvantage. He was
not understood, and men said he had a heart like a
lump of ice and an ambition to fill the whole horizon
of the movement. With every step onwards, from Staff
Captain to Major and Major to Colonel and Colonel to
Commissioner, and from departmental drudgery at
Headquarters to the plum-appointment in the organi-



352 GENERAL BOOTH

sation Australia this young man has gone forward
showing how he can learn from his mistakes. He is
one of the most practical preachers and administrators
and humorists in the Army. His wife is also an
enthusiastic Salvationist, and as a story-teller of the
Family Herald type she has few equals, and this
without disparagement. That class of fiction has an
important function to fill in the education of the
people. Together the Hays constitute an answer to the
question "Where are the leaders of the future to come
from ? " His training is almost entirely due to the
faith that Mr. Bramwell Booth had in his possibilities.
COMMISSIONER ELWIN OLIPHANT (Switzerland).
Commissioner Oliphant is one of three curates of the
Church of England who left the Established Church and
joined the Salvation Army in the year 1883, believing
that the General had revived that Gospel which Bishop
Lightf oot described as ' ' the Compulsion of Souls . ' ' Since
then two of the curates have wandered into other folds.
Commissioner Oliphant has not only remained, but
risen to a most honourable and influential position
in the Army and in the religious world. After a period
of probation in England, he married the daughter of
Major and Mrs. Schoch, of Amsterdam, a lady richly
endowed with the charm and grace of the old Dutch
aristocracy linguistic, musical, eloquent, and san-
guine of the ultimate destiny of man. With all her
learning and literary taste, she retained the simplicity
of her girlhood when confronted with the tr}dng duties
that belonged to the wife of an officer of the Salvation
Army who occupied the first post in continental



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 353

commands. She flung her heart into the warfare.
She insisted upon taking the first Mrs. Booth as her
model, and would study finance, property, legal and
other questions. She leapt to the opportunity that
was presented to her with the expansion of the Army
as a social enterprise, and over all the continent of
Europe Mrs. Oliphant's name is synonymous with
Christian compassion for the people. She is equally
at home among the palaces of the wealthy as she is
with her guitar in a cafe or on the platform of a casino,
singing and expounding the truth that God loves
men and women, and that sin is but an excrescence
of nature that can be neutralised and destroyed
through faith in the Blood of the Lamb of God.
Mrs. Oliphant has brought to the side of the former
Church of England clergyman a Nestor-like influence,
and in Sweden, where her husband was chief officer,
and in Holland and Germany, where they lifted the
Army out of a groove of comparative obscurity, they
did wonders all, of course, from the Army stand-
point. In his leisure Commissioner Oliphant has
studied early ecclesiastical history and written com-
mendable studies of Savonarola and Terstegen. He
has also translated several of the Army publications.
Among his other gifts he is an able administrator,
and belongs to the early school of Salvationists,
conducting his meetings by allowing members of the
Army ample opportunity to relate their testimony.

COMMISSIONER GEORGE SCOTT RAILTON. He is
the free lance of the Salvation Army quite an
extremist. For many years he went about preaching

2 A



354 GENERAL BOOTH

Salvation in the cities and towns of England without
hat or scrip or funds. A man of superb faith in one
thing Salvation. Of great physical endurance, he
has travelled in all parts of the world, by nearly every
conceivable method, always seeking, by preference,
the company of the lowest ; he has seldom been known
to be out of Salvation Army uniform. He has a fana-
tical faith in the come-and-be-saved-now Salvation.
While he speaks with a rich command of language,
always chaste and correct, he nevertheless glories in
listening to the most ignorant of testimonies. He is a
strong believer in the penitent form as an aid to the
development of the spiritual life. He is the one
Salvationist who looks at the operations of the Roman
Catholic Church without prejudice. He frequently
worships in Catholic churches when on his continental
campaigns. He wears a Lutheran cross on his red
guernsey. He has written quite a number of clever
apologies on the Salvation Army, his most important
being Heathen England. A voluminous writer to the
papers and magazines of the organisation, he is
a far too dexterous manipulator of words and ideas,
which deprives his written word of much of its weight.
He has not been entrusted with many definite and
independent commands.

An interesting illustration of the difference between
the leader and the subordinate occurred in Berlin,
when the Commissioner was at the head of the work in
Germany. General Booth was advertised to give
an address at the Athenaeum, under police protection.
The bare fact that the General was able to enjoy such



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 355

a privilege in those days was hailed as a sign of the
crumbling of Prussian prejudice against the Heil
Armee. Commissioner Railton, who was in charge of
the work in Berlin, was nervous about the arrange-
ments, and eager about everything passing off with
credit to the concern. In due time the audience
assembled, principally curious and non-representative
of the busy crowd. It was in the afternoon. A few
Salvationists assembled near the entrance to obtain
a glimpse of their revered leader. As soon as he stepped
from his cab one rapturous German shouted, " Halle-
lujah ! " Immediately, and with eyes flashing dis-
pleasure, Commissioner Railton cried, " Silence ! "

The General was amazed. As he walked along the
yard that led to the private entrance, he asked the
Commissioner why he had checked the natural enthu-
siasm of the soldier. The Commissioner replied,
" Highly dangerous, General ; most foolish for the
man to do so. It might have been used as a pretext
for the police to close the meeting."

" What ? " exclaimed the General, " stop a meeting
for a Berliner praising God ! Then, if that had hap-
pened, it would have been the best thing for the Army
in Germany, and I should have considered I had done
a good day's work in being the cause of it. Let the
Salvationists shout ' Hallelujah ' wherever they are
and whatever be the consequence ! "

Commissioner Railton entered the hall in a rather
subdued spirit, and the meeting proceeded with as
much decorum as if it had been held in a cathedral
city of England, The General was right.



356 GENERAL BOOTH

Commissioner Railton has had his differences with his
leaders and they have had their differences with him,
but much is tolerated from Commissioner Railton that
would not be pardoned if committed by another officer.
His family are, strange to say, not Salvationists.

COMMISSIONER STURGESS (of the Men's Social City
Colony). A man of considerable business ability, who
persists in believing that his chief work on earth is to
preach. For this high calling he has no natural or other
gift. But the good man is as sincere as Nathanael.
He has removed the reproach, for which there was real
ground, from the London shelters of being overcrowded
and dirty, and has carried out a more businesslike
policy in the management of the same. Some assert
that he has gone to the other extreme. As an inter-
preter of his Chief's mind and will he has no equal. He
is preparing the way, it is hoped, for some Commis-
sioner who will rescue the Colony from much of its
commercial spirit, Up to the present he has not shown
the slightest knowledge of sociology in its scientific and
constructive aspects, and his management of the Han-
bury Street Elevator dispute caused the General and
Mr. Bramwell Booth to be placed in a false light before
the public. Commissioner Sturgess has a genuine re-
gard for the welfare of criminals, and a man of his
temperament might be useful among the Prison Com-
missioners. He was in the service of the London and
North Western Railway Company previous to entering
the Salvation Army. His first task as a Salvationist
at Headquarters was to clean the inkstands in the
office of Mr. Bramwell Booth, " which I look back



THUMBNAIL SKETCHES 357

upon," he says, " as one of the most sacred moments
of my life." The Salvation Army is his heaven and
Mr. Bramwell Booth his prophet.

COMMISSIONER W. J. MCALONAN (Germany). For
many years second in command of the trading opera-
tions of the Salvation Army ; a smart fellow, with a
melodious voice, natural ability for acquiring languages
and adapting himself to any situation, a keen student
of the Bible and a lover of discussion. His promotion
was long delayed ; but now that he is in command of
continental work he is shining as a preacher, leader,
and legislator. I hear that since he went to Germany
he has declared that when he, as Commissioner of the
Salvation Army, tells his officers that there is danger
in believing anything that he considers dangerous,
they should accept it as the Voice of God.

COMMISSIONER HANNA OUCHTERLONY. Now an
elderly lady, but in her time a great worker among the
Swedes and Norwegians. She pioneered the Army's
entrance to Sweden, and to this day is looked upon by
her fellow-countrymen as the Mrs. Booth of that
country. She was brought up in the orthodox fashion,
and being well connected, had settled down to a
pleasant social life. Mr. Bramwell Booth went to
Sweden for a vacation, and while off duty held some
Salvation meetings at which Miss Ouchterlony was
present. The experience which he outlined as being
the normal one for the Christian to enjoy, namely, the
conscious possession of " a heart delivered from the
last remains of sin," set her thinking. " If this man
is correct, then I can understand now why Christ



358 GENERAL BOOTH

became the Son of God, and I can see what the Cross
really meant." So she reasoned. The outcome of her
enquiries was the possession, so she believed, of that


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Online LibraryA M NicolGeneral Booth and the Salvation Army → online text (page 23 of 25)