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OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7972, 30 July 1889
OUR AMERICAN LETTER.
Keokuk (lowa, U.S.A.), Juno 2L_ A NOTABLE ASSASSINATION. About three weeks ago a Dr Cronin, a reputable practising physician of Chicago, was called upon by a messenger in a carriage to attend a patienf, was driven to a house, when upon entering ho was set upon by assassins and foully murdered. His body was stripped, packed into a trunk that had been prepared for it, then reloaded into the carriage, and driven to the lake shore with tho view of placing the trunk containing the body in a boat. But the assassins, becoming panic-s'riiken over the proximity of the police, drove about, and finally broke open the trunk, took out tho body, and removing the cap from an opening in a sewer threw in the body, where, about a week later, it was found by the police. The inquest by the cornet's jury in tho case was the most thorough in the annals of crime in Chicago, and some interesting points were developed in the investigation. Dr P. H. Cronin was a prominent member of the Clan na-Gael Society. So was Alexander Sullivan, a lawyer, speculator, and adventurer of Chicago with an unsavory record. Sullivan was accused by Dr Cronin and others of misappropriating funds held in trust for Irish defence. Sullivan it was shown had received la'ge sums of money for this defence fund : that ho became interested in grain and real estate speculations ; and that ho was spending money otherwise largely in excess of his own means. With reference to the Clan-na-Gael Society it was shown that while (he rank and file were honestly and earnestly working for the cause of self goverr.. ment in their fatherland their leaders were nothing more nor less than a gang of conspirators and assassins. The case is well stated by a local paper : First: That these conspirators—constituting at tho time the goven.ing body, but not the rank-and-fi'e of the Clan-ua-Gacl had no sympathy with Mr Paruell and his 6chemo of constitutional .u'ita'lou, or with tlio efforts of Mr Gladstone for a monsure of Homo Rule for Ireland. They wanttd to break Mr Parnell down. His purpo=c is not rcvolu'ionarv, and does not involve separation from Rreat Britain or tho setting up of a "Republic" in Ireland. Every measure of success obtained by Parnoll ard Gladstone was a blow to the so-called "revolutionary" cause, and every setback to that cause had a bad effect on tho contributions. Tho liish patriots who handled the funds wcro out for revenue, and they took an immediato and earnest interest in keeping up the ihw of United States currency into the treasury of the Clan-na-Gael, which they afterward tapped for their own personal uses. It wa3 important to them that tho " Irish Republic" chimera should bo kept constantly in the foreground, and that Parnoll's plan of constitutional agitation should fall into disrepute and fail. To accomplish this they thought thero was no Burcr way than to establish a propaganda of force, for which Parnell would be held responsible morally, if not aotually, and thus bring cdium upon him and his cause, Second : 1 hey wanted money for their own pr'vate übos, and to get money it was necessary that they should undertake operations of force in a grand and spectacular manner, like the explosion in Westminster Hall or the blowing up of London Bridge. It is safe to Bay that they had no'intention of striking terror to the hearts of the English by these dramatic displays, which they knew under the circumstances would be fias-oes. Their scheme was to enthuse their ignorant Irish dupes in this country and to stimulate collfc'ionp. Each " explosion " in England was a prelude to the passing of the contribution box among tho "camps"in America.
Third: To cover their ulterior purpose of raising money for personal acd private it was necessary to prepare in advance an account of the disposition of the?e funds. What mora plausible explanation could be made thin the statement that (he funds had been m«lo over to the dynamitards? How easy it was to chargo the money up to them, send tbem acroßs the ocean to take their chances after having notified the Fnglish of their ooming, knowing that onoe lodged in English prisons or executed their accounts could not be audited. Meanwhile the embezzlers could tipeculftte to their heart's content with the Irish funfo, and there is every reason to bolieve that they did, until Cronin and his friends discovered the game, since which time the subscriptions have naturally languished.
Quite a number of arrets have been made, including Alexander Sullivan, P. 0. Sullivan, Dan Coughlin, Woodruff, two men in New York city, and one in Winnipeg (Manitoba). The time has fully come for respectable, decent, law-abiding Irishmen to tm
up and save their cause from everlasting contempt by repudiating this crime and doing their utmoßt to bring [the murderers to justice. Such papers as the Boston •Pilot,'tho 'lrish World,' and the 'Freeman's Journal' have as yet not a word of condemnation of the murder of a fellowIrishman and a fellow-American citizen, Mr Fitzgerald, tho president of the Land League, insists that Dr Cronin is not dead, though hiß remains were identified by at least fifty men. Mr Michael Davitt has publicly affirmed that he has no inforna'ion that leads to a correct opinion whether Dr Cronin was or was not a British spy. This is moral assassination —assassination of character—almost as bad as the murder itself. These Irish leaders of public opinion cannot afford to ignore or condone this bloody work, or occupy a negative position concerning it. If they do they and their cause must expect to suffer at the hands of an outraged American people. THE PRESBYTERIAN GENERAL ASSEMBLY. The interest in the Presbyterian General Assembly, which closed its session in New York last week, culminated when the Committee on Bills and Overtures presented a report on the request of certain Presbyteries for a revision of the Confession of Faith. This is an ancient document which has had the respect and adherence of nearly all Presbyterian bodies for nearly 250 years. Not a few members of these honored bodies V\a.ve long been convinced oi the necessity oJ a revision. Fifteen Presbyteries sent overtures asking for a modification of the statements of doctrine. This desire is not limited to the church in the United Stateß. Dr Alexander M'Leod (moderator of the Synod of England), in a recent address is reported to have said : " In introducing the doctrine of reprobation, Calvin (however pious may have been his intention) did really veil from Europe the face of Christ, thus undoing tho work of revealing the tenderness and love of Christ, which had been attempted, if not effected, by Martin Luther." The report of the Committee to the recent General
Assembly recommended that the subject of revision be referred back to the Presbyteries with these inquiries: "Do you desire a revision of the Confession of Faith ? If so, in what respect, and to what extent ?" This report was adopted almost unanimously. While the discussion in the Assembly did not go far into the merits of the case, several members freely expressed their convictions that the time had come for a change, and others quite as freely dissented. In this action the Presbyterian Church haa maintained its reputation for caution and conservatism. The Assembly have not recommended a revision, but have shown proper courtesy towards their constituents who are not pleased with the Confession as it is. The door is now open, and the whole subject will bo thoroughly discussed by tho Presbyterian Press and palpit. All true Christians earnestly hope that the discussion will be characterised throughout by the same loyal, devout, and courteous spirit which prevailed in the Assembly which has just closed its labors. The matter of co-operation between the Presbyterian Church, North and South, was settled for the time by tho adoption of a report favoring co-operation, but carrying with it an amendment which struck out of the report the following words : " While conceding the existing situation, tie Northern Assembly approves the policy of separate churches, presbyteries, and synods, subject to the choice of the colored people themselves." This was carried by a vote of 400 to 50, and i 3 tantamount to a vote against separate churches for white and negro worshippers. Of course the Southern Assembly will as promptly and decisively reject it. The Southern Assembly are not yet religiously reconstructed. The action of the Northern Assembly is morally right; but neither as morals, as sentiment, nor as religion will it be adopted by the South. Had the Northern church conceded that each church South might settle the question for itself, they would doubtless have consented ; but they will not concede that a black man has a right to pray, or sing, or preach in the same church with his white brother, or that the colored believer can get to heaven over the white man's route.
OFF FOB NICARAGUA. The recent departure from New York of a party of engineers and workmen and a shipment of machinery for Nicaragua promiaea the completion of the Canal as a distinctly American enterpriae. The complete failure and dissolution of the Panama Company make this still more certain. The surveys already made have been thorough and exhaustive. The latest feature of the surveys contemplates a basin plan. By the construction of embankments to confine the water within natural reservoirs, it is said that the mileage of excavation will be reduced to about twenty. The greatest expense will be the construction of harbors at Greytown, on the east coast, and at Brito on the Pacific. For about 1)0 miles the basin and natural water-
w-iys can be utilised at comparatively gmall expense, and for that distance sailing is promised to bo almost as free as open sea navigation. The saving in distance effected by this canal, not only for all American ports, but for Europe, Asia, and Australasia as well, will be great; the route from New York to San Francisco being shortened by 4,700 miles, and from San Francisco to Liverpool by 7,508 miles. Meanwhile the Tehuantepec Railway, bridging the Isthmus of Tehuantepec from Coatzacoalcos on the Mexican Gulf to Salina Cruz on the Pacific, and having in view tho same object as the Nicaragua canal, is being rapidly built. The ra>d is 207 miles long, sixty - seven miles of which have already been completed and turned ov'er by the American Company to the Mexican Government, and the remainder is promised to be completed in eighteen months. These two routes, when finished, will draw the wealth of tho world to the Central American and Atlantic seaports, and stimulate trade and industry in all directions. THE SAMOAN AGREEMENT. The Samoan difficulty was formally adjusted last week by the sigring of a treaty by the three powers interested—Germany, Great Britain, and tho United Statesthrough their representatives at Berlin. In tho case of tho United States, however, the Government's adhesion to the treaty is conditional upon its ratification by the Senate. According to the despatches from Berlin tho treaty guarantees an autonomous administration of the island. Tho Samoans will elect their own king and viceroy, and be represented by a Senate composed of the principal chiefs and a chamber elected by the people. Samoa will have the right to levy import and export duties, and has to pay to Germany a money indemnity for lose. A Court will bo appointed to settle all land
disputes. On til questions affecting the person, life, and property of a subject of a foreign nation there will be an appeal to a resident Judge to be hereafter appointed, who shall be a subject of one of the Treaty Powers. The importation of intoxicating liquor? is to bo prohibited, and the importation of firearms is restricted. THE BUSINESS SITUATION. The money market has been quite brisk for a few weeks. There was some effort made to advance the rates, but it failed. Our merchandise exports for May were much greater than the corresponding month of last year. Our imports for May were larger than they ou«ht to have been. Our ! people are getting to be luxurious and extravagant. ] The appalling disaster in Pennsylvania, ' the fearful loss of life, and the appeal made j to the country for help, have affooted the ' general market very materially. Mer- • chants, brokers, and consumers were at first shocked, then dazed, and then moved by a sudden impulse to do something towards i lifting the terrible burden from the stricken 1 people. Material help has come from France, Germany, and Turkey. j The crop outlook is full of promise, and will put fresh impulse in security values. The bond market is tending upward. The only cloud which overhangß the social horizsn is TUB ARMY OF UNEMPLOYED. It is becoming a matter of grave concern what is to be done for the vast and steadily increasing contingent of our population that is out of employment. For every vacant place there are at least a hundred applicants. One only can be used ; what are the rest to do 1 Thousands of immigrants aro pouring into the country, hoping to secure a better livelihood. New generations are coming on eager for work, and aro crowding in upon the old. Women are ranidly jostling men out of places that have hitherto been regarded
as the exolusive property of man. The country is developing rapidly, but necessarily within limitations which check general employment, and these limitations but Blowly disappear under the most satisfactory conditions of national growth. Meantime, people must live. The idle from choice can be disposed of easily, but how are to fare the thousands who are willing, able, and anxious to work, and whose daily living depends upon their own exertions, but who can get no remunerative employment ? That is the pressing problem of the hour. TEMPERANCE MATTERS, On the 18th inst. the Prohibition amendment to the State Constitution was defeated at a popular election in Pennsylvania by a majority of nearly, if not quite, 200,000. The Republican majority in Pennsylvania at the Presidential election was 80,000. On the 19th Rhode Island, by a vote of 28,449 out of a total of 38,302, repealed the prohibitory amendment enacted two years ago. This has been a bad year for Prohibition in this country. Ulysses,
OUR AMERICAN LETTER., Issue 7972, 30 July 1889
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