Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents

Rev. W. F. Crafts Against the Editors of the American Sentinel

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    1. SLANDERS.

    1. The false charges of alleged breach of contract, etc., in connection with my challenge of Prof. Jones to debate the Sunday-rest Petition. (1) On page 168 it is said, “The challenge and propositions originally made by Mr. Crafts were not subject in any sense to the consent of others.” (2) In same article, it is said, “In the challenge of Mr. Crafts there was no intimation that he was under the control of the Chicago ministers.” (3) In same, the dependence of the debate in Chicago upon the consent of others is called “an after-consideratioin.” (4) Title of same, “Mr. Crafts’ Back Down.” (5) In same, “backing squarely out of the discussion.” (6) In same, “failing to live up to one’s obligations,” etc. (7-10) The charge of cowardice, insultingly made, and the thrice-repeated charge of falsehood, bring up the list of willful and malicious slanders in this one short column to ten, to say nothing of several coarse epithets.RCAAS v.3

    The above statements I declare, on oath, are willful and malicious slanders. In such case Prof. Jones is bound to prove his statements by the original letters. They will show that my first challenge for a debate at Kalamazoo who subject to the approval of the ministers of that city. This is stated in my original challenge to Prof. Jones, 1See original letter, pages 13, 14, 15. and also in my letter to Rev. W. A. Waterman of Kalamazoo, who would testify by letter to this effect, if requested. Before the ministers of Kalamazoo replied, Prof. Jones wished the place changed to Chicago, to which I consented subject to the approval of the Illinois Sabbath Association, as is shown by several of my letters to Prof. Jones10Original letter, pages 19, 20., and by others, to Rev. C. E. Mandeville, D.D., of Chicago, who would so testify if requested. The Illinois Sabbath Association declined to approve and arrange the debate on the ground that Prof. Jones had shown himself a trickster at the Washington hearing, and that his obscure sect were not worthy of so much attention.11The real reason, pages 29, 30. This decision was not, however, considered final by me—only a postponement—and while it canceled the June dates, Prof. Jones was assured in my last communication to him (let him show it), in its very last sentence, that I was still trying to arrange the debate. As late as June 9th, at Milwaukee, I told Rev. Mr. Corliss, pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Battle Creek, that I was hoping to have the debate in California, or at Battle Creek. Two days before, I said the same to another citizen of the same place, whom I met in Chicago. At the time the slanderous article appeared, I had not given up the debate, nor deviated a hair’s breadth from the conditions of the challenge. Self-respect, of course, prevents me from entertaining, for a moment longer, the idea of a debate with one who has so fully proved himself incapable of fair dealing.RCAAS v.4

    It cannot be pleaded, in extenuation, in this case, that the slanderous charges quoted from Prof. Jones were made thoughtlessly; for they were first made in an abusive private letter; 2See letter, page 35. sent by him to me, in responding to which I reminded him of the conditions of the challenge, long before the article was printed.RCAAS 6.1

    2. The false charge that I and other leading promoters of the Sunday-rest petition have been guilty of the treason of a “false count.” (11) On page 162, last column, it is charged that we “counted those members who were opposed to the bill as favoring it.” This is a false and malicious assumption, without proof. The votes of the churches and labor organizations have been stated, in nearly all cases, “unanimous;” in others the exact vote “for” and “against” is recorded on the petition. (12) In the same column there is a quotation so abridged as to make it the ground of a willful misrepresentation, as can be seen by comparing it with the full record in the Congressional Record of January 17, 1889. (13, 14) In the same column and the one following, it is twice stated that “only 407 persons actually signed the petition,” conveying the impression to the readers that this is a statement in regard to the whole petition,—some have so quoted it into other papers,—whereas it was true only of one special lot of petitions, chiefly those endorsed by national bodies, such as the General Assemblies of the Presbyterians and of the Knights of Labor, which were attested, in each case, by the signatures of the presiding officer and clerk only, after which were added a few signatures of such eminent men as General Fisk, President Seelye, and Joseph Cook, who belong to the Nation rather than any one State. The whole list of the individual names, according to Mrs. Bateham’s careful estimate, if arranged in a single column would have measured a mile at the beginning of the last Congress. Professor Jones saw this immense list festooned on the church walls at the Washington Convention. (15-28) On pages 162-5 there is an unlucky thirteen of malicious slanders, each a specific allegation that the same petitioners were counted twice or more. The figures and facts given in the paper itself are proof enough that these allegations are falsehoods. Anyone can see by a few moments’ work in adding up the figures given in the paper, that if the churches and the W. C. T. U. and the workingmen had been counted over and over again, as alleged, the total would have been nearer forty than “fourteen millions.” When a General Assembly has endorsed the petition, the subsequent action of synods, presbyteries, and churches of the same order, are counted only as amens, not as new petitioners; and so in case of the General Assembly of the Knights of Labor and the local assemblies, and in other similar cases. (29, 30) Twice on page 163, it is implied that some fraud was perpetrated, because the whole membership of churches petitioning was given, not those above “twenty-one” only; but the records quoted show that there was no attempt to deceive. It is impossible to tell how many in a denomination are under twenty-one, and so the whole number is given. It has never been stated by me that the petitions had fourteen million signatures (in an article in Our Day “ten million names” are spoken of, but the last word if there through a mistake of the proofreader), nor even “representative endorsements” of fourteen millions above twenty-one. The “twenty-one years” in the petition is used with reference to individual signers as the working shows. (31) On page 165, first column, it is stated that “Mr. Crafts and his associate Sunday reformers went to Sunday-schools and secured the names of children to their petition,”—another malicious slander, the definite proof of which you should demand. (32) On page 168 another absurd slander as to a proposed false count by the W. C. T. U., is added. (33) These premises, on which is based the slanderous charge that our last year of Sabbath Reform work was “a year of trickery and fraud,” having been disproved, the conclusion also takes its place in the list of slanders. (34) A minor but not unimportant misstatement is the attempt to make the heading of an article by me in Our Day, “A Strategic Year in Sabbath Reform,” equivalent to a confession that the year named was such a “year of trickery and fraud.” Apply this philological sophistry to General Grant’s last strategic year before Richmond, and see how false it is.RCAAS 6.2

    I challenge Professor Jones or Mr. Waggoner to produce before you a single authentic statement made by my authority, or by that of Mrs. Bateham, or by any other person entitled to be called one of our “associates” in the management of the petition, to substantiate this serious slander, the reiterated charge of a “false count,” with “repeaters” and attempts to deceive. The largest petition ever presented to be government needs no exaggeration.RCAAS 8.1

    No frantic misstatements can hide the facts that this unparalleled petition, in which labor organizations and churches of all creeds have united, has been endorsed by deliberate vote by so many of the labor organizations that it may fairly be said to voice the wishes of workingmen; that it has been endorsed by so many evangelical churches and conventions that it may fairly be said to voice the wishes of all such churches; that it has been endorsed by the American head of the Catholic Church, and so will not be opposed by any of its loyal members. Promiscuous petitions of unclassified names such as your people are sending to Congress, are far less valuable than our classified petitions, which show just who and what the petitioners are, in part by the name of the organizations which act by vote, and in other cases by the prefix “Mr.” Or “Mrs.” Or “Miss,” with the limit “twenty-one years of age or more,” and the “Occupation.”RCAAS 8.2

    3. Other slanders in the paper referred to. (35-37) The charge of falsehood, made twice against me in the article on the challenge, already referred to, is made three other times in the paper on pages 163, 164.RCAAS 8.3

    There are, then, thirty-seven distinct slanders in the twenty-four short columns of this one issue, many of them slanders that have been printed repeatedly, some of them in book form,—slanders that have been copied from this paper into others,—slanders that make their perpetrators liable for heavy damages in civil courts, and surely ought not to be ignored in church courts.RCAAS 8.4

    I put into a second classification minor slanders and falsehoods, some of which would be of slight importance if they stood alone, but which help to show that the accused editors are not only guilty of slander, but also ofRCAAS 8.5

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents