Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 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
ALL PURPLE SPLASHES ARE NOT TEAR MADE
BY JANE WHITAKER
I remember, once in the long ago, a very young boy brought to me a
letter he had received from a girl. The letter was written, in purple ink, and
it was worded in -a manner that showed plainly a striving after effect and
was not sincere. But the thing that aroused my curiosity was the many'
places where the purple ink had Wotted.
"What caused all of that"? I asked, innocently.
"Why, that is where she cried," he replied. "Toward the end of the let
ter she says she cried over it and the ink blotted."
I never forgot that. Those splashes of ink fooled the very young boy,
and I have no doubt that he cried over the letter, though I don't think he
managed to scatter any more purple ink, but to me it seemed so insincere,
since no one but the very young boy would have imagined that any girl
whose heart was aching would have written such a letter.
And today, through the kindness of one of our readers, a letter reached
me that made me remember back through the years when I read the letter
with the purple ink splashes.
This letter is from the United Charities, begging for funds. There
isn't one jot, of sincere pity in it; there isn't even a tiny spark of the divine
love of humanity that should inspire its writer, but there is the same striving-after
"Nothing but the most urgent need induces us to write you again so
soon," it reads. "What would you do for this pathetic family?"
"Pathetic" is the first place that the purple ink splashes. The word
"pathetic" suggest tears. "Unfortu
nate" woul'd better fit the family de
scribed, but it does not convey the
And then the recipient is thrust in
to a very flood of pathos.
"Picture it! A pretty little two-year-old
girl with but one arm, a boy
of four, stone deaf; three other small
children; the widowed mother of
them all! Continuous, adequate help
is absolutely necessary. Without it
this little family will go to pieces."
Splashed purple ink, but the
splashing is not finished. If you had
put your hand out toward your check
book, the following would induce you
to pause and wonder:
"Think! There were 6,200 such
families helped by us in December
alone, some of whom had troubles
even more acute than this."
I remember the thing that made
me skeptical about the letter with the
splashed purple ink was that in one
place the ink had run over half the
page, as though some one had meant
to let a drop of water fall and had I
accidentally tilted the glassy
And that is apparently what the
United Charities have done, tilted the
Can you possibly conceive of 6,200
families with little girls two years old
who have but one arm, little boys of
four totally deaf; three other small
children and a widowed mother? And
can you still further stretch your
imagination .and conceive of some
families in even worse affliction?
I confess I cannot. But the United
Charities has splashed all the purple
ink it intends to. It goes back to the
"The unemployment of married
men caused great demands to be
made upon us.
"A desperate situation confronts
the United Charities. Families to help,
insufficient funds to help them with!
We can relieve the few (6,200 fami
lis in one month) , but ,dare not let
the many go without.
"Your contribution", large or small,
will assist us to help them all. Many