Skip to main content
LE r? E RSi! mUD SEE EG H E S
'if'-'if, ■:. ■ ■ jTiii ' vi I' ri •. ; lull'. ,1 ■ , ' TTrr- TT" Ti:,~ T':i~ >;i?'-Tr ~ ■" -"-^ ^"— '
1 * 1 1 , ' i ' ! ' , I i ' 1 1 i ; I
HON. ]OM'V. FITZGERALD
MAYOR OF BOSTON
LETTERS AND SPEECHES
HONORABLE JOHN F. FITZGERALD
MAYOR OF BOSTON, 1906-07, 1910-13
CITY OF BOSTON
It * » ' » '
• « >
1 I- -
« r ' ^ »
: VT x^'
vjj \y '^' (/i^.
iv MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
The New England Church 61
At the Congregational Conference, October 10, 1910.
Loss of a Steamship Line 63
Letter to Chamber of Commerce, October 18, 1910.
Franklin Park Zoo 64
Letter to United Improvement Association, November 8, 1910.
Letter to Chamber of Commerce, February 8, 1910.
Greek Union 70
At Pan-Hellenic Meeting, February 17, 1911.
Home Rule 73
Northampton, March 17, 1911.
Fire Conditions 76
Letter to various public bodies, March 29, 1911.
A State Finance Commission 77
At Rockland Board of Trade, April 26, 1911.
Special Article, May 4, 1911.
Defeat of Fire Hazard Bill 83
Statement, May 12, 1911.
Canadian Reciprocity 85
Statement, May 28, 1911.
Memorial Day 87
Speech at Sandwich, May 30, 1911.
West End Merger 89
From Speech at Canobie Lake, June 24, 1911.
Needs of the Fire Department 91
Letter to Finance Commission, August 31, 1911.
Industry in New England 94
Industrial and Educational Exposition, October 20, 1911.
The Irish Literary Revival 98
At First Performance of Abbey Theatre Company, September
Street Improvements 99
Letter to Chamber of Commerce, January 27, 1912.
Boston Catholics 101
Reception to Cardinal O'Connell.
Irish in New England 106
Charitable Irish Society Banquet, March 18, 1912.
Titanic INIemorial Ill
At Faneuil Hall, April 22, 1912.
Address to Gospel Mission 113
At Park Street Church, May 13, 1912.
Preferential Vote 116
Letter to Matthew Hale, May 27, 1912.
Forsyth Dental Infirmary 118
Speech of Acceptance, June 4, 1912.
Port of Boston 121
At Navigation Congress Dinner, June o, 1912.
TABLE OF CONTENTS,
Bigger and Better Boston 1
Franklin Exercises, January 17, 1906.
Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics' Association, March 13,
Public Spirit 7
Before Committee on Metropohtan Affairs, March 21, 1906.
Boston's Chinese Trade 8
Welcome to Chinese Emissary, April 20, 1906.
Health Measures in Boston . , 11
Welcome to Medical Congress, June 5, 1906.
Women's Christian Temperance Union Convention, October
Michael Anagnos 16
Memorial Exercises, Tremont Temple, October 24, 1906.
The City Club 18
At the Opening, December, 1906.
Peace Day, May 11, 1907.
The Old Latin School 26
At King's Chapel Exercises, September 23, 1907.
General Booth 28
Welcome, September 27, 1907.
The Administration of 1906 and 1907 31
At Fane ail Hall, November 29, 1907.
The Irish Exiles 45
March 17, 1907.
Inland Waterways 46
At the Waterways Convention, May 19, 1910.
The Free School 49
At the Teachers' Convention, July 4, 1910.
The Finance Commission 51
Statement, August 18, 1910.
Maine's Opportunity ; 53
At Lewiston, Me., September 10, 1910.
Refusal of Nomination for Governor 58
Statement, September 26, 1910.
Unearned Increment 59
Letter to Finance Commission, October 4, 1910.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. V
General Forbes 125
Address at Banquet, June 21, 1912.
In Favor of Wilson " . . 128
At Rockland, Me., September 5, 1912.
The Winning Team 131
Reception to Red Sox, October 17, 1912.
Steamship Line to Texas 132
Letter to Banking Houses, October 26, 1912.
The Senatorship 135
Faneuil Hall, October 26, 1912.
The Tariff 141
October 31, 1912.
South American Trade 144
Statement, April 27, 1913.
Gambol of Chamber of Commerce.
Edward Everett Hale 151
Speech at Memorial, May 22, 1913.
Boston College 154
Dedication of New Buildings, June 15, 1913.
Metropolitan Planning 159
At First City and Town Planning Conference, State House,
November 18, 1913.
Statement, November 27, 1913.
Governor General Forbes ' 164
City Club Banquet, December 2, 1913.
BIGGER AND BETTER BOSTON.
Franklin Exercises, January 17, 1906.
My honored predecessor in his happy introduction
has asked me to explain wherein Boston is bigger and
better to-day than she was in the time of Frankhn. I
do not think those of you who have eyes and ears will
entertain any doubts as to her tangible growth. The
Boston that Franklin knew was planted on three low
hills which gave its first name to the peninsula. Dor-
chester and South Boston were then dotted with farms;
Cambridge and Charlestown were aspiring villages the
other side of the Charles; a thin strip of land united the
town proper with Roxbury, and along this neck, as it
was called, three stages a week ran out of the capital of
New England, which counted in all some 12,000 souls.
Contrast this picture with the stretch of streets and
houses, the glittering panorama visible from Great Blue
Hill in early winter evenings, the trains running north,
south and west almost every minute of the day, the
nightly exodus to the suburbs and the swinging back
and forth all day long of the million persons, more
or less, who now ply their occupations within our
There is no doubt Boston is bigger and busier. I
believe, also, that she is better, though not so good as
she might be and will be if we all give a little of our
strength and enthusiasm towards making her so. Her
laws are now framed by free citizens and not by a foreign
parliament, owing allegiance to an imbecile king. Her
children are well taught, her poor relieved, her sick
healed. The blind, the dumb, the crippled, the aged,
the insane are not without friends and providers among
us. Our works of positive achievement, — our parks,
libraries, churches, museums, banks, theaters, shops and
factories, — compare favorably with those of any city of
2 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
similar age and size. The Boston of to-day encircling
its beautiful harbor and reaching back among the hills
and rivers of the interior is a monument of human
achievement, a great symbol erected by ten generations
of builders to bear witness to their labors and to the spirit
that ruled them. It is better than the straggling townlet
of 200 years ago as fulfillment is better than promise and
the ripe fruit and flower superior to the seed.
It is fitting that Boston should commemorate the
birth of Franklin, because Boston was the scene of that
memorable event. That he did not forget his birth-
place and the home of his boyhood is evident from his
liberal bequest of funds for the benefit of his former
townsmen — one of them long devoted to the award
of prize medals in our public schools, the other soon
to be consecrated to some great measure of social
This great benefactor of our city and of his race was
one of seventeen children, — the son of a poor soap
boiler and himself by occupation a printer. He made
the most of his opportunities, perhaps I ought to say he
made his opportunities, and became rich, wise, powerful
and famous. But riches, wisdom and power were
merely instruments which he used to benefit his fellow
man. He beheld the pomp of courts, the glories and
frivolities of London and Versailles with unmoved
composure and wore the homespun garments woven by
his wife into the presence of ministers and kings. He
was our first great democrat, his whole biography a
perfect illustration of the simple life.
We do not think of Franklin as a patriot or statesman
mainly, although he bore a part second to none but
Washington in the creation of our Union. He was
delegate to the Continental Congress, minister to Paris
throughout the War of Independence, and a member of
the convention which framed the Constitution. But he
did not owe his reputation to these activities, or to any
part which he took in public life or the wars of the young
colonies. In the groups of brilliant soldiers and states-
men whom the need of that great hour wakened to high
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 3
achievements, he stands a figure apart, calm, reflective
and mature. He belonged, in fact, to an earlier genera-
tion. In the year of the signing of the Declaration of
Independence Franklin was a venerable sage of seventy.
Washington himself was but forty-four, Jefferson thirty-
three and Hamilton nineteen. The others had their
reputations to make. Franklin was already successful
in commerce, a household word in literature, renowned
throughout two continents in science and invention.
And, although he added to the lustre of his fame by his
conduct in the trying period that followed, still it is
not as a diplomat that he is remembered to-day. We
think of him in his more characteristic pursuits, as the
inventor of the lightning rod, the founder of a public
library, the organizer of a fire department, the indus-
trious experimenter in all directions that promised
practical advantage to his fellowmen.
If Franklin were alive to-day it is easy to believe
that, with alj the changes in our civilization, he would
yet devote himself to the same ends and in the same
spirit. I doubt if he would strive for that sort of
success which puts some men of our day on pinnacles,
elevated to such dizzy heights that they seem separate
from the rest of humankind. Franklin's nature was
social, his ambition involved service. In these days of
feverish and reckless speculation the youth of our city
could not have a better model than this printer's
apprentice who rose out of want by frugality and indus-
try and made himself the ^third figure in our national
history, surpassing even Washington and Lincoln as a
philosopher and a practical humanitarian, and falling
behind them mainly in the fact that he never knew the
responsibilities of leadership before the whole nation.
Of them also it might have been written that they took
away the sceptre from tyrants, but of Franklin alone
it can be said that he drew down the lightning from
heaven. He cannot be called, like Washington, first in
war or first in the hearts of his countrymen, but he may
dispute even with the father of his country himself the
honor of being the first American in the arts of peace.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Before Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic
Association, March 13, 1906.
Gentlemen, — Your toastmaster has told you what
the people expect of their elected magistrates. To all
that he has said I subscribe most devoutly. The citizens
of Boston have chosen me to serve them and I feel
bound in honor to labor strenuously and scrupulously
for their interests. This, their expectation, is my graven
purpose and rooted resolve.
In carrying out that resolve no class of the com-
munity can be of more assistance than you, the manu-
facturers and master mechanics. Among the most
vivid recollections of my youth is my annual or, at least,
periodic visit to the exhibitions held in this building.
Looking back upon them now, I realize more than ever
their value as a school for the young, in kindUng their
ambition and stimulating an interest in applied mechan-
ics and practical invention. They made the useful
arts as fascinating as the Arabian Nights' entertain-
ments and revealed the wonderland of progress and
experiment that envelopes the plain world of everyday
industry. They taught, also, by the silent sermon of
the happy mechanic tending his machine a high respect
for work. Any live boy, able to appreciate his own box
of Christmas tools, could see that men who made things
with their hands held an honorable position in society
and, if well treated by their employers, were generally
happy in their labors. Certainly there is no better
model to hold before the eyes of average boyhood than
the skilled artisan, ingenious, versatile and productive,
and as a rule a good citizen and sterling patriot.
I am here to assure you that Boston understands the
important share such men have had in developing and
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 5
upholding her prosperity. Our wealth is not in forests,
farms or mines, for we have few of these within the city
limits. It is in the things we make, sell or ship by land
and sea. If you set out a wharf, a railroad station, a
store and a mill you will have laid the four corner-
stones of our industrial prosperity. Your association
represents the application of brains to raw material, so
that something — design, quality, texture or what not
— is added to it, its substance is refined in some one of a
million ways and its value multiplied many times. A
rough block of spruce wood becomes a ream of tinted
stationery. A ton of pig iron from Pittsburgh goes
back transformed into watch springs, needles or steel
pens. These magic processes are the miracles of modern
science, and the men who discover or apply them bring
wealth and credit to the community in which they live.
Boston has never lacked such men and never failed to
appreciate their worth.
Still, looking over the census of 1900 the other day, I
found some evidence which made me think there might
be room for greater activity even in manufactures and
the mechanic arts in Boston. The capital invested in
manufactures in this city was given as $143,000,000,
while that invested in St. Louis was $162,000,000. In
certain lines of manufacture — for example, in musical
instruments and in rubber goods — we far surpassed
our sister city of nearly equal population, having about
$7,000,000 invested in those industries, while St. Louis
has almost nothing. But I could not understand why
St. Louis should have $2,000,000 invested in the manu-
facture of chemicals, while Boston has only $132,000,
or why she should have $1,000,000 in leather manufac-
tures, while Boston in the heart of the leather district
has only $104,000. These comparisons and others
which might be made suggest that the hour is ripe for a
careful scrutiny of our commercial methods and our
Personally I expect, to return once more to my cue
word, that our greatest future development in addi-
6 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
tion to our commercial expansion will be in those fields
in which the fine arts lend grace and charm to objects
of practical utility. I look to see Boston famous for her
fabrics, jewelry, bronzes, bookmaking, scientific appa-
ratus, artistic pottery and woodwork, and in other
fields that call for preeminent taste and skill. The
culture and ingenuity of our people ought to find
expression in these forms, and by such development we
can easily meet the pressure of competition and main-
tain our traditional leadership.
It is you, gentlemen, or your colleagues and suc-
cessors who will realize this expectation of mine. For,
after all, my forecast would be an idle dream were it not
for the broad foundation you have laid and the spirit
you have kept alive for more than a hundred years. I
expect, when my hopes are consummated, to see this
building, ample as it seems to our present-day imagina-
tions, far outgrown and your membership list swollen
so as to tax the industry of your capable secretary and a
large corps of assistants. In a word, I prophesy and
wish for you all the pleasant embarrassments that
accompany rapid expansion and a success beyond
expectations. I am willing to accept the vigor of this
association so characteristic and representative of the
genius of the New England people as a fair measure of
the prosperity of Boston.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Before Committee on Metropolitan Affairs,
March 21, 1906.
I trust that the ladies and gentlemen who are opposed
to this legislation will show a proper public spirit in
connection with this enterprise. I regret to say that I
think it has not been shown in the past. Every attempt
that has been made to assess damages for betterments
along Beacon street, whether it has been in the nature
of a sewer assessment or for other purposes, has met
with opposition from the Beacon street residents.
I do not think that the action, of these wealthy, influen-
tial and highly educated people has been such as to
set a good example to the community. The period of
unrest that is manifest in every part of the country is
the result of rapacity shown up in court and in legisla-
tive proceedings of the wealthy men of the country.
It is the persons who have large wealth, education and
good circumstances who ought to lead the way and
show a proper public spirit. This has not been the case
with the Beacon street residents. They have shown a
desire in every possible way to escape legitimate taxes
and are willing to get all the advantages of the expendi-
ture of large sums of money from the public treasury
without making any return whatever. These men and
women know that this is^ not sound ethics. It is graft
in its most insidious form. Actions of this kind tend
more to the weakening of our public spirit than
complete and barefaced thieving. I hope, therefore,
gentlemen of the committee, that this matter will be
considered with a view to the welfare of the one million
two hundred thousand people of the metropolitan dis-
trict who will be compelled to pay for the improve-
ment which is going to directly benefit two hundred
residents of Beacon street. I trust that it will be con-
sidered in the larger sense of the welfare of the entire
metropolitan district rather than that of a few.
8 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
BOSTON'S CHINESE TRADE.
Welcome to Chinese Emissaries, April 20, 1906.
Mr. Chairman, — If my recollections of early studies
in geography are correct, a shaft sunk through the earth
directly under my feet would come out somewhere
west of Pekin, in the province governed by our dis-
tinguished guest, Commissioner Tai Hung Chi. In
other words, the envoys of the Empress of China could
scarcely travel farther away from their native land
than they are at this moment. Half the circumference
of the globe separates them from the kingdom of rice,
friends, and bamboo forests, of tea gardens and teeming
rivers, which they left a few weeks ago. Whether
their course, in leaving us, takes them to the east or to
the west, either way they will be headed for home.
Yet, distant as this City of Boston is from China,
more than a hundred years ago its merchants and
sailors had found a path across the seas to the ancient
empire of the East. One of the most romantic episodes
in our history was the creation of the Chinese trade,
which strengthened the foundations of our commercial
prosperity and bred a race of ''gentlemen adventurers"
of whose enterprise and citizenship their descendants
are justly proud.
It was in 1790 that the Boston ship ''Columbia'' set
sail for Cape Horn, visited the Oregon shore on her
way to Canton, then the only open port of China, and
returned to Boston by way of the Cape of Good Hope,
having been the first American vessel to circumnavigate
the earth. It was a three years' voyage, in a little
wooden vessel, with mere boys as navigators, through
seas infested with pirates and hostile natives, yet, on the
whole, as good a course of study and discipline, as
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 9
complete a training for the faculties that make men
and nations great, as any modern college affords.
As you know, a strong current of trade sprang up
between Boston and Canton. Nearly half the com-
merce between the United States and China, from 1810
to 1840, was in the hands of the Boston house of Bryant
& Sturgis. Great family fortunes were founded by the
enterprise of those boyish navigators (in whom love of
adventure, no doubt, whetted the desire for gain), and
the names of Perkins, Forbes, Bromfield, Russell,
Derby, Sears, Parkman, Lyman and Low are inseparable
from that splendid passage in our history. From
China the merchantmen brought tea, silk, nankeen and
crepe. In return they gave specie, ginseng (highly
prized in the Orient for its medicinal properties) and
the pelts of sea otters captured on the northwest coast
I regret to have to add that this thriving trade was
ruined by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature. A
tax on the returning cargoes, imposed in arrogant dis-
regard of the protests of the merchants of Boston.
It is my earnest hope that some day our distinguished
visitors may visit our city again and be witness to our
old-time activity in China's trade and commerce.
And so these mariners of Boston who had sailed
their vessels to Calcutta and Cronstadt, to California
and the Mediterranean, knitted together by their
daring voyages the oldest and the youngest civilizations
of the earth. Times have changed since the first half
of the nineteenth century. The vessels in which these
long journeys were made were very different from those
in which you, gentlemen, crossed the ocean to honor
us with your visit. But the memory of those old
commercial relations has not faded out, and I am sure
that you cannot visit any part of America in which you
will meet a more genuine hospitality and a more sincere
interest in the purposes of your investigation. It may
be that in the city of Canton there still lingers some
10 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
recollection of the white traders who came there and
established agencies in the city long ago, — who looked
like EngUshmen but were particular to explain that
they belonged to a different nation. At any rate, we in
Boston have not forgotten the benefits of our early
Chinese trade. Our city contains many mementos of
that period, as well as evidences of our interest in the
great and wonderful civilization which you, gentlemen,
represent. It was my privilege to accompany you
yesterday on your tour of inspection and to note the grave
courtesy and the high intelligence of your commentary
on what you saw. May the remainder of your journey
be as profitable and pleasant as we trust your stay in
Boston has been, and may its fruit be a closer knitting
of the bonds of friendship and understanding between
two great peoples!
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 11
HEALTH MEASURES IN BOSTON.
Welcome to Medical Congress, June 5, 1906.
Gentlemen, — Once more, after an interval of forty-
one years, your association holds its convention in
Boston, and I, as Mayor, am privileged to throw open
to you the gates of our official hospitality. It is indeed
a rare privilege to greet the representatives of a profes-
sion which renders such universal service and has a
personal claim on the good will of every man. Dealing
with life itself, and the mysteries of birth and death
which envelop it, you develop in your calling the finest
virtues of our nature. When we read of the young
physicians in Cuba and New Orleans, giving up their
lives in experiments designed to trace the source of
yellow fever, and when we remember that such instances
of heroic sacrifice are the commonplace of medical
history, we understand why the title of doctor is every-
where one of dignity and affection.
You come from many states and foreign countries,
single-minded in your devotion to a great central idea.
I trust that during your stay in Boston you will observe
that the government of this city is not uninfluenced by
the same idea, but feels its due responsibility for the
health of the people. We provide sanitary living con-
ditions, a pure water supply, inspection of milk and
vinegar, registration and quarantine of all contagious
or infec Jous diseases, hygienic instruction in the public
schools, public baths, gymnasia and playgrounds. Any
inspection of our efforts in the field of hygiene which
should ignore the last-named agencies would be sadly
incomplete, for as you know prevention in this matter is
a thousand times better than cure.
Yet prevention is not always possible in spite of all
our efforts. There has always been practice enough for
12 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
physicians and surgeons in Boston, and I believe we
have had our share of the great names of your profession.
One chair alone, the Parkman professorship of Anatomy
at Harvard, has had four such distinguished occupants
as John Warren, J. Collins Warren, Oliver Wendell
Holmes and Thomas Dwight, my associate in this
reception, and an honored member of the Board of
Library Trustees. Indeed, the faculty of the Harvard
Medical School has never been without names of national
and international eminence, and the Ether Monument
on the Public Garden, erected in honor of Dr. W. T. G.
Morton, certainly commemorates one of the greatest
discoveries ever made in the history of medicine.
Most of you, I presume, will visit our various medical
colleges while you are here, and some of our well equipped
hospitals, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, the
oldest of all, to the City Hospital, of which Boston is no
less proud than of its public library, its schools, its park
system and its water works. The land and buildings
of this institution represent an investment of nearly
three million dollars, and its various departments con-
tain nearly a thousand beds. Its administration, which
is in the hands of a Board of Trustees, giving time
and services without pay, is of the highest order,
while the progressive spirit of its medical staff may be
judged from the fact that the Boston City Hospital was
among the first to introduce pathological study in
clinical work and to use anti-toxin for diphtheria and
the X-ray for diagnosis.
Other hospitals may be mentioned as deserving credit
for success in special fields — such as the Carney Hos-
pital, which for a long time was alone in receiving
consumptive patients, and the Children's Hospital
which has done such noble work in correcting deformities
and in preserving precious young lives. But there is
one hospital which is still to arrive, and one monument
not yet erected. The people of Boston have in tubercu-
losis a foe as implacable and as insidious as the typhoid
fever which scourges Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. We
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 13
have recently organized our defensive forces, and laid
the foundation of what I prophesy will be a great
institution, and I here and now promise a monument,
built by popular subscription, on any site he may select
to the member of your profession who shall forge the
weapon by which we may effectively check the ravages of
the White Plague.
Long addresses are not to your taste, gentlemen. Let
me then briefly but heartily bid you welcome to Boston.
I trust that your deliberations may be fruitful in good
results for suffering humanity, and that you may succeed
in your efforts to raise the standard of membership in
your honorable profession.
14 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
W. C. T. U. Convention, October 18, 1906.
A few years ago Boston was honored by the presence
of delegates from the International Peace Society hold-
ing their annual convention in Tremont Temple. iVmong
those present were representatives from many lands,
including men and women of world-wide reputation —
Pastor Wagner from France, Baroness Von Sutton from
Germany, Dr. William Walsh from Scotland and, by no
means least in eloquence and charm, a Chinese woman
physician who addressed the gatherings in the pure
English of a Wellesley graduate.
I seem to see the same forces, if not the same personali-
ties, assembled before me to-day. Your movement no
less than the mission of the peace delegates has a
universal appeal because, sad to say, it also fulfils a
universal need. Intemperance like war knows neither
latitude nor longitude, and the army that pursues it in
all its habitations must fly the flag of every nation
under the sun. Such an army must be nonpartisan,
nonsectarian, international, and thus incidentally pro-
mote the spread of the spirit of human brotherhood;
for, as far as I know, there is no race or sect or country
free from the plague of inebriety.
But if the evil is great — and I think it is hardly
possible for the wildest extremist to exaggerate it —
the forces of redemption are stronger still. You all
know what Father Mathew did for Ireland, what Lady
Somerset has done in England, and the signs of the times
point to the sure, if gradual, triumph in America of the
cause for which so many genuine apostles have lived,
the cause for which you, whom we are proud to welcome
as our city's guests on this occasion, are sacrificing time
and energy and means with no thought of personal
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 15
You will find, I think, right here in Boston manifest
evidences of improvement: In the diminished consump-
tion of liquor, the reduced number of arrests for
intoxication, and the comparative absence of dis-
graceful exhibitions in the public streets. Here, as
elsewhere, the working class, and that includes all of
us except a negligible fraction, are learning that alcoholic
indulgence is the surest means of impairing the faculties
and reducing earning capacity. Employers, in self-
defence, are raising the standard among their help, the
labor unions are exerting a powerful influence within
their own ranks, and thus economic pressure, adding its
force to the social stigma and. religious and ethical
appeal, is writing the legible marks of sobriety, happiness
and health on the population which you will observe
during your sojourn here.
What this means to the state and the city everyone
knows. As drunkenness decreases, crime, poverty and
disease, its legitimate offspring, must tend to disappear,
and the people at large will be relieved of the burden
of supporting a huge multitude of delinquents and
Speaking then as an official I am glad to offer you my
warmest sympathy in your noble efforts at reform.
Speaking as an individual I might go further. You
have pitted your strength against one of the gravest
evils of society. You seek to forewarn the young, to
protect the innocent, to redeem the unfortunate. No
one who is a father can refuse you honor and trust.
Each of us would like to keep far from his own house-
hold the dangers you combat, and to that end I know
no means, on the whole, more efficacious than the influ-
ence of good women. I welcome you, then, as true
friends of humanity, whose efforts make for a cleaner
and stronger civic structure and lay every family in
Boston under a debt of personal gratitude.
16 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
At Tremont Temple, October 24, 1906.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I bring
the warm sympathy of Boston's people to this meeting
The life of Michael Anagnos, dividing itself into two
distinct periods, offers two noble figures to our study
and emulation — the Greek patriot and the American
A Boston gentleman, zealous for the liberation of the
Greeks, found him, a youth in his native land, who
consecrated his young ardor to the high cause of liberty.
Their acquaintance ripened into friendship, and thus by
what may seem a happy accident our country gained
one more immigrant destined to a career of distinguished
usefulness. In this land of opportunity the fervor of
his aspiring manhood ran into new channels, and when
the time came to select a successor to Doctor Howe,
no one seemed more fitting than young Anagnos to
direct the great institution which has so long aided
and extended the fair credit of our beloved city.
I have said that this may be somewhat accidental,
but in the deeper sense there was little that was acci-
dental in our friend's career. It was no accident that
Mr. Anagnos, with his generous nature, should give his
powers to the cause of his oppressed fellow Greeks;
it was no accident that a promising scholar and journalist
should attract the attention of the educated American
sympathizer; it was no accident that this lover of
freedom should be drawn to the home of liberty, which
has opened its arms before and since to Lafayette and
Kosciusko, to Kossuth and Davitt, to John Burns and
Henry George and other liberators from many lands;
it was no accident that the hands which had striven to
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 17
release fettered limbs should feel themselves well occu-
pied loosening the bandages on sightless eyes. The
patriot and the teacher in this man, as in so many
others, blended naturally, and I do not know which is
his higher title to esteem.
Forty years of life in Boston did not cause Mr. Anagnos
to cease to be a Greek. Although his fellow countrymen
here were few he identified himself with their interests
and stood frankly but not obtrusively before the com-
munity as a representative of a minor people. He was
not ashamed to be a hyphenated American, if to escape
that reproach meant ceasing to remember the country
of his origin. It would be strange, indeed, if the pre-
tensions of latter races led him to forget he was a kins-
man of Socrates and Alexander, a defender of those
matchless nations which over two thousand years ago
raised civilization to its acme in the capital of Attica.
In one respect, however, this modern Greek rejected
the wisdom of the ancients. The old Spartans exposed
their puny infants on Mt. Taygetus. Our modern
Sparta has its cradle for the frailest of these castaways,
realizing that in the least of their helpless bodies there
abides a glowing soul, and justly fearing the wrath of
Heaven that should follow the sacrifice of that priceless
It is in this character that we know Michael Anagnos
best — not as a mountain rebel, but as the shepherd of
the sightless flock who are his chief mourners to-day.
The statesman and the soldier may well envy this private
citizen his wreath of tribute — the love of the afflicted
among whom he walked, imparting strength, renewing
hope, devising practical helps — in a word, maintaining
worthily the traditions of that great school for the
blind in which modern science and Christian charity all
but duplicate the sweetest miracles of the Galilean.
18 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
THE CITY CLUB.
At the Opening, December, 1906.
A few years ago some one coined the phrase ^' civic
pride" to designate a special form of patriotism. It
meant, of course, loyalty to one's city. The city, after
all, is the first social unit we grasp and the one that
affects us most immediately. It has a particular
atmosphere which envelopes all its citizens, a particular
outlook upon life which it communicates to them.
Every fine old city is as individual as a human being.
We can tell a New Yorker, a Washingtonian, after a
short acquaintance. And we cannot talk with them
long without realizing that, while the people beyond the
Rockies and along the Mexican Gulf are our compatriots
and our brethren, their influence upon us is remote after
all, and it is neighborly contact and the reactions of
daily intercourse that mold us to a particular stamp
This local loyalty is the spirit to which the City Club
is dedicated. It flings a new banner to the breezes
across the pathway of our daily travel and emblazons on
its folds the personified figure of Boston to stir our
imaginations and awaken a fruitful enthusiasm in our
breasts. Not the Boston of 1776 or of 1861 — not a
limited Boston adjacent, let us say, to the Public
Garden or the Old South Church, but the live Boston
of to-day and to-morrow, the whole Boston, the real
Boston. We do not for a moment forget the past or
slight its mementos and achievements, but we know
that as the men of the past did not live in a dreamy
retrospect but built new traditions over the debris of
those they inherited, so we shall show ourselves their
rightful heirs by discarding a part of our heritage from
them — by meeting our own problems in our own way
precisely as they met theirs.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 19
Their Boston contained 12,000 to 100,000 people, all
more or less homogeneous in race and religion. Ours is
a city of 600,000 people, showing great diversity of
origin and character. About one in six Bostonians of
to-day is of native parentage. The other five-sixths
come from many lands, profess many shades of belief,
exhibit many varieties of temperament and physique.
Out of these differences, certain fine barriers, invisible
walls of separation, have arisen. These may not be of
our making; nobody may be really to blame for them,
but they are there, forming lines of cleavage all about us.
Such artificial divisions have been a serious obstacle to
the growth of civic pride among us. They have posi-
tively hurt the city because they tend to raise false
issues and split the population into cliques and factions.
They lead to grotesque misunderstandings and dis-
trust, so that when Ward 13 meets Ward 11 to-day, the
one still instinctively looks for a monocle and the other
for a brickbat.
It is the special mission of the City Club to break
down these misunderstandings and restore on a new
basis the unity of spirit which Boston once displayed
and without which it can never be strong. This it
proposes to do not by trying to argue away existing
differences but by bringing together men of all shades of
opinion and then letting human nature take its course.
Nine-tenths of the bigotry and proscription from which
we have suffered in the past has been due to isolation
and mutual ignorance. We have been altogether too
exclusive, — all of us. But that is the last thing the
City Club aims to be. Its ambition is to be inclusive in
the broadest sense. Its doors stand wide open to the four
winds and the twenty-five wards of the city and those
who enter will find the social strata decidedly mixed
and the good old Burns motto, ^'A man's a man,"
inscribed in the very smoke wreaths that curl up from
the ends of their cigars.
In all this we are only emphasizing and hastening a
manifest tendency of the times. We are all growing
20 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
together by the natural force of association. A hundred
thousand of our children sit side by side in the schools, a
quarter of a million men and women are thrown together
in business relations. Narrowness vanishes when men
and women come face to face and learn that they not
only need but like and respect one another. It is
natural and fitting that this general tendency should
find expression in a society like the City Club. I have
advocated this idea for years, indeed I feel that my
views as expressed to the founders had some little
influence in starting this club. For among all the
excellent clubs of Boston I do not recall any which has
perceived this particular opportunity and undertaken
the work which we hope to do. Our distinction is not
merely that we make no distinctions, but that we pur-
posely cultivate the greatest variety in our membership
in order that there may be at least one social organiza-
tion in the city which is thoroughly representative. The
members of such a body cannot fail to gain in mutual
understanding and in fraternity of spirit, and the club
as a whole must surely wield an influence toward united
and coherent action for the welfare of Boston.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 21
Peace Day, May 11, 1907.
In the coming month the nations of the world will
turn their thoughts and attention to the Second Peace
Conference to meet at The Hague. Upon the decision
of that tribunal will hang the future happiness or sorrow
of millions of our fellow beings. There will be none who
w411 wait and watch for the final judgment of the assem-
bled delegates with a deeper interest, a more fervent
hope, or a fuller realization of the woe that war entails
than the mothers of men throughout the world. It is
they who in the final analysis of war will be found to
have paid the dearest cost. It is they who have come
to know the full meaning of Longfellow's lines :
The tumult of each sacked and burning village,
The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns,
The soldiers' revels in the midst of pillage,
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns.
The prominent part played by women in the recent
Peace Congress is theirs by right. And it is to united
womanhood that we must continue to look for the guid-
ing force to drive war and its horrors from the face of
God's earth. It is through the efforts of such organiza-
tions as the Massachusetts Federation of Women's
Clubs that this and similar reforms are to be advanced,
and it is to the noblest of Boston's daughters, Julia
Ward Howe, the honorary president of the Federation,
that the chief honor of the work already accomplished
In every movement instituted during the past hundred
years that has had for its object the improvement of
the moral or physical well-being of mankind, the citizens
of Boston have ever been leaders. While it was here in
22 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the streets of our city that the first blood was shed for
American Independence, here, too, was planned the
first International Peace Congress in the world, which
resulted in the meeting held in London in 1843. And
although Philadelphia claims the honor of establishing
in 1815 the first Peace Society for the promotion of
universal peace, it was the following year that the Massa-
chusetts Peace Society was formed under the guidance
of Noah Worcester, Channing and Sumner. Here in
1869 was held the great Peace Jubilee under the direc-
tion of Gilmore. There were assembled on the Coliseum
Grounds at that time an orchestra and chorus embracing
musicians and singers from every quarter of the globe in
a monster peace celebration, the memory of which
remains unique in the world. In October, 1904, the
International Peace Congress held its meeting here in
Boston, where the entire movement for the world's
peace as at present organized had its inception sixty-five
In the discussion incident to the proceedings of the
recent congress held in New York City it was gravely
suggested by men whose education and training should
have taught them better, that war was a necessary evil
and would continue so long as man remained human.
The utter fallacy of such a position is apparent to every
reader of history, to every student of men. The truth
is that war will continue just so long as nations or
powerful individuals find in it a source of profit. It will
continue until man has been taught to apply to the
solution of international questions the same code of
reason and law which he relies upon for the adjustment
of his private affairs. No sane man desirous of collect-
ing an account from a debtor would think of calling on
him armed to the teeth and presenting to him the
alternative of being shot to pieces or paying on the spot.
Nor is any man's honor vindicated by his putting a
bullet into him who assails it. He merely stops one
tongue and adds the stain of murder to the honor he
would defend. Yet this is exactly the attitude of
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 23
nations; a demonstration of force is deemed necessary
to back up each and every demand whether just or
unjust. In a single generation, during the past cen-
tury, the so-called Christian countries of Europe and
America gave proof of their belief in the teachings of
the Divine Apostle of Peace by slaughtering 2,200,000 of
his creatures as a gory tribute to national honor. Aside
from the homes made desolate, and the attendant
suffering in varied forms resulting from these conflicts,
the actual money cost has been computed at thirteen
billions of dollars; a sum greater by a billion dollars
than the total assessed valuation of the entire United
States forty years ago.
It seems a trifle strange, in view of the apparent
earnestness of the various countries represented at the
Hague, that the world's expenditures for purposes of war
have increased at a greater rate during the past five years
than for any similar period since 1881. Great Britain's
expenses in this direction have more than doubled in
the past twenty-five years; Germany's have trebled;
Russia's have trebled; Japan's more than quadrupled,
while the peace-loving United States has doubled its
expenditures. Although President Roosevelt says we
maintain but an infinitesimal army, our expenditures
for its support have trebled in the last generation.
Though it is claimed that our navy is not being increased
in power, we are spending on it to-day $16.40 of each
$100 appropriated by Congress for all purposes, as
against $6.20 in 1885.
Despite conditions, however, despite this enormous
increase in expenditure for war by every nation on
earth, the end of war as a means for settling interna-
tional disputes is in sight. Thanks to the spread of
education, the plain citizen, whose principal interest in
the matter is to pay the cost, is beginning to realize that
it is not he but the ship builder, the ordnance and armor
plate manufacturer who reaps the profit. He is learn-
ing to question the wisdom of spending millions of
money and sacrificing the lives of thousands of men for
24 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
no purpose that he can see but that this or that trust or
monopoly should gain thereby some trade concession.
He is told that trade follows the flag, but he is beginning
to wonder how profitable that trade will be to him if
for each $1,000 of trade so won he is compelled to pay
a million dollars for protection. He is coming to realize
that the money spent to-day for the maintenance of
armed peace would pay for the reclamation of every
desert and arid tract of land on earth; would supply
millions of people with homes; would establish indus-
trial education throughout the entire world, and put
every unemployed man to profitable labor; that it
would establish a world-wide system of old age pen-
sions, or enable man to successfully combat poverty
and disease. It would mean that the millions of picked
men who comprise the standing armies of the world
could return to the pursuit of arts and industries. It
would do all these and a thousand other things, but
above all it would promote the universal happiness of
mankind. William Penn's plan for universal peace was
not a dream; his estimate of the resultant good will
yet be proven true.
In the prosecution of this work none should deprecate
the great good that must result from free discussion of
the entire question, nor should we fail to recognize the
power for good that rests in the hands of women organ-
ized for the promotion of human happiness. The
Massachusetts Federation, with its 200 clubs and
upwards of 25,000 members, has established a noble
record during the fourteen years since its formation.
Nor is it to be wondered at with the venerable Mrs.
Howe acting as its president during the first years of its
growth. To few persons in the world belong a greater
part in the abolition of slavery than is her share, and it
is to her and to the mothers of the world that we must
look for support in the grandest work ever undertaken
by mankind, the abolition of war.
It is woman who is ever called upon to make the
supreme sacrifice. While the world rings from end to
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 25
end with the glory of this or that military hero, no word
is heard of the mother who bore him, no word is heard
of the mothers of those who gave their lives for his
renown. No thought is taken of the hopes and fears
which beset each mother's heart during the long years
from infancy to manhood, when as she fondly hoped he
would stand beside her in his full strength, her pride
and protector. None reck of her misery when that day
has come and she learns in sorrow and bitterness that a
mocking fate has decreed that the son whom she brought
into the world in pain and anguish was destined to be
but food for gunpowder. Julia Ward Howe's ''Appeal
to Womanhood" still rings throughout the world. The
day described by Whittier is not far distant:
When earth as on some evil dreams
Looks back upon her wars,
And the white light of Christ out-streams
From the red disk of Mars.
His fame who led the stormy van
Of battle well may cease.
But never that which crowns the man
Whose victory is peace.
Who can blame the mothers of men in all the world if,
until that day shall come, we find them like Zimena,
*'The Angel of Buena Vista," breathing forth their
reproach on the battle field as they minister to the
fallen friend and foe:
A bitter curse upon them, poor boy, who led thee forth.
From some gentle, sad-eyed mother, weeping lonely in the
26 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
THE OLD LATIN SCHOOL.
At King's Chapel Exercises, September 23, 1907.
As I stand here in this magnificent presence, in this
house of prayer and praise, I cannot help thinking how
appropriate it is that these exercises take place in
King's Chapel, for is it not true that when the com-
municants of this church needed larger accommodations,
the Latin School changed its residence to a site on the
opposite side of the street and ''Learning gave way to
the church." How many of our citizens know, or for a
moment recall, that School street takes its name from
the fact that on this street stood for generations the
first free pubhc school in America, the Latin Grammar
School, whose children assemble here to-day to com-
memorate in bronze the first successful protest of the
American boy against foreign oppression.
In your Fourth of July oration of the year 1897, Dr.
Hale, you say: ''I believe that if I were in your Honor's
chair next January, on one of those holidays which
nobody knows what to do with, I would commemorate
the first great victory of 1775. To do this well I would
issue an order that any school boy in Boston who would
bring his sled to School street might coast down hill all
day there in memory of that famous coasting in January,
1775, when the Latin School boys told the Enghsh
general that to coast on School street had been their
right 'from time immemorial,' and when they won that
right from him."
While there may be serious practical objections to
such an annual commemoration, we are here to-day to
show that we are not forgetful of the event and that we
hold in grateful memory the boys who in the morning
of the Revolution knew "their rights and knowing dared
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 27
As the representative of the city government in
accepting from you this tablet commemorative of the
independent spirit of Latin School boys of a bygone
generation, I am possessed with a feeling of honorable
pride in the knowledge that I, too, am a Latin School
boy. In the estabhshment of the Latin School, ante-
dating by a few years the founding of Harvard College,
the forefathers laid the foundation of the now universal
system of free education that is native only to American
soil. From the beginning the school has been a perfect
type of democratic institution. Here the child of the
most aristocratic citizen of the colony sat side by side
with the boy whose father occupied the most humble
position; here caste had no meaning. Perfect equality
was guaranteed to every one w^ithin the colony. For the
old world question as to the rank and quality of the
individual voiced in the query ''Who is he?" was
substituted the inquiry ''What is he?" It was the
individual himself who counted in those days of empire
building. All were on the same level; he only was
considered most worthy who exhibited the greatest
ability. Nor during the 272 years of the school's
existence has there been a change in this respect. A
descendant of the signer of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence will be found sitting side by side with the son
of a recently arrived immigrant, neither having a
monopoly of the honors, and each equally proud of the
traditions of his beloved school.
28 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Welcome, September 27, 1907.
In welcoming General Booth to our City of Boston, I
fully appreciate the great honor that is mine, in that I
am to-day the bearer of Boston's welcome to one of the
greatest figures in the Christian world. It is because I
welcome to our city the living personification of an idea;
of the sublime courage that knows not defeat; of the
perfect charity that can see none lost, that can see none
suffer, but best of all, one whose broad tolerance and
abiding faith in human nature enables him to discern
the good in even the lowest and most degraded of God's
creatures. It is due to his perfect optimism and to his
ability to discover the little grain of gold that exists in
the moral dross of every man however debased or fallen.
Throughout the world his fame has gone as one of the
greatest men of our time; one who has performed a
great and noble work, and unlike the fate of most men
who give their lives for the uplifting of their fellows,
honor has come to him in his lifetime. His whole life,
since that day forty-six years ago when he took up his
burden for the sake of humanity, has been one of
unceasing toil and persistent endeavor; years of it spent
beneath the jeering scorn of an unthinking and unheed-
A little tent in the old burial ground at Mile End road
in East London was his first tabernacle; the denizens of
Whitechapel formed his first congregation. From that
small beginning has grown the great organization that
exists to-day as the Salvation Army, an organization
represented in fifty-three countries and numbering 700
army corps, 18,000 officers and millions of privates,
each and all of whom are imbued with a moiety of the
indomitable will that inspired their leader. In every
possible way have his energies been bent to the task of
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 29
promoting the spiritual, moral and physical welfare of
humanity of whatever race or color. From first to last
the entire work of upbuilding the splendid organization
that fills so important a place in the world to-day has
been the labor of this giant among men.
The institutions that have been founded, the homes
that have been erected to shelter those who have been
plucked like brands from the burning, form to-day a
glorious and lasting monument to the genius and devo-
tion of General Booth. Throughout the world this
wonderful organization maintains homes for women, for
boys and girls, rescue missions, and farm colonies.
It conducts immigration and labor bureaus, naval and
military homes, a hospital, Indian schools, a bank and an
insurance company. In its great elevators at London
it employs hundreds of men sorting and packing tons of
waste paper. In connection with these elevators there
is maintained at Battersea a wharf and a large fleet
of barges for transporting this reclaimed waste product
to foreign markets where it is sold.
In the work of the immigration bureau, as conducted
by the army, there is an object lesson which might well
be learned by the United States officials in charge of the
department in this country. It has ever been the
experience of General Booth that men will work if they
can find work, but that sometimes too many congregate
at one point to the disadvantage of all. To remedy this
fault the army has established labor bureaus everywhere
to the end that the unemployed may be sent to points
where their services are in demand. He would solve
the problem of surplus labor, which often results in
filling our cities with great armies of unemplo^-ed men,
by aiding the idle to emigrate to those colonies or
countries where work in abundance awaits them. Thus
it will be seen that underlying all the charity so widely
dispensed by the Salvation Army there is a foundation
of sound and practical economy.
How noble, how deserving of fame and honor are the
works of the Salvation Army, representing as they do
30 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the labors of a single individual with no other capital
than an unfailing spirit and a firm belief in himself and
in his mission. Thus we find General Booth to-day,
although well past the allotted three score and ten years
of life, still zealous, still as active and full of enthusiasm
as when forty years ago he went bravely about his task
of saving souls and making easy life's tortuous path-
ways for the suffering and oppressed. In those bygone
days he was compelled to bear the lash of Huxley's
scornful ridicule and abuse. Even within the memory
of many among the young men about us to-night his
creed and his labors have been targets for the derisive
jeers of the mob. Yet through it all his steadfast spirit
has never faltered. He has lived to see the verdict of
the world reversed. He has lived to hear men say of
him to-day as Goldsmith sang of the village preacher of
an older time:
His house was knoAvn to all the vagrant train;
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain.
The long remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard, descending, swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud.
Claimed kindred there and had his claims allow'd.
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay.
Sate by his fire and talked the night away —
Wept o'er his wounds or tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch and showed how fields were won.
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
And as a bird each fond endearment tries
To tempt its new fledged offspring to the skies.
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace.
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed, with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 31
THE ADMINISTRATION OF 1906-07.
At Faneuil Hall, November 29, 1907.
I come before you to-day as a candidate for re-election
to the office of Mayor of Boston, to which I was chosen
by your suffrages two years ago. I come before you
standing upon and prepared to defend the record of my
administration, not as distorted by prejudiced oppo-
nents, but as disclosed by official facts and figures. I
am well aware that my administration has not been a
perfect one, and I am quite certain that in the light of
my experience in office and with the help of an aroused
interest in our municipal affairs among the people I
can improve it during the next two years. But I do
not shrink from, on the contrary I challenge, any fair
comparison of my record with that of past administra-
tions. Democratic or Republican, whether the basis of
comparison be honesty, economy or efficiency. The
citizens of Boston certainly intend to be fair. They
will not charge me with the responsibility for matters
or for conditions which are wholly outside of the con-
trol of the Mayor's office, and I do not seek to avoid
the full responsibility for the exercise of all the powers,
whether administrative or financial, which our charter
places in the hands of the Mayor.
It is no small honor and no light responsibility to be
the chief magistrate of this great city. Boston stands
for something, not only in New England or in the
United States, but in the world. Her patriotic history
is a part of our common inheritance; her reputation as
a center of enlightenment, of philanthropy and of pro-
gressive ideas is dear to all her people. Her deeds of
charity in the relief of distress and disaster are known
throughout the world; her hospitals, her schools, her
philanthropic activities in many varied fields are a
32 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
source of pride to all of us. The scope of her municipal
activities is so great, her relations to the welfare of her
people are so close, that the duties of the Mayor are
indeed exacting; these duties are so comprehensive and
the responsibilities accompanying their performance are
so great that no man has in recent years filled, or ever
can fill, the office to the full satisfaction of all of our
citizens or without falling short of its full requirements.
It is easy to criticise and to distort, to find officials here
and there who do not fully measure up to an ideal
standard, to find instances here and there of lax admin-
istration or of defective systems or methods. An
administration is entitled to be judged neither by its
worst nor by its best features, but by the standard of
its average performance. I have the right to ask to be
so judged. I make the claim that the present adminis-
tration when so measured may challenge comparison
with its predecessors in respect to the average character
and ability of the new appointee whom it has placed
in office, in the average character of the municipal
service which it has maintained, and in its general
dealings with the finances and business of the city.
We all know that public opinion in this city as else-
where has in the last two years grown more exacting
in the standard which it sets up for public officials.
While this makes the task of one who presents himself
as a candidate for re-election a more difficult one, I am
far from complaining of this advanced attitude of the
public mind; on the contrary, even though I may have
to suffer some injustice and overcome many added
difficulties on account of this change, I welcome it as
one which is full of promise for the future. If the
government of Boston is upon the whole, as I believe
that impartial judges will pronounce it, superior in the
variety and the character of the service which it renders
to our citizens than the governments of other great
American cities, this is because the standards of our
people have in the past been higher than those which
have existed elsewhere. If our citizens are now ready.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 33
as seems to be the case, to elevate still further their
municipal standards, to demand greater efficiency in
administration, a general improvement of systems and
methods, and sounder financial policies, no man who
is fit to be Mayor of this city can fail to join with
them, if not to lead them, in helping on this upward
movement and in introducing such changes as will satisfy
the more exacting and enlightened civic spirit of the
With the present aroused state of public opinion in
this community, helped on so largely by the Press,
much can be done which has not heretofore been possible;
many changes and improvements can be introduced
for which the necessary legislative authority could not
formerly be obtained. Much can be done during the
next two years which was not possible during the last
two years. I do not yield to either of my opponents in
the coming election in a desire to improve the financial
and administrative system of the city, and to elevate
the standard of efficiency in its executive departments.
Having acquired by hard work an intimate knowledge
of present conditions, I cannot make promises which
every well informed man must know are impossible of
fulfillment. I cannot promise to keep all employees in
office at existing salaries or wages and at the same time
reduce the pay rolls; nor can I promise to control the
increase of debt in those lines of expenditure, such as
the construction of subways and schoolhouses, which
the Legislature has place.d beyond the power of the
city government. But I can promise to apply to the
problems which our citizens desire to see solved all of
the experience which I have gained and of the knowl-
edge which I possess in regard to city affairs, and this
is incomparably greater than that of either of my
Every intelligent citizen must know that if I had no
other motive for promoting the reforms which the
citizens of Boston demand, and for which the time is
obviously ripe, I have one which is all-sufficient. A
34 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
stranger to Boston would be led to believe, if he obtained
his information from certain of our newspapers, that
the Finance Commission had been instituted by my
political opponents as a means of discrediting my
administration; yet that body was created and endowed
with its powers wholly at my initiative and upon my
recommendation. I have sometimes been credited with
possessing my share of political ambition; let me assure
you that this ambition extends not merely to the tem-
porary holding of public office, but to the building up
of a public reputation, which in the long run is of much
greater consequence to any man. Born and educated
in Boston, owing my advancement from a humble start
in life to the support which her citizens have given me
as a candidate for various offices, intending to remain
identified with Boston and with the interests of her
people for the remainder of my life, bringing up my
family of six children to share her future, I have some-
thing at stake in this community. If after being
responsible for the creation of the Finance Commission,
well knowing its action would be wholly beyond my
control, I should obstruct its work or oppose the adop-
tion of the measures which it will later recommend,
my future reputation and usefulness would necessarily
I have one other preliminary word to say about a
subject to which it ought not to be necessary to refer.
Racial and religious considerations have nothing to do
with the city government of Boston and have no place
in a municipal campaign. No man is either qualified
or disqualified to serve as mayor of this cosmopolitan
city through the blood that runs in his veins or the
church to which he chooses to belong. It is an insult
to the people of this city to say that no one is politically
eligible to the highest office in their gift unless he belongs
to a particular race or adhere to a particular religion;
their suffrages will never be given to or withheld from
a candidate on any such grounds. Every well informed
man knows that there is no political solidarity in this
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 35
city among its citizens of the various races and creeds
who live together here in harmonious relations; they
are too intelligent and too independent to allow their
votes to be delivered in a block by any man or by any
I have a right to resent articles recently published in
a national weekly, obviously for effect upon this local
campaign, not because they are directed against myself,
but because they '^re cunningly designed to raise a
racial and religious iit^ue where none exists, to give to
my candidacy a character which is foreign to it. The
people of Boston are aware, even if the stranger is not,
that no man has ever held office in this city who was
less actuated by prejudice than myself, more cosmo-
politan in his sympathies and affiliations and more
loyally supported by different elements in the com-
munity. The people of whom I happen to be one will,
like all others, vote according to their political con-
victions at the coming election; if I had no better plea
to make to them than one based upon community of
blood and faith they would be the first to reject me.
I certainly do not wish to discredit any movement
for greater economy in our municipal administration,
but nothing is to be gained by misrepresenting the
facts or by holding up Boston as a horrible example of
financial extravagance and mismanagement. A stranger
might assume from reading the newspapers that our
municipal affairs have been so extravagantly conducted
that our people are crushed beneath a relatively high rate
of taxation; but the fact is that within the MetropoHtan
District a comparison of tax rates is decidedly in favor
of Boston. The tax rate for each and every one of the
twelve cities in the district for the present year is higher
than our own rate of $15.90, and the average for the
whole district, including Boston, is $18.12. A state-
ment of our relation to the other cities of the Common-
wealth in respect to percentage of net debt to taxable
valuation is also decidedly pertinent and interesting.
The impression is given that Boston is more heavily
36 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
burdened with debt than are other cities; the fact is
that of the thirty-three cities in the state Boston ranks
not at the top but midway in the Ust in the percentage
of net debt to valuation, fifteen cities making a better
showing than Boston, while seventeen make a poorer
showing. If we are overburdened with debt these
seventeen cities are in a still worse plight, and it is high
time that they instituted local finance commissions, as
we have done, to improve their financial systems and
Some of you have been led to believe that Boston
stands alone among the cities of the country in respect
to increased municipal loans and expenditures, but this
is far from being the case. Boston enjoys no isolated
pre-eminence in this matter; our experience simply
illustrates the general tendency, not only throughout
the United States but throughout the world, to increase
public expenditures and public loans. This tendency
may have gone too far and it may threaten alarming
consequences in the future, but this certainly is not
peculiar to the City of Boston, as we learn from the
last publication of the United States Census Bureau.
This tells us that in the four years of 1901-05, inclusive,
the 148 largest cities in this country increased their net
debt by not less than 21.5 per cent, while during the
same period their aggregate population only increased
7.9 per cent. These figures tell of modern municipal
expenditures and loans due to the demand of the people
for improved and extended municipal service.
One would think from some of the comments which
are made upon the debt of Boston that it represented
a wasteful expenditure of public money; the fact is
that it is balanced by assets of enormous value. This
appears very clearly from the figures contained in the
recent publication of the United States Census Bureau
covering the statistics of American cities for the year
This publication gives the gross debt of Boston as
$99,191,856, and the assets of the city as $152,972,670.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 37
Further analysis would demonstrate that the real show-
ing is still more favorable to the city, as sinking funds
held against gross debt are not included in our assets,
nor are streets and sewers, and of course our invest-
ment in the latter item is enormous. The Census
Bureau calls attention to this fact, and says: ^^There-
fore, in making comparisons between the value of these
properties and the total debt there should be eliminated
the debt for sewers, general street improvements, street
paving and local improvements and practically all that
are for general improvement.'^
The census classes $39,434,570 of our assets as pro-
ductive, and $113,558,100 as nonproductive; therefore
if our productive assets have not decreased since 1905 —
and everyone knows on the contrary that they have
increased — we hold to-day, as against a net debt of
$69,371,967 on November 21, 1907, more than
$39,000,000 of productive assets, to say nothing of
$113,000,000 of assets classed as nonproductive but
representing immense value. Something has been said
in regard to the purchase of land by the city at extrav-
agant figures under my administration. I have had this
matter thoroughly gone into and have had a statement
prepared showing the total expenditures of the city
for real estate purchased or taken under the different
administrations since 1899.
Without assuming to criticise any of my predecessors
in office, I can at least claim that the figures present a
surprising contrast in favor of my administration. Of
course the only standard by which we can measure the
extravagance or economy shown in such transactions is
by the relation between the amount paid by the city
and the assessed valuation. Taking this as a basis the
figures show that under the first administration of
Mayor Hart the city paid 79 per cent for such pur-
chases or takings in excess of the assessed valuation;
under the administration of Mayor Matthews 89 per
cent; under the administration of Mayor Curtis 92 per
cent; under the administration of Mayor Quincy 85
38 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
per cent; under the second administration of Mayor
Hart 58 per cent; under that of Mayor Collins 51 per
cent> while during the first year of my administration
the excess was only 18 per cent above the assessed
valuation. These figures speak for themselves.
Perhaps many people honestly believe that my admin-
istration has been particularly extravagant in its
creation of new debt; the record shows that, on the
contrary, it has been particularly economical. The
increase of the net debt during the calendar year 1906
amounted to $1,530,494, and during this year it has
amounted to $1,071,265; this is a smaller increase of
the debt in each of these years than for any year since
1893. The decrease of the debt during the years 1900 and
1901, as is well understood, was wholly due to the large
payment — $12,530,000 — received from the Common-
wealth for the taking of our waterworks. Omitting
these two years, the average yearly increase in the net
debt for the other ten years, from 1894 to 1905, inclu-
sive, was $4,208,912.88. Surely vague charges of extrav-
agance in respect to the incurring of indebtedness are
sufficiently disposed of by the citation of such figures as
these. I should be glad to submit my record in respect to
the increase of our debt to every business man and
taxpayer in Boston and rest my claims to re-election
upon their impartial verdict.
The City Auditor has compiled, at my request, a
statement of the number of municipal employees for
the years 1888 and 1907. This shows that the total
number of employees has increased 80 per cent in this
period, partly through increases in departments existing
at the former date, partly through the creation of new
departments or the instituting of new lines of municipal
service. The claim is constantly made that these in-
creases are made largely for political reasons, to increase
the amount of patronage available; but the figures show
that with a total increase of 80 per cent, the number of
the employees of the Street Department increased only
37 per cent, while those of the School Committee increased
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 39
108 per cent; those of the Hospital Department 147
per cent; those of the Library Department 278 per cent;
those of the Pauper Institutions 284 per cent, and those
of the County of Suffolk 146 per cent.
Certainly these marked increases in the departments
which have never been accused of being subject to
political influence tell a story of a legitimate growth in
the requirements of the municipal services.
I have just received the latest report of the Finance
Commission, made as a result of the investigation
which it has just finished, closing with ten specific
recommendations. These cover at least one change in
the law of the state, various changes in the systems and
methods of conducting the business of the city, and
several recommendations as to the action and policy of
the executive departments. The commission has pos-
sessed much larger facilities for thorough investiga-
tion than have ever before been available, and any
carefully considered recommendations which come from
it are entitled to every consideration; having initiated
the commission I certainly receive them with every
disposition to put them into effect. That many of
these recommendations can be adopted with advantage
to the city, I have no doubt. I am certainly in sympa-
thy with the recommendation that members of the
state Legislature should be prohibited from being
interested in city contracts; I believe, moreover, that
the present provision of the charter providing that
members of the City Council shall not ^^ directly or
indirectly take part in the making of contracts,'^ should
be made so specific that there can be no possible doubt,
as there is at present, of its legal interpretation. Of
course, all contracts with the city should be signed by
the real parties in interest, and I should be glad to adopt
any methods the Finance Commission can suggest to
better enforce this requirement. I am in entire
sympathy with the recommendation that the City
Engineer should be given larger powers and responsi-
bilities in connection with any city contracts involving
40 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
city engineering; but instead of changing the interpre-
tation of the existing ordinances as suggested by the
commission, I believe it would be much better to so
amend the terms of the ordinance that the city would
not be dependent upon an interpretation which might
change under different administrations. It has cer-
tainly been my desire and intention that heads of
departments requesting authority from the Mayor to
award contracts over $2,000, otherwise than through
advertisement and open competition, should file with
such requests "sl written statement giving in detail
good and sufficient reasons for not inviting bids by
advertisement ;'' if this has not been done in every
case heretofore, I shall certainly see that it is done in
the future. Of course, reputable firms should be
encouraged to compete for city work; if it is intended
to imply that reputable firms are not now so competing,
any such idea is wholly contrary to the facts and can
be readily disproved. Of course, the city should not
allow under a percentage contract any higher salaries or
wages than those actually paid by the contractor, and
I will heartily support any means of enforcing this
obviously proper requirement.
Having said this much in regard to the formal recom-
mendations of the commission, I feel bound to add that
the report which accompanies these recommendations
seems to be in many respects not in accordance with
the facts disclosed in evidence and unfair to the present
administration. I propose to take up this report in
future speeches and go more into detail than I can
now. To take a single instance, I do not believe that
the commission can show to the satisfaction of any fair-
minded business man that it is possible for the city
through any change in its methods of purchasing coal
to save any such sum as $100,000 a year. Under
existing conditions in the coal trade I do not believe
that it is possible for the city to save money as suggested
by the commission by making contracts for coal in the
spring for delivery in the fall, and I believe that the
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 41
experience of large private consumers of coal in this
city will bear out my statement.
The investigations of the Finance Commission have
brought prominently before the public the question of
the methods which ought to be employed in the making
of city contracts. One side of this question, namel}^,
that which favors the advertising of all contracts of any
size and their award to the lowest bidder, is apparently
intended to be supported by the investigation; full
inquiry and study of the subject may, perhaps, show
that this, upon the whole, is the best system; yet
much is to be said upon the other side. This adminis-
tration has not originated, as some might be led to
imagine, the practice of making contracts otherwise
than through public advertisement and award to the
lowest bidder, nor is such practice peculiar to the City
of Boston. This administration has adopted no methods
or practices different from those which have existed here
for many years, nor are they different from those which
exist in the conduct of the business of other cities and
of the Commonwealth itself. It is not the established
practice of the departments of the Commonwealth to
advertise publicly in the open market for the work
which they require to be executed and for the supplies
which they are required to purchase, and to award their
contracts to the lowest bidders in such open competi-
tion; the statutes are far more strict in the control of
the business methods of Boston than in their control
of the departments of the Commonwealth, — and the
state departments, freely and without criticism, seem
to be able, without arousing public criticism, to avail
themselves of the discretion and of the latitude which
is allowed them. It is by no means an axiom, as some
people now thoughtlessly assume, that public authori-
ties can secure better and more economical results by
advertising for bids; if such were the case all well-
managed private corporations would follow that prac-
tice, whereas it is a notorious fact that they do not do
so, and for good business reasons.
42 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
The best private practice is that of private competi-
tion among a limited number of selected bidders and
experience shows that this produces the best results.
I do not claim that the conditions surrounding public
work are such that it is proper and desirable to adopt
this system as a rule; I do claim that the assumption
that the public suffers whenever it is departed from is
wholly unwarranted. Many of the best and most
responsible bidders are unwilling to submit to the con-
ditions of a public competition, but are perfectly willing
to bid privately. The assumption that there is some
political or corrupt motive underlying every departure
from strict competition in the case of public work is
A striking illustration of what I have said has been
afforded in connection with the purchases of coal by the
In the past most of the city departments have pur-
chased their supplies of coal, as have most large private
consumers, relying upon the representations of the coal
dealer and upon a practical test of the coal as used.
The inquiry of the Finance Commission led up to the
conclusion that it would be theoretically a more scien-
tific system and one more proof against fraud to purchase
coal upon specifications which made the seller guarantee
its fuel value and which subjected him to deductions
for any deficiency which might be disclosed by analysis
below certain standards. I adopted this idea with
enthusiam, believing that it ought to prove beneficial
to the city; but it proves that theory is one thing and
practice is another in connection with the coal business.
Under the specifications which the City Engineer had
prepared by Mr. Williams, the coal expert of the Finance
Commission, the coal dealers of Boston, who are neither
dishonest nor in collusion with one another, were
unwilling to bid. On such a public advertisement the
Public Buildings Department did not receive a single
bid; the Supply Department received only one bid and
this had to be rejected as plainly disadvantageous to
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 43
the city, since the same coal could be purchased otherwise
at a considerably lower price. I have no doubt that some
system will be worked out by which the city will throw
all possible safeguards around its purchases of coal; but
if anyone has the idea that obvious and easily applied
safeguards have been disregarded in the past and that
coal dealers could easily have been made to guarantee
the fuel value of the coal which they sold if the officials
had taken the trouble to ask them to do so, he is very
All of our taxpayers have occasion to become familiar
with the analysis and classification of the expenditures
of the city which is printed upon the face of the tax
bills. I have had the Statistics Department carry out
this analysis in much greater detail, covering all of the
ordinary expenditures of the city for the financial year
1906-07. This enables me to present a clear state-
ment, comprehensible to the average citizen, showing
the application of our taxes; from this statement it can
also be clearly seen how far it is in the power of any
Mayor to effect economies through the control of these
expenditures. Carrying out the percentages only to a
single figure beyond the decimal point, this table shows
that of the $26,688,359 raised by taxation and expended
during our last financial year, 17.6 per cent went for
interest and sinking fund requirements on city and
county debt, 15.4 per cent for taxes and assessments
payable to the Commonwealth, 14 per cent for schools,
7.2 per cent for police, ^5.3 per cent for Fire Depart-
ment and 3.6 per cent for the County of Suffolk; these
six items, therefore, account at once for 63.1 per cent,
or nearly two-thirds of our ordinary expenditures, and
it is certainly beyond the power of the Mayor to effect
economies in respect to any of these items. Continuing
the same analysis, we find that of the remaining expendi-
tures 8.1 per cent were made by our twelve unpaid
boards; while their work is under the supervision of the
Mayor, they are to a large extent independent admin-
istrative authorities, and I do not think it is charged
44 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
that they are unduly extravagant in the expenditure of
public money, or that they are influenced by any
The Lamp Department accounts for the expenditure
of an additional 3 per cent of the total, and this is
practically a fixed expense; the financial departments,
which are certainly not extravagantly run, account for
a further expenditure of 1.5 per cent; the legislative
departments, over which the Mayor has no control,
account for .75 per cent and the Water Department
accounts for 3 per cent. The aggregate of these last-
named items amounts to 16.3 per cent, and adding
these to the others first named, we have a total of 79.4
per cent, or almost exactly four-fifths of the whole tax
levy. The remaining 20.6 per cent covers, besides the
Health Department, all of the departments formerly
coming under the jurisdiction of the Street Depart-
ment, including the Sanitary, Sewer, Bridge and Street
Cleaning Departments, as well as the present Street
Department, and all other departments not enumerated
above. Everyone who is at all informed as to the city
finances knows that the expenditures for the main-
tenance of these departments are practically fixed, and
that no Mayor can materially reduce them without
such curtailment of their service as would soon arouse
a public protest, or without such a reduction of salaries
and wages as public opinion would not support. I
shall be glad to submit the full table from which these
figures are drawn to anyone who desires it, and I com-
mend it to the attention of those who are promising
large reductions in the expenditures of the city without
discharge of employees or impairment of the service
now rendered, or the discontinuance of lines of municipal
work demanded by the public.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 45
THE IRISH EXILES.
March 17, 1910.
To-night our thoughts turn to Ireland, but not to
Ireland alone. What of the ^^poor exiles"? What of
the seed scattered in five continents? Has it thriven
and borne fruit? Their blood has reddened every
battlefield; their voices have been heard everywhere
preaching the gospel of liberty and humanity; their
labor has enriched every clime; their energy and virility
have founded and sustained tremendous enterprises
which have prospered the republic.
But the black history of our race still throws its
shadow over us. For hundreds of years all activity in
Ireland was political, military or literary. The island
was a welter of bloody onslaught and desperate resistance
until there settled over it at last the desolate peace of
the eighteenth century — the peace of a prison. Walled
in by repressive enactments, menaced by the guns of
an alien soldiery, this fairest land of Europe wore the
grim aspect of a penal colony. The world passed on
its way, adding new arts and inventions, all the modern
machinery of industry and commerce to the stock of
human achievement, while in Ireland the people vege-
tated in barren acres, dreaming of liberty and writing
their passionate visions on the walls of their dungeons.
Is it wonderful that they came out of their experience
bewildered and dreaming still; that, like the child torn
from its home and only restored after long years, they
did not at first know the face of the great parent of
success — opportunity? The Indian, long a hunter,
cannot turn farmer in a day. The Jew, a trader for
centuries, does not take readily to the mechanical arts.
We must allow the Irishman to shake off the dreams,
legacy of the day when nothing was left him but a
stifled inward brooding over wrong. He has to
learn to look out upon the world as it is, to study
anew the importance of skill in hand and eye and
head — once, many centuries ago, his birthright.
46 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
At the Waterways Convention, May 19, 1910.
Gentlemen, — A century ago Massachusetts was the
foremost of American commonwealths in the promotion
of inland waterways and canals, but with the introduc-
tion of steam as a motor force and the creation of a
great network of railroads the water connections fell
into disuse and promising projects like the Cape Cod
Canal were abandoned. Latterly, we have felt the
pinch of high railroad rates and of acute railroad con-
gestion and commerce is now seeking relief through the
cheaper and easier outlets afforded by waterways. The
movement which has expressed itself on a large scale
in the Panama Canal and the proposed development of
the Mississippi is reflected in Massachusetts in a dozen
smaller projects, some of which exist only on paper,
while others are well on the way toward completion.
In all these we are merely imitating the wisdom of
the older and more crowded countries of Europe. These
nations long ago discovered that transportation by water
is the cheapest method and the bulk of their coarser
freight goes to its destination along the rivers and canals.
The relative cost of various methods of transportation is
well shown by a recent writer in the ^^ Outlook '':
Suppose we had a ton of freight to ship and a dollar with
which to pay for its shipping — how far will the dollar carry
the ton by these different methods of transportation? By horse
and wagon, 4 miles; by English steam truck, 20 miles; by rail,
at the average rate for United States railways in 1907, 127 1-2
miles; at the rate on the group of selected railways, 200 miles;
on the Erie Canal, 333 miles; on the European canals, 500
miles; by lake, at the average rate through the ^'Soo" Canal
in 1907, 1,250 miles; while at the rate at which coal has been
carried both on the Great Lakes and on the Ohio and Missis-
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 47
sippi rivers, the ton of freight can be shipped 30 miles for a
cent, 300 miles for a dime, 3,000 miles for a dollar.
Marseilles, in France, was once the foremost port of
continental Europe; it lost its prestige by not properly
maintaining its waterways. The French Government
has recently spent millions in the building of a canal, with
the idea of helping this city to regain its standing as a
seaport. In Russia wonderful engineering feats are now
being pushed forward, and waterways of stupendous
dimensions are being constructed, the one from the
Baltic to Vladivostok being a most unusual feat of
engineering. This policy of linking the great river
systems has proven a stimulus to the national life of
England has suffered because her inland waterways
are practically all canals. Their care and improvement
are the subject of continual discussion, but the fact that
the greater part of the stock of the controlling com-
panies is owned by the railroads has proven a hindrance
to any extensive development. Ireland has not gone
ahead because the British Government has not per-
mitted the expenditure of public money to develop the
river and water courses so abundant throughout the
island. In other sections of Europe and in the large
centers of commerce and industry of the United States
the important river and harbor frontage is controlled
by railway companies. This is not true hereabouts at
the present time, but it will be true unless we take care.
Here in New England we have the greatest chance
that exists in any part of the world for successful inland
waterway development. It is time that definite action
be taken in regard to the reclaiming of the flats in East
Boston and Dorchester Bay and the extension of the
Taunton river and its tributaries, so as to make a com-
plete connection between the Fore river and Taunton,
and the development of the Newburyport and Mystic
rivers and the waterways leading to the accessible
centers in Maine.
48 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
When one visits Europe and sees evidence on every
side of cities connected by artificial waterways rendered
prosperous by the ease with which commerce is con-
ducted, it makes one marvel that we are so laggard in
this respect in our own country. It is therefore with
the greatest pleasure that I commend the work of this
body, and you may be sure that I will accord it every
encouragement within my power.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 49
THE FREE SCHOOL.
Speech at Teachers' Convention, July 4, 1910.
I am not an educator; I may not even be educated
in any highly technical sense; yet in my official capacity
I represent education as completely as any teacher in
this gathering. The office which I have the honor to
fill could not exist except among an intelligent and
educated people. Education of the people implies
government by the people. That is why tyrants have
everywhere dreaded the free school, and why the free
schoolhouse occupies a place in our affections second
only to the charter of liberty itself. Upon its powerful
influence we rely to prevent the return of tyranny and
to maintain a just equilibrium in the state.
This circumstance, I think, explains why Boston has
so often taken the lead in the field which you cultivate.
If you pay a visit to Dorchester you will find there a
tablet marking the site of one of the first free schools
in America. Our city has also been the cradle of those
ideas of self-government which are now accepted by a
great part of the civilized world. Long before the
Revolution our Puritan colonists had resented the royal
yoke. During the last hundred years we have inaugu-
rated more than one movement for the emancipation of
men. Most of our great educators — Franklin, Quinc}^,
Horace Mann, Walker, Eliot, Lowell — have taken an
active interest in government in one or another of its
phases. In a word, the ideals of democracy and popular
education are so interwoven here that any conception
except that of a free people, schooling all its children
free, would be utterly foreign to our way of thinking.
The fruits of this temper you may have witnessed in
the early days of your pilgrimage among us. You have
doubtless seen schools of every description, public and
50 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
private, ranging from kindergarten to university. Their
numbers and external appearances are impressive. Their
enrollment includes every child up to the threshold of
manhood and womanhood. Their teaching staff contains
the flower of our population. Their courses of study
are elastic and progressive, growing with the needs of
the times, but never really departing from basic princi-
ples which have stood the test of experience. Their
support is so generous that the cost of the public school
system alone this year amounts to over six and a half
millions, and constitutes the largest single item of our
You come, then, teachers of America, to a city pre-
disposed in your favor and deeply interested in your
labors. Your deliberations will be followed with eager
sympathy, tempered and governed by critical under-
standing. Your calling is honored here as in few other
communities. It is my privilege and my pleasure to
speak for six hundred and fifty thousand citizens of
Boston who, differ as they may on other subjects, are
unanimous to-day in welcoming you to the warmest
hospitality of this city.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 51
THE FINANCE COMMISSION.
Statement, August 18, 1910.
The communication from the Finance Commission
does not seem worth much more than a passing comment.
It is not such a judicial criticism as the law requires
and the people expect from the Finance Commission.
It is not a criticism. It is a political assault by men
who have before charged me with the worst of crimes
and who were but temporarily silenced by the verdict
of the people at the last election. The gentlemen who
comprise this commission are the appointees of a
Republican Governor who is entering upon a doubtful
political campaign, and this commission is only another
device of Republican state machine politicians to
harass and torture self-government in Boston. The
belief is prevalent among this class of politicians that it
is of advantage to them to poison the minds of the
citizens of the state with the notion that Boston is the
worst governed city in the world. They heap upon
Boston unjust burdens of taxation and unjust abuse
in order that they may hold the state through the
prejudice thus incited against the commercial heart
of the commonwealth and the party which ordinarily
It is because this attack of the Finance Commission
is not made in good faith but for political purposes
that I shall not permit myself to be drawn into a wrangle
of which it is designed to be only the beginning. The
citizens of Boston may feel assured that, whenever the
Finance Commission or any other body of citizens makes
any charge against me which ought to be denied or
explained, both my sense of the right of my fellow-
citizens to know the facts and my own sense of self-
interest will require that I answer it. But I shall not be
52 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
drawn into squabbles with men whose real object is not
what it appears. When the Republican state politicians
want to exercise their ventriloquial powers they must
do it at the expense of someone other than myself.
The gentlemen of the Finance Commission sit on the
knees of these men and seem to speak for themselves.
But I have been behind the scenes and I know whence
the voices come.
Before I drop the subject I want to make just one
observation. The Mayor is responsible by law for the
conduct of the departments. He is the chief executive
officer, ''and, as such executive officer, it shall be his
duty to secure the honest, efficient and economical
conduct of the entire executive and administrative busi-
ness of the city and the harmonious and concerted action
of the different departments." I have accepted the
responsibility imposed upon the Mayor by the law and
no man ever yet secured ''harmonious and concerted
action" in great departments filled with men who dis-
liked him or had no faith in his capacity to administer
the business of the city well. Whenever I find that, in
the interest of the city, a loyal man who has faith in
me is needed in the city government anywhere, I shall
appoint such a man if he is otherwise competent.
I came into office after the city had been convulsed
by the most violent campaign it had ever known, and
after a princely fortune had been spent to disseminate
just such caviling attacks as this upon me, and now I
am accused of having changed less than a dozen officials
in the largest corporation in New England! Those who
are the head even of little corporations must smile as
they read of this serious offence. Does anybody think
that such a cavil is worth an answer?
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 53
Speech at Lewiston, Maine, September 10, 1910.
The battle between the money power and the people,
which has been imminent for many years, is about
to be fought to a finish. It is idle to obscure the
issue. The revelations of the past decennial have shown
American people that it is the men who control
our financial institutions and the big business enter-
prises who menace the freedom and prosperity of the
country. For more than a quarter of a century they
succeeded in fooling the American people, but now the
searchlight has been turned on and it has exposed such
rottenness in American finances as to startle the world.
For years we have been told that the extraordinarily
high duties imposed by Republican Congresses were
necessary for the protection of American labor. Too
many people believed these statements, made by the
agents of greedy monopolists, with the result that we
have raised a tremendous crop of millionaires and
of misery. We have been misled day in and day
out for fifteen years by men who, meeting together
around a small table in the great city of New York,
created fictitious values at the expense of the American
people and demanded, as a right, the toil of millions to
pay those unjustifiable dividends. The railroads of the
country, which are capitalized for eighteen billion dollars,
represent in actual value nine billion. In other words,
nine billion of fictitious capitalization has been dis-
tributed among a few personal favorites, and ninety
million of American people taxed to pay the dividends.
Six per cent, the average rate paid upon the American
railroad, means a tax of $540,000,000 a year which the
American people are compelled to pay over and above the
just requirements. Our big United States Steel Trust,
54 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
which can sell its products cheaper abroad than it can
to the American people, is capitalized for $1,400,000,000;
about $600,000,000 represents the real investment.
Eight hundred million dollars of value is created to be
distributed amongst a few intimates while the American
people at large are taxed to pay the dividend.
And our express companies! Every large civilized
country in the world has a parcels post system. The
United States is the single exception. Though there is
a deficit amounting to millions of dollars a year through
the establishment of a rural mail delivery, no attempt
to establish a parcels post system operated through
these carriers has yet been successful. Theodore Roose-
velt, our great reformer, though in Washington seven
years, and knowing that it was the express companies
of the United States which made impossible the passage
of this legislation, never made the dramatic appeal to the
conscience of the American people that he is doing at the
present time. The Sherman law was on the statute
books at the time and could have been enforced. Some
of those men could have been jailed, and should have
been jailed if our strenuous President had been as sincere
in his efforts in ofhce as he is in his efforts for office.
Only a short while ago the earnings of one of these com-
panies were so enormous that the directors were afraid
to let them be known to the American people and an
adjustment was made by giving every stockholder two
additional shares for every one held, a dividend of 200
per cent. Postmaster General Wanamaker said : ' ' There
are four reasons why America has no parcels post system
— 1st, The Adams Express Company; 2d, The American
Express Company; 3d, The United States Express Com-
pany, and 4th, The Wells Fargo Express Company."
The sugar trust is another example. The little joker
in the Payne-Aldrich bill, which President Taft has
described as the best tariff law ever made, takes fifty
millions a year out of the American consumers. Though
comparatively little of the sugar used by the people of
the United States is produced in this country, sugar
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 55
costs the people of the United States twice as much as
it does the people of Europe.
The cotton and woolen factories here in New England
are tremendously over-capitalized. It is laughable to
hear the manufacturers of these great corporations rebel
against the action of the Legislature in reducing the
number of hours on the ground that the mills in New
England cannot compete successfully with Southern
mills if shorter hours are compelled by law. Many mills
in New England have paid out in dividends in a few
years vastly more than the amount of the original
capitalization; at the same time it is a matter of public
record that the wages of the average employee are only
$7.50 per week, and that many children are employed
and paid only S3 a week.
It is this enormous over-capitalization and watering
of stocks that is directly responsible for the high cost
of living, notwithstanding the statement of Senator
Lodge to the contrary. Practically every industry in
the country which could stand capitalization has been
taken over in the past few years by banking syndicates.
Properties having an actual value of a few hundred
thousand dollars, paying 12 or 15 or 20 per cent, have
been capitalized on the basis of 5 or 6 or 7 per cent.
The result is that the apparent wealth of the United
States in industrial and commercial and business enter-
prises is capitalized at more than the real wealth, and
the American people are taxed to pay the difference.
Only a short while ago the Fifth Avenue Bank of New
York declared a regular quarterly dividend of 25 per
cent and a special dividend of 130 per cent. This extra
dividend is not the largest ever authorized by this bank.
For more than eight years the average disbursement
to stockholders has been something like 250 per cent,
and though the par value of its stock is $100, the stock
has recently sold as high as $4,500 a share. This is
only a single instance, and is not only true of bank
stocks but of many cotton and woolen mills and other
forms of industry. How unjust this over-capitalization is
56 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
to the average cotton operative and woolen operative
here in Lewiston can be seen in the fact that wages
here, as in every other big manufacturing center, are
presumably based upon the ability of the companies to
pay reasonable dividends. When a dividend of 6 per
cent is asked for by the stockholders, based upon an
honest valuation, the operatives should be willing, and
are willing I know, to meet the demand in a spirit of fair
play and equity, but when 6 per cent dividends means
6 per cent upon millions of capital which has never been
invested it is the rankest kind of injustice.
The time has come, therefore, when the American
people must assert their spirit over the few men who
have hitherto drafted legislation, determined the deci-
sion in many of our courts, and even disposed of the
enormous wealth of the country in whatever manner
seemed best suited to their own selfish purposes. Drastic
action against the tyranny of these men is the necessity
of the hour.
Never will there be such action by the Republican
party. All the protests against the execution of the
present Payne-Aldrich tariff by the Republican insur-
gents were hopeless and will be hopeless. Speaker
Cannon is supreme in his own district, and though
there is little likelihood of his return to the speakership
because the Congress is Democratic, yet he will domi-
nate the Republican minority, and hold the whip hand,
so that no legislation except that which is friendly to
the intrenched wealth of the country can be successful.
Here in Maine you have the opportunity to judge the
power of the Republican machine. It has held the
state steadily in its clutches for years, and has been run
mainly in the interests of the wealthy men. President
Roosevelt, with all his talk about corruption, never
lifted his finger in Washington to reduce expenses in
framing a proper tariff bill or to punish the big criminals.
What reason have we to expect any different course
from him or those in the battle with him? He stands
for his close personal friend. Senator Lodge, who is a
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 57
staunch advocate of the Payne- Aldrich tariff bill. Yet
he must realize, if he knows anything about the public
record of Henry Cabot Lodge, that he is pleading for
the return of a man to the United States Senate for
six years who, day in and day out, has stood for a system
of government which has made a few fabulously rich
while compelling millions to labor incessantly for enough
to keep body and soul together.
There is no help for the evil situation into which we
have been brought by the Republican party. It must
be, as it has been for so long, the enemy of the people
and the friend of privilege. To you, men of Maine, it is
given to sound the tocsin for the country. Let it be
the first blow to the money power and the first victory
for justice and the people.
58 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
REFUSAL OF NOMINATION FOR GOVERNOR.
Statement Issued September 26, 1910.
Men have been kind enough to tell me that I ought to
stand for governor. The publicity given to this sugges-
tion has caused an unexpected and an embarrassing
activity among my friends throughout the state. It has
tended to confuse the situation. Local Democratic
leaders have told me that the doubt whether I would
permit myself to become a candidate has disturbed
alignments and postponed decisions in different localities.
It will not be wise to allow this condition to continue.
The Democrats to-morrow will choose the delegates who
at the coming state convention will nominate the
Democratic candidate for governor. So great is the
probability that the Democrats at this convention will
be able to elect the next governor, if they select their
candidate wisely, that it seems to me of the greatest
importance to make their task as easy and as simple as
possible. Eliminating every unavailable candidate is
one way to simplify the problem of selecting our candi-
date for governor. I am keenly conscious of the great
opportunity which is afforded me to lead the Democrats
to victory in the state this year, and no one would
appreciate the honor more than I; but on reflection it
does not seem to me that I ought to lay down the task
in Boston which my city so recently put in my hands,
and which is still so far from complete. Therefore, I
must ask the Democrats of the state not to consider my
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 59
October 4, 1910.
Dear Sir, — Among the parcels of real estate com-
prising the property of the late Andreas Tomfohrde
occur the buildings at 37-41, 45-47 and 51 Court street,
with the land attached thereto. Investigation reveals a
striking though not unusual state of affairs in connec-
tion with this property. The value of the land alone
increased in twenty years from $238,000 to $695,100,
an increase of $457,100, or nearly 200 per cent. In the
meantime the building, either through neglect or from
natural depreciation, decreased in value $42,100, or in
round numbers 60 per cent.
This fortunate investor is reported to have made no
public bequests, yet he owed every dollar of this added
value to the public. He displayed no intellectual or
moral quality in acquiring it, and rendered no form of
service. His only talent was to purchase and to keep.
Meanwhile, the growth of population, the ever swelling
tides of travel and of trade, the expenditure of the public
money on pavements, sidewalks, lights and fire and police
protection, the building of a great court house on
Pemberton square — in a word, all the multifold activities
of the community at large — increased and enhanced the
value of his estate and would have enhanced it equally
if its owner had been some absentee landlord instead
of a restaurant keeper doing business on the premises.
Of this huge unearned increment of value the owner
returned each year about 1| per cent in taxes. The
inadequacy of this return does not require any special
argument. Since ordinary processes of taxation fail in
such cases, the question arises whether some method
should not be devised for returning to the public, which
creates it, a larger fraction of the increase of value.
60 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Under the present system individuals are virtually
permitted to tax the people and too often, as in the
instance cited, such individuals die without any fulfill-
ment and perhaps without any recognition of their
The spectacle of unimproved buildings on land, every
inch of which has its appreciable value, is all too common
in the older portions of Boston now dedicated to trade
and commerce. In all such instances the natural
relations are reversed. The community is not served
but serves; the owner merely waits and profits by wait-
ing. This practice should as far as possible be dis-
couraged by law, in interest not only of justice but of
I respectfully ask your permission to consider some
plan by which a larger fraction of the increased value
of land may go to the community, at least when this
increase assumes abnormal proportions, and failing this,
the owner may be compelled to maintain some minimum
ratio of value between their land and the buildings
erected upon it. While the subject is a difficult and
abstruse one, conditions are becoming so acute that
some form of relief would seem to be required.
Hon. John A. Sullivan, Chairman of the Finance Commission.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 61
THE NEW ENGLAND CHURCH.
At the Congregational Conference, October
I take great pleasure in extending the hospitalities of
the City of Boston to the delegates to the Congrega-
tional Conference, representing, I am informed, six
hundred thousand enrolled members throughout the
country and no fewer than six thousand ordained
clergymen. In greeting you I feel that I am welcoming
the descendants of the pilgrims of Plymouth and the
first settlers of Boston, retaining no little of their
doctrines and most of their church polity. Such con-
cessions as you have made to modern taste in the
enrichment of your ceremonies, and in the adoption of
a form of fellowship which faintly suggests the more
elaborate organization of the older churches, do not
make you any the less the lineal heirs of Bradford and
Brewster, of Endicott and Winthrop.
In other words, there is something distinctive of
Boston and New England in your churches. If I mis-
take not, your influence has spread over the country
with the tide of migration from this section and wherever
the New England blood is to be found, there, in a greater
or less degree, are seen the spires of what the old-
fashioned people used to call the orthodox churches. In
coming back to Boston you come to the cradle of your
origin, to a city many of whose most distinguished names,
both of clergymen and of laymen, have been enrolled
in your membership.
Early New England, as you know far better than I,
was almost a pure theocracy. The functions of church
and state overlapped and the clergyman was a civic as
well as a religious leader. Perhaps it is the spirit of this
tradition that makes your pulpits so often resound with
62 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
eloquent discourses upon purely civic affairs. I am not
one of those who believe that this tendency should be
condemned, as long as the comment is governed by the
spirit of fairness and criticism is tempered with a decent
recognition of the good deeds that are occasionally per-
formed even by public men with whom we disagree.
It is possible to differ with a man and still respect
him, probably because beyond and around the area of
difference there remains a wide margin of agreement.
You and I have more in common than some of our
ancestors were prone to believe. We have all inherited
the ethics of Christianity and a good part of its doctrines.
Your invitation to me this evening and my cordial
acceptance of it shows that the rifts of disagreement
need not necessarily widen into a hopeless gulf of dis-
trust and misunderstanding. It is possible for both of
us in different ways to serve the needs of society and to
fulfill the will of our Maker. Times have changed since
Endicott in his fiery zeal cut the cross out of the British
flag because of his hatred of Rome. The modern Endi-
cott counts a journey to the seat of Christendom and
an audience with the head of the ancient church as one
of the most memorable incidents of his life, while, on
the other hand, a Catholic Mayor is called to welcome
in Tremont Temple the descendants and followers of
those who, whether '' nation seed or gospel seed the
more," have emblazoned their names in letters of gold
upon the history of our common country.
I wish you all a most pleasant stay in Boston and a
most successful convention.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 63
LOSS OF A STEAMSHIP LINE.
October 18, 1910.
Dear Sir, — A recent item in the Boston papers con-
veys the intelHgence that the steamers ''Harvard" and
''Yale," formerly plying between New York and Boston
in the service of the Metropolitan Steamship Company,
have been sold to a company which intends to run
them between San Francisco and Los Angeles and
that they have started, or are about to start, on the
fourteen-thousand mile journey around Cape Horn to the
former port. These vessels supplemented admirably the
transportation facilities between New York and Boston
and provided a most delightful voyage for persons
desiring to make the trip by night. They were also
the means of carrying a considerable volume of freight
to and from these cities, and that their loss will be felt
the coming season is obvious. I would respectfully
inquire whether the Chamber of Commerce has taken
any steps to interest capital in a similar line of steam-
ships which would take the place of these vessels.
Unless I am greatly misinformed the investment was
by no means an unprofitable one, and it would seem
that there might be sufficient local capital, the owners
of which would be actuated by local patriotism as well
as keen business sense, ta furnish substitutes for them.
Bernard J. Rothwell, Esq., President Chamber of Commerce.
64 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES,
DEFENDING FRANKLIN PARK ZOO.
November 8, 1910.
Gentlemen, — Your letter of November 5, addressed
to me as Mayor, copies of which have been furnished to
the Press, calls for an expression of opinion upon the
important issues which you have raised. Permit me to
take them up seriatim and supplement your observa-
tions by the relation of certain facts which do not seem
to have been brought to your attention.
You express surprise that the representatives of the
Massachusetts Zoological Society, who had requested the
Legislature for funds to establish a zoo at Middlesex
Fells and had previously favored a location in the Fells,
acting on the advice of Mr. W. T. Hornaday, Director
of the New York Zoological Garden, should have lent
themselves to the project for establishing a zoological
garden in Franklin Park. You are, perhaps, unaware
that the proposition to use the Middlesex Fells had been
practically abandoned because the private subscriptions
offered for this purpose amounted to only a few thou-
sand dollars and there seemed to be no immediate
prospect of collecting the substantial sum needed for
the creation of a worthy institution. Moreover, the
distance of the Fells from Boston constitutes a disad-
vantage as compared with the readiness of access of
Franklin Park, which is only a short ride from the homes
of the great majority of our citizens. The fact that the
society and Mr. Hornaday abandoned a project which
is not likely to be realized for many years, and availed
themselves of the opportunity which was created by
the bequest of Mr. Parkman, should not be regarded as
a fatal inconsistency.
A special reason for placing the zoological garden in
Franklin Park is found in the lack of patronage of the
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 65
park. Although the original cost of Franklin Park was
about four million dollars, and the annual maintenance
charge is about sixty thousand dollars, it is frequented
for only a comparatively short season, and except on
Sundays does not seem to attract any large numbers of
people. One may walk through its paths and over its
meadows any pleasant summer morning and encounter
only a handful of straggling visitors. This neglect is
due, in the opinion of good judges, to the lack of human
interest, of live attractions which would form a definite
objective for the people at large. At present the park
appeals chiefly to those who go there to play games,
like tennis, golf and baseball, lovers of pure landscape
not being as common as they might be among people
whose lives are spent far from nature and natural scenery.
In adding the zoological garden with its groups of grace-
ful or curious live creatures the city would only be
carrying out and amplifying the conception of the
designer of the park, Mr. Olmsted, whose original plans
allotted the space selected by the Park Commissioners
and their experts for a zoological garden to a deer park.
As for the aquarium at Marine Park, this seems to me
peculiarly appropriate on account of the pre-eminence
of Boston as a seaport and fishing center.
In your strictures upon the existing parks, many of
which you say have been repeatedly declared a disgrace
to the City of Boston, I find a lack of definiteness.
While the condition of some of these parks is not all
that could be desired, it does not seem to me that the
uncharitable language of your letter is justified by the
conditions as I have observed them.
Moreover, the anxiety which you express as to the
possible exhaustion of the income of the fund by the
use of a portion of it for the creation of an aquarium
and zoological garden, ignores the magnitude of the
fund itself. The income upon five million dollars, which
is in round numbers the amount of the bequest, comes
to something like two hundred thousand dollars a year,
or two million dollars in every decade. The estimated
66 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
cost of the zoological garden, the Greeting, and the
aquarium, is about six hundred and fifty thousand
dollars. Even if the entire income of the fund were
devoted to this purpose in the immediate future, the
fund would be free for other purposes in a little over
three years. By using only a portion of it each year
the aquarium and zoological garden could be gradually
brought into existence and the remainder of the fund
devoted to general improvement purposes such as you
suggest. This, I believe, is the better plan, since it not
only leaves some portion of the fund for other projects,
but provides for the gradual adaptation of the plans
for the aquarium and zoological garden to circumstances
as they arise. It would appear, then, that the difference
between your point of view and that of the Park Com-
missioners, as set forth in their report, is not an irrecon-
To United Improvement Association, 8 Beacon Street, Boston.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 67
February 8, 1911.
Dear Sir, — His Excellency Governor Foss in his
inaugural message emphasized the need of waterways
in the following words: ''The State must also take
immediate steps to outline and construct a system of
waterways and canals to supplement the railways, so
that raw materials may be secured to our industries at
the lowest possible cost.'' Acting upon this suggestion
the Committee of the General Court on Harbors and
Public Lands advertised a hearing at the State House
for February 3, at half past ten, expecting a large repre-
sentation of the commercial interests upon this important
issue. The results seem to prove either that the com-
mercial organizations of this section are not alive to the
importance of the creation of a system of intra-coastal
canals or that they are unaware of the progress which
has been made by the engineering division of the United
States War Department in preparing plans for such a
system. Only two or three persons attended this hear-
ing, which was continued until Wednesday, February 15.
Previously communications had been received from
Lieut. -Col. J. S. Sanford, attached to the United States
Engineer's Office at Newport, R. I., and from Col. Frederic
V. Abbot, of the United States Engineer's Office located
in Boston, requesting the appropriate department of the
city government of Boston to answer a somewhat com-
plicated series of questions relating to the prospective
advantages of these proposed waterways to Boston and
the contiguous territory. After consultation with the
Acting City Engineer, now the Commissioner of Public
Works, it has seemed to me doubtful whether the studies
that would be required for comprehensive answers to
this schedule of questions would properly come within
68 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the functions of any municipal department and whether
the city would be justified in employing an outside
engineer to prepare a statement which might be given
forth with the official sanction of the municipal govern-
ment. At the same time I have been impressed with
the need of these waterways and have personally
attended conventions at Washington and at Providence,
at which I took occasion to recommend their rapid
development along the entire eastern seaboard of the
country for purposes of protection in time of war as well
as of commercial relief.
Occupying, as Massachusetts does, a situation some-
what remote from the sources of supply for the raw
materials used in her industries, she should certainly
look with favor upon any measures calculated to reduce
freight rates at present placing her at a disadvantage
with the growing competition from other sections of
the country. Unless the business interests identify
themselves with this movement for intra-coastal water-
ways there seems to be no hope of realizing what has
been for a hundred years the dream of far-sighted
students of our commercial history and prospects.
An interview given by Colonel Abbot on the day of
the abortive hearing before the Harbors and Public
Lands Committee gave expression to his own feeling as
to the apathy displayed by the business organizations
of Boston upon the question, and intimated that unless
some interest could be aroused among persons who
would benefit most signally by these improvements,
the whole scheme would probably be abandoned by the
United States Government.
I have thought it timely, therefore, to lay the whole
situation before your body and to transmit to you the
communications from Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford and
Colonel Abbot for such action as may seem to you
appropriate. Even if time is lacking for the compilation
of thoroughly studied replies to the questions propounded
by the United States Engineers, a general argument in
favor of the canals might be prepared by those of your
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 69
members who may be particularly interested in this
topic and who may have given it some prior thought.
Such a report would serve the purpose of proclaiming
to the national authorities the keen interest which an
organization like the Chamber of Commerce must
certainly take in this question and dispelling the impres-
sion that commercial Boston looks with indifference
upon a proposition which carries so much promise of
relief and benefit to her industries and those of the
I respectfully submit, therefore, these communications
in the hope that the whole subject may be taken up by
the Chamber of Commerce and that so promising a
scheme of development may not be allowed to expire
through want of cooperation among the different units
interested in it, and a consequent dissipation of the
forces which, properly united and controlled by adequate
leadership, might carry it to a successful issue.
George S. Smith, Esq., President Chamber oj Commerce.
70 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
At Pan-Hellenic Meeting, February 17, 1911.
Boston, which is proud of its title of the ^^ Athens of
America,'' has been glad to count among its citizens
during the past twenty years a number of representa-
tives of that glorious people among whom ancient
Athens was the center of culture and civilization.
While the Greeks of Boston have been few in numbers,
several of them are already counted as typical Bos-
tonians. It is a pleasure and an honor to me, therefore,
to come to this hall to-night and meet a gathering of
men whose ancestry is perhaps, from a racial point of
view, the most distinguished in the world.
Certainly no people ever left nobler landmarks in the
places which they inhabited, or ever scattered more
fertile germs of thought among the other nations of the
earth. The age of Pericles and Socrates marked in the
opinion of many judges the highest level of average
intelligence that has ever been reached during the period
of recorded history. In the arts, especially in archi-
tecture and sculpture, in the drama, in history, in phil-
osophy, in oratory, and even in science, the names of
the great figures of that period still shine on the world's
roll of honor and their thought has resisted the rusting
process of age, so that many of them still seem as modern
as our own contemporaries.
What an illustration of the irony of fate that this
gifted people, in the vicissitudes of its history, should
have come under the domination of an Asiatic race,
whose undeniable virtues are rather those of splendid
barbarism than of a fully developed and civilized people.
An Alexander could penetrate almost to the borders of
India, founding kingdoms on the way and planting even
on the shores of the Nile a lesser Greece, which, in the
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 71
decline of the mother country, perpetuated its culture
and ideals; but the sturdy people that had resisted the
hordes of Xerxes and Darius, weakened perhaps by the
rule of the Roman legions, yielded at length to the over-
powering might of those later swarms whose emblem was
the crescent and whose weapon was the scimitar.
The Greece we visit to-day is a scene of desolation,
where the tyrant has everywhere left his imprint in
ruined cities and shattered temples. The exquisitely
wrought metopes of the Parthenon have been used as
slabs to make a modern wall, and at times it would seem
as though the very descendants of Leonidas and Mil-
tiades had forgotten the glories of their ancestry. But
the vital spark of patriotism still lives and in the past
century was blown into a flame which burned away
the last vestiges of foreign domination and made of the
Greeks once more a free and united people.
To the war of liberation Boston sent among others
its superb citizen, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, whose name
has become personally associated with Greece through
the marriage of his daughter to the Greek patriot and
philanthropist, his successor in the Superintendency
of the Perkins Institution for the Blind, the late Michael
To-day Greece enjoys its own government and holds
a place among the free nations of Europe. But this is
true only of the Hellenic peninsula. On the outlying
islands of the iEgean and Mediterranean seas are
branches of the Greek people, separated from their
brethren by subjection to an alien rule. Among these
the Cretans for many years have excited the compassion
of lovers of liberty, not only because of their sufferings
and strenuous resistance but because of the admirable
part which Crete played in the early development of
Greek civilization. Lying midway between Hellas and
the ancient monarchies bordering upon the modern
Levant, Crete was the stepping stone for the progress
of civilization from Egypt and Phoenicia to the European
continent. Recent excavations have revealed the
72 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
wonders of its early culture and disclosed the island as
the seat of a flourishing population, with numerous cities
all maintained at the highest level of Grecian progress.
The spectacle of such a people with such a tradition,
bound against their will to a despotism which they must
necessarily regard as inferior in type, aroused the sym-
pathies of the other nations of Europe, and by an agree-
ment among the great powers Crete, some dozen years
ago, was placed under the protectorate of Great Britain,
France and Russia. But the spirit of liberty is never
satisfied with halfway concessions, and the Cretans are
still appealing to the sense of justice of the world for
release from their anomalous status and a return to full
union with the Greeks of the mainland, who are their
kindred in blood and religion.
To us Bostonians, rebels ourselves and the heirs of the
most successful rebellion that the world ever knew, the
appeal of such a people is irresistible, and as Mayor of
the city I can do no less than assure you that my per-
sonal sympathies, and I believe those of most of my
fellow citizens, are extended to the struggling Cretans
in their efforts at reunion with the kingdom of Greece.
Unless the hands of the clock of progress are turned
backward once more, I feel confident that this reunion
will be brought about and the people of Crete placed once
more in an environment in which they can develop
their own individuality.
America has never in the past hesitated to extend a
welcome to patriots striving for freedom and to send
messages of sympathy to those of other lands, who are
merely repeating the incidents and episodes of our own
I trust that your campaign will be crowned with suc-
cess and I know that the news of your victory, flashed
over the wires, will send a thrill of sympathy not only
through the colony of Greeks and Cretans among us
in Boston, but among those of our own people who are
still true to the maxims and convictions of the fathers
of this country.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 73
Northampton, March 17, 1911.
This is an auspicious moment to celebrate the na-
tional holiday of the Irish people. Through seven
hundred years of struggle they have proved their vitality,
not alone by individual examples of splendid virtue, but
by united action in support of a coherent and progressive
program. Their conquest is a victory of the highest
order, in that it implies not merely brute superiority in
numbers and in strength, but a conversion of the foe to
the ideal which they have always opposed. The ^' Home
Rule" bill, which is about to grant to Ireland substantial
independence similar to that enjoyed by Canada and
the other provinces of the British Empire, can only be
passed through the House of Commons by the votes of
Englishmen and Scotchmen, and to this extent it repre-
sents the will of the English people yielding to the forces
of moral persuasion which their better natures could no
longer resist. In the very act of granting self-govern-
ment to Ireland they have acknowledged the error of
their past refusals and have conceded to the Irish people
the qualities necessary for the exercise of this right, which
misguided English politicians and historians have too
often denied them.
But these incidents have a broader significance than
attaches to a mere chapter in the history of a single race.
As the frontiersman who defends his home against savage
assailants is a bulwark of the civilization which advances
in his wake, so the people of Ireland, doing battle against
odds to preserve their own identity, have fought for all
humanity as well as for themselves. It is no accident
that the passage of a home rule bill coincides with the
imminent fall of the British House of Lords. The same
deep lying sentiment dominating the English people
74 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
with one hand lifts Ireland from its humble seat to a
position of dignity and of promise, and with the other
lays low the insolence of the peers, who have been the
traditional opponents of every movement for the expan-
sion of human liberty and the happiness of the people.
What better proof that the cause of Ireland and that of
the English Democracy is the same than the perpetual
opposition of the titled aristocracy of Great Britain to
both. When the history of this epoch-making event is
written, historians cannot fail to credit the fall of the
House of Lords, in great part, to the Irish party in the
Commons. Ireland, in a word, has been the slender
and ever-youthful David who has laid low this haughty
It is of course an accident, but a highly felicitous one,
that the day on which we honor the patron saint of
Ireland is the anniversary of the evacuation of Boston
by the British troops, one hundred and thirty-five years
ago. Just as the cause of Ireland is essentially that of
the English people and has contained in itself, unrecog-
nized perhaps, the germ of a liberal and humane pro-
gram, applicable to all the races of the world, so
the American revolution was in some of its aspects a
conflict between two elements of the British nation
rather than a revolt of thirteen united colonies against
a mother country equally united in resisting their claims.
America had its Tories and England its Liberals, and
then as now the implacable enemy of progress was the
English House of Lords. The costly victory at Bunker
Hill and the final surrender at Yorktown paved the way
for the reform bills in the House of Commons, and all
that movement towards the extension of the suffrage
and the recognition of the rights of the common man,
which has drawn the English people to-day to the very
forefront of the democratic movement in Europe and
the world. By a natural gravitation of ideas the two
greatest events in American history — the revolution,
which established the nation as an independent entity
and the emancipation of the slaves, which removed a
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 75
destructive cancer from its vitals — attracted the sym-
pathetic attention of the two Irishmen who tower above
all other public men of their race. Burke's speech on
conciliation outlined a policy which, if it had been pur-
sued, might have altered the current of history and
enunciated clearly his sympathy with the ideals for
which the American patriots were striving; and
O'Connell stood shoulder to shoulder with Wilberforce
in those early divisions in the House of Commons when
the number of courageous spirits who dared to take sides
against the slave owners on behalf of the oppressed
black men in the British dominion could be counted
almost on the fingers of one hand. In a word, the great
liberal minded men have known no boundaries of race
or geographical distinction, but have drawn upon the
common treasury of ideas and principles which is the
heritage of enlightened men and women the world over.
The most ardent believer in the cause of Ireland can
well afford to welcome this prospect of the healing of old
wounds, and I am sure that the first to rejoice in this
manner will be those who have themselves received
wounds in the cause of their mother land. Now that
we have wrung our doom from the ancient oppressor we
can afford to write the history of the past in a tolerant
and forgiving spirit for the perusal of our children, who,
happily, will inherit only the echoes of this ancient feud.
With all their divisions and discords, Ireland and Eng-
land have much in common. Their literatures fuse and
coalesce through the medium of a common tongue.
Their soldiers have fought with valor against savage
and civilized foes, and the red flag whose boast it is that
the sun never sets upon it was carried to the uttermost
bounds of the earth by soldiers, many of whom in their
hearts paid secret allegiance to the harp-embroidered
green banner of Erin. The Irishman will not cease to be
what he is by conceding the sturdy virtues of the English
people, and the Saxon might well crave a dash of Irish
fervor and brilliancy to leaven his own heavier good
76 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Letter Sent to Various Public Bodies,
March 29, 1911.
Gentlemen, — Recent occurrences in New York and
Boston have revealed the necessity of a systematic
canvass of the city for the discovery of unsafe building
conditions. The Building, Fire and Police Departments
are able to do a great deal to protect the lives and prop-
erty of citizens, but they cannot always cope with the
ingenuity, indifference and ignorance of certain property
owners. So much risk is involved in this matter that
every private citizen should be willing to assist the
authorities in their efforts to prevent the holocausts
which have so often marred the records of American
The immediate question is not the framing of new
laws which shall guarantee a higher degree of safety,
but of the conflict of two elements, one seeking to enforce
and the other to evade the laws as they now exist. The
best way for right minded people to contribute to the
general safety is by promptly reporting the street and
number of every building which seems to afford legiti-
mate ground for apprehension.
I respectfully ask that you endeavor to interest the
membership of your society in this subject and that you
favor me with the results of your observation, whether
of general or particular conditions. By so doing you
will manifest a high degree of good citizenship, and will
perhaps bring to the attention of the Fire Commissioner
and the Building Department incidents of careless or
illegal construction which might otherwise escape
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 77
A STATE FINANCE COMMISSION.
At the Rockland Board of Trade, April 25, 1911.
I am somewhat astonished to find any objection to the
appointment of a State Finance Commission. It seems
odd that the RepubUcan leaders who were so very
anxious to give extraordinary powers to the Finance
Commission which investigated Boston's affairs a few
years ago should hesitate to give a like authority to a
state board. Is it the same old story over again? When
I first proposed a Finance Commission in Boston every
Republican member of the City Council voted against
the proposition, and then attempted to claim the credit
for the work done by the commission. There is certainly
more need for a Finance Commission throughout the
state than there ever was for the City of Boston. When
we find municipalities with debts outstanding for which
no sinking funds are being accumulated; when we find
loans from banks or individuals obtained chiefly on
demand notes ; w^hen we find the principal of trust funds
being borrowed and used; when we find funds given
to the cities and towns for the perpetual care of lots in
the cemeteries being used for other purposes; when we
find state highways, which last but five years on an
average, being built with money borrowed for a term
of forty years; when we find twenty different purchasing
agents for twenty different institutions in the same city
instead of one central purchasing agent; when we find
no audited bills in many institutions; when we find
contracts awarded without competitive bidding; when
we find the lowest bidder ignored when such bidding
does take place; when we find different prices being paid
for the same article in different institutions, it seems to
me that it is time for the appointment of a Board which
shall have the authority to investigate conditions all
78 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
over the state and apply the proper remedy. Every
city in the Commonwealth at the present time borrows
money for the paving of its highways except Boston;
many cities, if we are to believe the statements in the
inaugural addresses of the Mayors, are borrowing
money for public celebrations, for the payment of school
teachers, and for various other purposes which should
be met out of the tax levy. In fact, the situation is such
in many cities and towns in the state now that it is
impossible for officials to give an honest statement of the
financial condition of the municipality. The citizens of
Rockland ought to insist that their local representatives
stand behind the Governor and the Commonwealth in
demanding the passage of legislation which will give
the Governor the power to appoint a Board of five men,
with full and complete powers, to put the financial
affairs of the state and the cities and towns in the state
on a proper basis; to recommend legislation which will
make it impossible to borrow money for current expenses;
which will require cities and towns when borrowing
money to provide a proper sinking fund basis, and to
organize the business of the city on a sound basis.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 79
Special Article, May 4, 1911.
Seven hundred years ago, at the time of the Magna
Charta, England found it necessary to make laws to
prevent land from getting into the hands of those who
would withdraw it from development and sale. These
were called the Statutes of Mortmain, meaning laws
against the dead hand.
The condition of business in Boston at the present
time is very much like the situation which caused the
revolt in older countries leading to these statutes against
the dead hand. Boston has been put to sleep by our
foolish tax laws. They have forced the great body of
Boston trustees to invest in the shares of our railroads,
national banks and Massachusetts corporations. These
trustees hold hundreds of millions of dollars, the accu-
mulations of dead and gone Bostonians. Try to do
business with them and you will find their rule of con-
duct to be, as one of their number has wittily said:
^' First, the safety of the trustee, second, the convenience
of the trustee; third, the commissions of the trustee."
Our banks, our railroads, our street railways, our
mills, our wharves, all bear the weight of the heavy dead
hand of the trustee, who. cares nothing for development,
but only for his fixed income. The Boston & Albany,
for instance, was once in their control, a prospering rail-
road, but getting behind the times. Did they renew
rails, put on new cars, buy heavier locomotives? No,
indeed! That might have meant going without a few
dividends temporarily. Instead of this they jumped
at an offer from the New York Central to take the prop-
erty off their hands and continue their income without
interruption. They were indifferent to the future
business of the road and of the port of Boston. They
80 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
wanted a sure thing. The Boston & Albany lease was
the direct result of the dead hand.
They parted in the same way with the Boston &
Lowell, Boston & Providence, the Eastern, and Fitch-
burg. It was so much easier to get a fixed return by
lease without bothering about the management.
Among the chiefs of the hierarchy of the dead hand
are two whose power and influence may be seen from the
following lists of companies in which they are officers:
Boston Pier or the Long Wharf, President and Treasurer.
Boston Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
Boston & Providence Railroad, Director.
Boylston Market Association, Director.
Commercial Wharf Company, President and Director.
Department Store Trust, Trustee.
Fifty Associates, Director.
Lewis Wharf Company, President and Director.
Midland Realty Company, Treasurer, Secretary and Director.
Otis Company, Director.
Pepperell Manufacturing Company, Director.
Proprietors of Rowe's Wharf, President and Director.
Social Law Library, Trustee.
American Bell Telephone Company, Director.
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, Director.
Battery Wharf Store Company, Treasurer and Director.
Board of Trade Building Trust, Trustee.
Boston Personal Property Trust, Trustee.
Boston Water Power Company, Director and Trustee.
Boston Wharf Company, Vice-President and Director.
Brauier Building Trust, Trustee.
Brookline Riverdale Land Association, Trustee.
Business Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
Central Wharf and Wet Dock Corporation, President and
Conveyancers Title Insurance Company, Director.
Copley Square Trust, Trustee.
Fitchburg Railroad, President and Director.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 81
Massachusetts General Hospital, Trustee.
Merchants Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
Merchants Warehouse Company, President and Director.
Municipal Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
National Shawmut Bank, Director.
Park Square Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
Pemberton Building Trust, Trustee.
Real Estate Exchange and Auction Board, Vice-President.
State Street Trust Company, President and Director.
Summer Street Trust, Trustee.
Trimountain Trust, Trustee.
West End Street Railway Company, Director.
Western Real Estate Trust, Trustee.
Western Telegraph and Telephone Company, Director.
Note their control of wharf property: A is president
of the Boston Pier, president of the Commercial Wharf
Company, president of the Lewis Wharf Company, presi-
dent of the Proprietors of Rowe's Wharf. B is treasurer
of the Battery Wharf Store Company, vice-president of
the Boston Wharf Company, president of the Central
Wharf and Wet Dock Corporation.
How much development of that important part of
Boston harbor which is covered by these properties can
be expected from these trustees. None whatever. To
their minds a 3 per cent income from second or third
class commerce is better than taking any shadow of risk.
Trustees cannot afford to take risks. Their natural
position is that of lenders of money to the more ven-
turesome and progressive. But our tax laws have
forced them out of this position into the position of
owners and managers of industries and the vehicles of
our trade and commerce. If our tax laws can be changed
to allow the dead hand to resume its normal and proper
function, figuring interest, then the activities of the
city will naturally and surely come into the hands of
other owners, who will have as their motive in owning
and managing them the hope of such profit as will follow
their improvement and development to the point
82 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
where they can successfully compete with other great
centers of industry and commerce.
Our mercantile real estate suffers perhaps more than
commercial property. Analyze conditions in the retail
business district between Boylston, School, Washington
and Tremont streets. How many new buildings have
been erected within twenty-five years. Not one a year.
What a commentary on the progressiveness of this city.
Some members of the Chamber of Commerce have
been endeavoring to raise one million dollars to inaugu-
rate steamship service between Boston and Texas. Not
one banking house has lifted its finger to aid. Millions
can be raised for questionable mining enterprises, but
a single million for a business enterprise which will add to
our commerce and bring happiness to many homes
cannot be found.
If Boston could disinherit about twenty-five men who
have their hands clutched about the throat of commercial
and industrial Boston, this city would attain a growth
in the next ten years almost unbelievable.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 83
FIRE HAZARD BILL DEFEAT.
Statement, May 12, 1911.
It is with the utmost regret that I have learned of the
defeat of the Fire Hazard Bill by a majority so over-
whelming as to leave me stunned with amazement. I
cannot believe that the legislators who so lightly put
aside this opportunity to strengthen the building laws
of Boston realized the grave peril in which we are living.
Certainly there was nothing in the history of the bill or
in its support that could have aroused their suspicion.
Acting on the advice of city officials entrusted with
grave responsibilities in the protection of life and
property and on the results of my own observation, I
appointed a committee in which all interests were
represented. It contained an architect, a real estate
expert, a builder, and delegates from the Carpenters'
District Council, the Board of Fire Underwriters and the
Civic League. The measure drafted by this committee
was regarded as extremely moderate, as it was felt that
to attempt too much would be to endanger the pros-
pects of the whole scheme. It was made contingent
upon acceptance by the Boston City Council, and those
who know the temper of that body must agree that if
there were any sound objections to the bill the objectors
would have been granted a fair hearing. Its provisions
relate to matters upon which there is really no disagree-
ment among thinking students of the question, such as
non-combustible roofs, open spaces between buildings,
the erection of fire-proof party walls, and the restriction
of floor areas. It was known that the lumber interests
would oppose the bill, but their hand was so veiled and
their operations so stealthy that until the last moment
its advocates indulged a hope of final success.
What the Legislature has done is to yield to the per-
84 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
suasions of a special interest, guarding its own profits
and perquisites as against the security of the population
of a great city. How short-sighted they were may be
seen from the oft-repeated comparison of fire losses in
Boston and in other American cities as compared with
those abroad. The average per capita loss in a city
like Berlin or Vienna is only one-eighth of that in
Boston, a discrepancy which is truly staggering and
which is due absolutely to the difference in the building
laws, a difference which this conservative measure
would in some degree have reduced. The Chelsea fire
seemed a disaster of almost national scope and interest,
and yet every five years or so the fire losses in Boston
aggregate the loss on that one occasion. It has been
pointed out that every half decade we burn up a value
equivalent to the cost of all the church buildings in the
Above and beyond the direct loss from fire our char-
acteristic American recklessness brings other penalties.
The cost of the Fire Department, for example, in Boston
is huge as compared with that of any continental city
of the same size. We employ as many men, roughly
speaking, and maintain as elaborate apparatus as London,
which has ten times our population. The insurance
rates also mount in proportion to the extent of the fire
losses, and as this burden is distributed every insured
person must bear his share. The type of building
legislated against not only constitutes a bad fire risk;
it is one which is undesirable in other respects. The
fire hazard bill which has been defeated would have
conduced to a finer style of architecture and made the
city to that extent more attractive and habitable as well
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES S5
Statement, May 28, 1911.
Twenty-five years from now, when another generation
has grown up, the wonder will be that any tariff law
had ever existed between Canada and the United States.
It must be obvious to anyone who knows anything about
the history of this continent that the largest freedom
of trade between both countries is the best possible
thing for their inhabitants. If a line is drawn from the
Atlantic to the Pacific from the northernmost point in
Maine to the northernmost point of the State of Wash-
ington, and this ought to be the natural border line,
the principal cities of Canada will be included within
our domains. Montreal, the principal city of Canada,
is but three hundred and fifty miles from New York or
Portland, while Chicago is about a thousand miles.
New York and Boston are hundreds of miles nearer
Montreal than Halifax or St. John, and ought to be the
natural ports of Canada, particularly in those months
of the year when the St. Lawrence river is frozen over.
These two nations have now the longest boundary in
existence, extending from ocean to ocean; they have
lived in peace and mutual respect without a fortress, a
soldier, or a gun on either^ side of the boundary. Each
country has about three thousand square miles of
territory, the United States with a population of one
hundred millions and Canada with but seven millions.
According to the best authority the United States will
have reached its ability to supply its population with
wheat in a few years, while Canada will be just com-
mencing. The United States has just reached the point
where its exports consist of manufactured products,
while Canada is being settled by a population which will
not only develop the wheat fields, but produce pig iron
86 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
and coal and minerals of all kinds for use in the devel-
opment of the great industrial establishments of this
When one analyzes the history of our country to find
reasons for the marvelous industrial and commercial
success it has achieved in the last one hundred years, it
will be found that the greatest factor in its development
has been the freedom of trade that has existed between
all the states of the Union. The map of the United
States placed over Europe would cover all that country
outside of Russia. More than twenty nations are
included, each one armed against the other, supporting
millions of soldiers in time of peace, speaking different
languages and with different tariffs. The United States,
with its forty-eight states, without fortresses, without
tariff walls, with cotton in the south, wheat in the west,
manufactures in the east, the ocean on the west, the east
and the south, has furnished opportunity for the devel-
opment of trade unexampled in the history of the world.
While the United States was forging ahead, Canada was
stagnant. Recently Canada has awakened to her
advantages; her statesmen and her business men have
come to realize the marvelous riches that her soil pos-
sesses, and the people are turning to them, with the
result that the last ten years has witnessed a prosperity
unexampled in the history of the world.
It is utterly foolish for two nations thus equipped,
both in their infancy, to be apart in trade matters, and
I think the fair-minded citizens of both countries will
bless the day that Sir Wilfred Laurier and William H.
Taft agree that both nations should adopt a trade policy
for the mutual benefit of their peoples.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 87
Speech at Sandwich, May 30, 1911.
To-day a grateful nation offers tribute to the memory
of her patriot soldiers. In recognition of their devotion
to their country's cause these hours have been set apart.
And although the ritual of the Grand Army makes their
service on this day both inspiring and impressive, it is
from the hearts of the whole people of the nation that the
most touching portion of these exercises is drawn. It
is to the women of our country that we are indebted
for the origin of the beautiful custom of decorating
the graves of our heroic dead with flowers. At the close
of the war the women of the North and South who had
lost father, husband, brother or son in that terrible
conflict through which the nation had passed, were
moved to place the first flowers of spring on the graves
of their beloved dead. The custom was quickly adopted
by the various Posts of the Grand Army throughout the
country, whose members could not and would not forget
those comrades who had gone down with them and been
lost in the seething maelstrom of civil war. The Act
of Congress setting apart the 30th of May as a day
sacred to the memories of patriotic citizen-soldiery of
the nation came as a fitting tribute to the unselfish
heroism of her loyal sons, both native and adopted, who
had given their lives in her defence.
No day in the calendar is more calculated to inspire
a loftier or more noble patriotism than this, which brings
to us memories of the men who on the battle field, in the
hospital and in prison became, at the sacrifice of their
lives, saviors of their kind. In all the histories of the old
world heroism there is none worthier to be called hero
than the American citizen-soldier, who, for the first time
in the world's history, took up arms in the defence of
88 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
peace. For him there was no glory of conquest, no
consuming ambition, no thought of personal renown.
In his heart there dwelt no lust of power or the sordid
avarice that would seize upon the riches of his conquered
foeman as his own just spoils, the price of his victory.
His one thought, his sole desire, had root in his
unbounded love for his country and its institutions.
To-day it is often a matter of comment among Europeans
that Americans abroad almost invariably refer to their
native land as '^ God's country," and '^ God's country"
it is to them. ^^God's country" it was to the men of
'61 who gave up their lives cheerfully and without
thought or question in its defence. ''God's country"
was theirs and in it God's law should be supreme; His
creatures, whether white or black, should enjoy there at
least the full freedom and equality that His law had
ordered and the law of the country had decreed.
The patriot dead whom we honor here to-day pre-
sented to the world the sublime example of a glorious
manhood willing to make the most supreme sacrifice
that can be demanded of man, in that he lay down his
life, and this in defence of a principle. The only reward
he hoped for, the only result that he sought to procure
was that this nation should forever remain one and
indissoluble, that the words of the constitution granting
to all men freedom and equal rights might never lose
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 89
WEST END MERGER.
From Speech at Canobie Lake, June 24, 1911.
I want to say a word on a subject which is now
before the pubhc. It is the matter of the leasing of the
West End Street Railway Company by the Boston
Elevated Railway Company. The Public Franchise
League, as well as members of the Rapid Transit Com-
mission and all the newspapers in Boston, have joined
in an effort to induce the owners of the common stock
of the West End to permit the consolidation of the West
End and the Boston Elevated on a 7 per cent basis,
the terms of the lease during the past fifteen years.
Because the owners of the common stock in the West
End Road feel that they have the Elevated and the
public in a hole they are insisting upon their pound of
flesh. This means $116,000 a year, and on a basis of
fifty years this would amount to about six millions of
dollars taken out of the pockets of the people of Boston
and given over to a few individuals. The men who
stand ready to plunder the people of these millions are
among our so-called ''best citizens.^' They would shun
with contempt contact with a man who had indulged
in the smallest kind of graft at the expense of the city,
while they unblushingly demand an extortionate divi-
dend which must come out of the pockets of the people.
Francis C. Welch, of Quincy A. Shaw trust fame, is,
as trustee, the largest holder of this stock, having control
of over 7,425 shares; one of our trust companies, the New
England, is the trustee for 3,553 shares; J. J. Bright
owns 3,300; A. Bartlett, trustee, controls 3,122; J. A.
Skinner owns 2,425; Richard Olney (Chairman of the
Committee of 100) controls, as trustee, 638 shares;
Francis Henshaw & Co. own 661; Chase & Barstow, the
bankers, own 580; R. L. Day & Co. own 828, and
90 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
H. C. Jackson, a leading member of the Charter Associa-
tion, has 800 shares. All these men are supporters and
contributors to the funds of the Good Government
Association. They are willing to hire a man to publish
a ''Good Government '^ magazine every month to set
forth details which have little or nothing to do with the
maintenance of our municipality. Does this action
qualify them to act as censors of the city government?
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 91
NEEDS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
August 31, 1911.
Dear Sir, — Your letter of August 18 declining to
serve on a commission to be appointed by me for the
investigation of the needs of the Fire Department has
been received. In this communication you declare in
substance that the whole matter has been settled and
nothing remains for me to do but to ratify your decision.
I am familiar with this tone in the communications
which I receive from certain departments of the govern-
ment. It was manifest to a certain degree in the atti-
tude of the School Committee a year ago when it esti-
mated an increase of seventeen hundred and eighty-seven
(1,787) pupils a year for five years as a basis for certain
appropriations. My own contention was that conditions
were as likely to bring about a decrease as an increase
in the school population and the results have proved
that I was not mistaken. The actual figures, as pub-
lished by the Statistics Department, show a falling off
of twelve hundred and seven (1,207) pupils between
February 28, 1910, when the estimate of the School
Committee was prepared, and February 28, 1911. The
question then as now was the wisdom of making a
permanent addition to the pay rolls of the department
in the face of changes which might in the near future
make such an addition unnecessary.
When convinced by a broader investigation than that
which furnishes the basis of your report that the city
should spend $193,000 at once and add $60,000 a year
or more to its tax levy, I shall recommend this expendi-
ture to the City Council as advised by you. In the
meantime permit me to say that no one of the Fire
Commissioners whom you quote has ever recommended
an increase in the number of firemen in any official
92 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
document, as far as I have been able to ascertain, or
has given this phase of the problem the importance
which it has assumed in the eyes of a commission hitherto
noted for its desire to reduce rather than increase the
number of city employees.
In this connection permit me to quote an editorial
from the Boston Transcript of August 2, 1910, comment-
ing on an assertion attributed to Acting Commissioner
Carroll that one hundred more men were needed in the
The number of men in the department is over 900. . . But
the situation is not a new one and hardly affords warrant for
the suggestion of the acting head of the department that the
force should be increased 10 per cent. . . The head of a
department naturally sees legitimate needs that are not always
apparent to the executive or legislative branches of the munic-
ipal government, and in the case of this one the recommenda-
tions are usually considerably in advance of their satisfaction,
but not in recent years have the suggestions for increase been
placed at so high a figure. . . The proposed increase would
mean a matter of more than $100,000, a burden which the city
is hardlj^ prepared to assume at such short notice.
This is precisely the point of view which I have taken,
and which I shall maintain until the new commission
has reported. I learn from a table compiled by Prof.
C. H. Merriam, and printed in the University of Chicago
Magazine, that the per capita cost of the fire departments
of Glasgow and Vienna is 12 and 16 cents, respectively.
In Philadelphia and Chicago the cost is only 92 cents
and $1.14. Boston heads the entire list of European
and American cities with a per capita expenditure of
$2.39, which is twenty times that of Glasgow, fifteen
times that of Vienna, two and one-half times that of
Philadelphia and twice that of Chicago. Yet your
commission, so keen on the scent of extravagance in
other departments, asks me to jump this expenditure
immediately by the sum of $193,000, which is about
equal to the entire cost of the fire department in Glasgow
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 93
for two years. You base this recommendation on a
report of the Fire Commissioner which has never been
submitted to the responsible head of the city govern-
ment, and which I never saw until it was incorporated
in your letter.
What I want as Mayor of the city, responsible to the
taxpayers for outlay and return, is some satisfying
explanation of the huge cost of fire protection in this
city. I consider a delay of a few weeks well worth while
if it results in a saving of expense, a radical improvement
in fire-fighting methods, needed amendments to the
building laws, or even a more thorough understanding
of the unique conditions that appear to exist in Boston.
Hon. John A. Sullivan, Chairman the Boston Finance Commission,
94 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
INDUSTRY IN NEW ENGLAND.
Speech at the Educational and Industrial
Exposition, October 2, 1911.
It is customary to say that New England was given
little in the way of natural wealth. The picture usually
drawn of this section contrasts the fertility of the New
England mind with the barrenness of the New England
soil, and it is true that we have no abundant stores of
raw material in this section now that the virgin timber
has been almost exhausted. We have little or no
leather, cotton, wool, iron, paper pulp or coal. But, on
the other hand, we have water power, which is better,
because more lasting than coal; we have a coast indented
with some of the finest harbors in the country; we have
peculiar advantages of position in relation to the great
nations of Europe, and a population in which skill of
hand and education of the mind have been traditions for
This population, while dense according to the Amer-
ican standard, is not the teeming swarm that it is some-
times imagined to be. All New England contains only
about six and one-half millions, while little Belgium,
which is only one-third the size of Maine and a trifle
larger than Massachusetts, supports seven millions.
The time has not yet come when we should look to
emigration to relieve our commercial congestion; on
the contrary, we can still find use for the thousands who
are arriving yearly on our shores. Population and
wealth are growing together, and if anything the latter
outruns the former from decade to decade.
When we speak of New England, grouping the six
states together, I think we unconsciously touch upon
one of the elements of our strength. There is an un-
doubted community of interest among these common-
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 95
wealths and a distinctive type or character among the
people. This does not mean that we are isolated from
the rest of the country in any narrowing sense, but that
we are individualized, and have worked out in this upper
right-hand corner of the nation a destiny of our own.
When one looks at the great variety of interests and
industries to be found within our borders it seems
absurd to talk of narrowness. New York itself is not
an '^ Empire" state in any truer sense than New England.
Our commerce, our manufactures have reached the
finest point of delicacy, intricacy and taste, represented
in the watch factories at Waltham and in the sumptuous
book-binderies in the neighborhood of Boston; while
at the opposite end of the scale we find men living in
Maine and along the waterfront by the most primitive
occupations, such as hunting and fishing. If this
exposition does nothing else, it will have emphasized
this versatility of the New England section.
I think we all realize that in order to hold our own
we must continue the efforts which have brought us
our present prosperity. The moment we start to drift
with the tide we shall find it turning against us. We
have to compete with our own offspring who have
settled the Middle West and even the far North West.
These men of New England blood have seized oppor-
tunities which we would like to have made our own.
Every time I see a line of automobiles I remember that
60 per cent of the machines in the United States are
made in Detroit, and many of them sold to purchasers
in New England. As a good Bostonian, I could wish
that things were exactly the other way.
The one thing that will confirm our priority and hold
the advantages we have won is education. It was
education in a sense that placed us where we are, and
education must advance us still further on the path of
industry and prosperity. The instinct of the public
groped unconsciously toward this truth, and, in spite
of conservative opposition, has modified the curriculum
in the direction of more practical training for life. The
96 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
elementary schools now include manual training for
almost every pupil; the high schools have become
specialized, so that a boy may take a commercial or a
mechanical course as well as a course which aims to
impart a general culture. Even the colleges are shaping
their courses to conform to this new tendency. Harvard,
for example, includes a graduate school of business,
applied science, agriculture and forestry, as well as
departments which prepare for the so-called liberal
professions. It seems to me that this tendency should
be encouraged and developed and that we should go
even further. We should undertake the education of
the adult mind and get the whole public into the habit
of thinking in business terms. We should inculcate
among them a sort of industrial sense which is never
lacking in communities at the heyday of their prosperity.
This exposition is rightly called educational. It is
a world's fair in little — a great object lesson in the
achievements and possibilities of New England industry.
I will not stop to argue against those who contend that
such education is prosaic and materialistic. Here,
amid the roar of the machines and beneath the finished
elegance or sturdy solidity of the product, one feels the
qualities that have gone to produce such a result, the
patience, industry and thrift, provident frugality and
that loyalty to home and family which characterize
everywhere the skilled artisan and mechanic.
As the Mayor of Boston I may be pardoned for point-
ing out the pivotal position which our city occupies in
this display. If New England is, as I have said, a sort
of nation in itself, then her capital, like those of other
nations, sums up in a concentrated form the life of the
whole territory. Whatever vitalizes New England
heightens the brilliancy and the strength of Boston,
while, on the other hand, the stability of our banks and
commercial houses, the improvement of our harbor, the
development of our railroads and terminal facilities, all
react upon the territory and the district whose lines of
traffic and of travel converge upon this point. Boston
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 97
has led the way in industrial education, in the limited
sense, by her splendid technical colleges, her specializing
high schools, her continuation schools for working
youths, and her evening schools, unsurpassed in the
variety which they offer. In the larger sense, too, she
has proven herself a pioneer. The Boston Chamber of
Commerce, whose delegates have just returned from a
tour through Europe, has no superior in its admirable
organization, and, after all, organization, like publicity,
is one of the prime factors in modern commercial success.
This exposition itself, arranged by the Boston Chamber of
Commerce to display the industries of all New England,
is evidence both of the leadership which rightfully
belongs to Boston and of the inter-dependence and
mutual good will which must and should exist among
the six states of New England.
98 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
THE IRISH LITERARY REVIVAL.
Speech at First Performance of Abbey Theater
Company, September 25, 19n.
Ladies and Gentlemen, — Like most of you I came
here to-night as a learner and would prefer to listen
rather than to speak. It has been my privilege to read
some of the works of the remarkable group of Irish
writers who have so recently won the enchanted ear of
the English-speaking world. And I know from general
report the claims and distinction of their writings.
They have resurrected the ancient genius of Ireland
and made again that music which was lost long ago in
the cry of Ireland weeping for her children. This
dramatic revival is only one phase of the many-sided
renaissance in Ireland, but it is one of the most
important. We who are of Irish blood offer, with the
pride of kinsmen, a welcome to the Abbey Theater
Company and the distinguished authors who have come
to watch over the production of their plays.
The appeal of these plays, however, is not confined
to people of Irish origin. There will be many in this
audience whose interest is not racial but artistic, and
we, so proud to call ourselves Irish to-night, rejoice that
this literary movement has been carried far beyond the
boundaries of race to become one of the most significant
events of the age. I am honored in presenting to a
Boston audience the works of Mr. Yeats, who is here
with us to-night. Lady Gregory, Mr. Synge, and others
hardly less gifted, who have sought to portray the
spirit and features of life in that mysterious western
island, and I hope that this theater will be crowded at
every performance so that there may be no doubt of
Boston's appreciation of what this gifted group have
done to release the imprisoned poetry of the people of
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 99
January 27, 1912.
Dear Sirs, — While the street plan of Boston has
been commended for its picturesqueness and some
experts have even professed to see in it a certain fitness
to our particular needs, it is generally regarded as any-
thing but a model in respect to comfort and convenience.
The down-town streets are crooked, the roadways and
sidewalks are narrow, and the whole scheme seems
ill-adapted for the travel and traffic which it is compelled
to bear. One of the melancholy features of our early
municipal history is the failure of the authorities to
adopt certain practical suggestions for highway improve-
ment which, while costly at the time, if carried out
would have left no occasion for future regrets.
The congestion in the business section of this city is
all but intolerable, and it is generally agreed that the
remedies which should be applied are of a heroic char-
acter. This year I have given definite shape, in the
form of bills presented to the Legislature, to two ideas
for street improvement which have been hovering in the
air for a long time past and which have been informally
discussed by several public bodies. My motive in
addressing you at the present time is to crystallize
opinion on these points so that the above-mentioned
measures may stand before the Legislature backed, if
possible, by the support of the entire business com-
munity as well as the city officials.
The principal improvements suggested by me are the
widening of Avery street and its extension to Tremont,
the widening and extension of Hamilton place, the con-
struction of a teaming highway between the North and
South Stations, and the laying out of a new street mid-
way between Washington and Tremont streets, extending
100 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
from Hanover to Boylston street. The extension of
Avery street would provide relief for Boylston street,
which is already congested, by furnishing a ready means
of access to the business establishments on Washington
street from the subway outlet, and the extension of
Hamilton place would operate in a similar manner.
The value of a great teaming thoroughfare between the
North and South Stations need not be emphasized, and
the street paralleling Washington and Tremont streets,
midway between these two, has been urged as perhaps
the most radical remedy of all for the congestion of
traffic in this center of the retail trade and high valua-
tions. Some of these measures are presented in two
forms, so that if it is advisable advantage may be taken
of the new constitutional amendment which permits
territory to be acquired in excess of that actually needed
for the street improvement.
I believe that your body would render a public service
by instituting an inquiry into these propositions. The
effects of these improvements would be far reaching.
This very circumstance, which justifies in my opinion
the expense involved, makes it at the same time neces-
sary to proceed with caution and to consult the business
men whose interests are to be affected.
I trust that you may find it convenient to give this
your immediate attention and that I shall have the
benefit of your advice in my appearances before the
Boston Finance Commission and Boston Chamber of Commerce,
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 101
At the Reception to Cardinal O'Connell,
February 7, 1912.
I sometimes wonder if the sons of the Puritans
understand why we Catholics profess such an ardent
affection for Boston. To some of them, I fear, we are
still, I will not say intruders in the sacred precincts, but
latecomers not yet fully acclimated. They cannot know,
as we do, the personal memories that hallow this scene
of our fathers' struggles. They, too, were Pilgrims,
and we, as well as descendants of the Mayflower party,
are the children of sacrifice and prayer. Our annals
tell of villages emptied by famine, of crowded immigrant
ships, of laborious lives in the new land, and the scanty
reward of the laborers.
But privation bred character in these exiles of Erin.
Creature comforts were few in those days, but the
immigrants received here the priceless gift of freedom.
In the bracing New England air they paid their way in
honest toil, prospered according to their talents and
opportunities, and gave us, their offspring, the advan-
tages of education which had been cruelly denied them.
If we have climbed a little higher than our parents in
worldly position it is because we were lifted up on their
sturdy shoulders. For us they toiled and struggled;
for us, above all, they preserved the faith which is
higher than worldly advantage, higher than life itself.
If we had no reasons of our own, — and we have many, —
for loving the city of our birth, we should hold it in
honor as the place where our fathers found a refuge in
affliction and laid the foundations of our own prosperity.
It is natural, when we tell the story of the Church in
Boston, to lay stress on its dramatic phases, — not only
its prodigious growth in numbers and influence, but its
102 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
struggle with fanaticism and its glorious victory. I
do not know, however, that any good purpose would
be served to-night by recalling bygone differences. On
this pleasant occasion, amid an era of harmony and
good will, let us rejoice, as we have a right to rejoice, in
our numbers and good name, but let us generously
ignore the unhappy period of our purification by blood
Whatever misunderstandings may have formerly
existed, we now enjo}^, as individuals, the full rights of
citizenship. There is daily contact with our neighbors,
mutual tolerance and trust. The Church is no longer
viewed askance as a menace to our institutions. On
the contrary, most Americans recognize that without
its cooperation the state itself would be weakened, if
not endangered. Against certain perils that threaten
society she alone offers potent safeguards. To the
challenge of those who would subvert established forms
and customs her answer alone rings clarion clear.
Order, obedience, reverence for authority are the
cornerstones of her system. In this age of revolution,
when thought has become wanton and the red flag is
waved from the housetops, who else enunciates so
fearlessly the supremacy of the moral laws? The
bayonets of the soldiery may exact a sullen submission,
but it is only the Church that can quell the deeper riot
in the human heart. The time may soon come when
she will be summoned to this task and we may be sure
that she will perform it with her accustomed firmness
The same influences that would undermine the state
are attacking the integrity of the Christian home.
Society, as we know it, rests upon the family, and the
very mortar that binds the foundation stones together
is the Church, with its emphasis on affection and duty
rather than passion and caprice. We do not say with
Luther, '^Marriage is a mere worldly thing.'^ We con-
secrate it as an inviolable sacrament, and invest it with
the tenderest associations of life, — those of motherhood
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 103
and the cradle. If discords arise, we seek to reconcile
the estranged couple, instead of thrusting them farther
asunder and tossing the children back and forth between
them like playthings. To-day, when divorce has become
respectable, and the trial marriage is publicly advocated,
the tenets of the Church are more and more commanding
respect and winning adherents.
Poverty, the persistent shadow which dogs the figure
of luxury, is embittered in America not only by the
contrast with flaunting affluence but by a keen sense of
disillusion. Politically we have proclaimed that all
men are free and equal, but industrially many believe
the chasm between rich and poor is widening every day.
The nation seems to be reeling in an apoplexy of con-
gested wealth that serves no economic purpose and
only renders its possessors less human and less happy.
It is true the annual roll of their benefactions cannot be
matched in European countries. Perhaps they are
themselves mere victims, to a certain extent, of the
false standards of the age; but there still remains the
spectacle of innumerable lives crushed out of the sem-
blance of humanity beneath their feet, the underpaid
workers, both men and women, spirit-broken on the
wheels of the machinery they tend, the pallid children
robbed of their flowering time, and worst of all, the
pitiful army of the unemployed, subjected to the fierce
temptations of idleness and despair. The Catholic
Church, founded by Christ the Carpenter, has always been
the friend of the poor. It is she who presents the cause
of these sufl'erers with most sincere compassion, and
admonishes Dives, at the height of his revel, that Lazarus,
sitting on the threshold, is his brother. She alone
takes the sting of condescension from the alms-gift and
restores charity to its original, inoffensive meaning of
In these respects, and in many others, the establish-
ment of the Church in America seems providential.
The instinct of the American people recognizes her
mission and because they are a sound and conservative
104 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
people the Church here enjoys an esteem not always
granted to her elsewhere. But it is not only by her
teachings that she is judged, and judged favorably.
The fruit of those teachings in the lives of her children
is the highest vindication of her claims to a divine
origin. I do not think that we need blush at the com-
parison of the Catholic people with any other element.
Our men are honest, our women virtuous. The priest-
hood, almost without exception, is of exemplary char-
acter, and the list of our bishops is one of which any
diocese might well be proud. The gentle and apostolic
Cheverus, a man of remarkable mind and character,
links hands with the resolute Fenwick and the stately
Fitzpatrick, all three well adapted by their scholar-
ship and social graces to the atmosphere of this cultured
The image of Archbishop Williams still survives in
our memories, a man so reserved that he seemed
almost to direct his diocese by gesture rather than by
speech, yet with a perfect correspondence of life and
creed stamped visibly on his serene and exalted counte-
nance. Physically and spiritually erect, youthful even
in extreme old age, he committed the Church of New
England, well organized and flourishing, to the hands
of his successor.
And what shall we say of him? Truly a great prince
has arisen in Israel, and God has visited His people.
Young, strong, vigorous, mighty in intellect, powerful
in moral force, superb citizen, devoted churchman,
kindly father of priests and laity alike, raised to the
lofty dignity of a prince of the church, he has again
lifted this beloved city of ours, placing it on a pinnacle
where all the world may see, and has vindicated the
intellectual and moral grandeur of Boston. We citizens
of Boston to-night, your Eminence, congratulate you upon
this newly conferred honor which we know will be so ably
borne. We thank the Holy See for this new mani-
festation of its love for our city and its fine discrimina-
tion in raising to the dignity of a prince of the Church
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 105
the acknowledged leader of religious thought in New
England. We have followed your career with keen
interest for years. We have loved to contemplate your
rapid rise from the position of curate in a Boston parish,
through the presidency of the American College at
Rome, the bishopric of Portland, a bearer of a message
of peace to the Eastern world, the archbishopric of
Boston, to the cardinalate, and we can assure you that
we have always rejoiced with you at every new exhibi-
tion of Rome's appreciation of your abilities, and we
thank you for the assurance that the great honor which
has come to you, and in which we all rejoice, is in some
measure due to the esteem in which Boston herself is
held by the Holy See.
The citizens of Boston pledge you anew their love;
they promise a quickening of the public and private
conscience and they pray that God may bless you for
many years to come, to be a benediction to the people
of this city and this archdiocese, who one and all affec-
tionately greet you with the name of Father.
106 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
THE IRISH IN NEW ENGLAND.
At Charitable Irish Society Banquet, March 18,
• The date of the founding of this society reminds us
how early the Irish were on the scene in America and
what a part they played in the building of the American
Republic. In compliment, we are told, to the number
of Irish soldiers in his army during the siege of Boston,
George Washington gave ^^ Saint Patrick" as the counter-
sign on March 17, 1776, the day when the British, num-
bering eleven thousand souls, weighed anchor and sailed
out into the waters of Massachusetts Bay. Not only
do the names of distinguished generals of the Revolution,
such as Montgomery, Sullivan, Knox, Moylan, and
Morgan, suggest the existence of a large Irish mixture,
but the regimental rolls which have been compiled in
New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hamp-
shire and other states are sprinkled with patronymics
indicating an Irish origin.
There is no need, however, of expatiating on this
topic. The subject is a familiar one. The stream of
immigration rose rapidly until by the middle of the
nineteenth century a great tide of rich, warm Irish
blood was pouring into the country. While it spread
far and wide, and every state in the nation received its
share, no portion of the country was more thoroughly
saturated with the Celtic influx than New England.
We are all familiar with the bewilderment which naturally
followed the impact of two dissimilar races, and with
its manifestations in such forms as the Knownothing
movement in the middle of the nineteenth century.
There are living among us men old enough to remember
the uphill struggle which they and their fathers waged
to maintain the primary rights of citizenship and the
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 107
dignity of their manhood. But a readjustment came
about gradually. There were too many resemblances
of character and too many substantial interests in com-
mon to permit a permanent separation. Each genera-
tion witnesses a closer conformity in accent, appearance
and ways of thought, and to-day the assimilation is
New England is probably the most Irish section of
the country and yet it is still New England, true to the
traditions of its founders and conscious of no decay in
mental or moral vigor. Gradually at first, and then at
a more rapid pace, the Irish immigrants and their
children overtook the descendants of the Pilgrims in
prosperity and education. Their growth in numbers
gave them political power. The wealth of the region
assured them of commercial opportunities, and their
own native gifts brought distinction in many fields. In
this second decade of the twentieth century it is as true
of New England as of the other parts of the country that
Irish names appear in exceptional profusion among the
leaders in the professions, in trade and commerce,
manufactures, railroading and public life.
The Irish in New England have at times found it
necessary to assert rather vigorously rights which were
denied them, and in some quarters further assertion
may still be required; but on the whole, looking over
the ground broadly, it is fair to say that we have now
attained a position in which we may turn aside from the
contemplation of our rights and wrongs to the larger
question of our responsibilities. New England is still
one of the brightest spots on the map of the nation,
illuminated by its long record of distinction in patri-
otism, industry and culture. It has given the nation
presidents and mothers of presidents. Literature, art,
commerce, the sciences, all flourish here. Our inven-
tions, our humanitarian movements and our just laws
have conferred no less honor upon us than our material
Such is the inheritance of the Irish-Americans settled
108 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
here. They have come to the bloom of their own
prosperity at a turning point in the fortunes of New
England, and if our section should witness a decline,
coincident with this change in the population, rightly
or wrongly the inference would be drawn that the heirs
were unworthy of their ancestors; that the rugged,
intellectual and intensely individual type that was
developed here from early immigration and colonial
conditions had given way to a feebler stock, unable to
perpetuate the primacy which the Puritans had wrung
from a none too fertile soil.
New England cannot produce raw materials which
feed the nation or enter into manufacturing industries.
Her soil, by itself, would hardly sustain the people that
live within her borders. She is wealthy, but her wealth
arises, not out of the ground beneath her feet, but out
of the active brains and skillful fingers of her children.
About the only natural assets she has, now that the
forests are exhausted, are the tumbling rivers, which
give water power, and the ocean, bathing her shores
and indenting them with innumerable harbors.
Our manifest destiny is to apply a sort of intensive
culture to manufactures and to develop the finer grades
of goods in all the lines in which we now have the
ascendency. Our boots and shoes, our paper, our
textiles, our machinery, should all be so superior to
rival products that the label ''Made in New England'^
would be recognized the world over as a guaranty of
style and durability. The time is near at hand when
we must cease to be a nation exporting agricultural
products, as the increase of population makes it certain
that we can barely support our own people with the
products of our soil. The manifest destiny of this sec-
tion of the country is to become one of the great man-
ufacturing regions of the world and such a prospect
affords a brilliant rainbow of hope to the people of Boston
who have the inimitable advantage of a situation upon
the world's great highway of commerce. With a
proper development of the port we should see our
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 109
waterfront crowded with factories and the whole city
encircled with a belt of manufacturing industries.
Besides this, the new trade routes that will be formed
over the ocean when the Panama Canal is completed
open up a bright prospect for the port of Boston. We
are nearer to Rio de Janeiro than New Orleans or Balti-
more, and if Yankee captains a hundred years ago
carried our merchandise around Cape Horn to the coast
of China and founded business houses in Canton and
Pekin, there is no reason why a large percentage of the
growing trade on both coasts of South America and in
the Orient should not be captured by the young men
who are coming out of our High School of Commerce
with the best equipment that the city can give.
There is one field in which I hope to see the Irish-
Americans distinguish themselves particularly. Whether
by accident or design the doors of our financial houses
do not seem to open readily to applicants of Irish blood.
Their keen minds and vigorous characters fit them
particularly for these strenuous activities, and I see no
reason why, when the barriers give way, as they finally
must, and the newer blood receives its due recognition,
our financial institutions should not show a larger num-
ber of Irish names among their directorates, without
sacrificing any of the strength and integrity which has
caused them to weather so many panics w^ithout loss to
their clients and depositors. I plead for this not only
for the sake of the young men of my own race, but
because I believe it is a detriment to the community if
the reins of power in the banking business are gathered
in the hands of any particular group or class.
In forecasting thus favorably, and I trust without
undue optimism, our fortunes in the near future, we
should not forget that we are more than New Englanders,
more even than Americans. We are part of the Irish
race taken as a whole and now spreading over the five
continents of the globe. In a thousand cities, amid
peoples whose tongue is alien to ours, the virtues of that
race are celebrated to-night and the hymns to Saint
110 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Patrick are sung by his loyal disciples. Our prosperity
in New England raises the average level of the entire
race, united to-day in a bond of spiritual brotherhood.
It must react favorably upon the Irish in Ireland, where
our blood is purest, where our ancestral language is still
spoken in many districts, and where the ancient traditions
of the race are preserved.
I have purposely struck the note of optimism rather
than of protest and lamentation. The causes of protest,
as I have intimated, are disappearing and there is no
reason whatever for despair. The Irish race in New
England has retained all its familiar qualities, its
vivacity and humor, its religious habit of mind, its keen
political faculty, its gifts of tongue and pen, and its
pre-eminence at the post of danger. But it has imbibed,
— let us frankly admit, and pay tribute where tribute
is due, — it has imbibed from the air of Puritan New
England an appreciation of certain values which may
have escaped the men of the generation immediately
preceding us, absorbed as they were in simpler tasks
and aims. Our people have become versatile. They
follow a wider variety of pursuits. We find Irish names
cropping out in fields in which formerly we did not look
for them. This discovery affords unexpected pleasure,
testifying to the breadth of talent of the race, and show-
ing that we have mental and spiritual resources that
have not been fully developed. For New England
itself this is a happy augury and puts a quietus on the
cry of the alarmists that with the decline in numbers of
the Puritans' descendants the glory of our section is
bound to depart. The new races, the Irish, French,
Jew and Italian, have their gifts as well as the first-
comers. Let us all join hands and supplement one
another's efforts by our special contributions to the
common welfare. If we go forward in this spirit, with
a friendly emulation but no mean jealousy, the twentieth
century will witness even brighter fame and more splendid
deeds than those which during the past three hundred
years have rendered the name of New England illustrious.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. Ill
At Faneuil Hall, April 22, 1912.
We are here, first of all, to record our admiration for
the men and women who met death bravely on that
terrible night. Several of them were our fellow citizens:
Timothy J. McCarthy, Herbert H. Hilliard and A. W.
Newall, Boston men who stood aside with the others,
observing that law which, for all true Americans, is the
law of the land as well as of the sea, — the law that bids
the strong give of their strength for the protection and
preservation of the weak.
It is our privilege also, without intruding on the
sanctity of private grief, to express our sympathy for
the survivors, many of whom suffered not only physical
hardship, but the irreparable loss of those with whom
they would have been glad to die. Words are weak
comforters on an occasion like this, but we hope that
this outpouring of compassion from all the nations of
the civilized world may allay the anguish that wrings
their hearts and afford them some measure of distraction
Finally, we have come together to read as best we
may the lessons of this castastrophe, and to draw such
healing medicine as we may out of these poor, crushed,
human lives, to emphasize again the courage and
chivalry of those who let others pass them by on the
path to safety. We apprehend once more the truth
which we are so prone to forget, — that there are knights
in shoddy and knights in broadcloth, and that under all
the external differences of accent, apparel or social
position, the man is the man for all that. Just now
when the voices of arrogance and envy seem unwontedly
loud, and class consciousness is taught as the basis of a
social creed, such a lesson seems almost providential. As
112 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the Spanish- American War removed the last vestiges of
sectional hatred and drew the north and south together
in one reunited country, so may the common heroism
displayed by millionaire and wireless operator, officer
and steward, cabin passenger and steerage immigrant,
remind us that the same red blood flows in the veins
of all of us and that we are the sons and daughters of
a common Father.
One other image rises over the scene. It is the form
of humanity itself, which seems to emerge from that
sinking craft and hover over the waters. Whatever
may be said of the imperfections and even cruelties of
our modern civilization, never before has human life
possessed the sanctity which it has to-day. What are
all the remedies that have been proposed but accu-
mulated testimony to the preciousness of the human
cargo which these vessels bear. It is because we feel
that other considerations less important may have pre-
vailed over this paramount one that a great wave of
protest has gathered, and indignation has been directed
against the conditions that have been permitted to
exist. It is for this reason that we demand that the
governments of the world shall assume strict control
over ocean travel. The speakers who follow me will
voice this protest more effectively than I can, and will
give emphasis to the measures that may be taken, so
that never again shall an ocean steamer bearing more
than two thousand souls go down on a sea of glass,
under a starlit sky, with other vessels speeding to her
rescue, and leave less than one-third of her human cargo
to tell the tale.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 113
ADDRESS TO GOSPEL MISSION.
At the Park Street Church, May 13, 1912.
Gentlemen, — In performing the agreeable duties of
hospitality I am called upon to face many gatherings
and to extend the welcome of the city to workers in a
hundred different fields, but of all the conventions that
I have addressed I do not know any which is brought
together by a higher motive than this.
In every large city the pressure of competition brings
discouragement to many men, and temptation, as we
all know, lurks just around the corner from the poor
man's home. Thousands fall by the wayside and sink
into the depths of despair. There is perhaps more real
loneliness in the heart of a great city than out in the
It is against conditions like these that the Christian
churches have organized their missions and their armies
of rescuers. Behind the wretched figure crawling along,
taking the by-ways and avoiding notice, — a visible
wreck of self-respecting manhood, — they see what might
have been under other conditions and what still may be
if the spirit of regeneration enters into that man's soul;
they see the home behind him, and the wife and children
whose whole future depends upon his return to the ways
of righteousness. They believe, as all Christians must,
that the most powerful motive for reform is the relig-
ious motive, and while not neglecting other methods of
approach, they place before him, as the Founder of our
religion himself did, first of all the direct personal
problem of his own salvation.
I am sure that whether we look at this problem of
the redemption of unfortunate men from the religious
or the merely social point of view, your activities are
of incalculable benefit to society. People may say that
114 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the life of the outcast is useless, that he has impaired
his physical strength as well as his moral nature, and
that the energy expended in reforming him might be
better applied in other ways. But this was not the
preaching or the practice of Him whom we accept as
our model, and such views issue from the same source,
the same materialistic philosophy, which condemns all
our modern activities in behalf of the weaklings of the
race. Like the Spartans, who exposed their delicate
children on the bleak slopes of Mt. Taygetus, or the
Eskimos, who ruthlessly slaughter the aged members of
their tribes when they are no longer able to support
themselves, the modern Malthusians and their kin
would have us close the tuberculosis hospitals, as well
as the rescue missions, and let the weaker brethren
perish in order that the race as a whole may be beauti-
ful and strong. You and I, who have been taught to
see the ethical beauty in the work of a Father Damien,
who himself contracted leprosy while ministering to those
afflicted with that disease, will continue to think that
the beauty which is the result of starving our own
finest instincts is the beauty of cold marble and such
strength merely the strength of animals. For their
example and influence upon the world in softening and
refining the hard substances of our nature these institu-
tions will not only be permitted to exist but will, I am
sure, as mankind becomes better and better, be multi-
plied and extended. The instinct of the common man
is sometimes a better guide than the sophistries of the
wise, and the reverence that is paid to the uniform of
a Salvation Army worker or a Sister of Charity testifies
to the decision which the mass of mankind has made
upon this issue. From this point of view I bid you
welcome and Godspeed in the noble work to which you
have devoted your lives.
As the cities grow larger there is a greater and greater
accumulation of human misery at the bottom. We
have had warnings of late that all the elements of a
profound social upheaval are lying beneath our feet,
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 115
and unless such counteracting agencies as those which
you employ are brought into the field a new revolution
may soon be upon us.
As the Mayor of the city, standing for civic order and
the laws of the land, I feel it my duty to commend in
the highest terms the conservative force which you are
exerting in the very quarters where danger is most
116 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
May 27, 1912.
Dear Sir, — Some months ago, when the question of
primary voting for presidential candidates was being
discussed in the Massachusetts Senate, you called upon
me for aid in securing Democratic support for this
measure, and I very gladly joined with you in the
movement. You remember that on the day the bill
finally passed, there was some doubt in your mind as
to whether certain Democratic Senators from Boston
would be on hand because of efforts that were being
made to keep one or more of them away. I told you
at that time that I did not think any Democratic Senator
would be found either voting against this progressive
measure or staying away from the Senate when it was
being considered. My surmise proved true because, on
the final passage of the measure, every Democrat was
recorded in favor of it.
To-day the bill calling for preferential voting for the
United States Senate comes up before the Massachu-
setts Senate. I learned with some surprise that Senator
Brown of Medford, who led the vote for preferential
voting for president, will propose an amendment limit-
ing the preference choice to the primary of each party,
and that Senator Pearson of Brookline will introduce
another amendment providing that no member of one
party shall be under any obligation to vote for the
candidate of another party, no matter how much the
preference may be shown by the voters for that partic-
If either one of these amendments were passed the
effect would be to stifle the popular will in Massachu-
setts, and knowing that you have no sympathy with
any such movement, I write to ask you to use your
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 117
influence with the men who aided in securing the passage
of the preference vote on presidential candidates for a
measure similar to the Oregon law, which directs mem-
bers of the Legislature to vote for the candidate who
has received the largest number of votes at the previous
election. In view of the fact that the whole country-
endorses the popular vote for United States Senate,
Massachusetts being in the lead, this measure should
receive the vote of every legislator who is desirous of
seeing the popular will prevail.
Matthew Hale, Esq., 15 State Street, Boston, Mass.
118 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
FORSYTH DENTAL INFIRMARY.
Speech of Acceptance, June 4, 1912.
The gift of this beautiful building to the people of
Boston is one of the signs that encourage us to believe
that the old spirit of private initiative and personal
independence has not entirely died out from our midst.
There is an unmistakable tendency at the present
time to rely more and more upon the government,
which means that the common people, who ultimately
pay most of the taxes, are bearing the burdens which
formerly were borne by those who had acquired riches.
Yet such magnificent foundations as those made by
Mr. Rockefeller for the promotion of education and
health, and Mr. Carnegie for the establishment of
libraries, increasing the pay of college professors, and
the spread of the movement for universal peace, remind
us that the wealth of our day is less divorced from a
sense of responsibility than some would have us believe.
In Boston we have seen a long list of princely bequests
or gifts for the public welfare. I need only mention
the names of Gordon McKay, Peter Bent and Robert
Bent Brigham, Arioch Wentworth, Henry L. Higginson,
Eben D. Jordan, Mrs. R. D. Evans and the various
benefactors of the Institute of Technology, to prove
that we are still true to the traditions of our city. In
this group the Messrs. Forsyth belong by their splendid
vision of a Dental Hospital incarnated in this monu-
mental structure. Their kindly forethought will make
their names illustrious as long as this building stands
and its beneficent activities are maintained.
Its outlines, substantial and imposing, fittingly express
the spirit which gave it birth, and testify to the dignity
and importance of the work that is to go on within its
walls. It springs up at a time when child hygiene has
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 119
become more and more recognized in the department of
Medical Science. We realize now that the health of
the adult is based upon the environment and experiences
of childhood. The school room of to-day is incomplete
without frequent visits from the doctor and the nurse,
and lately we have gone further and undertaken to
educate the people to a knowledge of the laws of health
by visitation at their homes. The recent examination
of school children in this city disclosed a serious percent-
age of dental defects, and modern science warns us that
this condition, formerly regarded as negligible, affects
more than we realize the general health as well as the
facial beauty and expression of the population. Degen-
erate conditions of city life impair vitality and bring
about that early decay of the teeth which, I am told,
renders the population in certain European capitals so
displeasing to the visitor. Fortunately in this country
we have not progressed so far on the downward path,
and the establishment of a specialized hospital like the
Forsyth Dental Infirmary, in which unsound teeth can
be preserved and facial irregularities corrected, promises
much for the welfare of the coming generations.
At present preventive dentistry hardly exists. Only
the more enlightened members of the community visit
the dentist until after the mischief is done. This
institution will, I understand, address itself particu-
larly to childhood and forestall that tendency to decay
and irregularity which in a minor way, perhaps, has
contributed to ill health and unhappiness in tens of
thousands of lives. The motto of the infirmary indi-
cates that it is ''Dedicated to the Children,'' and in
these four words knowledge and kindness find a perfect
union. Science, as I have said, tells us that the care
expended upon the health of the child is an investment
that can never be equaled at a later period.
The Forsyth Brothers have not only added this superb
building to the group which is rising along the Fenway,
but they have set us an example more precious than
the wealth which they have devoted to this purpose.
120 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
They have exemplified anew the ideal of the superior
minds in all ages that it is more praiseworthy to give
than to acquire and that happiness is best obtained by
serving others. They may pass from this ceremony
assured that they have done much to raise the standard
of health and beauty here, to elevate the dental pro-
fession, to enhance the good name of Boston, and to
stimulate and renew our faith in the essential goodness
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 121
PORT OF BOSTON.
At Navigation Congress Dinner, June 5, 1912.
I do not think I exaggerate in saying that Boston is
recognized as one of the great seaports of the world.
If we include the suburbs we have a population of
1,500,000, which places us tenth in rank among the
cities of the globe, and our position in commerce is at
least as high as that. This is due primarily to our
natural advantages and secondarily to the character of
the people who have settled here. As the nearest port
to Europe and one of the first to be settled, already
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries we had
established connections with the Orient, and our fleet
of square rigged vessels sent out under resolute captains
bred one of the finest types of seafaring men that the
world has ever known. As time went on and steam
navigation increased the size of vessels it became neces-
sary to provide deeper and wider channels. Already
the National Government has spent nearly $8,000,000
on the channels in Boston Harbor, and we offer the
largest ships in the world a roadway 1,200 to 1,500 feet
wide and six miles long from the outer harbor to the
docks. Our roadsteads are safe, and the waterfront,
forty miles in length, presents an opportunity for cheap
manufacturing sites not equaled in any part of this
country. The total valuation of our docks and piers
is about $70,000,000. Behind the city proper the
immediate hinterland represents perhaps the highest
average of individual wealth and productive capacity
in any part of the United States. So that we should, in
the natural course of things, have a large volume of
products to export, and this, with our ability to absorb
foreign goods through the high per capita wealth of
122 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the region, furnishes the basis for an active interchange
of commodities and the highest commercial prosperity.
The machinery for transacting this business, while
not all that it will be in a very short time, is still ample
to care for an immense volume of trade. Some of our
docks and piers are among the finest on the Atlantic
coast, and their loading and unloading facilities compare
favorably with those to be seen in European ports,
though under this head I think there is still wide room
for improvement. We have warehouse facilities, a
large fleet of tugs and lighters, splendid teaming accom-
modations and street connections, which, while not all
that could be desired, are still equal to the demands
made upon them. The labor supply is ample and highly
intelligent. In the ship yards at Fore River some of
the largest vessels in the world have been built. As the
second fishing port in the world and the center of an
immense coastwise trade, we are now able to furnish
sailors for the enlarged fleet which we hope to see
entering our harbor in the near future.
But while we have achieved this desirable position
and maintained our rank as the second or third port
for foreign and coastwise commerce in the United
States, there is a general feeling that we are on the eve
of a great awakening which will make the record of
the nineteenth century seem as small, compared with
that of the twentieth, as the adventures of the little
1,000 ton brigs and barkentines of our ancestors in the
Revolutionary days seem to the voyages of the great
ocean liners that cross the 3,000 miles between Europe
and America in less than a week. The Panama Canal
will soon be opened and wall place Boston within easy
striking distance of the west coast of South America
and all the Pacific ports. The promise of a direct line
to Texas shows that the thoughts of our master minds
in commerce are turning southward. At the same time
there is, as you know, an agitation for better rail-
road connections with Canada and the northwest. We
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 123
hope that the differentials which have proved a handi-
cap to us in competition with other ports will soon be
equalized. The movement for inter-coastal waterways
includes a canal or series of canals connecting Boston
with Narragansett Bay and this means a great deal for
the development of our port. The one difficulty here
has been the ownership of a large percentage of the
waterfront by private capital. The creation of a board
of directors of the port, with a fund of $9,000,000 at
their disposal, is expected to bring the entire waterfront
under the direct control of the public authorities, and
the experience of New York, Hamburg and other cities
shows that this means an immediate quickening of
activity. As further evidences of life we may point
to the appraisers' stores which are about to be built at
a cost of SI, 000, 000; the new immigration station and
the extension of the custom house; an improved belt
line giving all roads approaching Boston equal access
to the docks and piers has long been discussed and must
sooner or later be brought about. The building of a
dry dock, at which large steamers could make necessary
repairs, has also been proposed. With our Chamber of
Commerce, consisting of 4,500 members, the largest
and best organized body of its kind on this side of the
water, urging and promoting such measures the out-
look for a great commercial advance in this city is
While the city government, as such, does not take
part directly in some of these measures, it is after all
the party most affected, and its influence is felt through
the Chamber of Commerce, through its representatives
in the Legislature, in Congress and in other ways in
all the improvements which I have recited.
I trust that you gentlemen may be able to return
sometime and witness the fulfillment of these proph-
ecies and the consummation of our wishes. If our
hopes are realized, and I am sure they will be, this city
will within a decade take its place beside Hamburg
124 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
and Liverpool and New York as one of those great
seaports whose harbor Hghts are famihar to the mariners
of every nation and the figures of whose annual trade
represent the valuation of a respectable city. All of
this increase in exchange means of course a growth of
friendship and a better mutual understanding between
the peoples of the world, and I am sure that your visit
at the present time will mark another chapter in the
story of international amity.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 125
Address at Banquet, June 21, 1912.
Gentlemen, — I am very glad to be here to-night to
add my tribute of praise for Mr. Forbes. We knew
him a few years ago as a young member of a family
whose names were household words for patriotism and
public spirit. He has in his veins the best blood of
New England, combining literature, seamanship, sol-
dierly courage, public service and distinction in finance.
He was attached to one of our chief banking houses
and seemed destined to follow the routine path of the
citizens of his class.
During the agitated period that followed the taking
of the Philippines and the readjustment of our relations
toward the Orient, Mr. Forbes became a member of
the Philippines Commission, and after several years of
apprenticeship in that service he was finally appointed
Governor General of the archipelago. The prosperity
and peace in the island since then, and the unreserved
confidence of the native leaders which he has won, are
the best evidence of the wisdom of his selection by
President Taft. The tasks which he has undertaken
have not been military in their character. The insur-
rections in remote portions of the country have died
down to local uprisings which are easily kept in check
by the constabulary. The problems which he has had
to meet are perhaps more difficult because more subtle
and complex. They have been educational, industrial,
financial, political and social in their character; ques-
tions of building railroads, of restoring the live stock
depleted by the wars but necessary for the carrying on
of agriculture, of sanitary reform with the purpose of
checking epidemics and reducing the death rate. There
is also the ever present problem of reconciling the differ-
126 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
ences of the various tribes and removing the vestiges of
their resentment against the white intruder. The
introduction of democratic forms of government in an
Oriental country is an experiment which can only be
successful in the hands of wise and prudent adminis-
trators. I am sure that if the native provincial gov-
ernors and native commissioners were in Boston they
would sit with us this evening and join in this testimonial
to Governor-General Forbes.
The remarkable feature of Mr. Forbes' career in our
Eastern possessions is that he had had no political
experience. His interests as a banker had no doubt
brought him in touch with the large movements of
trade, and his studies had taught him the principles of
government and the philosophy of history. His success
only proves the large amount of available material we
have in our midst, — citizens whose inherited capacity
and natural gifts would be of the utmost value to the
government if they could only be called upon. I think
it is a pity that such men as Mr. Forbes do not enter
public life more, and that it requires the summons of
a great national need to draft their energies into the
service of the country. We may hope that having
tested his mettle in this difficult field he will be inclined
to give his own state or the nation at large the benefit
of the experience which he has accumulated. I feel con-
fident that higher honors are in store for Mr. Forbes.
Why should the Filipinos be the sole beneficiaries of
Mr. Forbes' high character and trained intelligence?
We owe a certain debt to ^Hhe little brown brother,"
but all of the white man's burden is not located on the
other side of the Pacific. We see on every hand the
evidence of an impending social revolution. New
political parties are forming and there is a new align-
ment in the old. If those who are prepared by experi-
ence and familiarity with large affairs to lead the
people and maintain order amid the chaos that threatens
us shirk their duty and take refuge in the mere pursuit
of private gain or personal indulgence, no matter how
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 127
refined it may be, the people will be deprived of their
natural leaders and the body politic will be without a
head. Governor-General Forbes has set us an admir-
able example which I hope will be followed by many
others of his class. The mere fact that America is no
longer occupied solely by descendants of the original
settlers ought not to deter men of that origin from
giving the best that is in them to the country. On the
contrary, it ought to be an added stimulus to exertion
because there is no doubt that the coming in of tens of
thousands of foreigners from southern and eastern
Europe, people of different standards of living and
different political training from our own, but who have
in them the making of good citizens, complicates social
relations here and presents a most exacting problem for
the statesmanship of the nation. These considerations
hold good of state and city as well as of national politics.
If the example of Mr. Forbes incites other men of his
environment and capacity to shoulder the burdens of
public life and render yeoman service for the common
good, his influence at home will be far greater and more
beneficial than any that he has exercised in the far dis-
tant province which he has so ably administered. I
hope that this will be one result of his return to Boston,
where serious-minded men know well how to appreciate
the services of a faithful citizen.
128 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
IN FAVOR OF WILSON.
Speech at Rockland, Maine, September 5, 1912.
That for years the Republican party has been con-
trolled in the interest of combined capital has long been
known by many. It is now known by all. That its
tariff policy and all its policies affecting industry and
commerce have been based upon the demands of the
trust rather than upon the welfare of the people will no
longer be disputed. The disruption of the Republican
party, which has been brought about by Colonel Roose-
velt's personal ambition, will prove a blessing to the
country, for it has made as clear as sunlight the rela-
tions of the trusts to the Republican party.
Let no intelligent citizen hug the delusion that he can
obtain a betterment of conditions through the election
of Roosevelt. Let him remember that for many years
Roosevelt was a Republican politician and an astute
Republican leader. Let him remember that Roosevelt's
relations with those whom he now denounces were
intimate and practical. The trusts contributed to his
campaign in 1904 with his knowledge and consent, and
they contributed to Taft's campaign in 1908 with his
knowledge and consent. If Colonel Roosevelt had been
nominated for the Presidency at Chicago in June, 1912,
by the Republican National Convention, the relations
between Roosevelt and the trusts would be as intimate
and practical to-day as they were eight and four years
ago. He would not have seen the slightest necessity
for substituting Flinn for Penrose in Pennsylvania or
Woodruff for Barnes in New York.
For him who believes that now is the time to strike
a final and a fatal blow at the trusts which hitherto
have directed legislation and controlled the very govern-
ment; for the honest citizen who is ready to demand
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 129
that the professional stock waterers loosen their grip
upon the people, there is but one course to follow. His
only hope of obtaining what he seeks is to give his
support to the Democratic candidate for President,
Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey.
Let it be remembered that behind Colonel Roosevelt
to-day, as he attacks certain interests and carefully
refrains from attacking others, there are combinations
of capitalists whose interests are not the interests of
honest, self-respecting citizens. There is no trust in
the world more rapacious and unscrupulous than the
Harvester trust, which has received his approval and
which contributes George W. Perkins as his financial
backer. The methods of the Harvester trust in dealing
with the people of the West have been almost beyond
belief. In spite of its efforts to stifle competition and
to place every farmer at its mercy, and even while
maintaining in the state of New York industrial estab-
lishments which in their treatment of women and
children are a disgrace to modern civilization, it does
not hesitate to assume a smug hypocrisy and prate of
its welfare work.
The leader of the so-called Progressive Party, which
has for its one actual purpose the election of Roosevelt
for a third term, differentiates between good and bad
trusts. Let it be remembered that all of the big trusts,
whatever may be their degrees of excellence or badness,
were formed and fostered and pampered during Repub-
lican administrations, and that in no administration
were more trusts organized than during the adminis-
tration of Theodore Roosevelt. His dealings with the
steel trust, when he gave special sanction to its attempt
to swallow its largest competitor, is written large in
financial and political history.
Let no true Progressive, whatever his political desig-
nation may have been, confuse the present issue. The
Roosevelt of 1912 is the Roosevelt of 1904. The Repub-
lican party of 1912 is the Republican party which under
Roosevelt and other presidents turned the actual con-
130 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
trol of this country over to criminal combinations of
capital. There is one remedy for existing conditions.
That remedy lies in the election of Woodrow Wilson,
a man of honor and honesty; a man not in open nor in
secret political alliance with criminal trusts; a man
absolutely free from entangling associations and one
whose platform is reared upon the strong foundation of
true democracy and genuine progressiveness. I know
that on Tuesday next the voters of Maine will send
such a message to other states as will aid inestimably
in the conflict now in progress against the interests
which, for the time being, are divided into hostile
camps, but which are not divided in their purpose to
retain at all hazards a control of government that was
given to them by the Republican party and would still
be retained by them should either faction win the
victory in November.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 131
THE WINNING TEAM.
Reception to Red Sox, October 17, 1912.
This demonstration is the greatest I have ever wit-
nessed in Faneuil Hall. It shows what people think of
those who fight for Boston and win. Your fame is not
Boston's alone. In every part of the United States
you are heroes and this same tumultuous greeting would
be extended to you from Maine to California.
It is not my purpose to pick out individual players
for praise. It seems that every man, at one time or
another, showed himself worthy of membership in the
championship team. But to you. Manager Stahl, speak-
ing for the people of Boston, I extend the congratulations
of the city. I hope all of your team will long remember
the pride that Boston takes and has shown to-day in
The series ended as all the friends of this great national
sport wished it to end, with the best of feeling on both
sides, and the best club winning.
132 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
STEAMSHIP LINE TO TEXAS.
Letter to Banking Houses, October 26, 1912.
On October 27, 1910, the Chamber of Commerce
passed a resolution favoring the proposed steamship
line from Boston to Texas. In a special report, dated
November 18, 1910, the manager of its transportation
department, D. C. Ives, after a thorough study of the
problem, stated that "a, direct steamship line between
Boston and Texas is essential to our commercial welfare. '^
He added that "U established on a sound financial basis
and well managed it will be a safe and reasonably profit-
able investment." An exhaustive presentation of the
case was submitted by Mr. Robert Rantoul, as chairman
of a committee of experts sent to Texas for an investi-
gation at first hand.
The reasons for such an extension of our transporta-
tion system are so familiar and obvious that a brief
summary will suffice to remind you of their importance.
Texas, with its 4,000,000 inhabitants and 265,000
square miles of territory, is an empire rather than a
state. It is the North American Argentina, excelling
in agricultural and grazing products, such as cotton,
wool, and hides, which are the raw materials of the
staple industries of New England. Its hinterland em-
braces the vast and fertile territory of the Southwest
from Oklahoma to Southern California. The popula-
tion is enlightened and progressive. No one questions
that the future of this state and its neighbors is as
brilliant as that of any section of the Union. Moreover,
the agricultural opportunities are so great that they are
likely to absorb the energies of the people for decades
to come and the state will continue to afford a market
for the manufactured products of New England.
Already there is a demand for our boots and shoes, dry
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 133
goods, bags and bagging, of which over 20,000 tons are
consumed annually in the baling of cotton alone, as well
as our paper, iron, steel and brass manufactures, chem-
icals and other commodities.
The distance by water from Boston to Galveston is
2,400 miles. This is equivalent in rate charges to 500
miles by rail, the proportionate cost on long voyages
being about one to five in favor of water. St. Louis,
which is our chief competitor for the delivery of manu-
factured goods by rail to Texas, is 850 miles from Gal-
veston and the advantage in distance is all on our side.
At present, owing to the lack of a direct line of steamers,
the traffic is carried on by way of New York, which has
such connection, and even Chicago and the intermediate
railway centers. Under these conditions it is naturally
far less than it should be, and the freight charges con-
stitute a burden upon the manufacturers at one end and
the producers at the other. Here is business already
in existence, an estimated tonnage sufficient to justify
two sailings a week, with ample cargoes each way, and
with opportunities for a stop at Baltimore for increase
of freight and coaling at cheaper rates. The committee
of investigators, of which Mr. Rantoul was the chair-
man, found the sentiment in the southwest highly favor-
able to this enterprise, and the only obstacle thus far
has been the failure of the financial forces of Boston to
respond to the appeal of men who have shown them-
selves in this respect possessed of genuine leadership
Now that the strength of our commercial position as
the nearest point to Europe and the center of a huge pop-
ulation unexcelled in its producing and consuming power
has been recognized by one of the greatest steamship
lines in the world, it seems timely to suggest that we
should bestir ourselves in our own interest. The national
government has built the Panama Canal at a cost of
$400,000,000, making possible a water route from Boston
to San Francisco. This must inevitably affect the trans-
continental rates and stimulate the growth of these two
134 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
cities, which may be called the terminal ports of the
entire country. Our city already supports steamship
lines to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston and Savan-
nah. A line to Galveston should follow and must follow
if we are not to forfeit our chance of capturing a good
part of the southwestern market. In establishing such
a line we should be merely availing ourselves of our
natural advantages as a seaport over the inland cities.
Here is something which we can do to prove that the
maritime instinct, which gave a great race of merchants
to the city in the beginning of the nineteenth century,
is still strong among their descendants and successors.
With port development in the air and our claim of
superior facilities attested by the recent act of the Ger-
man company, the iron is hot for a ringing blow. It
will be a reproach to Boston capital if after all our dis-
cussions and resolutions the shares of the Boston to
Galveston line, requiring only $1,000,000, are not
eagerly taken up by local financiers.
I earnestly request that you use your influence to
circulate a knowledge of this enterprise and to persuade
investors of its advantages. A diligent campaign car-
ried on among the banking houses as well as the shipping
and manufacturing interests of Boston and New England
in general, ought to result in a subscription many times
over the amount required, moderate compared with the
prospect of gain to this section, and far less than has been
sunk in more than one speculative enterprise without a
tenth of the merit and substantial backing of this
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 135
Speech at Faneuil Hall, October 26, 1912.
Henry Cabot Lodge, senior Senator from Massachu-
setts, and boss of the Repubhcan state machine, has
not yet condescended to tell the people whom he intends
to select as the Republican candidate for the high honor
of following his advice and footsteps in Washington.
We know, all of us, that three prominent Republicans
are already seeking Mr. Lodge's approval, and we are
all told this week that should the Republicans control
the General Court of 1913 the national council of
Republican statesmen, of whom Senator Lodge, Senator
Penrose, Senator Smoot, and Senator Warren of Wyoming
are members, would undoubtedly decide to compromise
the contest in Massachusetts by inducing Senator Crane
to succeed himself.
That, as I understand it, is the program already
decided upon, but from Senator Lodge comes not a word
as to the name and quality of the United States Senator
whom he would select for Massachusetts should the
voters of Massachusetts permit him to make the selec-
tion. He has told us of four Democrats whom he would
approve as Democratic candidates before a Republican
Legislature, and he has warned us first against the
sinister influences which would control a Democratic
Senator, and later against '' fastening on the state for six
years any man to whose name our children and our
children's children would wish to close their eyes when
they read the history of the times."
I will not deny exact knowledge of the candidate whom
Senator Lodge has in mind. His scholarship, his breed-
ing, his ancestry, permit him to attack me only by
indirection. But his political upbringing in Massa-
136 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
chusetts, his political associations in Washington, and
the character of his political methods as the Republican
boss of the state, induce him to go up and down the
Commonwealth uttering his warning against sinister
influences and painting pictures of a dismal future should
one particular name be added to the roll of statesmanship
on which is now the name of Henry Cabot Lodge, and
on which until lately were the dishonored names of his
friends and associates in statesmanship, Lorimer and
The Democrats of Massachusetts have been willing
to do what Mr. Lodge has never been willing to do.
They have been willing to submit the choice of senators
to the people, but Senator Lodge would not now be
senator if the members of his own party or the people
could have passed upon his candidacy two years ago.
But it was not the purpose of Senator Lodge, and it is
not now his purpose to permit the people to make their
Senator Lodge has been confident always that he
could control any legislature when necessary, and he
has always been fearful that he could never control the
Methods which have been pursued in this state for years
whenever the people have shown a disposition to revolt
are being used now. The interests are making their last
stand. Weeks, Draper, and their friends, candidates
of wealth, have made large contributions, and already
there are the unerring signs of an attempt to buy what
cannot be obtained in just debate. The public is being
told by the subsidized portion of the Press that the
Boston machine is endeavoring to control the General
Court. It was argued two years ago that the Boston
machine, if Mr. Foss should be elected, would control
the Governor. To what extent has the Governor been
so controlled in his public service? In what way, by so
much as a hair's breadth, has he swerved from the path
of duty because of the fact that the Boston machine
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 137
supported him for nomination and election? This cry
is raised solely to divert attention from the fact that the
Republican interests are even now flooding the state
In ^^Scribner's" for November Mr. Lodge tells us
that in his four years at college he never studied anything,
never had his mind roused to any exertion or to anything
resembling active thought, until in his senior year he
stumbled into a course in mediaeval history. He has
never emerged from that course in mediceval history. The
robber baron is still his highest ideal and his dearest
friend. His work at Washington has been for a very
few, and they, let us be thankful, are not to name the
United States Senator next year.
The political career of Senator Lodge is instructive.
To-day he poses, for purposes of his own, as one whose
political pathway lies along a higher level than that of
the average man and especially that of any Democrat
who may be mentioned. Are there any here who remem-
ber his efforts to break into Congress as a member of the
House? Are there any here who remember the methods
employed in his behalf in Charlestown and in Lynn?
If sinister methods were not resorted to by him, and with
his approval, then it is because the word sinister is not
black enough to do justice to the subject.
But it is not necessary to dwell on what Mr. Lodge
did to obtain and retain a seat in the National House.
Turn to his first campaign for the United States Senate.
That would seem to be a proper subject for brief con-
sideration, in view of his tender and almost pathetic
solicitude at this time for the standing of that body which
has been recently deeply stirred by the rejection of
Senator Lodge's companions in high senatorial circles.
May I call the attention of the people of Massachusetts
to an editorial utterance by ''Harper's Weekly " of New
York on January 21, 1893, after he had achieved his
He (Lodge) pressed upon the Legislature a gerrymandering
scheme from the shamelessness of which even his followers
138 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
recoiled; he laid the wires for the election of members of the
Legislature favorable to himself; he brought about the holding
of a snap caucus, outdoing our own Hills and Murphys. Had
he devoted the ability and time and labor he squandered on
this miserable business to the earnest study and treatment of
pubUc questions and to the establishment of a soHd reputation
as a statesman, the senatorship would have come to him as a
free offering by a state proud of him instead of his running after
it like a man who would steal it if he could not get it honestly.
That is not the charge of a Democratic newspaper
intent on making political capital. It is the opinion of
an independent Republican weekly which compared
Lodge with Hill and Murphy and decided that he had
outdone them. What was true then has been true ever
since, as every impartial, intelligent citizen knows full
well. Possessing ability, education and family prestige,
he has preferred to sacrifice the interests of the people of
the Commonwealth to interests that were not those of
the people; he has sneered at every man, Democrat or
Republican, who has dared to insist that he shall try to
represent the people, and he has split in two the Repub-
lican party of Massachusetts because he carried his
autocracy in behalf of private interests into all his
methods and purposes as a political leader.
I am willing to compare my record with that of Senator
Lodge. I have tried to do something for the people of
Boston, and I think that I have done something. I have
not been afraid to give my time and energy in order that
Boston may be made ''bigger and better and busier,"
and even while I have been doing it Mr. Lodge has used
that incomparable sneer. If I should be nominated for
and elected to the United States Senate I would do what
I could for the people of the Commonwealth and their
interests. I believe thoroughly in waterway develop-
ment. What has Senator Lodge ever done, except
sneer, when it has been proposed to bring relief to the
cities of Springfield and Holyoke on the Connecticut, to
Lawrence, Low^ell and Haverhill on the Merrimac and
Brockton on the Taunton river, from the exactions of
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 139
transportation monopoly? The projects of waterway
development are feasible and business-like, the govern-
ment can amply afford to finance them, and from every
standpoint except that of the corporate interests which
Senator Lodge consistently represents they are eminently
I will admit that I lacked the opportunities which
Senator Lodge had to prepare myself for public service.
I was born in a humble section of the city and with an
environment that did not make for culture, though it
made for ambition. I did not get a college education.
What I have been able to do I have been able to do
because of my ow^n energy and my own desire to accom-
plish something. What Senator Lodge has failed to do
he has failed to do in spite of all the advantages of fortune.
In contact with the people he becomes an aristocrat;
in contact with those who represent unworthy interests
he becomes their ally, their friend, yea, even their
Senator Lodge should come into the open in his refer-
ences to '^ sinister influences.^' I am not controlled by
sinister influences. I have not as my political repre-
sentative and adviser such a man as J. Otis War dwell,
who for twenty years represented the corporate bribers
on Beacon Hill until he became so notorious that he was
driven forth. He has never become so notorious as to
forfeit the confidence and esteem of Senator Lodge. In
Washington, as in Massachusetts, Wardwell has been at
the elbow of Senator Lodge, and during the considera-
tion of tariff schedules, affecting the corporations which
control the Lodge machine, Wardwell, representing the
trusts and the machine, has made his headquarters in
the rooms furnished by the government for Senator
Lodge. Can Senator Lodge deny this?
Sinister influences? What influence was so close to
Senator Lodge that his own private secretary, indicted
and convicted of a serious offence in connection with his
activities as a cog in the Lodge machine, forfeited his
bail and departed hence? His whereabouts are known
140 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
to Lodge and other Republican leaders. Have they
made efforts to apprehend him and thus uphold the fair
fame of the Commonwealth about which, on occasions,
Senator Lodge is so deeply concerned? I refer to such
subjects with reluctance. But I refer to genuine and
very palpable influences which have been close to
Senator Lodge ever since he decided to represent the
corporations, and to give occasional oratory to the
people instead of continual and patriotic service.
To what future of shame will Massachusetts be con-
demned if it is again to be delivered into such hands?
Elsewhere all over the country the people are coming
into their own. In New England they are taking charge
of their own concerns. Hale of Maine saw the coming
of the storm and took to cover. In New Hampshire
the people put Bass at the head of their affairs and are
still on the road of progress. Aldrich no longer misrep-
resents Rhode Island. Depew and Piatt no longer
misrepresent New York. Foraker is gone; Lorimer is
gone ; everywhere the senators of the people are ousting
the senators of the interests. Penrose and Lodge and
Smoot remain. Let the people assert their right to
choose their own representatives, to the end that ''we
may have a just government of laws and not of men.''
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 141
Speech, October 31, 1912.
President Taft says, and the Republican banners float
the sentiment to the wind: ''The Constitution must be
preserved.'^ It must, but not in alcohol or embalming
fluid. Our Constitution must be a living, vital declara-
tion of principles which can and shall be applied to the
conditions of 1912.
The central issue of this campaign is the tariff. When
President Taft signed the Payne-Aldrich bill he com-
mitted the one act that has made his re-election impos-
sible. I shall not discuss the schedules of this tariff, for
all of you men of business affairs know how the schedules
of that tariff, in protecting the monopolists of this
country, control prices and are responsible for the high
cost of living. But I shall tell you how the Payne-
Aldrich tariff bill was made. It was passed by the
House of Representatives under Speaker Cannon. It
was passed through a loaded Cannon. Then it went
to the Senate.
Aldrich took it under his arm. The finance committee
was not organized, and Aldrich organized it. He
placed thereon Smoot, of Utah, who represents the
Guggenheim smelting interests, and Penrose, of Penn-
sylvania, who worships at the shrine of the steel trust
and burns the midnight Standard Oil. As chairman
could be found Aldrich, whose voice has always echoed
the steam whistle of the railroads.
This group of patriots took that bill, which had been
satisfactory to Joe Cannon, and in forty-eight hours
after it had been received in the Senate it was reported
back, raising 600 items in the Payne bill from 15 to 300
per cent. The bill was jammed through the Senate
without a change and promptly signed by the President
of the United States.
142 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
That bill was passed by fraud and corruption by men
whose oaths run to the treasury of the trusts and not to
the patriotism of the people.
In the incipient days of this nation our people voted
against unjust taxation as you in Boston, famous for its
tea party, know full well. There is no difference in
principle between taxation without representation and
taxation by fraud. In those early days the people of
America won their battles. In 1912 they shall not fail.
It is eminently proper that we should continue the
campaign where we left off a week ago, since Mr. Roose-
velt is better and urges us to continue a discussion of
the issues. Mr. Roosevelt has shifted his ground again.
He and his platform both called for regulated and legal-
ized monopoly, but now he says he has been misunder-
stood and that he is in favor of a law for the regulation
Mr. Roosevelt has merely adopted another Democratic
idea, for Woodrow Wilson had already convinced the
American people that his program of regulated compe-
tition was the soundest proposition for the business of
Mr. Roosevelt says he is at Armageddon with the
Lord. I am advised that the correct translation of the
scriptural Hebrew of Armageddon means ''cliff hills of
the robbers." Mr. Roosevelt means that he and his
followers are at the foot of these hills to drive out the
robbers of privilege. He and his troops have only
arrived, the Democratic hosts having been there for
nearly sixteen years, carrying on the siege, and many of
Mr. Roosevelt's friends, notably Mr. Perkins and Mr.
Gary, will be found within the citadel of the trust
The Republican elephant can never climb its rocky
heights. The Bull Moose can never reach this elevation.
The only safe animal for transportation through these
passes to the hills and strongholds of vested privilege
is the good old sure-footed Democratic donkey.
When Mr. Roosevelt controlled the Republican con-
vention of 1908, which selected Mr. Taft as its nominee,
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 143
Mr. La Follette made several proposals for the Repub-
lican platform. No one man ever dominated a conven-
tion as Theodore Roosevelt dominated that. La Follette
proposed a plank for the publicity of campaign funds;
it was beaten by a vote of 880 to 94. La Follette
proposed a plank to ascertain the value of railroads.
It was beaten by a vote of 917 to 63. La Follette
proposed the election of United States Senators by the
people, and this convention, controlled by Roosevelt,
rejected this plank by a vote of 866 to 114.
Mr. Bryan in the Democratic party and Mr. La
Follette in the Republican party are the original Pro-
gressives. Both men are opposed to the election of Mr.
Roosevelt and President Taft on the ground that neither
of these two candidates is a real Progressive. Woodrow
Wilson has the silent indorsement of Senator La Follette
and the open and vigorous support of Mr. Bryan.
There is no doubt of the result. The light is breaking
across the crested hills, and the progressive spirit of a
great people will make practically unanimous the elec-
tion of Woodrow Wilson as the next President of the
144 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES,
SOUTH AMERICAN TRADE.
Statement, April 27, 1913.
The trip of the Boston Chamber of Commerce to
South American countries, which begins Thursday, is
of the greatest importance to Boston, and I am very
glad that I am to have the opportunity to accompany
them part of the way. My experience in Europe, when
I accompanied the Chamber two years ago, makes me
beheve that the presence of the mayor of a big city like
Boston in foreign countries is of great advantage to
Boston, and although I cannot take the whole journey,
I think the fact that the Mayor of Boston journeys to
Panama, and that his presence is noted there, and spread
through the newspapers of the South American world,
will add much to the prestige of Boston. I think the
opportunity a psychological one to impress Boston's
commercial position upon South American countries.
New York has gone ahead fast in the last twenty-five
years. Steamships sailing from its docks go into nearly
every port in the civilized world; it has reaped much
greater advantage than it is entitled to from its natural
position. There is no reason for the tremendous differ-
ence between the growth of Boston and of New York.
Ninety-five per cent of the passenger business of the
country is carried by New York; 25,000,000 tons of
cargo leave that port, while only 5,000,000 are shipped
from Boston. Yet less than 100 years ago Boston was
ahead of New York. There is no such tremendous
difference among the ports of Europe. There it is a
neck and neck race, not $5,000,000 between the six or
seven principal harbors. There should be no more
difference in the United States.
Although we are now at a disadvantage in foreign
trade relations we can more than make up the loss
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 145
entailed by the complacency of our predecessors if
the business interests only awake to the opportunity
offered by South America. With the opening of the
Panama Canal we will have easy access to both coasts of
that great continent. There we will find gold, silver,
copper, tin and platinum in abundance, the food
products we no longer have the space to cultivate, and
the raw materials, wool and leather that we need in our
manufactures. In return that vast country needs the
things we make. They are a wealthy and highly culti-
vated people; the very best that we can manufacture is
what they want. But owing to our lack of enterprise
Europe has to some extent pre-empted this market. If
we are to make our way there we must use every atom
of that commercial intelligence and astuteness which
is our present boast and past pride.
Our exports of boots and shoes to South America in
1911 were valued at barely more than a million dollars,
— a ridiculously low figure compared with three millions
to Cuba and nearly four millions to Europe. We sold
Europe more than seventeen millions of agricultural
implements in 1911, while we sold but seven millions to
South America. According to the bureau of Latin
American affairs, conducted by the state department,
South America is buying more than six hundred million
dollars worth of goods annually from Europe, fully five-
sixths of which could well be supplied by the United
States. The foreign commerce of South American
countries last year amounted to over two billion three
hundred thousand dollars, an increase of more than a
billion dollars in the last ten years. This shows how
these countries are growing. The twenty countries lying
south of Rio Grande and Key West, and reaching to
Cape Horn, Cover an area of nine million square miles,
or three times the area of the United States. When it
is considered that nearly all of these countries are south
of the great east and west routes of travel and trade, we
can figure for ourselves, handicapped as they have been,
146 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
the trade that will develop in South American countries
during the ten years following the opening of the Panama
It seems to me providential that the Panama Canal
is opening at the time that the lowest tariff that this
country has witnessed for years goes into operation.
What this means for a community like Boston, with the
ocean at its feet, is simply impossible to determine. For
years the high protective tariff of this country has
operated to prevent commercial friendship with the
peoples of other countries. Now that we can get their
raw products free, iron, coal, lumber, wool, sugar, food
products, and things essential for our manufacturing
and living conditions, and can send to them boots and
shoes, clothing, automobiles, manufactures of iron and
steel, as well as cottons and woolens and kindred products,
it should mean a stimulus both to our trade and theirs.
For the past fifty years the manufactures of the country
have been built up on the home market idea. Now we
are to look for trade, not to the ninety millions of people
in this country but to the more than ten hundred millions
of people throughout the civilized world. Boston is
situated on the ocean and will not be hampered as
inland cities will be through the failure of adequate
railroad facilities to handle the commerce and business.
This is what the opening of the Panama Canal and
the adoption of the Underwood bill means to this city,
and the men who are traveling under the direction of the
Boston Chamber of Commerce have conferred a great
blessing upon this city and are entitled to the thanks of
every citizen in the community. The boys and girls
who are getting Spanish in our schools, learning the
commercial geography and getting commercial ideas
into their heads, are going to be the beneficiaries of this
great movement. As in the early days ^Hhe sea'' was
the slogan in Massachusetts, so will ^Hhe ocean" be the
slogan of Boston's business future.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 147
At the Gambol of Chamber of Commerce,
May 20, 1913.
Fellow Gambolers, — There seems to be a misappre-
hension of some importance in the vicinity of Copley
square. Somebody, laboring under a temporary hallu-
cination, has assumed that I am unwilling or unable
to speak for the City of Boston.
There are many things, brethren, which we are per-
mitted, and even directed to believe, without calling for
legal evidence, but do not at any time, or under any
condition, allow yourselves to believe that, as Mayor of
Boston, it is my purpose, desire, or willingness to allow
somebody else to represent this municipality when I am
As you very well know, I have represented this city at
home and abroad for more than five years. I expect to
represent this city at home or abroad, as the fates may
direct, for some months to come, and whenever you are
told that I am not able or willing to represent Mother
Boston at any formal or informal gathering to which I
may be invited, it will be safe for you to wager your
New England railroad stock that it is because of my
absence or illness.
Representing, as I do, the City of Boston, and rep-
resenting, as I have, on occasions the Chamber of Com-
merce, it is a pleasure for me to-night to bring to the
Chamber in its lighter moments the greetings of the
city, and with those greetings a heartfelt wish that at
all times the Chamber could be as wide-awake, as timely
and effective as it is on this exceptional occasion.
Far be it from me, as the Chamber's Mayor, to ques-
tion its good intentions, or to reduce the chest measure-
ment of those who are permitted to guide the Chamber,
148 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
and make reports in behalf of that body which its
members first hear about through the Press, but my
reputation for unswerving veracity on all occasions
compels me to tell you the plain truth at this time con-
cerning a subject of some importance to the Chamber,
to South America and myself.
I have been asked why I did not lead the Chamber of
Commerce expedition along the whole route of its
journey to the tropics, and to-night I will tell you
frankly why I did not : I desired the Chamber to receive
some attention from potentates and people on its own
account. Being, as you very well know, a modest man
and mayor, it was an unspeakable sorrow for me during
the short time that I was with your brethren to learn
that there was not the slightest chance in the world to
obtain for them the recognition that was their due as
long as I was of their party. I think there may be some
of those present here to-night who were present when
we first landed under a foreign flag, and who remember
the cheers that went up from the assembled multitude:
^^ Three cheers for John F. Fitzgerald, our next President.
Three times three for Fitzgerald and his suite."
You see that they meant well. They knew and
appreciated me, but they had taken a very small portion
of one chamber for a suite.
But the pilgrims became used to that, and before we
parted it delighted them as much as it annoyed me to
see my lithograph in every window, to see the papers
carrying my name at the head of their editorial columns,
to hear the school children singing ''Sweet Adeline,''
and to read that the Citizens' Municipal League of
Kingston, Jamaica, had recommended that Jamaica
proclaim its independence in order to take advantage
of the fact that a modern George Washington was on
I have only pleasant recollections of my trip, in spite
of the remarkable efforts put forth by my friends in this
city to diminish the zeal and enthusiasm of those who
welcomed me. Messages signed, or purporting to be
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 149
signed, by '^Bottomly, G. G. A./' ''Sullivan, Boston
Fin. Com.,'^ and ''Fee, P. S. A.?" were received by
public officials wherever we stopped for an hour or a
day. This is a sample:
Is one John F. Fitzgerald in your midst? Beware of him!
He is a menace to tropical vegetation and a promoter of discord.
Restrain him! On second thought, turn him loose. If you
keep him he will be running your country and annexing others
within a year. On third thought, don't turn him loose as we
want to keep him out of this country long enough to pull off
and win an election without his presence. Maroon him.
That was signed "Bottomly," and yet it did not
diminish the warmth of my welcome. I received cordial
invitations to visit Mexico and had offers of the presi-
dency from at least three great parties. Fearing that
if I told any of them that I would accept the nomina-
tion I would receive what is known in Mexican Munic-
ipal League circles as the "Stephen O'Meara" treat-
ment, I declined to run. But I don't wish you to
understand that declining has become chronic in my
In the Canal Zone, where they keep in touch with
what is going on in Boston, the chief city of the world,
I found that my fame had preceded me. One prominent
statistician said to me:
"They tell me that you are the most expensive mayor
in the United States.'' "How is that?" I asked. "It's
like this," he replied. "You receive ten thousand dollars
a year salary; they pay John A. Sullivan five thousand
dollars a year; Robert J. Bottomly four thousand dol-
lars a year, and James E. Fee three thousand dollars a
year to watch you, as representatives, respectively, of
the Finance Commission, the 'Goo Goos' and the P. S. A.,
that makes the total $22,000 a year."
"I should think," added my Canal Zone friend,
"that it would pay those organizations to keep you
down this way or out of the country somewhere and
thus save money."
But I explained to him that the men who draw the
150 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
salaries are the organizations, and that they would not
have me quit because that would mean the loss of their
positions and salaries.
However, I suppose that you have heard people tell
how nice it would be to run the City of Boston on a busi-
ness basis, — on the business basis of the big corpora-
tions. You have heard it, haven't you? It's a familiar
text with the editors when they desire to say something
safe without treading on the corns of the railroads or
the other supporting interests. That is why I am
thinking of asking the Finance Commission to make a
special report on the desirability of having the City of
Boston conducted as the biggest railroad corporation
in New England is conducted, and to award big con-
tracts as contracts are awarded by that corporation, —
on a business basis. Sometimes I think that I ought
to be president of the New York, New Haven & Hartford
Railroad, and sometimes I think that Mr. Mellen ought
to be mayor of the city. Just imagine dear old Boston
after a dose of Mellen's food. You all know it would
be better to have ^'Fitz" any time.
I am glad to be with you this evening and to express
my appreciation of your activities. If the Chamber of
Commerce in big and serious undertakings will put the
same enthusiasm and the same directness into its work
that you have put into this, the effect upon Boston will
be wonderful and it will relieve me of some of my own
May I close with a poetical address which was read
to me on the wharf at Kingston by a delighted and
appreciative delegation of former citizens of the North
End now employed in picking bananas off the trees:
Though Joshua in Bible times
Performed a first-class feat,
When he induced the sun to stop,
You've got the Josh game beat.
You've issued orders that the sun
Must travel twice as fast,
And that is why we say to-day
That John has Josh outclassed.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 151
EDWARD EVERETT HALE.
Speech at the Memorial, May 22, 1913.
The honorable duty of accepting this statue, erected
by the people and dedicated to the loving memory of a
distinguished son of Boston, is one which I assume with
Born almost a century ago, a graduate of our Latin
School and of Harvard University, the life of Edward
Everett Hale for almost three-quarters of a century
largely influenced the history of this city. His sym-
pathies and interests were bounded only by the needs
of humanity, but Boston is the city that he loved.
He grew up among family traditions of high public
service and to the end he devoted himself, as a lover of
mankind, to the uplifting of men and women wherever
a cry from the oppressed could be heard.
His ancestors had learned the value of peace from the
rough experiences of war; he devoted his great genius
to the promotion of the acts of peace with all the deter-
mination and consecrated zeal which his forefathers had
shown in the struggle for liberty, and from which alone
they knew that the reign of peace could come upon
earth and endure.
Poet, journalist, historian, preacher of the word,
promoter of good will among mankind, comforter of the
afflicted, implacable foe to the oppressor, he might
indeed say: ^'I put on righteousness and it clothed me;
I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame; I was a
friend to the poor and the cause which I knew not I
If the cause of humanity was his fate, love of country
was his foible. What boy or girl has read '^The Man
Without a Country," written in the darkest day of the
republic, and not burned with patriotic fire, not been
152 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
moved to lay down life itself on the altar of country?
Can you not hear him proclaiming through that story
of Philip Nolan, written in the simple language of the
seer, that patriotism is not mere pride in an area of land,
but an idea transfigured into an ideal towards which
the youth of the land, holding country sacred next after
God, constantly moves.
Sirs, there is a singular charm and fitness in these
exercises this afternoon. The man whom we here com-
memorate was remarkable for the number and breadth
of his activities, for the many causes which he espoused,
but there was no cause that caught his heart and pos-
sessed his being more than the great cause of peace, to
which he devoted long years and which he abandoned
only with life itself. It is the cause of the Master
who has declared that He came to bring peace on earth
and whose teachings Edward Everett Hale reverently
followed according to his own spiritual philosophy.
A short time ago, Mr. President, you made the happy
suggestion that instead of erecting fortifications at the
entrance to the great waterway that is to connect the
two oceans, the statue of Christ should be set up, a
suggestion hailed by the nations of the world with joyous
acclaim. Is it not singularly fitting that he who made
this suggestion should be here this afternoon, when we
are gathered together to do honor to one who was
devoted to the cause of peace?
Edward Everett Hale knew through his fighting
ancestors the inspiration of battle; he was formed in
the same heroic mold with Nathan Hale, whose only
regret was that he had but one life to lose for his country.
But he knew that war for war's sake is sin, and that the
end of all human effort should be peace. So wherever
and whenever the chance came to use his mighty voice
in the cause of peace, he thundered as has no other
American of his day and placed on the brow of his
beloved country the crown of peace to which 'Hhe
laurels that Caesar reaps are weeds."
It scarcely seems that he is dead. Only yesterday
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 153
we saw him on the city streets, towering above the
mass of men, just as in soul he touched the clouds.
Happy his end. He lagged not superfluous.
The city of his love is here united to place this statue
among the other silent but eloquent memories which,
while keeping alive the glorious past, inspire the future
to high enthusiasm and noble deeds. The city accepts
this statue with gratitude to those who gave it and with
deep affection for him whom it commemorates. It
shall remind the generation that knew him of his pure
devotion, and teach the generations to come that cities
are not ungrateful but that their proudest possessions
are the memories of the good and great among their
154 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Dedication of New Buildings, June 15, 1913.
Right Reverend Sir, Reverend Fathers, Ladies
AND Gentlemen, — While I am from my official position
the recipient of many invitations which courtesy prompts,
I can assure you that I have received none which gives
me greater pleasure than that which bade me to these
ceremonies attending the dedication of the first of a
great group of buildings to mark the second founding
of Boston College. Yes, it is Boston College and it ever
will be. True, the institution has removed to the fringe
of another city, but neither Boston nor Boston College
will ever forget that the city which I have the honor to
represent is the cradle in which the college was rocked
and furnished the educational atmosphere which has
nurtured it for now a full half century. So, while I
congratulate the Garden City of the Commonwealth
upon this precious new possession, I warn the honored
mayor of Newton that his city but shares the honor
with her who gave it birth and reared it, receiving in
return a rich contribution to its citizenship that justifies
the truth of the fine utterance of O'Reilly that ''Boston
is a living university in the streets.'' Yes, sir, it will
ever remain Boston College, and while a graduate of
this honored institution lives he will defend the claim of
Boston and have the claim allowed.
I have often thought of the small beginnings of
Boston College. I know her history well. I was a
pupil there in 1879 and left only because failing health
compelled me to do so. And when I think how it has
outgrown its narrow limits and demanded expansion, I
wonder if the pious souls who founded it in 1863 thought
for a moment of the tremendous task upon which
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 155
they were entering and could even have dreamed
that in the short space of a half century it could reach
the proportions in which we glory to-day. When I
think of the sainted Bapst, the apostolic McElroy,
and the scholarly Fulton, all of honored memory, I
wonder if, even in vision, they could have foreseen the
consummation in which we delight and which is a matter
of pride not only to the college and her sturdy alumni
but to the city which I have the honor to represent,
and that other city which claims partnership with us,
now for the first time, in an institution that has been a
nursery of the priesthood of the archdiocese of Boston,
the alma mater of the good bishop whose kindly presence
cheers us to-day, and which has upon her honored roll
the name of a prince of the church, now happily adminis-
tering the affairs of this most successful metropolitan
When as a boy I used to pass the rectory of the
Church of the Immaculate Conception, my attention
was arrested by the legend on the lintel over the door-
way, ^'Religioni et Bonis Artibus/^ and as I passed the
same place the other day and saw the motto still facing
me, I asked myself if this was not a complete summary
of education. What is education? Who will gainsay
me when I define it as the cultivation and improvement
of the spiritual principle in man. It is more to be sure,
but this is the important factor. I said it is more.
It is the harmonious development of man in a threefold
manner — athletically, esthetically and ethically — and
to these three factors this institution has contributed in
so large a measure that I am sure there is no one not
blinded by prejudice who will not say that she has
done her work well.
The college has always taken the right view of educa-
tion. It early put itself in harmony with the time
spirit. It realized that while the humanities should
keep their wonted place of honor, this was a commercial
age and institutions of learning, if they are to do their
full duty from generation to generation, must study the
156 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
conditions of the particular time and arrange their
courses of study accordingly. The college saw, too,
the necessity of unity in the plan of education. It
realized that the college could not stand alone, but
that it depended largely upon the tone and character
of the work of the preparatory school, and hence the
organization of a Boston College High School, wherein
provision is made for the vocational training which is
so necessary for institutions of learning to insist upon
unless we are content to send our children out into the
world with no particular end in view and with the word
^' drift '^ in too many cases written over their lives.
I have spoken of the beginnings of this college.
Why, I remember distinctly the hope and prayer of
Father Fulton that the college might have at some time
two hundred pupils. It now numbers more than
twelve hundred. I have expressed wonder at the
boldness of the pioneers who conceived this great work,
and I have marveled to see this day when we fondly
ponder the result, not of princely donations but of pious
poverty. I naturally look back over the history of
education in New England and contemplating the
careers of what were at one time called the twin sisters,
Harvard and Yale, I am reminded that the beginnings
of Harvard were a small library and an earnest hundred
pounds bequeathed by a clergyman, and that the great
university of Connecticut owes its origin to ten worthy
fathers who assembled in Banford in 1700, and laying
each a few volumes upon the table said, ^'I give these
books for the founding of a college in this colony" —
and these two universities were born in a wilderness.
What inspiration you must get from the history of these
two institutions; what encouragement when you think
that the founders of Boston College knelt in prayer and
dedicated this institution ad majorem Dei gloriam — to
the greater glory of God. How could they fail? ''God
and one are a majority" said Wendell Phillips, and we
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 157
know and we hold it to be an axiom that religion is the
great and solid foundation of a prosperous state, and
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Demands a drink divine.
But shall I bring my greetings to you only because
of your splendid past? Must I in the proud contem-
plation in which I am indulging over the work already
done forget the present? Certainly not. I congratu-
late Father Gasson, the president of this college, upon
the boldness of his conception and the wonderful achieve-
ment which he has scored in the face of many difficulties.
I charge him not to falter now, but to go on with his
work until the vision of a group of magnificent build-
ings with '^storied windows richly dight" be completed
and a great institution of learning takes its seat on
University Heights, to be a blessing to the community
in which we live. I hail Father Gasson as the second
founder of Boston College, the man who dared, who saw
the future in the instant, who has happily brought to
naught the predictions of those who, though interested
in his work, felt that it was too ambitiously planned.
No, it was not too ambitiously planned. The need of
such an institution appealed to him with such compel-
ling force that he had naught in conscience to do but
undertake it and carry it through. When some one
said to him '^It is impossible, '' he answered like another
Cobden, ''Then there is all the more reason why we
should get at it at once.'' May his successors be
worthy of him and the good great men who have pre-
sided over this institution in the past; may it never
forget its dedication to religion and the liberal arts; may
it always carry on its work beneath
The great ensign of Messiah,
Aloft by angels borne, their sign in Heaven;
158 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
may it ever be said of those who come out from these
halls that they are ^'Learned without pride, and not too
wise to pray^'; may they recall that it was not intelli-
gence that Mephistopheles lacked but goodness, and
may they never forget that Boston College is an institu-
tion like unto the temple of virtue which Marcellus
erected at Rome, through which alone lay the path to
the temple of honor.
I say to the generations that are to throng these
halls, '^Emancipated from the past you are responsible
only for the present and the future, but, thank God,
you need not blush for your cradle,'' and as this institu-
tion takes its place like a '^ city set upon a hill," may it
look down in benediction upon the beloved city from
which it takes its name, and from whose atmosphere
it has derived much wholesome nutriment, and may
both go down the ages contributing each to the other
the best that is in her for the good of the city, the state,
the nation and our common humanity.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 159
At First City and Town Planning Conference,
State House, November 18, 1913.
I am particularly glad to welcome this convention to
Boston. It marks the beginning of that cooperation
among the cities and town of the Commonwealth which is
SO important for our common good. It testifies to the
fact that in many things our union in interest is stronger
than the separation maintained by distance and local
governments, for we are not here merely to gain wisdom
one from the other, but in some sort to make a common
plan to secure the finest possible communities for the
State of Massachusetts.
As far as the planning of Boston is concerned, I feel
that the other cities have a right to give something more
than advice. We realize that our hotels and theaters
and big stores depend on the communities outside our
political limits, growing with their growth and prosper-
ing with their prosperity. Furthermore, as a shipping
port and as a market we are closely related to all your
fortunes, both good and bad. It is therefore with some-
thing more than dispassionate interest that the repre-
sentatives of Boston will listen to your discussions.
But if all the cities of the Commonwealth are bound
in some sort to Boston, what shall we say of the forty
communities physically united to her? It is a curious
fact that for Boston alone of all the cities of the world
there should be actually more people, within a radius
of ten miles, outside the city limits than inside. It is
ridiculous that these forty separate units, making up
the milhon and a half people of greater Boston, cannot
get together on all matters of serious importance.
We have a Metropolitan Park Commission and a
metropolitan water supply, but we should also have
160 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
closer relations with the fire and police service of the
Metropolitan district. If we cannot protect Chelsea, we
cannot protect East Boston; if we cannot protect
Somerville, it is useless to elaborate our schemes for
Charlestown. We are an immense industrial and com-
mercial community, visibly one in physical continuity
and in many common needs. I do not advocate political
union with Boston, but I do advocate some form of
loose federation among these cities and towns already
so closely bound, if they would only recognize it, by
intimate economic ties.
There is a distinguished precedent for this federation.
Metropolitan London has a much less tangible organiza-
tion; only the drainage, police and water departments
cover the whole area of 700 square miles, including
London city, London county and much more; yet
London gets universal credit for 7,530,000 people.
A plan for a federation of this sort was rejected not
because of any political opposition but through the
hostility of the suburban places, Newton being the
leader, which claimed to have all the intelligence and
most of the virtue abiding in the neighborhood. Whether
they feared that it might lead to closer political union
with Boston or not I cannot say, but I submit that their
attitude shows very little enlightenment. The plan
outlined was too broad and farsighted for a group of
men accustomed to deal with problems that are purely
local in their character and affecting only small popula-
tions. That is the difficulty you will have to meet in
endeavoring to bring about a more enlightened form of
city planning. You must first get out the blackboard
and give a few primary lessons and in this way inculcate
the Metropolitan spirit as against the parochial attitude
which now prevails; yet some union must come soon.
I believe it to be a necessary preliminary to any effective
city planning in Boston. We cannot even secure that
most rudimentary of city plans — the circumferential
thoroughfares — when any such proposed thoroughfare
runs in and out of the jagged fringe of political Boston
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 161
like a weaver's shuttle in a Jacquard pattern. Much
less can we hope to attack with any prospect of success
the question of housing reform.
The various indirect ways of attacking the slums
through taxes on unimproved land and through legal
restriction may some day be within the power of the
City of Boston. But would it seem quite fair to lay
a burden on the real estate men five miles from the
State House in one direction and leave those a mile away
in another, under perfectly similar conditions, entirely
free? There are sections outside the city limits having
all the characteristics of the city slums which any regula-
tion in Boston proper would only tend to aggravate.
If we are to reform the slums, Metropolitan Boston must
conspire to do it; sectional attack will only aggravate
and confuse the issue.
How much more true is this of an attempt to solve
the problem through the development of suburban
sections. To the north of Boston there are no suburbs
within the city limits; Somerville, Everett, Maiden,
Medford, Arlington, are separate towns, yet I venture
to say half of the people of Boston and most of the
people outside of the Metropolitan district regard them
as a part of the city life. Indeed, if you meet a citizen
of any of these towns abroad you will always find that
they claim to come from Boston; the same is true even
of our aristocratic sister, Brookline, for, charming as
Brookline is, it is unknown in Berlin, except perhaps as
a suburb of the great city which so nearly surrounds it.
These are towns to which the people of Boston return
at night. How can we of political Boston attempt to
secure '^garden suburbs" in districts which in spite of
that fact hold themselves alien? We have a very
interesting suburb in West Roxbury, in which homes of
beauty, even of distinction, are given to the people at
the lowest price profitable to the investor. But that
district contains most of the undeveloped land within
the city limits. It is not enough, not nearly enough, for
our people; if we are to develop the new sections of
162 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
Metropolitan Boston attractively and economically, we
must attack the problem together.
Especially is this true of the ''pest of three-deckers''
now spreading over all the suburban sections. Dor-
chester, twenty years ago picturesque and beautiful,
with old houses and wide shady streets, is to-day overrun
with these shabby, unkept substitutes for homes. This
type of building answers the demand for cheap con-
struction and consequent low rent. But it is a danger
and a disgrace to the community which tolerates it.
Yet how can the three-flatters be eliminated in East
Boston and allowed in Chelsea, forbidden in Dorchester
and welcomed in Somerville and Medford? If we are
to get rid of it — and surely this is the most elementary
of reforms — Metropolitan Boston must unite for the
Some solution of the housing problem is vital to real
Boston. If we set to work at it forty different groups
in forty different ways, the best intentions in the world
will not pull us out with anything but confusion and
cross purposes. But if this convention is, as I hope, the
beginning of a recognition of the common needs and
purposes of the cities of the state, and the beginning
of some form of federation for the cities and towns
already closely united in interest, there is no good hope
that I would not be sanguine enough to entertain.
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 163
Statement, November 27, 1913.
An ancient tradition bids us follow the example of
those early settlers who once more garnering a sufficient
harvest set apart a day to thank the great Power which
had led them out of famine. To-day we are gathering
greater harvests, the fruits of their suffering and stern
self-sacrifice. On the site of their terror-haunted forests
and meager corn fields we have built our cities and our
farms, and where they walked in daily dread of a fearful
death we have built secure and happy homes. It is
right that we,^ too, should now consider our benefits
and thank the Power which has led us out of those days
of fear to these of prosperity and safety, and it is a
happy custom which yearly reminds us of our debt to
those who hewed the way for us and to Him who eter-
nally guides our several lives as well as the destiny of
164 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
GOVERNOR GENERAL FORBES.
At City Club Banquet, December 2, 1913.
It is a particular pleasure to welcome Governor
General W. Cameron Forbes. For a great many years
I have lauded just those virtues which distinguish him
among the leaders of men. We do not credit him with
genius, though perhaps that also is his due, but we do
bow to his superiority over common men in kindness,
perseverance, ability to work hard all day and every
day, and in his infinite capacity for taking pains. These
are qualities which, in combination at least, are more
rare and more valuable than genius itself.
I hope that the return of this man to Boston will stir
in the young people here some realization of the inherent
greatness of just these qualities. By them, in this man
and in his predecessor, a country has been transformed;
a turbulent people made over into a people orderly in
the beginning of self-government; a hungry population
taught how to make two crops grow where one grew
before; a miserable humanity, scourged with disease,
suddenly lifted up to the benefits of health. Genius
can lay waste a country, can burn homes and wake
desolation, but it takes something more than genius
to put together these embittered fragments and out of
them build a nation.
I can say with Sydney Smith: ^'The vigor I love con-
sists in finding out wherein subjects are aggrieved, in
relieving them, in studying the genius and temper of
a people, in consulting their prejudices, in selecting the
proper persons to lead and manage them, in the labo-
rious, watchful and difficult task of increasing public
happiness by allaying each particular discontent.' ' And
this is the vigor with which General Forbes has governed
MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES. 165
It is unfortunate that even this enlightened govern-
ment could not escape attack, but it comforts me to
have such distinguished companionship in supporting
the comment of political enemies and a biased Press.
General Forbes is happily able to regard calumny with
indifference. His record of distinguished service abroad
and his life here in his youth combine to make his posi-
My quarrel with certain Boston newspapers is not
concerned with their attitude toward any one person.
It is with a settled policy that has sown dissension where
none should exist. For a great many years the City of
Boston has been divided against itself — Ward 11 and
Ward 13, Ward 6 and Ward 23, regarding each other
with mutual distrust. Recently there has been a
gradual change in the temper of the people. The City
Club and the Chamber of Commerce, two of the most
powerful organizations in the city, as well as other
agencies, have ignored ward, race and class lines in their
endeavor to help Boston on toward its great victory.
This movement has not secured the cooperation of the
so-called conservative newspapers, which fan the flame
of race and class antagonism whenever an opportunity
offers. Practically the only time one of these news-
papers ever commended the action of a Democrat of a
certain type was when it praised Congressman Murray
for his defence of our present guest. General Forbes,
against the attack of his enemies on the floor of Congress.
This offence of certain newspapers would be less
serious if the City of Boston were less important. But
when we consider her past, her powerful influence over
the history of this country, her achievements in literature
and in art, it is difficult to understand them. Moreover,
such disloyalty does not end with the false impression
it creates. The future of Boston is not that certain
prosperity that we so fondly imagine. It depends on
our union, on the strength we can muster to combat
inertia within and rivalry without. The cities that grow
in power and beauty have always been those where a
common devotion has inspired the whole population.
166 MAYOR FITZGERALD'S LETTERS AND SPEECHES.
This is the spirit we need. There is no question that
Boston can be a city first in every great fine of human
endeavor. Like the Florence of the free cities, we should
combine a revival of commerce and of the arts. Here,
if anywhere in this country, literary tradition has been
continuous, and here, if anywhere, with this new influx
of life, we should look for the long awaited American
Dante. Painting, music and sculpture are fields in
which the American spirit has still to find its perfectly
adequate expression. We know that the material and
the spiritual are closely interrelated, and if we want to
see this revival of the arts we must encourage a com-
plete awakening in every phase of human activity. No
true son of Boston can sit back in cynical indifference
at this time.
The achievements of General Forbes in the Philippines
showed that he was a man who could be invaluable here.
Out there he developed commerce through building
roads and protecting shipping, and through encourag-
ing the development of industrial education. He pro-
tected the sugar growers from a combination of sugar
buyers, and secured legislation for irrigation and artesian
wells. In these and in innumerable other ways he
showed that he had at heart the development of that
If he will take an active interest in the commercial
development of his native city it will help us greatly in
our present task of welding it into a powerful and pros-
perous whole. His grandfather, with Russell and Per-
kins, was one of the controlling factors in our eastern
trade up to 1840. His uncle, Robert M. Forbes, was in
command of the vessels bearing relief to Ireland in 1847.
We ask General Forbes now to follow up his distinguished
service abroad by helping to put Boston again where it
was when his grandfather and uncle were important
factors in its commercial prosperity — first among the
cities of the United States.