Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
it never occurred to any officer of the law to arrest the newspaper publishers
and throw them in jail without bond as accessories before the fact.
In fact, the newspaper publishers for whom the murderers of Witt and
Hehr were working were so powerful that even the murderers themselves
were not arrested after they killed Witt, but kept on at their deadly gun
game free and unmolested until the same murderers murdered Hehr.
That was a year ago, and nobody has yet been tried for either murder.
Possibly nobody ever will be tried for those cold-blooded murders. I don't
think the murderers ever expected to be tried. They knew they were on
the payroll of the most powerful men in Chicago, and that the police dare
not interfere with them. They had been made officers of the law, deputy
policemen and deputy sheriffs, through the influence of their powerful em
ployers. Believing that the newspaper publishers controlled the govern
men of Chicago and the officers of the law, they had no fear of the law.
In fact, they knew that the captain in charge of the police on strike
duty had his headquarters in the Hearst newspaper office during the lock
out trouble; and the newspaper gunmen knew the police were working for
the same powerful interests they were working for.
They were Chicago boys these murderers and they had invariably
seen the law and the police, the state militia and federal troops on the side
of capital in its war upon labor.
In the stockyards' strike, the teamsters' 'strike and the strike of the
underpaid garment workers they had seen the officers of the law arrayed
solidly against the workers; and if they were old enough they remembered
how the federal troops and U. S. marshals were turned over to the railroad
managers in the A. R. U. strike years ago.
So in the war on the helpless newsboys, being made by the most power
ful organization of employers and capitalists in Chicago the newspaper
trust it was but natural that the sluggers, gunmen and strikebreakers on
newspaper payrolls should think they were free to cut loose with their
murder-guns as were the uniformed police.
But I say the real responsibility should be charged to the publishers
who hired these sluggers, gunmen and strikebreakers to do the actual fight
ing in the war on the newsboys; and that they cannot escape the moral re
sponsibility for murders committed by their employes, even if they are
within the law.
I believe now that the deadly publicity given to these newspaper crimes
by the adless Day Book is responsible forthe breaking up of this anarchistic
newspaper government by gunmen and sluggers; and that in itself is justi
fication enough for the adless newspaper In Chicago.
With the breaking down of vicious and criminal I might say murder
ous newspaper government, a new day is dawning for Chicago. The in
visible government cannot live in the sunlight of honest publicity. When
the people see how the invisible government has used all the power of the
law to help the powerful few oppress, rob and even murder the many, then
the power of the people, the irresistible mass, will assert itself, and the
people will hurl the mighty from their seats and take THEIR government
into their own hands, through faithful representatives who will represent '
the people rather than the dollars of this great city.
The people are getting their eyes open. They begin to see that there
has been no representative government that represented THEM, but rather
a government that represented the few who thrive by exploiting the many.
They begin to understand the difference between a free press and kept
press. They begin to see that a press owned and controlled by the exploit-