The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 23, 1906, Page 3, Image 3

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The Commoner.
MARCH 23, 190C
A Great Fortune in Sunbeams
Several years ago Charles Lounsberry, a
Chicago lawyer who at one time ranked high in
his profession, died an insane patient in the
Cook county asylum at Dunning, Although this
man died absolutely destitute and penniless, he
left a "will." This will was duly sent to the
probate court, but there being nothing to probate
the document wa3 merely placed on file. Re
ferring to this will at the time the Chicago
Record-Herald said that it was "framed with such
perfection of form and detail that no flaw could
be foind in its legal phraseology or matters, yet
'devising' only those beauties and blessings which
the Great Father long ago devised to all human
The Record-Herald printed the document as
it stood "for the sake of its intrinsic beauty and
peculiar interest." For the same reason it is
now reproduced in The Commoner:
"I; Charles Lounsberry, being of sound and
disposing mind and memory, do hereby make and
publish this, my last will and testament, in order,
as justly as may be, to distribute my interest in
the world among succeeding men.
"That part of my interest, which is known
in law and recognized in the sheep bound volumes
as my property, being inconsiderable and of none
account, I make no disposition of in this, my will.
My right to live, being but a life estate, is not at
my disposal, but these things excepted, all else
in the world I now proceed to devise and be
queath. "Item: I give to good fathers and mothers
in trust for their children, all good little words
of praise and encouragement, and all quaint pet
names and endearments, and I charge said par
' ents to use them justly, but generously, as the
needs of their children shall require.
"Item: I leave to children inclusively, but
only for the term of their childhood, all and every,
the flowers of the fields, and the blossoms of the
woods, with the right to play among them freely
according to the customs of children, t warning
them at the same time against thistles and thorns.
And I devise to children the banks of the brooks
and the golden sands beneath the waters thereof,
and the odors of the willows that dip therein and
the white clouds that float high over the giant
"And I leave to children the long, long days
to be merry in, in a thousand ways, and the
night, and the moon, and the train of the milky
way to wonder at, but subject, nevertheless, to
the rights hereinafter given to lovers. v
"Item: I devise to boys jointly, all the use
ful, idle fields and commons, where ball may bo
played; all pleasant waters where one may swim;
all snowclad hills where one may coast; and all
streams and ponds where one may fish, or where,
when grim winter comes, one may skate, to have
and to hold these same for the period of their -boyhood.
And all meadows, with the clover
blossoms and butterflies-thereof; the woods with
their appurtenances, the squirrels and the birds
and echoes and strange noises, and all distant
places which may be visited, together with the
adventures there found. And I give to said boys
each his own place at the fireside at night, with
all the pictures that may be seen in the burning
wood, to enjoy without let or hindrance, and
without any incumbranee of care.
"Item: To lovers, I devise their imaginary
world with whatever they may need, as the stars
of the sky, the red roses by the wall, the bloom
of the hawthorne, the sweet strains of music,
and aught else they may desire to figure to each
other the lastingness and beauty of their love.
'Ttem: To young men, jointly, I devise and
bequeath all boisterous, inspiring, sports of rivalry,
and I give to them the disdain of weakness and
undaunted confidence in their own strength.
Though they are rude, I leave to them the power
to make lasting friendships, and of possessing
companions, and to them exclusively, I give all
merry songs and brave choruses to sing with
lusty voices.
"Item: And to those who are no longer
children, or youths, or lovers, I leave memory,
and I bequeath to them the volumes of the poems
of Bums and Shakespeare and of other poems,
if there be others, to the end that they may live
the old days over again, freely and fully without
title or diminution.
"Item: To our lpved ones with snowy crowns,
I bequeath the happiness of old age, the love- and
gratitude of their children until they fall asleep."
Commenting upon this peculiar document the
Record-Herald said: "The human mind is a pe
culiar instrument. The mind of a man justly
adjudged insane by his fellows will turn out
veritable masterpieces of poetry or literature now
and again. The ways and means by which the
unbalanced mental machinery accomplishes at
once such real wonders and such wonderful mis
takes constitutes one of the most perplexing mys
teries known to the scientific student a mystery
second only in intensity, strangness and interest,
to the mystery of life itself.'
The Omaha Bee, a republican paper, says:
"The poor old democratic party, which always
limps at the tail end of republican reforms, now
claims to be entitled to the advancement of the
railroad regulation bill, which was originated by
republicans, , indorsed by a republican president
and passed by a republican house by almost unani
mous vote. But the country will cheerfully con
cede the democrats whatever credit there is due
for falling in and giving the measure active and
earnest support"
Of course the important thing is the adoption
of reforms essential to public welfare, but it is
just as well' to keep the record straight. It is
refreshing to read in a republican paper that the
democratic party "limps at the tail end of re
publican reforms" on the railway rate question.
In 1896, in 1900 and in 1904 the democratic na
tional platforms declared in favor of railway rate
legislation. The republican platforms' for those
years were silent upon that question. The demo
cratic nominee, in his letter of acceptance, laid
particular emphasis on this proposed reform. The
republican nominee was silent. In the house
every democrat voted in favor of the measure and
the only voteB cast against it in the house were
republican votes. In the senate the five senators
who in' committee voted against the measure
were republicans, while of the eight senators
voting to report the bill five were democrats. It
is generally believed by friends of the measuro
that every democrat in the senate will vote for
it. The vigorous fight now being made against
the measure is made by republican senators.
Railway rate legislation is a democratic
measure indorsed by democratic national plat
forms, advocated by democratic candidates and
supported by democratic members of congress.
When the president, who was elected as a repub
lican, gave indorsement to Hint democratic meas
ure democrats throughout the country gave to
him cordial support.
Republican papers will avoid considerable
. embarrassment if, instead of denying to demo
crats the proud honor belonging to them, they
accept the more than generous statement made
by Senator Tillman when he referred to the
railway rate bill as "a non-partisan measure."
So far as the people are concerned, it is a
non-partisan measure, but it owes its origin to
democrats and if it shall be saved from the Aid
riches and the Forakers in the senate the work of
salvation will have been accomplished by Till
man and his democratic associates.
The Chicago Chronicle charges that other
Chicago newspapers have conspired to ruin John
R. Walsh and speaks of the acts of its contem
poraries as "journalistic scoundrellsm." Tho
Chronicle need not be greatly disturbed by any
alleged conspiracy on the part of the Chicago
newspapers. Mr. John R. Walsh has been granted
extraordinary privileges by men whose duty it was
to proceed against him. He is closely allied with
some very powerful influences, and if he can show
clean hands with respect to his Chicago bank he
will not be held to account on any imaginary
It will occur to a great many people that Mr.
Walsh has been treated pretty well. Ho would
do well to devote his time now to the explana
tion of the serious accusations made against him.
By its decisions in the paper trust and the
tobacco trust cases the supreme court has placed
in tho hands of the executive department of
government a powerful weapon. Officers of these
trusts refused to answer questions with respect
to their methods of organization. Tho court's
ruling is to tho offect that while an officer of tho
corporation cannot bo required to incriminate
hlmsolf, ho can bo forced to give complete testi
mony respecting his corporation.
In the tobacco trust case Justice Brown de
livered the opinion. Ho said that no one would
contend that a witness could plead tho fact that
some other pcreon than himself might bo Incrim
inated by his testimony, oven though he were tho
agent of that person. Ho added; "If ho cannot
set up tho privllogo of a third person he cannot
set up tho privilege of a corporation." Justice
Brown declared that tho position or the trust
officers wero substantially "that an officer of a
corporation which is charged with criminal viola
tion of tho statute may- plead tho criminality of
such corporation as a refusal to produce its booke,"
but he said: "To state this proposition is to
answer it."
Justice McKonna delivered tho opinion in (ho
paper trust case, and It was to tho effect that
ofllcers of corporations cannot plead that they do
not have personal possession of tho corporation
books as a reason for failure to produce them.
Under these decisions corporation officers must
produce tholr books and give testimony concern
ing corporation affairs when required so to do
by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Now proceed, Mr. Moody, against the trusts.
Tho death of Susan B. Anthony has called
forth a unanimous panegyric from the press of
the country, and it expresses ilia almost univer
sal sentiment of the people. .But almost without
exception the newspapers have made the mistake
of laying the .chief stress upon her advocacy of
woman's suffrage. Miss Anthony is recalled now,
it is true, becauso of her advocacy of that policy,
but her fame In future history- will rest upon
something else. Of late years her splendid serv
ice in tho cause of emancipation has been over
looked, but in time the credit due her for that
splendid work will be recalled. It is quite true
that Miss Anthony was a pioneer in tho equal
suffrage movement, but It is equally true that she
was a pioneer in another movement that has
grown into immense proportions eqijal pay for
equal work, whether performed by man or woman.
Single-handed and alono she fought for that prin
ciple for years. Sneered at, maligned and ridi
culed, she persevered through all the weary years.
But she lived to see a wonderful measure of suc
cess crown her effoits In that direction. People
may differ as to tho measure of blessings that
might accrue to women through equal suffrage,
but there Is no difference of opinion upon the
statement that women have been vastly benefitted
by her championship of equality before the pay
master. Miss Anthony lent her support to every
cause calculated to benefit humanity and her
voice and pen were always at the service of those
who suffered.
District Attorney Jerome is by" no means the
first public official whose activity as a candidate
completely overshadowed the activity' displayed
after the office was secured. We were led to
expect great things from Mr. Jerome in tho way
of prosecuting fraud and crime, out his strenuous
efforts as a candidate seem to have demanded an
extended rest when tho campaign concluded. He
has now filed a couple of libel suits against Mr.
Hearst, and once more we have the pleasure of
seeing Mr. Jerome In activity. But Mr. Jerome
strenuos in protecting himself and quiescent
in protecting the interests of the people who elect
ed him for work is not an entirely edify
ing spectacle. We regret that Mr. Jerome has
not been as strenuous in prosecuting the insur
ance grafters and political corruptlonists In his
official capacity as he now is in commencing libel
suits. Whatever his grounds for libel suit against
Mr. Hearst may be, Mr. Jerome has added noth
ing to his fame by becoming busy with that after
several months of hibernation among the com
plaints filed by the public which took him at his
word and re-elected him to his present position.
A London newspaper urges President Roose
velt to take a hand in tho Moroccan conference
at Algeciras. Mr. Roosevelt has .gone just about
as far on this proposition as it
will do well to take another 1
ington's farewell address hefty
suggestion of tho London pub.
The Missouri river
lution of a whole lot of
Oir - uamJM i
JjmSjK '
to go. He
look at Wash-
ields to the
west a so-
rion puzzles.