Enemies of the Republic

Lincoln Steffens

[Reprinted from McClures, VOL. XXIll, October, 1904 No.6]


EVERY time I attempted to trace to its sources the political corruption of a city ring, the stream of pollution branched off in the most unexpected directions and spread out in a network of veins and arteries so complex that hardly any part of the body politic seemed clear of it. It flowed out of the majority party into the minority; out of politics into vice and crime; out of business into politics, and back into business; from the boss, down through the police to the prostitute, and up through the practice of law, into the courts; and big throbbing arteries ran out through the country over the State to the Nation-and back. No wonder cities can't get municipal reform! No wonder Minneapolis, having cleaned out its police ring of vice grafters, now discovers boodle in the council ! No wonder Chicago, with council-reform and boodle beaten, finds itself a Minneapolis of police and administrative graft! No wonder Pittsburg, when it broke out of its local ring, fell, amazed, into a State ring! No wonder New York, with good government, votes itself back into Tammany Hall!

They are on the wrong track; we are, all of us, on the wrong track. You can't reform a city by reforming part of it. You can't reform a city alone. You can't reform politics alone. And as for corruption and the understanding thereof, we cannot run 'round and 'round in municipal rings and understand ring corruption; it isn't a ring thing. We cannot remain in one city, or ten, and comprehend municipal corruption; it isn't a local thing. We cannot " stick to a party," and follow party corruption; it isn't a partizan thing. And I have found that I cannot confine myself to politics and grasp all the ramifications of political corruption; it isn't political corruption. It's corruption. The corruption of our American politics is our American corruption, political, but financial and industrial too. Miss Tarbell is showing it in the trust, Mr. Baker in the labor union, and my gropings into the misgovernment of cities have drawn me everywhere, but, always, always out of politics into business, and out of the cities into the state. Business started the corruption of politics in Pittsburg; upholds it in Philadelphia; boomed with it in Chicago and withered with its reform; and in New York, business financed the return of Tammany Hall. Here, then, is; our guide out of the labyrinth. Not the political ring, but big business,-that is! the crux of the situation. Our political corruption is a system, a regularly established custom of the country, by which our political leaders are hired, by bribery by the license to loot, and by quiet moral # support, to conduct the government of city, state, and nation, not for the common good, but for the special interests of private business. Not the politician, then, not the bribe-taker, but the bribe-giver, the man we are so proud of, our successful business man-he is the source and the sustenance of our bad government. The captain of industry is the man to catch. His is the trail to follow.

We have struck that trail before. Whenever we followed the successful politician his tracks led us into it, but also they led us out of the cities-from Pittsburg to the State Legislature at Harrisburg; from Philadelphia, through Pennsylvania, to the National Legislature at Washington. To go on was to go into state and national politics and I was after the political corruption of the city ring then. Now I know that these are all one. The trail of the political leader and the trail of the commercial leader are parallels which mark the plain, main road that leads off the dead level of the cities, up through the States into the United States, out of the political ring. into the System, the living System of our actual government. The highway of corruption is the " road to success."

Almost any State would start us right, but Missouri is the most promising. Joseph W. Folk, the Circuit Attorney of St. Louis, has not only laid wide open the road out there; he knows it is the way of a system. He didn't at first. He, too, thought he was fighting political corruption, and that the whole of it was the St. Louis ring. But he got the ring. Mr. Folk has convicted the boss and members of the " boodle combine" that was selling out his city; yet the ring does not break. Why ? Because back of the boodlers stand the big business men who are buying the city up. But Folk got the business men too: Charles H. Turner, president of the Suburban Railway Company, president of the Commonwealth Trust Company; Philip Stock, secretary of the St. Louis Brewery Association; Ellis Wainwright, the millionaire brewer; George J. Kobusch, president of the St. Louis Car Company; Robert N. Snyder, banker and promoter, of Kansas City and New York; John Scullen, ex-president of street railways, a director then and now of steam railways, a director then and now of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. These are not " low-down politicians"; they are "respectable business men." Having discovered early that boodlers flew in pairs; that wherever there was a bribe-taker, there also was a bribe-giver, Folk hunted them in pairs. And in pairs he brought them down. And still the ring does not break. What is the matter?

That's what's the matter. "That man Folk" is attacking the System. If he had confined his chase to that unprotected bird, the petty boodler, all might have been well. Indeed there was a time, just before the first trial of the boss, Col. Ed. Butler, when the ring was in a panic and everybody ran. If he had stayed his hand then, Folk could have been Governor of Missouri, the leader of his party, and a very rich man. But he would not stop. These were not the things he was after. At that moment he was after Boss Butler; and he got him.

" And the conviction of Butler," he said recently, "is the point where we passed out of the ring into the System."

Butler was not only the boss of the ring; he was the tool of the System. He was the man through whom the St. Louis business man did business with the combine and Folk hadn't caught all the business men involved. The first time I met him, early in his work, he was puzzled by the opposition or silence of officials and citizens, who, he thought, should have been on his side. The next time I saw him this mystery was clearing. One by one those people were turning up in this deal or 'way back of that one. He could not reach them; he can never reach them all, but there they were, and they, their relatives, their friends, their lawyers, their business and social associates- nobody can realize," says Mr. Folk, "the infinite ramifications of this thing"-they, and "this thing," the I' vested interest" of St. Louis, are the St. Louis System.

Corruption was saved, not ended, by the very thoroughness of Mr. Folk. The ring was rallied, not smashed. by his conviction of its boss. The boodlers who had wanted to turn state's evidence " stood pat." Why ? They had an assurance, they said, that " not one of them would go to the pen." Who made this promise ? Butler. Ed. Butler, himself sentenced to three years in the penitentiary, gave this explicit assurance, and he added (this was last summer) that " the courts will reverse all Folk's cases, and, when Folk's term expires, we will all get off, and the fellows that have peached will go to jail." Maybe Butler lied, some of the politicians said that it would be " bad politics" to reverse "all Folk's cases," and that some, possibly Butler's own, would have to be affirmed. Butler, however, was not afraid, and, sure enough, in December his case was reversed. All the boodle cases so far have been reversed. Not a boodler is in jail to-day (January 22d), and the same court gave a ruling which made it necessary for Folk to reindict and retry half a dozen of his cases. The boodlers are a power in politics. Butler sits in the councils of the Democratic party. He sat there with the business men and new, young leaders who drew up the last platform, which made no mention of boodle, and he assisted in the naming of the tickets. After the last election, Butler was able to reorganize the new House of Delegates, with his man for Speaker, and the superintendent of his garbage plant (in the interest of which he offered the bribe for which he was convicted) for chairman of the Sanitary Committee. But the nominations he had helped to make were not only those of aldermen, but of the candidates for the vacancies on the bench which was to try boodle cases, and also for that court which was to hear these cases, and his own, on appeal ! And the presiding justice of this. the criminal branch of the Supreme Court of Missouri, went upon the stump last fall and declared that a man who thought as Mr. Folk thought, and did as Mr. Folk did, had better leave the State !

Appalling? It did not appall Mr. Folk. He realized then that it was a System, not the ring, that he was fighting, and he went after that. There was another way into it. One Charles Kratz, the head of the council combine, did business, like Butler, with and for business men. Kratz fled to Mexico, with means supplied by his business backers, but Mr. Folk used the good offices of the President and the Secretary of State to get the man back. And he succeeded; he had Kratz brought back. The hope was that Kratz would confess and deliver up his principals. The other boodlers, however, received Kratz with a champagne dinner and he also stood pat. But even if Kratz should surrender, and even if Folk thus were to smash the Butler ring and catch not five or six, but fifty, of the captains of industry behind it-still, I believe, the System would stand. Why ? Because " this thing" is more than men, and bigger than St. Louis.

All the while Mr. Folk was probing the city he kept an eye on the state. That was out of his jurisdiction, but it affected his work. Some of the silent opposition he encountered came from state officials and the court which was inspiring so much faith in boodlers was a state court. These officials were not implicated in his exposures, and these judges were honest men, but the State Legislature, at Jefferson City, sent forth significant rumors, and about these Folk gossiped with the St. Louis boodlers, who explained that corruption was an ancient custom of the state. Helpless, but informed, Folk watched and waited, till at last his chance came.

One day in February, 1903, when a bill in which the Speaker of the House was interested failed of passage, that officer left his chair in anger saying, 44 There is boodle in this." The House was disturbed. Folk's work had opened the public mind to suspicions and the newspapers were alert. Investigations were ordered, one by the House Committee, which found nothing; another by a Jefferson City Grand Jury, which resulted in a statement by Circuit Attorney R. P. Stone that it was all " hot air " and that, anyhow, he had no ambition "to become a second Folk." (Stone was indicted himself afterward.) Then the Governor directed Attorney-General E. C. Crow to take charge and Crow took charge. Picking Lieutenant-Governor Lee for a weakling, he concentrated on him. Lee was telling things, bit by bit, but he kept denying them, and the jury was uneasy and reluctant. The outcome of the inquiry was in doubt in Jefferson City, when Mr. Folk heard that "floating all around town" was a lot of thousand-dollar bribe bills which were distributed at the Laclede Hotel. The Laclede Hotel is in St. Louis, and St. Louis is Folk's bailiwick. Folk jumped in. He traced the bills, and, in a jiffy, he had the whole inside story. He gave out an interview directed at Lieutenant-Governor Lee, who saw it; saw, he said, "that Folk had him," and ran to Attorney-General Crow to confess. Changing his mind, he fled the State, but Folk gave out another interview that brought him back. Meeting and agreeing on a course, Folk and Crow worked together. They got Lee's confession in full, and his resignation of the Lieutenant-Governorship; and with all this for a lever, they opened the mouths of other legislators. Indictments followed, and trials; Crow took all the evidence and carried on with ability the dull slow trials which we need not follow.

The lid was off Missouri. The stone Mr. Folk had had so long to leave unturned, was lifted. What was under it? Squirming in the light and writhing off into their dark holes, were state senators and state officers, state committee-men, and party leaders, but also there were the Western Union Telegraph Company, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the St. Louis and San Francisco, the Iron Mountain and Southern, the Wabash; Mr. Folk's old friend, the St. Louis Transit Company; the breweries, the stock yards, the telephone companies; business men of St. Louis, St. Joseph, and Kansas City-the big business of the whole State. There they were, the "contemptible bribe-taker" and the very--- respectable" bribe-giver, all doing business together. So they still traveled in pairs; and the highway still lay between the deadly parallels-business and politics. The System was indeed bigger than St. Louis; it was the System of Missouri.

What, then, is the system of Missouri ? The outlines of it can be traced through the "confessions of state senators which," Folk's grand jury said, "appall and astound us as citizens of this state. Our investigations," they added, " have gone back twelve years and during that time the evidence shows that corruption has been the usual and accepted thing in state legislation, and that, too, without interference or hindrance. ... We have beheld with shame and humiliation the violation of the sacred trust reposed by the people in their public servants."

Just as in the city, the System in the state is corruption settled into a "custom of the country"; betrayal of trust established as the form of government. The people elect, to govern for them, representatives who are to care for the common interest of all. But the confessing Senators confessed that they were paid by a lobby to serve special interests. Naturally enough, the jurors, good citizens, were incensed especially at the public servants "who sold them out." But who did the buying ? Who are the lobby ? The confessions name Col. William H. Phelps, John J. Carroll, and others, lawyers and citizens of standing at the bar and in the state, and they were the agents of the commanding business enterprises of the state. Moreover, they were aggressive corruptionists. You hear business men say that they are blackmailed, that the politicians are corrupt, and that the " better people" bave to pay.

Colonel Phelps, an officer of the Missouri Pacific, and the lobbyist of the Gould interests, has said that he had to exercise great cunning to keep the Legislature corrupt. New legislators often bothered him, especially " honest men," Senators who would not take money. Sometimes he "got" them with passes, which was cheap, but not sure, so he had been compelled sometimes actually to "rape " some men, as he did Senator Fred Busche, of St. Louis.

Busche is himself a business man, a wellto-do pie-baker, and he went to Jefferson City full of high purpose and patriotic sentiment, he said. Among the measures up for passage was a bill to require all railways to keep a flagman at all crossings. It was a " strike" bill. Phelps himself had had it introduced, to prove his usefulness in killing it, perhaps, or to raise money for himself and his pals. (The corrupt corporations are often cheated by their corrupt agents.) At any rate, Phelps asked Busche to vote against the bill, and Busche did so. A day or two later Phelps came up to Busche, thrust a hundred dollar bill into his pocket, then hurried away and remained out of sight till Busche had become reconciled to the money. "After that," Busche added, "Phelps had me." Busche accepted a regular salary of $500 a session from the railroad lobbyist, and other bribes: $500 on the St. Louis transit bill, $500 on an excise bill, etc. He estimated that he had made corruptly some $15,000 during his twelve years.

Phelps put Busche into the "Senate Combine," which is just such a nonpartizan group of a controlling majority as that which Colonel Butler wielded in the municipal legislature councils of St. Louis. Butler, however, was a boss; Phelps is not. There is no boss of Missouri as there is of New York, Pennsylvania, and other more advanced states. Phelps is the king of the lobby, and the lobby rules by force of corruption. The lobbyists, representing different special business interests, bought among them a majority of the legislators, organized the Senate, ran dominant committees, and thus controlled legislation. You could do business with anv lobbyist, and have the service, usually, of all, or you could deal with a member of the combine. Indeed, the "combine" was free to drum up trade when times were dull and Mr. Folk quotes a telegram from a member sent on such a mission to St. Louis: "River rising fast," it said." Driftwood coming down. Be there to-morrow."

"Driftwood" was boodle bills for business men, and some of it was blackmail but it was all irregular. The regular business was more businesslike. The "combine" was only the chief instrument of the lobby and was made up of dishonest legislators. The lobby controlled also the honest men. For these belonged to their party. The corporations and big businesses contribute to all campaign funds, and this is the first step toward corruption everywhere. It is wholesale bribery, and it buys the honest legislator. He may want to vote against the s; combine," but the lobby serves the party as well as business, and the "State Committee " has to < stand in." That is the way the Democratic party got control of the police and election machinery of the cities and forced those normally Republican communities into the Democratic line. The lobby delivered the dishonest votes, and, in return for such services and for the campaign contributions, the State Committee of the dominant Democratic party has to deliver the honest votes, and often, too, the Governor of the State. And as for the minority party, the Republicans in Missouri are like the minority everywhere: just as corrupt and more hungry than the majority. Disrupted by quarrels over the Federal patronage, the Republican legislators follow the Democrats for more, for dribblets of graft, and the first Senator convicted by Crow was a Republican.

There is nothing partizan about graft. Only the people are loyal to party. The " hated" trusts, all big grafters, go with the majority. In Democratic Missouri, the Democracy is the party of "capital." The Democratic political leaders, crying down the trusts, corner the voters like wheat, form a political trust, and sell out the sovereignty of the people to the corporation lobby. And the lobby runs the State, not only in the interest of its principals, but against the interest of the people. Once, when an election bill was up -- the bill to turn over the cities to the Democrats -- citizens of Kansas City, Democrats among them, had to hire a lobbyist to fight it, and when this lobbyist found that the interest of his corporations required the passage of the bill, he sent back his fee with an explanation. And this story was told me as an example of the honesty of that lobbyist ! Lieutenant-Governor Lee in his confession gave another such example. Public opinion forced out of committee, and was driving through the Senate, a bill to put a just tax on the franchises of public service corporations. The lobby dared not stop it. But Colonel Phelps took one day " his accustomed place" behind a curtain back of the Lieutenant-Governor's chair, and he wrote out amendment after amendment, passed them to Senator Frank Farris, who introduced them, and the lobby put them through, so that the bill passed, "smothered to death."

When Lieutenant-Governor Lee drew aside that curtain he revealed the real head of the government of Missouri. I mean this literally. I mean that this System I have been describing is a form of government; it is the government. We must not be confused by constitutions and charters. The constitution of Missouri describes a Governor and his duties, a legislature and the powers lodged in a Senate and a House of Representatives, etc., etc. This is the paper government. In Missouri this paper government has been superseded by an actual government, and this government is:-a lobby, with a combine of legislators, the Democratic State Committee, and state leaders and city bosses for agents. One bribe, two bribes, a hundred bribes might not be so bad, but what we have seen here is a System of bribery, corruption installed as the motive, the purpose, the spirit of a state government. A revolution has happened. Bribes, not bullets, were spent in it, and the fighting was slow and quiet, but victory seemed sure; the bribe-takers were betraying the government of the people to an oligarchy of bribe-givers, when Joseph Folk realized the truth.

"Bribery," he declared, "is treason, and a boodler is a traitor."

"Bosh ! " cried the lawyers. " Poppycock," the cynics sneered, and the courts rule out the cases. " Bribery," said Judge Priest, at the trial of the banker, Snyder, "is, at the most, a conventional crime." "Corruption is an occasional offense," the ring orators proclaim, but they answer themselves, for they say also, "corruption is not a vice only of Missouri, it is everywhere. "

"It is everywhere," Folk answers, and because he has realized that, because he realized that boodling is the custom and that the " occasional " boodler who sells his vote, is selling the state and altering the very form of our government, he has declared boodle to be a political issue. And because the people do not see it so, and because he saw that no matter how many individual boodlers he might catch, he, the Circuit Attorney of St. Louis, could not stop-boodling even in St. Louis, Mr. Folk announced himself a candidate for Governor and is now appealing his case to the people, who alone can stop it. His party shrieked and raged, but because it is his party, because he thinks his party is the party of the people, and because his party is the responsible, the boodle, party in his state, he made the issue first in his own party. He has asked his people to take back the control of it and clean it up.

Thus, at last, is raised in St. Louis and Missouri the plain, great question: Do the people rule ? Will they, can they rule ? And the answer of Missouri will be national, almost racial in importance. Both the Democracy and the democracy are being put to the test out there.

But Missouri cannot decide alone. "Corruption is everywhere." The highway of corruption which Folk has taken as the road to political reform, goes far beyond Missouri. When he and Attorney-General Crow lifted the lid off Missouri, they disturbed the lid over the United States, and they saw wiggling among their domestic industries and state officials, three ' s foreign trusts "-the American Sugar Refining Company, the American Book Company, and the Royal Baking Powder Company. These are national concerns; they operate all over the United States; and they are purely commercial enterprises with probably purely commercial methods. What they do, therefore, is business pure and simple; their way will be the way of business. But off behind them slunk a United States Senator, the Honorable William J. Stone. He was on the same road. So they still run in pairs, and the road to success still lies between the two parallels, and it leads straight to Washington, where, in political infinity, as it were, in that chamber of the bosses, the United States Senate, the parallels seem to meet. Are the corrupt customs of Missouri the custom of the country ? Are the methods of its business the method of Business? Isn't the System of that State the System of the United States ? Let us see.

Among the letters of the confessed boodler, Lieutenant-Governor Lee, to his friend Daniel J. Kelly, are many references to his ambition to be Governor of the State. When Folk decided to run for that office, the politicians were shocked at his "ambition"; he had not served the party, only the people. But Lee, whom they knew to be a boodler, was not regarded as presumptuous. He was a " possibility." And, in his first letter on the subject to Kelly, he asks how he can sell himself out in advance to two trusts. {' Of course you can help me get a campaign fund together," he says, " and I will be grateful to you. . . . How would you tackle Sugar-Tobacco if you were me in the campaign-fund matter?" Kelly must have advised Lee to write direct, for the next letter is from H. O. Havemeyer, expressing "my hopes that your political aspirations will be realized," and adding suggestively, "If I can be of any service I presume your representative will appear. (Signed) H. O. Havemeyer." Lee wanted Kelly to " appear," and there was some correspondence over a proposition to have the contribution made in the form of advertisements in Lee's two trade journals. But Lee ;; needed help badly, as the country papers must be taken care of," so he asks Kelly " to so present the case to Mr. H. that he will do some business with the papers and help me out personally besides. Do your best, old man," he pleads, " and ask Mr. H. to do his best. A lift in time is always the best." And Mr. H. did his best. Lee had arranged that Kelly was to see Havemeyer on both personal and business accounts, but the" personal" came by mail, and Lee wires Kelly to "drop personal matter and confine to advertising. Personal arranged by mail." And then we have this note of explanation to $ Friend Kelly":

"The party sent me $1,000 personally by mail. If you do anything now it will be on the advertising basis. Truly and heartily. Lee."

Here we have a captain of industry taking a " little flyer" in a prospective governor of a state. Mr. Havemeyer probably despises Lee, but Mr. Havemeyer himself is not ashamed. Business men will understand that this is business. It may be bad in politics, but such an investment is " good business." And there is my point ready made: This " bad" politics of ours is "4 good " business.

A longer trail is that of William Ziegler; his business, the Royal Baking Powder Company; and the company's agent, Daniel J. Kelly. In Missouri they said Crow was " after " United States Senator Stone, but " they travel in pairs," so he had to begin with the business men, as Folk did. He indicted first Kelly, then Ziegler, for bribery. Lee, whose confession caused the indictment of Kelly, wired this warning: $^ D. J. Kelly: Your health being poor brief recreation trip if taken would be greatly beneficial. James Sargent." Kelly took the recreation trip to Canada, and Ziegler, in New York, resisted extradition to Missouri for trial. The prospect was of a long lawyers' fight, the result of which need not be anticipated here. Our interest is in the business methods of this great commercial concern, the Royal Baking Powder " trust," and the secrets of the success of this captain of the baking-powder industry. And this, mind you, as a keyto the understanding of" politics."

We have been getting into business by following politics. Now, for a change, we will follow a strictly business career and see that the accepted methods of business are the despised methods of politics, and that just as the trail of the successful politician leads us into business, so the trail of the successful business mart leads us into politics.

Ziegler's "success story" is that of the typical poor boy who began with nothing, and carved out a fortune of many, many millions. He was not handicapped with a college education and ethical theories. He went straight into business, as a drugclerk, and he learned his morals from business. And he is a " good business man." This is no sneer. He told me the story of his life one nigl-:t, not all, of course, for he knew what the purpose of My article was to be; but he told me enough so that I could see that if the storv were set down-the daring enter prise, the patient study of details, and the work, the work, the terrible, killing work-if this all were related, as well as "he things a business man has to do," then, I say, the story of William Ziegler, might do him, on the whole, honor as well as dishonor. But this, the inspiring side, of such stories, has been told again and again, and it does not give "4 our boys " all the secrets of success, and it does not explain the state either of our business or of our politics. I have no malice against Mr. Ziegler; I have a kind of liking for him, but so have I a liking for a lot of those kind, good fellows, the low-down politicians who sell us out to the Zieglers. They, too, are human, 'so much more human than many a 4 ' better man." How often they have helped me to get the truth ! But they do sell us out, and the 44 good business men" do buy us out. So William Ziegler, who also helped me, he, to me here, is only a type.

Ziegler went into the baking-powder business way back in 1868 with the Hoaglands, a firm of druggists at Fort Wayne, Indiana. The young man mastered the business, technically as a pharmacist, commercially as a salesman. He fought for his share in the profit; he left them and established a competitive business to force his point, and in 1873 they let him in. So you see, Young Man, it isn't alone sobriety, industry, and honesty that make success, but battle, too. Ziegler organized the Royal Baking Powder Company in 1873, with himself as treasurer.

The business grew for three or four years, when it was discovered that alum and soda made a stronger leaven, and cheaper. Worse still, alum was plentiful. Anybody could go into its manufacture, and many did. The Royal, to control the cream of tartar industry, had contracted to take from European countries immense quantities of argol, the wine-lees from which cream of tartar is made. They had to go on making the more expensive baking-powder or break a contract. That would be "bad business."

So Ziegler was for war. His plan was to " fight alum." His associates, less daring than he, objected, but Ziegler won them over, and thus was begun the "Alum War," famous in chemistry, journalism, and legislation. Outsiders knew little about it, but they can find the spoils of that Turner, the State's witness in the boodle cases, was still president of his trust company. When I returned to the city, some honest business men told me triumphantly that Turner had had to resign.

" Is John Scullen still a director of the World's Fair?" I asked.

He was, they said. "Then why has Turner been punished ? " I inquired. "Was it because he boodled, or because he was a traitor to the System and peached ?"

"Because he peached, I guess," was the answer, and there lies the bitter truth. There is no public opinion to punish the business boodler, and that is why Joseph W. Folk had to go into politics and run for Governor out in the State with "boodle" for the sole issue. He is laying down as a political platform the doctrine of the new patriotism, that corruption is treason; that the man who, elected to maintain the institutions of a government by the people, sells them out, is a traitor; whether he be a constable, a legislator, a judge, or a boss, his act is not alone bribery, but treason. His appeal is to the politician, the people, and the business man, all three, and there is hope in all three. The politician is not without patriotic sentiment: Ed. Butler does not mean harm to his country; he is only trying to make money at his business. And as for the business man--

One night, at a banquet of politicians, I was seated beside a man who had grown rich by unswerving loyalty to a corrupt ring-" the party organization," he would have called it-which had done more permanent harm to his country than a European army could do in two wars. He was not a politician, but a business man; not a boodler, but the backer of boodlers, and his conversation was a defense of " poor human nature," till the orchestra struck up a patriotic air. That moved him deeply.

"Isn't it beautiful ! " he exclaimed; and when the boodlers joined in the chorus, he murmured, "Beautiful, beautiful," then leaned over and with tears in his eyes he said:

"Ah, but the tune for me, the song I love, is s My Country 'tis of Thee.' "

I believe this man thinks he is patriotic. I believe H. O. Havemeyer thinks his success is success, not one kind of success, but success. not alone his, but public " pros perity." And William Ziegler, who is spending millions to plant the Am,erican flag first at the North Pole, I am sure he regards himself as a peculiarly patriotic American-and he is. They all are, according to their light, honorable men and patriotic citizens. They simply do not know what patriotism is. They know what treason is in war; it is going over to the enemy, like Benedict Arnold, and fighting in the open against your country. In peace and in secret to seize, not forts but cities and states, and destroy, not buildings and men but the fundamental institutions of your country and the saving character of American manhood-that is not treason. That is politics, and politics is business, and business, you know, is business.

" Do you really call it wrong to buy a switch? " asked a St. Louis business man. "Even if it is necessary to your business ? "

"Say," said a politician, " if a rich mogul comes along and shakes his swag in your face and asks for a switch that he has a right to get, because he needs it in his business, wouldn't you grab off a piece? On the level, now, wouldn't you ?"

They answer each other, these two, and each can judge the other, but neither can see himself as he is or the enormity of his crime. And " that man Folk," rising out of the wrecked machinery o f justice in Missouri, may lead his people to see that the corruption of their government is not merely corruption, but a revolutionary process making for a new form of government; and the people of Missouri, rising out of the wrecked machinery of the government of Missouri, may teach their politicians a lesson in liberty and honor. But that is not enough. That will reach neither the source nor the head of the evil. Some power greater than Folk, greater than that of the people of Missouri, must rise to bring home to the captain of industry the truth: That business, important as it is, is not sacred; that not everything that pays is right; that, if bribery is treason, if the corrupt politician is a traitor, then the corrupting business man is an enemy of the republic. No matter how many bonds he may float in war, or how much he may give for charity and education, if he corrupt the sources of law and of justice, his business is not success but--treason and a people's failure.