Friday, August 16, 2013

Today -100: August 16, 1913: You must give us the vote or you must kill us

William Sulzer spends the day busily pretending he’s still governor of New York, transacting important business, although he refuses to tell anyone just what important business he was transacting. His secretary explains that this policy of “invisible government” is intended to prevent his enemies knowing what he’s doing. He has had quite a few new locks installed and hired private guards. Alt-Gov. Glynn sends Sulzer a demand for the privy seal, the Executive Chamber, all the state’s account books and papers and so on, and rejects Sulzer’s suggestion that they let some court settle the issue of who is governor. Anyway, in their exchange of letters, both insist that they are the One True Governor. Glynn will have another privy seal made. Every dept is having to pick sides: the post office is delivering mail addressed to “the Governor” to Sulzer, while the controller’s office won’t pay Sulzer’s salary unless Glynn signs off.

And those poor cops from West Virginia still don’t have their prisoner, not being able to find anyone in the police or DA’s office willing to decide whether extradition papers signed by Sulzer are legitimate or not.

The NYT interviews Emmeline Pankhurst, British suffragette leader. She says that suffragettes hunger-strike in prison because “We will not submit to the Government until we have a voice in it.” She believes that this resistance has broken down the efficacy of the Cat and Mouse Act and imprisonment generally, leaving the government having to choose between 1) punishing window-breaking, obstruction of the police, etc with death through self-starvation or 2) giving women the vote. “You must give us the vote or you must kill us.”

There is a drought in the Southwest, but Kansas Gov. George Hartshorn Hodges refuses to call for a day of public prayer, saying, “I believe in the efficacy of prayer, but not in the case of flood or drought.” I assume he’ll be burned at the stake as a heretic, but that may just be me applying 2013 assumptions to the more enlightened Kansas of 1913.

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