Thursday, March 31, 2011

First Letter to Editor in Capital Journal Proves Cranks are Eternal

On March 1, 1888 the first Capital Journal was published. In it and the "salutatory" manifesto, there's lots of otiose blather about it being a Republican paper.

Much more interesting is the first letter to the editor, published on March 2nd, the very next day. Cranks and their parties will be with us always!

ED. CAPITAL JOURNAL: - Without wishing to perpetuate a pun, probably now developed into a chestnut, I wish to say that you have made of your paper a capital journal. But I presume, friendly criticisms will, with your usual liberality, be allowed.

In your salutatory you praise the republican party - and very justly - for the fact that, twenty-eight years ago, it "planted itself up on a single sentiment - the preservation of this union. Around this central idea the best and bravest of the nation rallied," etc. Then you declare that "the democratic party has no great principle - this is its misfortune." Now, why stop there? Is there not another party with a great, leading "sentiment," and "a central idea"? Has not the prohibition party a great and grand aim, "the preservation of the union" from the wasting, withering blighting curse of the grog shop and liquor traffic? That our beloved land needs this preservation is evident, for the Toledo Blade, as staunch a republican paper as the CAPITAL JOURNAL, deliberately says that "the country must kill the liquor traffic, or the liquor traffic will kill the country." Then, why ignore this growing party, when drawing comparisons? Do you not think it will be heard from during the coming state and presidential elections? Have not 150,000 among "the best and bravest" rallied around it with wonderful enthusiasm? True, that is not so vast a number. But had the republican party as many, eight and twenty years go? And, without supposing you to be a prophet, do not "coming events casting their shadows before" indicate a large increase in Nov. 1888? Please do the fair thing by us all, and do not limit the active parties already stripped for the fight, with national conventions called, to only two.

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