페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

the money-borrowers in most Turkish communities), partly to a desire for plunder by the unprincipled, partly to the inability of a feeble Government to put any check on fanatical violence when once it had commenced its remorseless work, partly to deliberate incitements by the Government, which was only too willing to have its subjects butchered if so tiie reforming party in Turkey, and especially the Young or Reforming Turks, could be curbed into silence and submission. The impression which some of us in America had entertained, that the English Government could have stopped the massacres if it had acted promptly and courageously, was confirmed by a report, certainly believed in high quarters and apparently well founded. It is to the effect that the English Minister in Constantinople, after the Trebizond massacre, had given orders to the British fleet to pass the Dardanelles and come up to Constantinople, that the forts were not in condition to resist, and there were Turks ready in Constantinople toco-operate and put the Sultan on board the British fleet and put another and better man in his place. But Lord Salisbury, with characteristic caution, was afraid to act, and ordered delay; the forts were put in readiness; and later, when the continuing massacres had aroused the English public, it was too late to force the Dardanelles. England has paid for this pusillanimity. The Turk understands a threat, but understands nothing else. English influence, which was formerly dominant at Constantinople, is so no longer. It is now the Germans who control both politically and commercially in the Turkish Empire. I was told also, and on what seemed to me good authority, that while every European Power was jealous of every other European Power, and no one of them wis willing that Constantinople should come under the dominating influence of any of the others, least of all that it should become a Russian port, they would all be glad if the United States would take it under her wing and make it a free city under an American protectorate, and that even some hopes were expressed that this would by the result of our claims for damages against Turkey. Possibly rumors of this desire reached the ears of the Sublime Porte and led it to pay those

claims. This might be a satisfactor solution of the Eastern question to Kurc pean Powers, it would not be seriousl entertained, I imagine, by Americans, a least at present; but that it is even seri ously discussed at European dinner-table may serve to illustrate the complexity o the Turkish problem. As to its solution I have to confess to myself that my brie visit has given me no light; it has onl) enabled me to see more clearly than ] have ever done before the intolerable condition of the present situation, and the apparent hopelessness of any of the proposed remedies. I suspect the remedy will come in a totally unexpected manner and by some form of revolution. And yet it is difficult to see how revolution could have any prospect of success. The various elements which make up the Turkish community—Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, etc.—are jealous of one another, and as yet their common detestation of a detestable government has not sufficed to unite them in making a common cause for reform of any sort. The Turkish army is an effective fighting machine, and though it is not very intelligent, it is, to a considerable extent, officered by Germans, who are perhaps the most intelligent in the art of war of any Europeans. There are practically no arms in the private possession of any of the people in Turkey, and the Government does not mean that there shall be. How much on its guard it is against the importation of arms is illustrated by a single incident. A benevolent friend sent a tennis set from America to the American College for Girls. It was stopped at the custom-house, and only with considerable difficulty were the custom-house authorities persuaded that tennis-balls sent to a college of girls were not intended as ammunition for a revolutionary uprising. There is, however, a public-school system, recently organized and somewhat efficient in the towns. The existence of mission schools has created a demand for education which could not be wholly resisted. Perhaps through these schools the Young or Reforming Turkish party may in time be increased so as to become a political power. I wish so; I can almost say I hope so. In no other direction do I see present ground for hope for unhappy Turkey. L. A,

THE STORY OF A
CAMPAIGN OF AMATEURS

BY ALFRED HODDER

Private Secretary to District Attorney Jerome

Introductor

THE story of Mr. Jerome's campaign in New York City in 1901 as it is here set down is a story by an eye-witness, but by an eye-witness who had in the beginning no intention whatsoever of playing the chronicler. It was in great part a campaign of amateurs, and an improvised campaign. Mr. Jerome was himself in some sort an amateur in politics; he had, indeed, been an active member of the City Club from the date of its formation; he had been Chairman of the Committee of Seventy and member of the Executive Committee in the campaign that resulted in the election of Mayor Strong; he had been associate counsel in the investigation made by the Lexow Committee; but, apart from these sporadic incursions into politics, he had confined himself to executing with singular audacity and energy the duties of judge in the Court of Special Sessions. With one exception, those of his adherents who first rallied together had never taken part in the organization of a canvass. None of them had long been friends of his, and few of them had long been friends of one another. As a group they came into existence unexpectedly, fortuitously, to meet the needs of the occasion. The bond uniting them was new and incidental as the bond uniting a group of Western ranchmen. They were not Westerners, they were city-bred, they were college-bred, they were even supercivilized, yet to a man bred in the West they conjured up an image of the plains. Their talk was picturesque and varied as the talk of cowboys, which is saying much for it; they were as ready with a jest, as slothful seemingly, as swift in the despatch of business; there was as little formalism

y

among them, as little cant, as little pose. There was not even much heat of indignation; in Mr. Jerome, indeed, there burned beneath a cavalier exterior the wrath of a Hebrew prophet; but his allies were not hot, they were determined simply; they took cognizance of grievances and outrages only as matters of which they purposed trying to make an end. And precisely as in the West it has been found that wherever a few men of our race are gathered together there exists, potentially at least, for all the purposes of justice, of law and necessary order, the Anglo-Saxon State, so it was found that in this random group there was the making of an effective political machine. There from time immemorial has lain the safeguard of the race against all species of oppression; and there to-day lies its safeguard against the tyranny of any machine.

Mr. Jerome's appearance in the field of politics was to me of even more immediate interest than to the general public, for reasons of my own. I knew him, like the general public, only through the medium of the daily press; but I had for years been wondering, not unhopefully, what would be the effect in an American election of a candidate who from the platform told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as steadily as from the witness-stand; and in the preceding months I had been engaged, in company with Josiah Flynt, in an investigation of the Powers that Prey and the alliance between their, and the Powers that Rule. Here was a man in office knowing more than I could know of the alliance between the Powers that Rule and the Powers that Prey, and determined to dissolve it; here, as a few nights' speeches showed, was a candidate who told the truth. It happened also that I had written in my academic days a book directed against both skepticism and socalled idealism in philosophy, in the interest of the realism of the man of science and of the plain man; a book which was essentially a plea for loyalty, even in metaphysics and even for reasons strictly metaphysical, to truth and fact. The principles of that book I was intending to illustrate further with reference to literary criticism and with reference to politics in the United States. The volume on politics had been planned already; it was to have begun with a defense, although a qualified defense, of Tammany; it was to have continued with an attack upon socalled reformers, and to have concluded with the exposition of a system of reform quite different from theirs—a system of loyalty to truth and fact. A living man is of more interest than any system, and an experiment than any theory. I found myself recording a campaign instead of elaborating the book I had projected, or even plying my more immediate trade of novelist. Mr. Jerome's course of action proved so excellent an illustration of much that I had to say concerning politics that the illustration has for the time being taken precedence of the text.

Imperfect as the record is, the interest of the campaign recorded seems to me to be neither merely local nor ephemeral. For the present, at least, New York is obviously the chief city of America; its daily news is in some sort, like that of

Washington, the daily news of every city in the United States. The municipal conditions that have long prevailed there are in essentials the conditions that prevail in almost every large city of the United States—in almost every city numbering more than fifty thousand inhabitants. The sources of danger and of safety are the same; the outlook is, on the whole, the same.

It is true, as Mr. Jerome said in his closing speeches, that democracy is on its trial; so much is patent even to those who have no great fear for the result. The name and even the watchwords of democracy are in America, indeed, assured of their supremacy. But in the course of application to the complex world of fact, all simple formulas are destined to undergo strange transmutations. As the simple formulas of Christianity have served as manifesto for a bewildering variety of systems of ethics and church government, in some at least of which it may be plausiblyasserted that the essence of Christianity has disappeared, so the simple formulas of democracy may serve as manifesto for a bewildering variety- of forms of civil government. What the form will be that bears in the United States the title of democracy may well be matter of doubt and even of anxiety; the United States is not the smallest or the simplest fact in the vast, complex world. And nowhere, perhaps, so well as in the city of New York can be seen the interaction of the forces that are molding the government of the Republic from within.

I.—The Hunting of John Doe

When, at the close of the municipal campaign of 1901, Mr. Shepard formulated the two main causes that had led to the victory of the Fusion ticket, he found them in the offense given to the public by the words and acts of William Devery, first Chief and then Deputy Commissioner of Police under the late administration, and in the part played in the last weeks of the canvass by the Fusion candidate for District Attorney of the County of New York, William Travers Jerome. Mr. Jerome had been for five years a Justice of the Court of Special Sessions, and in the spring and summer preceding the canvass had been

the center of attention as a principal in a prolonged duel with Devery.

Devery had at once given offense and conquered notoriety by playing with a certain unexpected zest the part assigned him. He was a dictator, and he bore himself like a dictator. The power of the police over the masses of the population is much like that exercised during the Renaissance in Italy by princelets of a reigning family; Devery's position was for all the world that of the ducal tyrant of some Italian State in an Elizabethan play. Being a man not without a sense for fact, he knew it; and being a man not without a sense

for the effective embodiment of fact, he suited mien and words and gestures to his role. The classes of society whose taste controls our printed criticism conceived differently the bearing even of a dictator; tastes differ on such points from class to class and even from age to age. What in the early Elizabethan period thrilled the auditor as the "large utterance " of men raised above the common lot of mortals, came to be derided in the mouth of ancient Pistol as King Cambyses' vein; the applauded actor of one generation was the robustious periwig-pated fellow of the next. Such a robustious periwig-pated fellow Devery seemed to the politer circles whose attention had been attracted by his emphasis; to them his dictatorial dignity appeared mere strut and bluster, the more comic for his unwavering gravity and for the disregard of the Republic's English shown in each authoritative phrase. Besides, they never dreamed that he was a potentate at all.

Mr. Devery had been for years, so far as the great public knew him, a figure for opera bouffe. He was, in the opinion of Tammany, "the best chief of police that New York has ever had;" and his language was a continuous performance in inspired mixed metaphor and Irish bull. His phrases achieved currency, in particular the phrase "touchin' on an' appertainin' to." "Touchin' on an' appertainin' to that, there's nothin' doin'," from the frequency with which he uttered it, had the success of a popular line in a comic song. From time to time he was not to be found at police headquarters, and was reported ill with an attack of grippe, or out of town. At such periods a burly figure, that Mr. Devery's most intimate friends might have mistaken for him, was likely to be discovered, very unsteady on his legs, throwing handfuls of silver among a crowd and watching them "scramble" for the pieces, or very unsteady on his seat, driving faster than the law allows and either stared at or ostentatiously ignored by patrolmen. Naturally, he was the delight of the daily prints. In the absence of a fresh rumor of disaster or victory for the troops in the Philippines, or of a strike among laborers or the formation of a trust among employers of labor at home, he was always news. They reported his phrases, and invented, hilariously, the

theory of a Devery Double. He was money in the bank, or rather money at the desk, on the next Saturday, for a witty, devil-may-care horde of newspaper men, who found him easy to caricature and easy to convert into a "story " " for a filler." He took his celebrity good-humoredly; indeed, he was rather proud of it. Ridicule and attack were welcome or indifferent to him. Both were advertisement and both were homage. An anecdote will make his mode of dealing with them plain. On I forget what occasion, the newspapers that print woodcuts were all solicitous to get his photograph, and he refused to sit for them. Why, no one knows; the refusal was a whim; he would sit, or he would not, as the humor struck him. The "Commercial Advertiser" at that time had made a specialty of setting forth his unfitness for the office .he held, and his fitness for the penitentiary, no less. Lincoln Steffens, then city editor of the " Commercial Advertiser," called him up on the telephone. "That you, Chief? This is Steffens. Top of the morning to you. As soon as I heard you would not let yourself be photographed, I knew you were saving the chance for me." "Well, of all the coldstorage nerve; say—you're a ripe peach 1" "Sure. We give more space to you than any other paper in the city. When shall I send the photographer? Right away?" "You're on. Say, don't you want a job in the police? I need a man with a front like that 1" A few days afterward the photograph was reproduced in the " Commercial Advertiser." As Deputy Police Commissioner Devery held court every Thursday, when he sat in judgment on delinquent members of the force, and made maxims for their instruction. "When ye're caught with the goods on, don't say nothin'," is a dictum that achieved instant currency. He presided like an Oriental caliph, ungoverned by law or evidence, inspired by the witticism or the irritation of the moment. A patrolman was brought before him charged with reckless shooting in the streets; the Chief glared at him. "Did you hit your man? No? Fined thirty days' pay for not hittin' him. Next time you hit Mm." Every Thursday afternoon the proceedings in his court were reported in the newspapers in the columns dedicated to comedy; every Thursday evening gentlemen in the clubs dedicated to civic spirit discussed the disgrace to the city of having a man like Mr. Devery at the head of its police, and laughed bitterly at his judgments while they discussed him. In their indignation and disgust, no doubt, they often did him scant justice.

Devery had some seven thousand men to keep in hand, by military reckoning a brigade, and nobody has ever suggested that his hold on them was not masterly. He knew his men from helmet to shoeleather; he had been one of them; and when he gave a command, they walked in the eye of the lord. Indeed, even since he has been discharged, it is gravely believed and feared that the rank and file still take his orders. Men who have ever had a regiment to discipline and to control will not think him an absolute buffoon. As to his brutality of speech and harshness in judgment, there are few colonels—few good colonels, that is—in either the American or the British army, to go no further, who have not found both necessary. A regiment cannot be kept smart by politeness, and the men do not respect a commander who knows no better lhan to try politeness as an instrument of control, by way of experiment. The leading truth about Mr. Devery is, not that he was ridiculous, but that he was, in his own world, formidable. His superiors backed him up, and his subordinates were devoted to him; and even the malcontents obeyed him.

It was not until late in the winter and early in the spring of 1901 that the inhabitants of the brownstone districts, the prosperous minority in a word, received a revelation of the nature of Devery's rule and of the degree of its arrogance, and that Mr. Jerome came prominently into notice. The Rev. Mr. Paddock, who had been working on the East Side, laid a complaint before one of Devery's subordinates, Captain Herlihy, about police rule in Allen Street, the "red-light district," and was publicly cursed and insulted for his pains. Bishop Potter sent an admirably temperate letter to Mayor Van Wyck, Devery's official superior, seeking redress; but no redress was forthcoming. In their refusal to listen to Bishop Potter the administration made a mistake; they roused a body in the commonwealth to all practical intents and purposes both unaware of their existence and at a pinch more powerful than they. The

Committee of Fifteen was organized to inquire into the conditions of Mr. Devery's rule. Mr. Croker, prompt to recognize the blunder of his henchmen, appointed a Tammany Committee of Five for the same purpose, putting Lewis Nixon, a notably honest man, at the head of it, and ordering it to take action before the Committee of Fifteen could complete its organization. Mr. Nixon chose to begin his investigations by a raid on an alleged pool-room at No. 20 Dey Street, and applied to Justice Jerome for a warrant; and there the defeat of Tammany in the coming election and the duel with Devery began. Mr. Jerome kne.v "down to the ground"' the nature of "fake" or tipped-off raids. The magistrate issues a warrant and hands it to a police officer to serve it; the police officer organizes a raiding party, and sends word beforehand to the gambling-hell of the time set for the raid; and the raiding party finds a set of empty rooms, in charge, perhaps, of a facetious caretaker. Mr. Jerome was quite ready to issue warrants; but he declined to be a figure in a comedy. He made out the warrants against John Doe, put them in his pocket, and, in com pany with Mr. Nixon and Mr. Philbin, led a raiding party, ignorant of its destination, to 20 Dey Street, and rushed the place. "Rushing" means hustling watchmen, breaking barred doors, and a free fight, ending, possibly, in a shooting scrape, with such of the occupants of the rooms within as try to make good an escape. In an outer room dedicated to lounging and drinking, Mr. Jerome, Mr. Nixon, Mr. Philbin, and their party stumbled upon eight members of the police force detailed to get evidence against the place. These testified subsequently that they each drew fourteen hundred dollars a year from the taxpayers of the city of New York; that they had frequented that room for thirtyfive days consecutively, barring Sundays, and that they were perfectly unaware of any gambling conducted in the house. In another room, where something like a hundred men had been rounded up and reduced to submission, Mr. Jerome gave an officer the warrants to serve and opened court.

Conducting raids in person and opening court informally in gambling-hells were unprecedented departures from the decency and decorum prescribed by public

« 이전계속 »