Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: socialists

Friday, October 18, 1912

Francis Ganalon, the “wild man” who took possession of a house in Tolono and who claimed to own all of the public buildings and farmland in this county, has escaped from the asylum for the insane. As Mr. Ganalon tends not to keep such a low profile, I believe we have not heard the last of him.

“A wild-eyed stranger, hatless and poorly clothed and excitedly claiming to have witnessed a frightful train wreck,” appeared at the Johnson residence just south of Sidney early this morning. Sidney officers brought the stranger, who first gave his name as Con Graney and later as Dan Conley, to Urbana, where he was adjudged insane. The prisoner imagined himself to be in Chicago. Although clad in the attire of a common laborer, the mystery man has a refined face, and his hands are small and uncalloused. “The rough exterior does not disguise the refined and intellectual appearance of the man and the authorities are considerably puzzled.”

Myrtle Bowers, employed in a knitting mill, put her name and address into a stocking before it was shipped. A Florida man bought the stocking, the two corresponded, and they were married in Rockford, Illinois.

George R. Lunn, Socialist mayor of Schenectady, New York, and six of his Socialist co-workers have been arrested on a charge of rioting and thrown in jail in Little Falls. The mayor, his wife, and a number of others had attempted to address groups of striking employees in the streets there without a permit.

The 1912 Presidential Election

The presidential election of 1912 was significant because it included a viable third party. Professor Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, joins NPR host Robert Siegel for a discussion on this important centennial. Highlights include recorded snippets of speeches from Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt. (A transcript is available.)

Presidential Election Of 1912 Saw Viable Third Party (NPR)

A lot of people were beginning to look at the socialist party, which was developing into a very important reform party with a very popular candidate in Debs as the alternative to the Republican Party.

And I’ve argued that had T.R. not, so to speak, preempted the socialist party, short-circuited it and stolen its thunder by proposing a more moderate form of reform, then the socialist party might have gotten many more votes than it did get in 1912.

Bread and Roses

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

—James Oppenheim, 1911

The Lawrence Textile Strike

Monday, September 30, 1912

Two men claim to have seen a biplane fly over Urbana at ten o’clock this morning! “There is considerable speculation over the event as coming of the stranger of the air was not heralded.”

The sorority rushing season closed on Saturday “amid bedlam on John street. A burlesque band of students paraded in derision, while whirling autos driven by co-eds, carried pledges from their rooms to the sorority houses. There was plenty of excitement for two hours.”

John Philip Sousa, who will be here on Thursday, loves trap shooting. “Although he is an excellent shot, it is said he misses clay pigeons oftener than he allows a member of his band to play a false note.”

On Friday and Saturday at the state fair, Madame Somebody-or-Other from Cuba will drive her automobile down a 75-foot incline and turn a triple somersault! (I cannot make out her actual name, because there is a spot of jam over it. Strawberry, I believe.)

Illinois Socialists filed their list of presidential electors and University of Illinois trustees with the secretary of state; all of the trustee candidates are women of Chicago. And finally, the champion corn husker of Illinois sued another man for $20,000, charging “alienation of his wife’s affections.”

Saturday, September 21, 1912

A dairyman fell asleep in his wagon and was struck by an Oregon street car last night at California and Broad streets. Neighbors arriving on the scene found the wagon quite damaged and the team down, but “Bud” Smith was still snoozing on the seat. He said over and over, “Them ___ ____ fellers run too fast.” Worried that his arm was “busted,” he asked bystanders to “feel that lump.” The “lump” was his elbow. The motorman and conductor of the car stated in their official report that Smith was very much intoxicated.

Gordon Pettigrew, who is charged with implication in the death of Edna Vice as the result of an effort to produce an abortion, was brought up from Albion by Sheriff Davis last night. He only learned this morning that the girl was dead. Pettigrew, an eighteen-year-old member of a well-to-do family in Southern Illinois, would only say, “I’ve only been with that girl three times.” Before her death, Miss Vice confided to relatives that a Champaign physician, to whom Pettigrew had taken her a week ago, had performed a criminal operation on her.

The Bull Moose crowd in Urbana are very excited because Teddy Roosevelt may be here Monday. Roosevelt is to make a trip of three days on a special car through Illinois towns. An itinerary is given in the article.

Eugene V. Debs, the presidential nominee of the Socialist party, invited President Taft to enter into debate, but the president declined.

Thursday, September 5, 1912

An enthusiastic crowd of about two hundred people—including a few women—turned out to hear Rev. Otho Bartholow of New York speak on the progressive movement.

Said he, “I never knew what would make a man a socialist until the Chicago convention. I was so mad I could fight or shoot. When I saw the great army of socialists marching in New York, with hate expressed on their faces, I said, ‘I can feel for you fellows.’ Eighty-five per cent of the people do not own anything. What are you going to do about it? Do you want Eugene V. Debs’ crowd, a gang of socialistic atheists, to settle it? God forbid. Something must be done quickly, or the red flag will wave from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to the Gulf.”

Papa says he does not think a new political party can win the election, even with Roosevelt as the candidate.