Philip Dru: Administrator
Edward Mandell House
Part 2 out of 4
places, and to leave greatly pleased and under the belief that he was
making untold converts. As a matter of fact his voice would seldom
reach any but a staunch partisan.
Selwyn kept Rockland at home, and arranged to have him meet by special
appointment the important citizens of the twelve uncertain states. He
would have the most prominent party leader, in a particular state, go to
a rich brewer or large manufacturer, whose views had not yet been
crystallized, and say, "Governor Rockland has expressed a desire to know
you, and I would like to arrange a meeting." The man approached would be
flattered to think he was of such importance that a candidate for the
presidency had expressed a desire to meet him. He would know it was his
influence that was wanted but, even so, there was a subtle flattery in
that. An appointment would be arranged. Just before he came into
Rockland's presence, his name and a short epitome of his career would be
handed to Rockland to read. When he reached Rockland's home he would at
first be denied admittance. His sponsor would say,--"this is Mr. Munting
of Muntingville." "Oh, pardon me, Mr. Munting, Governor Rockland
And in this way he is ushered into the presence of the great. His fame,
up to a moment ago, was unknown to Rockland, but he now grasps his hand
cordially and says,--"I am delighted to know you, Mr. Munting. I recall
the address you made a few years ago when you gave a library to
Muntingville. It is men of your type that have made America what it is
to-day, and, whether you support me or not, if I am elected President it
is such as you that I hope will help sustain my hands in my effort to
give to our people a clean, sane and conservative government."
When Munting leaves he is stepping on air. He sees visions of visits to
Washington to consult the President upon matters of state, and perhaps
he sees an ambassadorship in the misty future. He becomes Rockland's
ardent supporter, and his purse is open and his influence is used to the
And this was Selwyn's way. It was all so simple. The opposition was
groaning under the thought of having one hundred millions of people to
reach, and of having to persuade a majority of twenty millions of voters
to take their view.
Selwyn had only one thousand doubtful voters in each of a few units on
his mind, and he knew the very day when a majority of them had decided
to vote for Rockland, and that his fight was won. The pay-roll of the
opposition was filled with incompetent political hacks, that had been
fastened upon the management by men of influence. Selwyn's force, from
end to end, was composed of able men who did a full day's work under the
eye of their watchful taskmaster.
And Selwyn won and Rockland became the keystone of the arch he had set
out to build.
There followed in orderly succession the inauguration, the selection of
cabinet officers and the new administration was launched.
Drunk with power and the adulation of sycophants, once or twice Rockland
asserted himself, and acted upon important matters without having first
conferred with Selwyn. But, after he had been bitterly assailed by
Selwyn's papers and by his senators, he made no further attempts at
independence. He felt that he was utterly helpless in that strong man's
hands, and so, indeed, he was.
One of the Supreme Court justices died, two retired because of age, and
all were replaced by men suggested by Selwyn.
He now had the Senate, the Executive and a majority of the Court of
last resort. The government was in his hands. He had reached the summit
of his ambition, and the joy of it made all his work seem worth while.
But Selwyn, great man that he was, did not know, could not know, that
when his power was greatest it was most insecure. He did not know, could
not know, what force was working to his ruin and to the ruin of his
Take heart, therefore, you who had lost faith in the ultimate destiny of
the Republic, for a greater than Selwyn is here to espouse your cause.
He comes panoplied in justice and with the light of reason in his eyes.
He comes as the advocate of equal opportunity and he comes with the
power to enforce his will.
THE EXULTANT CONSPIRATORS
It was a strange happening, the way the disclosure was made and the
Nation came to know of the Selwyn-Thor conspiracy to control the
Thor, being without any delicate sense of honor, was in the habit of
using a dictagraph to record what was intended to be confidential
conversations. He would take these confidential records, clearly mark
them, and place them in his private safe within the vault. When the
transaction to which they related was closed he destroyed them.
The character of the instrument was carefully concealed. It was a part
of a massive piece of office furniture, which answered for a table as
well. In order to facilitate his correspondence, he often used it for
dictating, and no one but Thor knew that it was ever put into commission
for other purposes.
He had never, but once, had occasion to use a record that related to a
private conversation or agreement. Then it concerned a matter involving
a large sum, a demand having been made upon him that smacked of
blackmail. He arranged a meeting, which his opponent regarded as an
indication that he was willing to yield. There were present the
contestant, his lawyer, Thor's counsel and Thor himself.
"Before discussing the business that is before us," said Thor, "I think
you would all enjoy, more or less, a record which I have in my
dictagraph, and which I have just listened to with a great deal of
He handed a tube to each and started the machine. It is a pity that
Hogarth could not have been present to have painted the several
expressions that came upon the faces of those four. A quiet but amused
satisfaction beamed from Thor, and his counsel could not conceal a broad
smile, but the wretched victim was fairly sick from mortification and
defeated avarice. He finally could stand no more and took the tube from
his ear, reached for his hat and was gone.
Thor had not seen Selwyn for a long time, but one morning, when he was
expecting another for whom he had his dictagraph set, Selwyn was
announced. He asked him in and gave orders that they were not to be
disturbed. When Selwyn had assured himself that they were absolutely
alone he told Thor his whole story.
It was of absorbing interest, and Thor listened fairly hypnotized by the
recital, which at times approached the dramatic. It was the first time
that Selwyn had been able to unbosom himself, and he enjoyed the
impression he was making upon the great financier. When he told how
Rockland had made an effort for freedom and how he brought him back,
squirming under his defeat, they laughed joyously.
Rich though he was beyond the dreams of avarice, rich as no man had ever
before been, Thor could not refrain from a mental calculation of how
enormously such a situation advanced his fortune. There was to be no
restriction now, he could annihilate and absorb at will. He had grown so
powerful that his mental equilibrium was unbalanced upon the question
of accretion. He wanted more, he must have more, and now, by the aid of
Selwyn, he would have more. He was so exultant that he gave some
expression to his thoughts, and Selwyn, cynical as he was, was shocked
and began to fear the consequences of his handiwork.
He insisted upon Selwyn's lunching with him in order to celebrate the
triumph of "their" plan. Selwyn was amused at the plural. They went to a
near-by club and remained for several hours talking of things of general
interest, for Selwyn refused to discuss his victory after they had left
the protecting walls of Thor's office.
Thor had forgotten his other engagement, and along with it he forgot the
dictagraph that he had set. When he returned to his office he could not
recall whether or not he had set the dictagraph. He looked at it, saw
that it was not set, but that there was an unused record in it and
dismissed it from his mind. He wanted no more business for the day. He
desired to get out and walk and think and enjoy the situation. And so he
went, a certain unholy joy within his warped and money-soddened heart.
Long after Thor had gone, long after the day had dwindled into twilight
and the twilight had shaded into dusk, Thomas Spears, his secretary, sat
and pondered. After Thor and Selwyn had left the office for luncheon he
had gone to the dictagraph to see whether there was anything for him to
take. He found the record, saw it had been used, removed it to his
machine and got ready to transmit. He was surprised to find that it was
Selwyn's voice that came to him, then Thor's, and again Selwyn's. He
knew then that it was not intended for dictation, that there was some
mistake and yet he held it until he had gotten the whole of the mighty
conspiracy. Pale and greatly agitated he remained motionless for a long
time. Then he returned to Thor's office, placed a new record in the
machine and closed it.
Spears came from sturdy New England stock and was at heart a patriot. He
had come to New York largely by accident of circumstances.
Spears had a friend named Harry Tracy, with whom he had grown up in the
little Connecticut village they called home, and who was distantly
related to Thor, whose forebears also came from that vicinity. They had
gone to the same commercial school, and were trained particularly in
stenography and typing. Tracy sought and obtained a place in Thor's
office. He was attentive to his duties, very accurate, and because of
his kinship and trustworthiness, Thor made him his confidential
secretary. The work became so heavy that Tracy got permission to employ
an assistant. He had Spears in mind for the place, and, after
conferring with Thor, offered it to him.
Thor consented largely because he preferred some one who had not lived
in New York, and was in no way entangled with the life and sentiment of
the city. Being from New England himself, he trusted the people of that
section as he did no others.
So Thomas Spears was offered the place and gladly accepted it. He had
not been there long before he found himself doing all the stenographic
work and typing.
Spears was a man of few words. He did his work promptly and well. Thor
had him closely shadowed for a long while, and the report came that he
had no bad habits and but few companions and those of the best. But Thor
could get no confidential report upon the workings of his mind. He did
not know that his conscience sickened at what he learned through the
correspondence and from his fellow clerks. He did not know that his
every heart beat was for the unfortunates that came within the reach of
Thor's avarice, and were left the merest derelicts upon the financial
All the clerks were gone, the lights were out and Spears sat by the
window looking out over the great modern Babylon, still fighting with
his conscience. His sense of loyalty to the man who gave him his
livelihood rebelled at the thought of treachery. It was not unlike
accepting food and shelter and murdering your benefactor, for Spears
well knew that in the present state of the public mind if once the truth
were known, it would mean death to such as Thor. For with a fatuous
ignorance of public feeling the interests had gone blindly on, conceding
nothing, stifling competition and absorbing the wealth and energies of
Spears knew that the whole social and industrial fabric of the nation
was at high tension, and that it needed but a spark to explode. He held
within his hand that spark. Should he plunge the country, his country,
into a bloody internecine war, or should he let the Selwyns and the
Thors trample the hopes, the fortunes and the lives of the people under
foot for still another season. If he held his peace it did but postpone
The thought flashed through his mind of the bigness of the sum any one
of the several great dailies would give to have the story. And then
there followed a sense of shame that he could think of such a thing.
He felt that he was God's instrument for good and that he should act
accordingly. He was aroused now, he would no longer parley with his
conscience. What was best to do? That was the only question left to
He looked at an illuminated clock upon a large white shaft that lifted
its marble shoulders towards the stars. It was nine o'clock. He turned
on the lights, ran over the telephone book until he reached the name of
what he considered the most important daily. He said: "Mr. John Thor's
office desires to speak with the Managing Editor." This at once gave him
the connection he desired.
"This is Mr. John Thor's secretary, and I would like to see you
immediately upon a matter of enormous public importance. May I come to
your office at once?"
There was something in the voice that startled the newspaper man, and he
wondered what Thor's office could possibly want with him concerning any
matter, public or private. However, he readily consented to an interview
and waited with some impatience for the quarter of an hour to go by that
was necessary to cover the distance. He gave orders to have Spears
brought in as soon as he arrived.
When Spears came he told the story with hesitation and embarrassment.
The Managing Editor thought at first that he was in the presence of a
lunatic, but after a few questions he began to believe. He had a
dictagraph in his office and asked for the record. He was visibly
agitated when the full import of the news became known to him. Spears
insisted that the story be given to all the city papers and to the
Associated Press, which the Managing Editor promised to do.
When the story was read the next morning by America's millions, it was
clear to every far-sighted person that a crisis had come and that
revolution was imminent. Men at once divided themselves into groups.
Now, as it has ever been, the very poor largely went with the rich and
powerful. The reason for this may be partly from fear and partly from
habit. They had seen the struggle going on for centuries and with but
A mass meeting was called to take place the day following at New York's
largest public hall. The call was not inflammatory, but asked "all good
citizens to lend their counsel and influence to the rectification of
those abuses that had crept into the Government," and it was signed by
many of the best known men in the Nation.
The hall was packed to its limits an hour before the time named. A
distinguished college president from a nearby town was given the chair,
and in a few words he voiced the indignation and the humiliation which
they all felt. Then one speaker after another bitterly denounced the
administration, and advocated the overthrow of the Government. One, more
intemperate than the rest, urged an immediate attack on Thor and all
his kind. This was met by a roar of approval.
Philip had come early and was seated well in front. In the pandemonium
that now prevailed no speaker could be heard. Finally Philip fought his
way to the stage, gave his name to the chairman, and asked to be heard.
When the white-haired college president arose there was a measure of
quiet, and when he mentioned Philip's name and they saw his splendid,
homely face there was a curious hush. He waited for nearly a minute
after perfect quiet prevailed, and then, in a voice like a deep-toned
bell, he spoke with such fervor and eloquence that one who was present
said afterwards that he knew the hour and the man had come. Philip
explained that hasty and ill-considered action had ruined other causes
as just as theirs, and advised moderation. He suggested that a committee
be named by the chairman to draw up a plan of procedure, to be
presented at another meeting to be held the following night. This was
agreed to, and the chairman received tremendous applause when he named
This meeting had been called so quickly, and the names attached to the
call were so favorably known, that the country at large seemed ready to
wait upon its conclusions.
It was apparent from the size and earnestness of the second gathering
that the interest was growing rather than abating.
Philip read the plan which his committee had formulated, and then
explained more at length their reasons for offering it. Briefly, it
advised no resort to violence, but urged immediate organization and
cooperation with citizens throughout the United States who were in
sympathy with the movement. He told them that the conscience of the
people was now aroused, and that there would be no halting until the
Government was again within their hands to be administered for the good
of the many instead of for the good of a rapacious few.
The resolutions were sustained, and once more Philip was placed at the
head of a committee to perfect not only a state, but a national
organization as well. Calls for funds to cover preliminary expenses
brought immediate and generous response, and the contest was on.
SELWYN AND THOR DEFEND THEMSELVES
In the meantime Selwyn and Thor had issued an address, defending their
course as warranted by both the facts and the law.
They said that the Government had been honeycombed by irresponsible
demagogues, that were fattening upon the credulity of the people to the
great injury of our commerce and prosperity, that no laws unfriendly to
the best interests had been planned, and no act had been contemplated
inconsistent with the dignity and honor of the Nation. They contended
that in protecting capital against vicious assaults, they were serving
the cause of labor and advancing the welfare of all.
Thor's whereabouts was a mystery, but Selwyn, brave and defiant, pursued
his usual way.
President Rockland also made a statement defending his appointments of
Justices of the Supreme Court, and challenged anyone to prove them
unfit. He said that, from the foundation of the Government, it had
become customary for a President to make such appointments from amongst
those whose views were in harmony with his own, that in this case he had
selected men of well known integrity, and of profound legal ability,
and, because they were such, they were brave enough to stand for the
right without regard to the clamor of ill-advised and ignorant people.
He stated that he would continue to do his duty, and that he would
uphold the constitutional rights of all the people without distinction
to race, color or previous condition.
Acting under Selwyn's advice, Rockland began to concentrate quietly
troops in the large centers of population. He also ordered the fleets
into home waters. A careful inquiry was made regarding the views of the
several Governors within easy reach of Washington, and, finding most of
them favorable to the Government, he told them that in case of disorder
he would honor their requisition for federal troops. He advised a
thorough overlooking of the militia, and the weeding out of those likely
to sympathize with the "mob." If trouble came, he promised to act
promptly and forcefully, and not to let mawkish sentiment encourage
He recalled to them that the French Revolution was caused, and
continued, by the weakness and inertia of Louis Fifteenth and his
ministers and that the moment the Directorate placed Bonaparte in
command of a handful of troops, and gave him power to act, by the use of
grape and ball he brought order in a day. It only needed a quick and
decisive use of force, he thought, and untold suffering and bloodshed
would be averted.
President Rockland believed what he said. He seemed not to know that
Bonaparte dealt with a ragged, ignorant mob, and had back of him a
nation that had been in a drunken and bloody orgy for a period of years
and wanted to sober up. He seemed not to know that in this contest, the
clear-brained, sturdy American patriot was enlisted against him and what
he represented, and had determined to come once more into his own.
GLORIA'S WORK BEARS FRUIT
In her efforts towards proselyting the rich, Gloria had not neglected
her immediate family. By arguments and by bringing to the fore concrete
examples to illustrate them, she had succeeded in awakening within her
father a curious and unhappy frame of mind. That shifting and illusive
thing we call conscience was beginning to assert itself in divers ways.
The first glimpse that Gloria had of his change of heart was at a dinner
party. The discussion began by a dyspeptic old banker declaring that
before the business world could bring the laboring classes to their
senses it would be necessary to shut down the factories for a time and
discontinue new enterprises in order that their dinner buckets and
stomachs might become empty.
Before Gloria could take up the cudgels in behalf of those seeking a
larger share of the profits of their labor, Mr. Strawn had done so. The
debate between the two did not last long and was not unduly heated, but
Gloria knew that the Rubicon had been crossed and that in the future she
would have a powerful ally in her father.
Neither had she been without success in other directions, and she was,
therefore, able to report to Philip very satisfactory progress. In one
of their many conferences she was glad to be able to tell him that in
the future abundant financial backing was assured for any cause
recommended by either of them as being worthy. This was a long step
forward, and Philip congratulated Gloria upon her efficient work.
"Do you remember, Gloria," he said, "how unhappy you were over the
thought of laboring among the rich instead of the poor? And yet,
contemplate the result. You have not only given some part of your social
world an insight into real happiness, but you are enabling the balance
of us to move forward at a pace that would have been impossible without
your aid." Gloria flushed with pleasure at his generous praise and
replied: "It is good of you, Philip, to give me so large a credit, and I
will not deny that I am very happy over the outcome of my endeavors,
unimportant though they be. I am so glad, Philip, that you have been
given the leadership of our side in the coming struggle, for I shall now
feel confident of success."
"Do not be too sure, Gloria. We have the right and a majority of the
American people with us; yet, on the other hand, we have opposed to us
not only resourceful men but the machinery of a great Government
buttressed by unlimited wealth and credit."
"Why could not I 'try out' the sincerity of my rich converts and get
them to help finance your campaign?"
"Happy thought! If you succeed in doing that, Gloria, you will become
the Joan d'Arc of our cause, and unborn generations will hold you in
"How you do enthuse one, Philip. I feel already as if my name were
written high upon the walls of my country's Valhalla. Tell me how great
a fund you will require, and I will proceed at once to build the golden
ladder upon which I am to climb to fame."
"You need not make light of your suggestion in this matter, Gloria, for
the lack of funds with which to organize is essentially our weakest
point. With money we can overthrow the opposition, without it I am
afraid they may defeat us. As to the amount needed, I can set no limit.
The more you get the more perfectly can we organize. Do what you can and
do it quickly, and be assured that if the sum is considerable and if our
cause triumphs, you will have been the most potent factor of us all."
And then they parted; Gloria full of enthusiasm over her self-appointed
task, and Philip with a silent prayer for her success.
WAR CLOUDS HOVER
Gloria was splendidly successful in her undertaking and within two
weeks she was ready to place at Philip's disposal an amount far in
excess of anything he had anticipated.
"It was so easy that I have a feeling akin to disappointment that I did
not have to work harder," she wrote in her note to Philip announcing the
result. "When I explained the purpose and the importance of the outcome,
almost everyone approached seemed eager to have a share in the
In his reply of thanks, Philip said, "The sum you have realized is far
beyond any figure I had in mind. With what we have collected throughout
the country, it is entirely sufficient, I think, to effect a preliminary
organization, both political and military. If the final result is to be
civil war, then the states that cast their fortunes with ours, will, of
necessity, undertake the further financing of the struggle."
Philip worked assiduously upon his organization. It was first intended
to make it political and educational, but when the defiant tone of
Selwyn, Thor and Rockland was struck, and their evident intention of
using force became apparent, he almost wholly changed it into a military
organization. His central bureau was now in touch with every state, and
he found in the West a grim determination to bring matters to a
conclusion as speedily as possible.
On the other hand, he was sparring for time. He knew his various groups
were in no condition to be pitted against any considerable number of
trained regulars. He hoped, too, that actual conflict would be avoided,
and that a solution could be arrived at when the forthcoming election
for representatives occurred.
It was evident that a large majority of the people were with them: the
problem was to get a fair and legal expression of opinion. As yet, there
was no indication that this would not be granted.
The preparations on both sides became so open, that there was no longer
any effort to work under cover. Philip cautioned his adherents against
committing any overt act. He was sure that the administration forces
would seize the slightest pretext to precipitate action, and that, at
this time, would give them an enormous advantage.
He himself trained the men in his immediate locality, and he also had
the organization throughout the country trained, but without guns. The
use of guns would not have been permitted except to regular authorized
militia. The drilling was done with wooden guns, each man hewing out a
stick to the size and shape of a modern rifle. At his home, carefully
concealed, each man had his rifle.
And then came the election. Troops were at the polls and a free ballot
was denied. It was the last straw. Citizens gathering after nightfall in
order to protest were told to disperse immediately, and upon refusal,
were fired upon. The next morning showed a death roll in the large
centers of population that was appalling.
Wisconsin was the state in which there was the largest percentage of the
citizenship unfavorable to the administration and to the interests.
Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska were closely following.
Philip concluded to make his stand in the West, and he therefore ordered
the men in every organization east of the Mississippi to foregather at
once at Madison, and to report to him there. He was in constant touch
with those Governors who were in sympathy with the progressive or
insurgent cause, and he wired the Governor of Wisconsin, in cipher,
informing him of his intentions.
As yet travel had not been seriously interrupted, though business was
largely at a standstill, and there was an ominous quiet over the land.
The opposition misinterpreted this, and thought that the people had been
frightened by the unexpected show of force. Philip knew differently, and
he also knew that civil war had begun. He communicated his plans to no
one, but he had the campaign well laid out. It was his intention to
concentrate in Wisconsin as large a force as could be gotten from his
followers east and south of that state, and to concentrate again near
Des Moines every man west of Illinois whom he could enlist. It was his
purpose then to advance simultaneously both bodies of troops upon
In the south there had developed a singular inertia. Neither side
counted upon material help or opposition there.
The great conflict covering the years from 1860 to 1865 was still more
than a memory, though but few living had taken part in it. The victors
in that mighty struggle thought they had been magnanimous to the
defeated but the well-informed Southerner knew that they had been made
to pay the most stupendous penalty ever exacted in modern times. At one
stroke of the pen, two thousand millions of their property was taken
from them. A pension system was then inaugurated that taxed the
resources of the Nation to pay. By the year 1927 more than five thousand
millions had gone to those who were of the winning side. Of this the
South was taxed her part, receiving nothing in return.
Cynical Europe said that the North would have it appear that a war had
been fought for human freedom, whereas it seemed that it was fought for
money. It forgot the many brave and patriotic men who enlisted because
they held the Union to be one and indissoluble, and were willing to
sacrifice their lives to make it so, and around whom a willing and
grateful government threw its protecting arms. And it confused those
deserving citizens with the unworthy many, whom pension agents and
office seekers had debauched at the expense of the Nation. Then, too,
the South remembered that one of the immediate results of emancipation
was that millions of ignorant and indigent people were thrown upon the
charity and protection of the Southern people, to care for and to
educate. In some states sixty per cent, of the population were negroes,
and they were as helpless as children and proved a heavy burden upon the
forty per cent, of whites.
In rural populations more schoolhouses had to be maintained, and more
teachers employed for the number taught, and the percentage of children
per capita was larger than in cities. Then, of necessity, separate
schools had to be maintained. So, altogether, the load was a heavy one
for an impoverished people to carry.
The humane, the wise, the patriotic thing to have done, was for the
Nation to have assumed the responsibility of the education of the
negroes for at least one generation.
What a contrast we see in England's treatment of the Boers. After a long
and bloody war, which drew heavily upon the lives and treasures of the
Nation, England's first act was to make an enormous grant to the
conquered Boers, that they might have every facility to regain their
shattered fortunes, and bring order and prosperity to their distracted
We see the contrast again in that for nearly a half century after the
Civil War was over, no Southerner was considered eligible for the
On the other hand, within a few years after the African Revolution
ended, a Boer General, who had fought throughout the war with vigor and
distinction, was proposed and elected Premier of the United Colonies.
Consequently, while sympathizing with the effort to overthrow Selwyn's
government, the South moved slowly and with circumspection.
CIVIL WAR BEGINS
General Dru brought together an army of fifty thousand men at Madison
and about forty thousand near Des Moines, and recruits were coming in
President Rockland had concentrated twenty thousand regulars and thirty
thousand militia at Chicago, and had given command to Major General
Newton, he who, several years previously, won the first medal given by
the War Department for the best solution of the military problem.
The President also made a call for two hundred thousand volunteers. The
response was in no way satisfactory, so he issued a formal demand upon
each state to furnish its quota.
The states that were in sympathy with his administration responded, the
others ignored the call.
General Dru learned that large reinforcements had been ordered to
Chicago, and he therefore at once moved upon that place. He had a fair
equipment of artillery, considering he was wholly dependent upon that
belonging to the militia of those states that had ranged themselves upon
his side, and at several points in the West, he had seized factories and
plants making powder, guns, clothing and camp equipment. He ordered the
Iowa division to advance at the same time, and the two forces were
joined at a point about fifty miles south of Chicago.
General Newton was daily expecting reŽnforcements, but they failed to
reach him before Dru made it impossible for them to pass through.
Newton at first thought to attack the Iowa division and defeat it, and
then meet the Wisconsin division, but he hesitated to leave Chicago lest
Dru should take the place during his absence.
With both divisions united, and with recruits constantly arriving, Dru
had an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men.
Failing to obtain the looked-for reŽnforcements and seeing the
hopelessness of opposing so large a force, Newton began secretly to
evacuate Chicago by way of the Lakes, Dru having completely cut him off
He succeeded in removing his army to Buffalo, where President Rockland
had concentrated more than one hundred thousand troops.
When Dru found General Newton had evacuated Chicago, he occupied it, and
then moved further east, in order to hold the states of Michigan,
Indiana and Western Ohio.
This gave him the control of the West, and he endeavored as nearly as
possible to cut off the food supply of the East. In order to tighten
further the difficulty of obtaining supplies, he occupied Duluth and all
the Lake ports as far east as Cleveland, which city the Government held,
and which was their furthest western line.
Canada was still open as a means of food supply to the East, as were all
the ports of the Atlantic seaboard as far south as Charleston.
So the sum of the situation was that the East, so far west as the middle
of Ohio, and as far south as West Virginia, inclusive of that state, was
in the hands of the Government.
Western Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, while occupied by General
Dru, were divided in their sympathies. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and every
state west of the Mississippi, were strongly against the Government.
The South, as a whole, was negligible, though Virginia, Kentucky,
Tennessee and Missouri were largely divided in sentiment. That part of
the South lying below the border states was in sympathy with the
The contest had come to be thought of as a conflict between Senator
Selwyn on the one hand, and what he represented, and Philip Dru on the
other, and what he stood for. These two were known to be the dominating
forces on either side.
The contestants, on the face of things, seemed not unevenly matched,
but, as a matter of fact, the conscience of the great mass of the
people, East and West, was on Dru's side, for it was known that he was
contending for those things which would permit the Nation to become
again a land of freedom in its truest and highest sense, a land where
the rule of law prevailed, a land of equal opportunity, a land where
justice would be meted out alike to the high and low with a steady and
UPON THE EVE OF BATTLE
Neither side seemed anxious to bring matters to a conclusion, for both
Newton and Dru required time to put their respective armies in fit
condition before risking a conflict. By the middle of July, Dru had more
than four hundred thousand men under his command, but his greatest
difficulty was to properly officer and equip them. The bulk of the
regular army officers had remained with the Government forces, though
there were some notable exceptions. Among those offering their services
to Dru was Jack Strawn. He resigned from the regular army with many
regrets and misgivings, but his devotion to Philip made it impossible
for him to do otherwise. And then there was Gloria whom he loved dearly,
and who made him feel that there was a higher duty than mere
None of Dru's generals had been tried out in battle and, indeed, he
himself had not. It was much the same with the Government forces, for
there had been no war since that with Spain in the nineties, and that
was an affair so small that it afforded but little training for either
officers or men.
Dru had it in mind to make the one battle decisive, if that were
possible of accomplishment, for he did not want to weaken and distract
the country by such a conflict as that of 1861 to 1865.
The Government forces numbered six hundred thousand men under arms, but
one hundred thousand of these were widely scattered in order to hold
certain sections of the country in line.
On the first of September General Dru began to move towards the enemy.
He wanted to get nearer Washington and the northern seaboard cities, so
that if successful he would be within striking distance of them before
the enemy could recover.
He had in mind the places he preferred the battle to occur, and he used
all his skill in bringing about the desired result. As he moved slowly
but steadily towards General Newton, he was careful not to tax the
strength of his troops, but he desired to give them the experience in
marching they needed, and also to harden them.
The civilized nations of the world had agreed not to use in war
aeroplanes or any sort of air craft either as engines of destruction or
for scouting purposes. This decision had been brought about by the
International Peace Societies and by the self-evident impossibility of
using them without enormous loss of life. Therefore none were being used
by either the Government or insurgent forces.
General Newton thought that Dru was planning to attack him at a point
about twenty miles west of Buffalo, where he had his army stretched from
the Lake eastward, and where he had thrown up entrenchments and
otherwise prepared for battle.
But Dru had no thought of attacking then or there, but moved slowly and
orderly on until the two armies were less than twenty miles apart due
north and south from one another.
When he continued marching eastward and began to draw away from General
Newton, the latter for the first time realized that he himself would be
compelled to pursue and attack, for the reason that he could not let
Dru march upon New York and the other unprotected seaboard cities. He
saw, too, that he had been outgeneraled, and that he should have thrown
his line across Dru's path and given battle at a point of his own
The situation was a most unusual one even in the complex history of
warfare, because in case of defeat the loser would be forced to retreat
into the enemies' country. It all the more surely emphasized the fact
that one great battle would determine the war. General Dru knew from the
first what must follow his movement in marching by General Newton, and
since he had now reached the ground that he had long chosen as the place
where he wished the battle to occur, he halted and arranged his troops
in formation for the expected attack.
There was a curious feeling of exultation and confidence throughout the
insurgent army, for Dru had conducted every move in the great game with
masterly skill, and no man was ever more the idol of his troops, or of
the people whose cause he was the champion.
It was told at every camp fire in his army how he had won the last medal
that had been given by the War Department and for which General Newton
had been a contestant, and not one of his men doubted that as a military
genius, Newton in no way measured up to Dru. It was plain that Newton
had been outmaneuvered and that the advantage lay with the insurgent
The day before the expected battle, General Dru issued a stirring
address, which was placed in the hands of each soldier, and which
concluded as follows:--"It is now certain that there will be but one
battle, and its result lies with you. If you fight as I know you will
fight, you surely will be successful, and you soon will be able to
return to your homes and to your families, carrying with you the
assurance that you have won what will be perhaps the most important
victory that has ever been achieved. It is my belief that human liberty
has never more surely hung upon the outcome of any conflict than it does
upon this, and I have faith that when you are once ordered to advance,
you will never turn back. If you will each make a resolution to conquer
or die, you will not only conquer, but our death list will not be nearly
so heavy as if you at any time falter."
This address was received with enthusiasm, and comrade declared to
comrade that there would be no turning back when once called upon to
advance, and it was a compact that in honor could not be broken. This,
then, was the situation upon the eve of the mighty conflict.
THE BATTLE OF ELMA
General Dru had many spies in the enemies' camp, and some of these
succeeded in crossing the lines each night in order to give him what
information they had been able to gather.
Some of these spies passed through the lines as late as eleven o'clock
the night before the battle, and from them he learned that a general
attack was to be made upon him the next day at six o'clock in the
As far as he could gather, and from his own knowledge of the situation,
it was General Newton's purpose to break his center. The reason Newton
had this in mind was that he thought Dru's line was far flung, and he
believed that if he could drive through the center, he could then throw
each wing into confusion and bring about a crushing defeat.
As a matter of fact, Dru's line was not far flung, but he had a few
troops strung out for many miles in order to deceive Newton, because he
wanted him to try and break his center.
Up to this time, he had taken no one into his confidence, but at
midnight, he called his division commanders to his headquarters and told
them his plan of battle.
They were instructed not to impart any information to the commanders of
brigades until two o'clock. The men were then to be aroused and given a
hasty breakfast, after which they were to be ready to march by three
Recent arrivals had augmented his army to approximately five hundred
thousand men. General Newton had, as far as he could learn,
approximately six hundred thousand, so there were more than a million of
men facing one another.
Dru had a two-fold purpose in preparing at three in the morning. First,
he wanted to take no chances upon General Newton's time of attack. His
information as to six o'clock he thought reliable, but it might have
been given out to deceive him and a much earlier engagement might be
His other reason was that he intended to flank Newton on both wings.
It was his purpose to send, under cover of night, one hundred and
twenty-five thousand men to the right of Newton and one hundred and
twenty-five thousand to his left, and have them conceal themselves
behind wooded hills until noon, and then to drive in on him from both
He was confident that with two hundred and fifty thousand determined
men, protected by the fortifications he had been able to erect, and
with the ground of his own choosing, which had a considerable elevation
over the valley through which Newton would have to march, he could hold
his position until noon. He did not count upon actual fighting before
eight o'clock, or perhaps not before nine.
Dru did not attempt to rest, but continued through the night to instruct
his staff officers, and to arrange, as far as he could, for each
contingency. Before two o'clock, he was satisfied with the situation and
felt assured of victory.
He was pleased to see the early morning hours develop a fog, for this
would cover the march of his left and right wings, and they would not
have to make so wide a detour in order that their movements might be
concealed. It would also delay, he thought, Newton's attack.
His army was up and alert at three, and by four o'clock those that were
to hold the center were in position, though he had them lie down again
on their arms, so that they might get every moment of rest. Three
o'clock saw the troops that were to flank the enemy already on the
At six-thirty his outposts reported Newton's army moving, but it was
nine o'clock before they came within touch of his troops.
In the meantime, his men were resting, and he had food served them again
as late as seven o'clock.
Newton attacked the center viciously at first, but making no headway and
seeing that his men were being terribly decimated, he made a detour to
the right, and, with cavalry, infantry and artillery, he drove Dru's
troops in from the position which they were holding.
Dru recognized the threatened danger and sent heliograph messages to his
right and left wings to begin their attack, though it was now only
eleven o'clock. He then rode in person to the point of danger, and
rallied his men to a firmer stand, upon which Newton could make no
In that hell storm of lead and steel Dru sat upon his horse unmoved.
With bared head and eyes aflame, with face flushed and exultant, he
looked the embodiment of the terrible God of War. His presence and his
disregard of danger incited his soldiers to deeds of valor that would
forever be an "inspiration and a benediction" to the race from which
Newton, seeing that his efforts were costing him too dearly, decided to
withdraw his troops and rest until the next day, when he thought to
attack Dru from the rear.
The ground was more advantageous there, and he felt confident he could
dislodge him. When he gave the command to retreat, he was surprised to
find Dru massing his troops outside his entrenchments and preparing to
follow him. He slowly retreated and Dru as slowly followed. Newton
wanted to get him well away from his stronghold and in the open plain,
and then wheel and crush him. Dru was merely keeping within striking
distance, so that when his two divisions got in touch with Newton they
would be able to attack him on three sides.
Just as Newton was about to turn, Dru's two divisions poured down the
slopes of the hills on both sides and began to charge. And when Dru's
center began to charge, it was only a matter of moments before Newton's
army was in a panic.
He tried to rally them and to face the on-coming enemy, but his efforts
were in vain. His men threw down their guns, some surrendering, but most
of them fleeing in the only way open, that towards the rear and the
Dru's soldiers saw that victory was theirs, and, maddened by the lust of
war, they drove the Government forces back, killing and crushing the
seething and helpless mass that was now in hopeless confusion.
Orders were given by General Dru to push on and follow the enemy until
nightfall, or until the Lake was reached, where they must surrender or
By six o'clock of that fateful day, the splendid army of Newton was a
thing for pity, for Dru had determined to exhaust the last drop of
strength of his men to make the victory complete, and the battle
At the same time, as far as he was able, he restrained his men from
killing, for he saw that the enemy were without arms, and thinking only
of escape. His order was only partially obeyed, for when man is in
conflict with either beast or fellowman, the primitive lust for blood
comes to the fore, and the gentlest and most humane are oftentimes the
Of the enemy forty thousand were dead and two hundred and ten thousand
were wounded with seventy-five thousand missing. Of prisoners Dru had
captured three hundred and seventy-five thousand.
General Newton was killed in the early afternoon, soon after the rout
Philip's casualties were twenty-three thousand dead and one hundred and
ten thousand wounded.
It was a holocaust, but the war was indeed ended.
After General Dru had given orders for the care of the wounded and the
disposition of the prisoners, he dismissed his staff and went quietly
out into the starlight. He walked among the dead and wounded and saw
that everything possible was being done to alleviate suffering. Feeling
weary he sat for a moment upon a dismembered gun.
As he looked over the field of carnage and saw what havoc the day had
made, he thought of the Selwyns and the Thors, whose selfishness and
greed were responsible for it all, and he knew that they and their kind
would have to meet an awful charge before the judgment seat of God.
Within touch of him lay a boy of not more than seventeen, with his white
face turned towards the stars. One arm was shattered and a piece of
shell had torn a great red wound in the side of his chest. Dru thought
him dead, but he saw him move and open his eyes. He removed a coat from
a soldier that lay dead beside him and pillowed the boy's head upon it,
and gave him some water and a little brandy.
"I am all in, Captain," said he, "but I would like a message sent home."
He saw that Dru was an officer but he had no idea who he was. "I only
enlisted last week. I live in Pennsylvania--not far from here." Then
more faintly--"My mother tried to persuade me to remain at home, but I
wanted to do my share, so here I am--as you find me. Tell her--tell
her," but the message never came--for he was dead.
After he had covered the pain-racked, ghastly face, Dru sat in silent
meditation, and thought of the shame of it, the pity of it all.
Somewhere amongst that human wreckage he knew Gloria was doing what she
could to comfort the wounded and those that were in the agony of death.
She had joined the Red Cross Corps of the insurgent army at the
beginning of hostilities, but Dru had had only occasional glimpses of
her. He was wondering now, in what part of that black and bloody field
she was. His was the strong hand that had torn into fragments these
helpless creatures; hers was the gentle hand that was softening the
horror, the misery of it all. Dru knew there were those who felt that
the result would never be worth the cost and that he, too, would come in
for a measurable share of their censure. But deep and lasting as his
sympathy was for those who had been brought into this maelstrom of war,
yet, pessimism found no lodgment within him, rather was his great soul
illuminated with the thought that with splendid heroism they had died in
order that others might live the better. Twice before had the great
republic been baptized in blood and each time the result had changed the
thought and destiny of man. And so would it be now, only to greater
purpose. Never again would the Selwyns and the Thors be able to fetter
Free and unrestrained by barriers erected by the powerful, for selfish
purposes, there would now lie open to them a glorious and contented
future. He had it in his thoughts to do the work well now that it had
been begun, and to permit no misplaced sentiment to deter him. He knew
that in order to do what he had in mind, he would have to reckon with
the habits and traditions of centuries, but, seeing clearly the task
before him he must needs become an iconoclast and accept the
consequences. For two days and nights he had been without sleep and
under a physical and mental strain that would have meant disaster to
any, save Philip Dru. But now he began to feel the need of rest and
sleep, so he walked slowly back to his tent.
After giving orders that he was not to be disturbed, he threw himself as
he was upon his camp bed, and, oblivious of the fact that the news of
his momentous victory had circled the globe and that his name was upon
the lips of half the world, he fell into a dreamless, restful sleep.
When Dru wakened in the morning after a long and refreshing sleep, his
first thoughts were of Gloria Strawn. Before leaving his tent he wrote
her an invitation to dine with him that evening in company with some of
his generals and their wives. All through that busy day Dru found
himself looking forward to the coming evening. When Gloria came Dru was
standing at the door of his tent to meet her. As he helped her from the
army conveyance she said:
"Oh, Philip, how glad I am! How glad I am!"
Dru knew that she had no reference to his brilliant victory, but that it
was his personal welfare that she had in mind.
During the dinner many stories of heroism were told, men who were least
suspected of great personal bravery had surprised their comrades by
deeds that would follow the coming centuries in both song and story.
Dru, who had been a silent listener until now, said:
"Whenever my brother soldier rises above self and gives or offers his
life for that of his comrade, no one rejoices more than I. But, my
friends, the highest courage is not displayed upon the battlefield. The
soldier's heroism is done under stress of great excitement, and his
field of action is one that appeals to the imagination. It usually also
touches our patriotism and self-esteem. The real heroes of the world are
oftentimes never known. I once knew a man of culture and wealth who
owned a plantation in some hot and inaccessible region. Smallpox in its
most virulent form became prevalent among the negroes. Everyone fled the
place save this man, and those that were stricken. Single-handed and
alone, he nursed them while they lived and buried them when they died.
And yet during all the years I knew him, never once did he refer to it.
An old negro told me the story and others afterwards confirmed it. This
same man jumped into a swollen river and rescued a poor old negro who
could not swim. There was no one to applaud him as he battled with the
deadly eddies and currents and brought to safety one of the least of
God's creatures. To my mind the flag of no nation ever waved above a
braver, nobler heart."
There was a moment's silence, and then Gloria said:
"Philip, the man you mention is doubtless the most splendid product of
our civilization, for he was perhaps as gentle as he was brave, but
there is still another type of hero to whom I would call attention. I
shall tell you of a man named Sutton, whom I came to know in my
settlement work and who seemed to those who knew him wholly bad. He was
cruel, selfish, and without any sense of honor, and even his personality
was repulsive, and yet this is what he did.
"One day, soon after dark, the ten story tenement building in which he
lived caught fire. Smoke was pouring from the windows, at which many
frightened faces were seen.
"But what was holding the crowd's breathless attention, was the daring
attempt of a man on the eighth floor to save a child of some five or six
"He had gotten from his room to a small iron balcony, and there he took
his handkerchief and blindfolded the little boy. He lifted the child
over the railing, and let him down to a stone ledge some twelve inches
wide, and which seemed to be five or six feet below the balcony.
"The man had evidently told the child to flatten himself against the
wall, for the little fellow had spread out his arms and pressed his body
close to it.
"When the man reached him, he edged him along in front of him. It was a
perilous journey, and to what end?
"No one could see that he was bettering his condition by moving further
along the building, though it was evident he had a well-defined purpose
from the beginning.
"When he reached the corner, he stopped in front of a large flagpole
that projected out from the building some twenty or more feet.
"He shouted to the firemen in the street below, but his voice was lost
in the noise and distance. He then scribbled something on an envelope
and after wrapping his knife inside, dropped it down. He lost no time by
seeing whether he was understood, but he took the child and put his arms
and legs about the pole in front of him and together they slid along to
the golden ball at the end.
"What splendid courage! What perfect self-possession! He then took the
boy's arm above the hand and swung him clear. He held him for a moment
to see that all was ready below, and turned him loose.
"The child dropped as straight as a plummet into the canvas net that was
being held for him.
"The excitement had been so tense up to now, that in all that vast crowd
no one said a word or moved a muscle, but when they saw the little
fellow unhurt, and perched high on the shoulders of a burly fireman,
such cheers were given as were never before heard in that part of New
"The man, it seemed, knew as well as those below, that his weight made
impossible his escape in a like manner, for he had slid back to the
building and was sitting upon the ledge smoking a cigarette.
"At first it was the child in which the crowd was interested, but now it
was the man. He must be saved; but could he be? The heat was evidently
becoming unbearable and from time to time a smother of smoke hid him
from view. Once when it cleared away he was no longer there, it had
suffocated him and he had fallen, a mangled heap, into the street below.
"That man was Sutton, and the child was not his own. He could have saved
himself had he not stayed to break in a door behind which the screams of
the child were heard."
There was a long silence when Gloria had ended her story, and then the
conversation ran along more cheerful lines.
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE REPUBLIC
General Dru began at once the reorganization of his army. The Nation
knew that the war was over, and it was in a quiver of excitement.
They recognized the fact that Dru dominated the situation and that a
master mind had at last arisen in the Republic. He had a large and
devoted army to do his bidding, and the future seemed to lie wholly in
The great metropolitan dailies were in keen rivalry to obtain some
statement from him, but they could not get within speaking distance. The
best they could do was to fill their columns with speculations and
opinions from those near, or at least pretending to be near him. He had
too much to do to waste a moment, but he had it in mind to make some
statement of a general nature within a few days.
The wounded were cared for, the dead disposed of and all prisoners
disarmed and permitted to go to their homes under parole. Of his own men
he relieved those who had sickness in their families, or pressing duties
to perform. Many of the prisoners, at their urgent solicitation, he
enlisted. The final result was a compact and fairly well organized army
of some four hundred thousand men who were willing to serve as long as
they were needed.
During the days that Dru was reorganizing, he now and then saw Gloria.
She often wondered why Philip did not tell her something of his plans,
and at times she felt hurt at his reticence. She did not know that he
would have trusted her with his life without hesitation, but that his
sense of duty sealed his lips when it came to matters of public policy.
He knew she would not willingly betray him, but he never took chances
upon the judgment she, or any friend, might exercise as to what was or
what was not important. When a thought or plan had once gone from him to
another it was at the mercy of the other's discretion, and good
intention did not avail if discretion and judgment were lacking. He
consulted freely with those from whom he thought he could obtain help,
but about important matters no one ever knew but himself his
Dru was now ready to march upon Washington, and he issued an address to
his soldiers which was intended, in fact, for the general public. He did
not want, at this time, to assume unusual powers, and if he had spoken
to the Nation he might be criticised as assuming a dictatorial attitude.
He complimented his army upon their patriotism and upon their bravery,
and told them that they had won what was, perhaps, the most important
victory in the history of warfare. He deplored the fact that, of
necessity, it was a victory over their fellow countrymen, but he
promised that the breach would soon be healed, for it was his purpose to
treat them as brothers. He announced that no one, neither the highest
nor the lowest, would be arrested, tried, or in any way disturbed
provided they accepted the result of the battle as final, and as
determining a change in the policy of government in accordance with the
views held by those whom he represented. Failure to acquiesce in this,
or any attempt to foster the policies of the late government,
would be considered seditious, and would be punished by death. He was
determined upon immediate peace and quietude, and any individual,
newspaper or corporation violating this order would be summarily dealt
The words "late government" caused a sensation.
It pointed very surely to the fact that as soon as Dru reached
Washington, he would assume charge of affairs. But in what way? That was
the momentous question.
President Rockwell, the Vice-President and the Cabinet, fearful of the
result of Dru's complete domination, fled the country. Selwyn urged,
threatened, and did all he could to have them stand their ground, and
take the consequences of defeat, but to no avail. Finally, he had the
Secretary of State resign, so that the President might appoint him to
that office. This being done, he became acting President.
There were some fifty thousand troops at Washington and vicinity, and
Dru wired Selwyn asking whether any defense of that city was
contemplated. Upon receiving a negative answer, he sent one of his staff
officers directly to Washington to demand a formal surrender. Selwyn
acquiesced in this, and while the troops were not disbanded, they were
placed under the command of Dru's emissary.
After further negotiations it was arranged for such of the volunteers as
desired to do so, to return to their homes. This left a force of thirty
thousand men at Washington who accepted the new conditions, and declared
fealty to Dru and the cause he represented. There was now requisitioned
all the cars that were necessary to convey the army from Buffalo to New
York, Philadelphia and Washington. A day was named when all other
traffic was to be stopped, until the troops, equipment and supplies had
been conveyed to their destinations. One hundred thousand men were sent
to New York and one hundred thousand to Philadelphia, and held on the
outskirts of those cities. Two hundred thousand were sent to Washington
and there Dru went himself.
Selwyn made a formal surrender to him and was placed under arrest, but
it was hardly more than a formality, for Selwyn was placed under no
further restraint than that he should not leave Washington. His arrest
was made for its effect upon the Nation; in order to make it clear that
the former government no longer existed.
General Dru now called a conference of his officers and announced his
purpose of assuming the powers of a dictator, distasteful as it was to
him, and, as he felt it might also be, to the people. He explained that
such a radical step was necessary, in order to quickly purge the
Government of those abuses that had arisen, and give to it the form and
purpose for which they had fought. They were assured that he was free
from any personal ambition, and he pledged his honor to retire after the
contemplated reforms had been made, so that the country could again have
a constitutional government. Not one of them doubted his word, and they
pledged themselves and the men under them, to sustain him loyally. He
then issued an address to his army proclaiming himself "Administrator
of the Republic."
DRU OUTLINES HIS INTENTIONS
The day after this address was issued, General Dru reviewed his army and
received such an ovation that it stilled criticism, for it was plain
that the new order of things had to be accepted, and there was a thrill
of fear among those who would have liked to raise their voices in
It was felt that the property and lives of all were now in the keeping
of one man.
Dru's first official act was to call a conference of those, throughout
the Union, who had been leaders in the movement to overthrow the
The gathering was large and representative, but he found no such
unanimity as amongst the army. A large part, perhaps a majority, were
outspoken for an immediate return to representative government.
They were willing that unusual powers should be assumed long enough to
declare the old Government illegal, and to issue an immediate call for a
general election, state and national, to be held as usual in November.
The advocates of this plan were willing that Dru should remain in
authority until the duly constituted officials could be legally
Dru presided over the meeting, therefore he took no part in the early
discussion, further than to ask for the fullest expression of opinion.
After hearing the plan for a limited dictatorship proposed, he arose,
and, in a voice vibrant with emotion, addressed the meeting as follows:
"My fellow countrymen:--I feel sure that however much we may differ as
to methods, there is no one within the sound of my voice that does not
wish me well, and none, I believe, mistrusts either my honesty of
purpose, my patriotism, or my ultimate desire to restore as soon as
possible to our distracted land a constitutional government.
"We all agreed that a change had to be brought about even though it
meant revolution, for otherwise the cruel hand of avarice would have
crushed out from us, and from our children, every semblance of freedom.
If our late masters had been more moderate in their greed we would have
been content to struggle for yet another period, hoping that in time we
might again have justice and equality before the law. But even so we
would have had a defective Government, defective in machinery and
defective in its constitution and laws. To have righted it, a century of
public education would have been necessary. The present opportunity has
been bought at fearful cost. If we use it lightly, those who fell upon
the field of Elma will have died in vain, and the anguish of mothers,
and the tears of widows and orphans will mock us because we failed in
our duty to their beloved dead.
"For a long time I have known that this hour would come, and that there
would be those of you who would stand affrighted at the momentous change
from constitutional government to despotism, no matter how pure and
exalted you might believe my intentions to be.
"But in the long watches of the night, in the solitude of my tent, I
conceived a plan of government which, by the grace of God, I hope to be
able to give to the American people. My life is consecrated to our
cause, and, hateful as is the thought of assuming supreme power, I can
see no other way clearly, and I would be recreant to my trust if I
faltered in my duty. Therefore, with the aid I know each one of you will
give me, there shall, in God's good time, be wrought 'a government of
the people, by the people and for the people.'"
When Dru had finished there was generous applause. At first here and
there a dissenting voice was heard, but the chorus of approval drowned
it. It was a splendid tribute to his popularity and integrity. When
quiet was restored, he named twelve men whom he wanted to take charge of
the departments and to act as his advisors.
They were all able men, each distinguished in his own field of endeavor,
and when their names were announced there was an outburst of
The meeting adjourned, and each member went home a believer in Dru and
the policy he had adopted. They, in turn, converted the people to their
view of the situation, so that Dru was able to go forward with his great
work, conscious of the support and approval of an overwhelming majority
of his fellow countrymen.
A NEW ERA AT WASHINGTON
When General Dru assumed the responsibilities of Government he saw
that, unless he arranged it otherwise, social duties would prove a tax
upon his time and would deter him from working with that celerity for
which he had already become famous. He had placed Mr. Strawn at the head
of the Treasury Department and he offered him the use of the White
House as a place of residence. His purpose was to have Mrs. Strawn and
Gloria relieve him of those social functions that are imposed upon the
heads of all Governments. Mrs. Strawn was delighted with such an
arrangement, and it almost compensated her for having been forced by her
husband and Gloria into the ranks of the popular or insurgent party. Dru
continued to use the barracks as his home, though he occupied the
offices in the White House for public business. It soon became a
familiar sight in Washington to see him ride swiftly through the streets
on his seal-brown gelding, Twilight, as he went to and from the barracks
and the White House. Dru gave and attended dinners to foreign
ambassadors and special envoys, but at the usual entertainments given to
the public or to the official family he was seldom seen. He and Gloria
were in accord, regarding the character of entertainments to be given,
and all unnecessary display was to be avoided. This struck a cruel blow
at Mrs. Strawn, who desired to have everything in as sumptuous a way as
under the old rťgime, but both Dru and Gloria were as adamant, and she
had to be content with the new order of things.
"Gloria," said Dru, "it pleases me beyond measure to find ourselves so
nearly in accord concerning the essential things, and I am glad to
believe that you express your convictions candidly and are not merely
trying to please me."
"That, Philip, is because we are largely striving for the same purposes.
We both want, I think, to take the selfish equation out of our social
fabric. We want to take away the sting from poverty, and we want envy to
have no place in the world of our making. Is it not so?"
"That seems to me, Gloria, to be the crux of our endeavors. But when we
speak of unselfishness, as we now have it in mind, we are entering a
hitherto unknown realm. The definition of selfishness yesterday or to-
day is quite another thing from the unselfishness that we have in view,
and which we hope and expect will soon leaven society. I think, perhaps,
we may reach the result quicker if we call it mankind's new and higher
pleasure or happiness, for that is what it will mean."
"Philip, it all seems too altruistic ever to come in our lifetime; but,
do you know, I am awfully optimistic about it. I really believe it will
come so quickly, after it once gets a good start, that it will astound
us. The proverbial snowball coming down the mountain side will be as
nothing to it. Everyone will want to join the procession at once. No
one will want to be left out for the finger of Scorn to accuse. And,
strangely enough, I believe it will be the educated and rich, in fact
the ones that are now the most selfish, that will be in the vanguard of
the procession. They will be the first to realize the joy of it all, and
in this way will they redeem the sins of their ancestors."
"Your enthusiasm, Gloria, readily imparts itself to me, and my heart
quickens with hope that what you say may be prophetic. But, to return to
the immediate work in hand, let us simplify our habits and customs to as
great a degree as is possible under existing circumstances. One of the
causes for the mad rush for money is the desire to excel our friends and
neighbors in our manner of living, our entertainments and the like.
Everyone has been trying to keep up with the most extravagant of his
set: the result must, in the end, be unhappiness for all and disaster
for many. What a pitiful ambition it is! How soul-lowering! How it
narrows the horizon! We cannot help the poor, we cannot aid our
neighbor, for, if we do, we cannot keep our places in the unholy
struggle for social equality within our little sphere. Let us go,
Gloria, into the fresh air, for it stifles me to think of this phase of
our civilization. I wish I had let our discussion remain upon the high
peak where you placed it and from which we gazed into the promised
AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
The Administrator did nothing towards reducing the army which,
including those in the Philippines and elsewhere, totalled five hundred
thousand. He thought this hardly sufficient considering international
conditions, and one of his first acts was to increase the number of men
to six hundred thousand and to arm and equip them thoroughly.
For a long period of years England had maintained relations with the
United States that amounted to an active alliance, but there was
evidence that she had under discussion, with her old-time enemy,
Germany, a treaty by which that nation was to be allowed a free hand in
In return for this England was to be conceded all German territory in
Africa, and was to be allowed to absorb, eventually, that entire
continent excepting that part belonging to France.
Japan, it seemed, was to be taken into the agreement and was to be given
her will in the East. If she desired the Philippines, she might take
them as far as European interference went. Her navy was more powerful
than any the United States could readily muster in the far Pacific, and
England would, if necessary, serve notice upon us that her gunboats were
at Japan's disposal in case of war.
In return, Japan was to help in maintaining British supremacy in India,
which was now threatened by the vigorous young Republic of China.
The latter nation did not wish to absorb India herself, but she was
committed to the policy of "Asia for the Asiatics," and it did not take
much discernment to see that some day soon this would come about.
China and Japan had already reached an agreement concerning certain
matters of interest between them, the most important being that Japan
should maintain a navy twice as powerful as that of China, and that the
latter should have an army one-third more powerful than that of Japan.
The latter was to confine her sphere of influence to the Islands of the
Sea and to Korea, and, in the event of a combined attack on Russia,
which was contemplated, they were to acquire Siberia as far west as
practicable, and divide that territory. China had already by purchase,
concessions and covert threats, regained that part of her territory once
held by England, Germany and France. She had a powerful array and a navy
of some consequence, therefore she must needs to be reckoned with.
England's hold upon Canada was merely nominal, therefore, further than
as a matter of pride, it was of slight importance to her whether she
lost it or not. Up to the time of the revolution, Canada had been a
hostage, and England felt that she could at no time afford a rupture
with us. But the alluring vision that Germany held out to her was
dazzling her statesmen. Africa all red from the Cape to the
Mediterranean and from Madagascar to the Atlantic was most alluring. And
it seemed so easy of accomplishment. Germany maintained her military
superiority, as England, even then, held a navy equal to any two powers.
Germany was to exploit South America without reference to the Monroe
Doctrine, and England was to give her moral support, and the support of
her navy, if necessary. If the United States objected to the extent of
declaring war, they were prepared to meet that issue. Together, they
could put into commission a navy three times as strong as that of the
United States, and with Canada as a base, and with a merchant marine
fifty times as large as that of the United States, they could convey
half a million men to North America as quickly as Dru could send a like
number to San Francisco. If Japan joined the movement, she could occupy
the Pacific Slope as long as England and Germany were her allies.
The situation which had sprung up while the United States was putting
her own house in order, was full of peril and General Dru gave it his
careful and immediate attention.
None of the powers at interest knew that Dru's Government had the
slightest intimation of what was being discussed. The information had
leaked through one of the leading international banking houses, that had
been approached concerning a possible loan for a very large amount, and
the secret had reached Selwyn through Thor.
Selwyn not only gave General Dru this information, but much else that
was of extreme value. Dru soon came to know that at heart Selwyn was not
without patriotism, and that it was only from environment and an
overweaning desire for power that had led him into the paths he had
heretofore followed. Selwyn would have preferred ruling through the
people rather than through the interests and the machinations of corrupt
politics, but he had little confidence that the people would take enough
interest in public affairs to make this possible, and to deviate from
the path he had chosen, meant, he thought, disaster to his ambitions.
Dru's career proved him wrong, and no one was quicker to see it than
Selwyn. Dru's remarkable insight into character fathomed the real man,
and, in a cautious and limited way, he counseled with him as the need
THE REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY
Of his Council of Twelve, the Administrator placed one member in charge
of each of the nine departments, and gave to the other three special
work that was constantly arising.
One of his advisers was a man of distinguished lineage, but who, in his
early youth, had been compelled to struggle against those unhappy
conditions that followed reconstruction in the South. His intellect and
force of character had brought him success in his early manhood, and he
was the masterful head of a university that, under his guidance, was
soon to become one of the foremost in the world. He was a trained
political economist, and had rare discernment in public affairs,
therefore Dru leaned heavily upon him when he began to rehabilitate the
Dru used Selwyn's unusual talents for organization and administration,
in thoroughly overhauling the actual machinery of both Federal and State
Governments. There was no doubt but that there was an enormous waste
going on, and this he undertook to stop, for he felt sure that as much
efficiency could be obtained at two-thirds the cost. One of his first
acts as Administrator was to call together five great lawyers, who had
no objectionable corporate or private practice, and give to them the
task of defining the powers of all courts, both State and Federal.
They were not only to remodel court procedure, but to eliminate such
courts as were unnecessary. To this board he gave the further task of
reconstructing the rules governing lawyers, their practice before the
courts, their relations to their clients and the amount and character of
their fees under given conditions.
Under Dru's instruction the commission was to limit the power of the
courts to the extent that they could no longer pass upon the
constitutionality of laws, their function being merely to decide, as
between litigants, what the law was, as was the practice of all other
Judges, both Federal and State, were to be appointed for life, subject
to compulsory retirement at seventy, and to forced retirement at any
time by a two-thirds vote of the House and a majority vote of the
Senate. Their appointment was to be suggested by the President or
Governor, as the case might be, and a majority vote of the House and a
two-third vote of the Senate were necessary for confirmation.
High salaries were to be paid, but the number of judges was to be
largely decreased, perhaps by two-thirds. This would be possible,
because the simplification of procedure and the curtailment of their
powers would enormously lessen the amount of work to be done. Dru called
the Board's attention to the fact that England had about two hundred
judges of all kinds, while there were some thirty-six hundred in the
United States, and that the reversals by the English Courts were only
about three per cent, of the reversals by the American Courts.
The United States had, therefore, the most complicated, expensive and
inadequate legal machinery of any civilized nation. Lawyers were no
longer to be permitted to bring suits of doubtful character, and without
facts and merit to sustain them. Hereafter it would be necessary for the
attorney, and the client himself, to swear to the truth of the
allegations submitted in their petitions of suits and briefs.
If they could not show that they had good reason to believe that their
cause was just, they would be subject to fines and imprisonment, besides
being subject to damages by the defendant. Dru desired the Board on
Legal Procedure and Judiciary to work out a fair and comprehensive
system, based along the fundamental lines he had laid down, so that the
people might be no longer ridden by either the law or the lawyer. It was
his intention that no man was to be suggested for a judgeship or
confirmed who was known to drink to excess, either regularly or
periodically, or one who was known not to pay his personal debts, or had
acted in a reprehensible manner either in private or in his public
capacity as a lawyer.
Any of these habits or actions occurring after appointment was to
subject him to impeachment. Moreover, any judge who used his position to
favor any individual or corporation, or who deviated from the path of
even and exact justice for all, or who heckled a litigant, witness or
attorney, or who treated them in an unnecessarily harsh or insulting
manner, was to be, upon complaint duly attested to by reliable
witnesses, tried for impeachment.
The Administrator was positive in his determination to have the
judiciary a most efficient bureau of the people, and to have it
sufficiently well paid to obtain the best talent. He wanted it held in
the highest esteem, and to have an appointment thereon considered one of
the greatest honors of the Republic. To do this he knew it was necessary
for its members to be able, honest, temperate and considerate.
A NEW CODE OF LAWS
Dru selected another board of five lawyers, and to them he gave the task
of reforming legal procedure and of pruning down the existing laws, both
State and National, cutting out the obsolete and useless ones and
rewriting those recommended to be retained, in plain and direct language
free from useless legal verbiage and understandable to the ordinary lay
He then created another board, of even greater ability, to read, digest
and criticise the work of the other two boards and report their findings
directly to him, giving a brief summary of their reasons and
recommendations. To assist in this work he engaged in an advisory
capacity three eminent lawyers from England, Germany and France
The three boards were urged to proceed with as much despatch as
possible, for Dru knew that it would take at least several years to do
it properly, and afterwards he would want to place the new code of laws
in working order under the reformed judiciary before he would be content
to retire. The other changes he had in mind he thought could be
accomplished much more quickly.
Among other things, Dru directed that the States should have a
simplification of land titles, so that transfers of real estate could be
made as easy as the transfer of stocks, and with as little expense, no
attorneys' fees for examination of titles, and no recording fees being
necessary. The title could not be contested after being once registered
in a name, therefore no litigation over real property could be possible.
It was estimated by Dru's statisticians that in some States this would
save the people annually a sum equal to the cost of running their
A uniform divorce law was also to be drawn and put into operation, so
that the scandals arising from the old conditions might no longer be
It was arranged that when laws affecting the States had been written,
before they went into effect they were to be submitted to a body of
lawyers made up of one representative from each State. This body could
make suggestions for such additions or eliminations as might seem to
them pertinent, and conforming with conditions existing in their
respective commonwealths, but the board was to use its judgment in the
matter of incorporating the suggestions in the final draft of the law.
It was not the Administrator's purpose to rewrite at that time the
Federal and State Constitutions, but to do so at a later date when the
laws had been rewritten and decided upon; he wished to first satisfy
himself as to them and their adaptability to the existing conditions,
and then make a constitution conforming with them. This would seem to be
going at things backward, but it recommended itself to Dru as the sane
and practical way to have the constitutions and laws in complete
The formation of the three boards created much disturbance among judges,
lawyers and corporations, but when the murmur began to assume the
proportions of a loud-voiced protest, General Dru took the matter in
hand. He let it be known that it would be well for them to cease to
foment trouble. He pointed out that heretofore the laws had been made
for the judges, for the lawyers and for those whose financial or
political influence enabled them to obtain special privileges, but that
hereafter the whole legal machinery was to be run absolutely in the
interest of the people. The decisive and courageous manner in which he
handled this situation, brought him the warm and generous approval of
the people and they felt that at last their day had come.
THE QUESTION OF TAXATION
The question of taxation was one of the most complex problems with which
the Administrator had to deal. As with the legal machinery he formed a
board of five to advise with him, and to carry out his very well-defined
ideas. Upon this board was a political economist, a banker, who was
thought to be the ablest man of his profession, a farmer who was a very
successful and practical man, a manufacturer and a Congressman, who for
many years had been the consequential member of the Ways and Means
Committee. All these men were known for their breadth of view and their
interest in public affairs.
Again, Dru went to England, France and Germany for the best men he could
get as advisers to the board. He offered such a price for their services
that, eminent as they were, they did not feel that they could refuse. He
knew the best were the cheapest.
At the first sitting of the Committee, Dru told them to consider every
existing tax law obliterated, to begin anew and to construct a revenue
system along the lines he indicated for municipalities, counties,
states and the Nation. He did not contemplate, he said, that the new law
should embrace all the taxes which the three first-named civil divisions
could levy, but that it should apply only where taxes related to the
general government. Nevertheless, Dru was hopeful that such a system
would be devised as would render it unnecessary for either
municipalities, counties or states to require any further revenue. Dru
directed the board to divide each state into districts for the purpose
of taxation, not making them large enough to be cumbersome, and yet not
small enough to prohibit the employment of able men to form the
assessment and collecting boards. He suggested that these boards be
composed of four local men and one representative of the Nation.
He further directed that the tax on realty both in the country and the
city should be upon the following basis:--Improvements on city property
were to be taxed at one-fifth of their value, and the naked property
either in town or country at two-thirds of its value. The fact that
country property used for agricultural purposes was improved, should not
be reckoned. In other words, if A had one hundred acres with eighty
acres of it in cultivation and otherwise improved, and B had one hundred
acres beside him of just as good land, but not in cultivation or
improved, B's land should be taxed as much as A's.
In cities and towns taxation was to be upon a similar basis. For
instance, when there was a lot, say, one hundred feet by one hundred
feet with improvements upon it worth three hundred thousand dollars, and
there was another lot of the same size and value, the improved lot
should be taxed only sixty thousand more than the unimproved lot; that
is, both lots should be taxed alike, and the improvement on the one
should be assessed at sixty thousand dollars or one-fifth of its actual
This, Dru pointed out, would deter owners from holding unimproved
realty, for the purpose of getting the unearned increment made possible
by the thrift of their neighbors. In the country it would open up land
for cultivation now lying idle, provide homes for more people, cheapen
the cost of living to all, and make possible better schools, better
roads and a better opportunity for the successful cooperative marketing
In the cities and towns, it would mean a more homogeneous population,
with better streets, better sidewalks, better sewerage, more convenient
churches and cheaper rents and homes. As it was at that time, a poor man
could not buy a home nor rent one near his work, but must needs go to
the outskirts of his town, necessitating loss of time and cost of
transportation, besides sacrificing the obvious comforts and
conveniences of a more compact population.
The Administrator further directed the tax board to work out a graduated
income tax exempting no income whatsoever. Incomes up to one thousand
dollars a year, Dru thought, should bear a merely nominal tax of one-
half of one per cent.; those of from one to two thousand, one per cent.;
those of from two to five thousand, two per cent.; those of from five to
ten thousand, three per cent.; those of from ten to twenty thousand, six
per cent. The tax on incomes of more than twenty thousand dollars a
year, Dru directed, was to be rapidly increased, until a maximum of
seventy per cent, was to be reached on those incomes that were ten
million dollars, or above.
False returns, false swearing, or any subterfuge to defraud the
Government, was to be punished by not less than six months or more than
two years in prison. The board was further instructed to incorporate in
their tax measure, an inheritance tax clause, graduated at the same rate
as in the income tax, and to safeguard the defrauding of the Government
by gifts before death and other devices.
A FEDERAL INCORPORATION ACT
Along with the first board on tax laws, Administrator Dru appointed yet
another commission to deal with another phase of this subject. The
second board was composed of economists and others well versed in
matters relating to the tariff and Internal Revenue, who, broadly
speaking, were instructed to work out a tariff law which would
contemplate the abolishment of the theory of protection as a
governmental policy. A tariff was to be imposed mainly as a supplement
to the other taxes, the revenue from which, it was thought, would be
almost sufficient for the needs of the Government, considering the
economies that were being made.
Dru's father had been an ardent advocate of State rights, and the
Administrator had been reared in that atmosphere; but when he began to
think out such questions for himself, he realized that density of
population and rapid inter-communication afforded by electric and steam
railroads, motors, aeroplanes, telegraphs and telephones were, to all
practical purposes, obliterating State lines and molding the country
into a homogeneous nation.
Therefore, after the Revolution, Dru saw that the time had come for this
trend to assume more definite form, and for the National Government to
take upon itself some of the functions heretofore exclusively within the
jurisdiction of the States. Up to the time of the Revolution a state of
chaos had existed. For instance, laws relating to divorces, franchises,
interstate commerce, sanitation and many other things were different in
each State, and nearly all were inefficient and not conducive to the
general welfare. Administrator Dru therefore concluded that the time had
come when a measure of control of such things should be vested in the
Central Government. He therefore proposed enacting into the general laws
a Federal Incorporation Act, and into his scheme of taxation a franchise
tax that would not be more burdensome than that now imposed by the
States. He also proposed making corporations share with the Government
and States a certain part of their net earnings, public service
corporations to a greater extent than others. Dru's plan contemplated
that either the Government or the State in which the home or
headquarters of any corporation was located was to have representation
upon the boards of such corporation, in order that the interests of the
National, State, or City Government could be protected, and so as to
insure publicity in the event it was needful to correct abuses.
He had incorporated in the Franchise Law the right of Labor to have one
representative upon the boards of corporations and to share a certain
percentage of the earnings above their wages, after a reasonable per
cent, upon the capital had been earned.[Footnote: See WHAT CO-PARTNERSHIP
CAN DO below.] In turn, it was to be obligatory upon them not to strike,
but to submit all grievances to arbitration. The law was to stipulate
that if the business prospered, wages should be high; if times were dull,
they should be reduced.
The people were asked to curb their prejudice against corporations. It
was promised that in the future corporations should be honestly run, and
in the interest of the stockholders and the public. Dru expressed the
hope that their formation would be welcomed rather than discouraged, for
he was sure that under the new law it would be more to the public
advantage to have business conducted by corporations than by individuals
in a private capacity. In the taxation of real estate, the unfair
practice of taxing it at full value when mortgaged and then taxing the
holder of the mortgage, was to be abolished. The same was to be true of
bonded indebtedness on any kind of property. The easy way to do this was
to tax property and not tax the evidence of debt, but Dru preferred the
other method, that of taxing the property, less the debt, and then
taxing the debt wherever found.
His reason for this was that, if bonds or other forms of debt paid no
taxes, it would have a tendency to make investors put money into that
kind of security, even though the interest was correspondingly low, in
order to avoid the trouble of rendering and paying taxes on them. This,
he thought, might keep capital out of other needful enterprises, and
give a glut of money in one direction and a paucity in another. Money
itself was not to be taxed as was then done in so many States.
THE RAILROAD PROBLEM
While the boards and commissions appointed by Administrator Dru were
working out new tax, tariff and revenue laws, establishing the judiciary
and legal machinery on a new basis and revising the general law, it was
necessary that the financial system of the country also should be
reformed. Dru and his advisers saw the difficulties of attacking this
most intricate question, but with the advice and assistance of a
commission appointed for that purpose, they began the formulation of a
new banking law, affording a flexible currency, bottomed largely upon
commercial assets, the real wealth of the nation, instead of upon debt,
This measure was based upon the English, French and German plans, its
authors taking the best from each and making the whole conform to
American needs and conditions. Dru regarded this as one of his most
pressing reforms, for he hoped that it would not only prevent panics, as
formerly, but that its final construction would completely destroy the
credit trust, the greatest, the most far reaching and, under evil
direction, the most pernicious trust of all.
While in this connection, as well as all others, he was insistent that
business should be honestly conducted, yet it was his purpose to throw
all possible safeguards around it. In the past it had been not only
harassed by a monetary system that was a mere patchwork affair and
entirely inadequate to the needs of the times, but it had been
constantly threatened by tariff, railroad and other legislation
calculated to cause continued disturbance. The ever-present demagogue
had added to the confusion, and, altogether, legitimate business had
suffered more during the long season of unrest than had the law-defying
Dru wanted to see the nation prosper, as he knew it could never have
done under the old order, where the few reaped a disproportionate reward
and to this end he spared no pains in perfecting the new financial
system. In the past the railroads and a few industrial monopolies had
come in for the greatest amount of abuse and prejudice. This feeling
while largely just, in his opinion, had done much harm. The railroads
were the offenders in the first instance, he knew, and then the people
retaliated, and in the end both the capitalists who actually furnished
the money to build the roads and the people suffered.
"In the first place," said Administrator Dru to his counsel during the
discussion of the new financial system, "the roads were built
dishonestly. Money was made out of their construction by the promoters
in the most open and shameless way, and afterwards bonds and stocks were
issued far in excess of the fraudulent so-called cost. Nor did the
iniquity end there. Enterprises were started, some of a public nature
such as grain elevators and cotton compresses, in which the officials of
the railroads were financially interested. These favored concerns
received rebates and better shipping facilities than their competitors
and competition was stifled.
"Iron mines and mills, lumber mills and yards, coal mines and yards,
etc., etc., went into their rapacious maw, and the managers considered
the railroads a private snap and 'the public be damned.'
"These things," continued Dru, "did not constitute their sole offense,
for, as you all know, they lobbied through legislatures the most
unconscionable bills, giving them land, money and rights to further
exploit the public.
"But the thing that, perhaps, aroused resentment most was their failure
to pay just claims. The idea in the old days, as you remember, was to
pay nothing, and make it so expensive to litigate that one would prefer
to suffer an injustice rather than go to court. From this policy was
born the claim lawyer, who financed and fought through the courts
personal injury claims, until it finally came to pass that in loss or
damage suits the average jury would decide against the railroad on
general principles. In such cases the litigant generally got all he
claimed and the railroad was mulcted. There is no estimating how much
this unfortunate policy cost the railroads of America up to the time of
the Revolution. The trouble was that the ultimate loss fell, not on
those who inaugurated it but upon the innocent stock and bondholder of
"While the problem is complicated," he continued, "its solution lies in
the new financial system, together with the new system of control of
To this end, Dru laid down his plans by which public service
corporations should be honestly, openly and efficiently run, so that the
people should have good service at a minimum cost.
Primarily the general Government, the state or the city, as the case
might be, were to have representation on the directorate, as previously
indicated. They were to have full access to the books, and semi-annually
each corporation was to be compelled to make public a full and a clear
report, giving the receipts and expenditures, including salaries paid to
high officials. These corporations were also to be under the control of
national and state commissions.
While the Nation and State were to share in the earnings, Dru demanded
that the investor in such corporate securities should have reasonable
profits, and the fullest protection, in the event states or
municipalities attempted to deal unfairly with them, as had heretofore
been the case in many instances.
The Administrator insisted upon the prohibition of franchise to "holding
companies" of whatsoever character. In the past, he declared, they had
been prolific trust breeders, and those existing at that time, he
asserted, should be dissolved.
Under the new law, as Dru outlined it, one company might control
another, but it would have to be with the consent of both the state and
federal officials having jurisdiction in the premises, and it would have
to be clear that the public would be benefited thereby. There was to be
in the future no hiding under cover, for everything was to be done in
the open, and in a way entirely understandable to the ordinary layman.
Certain of the public service corporations, Dru insisted, should be
taken over bodily by the National Government and accordingly the
Postmaster General was instructed to negotiate with the telegraph and
telephone companies for their properties at a fair valuation. They were
to be under the absolute control of the Postoffice Department, and the
people were to have the transmission of all messages at cost, just as
they had their written ones. A parcel post was also inaugurated, so that
as much as twelve pounds could be sent at cost.
The further Administrator Dru carried his progress of reform, the more
helpful he found Selwyn. Dru's generous treatment of him had brought in
return a grateful loyalty.
One stormy night, after Selwyn had dined with Dru, he sat contentedly
smoking by a great log fire in the library of the small cottage which
Dru occupied in the barracks.
"This reminds me," he said, "of my early boyhood, and of the fireplace
in the old tavern where I was born."
General Dru had long wanted to know of Selwyn, and, though they had
arranged to discuss some important business, Dru urged the former
Senator to tell him something of his early life.
Selwyn consented, but asked that the lights be turned off so that there
would be only the glow from the fire, in order that it might seem more
like the old days at home when his father's political cronies gathered
about the hearth for their confidential talks.
And this was Selwyn's story:--
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