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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 24, 1901)
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Even the women have not b'een exempt
from the speculative craze which has recently
been sweeping over the country. There may
"be something attractive in the reports which
have described the happiness of those wjio came
off victorious in the struggle for gold. But
although interesting, there is nothing inspir
ing in the reportB of the hopeless, hapless crea
tures who staked and lost their all in the
gambling halls of Wall Street. A New York
dispatch under date of May 0, to the Chicago
Tribune, tells the story of how women, old
and young, met their ruin while gambling in
stocks. This is the tale:
The Wall street panic was to women specula
tors a stunning blow. Room traders up-town had
the usual assembly of feminine patrons today. 'It
was not so much a panicky as a hysterical market
for them, and the men and women in charge of
these places were hard put to it to keep any
semblance of order. Some women speculators
were those who started in with, the boom last fall,
and who bought and bought and kept on buying.
They had seen signs of the end. lately. And they
saw their accumulated wealth, on paper today
wiped out. The veterans took it quietly; The oth
ers did not.
"I'm ruined!" shouted a woman in the corridor
of a building that faces one of the large up-town
hotels; "They've got every cent of mine in there,"
and she pointed to the door of a well-known trading-room.
"You've got a husband to support you," hissed
her companion, "but when I'm out I'm out, and
that's the end of it. I've lost $3,000, and it's all
The voices were hard, one hoarse and one
shrill. The' women's faces were hard, also, and'
one was1 flushed a. deep red, while the other was
ghastly pale. They took their troubles differently,
too. The woman with, a husband had to be as
sisted out of the place; the other walked jauntily
There were other groups in the hall. Inside
the room itself there were about two dozen women.
They did not seem to see the big cushioned Turk
ish chairs that stood all about. They all stood, or
paced up and down. Their talk was now like the
babel of an afternoon tea, and now hushed to
whispers. On the wall was the "list"1 with quota
tions, in an unbroken decline. There, too, was the
significant "N. P." and "1,000" that overshadowed
all the rest. There was a center table with tab
lets of blanks, being "buy" or "sell," but the pens
that lay beside them were all dry with old ink.
The only papers in the women's hands were
those that messengers brought from a neighbor
ing drug store, and by the number of powders con
sumed it appeared that speculative brains had
never been quite so tired before. Figures were
changing meanwhile on 'the list" and men's voices
called the changes from the men's trading room
"If. you could only be quiet, ladies," implored
a manager, "you might all hear the quotations
much better," but they could not.
"Why, everybody has lost," exclaimed one
woman to an inquirer. Then she tipped her tongue
with, venom to add: . "I guess nobody has made,
except the bucket-shops. But there's one woman
.here that made. She's that tall, thin one. O, some
body has been telling her what to do. She started
this morning by going short of the list, and she
told us she was going to do it. Just see what she
has made today. But the rest of us could not sell,
we only knew how to buy. That woman came here
in December and she looked so poor and plainly
dressed, I said to myself, 'You won't last long in
this place,' but she did. And tonight she will be
a rich woman. The rest of us will be dead broke.
O, I don't know how I'll ever explain this to "
The speaker caught herself, gave one quick
glance around, and, then rushed away without toll
ing who was to hear that explanation. She was
young. It might be- her grandfather.
In a trading-room not half a mile away tho
women speculators were veterans mostly. All
were old and many were dressed in black. Men
were there also, and the courtesy of removing hata
was quite overlooked. Apathy had succeeded tho
first panic here.
One woman, brushing tears from her eyes,
slipped quietly out to the street. But tho calm
ones sat still and watched the record of the ex
change. Tho attendants sent out for sandwiches,
to lunch upon. But nobody disturbed them with
speech, much less with orders. The place was
dead. Only the pairs of human eyes that watched
the quotation board seemed to be left alive. A
man calling numbers at a ticker made the only
sound outside of the tickers themselves.
Room traders know that the hard part of a
losing day is the demand of frightened women
for the profits that are gone. The office managers,
therefore, kept to their private cages today, and
when a customer had to be faced there was little
chance for disturbance outside.
Those who hung about tho rooms were women
who felt that they had "nerve" to face the ordeal
out. They talked excitedly about "my stock," and
how "I never thought it would have gone that
way," and "you were wrong about your road, you
see," and so on endlessly.
The one thing that the women agreed on was
that if they had tried some other broker or some
body's ticket man had not had such lovely hair
and, eyes, or they had been received like a lady
by So-and-So's clerk, then all would have been
' , At the Produce Exchange, Just after 11 o'clbck
this morning, a cab drove up and a colored ser
vant helped an elderly woman to the street. She
might have been 60 years- old, r.nd was- dressed in
black, although not in mourning. . She hurried
into the Produce Exchange building and went up
in the elevator to the Stock Exchange floor. Gall
ing a messenger boy; she told him to call out a
certain broker. In a' few moments the boy came
back with the statement that the broker was not
then on the floor.
"What is the price of United States steel pre
ferred?" asked the woman of the messenger. The
boy told her that tho last quotation was 87. Tho
woman seemed about to collapse, and her servant
stepped forward to support her. She collected her
self somewhat and then buried her face in. her
handkerchief and wept as if she had been suddenly
afflicted with a great grief. The colored man kept
suggesting that lUwould be-betterto go home, and
finally the woman consented. As she went down
the Produce Exchange steps to the street she was
heard to say:
"Jackson, I'm utterly and completely ruined.
I haven't a dollar to my name."
The Subsidy Bill Tinker.
From April to December Is a far cry, but tho
senate chairmanship makers in Washington, In
lieu of something better ta satisfy their appetites
for speculation, are already drawing up tentative
slates in the event of this or that occurring. At
the moment the overshadowing legislative measure
in prospect seems to be the ship subsidy bill,
which, during the last session,' nautfcally speak
ing, "put to sea to escape the cqualls off shore,"
In hands other than those of so skillful a mariner
as Mr. Frye tho shipping bill would have be
come a hopeless derelict, but he seem to have
saved enough of it to warrant a patching up, and
if present plans prevail the bill will again sail
gayly into sight, with, a new sheet here and there
and a reef in its mainsail, but it will be tho same
old buccaneer, awaiting a favorable chance to
seize upon an annual prize of ?'J,000,000.
As has been said, the pilot is the man in whose
hands Its fato rests, and it Is very essontlal to se
that a man who has more than a passing interest
U given the chairmanship of the committee on
commerce. Rumors are afloat Intimating that Mr.
Fryo will not servo again in that capacity, and it is
right at this point that interest crystallizes. If,
as tho rumor says, Mr. Fryo "prefers" the head of
tho committee on foreign relations, a post lately
held by tho lamented Cushman K. Davis, the fat
of subsidy legislation will rest largely with Sena
tor Elkins, who, it is said, may succeed Mr. Frye.
Nov: it Is widely believed in Washington that if
there is one thing which Mr. Elkins does not pos
sess It Is tho kind of influence over the senate
which counts in the final reckoning. So the chair
manship Is in something of a muddle. This is In
creased In perplexity by tho fact that tho senate
does not appear to bo desirous of permitting Mr.
Cullora to preside over the foreign relations com
mittee, which he would do if Mr. Frye should re
main chairman of the commerco committee. At
tho same time If Mr, Cullom wore transferred Mr.
Elkins wquW becomo chairman of tho committeo
on interstate commerce, so that tho latter's promo
tion is assured, no matter what new assignment
be made of Messrs. Fryo and Cullom.
It is understood that Mr. Elkins original luke
warmness toward the subsidy bill has changed,
and as a strong party man he will be found In line
supporting the measure. In the neantlmo the bin
is to undergo repairs, and it may bo expected to
make its reappearance soon after the Fifty-seventh
congress assembles in regular session. It means
tco much financially not to be trimmed and fitted
in every manner conceivable to be caught up by
tho wind of popular approval, but recognizing its
essential purpose the people are not likely to be de
ceived by its disguiseBaltimore Sun.
The Chicago Tiibuno makes the following
interesting reference to the proposed new.narao
for the American Indians: V
"Amerinds" are exciting considerable confu
sion and much comical conjecture among people
throughout the country, and though the name U
now familiar to students-of anthropology and
ethnology, the question is constantly being asked
thenv "What are the 'Amerinds? " In explanar
tioi. Professor McGee of the bureau of American
ethnology says tho term Amerind is an arbitrary
compound of the leading syllables of the frequently
used phrase, "American Indian."
It was hatched in the bosom of a body of
ethnologists in Washington, to whom it was sug
gested by- a. well-known lexicographer. It has
thriven under many disadvantages, being a thorn
in the flesh-of old-fashioned scholars like Profes
sor Putnam of Harvard, but it is now appearing i-
scientific journals and will be In the coming edi
tion of the new International dictionary, as well
as in any future edition of Webster's.
While the name Indian is firmly fixed in Am
erican literature and speech, and must long retain
its current meaning the need among scientists
for definite designation is so urgent that any suit
able term might have been adopted Instead of this,
though not nearly so appropriately. To perpetuate
the name and its descriptive or connotative terms,
such as "North American savages," "red men,'
and so on, Is to perpetuate an error, inasmuch as
Columbus believed he had gotten, to- India and so
named our primitive people "Indians."
Amerind la sufilciently brief and euphonious
for all practical purposes, not only in English, but
in the prevailing languages of Europe; and it may
readily be pluralized in these languages, in ac
cordance with their respective rules, without los
ing its distinctive character.
Amerind is proposed as a designation for all
the aboriginal tribes of tho American continent
and adjacent islands, including the Eskimo. It
has thriven scientifically, say3 Professor McGee,
and as soon as people understand It and become
accustomed to our new fashioned name for Ameri
can Indians It will replace the old one entirely.