The Contributors' Column
IF one thing more than another contributes to a successful relationship between employers and employed, it is frankness. A woman in Wall Street is no longer an anomaly, and in relating her trial and triumph there One of them has endeavored to show three things: the experiences that any woman of mature age ‘without business training would have on entering a huge modern business house; some of the things I did or left undone, if I read my own experience correctly, that helped me to succeed, as far as I did; and the executive attitude toward employees.’ Such a forthright record of ‘ inside’ office work must be read by every business man and his wife. ¶It is not given to many of us to ride as a knight-errant through Turkey in charge of a fair companion and armed only with a jackknife. Next to the real thing is the pleasure of reading about it. Henry R. Murphy’s narrative is told in such graphic detail and with such good-humor as must recruit the attention of all Atlantic adventurers. Mr. Murphy spent four years in the Near East as a child-welfare worker, and was instrumental in getting orphans and refugees out of the country through the port of Mersina at the time of the general exodus following the Smyrna disaster. A. Vibert Douglas is a Demonstrator in the Physics Department of McGill University. With surprising facility Mr. Douglas has demonstrated to us the rather frightening realization of how small the world truly is. ¶In his present story Walter de la Mare makes good his title of the most fanciful man in England. Grace Latimer Wright, a worker in hand-decorated textiles, makes her debut in the Atlantic.
This paper of Leo Crane, a retiring Indian Agent, on the Hopi dancers, is especially timely in a month when all knowing and accessible travelers are making ready to attend the Snake Ceremony on the Walpi plaza. This narrative, and those which have previously appeared in the June and July issues, are to form chapters of the book by Mr. Crane, entitled Indians of the Enchanted Desert, to appear August 10, an Atlantic Monthly Press publication, published by Little, Brown and Company. Alfred North Whitehead is one of two most eminent philosophers and mathematicians. Fellow and late Senior Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge, Dr. Whitehead is now Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. ¶An Atlantic audience will remember Lucy Furman as the author of The Quare Women, that group of stories appearing in 1922 which pictured authentically those mountaineers whom President Frost of Berea College has so aptly called ‘our contemporary ancestors.’ Readers of Miss Furman’s sequel will like to know the foundation beneath her account.
In the heart of the Kentucky mountains, that romantic and little-known region long regarded as the home of feuds and moonshine, the first rural social settlement in America was begun in the summer of 1899 under the auspices of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs of Kentucky.
Half a dozen young women from the more prosperous sections of the state, under the leadership of Miss May Stone and Miss Katharine Pettit, went up into the mountains, two and three days’ journey from a railroad, and, pitching their tents, spent three successive summers holding singing, sewing, cooking, and kindergarten classes, giving entertainments for people of all ages, visiting homes — establishing friendly relations with the men, women, and children of three counties.
The second summer — that of 1900 — was spent at the small county-seat of Knott County, Hindman, at the Forks of Troublesome Creek; and here, at the earnest solicitation of the people, accompanied by offers of land and of timber for building, a combined social settlement and industrial and academic school was permanently established in 1902 — the pioneer of its kind in the Southern mountains.
Beginning in a small way, this work has, in twenty years, grown to large proportions and exerted a deep influence upon the life of half a dozen mountain counties.
The diary of Richard Frederick Fuller, a young brother of the redoubtable Margaret, shows us Concord at the height of its season, when a boy might take supper with Emerson, study with Elizabeth Hoar, and walk the woods with Thoreau. Thomas E. Tallmadge, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, writes us on the acceptance of his essay: —
Years ago I was a next-door neighbor of Frances Willard. As a youth I remember her telling my mother that next to routing ‘Demon Rum ‘ her greatest ambition was to have an article accepted by the Atlantic Monthly. She succeeded in the first, but in the more difficult enterprise she had to acknowledge defeat!
To have succeeded, therefore, where our greatest citizen (I live in Evanston) failed, is indeed an honor.
In her happy rôle as an Atlantic entertainer, Margaret Prescott Montague will plant the roots of her story deep in the mind of the reader. Author of many short stories, Miss Montague will long be remembered for her ‘England to America,’ which appeared in the Atlantic for September 1919. J. Horace McFarland is Chairman of the Committee on Horticultural Quarantine, which was formed following a national convention held June 15, 1920, in opposition to the enforcement of Quarantine 37. Joseph Auslander, a poet who has occasionally graced our pages, is a critic on the literary staff of the New York World.Carol Wight has been in business, gone to sea, worked as a farmer and as a practical carpenter with his union card; and now teaches Latin by virtue of a doctorate in the classics from Johns Hopkins University.
Vincent Sheean is one of three correspondents who have gone into the Riff since the Melilla disaster. Dispatched last autumn by a syndicate of prominent newspapers, Mr. Sheean reached Morocco in December and there traveled from the French zone at Oudjda through the Riff, Rhomarra, and Djebala, to Tangier. Three quarters of his trip through Abd el-Krim’s country has never been made before by a European. Evans Lewin, author and one of the foremost specialists on Colonial affairs, has been librarian of the Royal Colonial Institute since 1910. Denis Gwynn, formerly editor of the Freeman’s Journal of Dublin, and now a leader-writer on the Westminster Gazette, resided in France from 1921 to 1923. Mr. Gwynn is the author of a book on the Catholic Reaction in France, which was published in New York last autumn.
Mr. Gay would seem to have joined Joshua in ordering the elements.
June 15, 1925
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
In my article about Peggy, in the current Atlantic, I high-handedly moved the Sheepscot River ten miles to the westward, put Bath and Woolwich opposite each other on its banks, and then ran a ferry over it between them. I can’t tell why I did this, and can only suppose that the bridge that crosses the Sheepscot at Wiscasset became confused for a moment in my mind with the ferry that crosses the Kennebec at Bath. I apologize to all those pained but patient lovers of Maine who have written me and to any others who may have forborne to write. I meant no slight to the ‘noble Kennebec.’
There is one advantage in committing an error like this. It proves that somebody must have read the essay.
Very truly yours,
R. M. GAY
Judge-made law or public opinion?
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
In ‘ The Second Forgotten Man’ Mr. Windolph announces the astounding proposition that court decisions and statutes which are ‘ahead of public opinion’ are not law at all. That laws ‘are first born and afterward declared by judges and legislators.’ Though highly interesting, this thesis is full of potential dangers which ought not to go unnoticed. Mr. Windolph finds the source of this preëxisting right and law in public opinion — what J. J. Rousseau would have called the ‘general will’ of the people; and this general will is expressed, not in declarations of their political and juristic beliefs and ideals, but in their customs. Statutes and decisions must be in accord with the mores or else lose their character as law.
Just what does Mr. Windolph mean by saying that under these conditions a statute is not law? In everyday life certain practical consequences do or do not flow from the operation of a rule which is not in accord with the ‘general will’ or the popular mores.
We are told that such laws are not within ‘the proper limits of the police power.’ Now the term ‘police power’ as commonly understood has reference to the constitutional basis of those statutes which, though they work a deprivation of liberty or property, are so necessary for the ‘preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or morals’ that they are held not to amount to a denial of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Hence, in saying that a statute not in accord with existing popular mores is outside the limits of the police power, such law is asserted to violate the due-process clause. Should the court adopt the learned author’s view only one question would be involved in due-process cases before it — the question of whether a given law was in accord with ‘what the current practice, whether intrinsically good or bad, actually is.’ Nine Justices in Washington are to know the exact state of public opinion in every one of our forty-eight sovereign Commonwealths. Having unerringly determined that the general will of the people of Kansas has been definitely formulated on the subject of Prohibition, they are to declare that a state liquor law there enacted is not violative of the Fourteenth Amendment. Realizing that as yet the public opinion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on that question is in a state of flux, they are to denounce its Prohibition statute as a denial of due process. Surely such a conception of the police power would require an omniscient Supreme Court.
But I do not think that my learned brother really intended to use the police power in such a sense. It does appear that he believes that juries ought not to follow statutes which are in opposition to public opinion. But if each jury is to be at liberty to disregard the instructions of the court because they consider the rule of law declared in those instructions to be opposed to the customs of the people, such prediction would be impossible, since each jury would have its own idea of public opinion. We should have government by the whim of juries.
When we are told that the statement that good citizens ought to obey the law is ‘contrary to the whole weight of our political traditions,’ we pass from the sphere of law into that of subjective ethics. Law is not much concerned with the question whether or not the doing of act X by A is right or wrong, but it seeks only to learn what societal consequences in the form of action by the officers and agencies of the state will follow upon the doing of that act. But that a man may refuse to obey a law merely because he thinks it is not in accord with current practice is strange morals indeed. How startling would such a notion seem to those old colonial ancestors of ours of whom Mr. Windolph is so justly proud.
These are, it is submitted, the dangers of the author’s thesis. If he means only to assert with Dean Pound that there ought to be a close relation between the law and the mores, all can agree with its wisdom. But if he means that an inconsistency between the statutory or judge-made law and public opinion should affect the form and extent of societal action under the rule — to assert not a practical legislative maxim but a jural principle — a warning must be sounded against the latent perils implicit in his theory.
BEN ELY, JR.
Wanted: a home for Rasselas. We believe it possible that it was written in Staple Inn, but who can be sure?
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
I was very much interested in A. Edward Newton’s article, ‘Ghosts of Gough Square,’ in the June Atlantic. In fact I am always interested in Mr. Newton’s Atlantic articles. Now, I thought I had seen the room where Johnson wrote Rasselas, but it was not in Gough Square, but in Staple Inn.
Once, like Hawthorne, I went astray in Holborn and stumbled upon Staple Inn. I passed through an archway into a little court. At the right a set of chambers, beyond the Hall — ‘a little Hall with a little lantern in its roof,’ Dickens called it. In room No. 2 Court the author of Staple Inn and Its Story (Worsford) claims the last part, if not the whole, of Rasselas was written. Johnson wrote Miss Porter, March 23, 1759, that he had moved to Staple Inn and would soon publish a little story. And Boswell, as you know, said that Johnson told Sir Joshua Reynolds he composed it during the evenings of one week and sent it to the press in portions as written. Has Fleet Street a better claim?
A. L. FELLOWS
Whatever Dr. Grenfell has to say is always worth listening to.
PEKING UNION MEDICAL COLLEGE
PEKING, April 25
DEAR MR. EDITOR, -
As a reader of the Atlantic Monthly, and as one who believes that its readers take it seriously, I want to ask you to publish this letter in answer to an anonymous article which appeared in your March number.
The world is small nowadays, and things written in Boston are the next week being read in China, so you can imagine our amazement to find an unjust, abusive, anonymous attack made in your highly respectable magazine on a man of such prominence to-day in a friendly country as Marshal Feng Yu-hsiang. The article has probably been brought to his notice long ago, and naturally will not help him to have any higher opinion of Americans.
Moreover, your anonymous contributor sneers at the missionaries in this country as if they were unable to form a worth-while opinion, though they speak the language, and have lived most of their lives among the Chinese. As I have just been visiting the cities along the Yangtze River as far as Yale-in-China at Changsha, and various inland places, ending with a fortnight at the Peking Union Medical College, the Rockefeller Research Hospital in this city, I cannot help feeling that those sneers also help to cheapen the Atlantic Monthly. Whether it is the Legation or the business or the tourist section of the community that furnishes your anonymous correspondent with his information, I can only say that in my judgment no abler set of men and women exist in China, or indeed anywhere, than those working in these missionary undertakings.
There must be many better qualified than I to give America a more just opinion of the unique personality of Marshal Feng — a man who has already done wonderful things for his country, and who is held in high esteem by those men who see most of him, such as Robert Gailey, late captain of the Princeton football team, and now constantly in touch with General Feng Yu-hsiang in connection with the work of the Y. M. C. A.
I went up to Kalgan to visit the Marshal and see for myself some little of the work he is doing. He was gracious enough to take me around personally to see his undertakings, so that I might form my own judgments. I also went down to Paotingfu, where the Marshal was born, and where he has been known from his childhood, and where surgeons of the calibre of Dr. Lewis and Dr. Wiley have every confidence in his true consecration to high ideals. Like other men he is only human, and without the background contributed by the advantages of wealth and education in youth.
It is false to say that he is a brutal man, or to say that he is a traitor, or to say that he is a hypocrite; and to my mind it would better become the Atlantic Monthly to help an able man who is honestly trying to do his best for his country than to allow him to be maligned in its columns by anonymous writers.
Before flinging mud at others it would surely do none of us harm to act on the suggestion of the Shinto religion, which places looking-glasses on the table of its holy of holies.
WILFRED T. GRENFELL
A nurseryman who would deny an implication.
June 3, 1925
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
It is interesting to note that in the article, ‘Plant Pests,’ appearing in your June issue, Dr. Marlatt has shifted his ground in defending the absurd Quarantine 37. This shift has probably been brought about by the pressure of public opinion. Dr. Marlatt now pretends that trade protection is not and never was any part of the quarantine programme.
Lest we forget, it would be well perhaps to refresh our memories by examining some of the earlier official statements of the Federal Horticultural Board. In the addenda to the transcripts of the plant quarantine conferences revised May 12, 1922, page 2, paragraph 6A, you will find the following statement: ‘The whole spirit of Quarantine 37 is to as rapidly as possible make this country independent of foreign supplies, in the hope that some day we will reach a condition where no entry of foreign supplies will be necessary.’ Similar statements are made in the number of bulletins issued by the Federal Plant Board.
Unfortunately for Dr. Marlatt he has put himself on record as being in favor of extra legal trade protection and consequently it is somewhat difficult for him to shift to his new position and at the same time be convincing.
Very respectfully yours,
RHEA F. ELLIOTT
President, Elliott Nursery Company