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attempting to thwart the courts and judges, of distrusting the executive, and of relying solely upon the legislatures. Juries had got into the way of not considering the law, but merely their own or their neighbor's interests. When cases became desperate or law officers made some show of real enforcement, as did occasionally a rare Surveyor of the Woods or a customhouse officer, they were taken care of by mobs, and as a rule the absence of any real force behind the show of royal authority made the officials powerless. In the national period we shall see the fruits of this long training in disrespect for law.

We need not linger over Shays's Rebellion in Massachusetts in 1787, when mobs of malcontents with genuine grievances forced the closing of courts and brought the state to the verge of civil war; or the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794 in Pennsylvania, when attempts to enforce an excise tax required the use of fifteen thousand Federal troops. Nor need we go into the practical nullification of Federal laws and authority by some of the New England states in the War of 1812, or the smuggling and trading with the enemy during that ill-advised conflict; or into the threatened nullification of the Federal tariff by South Carolina some years later. The ripest fruits of disregard for law are found mainly when passions are aroused, as they were for several decades from 1830 onward. We will briefly touch first upon the persecution of the Irish and Catholics, in which law and order were abandoned from 1833 to 1853. The building of the Baltimore Railroad was punctuated by race riots. Even the militia failed to quell a similar one on the Chesapeake and Ohio, and a 'treaty' had to be drawn up. In 1834 the Ursuline Convent near Boston was burned to the ground and sacked by

anti-Catholics. The next night a race riot, this time directed against negroes, broke out in Philadelphia in the course of which thirty houses were sacked or destroyed, a church pulled down, and several persons killed. Similar riots occurred within a few weeks at other places, and in a few years the militia had to disperse a mob of two thousand marching on the house of the Papal Nuncio at Cincinnati. The Irish quarter in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was attacked; the chapel at Coburg was burned, that at Dorchester blown up, and that at Manchester, New Hampshire, wrecked; at Ellsworth, Maine, the priest was tarred and feathered; the convent at Providence was attacked; and at St. Louis a riot resulted in ten deaths. But it is unnecessary to detail more, such incidents being all too common throughout the country.

Similar violence was used against the Mormons, mainly while they were resident in Missouri and before they had adopted the doctrine of plural wives. The feeling against them first manifested itself in tarring and feathering, but by the autumn of 1833 a veritable reign of terror had begun. Houses were destroyed, men were beaten, and even a battle took place. By November mobs had forced about twelve hundred Mormons to leave their homes, pursuing them across the Missouri River and burning over two hundred of their forcibly abandoned houses. The governor was unable to afford them protection, although admitting that they were entitled to it. Law having completely broken down, a military order was given either to drive them all from the state or to 'exterminate' them. They had broken no laws, but in another battle in defense of their legal rights seventeen were killed and some of their bodies horribly mutilated after death.

We find the same disregard of law

when we come to the Abolitionists and the antislavery agitation. The episodes in connection with this, such as the murder of Lovejoy in Illinois, the mobs threatening Garrison at Utica, Boston, and elsewhere, the destruction of printing plants and newspaper offices, are almost too well known to call for repetition. Even Connecticut, 'the land of steady habits,' was not immune. In Philadelphia a pro-slavery mob burned Pennsylvania Hall, dedicated to Free Speech. We could multiply instances indefinitely, but need only say that violence was the order of the day. Lincoln complained that law and order had broken down, that 'wild and furious passions' were substituted for 'the sober judgments of the courts,' that 'outrages committed by mobs form the everyday news of the times' and that they were 'common to the whole country.'

The passage of the new Fugitive Slave law brought more lawlessness. Calhoun had rightly stated in the Senate that it was 'impossible to execute any law of Congress until the people of the States shall coöperate' - a clear statement that Prohibitionists would have done well to have remembered. Everywhere in the North the law was not merely disobeyed but bloodily denounced. In New York, for example, it was declared that 'instant death . . . without judge or jury' should await anyone who attempted to enforce it. The New York Tribune declared that it would be better to blow up the Capitol at Washington than to allow the law to be passed in it. Throughout the states, in the decade preceding the Civil War, there was an utter disregard of law in the sense that people obeyed such national laws as they chose to and used violence to defeat those they were opposed to. In the North the Fugitive Slave law was the one specially attacked. In the South

the mails were interfered with and free speech was suppressed. A Northern antislavery man could not enter the Southern states without danger to his life. Sums of five thousand dollars and upward were offered for the kidnapping of prominent speakers on the subject of slavery. In Kansas the struggle between those who wished to have the state enter the Union as free and those who wished it slave resulted in such constant violence as to give the state the name of 'the dark and bloody ground,' though Professor Channing finds that probably only two hundred people were killed — killed, it must be remembered, however, in time of peace. To detail all the acts of violence throughout the country in the decades before the war would be impossible here. The total effect, however, would be to picture a nation in which passion had usurped the place of law. The riots which occurred after war was declared may be partially discarded for our purpose, though they probably would not have occurred in a country in which the people had an ingrained sense of law. The worst one in New York, in 1863, lasted four days and resulted in the destruction of $1,500,000 worth of property and the loss of one thousand killed and wounded. It was followed by lesser riots at Detroit, Kingston, Elmira, Newark, and elsewhere. In the country districts threats of arson and murder were openly made.

The war over, we found ourselves with the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving the negro the right of suffrage. However it may or may not have been observed in the North, it is obvious that it could not be and never has been in the South. In some states, such as Alabama, where the negroes outnumbered the whites, it meant that the whites might be ruled by the blacks, and in any case it meant serious trouble, racial feeling being

what it was then and is now. The complete nullification of such a law, having all the sanction of being a part of the Constitution, could not fail to reduce respect for law. Again, Americans obeyed such laws as they chose, and disregarded or opposed by force such as they did not choose.


We may now come to another phase of our national lawlessness. There is a good deal of popular misunderstanding with regard to lynching. It is generally regarded as rather peculiarly a Southern institution, and the consequence of attempts at rape on whites by negroes. The term 'lynch law' appears to have been first used in 1834, and it is from that time that the practice of lynching became common in the United States. At first the most notorious cases were those of gamblers, such as occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and in Virginia. It was, however, also practised in the North, and spread to California and the West after the discovery of gold. In California, in 1855, out of five hundred and thirty-five homicides committed there were but seven legal executions. The celebrated Vigilance Committees were formed in San Francisco, each of which hanged four men and banished about thirty. These 'popular tribunals' were also formed in Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado during their early periods of settlement.

That lynching was not confined to negroes, the South, or the crime of rape is easily proved by such statistics as we have. I have no recent figures, but as this article is concerned with our 'heritage,' and not our present lawlessness, this is not of account. In 1900 over 52 per cent of the persons lynched in Illinois were white, over 78 per cent

in Indiana, over 54 per cent in Missouri, over 38 per cent in Kentucky, and over 35 per cent in Texas. Tables prepared by the United States Government failed to show any relation between the distribution of lynchings and the proportions of blacks to the total state populations. Nor did they show any correlation between the numbers of lynchings and the percentages of illiterates or foreigners. The responsibility therefore must rest on the literate

native element.

In the period from 1882 to 1903 there were 2585 persons lynched in the Southern states, of whom 567 were whites, 1985 negroes, and 33 'others'; in the Western states the figures were, respectively, 523, 34, and 75; in the Eastern states, 79, 41, and no 'others.' In the country as a whole there were thus lynched in the twenty years 3337 persons, of whom 1169, or over one third, were white, and 2060 negroes. In all three sections the crime for which the greatest number of lynchings occurred was murder. Rape comes next, with 'minor offenses,' arson, theft, assault, following in much smaller proportions. In our country in a time of perfect peace there were thus an average of between three and four lynchings every week in the year for the twenty-year period chosen by hazard for examination. Allowing for the difference of population, is it possible to conceive of two persons being murdered by individual citizens, instead of allowing justice to take its course, every week in England for a generation?

In the above rapid and wholly inadequate survey no attention has been paid to the problem or statistics of ordinary crime. The United States has no adequate criminal statistics even at the present day. Such a survey projected into the past would be impossible. I have not been concerned with,

so to say, 'crimes under law,' but with opposition to or disrespect for law itself as law. Even thus I have neglected much which would properly be included in a full treatment of the subject.

It is needless to say that we are not going to be able to shed this heritage quickly or easily. In fact we have gone so far on the wrong road that it is by no means certain that we can ever get back on the right one even with the best of intentions. Inbred respect for law, as I said in the beginning, is a plant of slow growth. For three centuries we have been developing disrespect. Our heritage has made recovery more difficult for us by bringing about conditions that themselves help to increase our disrespect and lawlessness, aside from the feeling of the individual citizen. This portion of our heritage is in large part from New England. The Puritans insisted that their own ideals of life and manners should be forced on the community at large, and they also believed that any desirable change could be brought about by legislation. Partly from our Puritan ancestry and partly from the exaggerated influence attributed to the legislatures in colonial days for the reasons I have noted above, Americans have believed that their ideals should be expressed in the form of law, regardless of the practical

question of whether such laws could be enforced. They have apparently considered that the mere presence of such laws will help respect for the ideal, regardless of the fact that the presence of such unenforceable laws will bring about disrespect for law itself. Every minority which has had a bee in its bonnet has attempted to make that bee 'home' into a law, and to a remarkable extent the majorities have not cared, partly because they take little interest in public affairs, but mainly because they imagine that even if some 'fool law' is passed they can disobey it if they choose, as they have others. Because we have ceased to have any respect for law we allow any sort of laws to be passed, and then the vicious circle continuing our disrespect increases yet more because of the nature of such laws. When Americans talk about their glorious past, it may be well for them to remember that we have one of the most sinister inheritances in this matter of law from which any civilized nation could suffer, a heritage that we are apparently passing down to our children in a still worse form. For this reason, if for no other, I believe that the unenforced and unenforceable Eighteenth Amendment was one of the heaviest blows ever directed against the moral life of any nation.





'BUZZARD 'ginst a bloody sun... softly breathed Aunt Runa, stopping short at the back gate.

Resting a wrinkled black hand against the cool brick wall of the smokehouse, she stood motionless, gazing through half-closed eyes, with a mystical, rapt expression, at the hazy red afternoon sun. A buzzard, circling slowly, rose again in the very face of the cloudscreened disk- and hovered there. "Trouble sign!' she mumbled. 'I knowed it!'

Sighing deeply, she bowed her head as if under the load of inevitable fate, and passed slowly through the gate into the hot, dusty lane.

Her finely shaped old head, bound tight in a snow-white cloth that showed but a fringe of gray frizzled hair below, had the high forehead of the thinker. Her straight nose was thin and high-bridged, in striking contrast with the blue-black skin and thick lips-firm, in spite of their negroid fullness.

Deliberately, but with a lurking suggestion of vigor, her bowed figure, in its stiffly starched full-skirted gray calico and wide white apron, followed the dusty path beside the garden fence. Her drooping reddish-yellow eyes, keen in spite of the untold years behind them, were fixed dreamily on the path ahead.

As if subconsciously voicing her mood, she softly crooned in tremulous minors:

'Chil-ly wat-er, chil-ly water,
I feel it creepin' higher over me;
Satan jes' like snake in de gra-ss,
Waitin' to git you as you pa-ss.
Lord, I feel dat chilly wat-er over me.'

At the sound of the low droning, a little white boy, half hidden in the foliage of a June-apple tree, abruptly broke off his forbidden feast. Listening a moment, he hissed warningly, 'Joseph!' From a far limb a small black face, crowned by a close-clipped bullet head, looked up questioningly. Suddenly its owner swung from the limb and dropped flat into the high growth of crimson clover below. The white boy was but a second behind him. As the words of the hymn came quavering to their ears, they looked hard at each other. The small negro shivered, and tunneled deeper into the clover.

With the passage of Aunt Runa, two heads rose cautiously out of the green tangle. Mumbling a word, the white boy slunk into the lane, and, trotting up softly in his bare feet behind the old woman, casually fell into step beside her. Not so much as a glance did she give him. Without a break in her humming, she kept her deliberate pace. He cut an appraising eye at her, but did not speak.

Around the corner of the garden, in a thick cloud of dust behind his dragging plough, drowsily shuffled the gardener. Abruptly he jerked the mule to one side of the lane, and waited. Hat in hand, he made a low bow. 'Evenin', Sis' Runa! Sorry I stirred de dus',' he

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