OCR Interpretation

The nonpartisan leader. [volume] (Fargo, N.D.) 1915-1921, January 06, 1919, Image 4

Image and text provided by State Historical Society of North Dakota

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89074443/1919-01-06/ed-1/seq-4/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

But there is special
proof in this case which
any open-minded person
would probably accept,
but which is jiot legal
proof as it stands. Here
is a news item which the
Ellsworth Messenger car
ried in its iseue of No
vember 21:
M. L. AmoB of this
fcity was called be
.• fore the Ellsworth
HO said the mob violence commit
ted aglinst the Nonpartisan
league was due to the war?
The mobbists, of course, and
their friends in publip office.
The war was a good excuse for
punishing the fawner's "crime"
of organizing, but it was not
the cause. The old gang can
not prevent the farmers from organizing legally
so they try to do so illegally. That the war had
nothing to do with mob action is well shown by the
fact that the old-gang politicians are keeping it up
now that the war is over
Look carefully at the cut on this page. It shows
an exact reproduction of a large card tacked up on
the garage door of a man who believes in farmer
organization in Ellsworth county, Kail. It was put
there because, and only because, he has been giving
some of his time to felling the farmers there what
the farmers of North Dakota have succeeded in
doing by political organization. Notice the date,
November 29. The warning was found on Novem
ber 26. The war ended on November 11. Notice
also what appears in the lower left hand corner—
the tar and feathers as a suggestion of what will
happen if the order is not complied with.
Now the old-fashioned person might,think that
the first thing for §. law-abiding citizen like Mr.
Amos to do, would be to tell the sheriff and' the
county attorney abotit this threat. The sheriff and
county attorney would then set the forces of the
law in operation to apprehend the criminal or
criminals. They would be found quickly in such
a small town as-Ellsworth, and convicted in the
court. Thus our fundamental law, both state and
national, would be maintained.
Mr. Amos, however, can get no such protection
in this modern day in Ellsworth county, Kan. The
reason is apparently clear. The crime committea
against'Mr. Amos is con
sidered so grave in our
law and the punishment
is so severe that none
but fools would think of
committing the act with
out the secret assurance
from officers of the law
that the law would not
be enforced. The fact
that no mob leaders in
any of the states where'
mob outrages have been
committed against labor
and the farmers Have
ever been brought to
book is fairly certain
proof of this point.
County Council of
Defense Wednesday
morning and inform
ed that his presence
here was no longer desired. In vipw of the"
fact that Mr. Amos' occupation appears to be
spreading the literature of the Nonpartisan
league and soliciting members for that organ
ization, the council of defense decided that he
was an undesirable citizen.
The Nonpartisan league, which was thor
oughly discussed a year ago, is not popular in
this commdnity. Nearly all the iftembers In
this county have repudiated it.
In other words, five'days before the criminal no
tice was put up the supposed defenders of law
and order in Ellsworth county virtually ordered a
peaceable, law-abiding, property-owning citizen- out
of town because they did not like his politics. They
told Mr. Amos that they did not have any authority
M. L. Amos, Resident of Ellsworth, "Advised" to Leave by Defense Council
Five Days Later Finds Notice to Leave or Be Mobbed
The mobbists and old-gang terrorists
in public office are keeping up their
dirty work. Since the war ended an
organizer of the American Federation
of Labor was tarred and feathered in
Jackson, Mich. A little later a League
and labor organizer was mobbed at
Kent, Wash. Later still M. L. Amos
was "ordered" from Ellsworth coun
ty, Kan., first by the defense council
and then by a mob notice as describ
ed in the story on this page. This
shows how little the war had to do
with mobbing. Two other facts are
also worthy of note—all our mobs
are led by the silk-hat gentry and
the officers of the law have, never
been able to find any of them.
to force him out, .but simply "advised," but how
would any reasonable man interpret such advice
coming from svjch authority except as an order.
How did the eouricg know that it would be wise for
him to leave, as another- Ellsworth paper reported it
as saying, i£ they did not have guilty knowledge of
the intention of themselves or other persons in Ells
worth to violate this citizen's constitutional rights?
Doesn't it look as if Ellsworth county was rotten
upstairs and that citizens there, even though it is
geographically a part of America, haVe no rights
which old-gang politicians are bound to respect
But Mr. Amos is not without local support. A
special meeting of the Farmers' union of the county
was called to consider the matter, for, Mr. Amos
has been prominent in Union circles for years tod
Here is a little note which some sneaking cowards who knew they were doing wrong put on a League
organizer's garage door. Note the suggestion of the punishment to follow*'{disobedience iir?the lower
left hand corner. If Mr. Amos had committed a, crime, the law would take care of him, but being en
tirely innocent of anything except organizing farmers, he is liable to this punishment from the fly-by
night political vampires. The vampires, this time those controlling Ellsworth county, Kan., are in
a tight place. Farmer organization is not a crime in law and yet they have to "get" those who are so
bold as to attempt it. So they have to use such tactics as this. Five days" before Mr. Amps wins
warned by the county council of defense to leave th» county for this crime of farmer organization,
Now don't be so hasty as to think that there is any connection between this fget and the mob
threaV The council is made up of nice gentlemen who do all' their public work in the daytime.
took up. the promotion of the League because he
6aw the need of co-operation at the polls as well
as in buying and selling. Strong resolutions were
adopted condemning the lawless act, including the
lawless advice or threat of the council of defense, in
the following language that leaves no doubt as to
where the farmers stand:
"Therefore be it resolved, that we deman^kof our
county attorney and sheriff that those guilty of
those offenses be prosecuted therefor -that the mat
ter of guilt of different persons be investigated
forthwifo and that those participating in said
threats be put under bonds to keep the peace and
prosecuted for the conspiracy alleged herein that
the stud M. L. Amos receive the full protection of
the law that we tender to said Brother Amos our
League Man
sympathy and support and honor him for the ene
mies he has made, and hereby serve notice upon the
legally constituted authorities of Ellsworth county
that we will not permit mob rule to constitute the
-law thereof, and call upon them to perform their
full and legal duty that copies of this resolution be
furnished to the Ellsworth Messenger and theJSUs
worth Reporter, and a copy thereof,be also fur
nished to the county attorney of Ellsworth county,
the sheriff of said county and the governor of this,
state, the original"thereof to be placed on file
the records of this Union, and that all law-abiding
citizens of Ellsworth county are hereby called upon
to join hands with us for the suppression o^Lmob
law and violence.
"R. J. SMISCHNY, Pres.
The Union farmers probably were not overbur
dened with faith that the. sheriff and county attor
ney would do their dutj^, for they knew that the
county attorney had heard the council of defense
"advise" a peaceful citizen to leave town and they
knew county politics, but they thought it would do"
no harm to demand that these officials live up to.
their oaths of office. This brings us to a new prin
ciple of law enforcement. .The comity attorney
evidently expects the Farmer!', union to furnish the
evidence and find the criminals, for he summoned
President Smischny to his office and demanded that
he produce it. He kept a full record of the "Con
versation and then, as he says, contrary to usual
prakctive gave it in full to the local papers.
This conversation would have some weight with
persons ignoranT of the law and of what the duty
of a county attorney is. Mr. Smischny, of-eourse,
knew only that a crime against a peaceful citizen
had been committed and he Was wisely cautious in
not making direct charges against any individuals.
He simply demanded enforcement of. the law. He
knew that the law demands that- officers of the law
and not the victim of a
crime should find the
convicting evidence. To
thii&ing men, however, it
is another linkin the evi
dence of official oppres
sion in Ellsworth coun
Let us see who Mr.
Amos is. Even if he
we re a desperado it
would be unlawful to
break the law to get him,
as has been done in EUs-.
worth county. He is a
native American, with
ancestors in each of cur
wars from the Revolution
on. He himself served
in the state militH for
four years at the time of
the Spanish war. He
farmed a ranch of. 880
acres npar Ellsworth un
til his,health broke down.
He then left the' farm
and"bought a residence in
town. The Union farm
era, whose opinion should
count with other farmers
beyond any other. testi
mony, had this to:say of
him in their resolution
bearing on the outrage:
The said M. L. Amos is a member of our
Union and has been and is. well known to us and
a of us an as on at ha a
loyal and patriotic citizen by doing those things
ft?? which were within his power to support our na
tion in war, having bought Liberty bonds of the
various issues and being a member of the Red
Cross and having contributed to the various war
work funds and having always stood loyally
by our country in the war both in word and
deed, and his private life has been that of a fp|
peaceful and law-abiding ritizen and his public
.. acta have coifttisted principally of efforts-for the
Farmers' union in aiding 4n the establishment
of co-operative elevators and stores and in other
ways beneficial to the fartnera of this country.

xml | txt