Survey Associates.

The Survey (Volume 58) online

. (page 119 of 130)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 119 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

vocational service formerly conducted by the New
York Tuberculosis and Health Association, while
GRANT M. THORBURN, M.D., is consulting
physician to the Association. Page 543.

HAVEN EMERSON, M.D., is health editor of
The Survey and professor of public health ad-
ministration at the College of Physicians and
Surgeons, Columbia University. Page 545.

As librarian of the York, Pa., Public School
Library MAI A. CLINEDINST has been the moving
spirit in the organization of the traveling book
service which she describes on page 546.

GEDDES SMITH is an associate editor of The
Survey and a special student of regional and city
planning. Page 547.

AGNES DE LIMA, active in the Progressive
Education Association and writer of numerous
magazine articles on the "new" education, has
followed at first hand the remaking of thirty rural
schools in an "upstate county" with the help of the
good citizen she calls "Mrs. Russell." Page 550.

SYDNEY GREENBIE, whose article on American
schools in Europe (page 552) is. the result of a
personal study of schools abroad, is a frequent
contributor to magazines. His book, Fur and
Fishes: Enough of Their History to Explain a Na-
tion, is to be published by Doubleday, Page & Co.

H. W. STEVENS, M.D., writes about mental
hygiene and "the working girl" on the basis of
his experience as head of the health department
of Jordan Marsh Company, one of Boston's
leading department stores. Page 554.

First as relief worker with the Friends and
then through correspondence with German ac-
quaintances, ANNA L. CURTIS has been in close
touch with the Cassel experiment in workers'
education of which she writes, page 555.

GRACE F. MARCUS writes of the casework
within a staff, out of her experience as supervisor
of casework methods, of the division on preven-
tion of delinquency of the National Committee
for Mental Hygiene. At present she is engaged
in special research for the C. O. S. in New York
City. This paper (page 558) is taken in part
from her much-discussed address at the National
Conference of Social Work at Des Moines, and
is published simultaneously by The Survey and
the Mental Hygiene Quarterly.

Science as well as art contributes to The Short
Course in Child Placing (page 561), since the
artist, DR. GEORGE H. PRESTON, is psychiatrist to
the Children's Memorial Clinic of Richmond, Va.

EDWARD N. CLOPPER is executive secretary of
the Pittsburgh, Pa., Federation of Social Agencies.
Page 565.

From The Woodcut of Today, London Studio


Woodcut by Wharton Harris Esherick


August 15 September 15

Volume LVIII
No. 1012

One Show of Hands


WHAT I have to set down is relatively no
more than a footnote to the grave events of
mid-August. It has to do with a canvass-
covered ring-binder which, bulging like an
accordion, lay open before Governor Alvan
T. Fuller of Massachusetts on his desk at the State House,
Boston. This was at noon on Monday, August 22, and
the ring-binder bulged with yellow telegrams bearing dates
of the last four days. They bore the designations of thirty-
seven Massachusetts towns and cities and twenty-five Amer-
ican states, the names of 505 men and women of intelligence
d standing in their communities. Especially they bore the
.,ames of scientists, lawyers, philosophers, economists, physi-
cians, engineers, editors, writers, social workers, ministers,
and the like, who in their professional fields are known
throughout the country. They were subscribed by wire to
the following letter:

The Honorable Alvan T. Fuller:

If by midnight Monday, the final efforts to secure a new
trial for Sacco and Vanzetti have proved fruitless they will
be put to death unless you intervene.

Our understanding is that Massachusetts procedure, unlike
that of many jurisdictions, has again constrained its Supreme
Court to refuse to consider evidence as well as law. Such an
outcome will augment rather than allay the sober doubts of
the world as to the guilt of these men and the fairness of
our treatment of them.

It will be remembered that Dreyfus was declared guilty by
both military and civic tribunals of France only to have his
innocence proved later. No similar redress will be possible
once these men are executed.

To keep that door open we join with other responsible men
and women, believers in America, in an eleventh hour plea
to you for commutation of sentence or stay of execution until
all doubts are resolved and justice achieved.
Respectfully submitted.

Twelve hours later, Sacco and Vanzetti were put to
death. This show of hands, like the other eleventh hour
efforts to prevent their execution, was futile. It was too
late, too fragmentary, too remote from the sources domin-

ating official action in Boston, to count. But it showed
that abiding doubts are entertained not alone by high and
low abroad, nor alone among radical circles at home.

That is now part of the record. What its significance
may be it is too early to gauge. Still less shall I attempt to
assay the major factors in the situation as a whole, which
reach back and down and forward. Even the daily press
was able to cover only the high spots of the developments
that crowded the last twelve-day respite. Their import
will be the concern of lawyers, historians, investigators, pub-
lic officials, protagonists pro and con, for years to come.
But it may be of service to set down briefly the facts as
to this slender strand in the knotted, swift running cords
of those last days. And as the signatures were forwarded
to me, at the same time that the senders wired Governor
Fuller direct, I should perhaps set down the circumstances
which fortified me in taking that responsibility.

With others I had pinned my faith to the course of
American justice, and the appointment by Governor
Fuller of his lay commission had bolstered up my confidence.
When, on my holiday in the woods, I read his bald asser-
tions that he had found the two anarchists guilty of the
South Braintree murder, they were profoundly disturbing.
The findings of his commissioners instead of allaying my
misgivings, deepened them, by their self-revelations. As an
investigator, I would have refused to accept such a synthesis
of evidence turned in by an associate, on the ground that
it was unconvincing and lopsided.

WHEN I reached Boston, ten days before the execution,
I found there was a basis for my misgivings among
those who had followed the case close in. Under the swell of
emotion, attack and counter-attack, I got glimpses of the
elements entering into the closed front of dominant opinion
in the community, the inhibitions of the press, the fears and
rumors and tensions, which struck at any non-conformity
with that opinion. I learned of the passionate belief in the
men's innocence on the part of the handful of Boston men




August 15 September 15, 1927

and women who had aligned themselves at personal sacri-
fice with the defense. I turned to magazine men and
reporters covering the proceedings. One of the latter told
me after the execution that 80 per cent of the men handling
the news believed there was a reasonable doubt of guilt.
There was the unimpeachable standing of the two lawyers,
William G. Thompson and Arthur Hill, who had espoused
the case in the teeth of adverse feeling. There was Prof.
Felix Frankfurter's keen review of the case, which the
commission had ignored, rather than upset. I talked with
close students of the record, who gave line and text from
the evidence upsetting statements made by the commission
and undermining their conclusions. I talked to friends of
the commissioners, who vouched for their sincerity, but
could not bring themselves to follow their reasoning. I
talked with an expert in penal affairs who lamented that
Massachusetts procedure had stalled either a fresh trial
in open court or a review of the evidence by higher tribunals
in a way that would clear away the fog of doubt. I talked
with a conservative Boston editor who had set out to
expose the defense, only to come across things which made
him pause; who had, thereafter, made an exhaustive study
of the original record and told me that to his mind there
was no shadow of doubt the men were innocent, that it
was only a matter of time when the tragic blunder would
be riddled from end to end.

The informants on whose judgment I leaned heaviest,
felt that the proceedings in the State Supreme Court, where
the Defense Committee was putting up its last stand fight,
offered small chance of relief. The Massachusetts pro-
cedure and the outlook of the judges stood in the way.
They felt that the efforts to secure federal action, either
on the basis of due process of law which the Defense law-
yers were urging, or on the basis of the unexplored files of
the United States Department of Justice the salient at-
tacked by a new national committee with volunteer law-
yers from New York, Chicago and Philadelphia were
equally hopeless. The rigid demarcation of state and fed-
eral jurisdictions stood in the way. To their mind, and as
the event proved, Governor Fuller was the key to the situa-
tion. By the end of the week only he and his council
could act. Once the legal barriers were down, there re-
mained only the moral barrier of an aroused public opinion
of commutation or stay of execution until doubts had been
cleared away.

WHAT were these moral barriers? There was world
opinion, conservative no less than radical, beating
upon the Massachusetts proceedings. This was occasion for
resentment in high quarters. There were working class
protests manifesting themselves in our industrial cities.
These were denounced as Red propaganda in the same
quarters. What was to be heard from a public unmistakably
American and removed from the economic conflict ?

Nationally, there was evidence of the emergence of a
minority opinion. The Literary Digest was right in its
estimate that the press of the country as a whole had accepted
the commission's report, but a couple of hours in a Boston
library and a thumbing through of the gleanings of a
clipping agency, showed notable exceptions. The Baltimore
Sun, the New York World, the St. Louis Post Dispatch
were three of a dozen papers of national standing urging
Massachusetts to pause. The Nation, the New Republic
and other liberal journals were outspoken. An editorial

in the Columbia (South Carolina) State was being reprinted
throughout the papers of the South. In Massachusetts, the
Springfield Republican had broken with the solid front of
Boston newspapers, and was publishing keen and critical
analyses of the findings by lawyers of distinction (as was
later done by the New York Times). The position which
the Republican was pushing with editorial vigor was that,
while it remained to be convinced as to the innocence of
the men, there stood a substantial basis for reasonable doubt
as to their guilt which, coupled with the vulnerability of
findings by court and commission, made the death sentence
at this time intolerable.

I LEARNED of petitions in circulation among church
groups in Massachusetts. There were instances of in-
dividual protest. Dr. Felix Adler and Dr. Henry Sloane
Coffin, for example, had united in an appeal to Governor
Fuller. Henry Ford had spoken. President Woolley of Mt.
Holyoke College had wired the Governor:

Have just returned from Institute of Pacific Relations in
Honolulu to learn of critical situation in Sacco-Vanzetti case.
There are many thinking people who believe them innocent.
There are many more who are not convinced they are guilty.
Their execution while there is a shadow of doubt as to their
guilt would be a tragedy for Massachusetts and a blow to
confidence in American justice. Urge such deliberation as will
establish facts beyond doubt.

And Jane Addams:

Those of us long devoted to the Americanization of foreign
born citizens believe that clemency in the Sacco-Vanzetti case
would afford a great opportunity for the healing of wounds and
for a real reconciliation between the Anglo-Saxon and Latin
peoples. I beg you to commute the death sentence because I
realize that thousands of our humbler fellow citizns feel as the
French felt concerning Dreyfus and ardently long that those
men should also have their chance for possible vindication later.
Although you yourself are convinced of the justice of the ver-
dict, can you not consider the earnest and conscientious con-
victions of many of your fellow countrymen who implore you
to refrain from making the situation absolutely irrevocable?

I learned of many others who had let their views be
known at the State House in personal letters and tele-
grams. Yet the fact remained that, so far as the public
knew, a week before the execution, these were voices crying
in the wilderness. There was no evidence of any consider-
able number of responsible people in Boston, in Massa-
chusetts or in the nation who seriously questioned either
the justice or the public policy of executing the two men as

Yet these indications encouraged the belief that a move
for commutation or stay would crystallize opinion which
only awaited a channel for expression. Could it be elicited
before it was too late in the short space of time between
the final decision in the Supreme Court and the date set
for execution? The effort was made. The following
joined in their individual capacities in sending out the call
for a show of hands:

Jane Addams, Chicago (head worker of Hull House)
Frederic Almy, Buffalo (former president, National Confer-
ence of Social Work)

Charles R. Beard, New York (author of The Rise of Ameri-
can Civilization)

Bruce Bliven, New York (editor The New Republic)
Charles C. Burlingham, New York (member of the bar and

former president of the Board of Education)
Waldo Cook, Springfield, Mass, (editor of the Springfield

August 15 September 15, 1927



John Dewey, New York (professor of philosophy, Columbia

John Lovejoy Elliott, New York (head worker of Hudson

Haven Emerson, M.D., New York (professor of public health
administration, College of Physicians and Surgeons)

Ernst Freund, Chicago (professor of jurisprudence, University
of Chicago)

Alice Hamilton, M.D., Boston (professor of industrial medi-
cine, Harvard Medical School)

Norman Hapgood, Washington (former editor of Collier's

Paul U. Kellogg New York (editor of The Survey)

Dora (Mrs. Laurence) Lewis, Philadelphia

Margaret Homer Shurtleff, Boston

Henry R. Seager, New York (professor of economics, Colum-
bia University)

Mary E. Woolley, Massachusetts (president of Mount Holy-
oke College)

The telegrams sent to those who signed the call, the
form letter asking for signatures and the letter of trans-
missal to the Governor were in form identical in phrasing,
except for such changes as were made necessary in the first
and last sentences by differing dates, the person addressed,
the request made. There was no attempt at extended argu-
ment, no enclosed literature, just the sheer appeal to those
who thought as well as felt, to act if they were so minded.
The letters reached their destinations for the most part
the day the Massachusetts Supreme Court handed down its
decision. The response was instant. Every hour brought
its sheaf of messages.

As more than 500 answered yes, objections were received
from less than 20.

Those who joined in the plea, to judge by the responses,
represented a considerable gamut of opinion. Some believed
whole-heartedly in the innocence of the men. Others held
a reasonable doubt of their guilt. Others challenged the
fairness of their trial and subsequent proceedings throughout
the seven years. Still others held that, so long as doubts
were widespread and unresolved, it would be a mistake to
execute them, affronting the feeling of the world and seed-
ing down mistrust of American justice.

The Massachusetts towns from which they came in-
cluded :

Allston, Auburndale, Barton, Brighton, Brookline, Cam-
bridge, Chestnut Hill, Chicopee, Cohasset, Danvers, Edgar-
town, Gloucester, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hyannis,
Ipswich, Lenox, Lincoln, Medford, Melrose Highlands, Nan-
tucket, Newton, Northampton, North Rochester, North Wil-
mington, Provincetown, Rockport, Salem, Shirley, Springfield,
South Byfield, Stockbridge,, Swampscott, Wellesley, Westfield,
Winchester, Worcester.

The states from which they came outside of Massachusetts

Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illi-
nois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan,
Missouri, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North
Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, South
Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

IT is not possible to print more than enough of the names
of those who signed to show the caliber of the roster and
its range. Of necessity such a sampling fails to bring out
the presence of men and women of a younger generation
whose names are less well known today. They were there.
College and university professors joining in the appeal
to Governor Fuller, included:

Violet Barbour (Vassar College) ; John R. Commons (pro-
fessor of economics, University of Wisconsin) ; Henry Walcott
Farnam (emeritus professor of economics, Yale) ; Edward
Gay (Harvard University); William Ernest Hocking (profes-
sor of philosophy, Harvard) ; Edwin H. Hume (ex-president
of Yale-in-China) ; Charles E. Merriam (Chicago University) ;
Henry R. Mussey (professor of economics, Wellesley College) ;
Arthur K. Rogers (professor of philosophy, Yale) ; Arthur M.
Schlesinger (professor of history, Harvard) ; James T. Shot-
well (Columbia University) ; Holmes Smith (professor of art,
Washington University) ; Ellen Bliss Talbot (professor of
philosophy, Mt. Holyoke) ; Lily R. Taylor (professor of Latin,
Vassar) ; Marian Parker Whitney (professor of German,

AtlONG the social workers signing the appeal, and here
perhaps it should be underscored that they did so in
their individual capacities, are:

Charles C. Cooper (Kingsley House, Pittsburgh, Pa.) ;
Michael M. Davis (Committee on Dispensary Development,
New York) ; Neva R. Deardorf (president of the American
Association of Social Workers) ; Edward T. Devine (dean of
the Graduate School of the American University, Washing-
ton) ; John A. Fitch (New York School of Social Work);
Raymond C. Fuller (National Conference on the Christian
Way of Life) ; Eleanor Hanson (secretary of the Associated
Charities, Pittsburgh) ; George E. Hooker (specialist on civic
problems, Chicago); Amy Maher (secretary of the Consumers'
League, Toledo) ; Mary E. McDowell (former Commissioner
of Public Welfare, Chicago) ; Francis H. McLean (Field
Director, American Association for Organizing Family Social
Work) ; John Nolen (city planner, Cambridge, Mass.) ; Mary
K. Simkhovitch (Greenwich House, New York) ; Walter L.
Solomon (University Settlement, New York) ; Ellen Gates
Starr (Hull House, Chicago); Graham Taylor (Warden,
Chicago Commons) ; Sidney A. Teller (Irene Kaufmann Set-
tlement, Pittsburgh) ; Marguerite A. Wales (director, Visit-
ing Nurse Association, New York).

Writers and editors included:

Mary Antin (author of The Promised Land) ; Francis Hill
Bigelow (antiquarian, Cambridge, Mass.) ; J. McKeen Cat-
tell (editor of Science, School and Society, etc.) ; Earnest Elmo
Calkins (Advertising, New York City) ; J. E. Chamberlin
(journalist, Boston) ; Lewis S. Gannett (The Nation) ; Elli-
son Hoover (of Life); Harold Howland (formerly of The
Outlook) ; John Howard Lawson (author of Processional) ;
Hugh Lofting (creator of the Doctor Doolittle series) ; Jean
Kenyon Mackenzie (author and missionary); Bernard Meyer
(editor of the Columbia University Optometrist) ; Ida M.
Tarbell, Bethel, Conn., author of the Life of Judge Gary;
Hendrik Willem Van Loon (author of The Story of Man-
kind) ; Oswald Garrison Villard (editor of The Nation) ;
W. E. Woodward (author of Life of George Washington,
etc.) ; Edith Franklin Wyatt (novelist, Chicago).

Among the lawyers, physicians, clergymen :

Hon. Charles F. Amidon (U. S. District Judge, North Da-
kota) ; Rev. John Darr (First Congregational Church, North-
ampton, Mass.); Rev. Edward Staples Drown (Episcopal The-
ological Seminary, Cambridge); Rev. Angus Dun (Episcopal
Theological School, Cambridge, Mass.); Hughell Fosbroke,
D.D. (Dean, General Theological Seminary, New York City) ;
Dr. S. S. Goldwater (director of Mount Sinai Hospital, New-
York) ; Rev. Hubert C. Herring (secretary, Congregational
Commission on Social Service) ; Nicholas Kelley (of the New
York bar) ; Rev. John Howland Lathrop (Church of the
Saviour, Brooklyn) ; Rev. James E. McConnell (Assoc. Secre-
tary, Commission on Missions of The Congregational Church) ;
Rev. John Howard Melish (Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn);
Thomas Reed Powell (professor of constitutional law, Har-
vard) ; Dr. Charles Russell Lowell Putnam (New York) ;
Rev. Roland Sawyer (Mass.); John T. Vance, Jr. (Con-
gressional Library).

Such representative women signed as (Continued p. 571)

Rural Leaven


oaks struggle out of
the thick underbrush
which hides their
lovely lines; a peach
tree all in rosy glory spills its petals into a pigpen; great
neglected bushes of scarlet camelias bloom bravely in deserted
dooryards. Despite the poverty, the sterility, the discourage-
ment that have followed naturally on the Civil War, the
floods and the rice failures, the natural beauties of Charleston
County, South Carolina, have not been destroyed or even
hidden entirely by long years of neglect. It is a land of the
past, yet it possesses infinite possibilities for the future in the
rich inheritance of beauty that belongs to the South.

More than once the Home Demonstration Bureau of
South Carolina has attempted to put over in these isolated
and thinly settled communities the progressive ideas that
form a part of its service. A few have responded, but
pathetically little was really accomplished until a few months
ago, when the Harmon Foundation, through its interest in
stimulative awards, came in touch with the work and offered
prizes for constructive and creative achievement through a
Model Farms Contest in which beautification of property,
scientific stock raising, and improvement of general living
conditions were all considered. This stimulus has lifted the
movement for model farming from failure to success in a
single year and the record of the 103 competitors is full
of entries such as these:

Mr. and Mrs. A. live in one of the oldest houses in
Charleston County, South Carolina. The house and grounds
are beautiful, but were falling into ruin. Mr. A. was dis-
couraged by constant failures and lack of prosperity. The offer
of prizes fired them both and the result is almost incredible.
The old house has been renovated from top to bottom. A
subscription was taken up by the absent children and enough
was raised to re-roof the house and paint it inside and out.
The underbrush has been grubbed, the creek edges cleared, an
old dilapidated building destroyed, the peach orchard planted to
oats. The effect is now one of thrift and attention, instead of
neglected shabbiness.

Dr. B.'s house too is a fine old homestead, but it had been
left unpainted for twenty-five years. This fall, house and out-
buildings received three coats of paint. A disc har-
row, left so long under a live oak tree that it has
become embedded five inches in the roots, was cut
away, and eleven cartloads of worn-out farm im-
plements were removed from the lawn.

Five years ago Mr. and Mrs. C. and their four
children moved out to the country and bought a run-
down mortgaged farm. Since then Mrs. C. has worked
alone fourteen hours a day. Things are going better
now. Mr. C. has regained his health and is helping
his wife with the model dairy she has established.
They are able to think now, for the first time, of
beautifying their place. The house has already been
given a new piazza, and in a
very short time the flowers
and grass they have planted
will transform this once shabby
farm into a charming home.

The program itself is un-
changed, being the same very
practical one which was in-


troduced to Charleston County almost two years ago by
Caroline Alston of Charleston, local agent of the Home
Demonstration Service, who has been faced with a constant
struggle in keeping interest and ambition alive. The plan of

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 119 of 130)