Wednesday, May 31, 2017


William H. Clark, president and editor of the Cortland Evening Standard.

Edward D. Blodgett, editor, secretary and treasurer of the Cortland Evening Standard

Benton B. Jones, publisher and editor of the Cortland Democrat.
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 30, 1894.

Lessons in Legal Lore.
   It is an old saying "that too many cooks spoil the broth," and practical experience has demonstrated the truth of the axiom on more than one occasion. We presume it is equally true that too many editors in one office spoil the effect of the editorials of a newspaper. The columns of the Cortland Standard, within the last few days, have fully demonstrated this fact. Last Saturday one of the editors took a shy at the DEMOCRAT and on Monday another one of them hurled dime novel adjectives at us to the extent of two full columns.
   The ordinary mortal can plainly see that the object of our neighbors is not so much to defend Robert Ross as it is to make its readers believe that the editor of this paper is a bold, bad man, and is unworthy to associate with respectable people. But the character of the editor of the DEMOCRAT is not on trial in this controversy, and readers of the Standard will not be fooled into losing sight of the question at issue by the attempts of the Standard to slander the writer.
   The real question at issue between the Standard and the DEMOCRAT is a legal question, which the Standard lacks the ability as well as the desire to discuss. It still claims that the students did not know "accurately just how much of the gas in a room of a given size would cause danger, or that knowing that a certain quantity would not be dangerous in a large room, they accidentally injected it into a small room." If this be true, how was it that several of the young men who were banqueting in the large hall, were overcome by the gas accidentally injected into the small room, and their lives despaired of for two or three days thereafter! But this hall was not unknown to the students, for it had been used before as we understand for like purposes. There was no possibility of accident and the gas must have been injected with premeditation. It is not charged that they intended to kill anyone but the act was imminently dangerous to others, although without a premeditated design to effect the death of any individual and as death resulted, the code defines the crime to be murder in the first degree, punishable by death. That anyone could manufacture chlorine gas and not become acquainted with its deadly nature is pure nonsense.
   The evidence taken in the investigation at Troy shows that Robert Ross was killed during a melee at one of the ward polls when great excitement prevailed. If "Bat" McShea or any one else killed him during this melee and without premeditation, he can only be convicted under the law of murder in the second degree because the act was committed without deliberation and premeditation. The penalty for murder in the second degree is imprisonment for life.
   The DEMOCRAT'S contention is that the person or persons who administered the chlorine gas at Ithaca, were guilty of committing an act imminently dangerous to others and that although it was done without a premeditated design to effect the death of an individual, it resulted in the death of a human being, and therefore it was murder in the first degree.
   The DEMOCRAT has no sympathy for thieves, thugs or murderers of either the democratic or republican persuasion, and will always be found ready and willing to render every assistance in its power to punish them regardless of the results to other parties. But the DEMOCRAT does not believe that it is proper or right to endeavor to make party capital out of a riot, started and carried out to its bitter results by rascals over whom no one can possibly have control, and when the Standard attempts to hold prominent democrats responsible for the acts of these criminals, it not only premeditates the commission of an injustice, but it does so well knowing that its intention is to rob good citizens of their good name, simply that its party may reap some advantage by such rascally performance. If the Ithaca trouble had occurred in one of the southern states the Standard would have been horrified at the outrage and nothing could have comforted it. The DEMOCRAT has simply attempted to perform a charitable act in defining the several grades of murder for the benefit of an ignorant and intolerant neighbor, whose understanding of the effect of legal propositions is woefully deficient. If this explanation fails to penetrate the cranium of our malicious neighbor, we shall despair of ever making even a tolerable country pettifogger of him.
   [CC editor's note: Mr. Clark and Mr. Jones were non-practicing lawyers who had passed the state bar exam.]

The Standard attempts to belittle the opinion of Prof. Collin, the head of the law department of Cornell University, because he differs with the Standard on a question of law. We must admit that Prof. Collin may have been guilty of impertinence in daring to express his opinion on a legal question, without first ascertaining how our neighbor stood on the subject, but he will probably survive unless some unforeseen complication arises. It is a little singular that the trustees of Cornell should have selected such an ignoramus for the head of such an important department. Still more singular is it, that the legal profession of the state has with one accord given Prof. Collin such high standing as a member of the profession. They will hereafter consult the Standard before giving an opinion as to the professional standing of one of their number. What queer predicaments a swelled head and a malicious disposition is liable to place the little people of the earth in.
The result of the examination held in Troy to inquire into the cause of death of Robert Ross on election day, was just what might have been expected, for the reason that the prosecution was in charge of able democratic officials. John Y. McKane of Gravesend was convicted by democratic officials. The democratic party has a habit of convicting and punishing democratic or republican rascals, which the republican party should adopt sooner or later and the sooner the better. Democrats do not whitewash criminals. The republicans have a monopoly of that sort of business.
For more than fifteen years John Y. McKane committed the worst sort of frauds at the elections held in Gravesend in the interest of the republican party. The Cortland Standard and its party profited by these frauds and kept silent. Two years ago McKane changed his politics and committed the same sort of crimes from which the democratic party gained some advantage. Did the democrats remain silent? No! They prosecuted the offender and he is now wearing stripes in Sing Sing prison. When did the republican party do likewise? Never! Even the parties who were implicated in the Assembly ceiling rascality were whitewashed by a republican investigating committee and some of them have since been honored by being elected to office.
One James J. Beldin was charged a few years ago with frauds in connection with canal contracts. He became suddenly very wealthy and it was proven in subsequent investigations instituted by prominent democrats, that his wealth had not been obtained through methods taught in the ordinary Sunday-schools. Did the republican party ostracise him? No! They elected him mayor of the city of Syracuse twice and he has represented Cortland and Onondaga counties several terms in Congress and is now prominently mentioned as a candidate for Governor. He had money and spent it freely in politics, and not withstanding his shady reputation, the Standard and its party is said to have profited by its distribution in this county.
Gen. Coxey's army is marching on Washington. The novelty of the idea of gathering together all the unemployed men on its line of march to the Capital, is the only thing about it that is interesting. Whether the idea was suggested by Gov. McKinley or Tom Platt, it is a pretty shrewd movement on the part of the Republicans, and if the 150,000 tramps that Coxey expects will join him before reaching their destination materialize, it may have the desired effect. The citizens of Washington will undoubtedly nail down everything moveable about their premises in time to prevent serious loss. Gov. McKinley does not think the matter of sufficient importance to notice, although the army started from his State [Ohio,] and he has gone west to deliver tariff speeches.

Cigarette Smoker In Jail.
   ITHACA, March 27.—A young lad about 12 years of age is confined in Tompkins county jail for a term of two days, where he was sentenced by the recorder for smoking cigarettes.

   Fun at the armory to-night.
   Don't fail to attend the Athletic performance to be given in the armory this evening.
   Messrs G. J. Mager & Co. have a new advertisement on our fourth page.
   Mr. P. H. Dowd has moved his family to Syracuse, where he expects to enter the boot and shoe business.
   Lewis Morrison's company will produce "Faust" in the opera house to-morrow evening for the second time this season. Seats are on sale at Wallace's.
   The Cortland Howe Stove company, which has been idle since the first of last December, has started up again with about three-quarters of the usual force.
   The local builders and contractors are employing more help for the seasons business and it is expected that there will be more buildings erected in this place this year than usual.
   The members of Grace church are preparing to give the spectacular pantomime "Ben Hur" in Cortland Opera house the first part of next month.  About 150 people will take part in the performance.
   We understand that Wickwire Bros. will employ about forty more wire drawers after April 1st next, in their new mills. These people are all from out of town and will move here with their families.
   Mr. D. C. Beers has taken possession of the grocery store on Grant-st. and is putting in a fine line of new groceries. Mr. Beers has many friends in town who will be sure to give him a share of their patronage.
   Watkins Bros. have removed their goods from the store in the Second National Bank building and the store is being put in order for the new dry goods firm of Case, Ruggles & Bristol of Athens, Pa.
   The largest basswood log ever delivered at J. W. Breed's mill at South Cuyler was drawn by the Hoyer boys from the Collin farm last week. It was twelve feet long and five feet through at the butt.—DeRuyter Gleaner.
   Last Saturday afternoon while Richard O'Brien was ascending a ladder at Hotel Bates with a barrel on his shoulder, one of the rungs broke letting him fall to the ground from the second story. Dr. Angel, who was called, found three broken ribs and several severe bruises. He was carried to his home on Arthur-ave., and will probably be confined to the house for several days.

Sale of Fine Horses.
   Wickwire Bros. of this place will sell seventeen head of fine weanlings, two and three-year-olds, most of them by Silcyone and Frisco at public auction on their farm two miles east of Cortland, on Thursday April 12th. Also a few workers and drivers. No postponement on account of the weather. Nine months credit on approved notes. Here is a fine opportunity to purchase some of the best bred stock in the country.

Horse Thief Arrested.
   Wm. H. Ellsworth, a noted criminal, was captured in Syracuse yesterday morning as he got off the 10 o'clock train. On Tuesday morning Ellsworth hired a rig in Ithaca and was not heard of until Chief Seager was notified that there was a horse and buggy in J. L. Gillett's barn about three miles west of Cortland. At about the same time he received word from Ithaca to look for Ellsworth in Cortland. Chief Seager went on a still hunt, and finally got track of the man in Homer, Wednesday evening. He was trying to pawn his overcoat for a ticket to Syracuse, so Chief Seager notified Chief Wright at Syracuse. Thursday morning he was arrested. Ellsworth is wanted in Bedford, Ohio, for forgery. He just finished a term of years in the State prison at Auburn this summer. He is the son of Geo. Ellsworth formerly a resident of Cortland and is about 23 years of age.

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