stop the presses

Unless someone objects, I’m going to stop doing Tribune Thursday for a while.

Tribune Friday (in 1908: Saturday)

  1. In Fort Meyer, Virginia, in front of a crowd of spectators, Orville Wright set a new record for the longest flight “for a heavier-than-air machine”: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 26 seconds.

  3. One person was killed in an explosion in a dye shop in Syracuse.

  5. A serious accident in the “24-Hour Auto Contest” apparently still ongoing in Brighton Beach sent two men to the hospital and led to the withdrawal of two cars from the race. Of the eleven cars to start the contest, only seven remain. Interesting detail: President Roosevelt gave the “starting signal…over the telephone from Oyster Bay.”

  7. A hurricane has devastated the Turk’s Islands. The extent of the devastation is still not entirely clear, but a number of people have lost their lives.

  9. Louis Lippman, “alias Metzler” was arrested in Buffalo for embezzling $300,000 from a New York banking house.

  11. There is yet more discussion of the maneuvering taking place over the Republican state ticket in New York. The convention will begin in Saratoga in a few days and it seems clear that Hughes will win renomination.

Tribune Thursday Friday

It will be up later. Various obligations kept me from doing it on Thursday (which just ended for me).

Update: Here it is.

  1. Banker George I. Whitney of Pittsburg wrote a letter “to friends in this city” saying that among the reasons for the failure of Brown & Co. were loans made by Brown & Co. to Whitney, Stephenson & Co., which Whitney heads, and to Whitney himself. The loans were made “before and after” the collapse of Whitney, Stephenson during the 1907 panic.

  3. Colonel Alexander Troup, prominent Democrat and a friend and supporter of William Jennings Bryan died suddenly in Grand Central Station. His death is thought to have been caused by apoplexy.

  5. Vice President and Presidential candidate Taft, who is in Ohio, “devoted the greater part of the forenoon to correspondence, which for the last two days had remained unanswered,” had a conference with Secretary of the Interior James R. Garfield “on the general political situation,” and then headed off to fish in the afternoon. Garfield gives the paper his view of the political situation.

  7. The Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America is threatening a strike of its 32,000 New England members, which may begin on Labor Day. Background of the dispute:

    The trouble started some time ago in this city [the dateline is Providence], when fifty-four men on the Rhode Island company’s street railway system, controlled by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, were discharged. The company’s officials stated that the men were released because of a breach of discipline, while the union men asserted that the discharge was the result of the formation of a local branch of the Amalgamated association.


  9. Nearly 200 employees at Ellis Island were stranded for six hours by a series of problems with the boats connecting them with the surrounding area.

  11. At the Niagara County Fair, Governor Hughes got a cold reception from the Wadsworth Republicans – apparently the machine in control of the district – but a warm reception from the general audience who came to see him.


a, a, b, b, true, false, true, false, Democratic, Republican, William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan sides with Atrios against Ron Fournier:

It should be the purpose of the Associated Press to convey to its numerous subscribers the unbiassed, uncolored truth. I recognize that this is extremely difficult and that with even the best of intentions those who report interviews, conventions and events will unintentionally inject their own opinions and yet absolute impartiality must be the ideal at which The Associated Press aims. You furnish news to Republican papers, Democratic papers, papers identified with other parties and to independent papers; and the readers of these Associated Press reports represent every phase of opinion.

Your association is not a party organ. It does not do editorial work; it is not the champion of any cause or the advocate of any man. It is expected to tell the truth about Congressional doings, legislative sessions, municipal matters, and to report correctly that which is given to it for publication. It cannot guarantee its readers against mistakes, for its agents are human, but it can correct mistakes when they are found out, and admonish its representatives to be cautious. It does not furnish the headlines, which are often misleading, but it can see to it that the text is free from intentional errors and that those who trust to its accuracy shall not be deceived.

I take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the treatment that has been accorded me. The association has asked me for advance copies of a great many more speeches than I have been able to give it, and in asking for an advance copy it has furnished the best proof that it wanted to treat me with fairness. Through The Associated Press I have been able to get my ideas and my arguments before the readers of the Republican papers, and I have been less concerned about the editorial comments of Republican papers than about the correctness of the news reports.

Bryan goes on to discuss his ideal newspaper: an independent paper – as opposed to a party organ – with non-partisan news reporting and openly bi-partisan editorials. That may be fine as far as the news goes, but what happens in a bi-partisan media environment when the two major parties are largely in agreement on a subject, but a significant percentage of the population thinks otherwise?

Below the fold: the full report of Bryan’s speech, taken from the New York Tribune of 23 April 1908.

Tribune Thursday: Georgia flooding

  1. In defiance of New Jersey Governor John Franklin Fort, an Atlantic County grand jury – “on which were enrolled state and county officeholders, politicians and some of the biggest hotel and business men of the resort” – refused to indict “the dispensers of Sunday rum in the resort.” Governor Fort has threatened to declare martial law in Atlantic City in order to enforce laws against selling liquor on Sunday.

  3. Interesting headline: “BANKER STRANGELY SHOT.” Charles B. Roberts, president of the Baltimore Supply Company, is in serious condition after being shot near the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

  5. Flood waters are finally beginning to recede in Augusta, Georgia, but the recovery is only beginning. Damages may reach $1 million and “there have been from ten to fifteen fatalities, mostly negro laborers drowned.” The situation is still dire:

    The Augusta Railway & Electric Company cannot run its cars for three days. No power plant is in operation. The telephone lines are not doing business, and the railroads are accepting no passengers. The water service is crippled, but intact. The gas service is impaired, but the gas plant has not shut down. A citizens’ meeting will be held to-morrow.

    There will be much suffering, especially in the northwestern part of the city, from which the water will not recede for two or three days. The people in the manufacturing district will require help. Whether Augusta will be able to care for the situation among the poor and unemployed will not be known until the water recedes further and opportunity is given for inspection. The flood expanse covers an immense territory, miles of water extending from the foot of the Carolina hills to the south into Georgia. The loss to farms, farm lands, crops and livestock in the valley is not included in the estimate of losses. The bottom cotton and swamp corn, an immense annual product, is ruined.


  7. The International Congress for the Protection of Industrial Property, currently meeting in Stockholm, is debating whether to take action to protest Britain’s new patent law. The United States and Germany both oppose the law.

  9. This is an odd story from Bordeaux: French soldier Camille Marquet was sentenced to six days’ imprisonment for attempting to blackmail President Theodore Roosevelt. The details:

    According to evidence before the court, Marquet wrote to the President on January 9, demanding on behalf of “My Society,” without other specification, $2,000, “on account of services rendered during the Presidential election,” and promising further “immense help.”

    Receiving no reply to this demand, Marquet wrote again on March 9, threatening a scandal “which will cast dishonor upon the whole family unless the money is forthcoming at a fixed date.”

    In conclusion, the writer of the letter recommended the greatest discretion, adding: “The highest heads are no longer safe on their shoulders: look a Portugal!”

    Roosevelt, not one for discretion, gave the letters to the French Consul General, who alerted the police.


  11. Governor Charles Evans Hughes, who still has not been officially renominated to his office but almost certainly will be, delivered a speech before a huge crowd at the Chautauqua County Fair in Dunkirk, New York. Hughes’ speech focused on

    the right of the people to demand the enforcement of the laws on the statute books and the unquestioned duty of the Governor of the state to see that this demand was carried out.

Photo: Governor Hughes at the Saratoga County Fair

Tribune Thursday: wireless telephonic communication

  1. Remarkable news from the presidential campaign: Taft might actually campaign. Rather than remain in Cincinnati for September and October as planned, “it is by no means impossible” that Taft will “make a speaking tour of at least some of the doubtful states.”

  3. John P. Reid, “said to be a wealthy American,” committed suicide in England.

  5. The American fleet arrived to an enthusiastic welcome in Sydney.

  7. The De Forest Radio Telephone Company has signed a contract with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that allows it to install a “wireless apparatus” in the insurance company’s Madison avenue tower. The radio telephone company expects that New York will be in “wireless telephonic communication” with Paris – where a similar apparatus will be installed on the Eiffel Tower – within two years.

  9. The Lusitania set a new world record for crossing the Atlantic. The time of 4 days and 15 hours was 3 hours and 40 minutes faster than the previous record for an average speed of 25.05 knots.

  11. It is looking increasingly likely that Charles Evans Hughes will be renominated for Governor of New York.

Photo: “A street scene in Sydney and the Governor of New South Wales”

Tribune Thursday: slow news day

Sorry about the recent delay in posting. I’m going to be busy with some things for a while, so I might not be back until next week’s Tribune post. Here’s today’s:

  1. A canvass of New York Republicans indicates that Charles Evans Hughes is likely to be renominated for Governor.

  3. The police have caught Clementi Terasi, whom they believe to be a leader of the “Black Hand.”

  5. In an attempt to deter drivers from speeding over railroad crossings, the President of the Long Island Railroad announced that he is going to assign men to record the license plate numbers of reckless drivers at railroad crossings and then publicize the names of the owners in the newspapers.

  7. It appears that President Roosevelt will not try to intervene in the New York Gubernatorial nomination process and will leave it up to the delegates to the convention to decide.

  9. The United States and Great Britain have agreed to a “modus vivendi” concerning the Newfoundland fisheries for 1908 but are still working on a more formal settlement.

  11. Governor Hughes laid the cornerstone for a new YMCA building in Plattsburg.

Tribune Thursday: Greenland partially revealed

  1. Charles W. Morse is trying to end the receivership of the National Bank of North America, but there are a few minor obstacles to that plan:

    it is far from certain that he will be successful in accomplishing this object before he and Alfred H. Curtis, the former president of the bank, will be called to plead in the United States Circuit Court next October to indictments charging them with making false entries in their reports as officers of the bank to the Controller of Currency and with misapplication of the funds of the bank.

    1. The 200 passengers aboard the steamer Cincinnati managed to escape their sinking boat after it “struck a submerged spile in Cahutaugua Lake” not far from the landing pier.
    2. Service was delayed on the New Haven railroad after lightning struck a wire.
    3. A call for public financing, or just a fundraising pitch in the guise of one?:

      Believing that each voter should give two cents a month, or 25 cents a year, toward creating a national campaign fund, and estimating that there are 150,000 Democratic voters in Oklahoma, the Democracy of the state is asked by the leaders to give $150,000 toward the Bryan campaing, or 25 cents a year for the four years since the last campaign.

  2. Danish explorer Mylius Erichsen and two others on an expedition in Greenland, have died in a snowstorm. The article adds, hopefully:

    Otherwise the exploring party has been successful. Large tracts of unknown land have been mapped out and the entire northeastern coast of Greenland has been charted.

    Below, the paper runs an obituary for Erichsen.


  4. The so-called city of light, c’est-à-dire Paris, was without power for a couple of hours while electricians at a plant attempted to go on strike.

    1. The Equitable Life Assurance Society denied reports that they are planning to build a one thousand foot tall building at their current location, 120 Broadway, saying that they have “adopted no definite plans as yet for any new building.”
    2. Senator Norris Brown predicts that Taft will sweep Nebraska against Bryan.

  7. It’s not clear if Governor Charles Evans Hughes will be renominated, but maneuvering inside the Republican party suggests that a decision will come soon.

Illustration: map of Greenland.

Tribune Thursday: no pictures

I’m disappointed that there’s no front page photo today.

Top stories:

  1. Taft is in Hot Springs taking a rest from the campaign. So far he has played a round of golf, answered some correspondence, and denied a false rumor “to the effect that he had said, at some time and place unidentified, that ‘a dollar a day is enough for a workingman.'”
  2. Democratic National Committee Chairman Norman Mack is headed to Wall St. to ask Democrats to support the campaign, “using the argument that all good Democrats ought to get together now that Hearst is running a third ticket.” I think that’s a reference to this party, which was founded by Hearst a couple of years earlier, and which nominated two other people for the presidency in 1908. Presumably many in the party had, like Hearst himself, formerly supported – or run as – Democrats.
  3. A New Jersey Central train collided with a horse and carriage, leaving one dead and two seriously injured.
  4. A woman was killed and seven others, including her infant son, were seriously injured when they jumped from a streetcar on the Graham Avenue line in Brooklyn. Sadly, they may have been safer had they stayed on the car:

    A blow-out in the motor box fuse sent up a sheet of flame, and the passengers, most of them Italians, jumped from the fast moving car in fright. A number of passengers who kept their seats were uninjured, and the car was scarcely damaged.

  5. Some details of a deal between E. H. Harriman and the Gould railroads have been leaked.
  6. In what looks like a complicated financial story, some New York banks look ready to sell control of the Provident Savings Life Assurance Society to the Inter-Southern Life Insurance Company of Kentucky. Colorado officials and policy holders are somehow involved.