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Friday, February 06, 2015

ONE NIGHT IN DODGE CITY

I suppose the way these three men crossed paths could be called fate or kismet. But to label it a mere chance encounter could be seen as denigrating the life of one who died and the one who killed him. And, yes, there were great invisible social forces guiding events that hot summer night, and cold blooded economic factors as well. But there was also poetry, and the wild card of alcohol. But whatever the cause, in 1878 when a “rather intelligent looking young man” named George Hoyt, a young vaudevillian named Eddie Foy, and a young assistant sheriff named Wyatt Earp collided in Dodge City, Kansas, they made history.
Dodge City owes its fame to a tiny tick, the Boophilus microplus, which carries anthrax. The tick and the disease were endemic among the herds of Texas Longhorns, which had developed a resistance to the fever. But in 1868 anthrax on imported Longhorns killed 15,000 cattle across Indiana and Illinois. So as the sod busters plowed across Kansas they insisted the state restrict the rail heads for Texas cattle drives further and further westward, away from their farms. 
In 1876 the demarcation line was moved to the 100th meridian, which made the town on the north bank of the "Are-Kansas" River, the new “Queen of the cattle towns”, the ‘Wickedest Little City in America’, "The Beautiful, Bibulous Babylon of the Frontier", Dodge City, Kansas.
Like the other ten to fifteen cowboys in his crew, George Hoyt had just ended two months of hard, dusty, dangerous and monotonous work. He now had $80 cash money burning a hole in his pocket. And it was the business of the merchants of Dodge City to separate George from as much of that cash as possible before he left town. In essence Dodge City was a tourist trap, dependent for its yearly livelihood on the May through August ‘Texas trade’.
The little town of less than 1,000 year-round citizens could boast, during the season - June to September - 16 saloons. And south of the “deadline” (Front Street, which bordered the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad) it was worse. On the wrong side of the tracks there were assorted brothels and dance halls where “anything goes”.
All the bars served the latest mixed drinks and ice cold beer, and enticed customers with a piano player or, in the case of the Long Branch saloon, a five-piece orchestra. There was the cavernous Ben Springer’s Theatre. The even larger, The Lady Gray Comique” (com-ee-cue), at the corner of Front and Bridge Street (modern day 2nd Avenue), was divided between a bar and gambling parlor in front and a variety theatre in the back.
In July of 1878 the Comique featured an entire vaudeville show headlined by “…that unequalled and splendidly matched team of Eddie Foy and Jimmie Thompson.”  Eddie Foy had been dancing and clowning in Chicago bars to feed his family since he was six.   He was now 22, and this was his second swing through the western circuit, telling such local jokes as “What's the difference between a cow boy and a tumble bug (a dung beetle)? One rounds up to cut, and the other cuts to round up”:  Hilarious.  Eddie had an appealing V-shaped grin, and a comic lisp, which he offered each night in a solo rendition of the plaintive homesick poem, “Kalamazoo in Michigan” 
At about 3 A.M. on Friday, July 26th, while Eddie was just beginning his reading, George Hoyt and several of friends were just leaving the Comique. Loaded with drink and unloaded of their money, they saddled their horses at a nearby stable, and then buckled on their gun belts. While no one was allowed to wear guns while in town, most check their weapons where they checked their horses. George and this friends then mounted up, and headed back to their camp, out of town.  As they rode up Bridge Street on their way back to camp, they passed the Comique. And for some reason George suddenly wheeled his horse and returned to the side of the theatre.
George pulled his six shooter and banged out three quick shots into the side of the building. 
According to Eddie Foy, inside the hall “Everyone dropped to the floor at once, according to custom.”  Among the crowd of 150 gamblers and poetry aficionados in attendance was lawman Bat Masterson and gambler Doc Holiday, both of whom, according to Eddie, beat him to the floor. “I thought I was pretty agile myself, but these fellows had me beaten by seconds at that trick.” The Dodge City Globe agreed. “A general scamper was made by the crowd, some getting under the stage others running out the front door and behind the bar; in the language of the bard, “such a gittin up the stairs was never seed”. Observed Bat Masterson, “Foy evidently thought the cowboy was after him, for he did not tarry long in the line of fire”.
But in George Hoyt’s impulsive decision to blast away at the Comique, he had failed to notice two men lounging in the shadows on the sidewalk right in front of him. One was Jim Masterson, younger brother to Bat and a fellow city deputy. The other shadow was soon to be legendary lawman Wyatt Earp.
Wyatt on this night was 30 years old. He stood about six feet tall, and weighed a skeletal 160 pounds. He had pale light blue eyes. But what friends and opponents remember most about Wyatt was his manner. The editor of the Tombstone Epitaph would later note his calm demeanor, saying he was “…unperturbed whether...meeting with a friend or a foe.” Bat Masterson described him as possessing a “… daring and apparent recklessness in time of danger.” But those were later descriptions.
After serving in an Illinois regiment during the Civil War, Wyatt became a teamster between the port of Wilmington, outside of Los Angeles, and the desert mining town of Prescott, Arizona.  He had then managed houses of prostitution in Peoria, Illinois for several years, before becoming a lawman in Wichita, Kansas. He lost that job in 1874 for embezzling county funds, which he probably used to finance his education in gambling.
Moving on to Dodge City along with the cattle herds, Wyatt was hired again as a police officer. During the off season he traveled to Texas and Dakota Territory to continue his schooling in poker and games of chance. As a “cop” in Dodge City Wyatt's fame did not extend beyond stopping spit ballers disrupting an evening’s performance at the Comique, and his recent slapping of a prostitute named Frankie Bell.
Frankie spent a night in jail and was fined $20, while Officer Earp was fined $1. But the incident made clear that the nominally bucolic Wyatt Earp would not sit idly while his honor or his life was insulted, not even by a woman.
So when George Hoyt began blasting away in the dark, Wyatt made the immediate assumption that the cowboy meant to kill him. As George galloped his horse back up Bridge Street, chasing after his friends, Wyatt drew his own weapon and fired after the fleeing cowboy; once, and then a second shot. The second bullet hit Hoyt in the arm.
Bat Masterson claimed years later that George Hoyt fell from his horse, dead on the spot, but that seems embellishment. Bat, as we now know, was on the floor of the gambling parlor. His brother Jim was outside standing next to Wyatt, but Jim never spoke of the shooting. But other accounts agree that the two lawmen, Masterson and Earp ran up the street together after Hoyt, who had fallen from his horse.
Given the lack of adequate street lighting in the frontier cattle towns of 1878, as he rode up the street Hoyt would have soon disappeared in the dark. And that makes it seem likely that Bart got that much right; Wyatt fired only twice. And George Hoyt just wasn’t fast enough in escaping. The cowboy fell from his horse, and either from being shot or from the fall, he broke his arm. Wyatt and Jim Masterson caught up with Hoyt and first disarmed him. Then sent for Dr. T. L. McCarty,  to treat the injured cowboy.
The Globe commented that George Hoyt “…was in bad company and has learned a lesson “he won’t soon forget”.  George didn’t. Gangrene set in and the cowboy died a slow and foul death, passing at last on Wednesday, August 21st, 1878; 26 days after Wyatt shot him. Whatever the cause of death, the Legendary Wyatt Earp had killed his first man.
Eddie Foy would later claim that his suit, hanging back stage, was punctured twice by the gunfire. However the Dodge City Times said the bullets went through the theatre’s ceiling. But it made a good story for Eddie's stage show. 
Eddie Foy went on to a successful career on the vaudeville stage, appearing for several years with his children in an act billed as “Eddie and the Seven Little Foys”. He was the last of the great vaudeville entertainers before the advent of film, and so is almost forgotten today. Eddie Foy died of a heart attack in 1927 at the age of 71.
In September of 1878 a cattle broker and gunman named Clay Allison came to Dodge looking for a showdown with Wyatt Earp. One story told is that Allison was a friend of George Hoyt’s, and was looking for revenge. But again there was no classic street shoot out. It seems that Wyatt sensibly stayed out of sight until Allison left town, despite Wyatt's later stories to the contrary. 
For whatever reason, in 1879 Wyatt and his brothers moved on to Tombstone, Arizona. There, in October of 1881, he took part in the infamous Gunfight at the O.K Corral, which in fact was little more than a gang fight,  which occurred in a vacant lot between two buildings, down the street from the rear entrance to the O.K. Corral. But none of that reality stopped the fight from becoming the most famous twenty seconds in the American West.
Wyatt remained a professional gambler all his life and died in Los Angeles of a chronic bladder infection at the age of 80 years, in January of 1929.  He is mostly portrayed today as a hero, mostly it seems to me because he had no aversion to spinning tall tales and because he was that true rarity, a gambler who usually won.
After the railroads penetrated south Texas in the mid 1880’s the need to drive cattle a thousand miles to Kansas came to an end. And with it the “Queen of the Cattle Towns” became just another small American town of some 25,000 people. It’s only living connection to its past is the Dodge City Cargill packing plant, whose 2,500 employees can slaughter up to 6,000 head of cattle a day, turning them into four and a half million pounds of meat, which is shipped all over the world.
That was always the unpleasant underside of Dodge City. The town depended for its fame and fortune upon the death of so many. 
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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

PROTECTIVE RETROBUTION.

I don't believe William Walter Grayson (above)  loved war. He used the Spanish American War to escape Nebraska, as any 23 year old might. But because of what he called the “damn bullheadedness” of his commander, sometime after eight on the evening of Saturday, 4 February, 1899, Private Grayson found himself on a three man patrol in the Manilla barrio of Santa Mesa. It was dark, it was hot, it was humid, and it was dangerous. Grayson and his fellow volunteers from Company D suspected they were being used as cannon fodder for the dreams of politicians and generals 10,000 miles away. And they were right.
When most Americans think of the Spanish American War they think of Teddy Roosevelt charging up Cuba's San Juan Hill, and perhaps Commodore George Dewey telling the captain of his flagship, the USS Olympia, “You may fire when ready, Gridley”,  just before sinking the Spanish Asiatic fleet . But most remain blissfully ignorant of the 14 year long “Philippine Insurgency”, a war in all but name. It was the test case for an unnecessary war sold to Congress as a crises, a protracted war sold and resold to voters as being on the verge of victory, a war conducted “to Christianize and civilize” the one million Filipinos the Americans killed, a war whose American blood was spilled almost in secret by a small professional army, a war in which the use of torture was endorsed by American commanders and politicians, and a war that is rarely remembered in America, despite the lessons it offers about the dangers of arrogance and ignorance.
In the dark, Private Grayson heard voices speaking Spanish and Tagalog. Being born in England and raised in Nebraska, William had no idea what was being said in either language. And the version of subsequent events handed out to the press under his name has no more validity than the stories invented in the name of Private Jessica Lynch during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.. The only part of Grayson's story that seems plausible is that, hearing voices, his patrol “went to ground”,  Grayson (above, posing on the scene, days after the event) called out “Halt!”. The response was a voice calling, “Alto!” Grayson repeated his command, as did his Filipino doppelganger. It seems evident that neither speaker understood the other, so Private Grayson fired into the dark, setting off a general exchange of gunfire that only proved the existence of several thousand frightened, half trained young men on both sides. American casualties were two men from a South Dakota company, probably killed by friendly fire. Filipino dead were uncounted.
Washington's favorite joke about President William McKinley (above, right) was that his mind was like his bed – every morning someone had to make it up for him, before he could use it. But once his mind had been made up by the “Manifest Destiny” wing of his cabinet, he endorsed it, with his “Benevolent Assimilation” policy, intended, he said, “to win the confidence, respect, and affection of...the Philippines....” 
However the "young, handsome, patriotic, and brave."Filipino leader Emilo Aguinaldo, having helped the Americans throw out the Spanish, did not like the idea of “assimilation” by anybody. In June of 1898 elections were held for the First Philippine Republic and Aguinaldo was named its first President. In response the Americans told the democratically elected Filipino President his soldiers would be fired upon if they tried to enter the capital of their new country. And that was what all the shooting was about on 4 February.
The American General Elwell Otis rejected negotiations with President Aguinaldo, saying  “fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end.” This Second Battle of Manila, as it was called, resulted in the Filipino line being smashed, at a cost of 55 American dead. Officially, there were 238 Filipino dead, but a British witness disagreed:. “This is not war; it is simply massacre and murderous butchery." Only one Filipino soldier in three had a gun. The Americans soldiers, who referred to their opponents as “niggers” and “savages”, piled the Filipino dead into breastworks, and called the battle a “quail shoot”. One wrote home that “It was more fun than shooting turkeys.”
The open fighting pushed the vote, two days later in the American Senate, to ratify the Paris Treaty selling the Philippians to America for $20 million,  by one slim vote over the 2/3 majority the Constitution required. Teddy Roosevelt wrote, “I am more grateful than I can say....partly to the Filipinos. They just pulled the treaty through for us.” America was now committed to a war of conquest in east Asia, conducted so far by men like Private Grayson.
On 31 March, 1899, Private William Grayson was hospitalized, suffering from malaria and exhaustion, stomach upset (ulcers) and over exertion – in, short combat fatigue. When he was released two months later he was reassigned as a cook, out of combat. And then in July Grayson and all the volunteers were shipped home for discharge. Grayson left the service in San Francisco, where, on 10 October of 1899, he married Clara Francis Peters. He found work as a house painter and then an undertaker, and never sought take advantage of his reputation as the man who started a war.
Throughout the summer of 1899, Otis's second in command, General Arthur MacArthur,  led 21,000 professional soldiers in a brutal drive north across Luzon. The American Red Cross noted “the determination of our soldiers to kill every native in sight”. Americans took no prisoners, and everyone, men, women and children, not actively working for the Americans was treated as an enemy combatant. 
Entire villages were murdered. In November, at Otis' hint, the American government declared the “insurection” was over. Victory parades were held. But many of the professionals had doubts. To McArthur's subordinate, General Shafter,  it was a matter not of morality, but practicality. He wrote, “It may be necessary to kill half the Filipinos in order that the remaining half ...may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords."  In other words, we were killing them for their own good.
By the start of 1900, General Otis was forced to ask Washington for more men. That summer, with American troop levels secretly reaching 75,000,  Otis was relieved by General McArthur, who decided to change strategies. Just as the Americans in 2005 judged the capture of Saddam Hussein would end the rebellion, the Americans now concentrated on capturing President Aguinaldo. Both assumptions, made a century apart, were wrong.
The American press were so controlled that during the summer and fall of 1900, it was the soldier's letters home that broke the story of American atrocities against the Filipino people. "On Thursday, March 29th ... eighteen of my company killed seventy-five nigger bolomen and ten of the nigger gunners .... When we find one who is not dead, we have bayonets …" 
Lieutenant Grover Flint wrote home to describe the standard method of obtaining information. “A man is thrown down on his back...and then water is poured onto his face down his throat and nose from a jar; and that is kept up until the man gives some sign or becomes unconscious...His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown.”
In April, 1901 President Aguinaldo was finally captured. But even after the prisoner signed a loyalty oath to the Americans, the ambushes and acts of sabotage continued, as did the brutal American responses . General McArthur took the hint and resigned, returning to a hero's welcome, and to assure the voters that operations in the Philippians were : "the most legitimate and humane war ever conducted on the face of the earth.”   
It was possible to claim American moral superiority  because American atrocities not mentioned in official American reports, did not officially happen.  However some leaked through. It was under General Adna Chaffee,  that the American civilian governor of Abra Province described the new “depopulation campaign”:  Residents in entire regions were ordered into “concentration camps”. Those who did not submit were assumed to be rebels. “Whole villages had been burned, storehouses and crops had been destroyed and the entire province was...devoid of food.”  Said an anonymous American congressman after a visit, “You never hear of any disturbances in Northern Luzon, because there isn't anybody there to rebel.” . The process was given the military title, “protective retribution.”'
The war would continue, year after year, atrocity after atrocity, declaration of victory after empty declaration.  In April of 1902 the Washington Post was driven to suggest, “ The fourth and final termination of hostilities two years ago....serves only to confirm our estimation...A bad thing cannot be killed too often.” Desperate to end the war,  General “Howlin' Jake Smith ordered his men to kill “Everything over the age of ten...Kill and burn, kill and burn...(this is) no time to take prisoners.” 
Read one report to headquarters, “The 18th regulars...under orders to burn every town... left a strip of land 60 miles wide from one end of the island to the other, over which the traditional crow could not have flown without provision.” A letter from a participant, published in the New York World, detailed what that meant, ending with the story of “...a mother with a babe at her breast and two young children at her side...feared to leave her home which had just been fired...She faced the flames with her children, and not a hand was raised to save her or the little ones. They perished miserably...She feared the American soldiers, however, worse than the devouring flames.”
President Roosevelt declared victory, again, on 4 July, 1902. And again, parades were held to celebrate the victory (above)  But, again,  in March of 1903, attacks against Americans and their native allies had so flared up that 300,000 Filipinos were forced at gun point back into concentration camps. In August of 1904 the American governor of Samar was asking for more soldiers. By 1907 those additional troops were still required. The last rebel leader, whose capture was supposed to end the war, was executed in 1912.  But the war went on, if at a reduced level, until the Japanese invasion in 1942. 
Meanwhile, the forgotten William Grayson (above) had come upon hard times. By 1914, the malaria and ulcers he suffered from had progressed to vomiting blood, and he was forced to apply for a pension. It was denied.  Said the bureaucrats at the Veterans Bureau , “no pecuniary awards are made by the government for extraordinary bravery in action.” . But Grayson could no longer work and was forced on public relief. Finally, after eight years of shabby treatment by the nation he fought for, whose empire he sacrificed his youth for,  in 1922 William Grayson was finally granted a small pension. The man who fired the first shot used to justify America's grab at an empire, died worn out and worn down, at the age of 64, on 20 March, 1941, in the Veterans Hospital in San Francisco.
Something never change.

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Sunday, February 01, 2015

BANG, BANG, YOU'RE DEAD


I believe I have stumbled upon a way to spot a deranged maniac with a gun before they get the gun, and it ain't their choice of video games or violent movies that gives them away. Simply criticize their poetry, and the unbalanced individual is instantly revealed. My case in point  -  in early 1910 Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough once again had “insisted on inflicting his home-made poetry and epigrams on all who would listen",  according to William Mossman,  manager of the Pittsburgh Orchestra.   Now, the experienced members of the orchestra always listened politely to Fitzhugh, and kept their spit valves firmly closed until the maudlin verse was over,  but on this day, brass section member Otto Kegel could no longer resist trumpeting his opinion that Fitzhugh wrote the worst poetry ever written   Fitzhugh's response was to grab his own $400 violin and smash it over the critic's head.  Fitzhugh then fled screaming from the building.  He sulked for 72 hours, and when he returned he was not a better poet.  That, I believe, was a certain indication Fitzhugh was a lunatic destined to kill somebody.
Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough's story began inside 1331 K Street Northwest, Washington, D.C.. The row house  mansion stood just across the street from Franklin Square Park, on the corner lot with 13th Street.  In this wealthy abode resided the imminent Dr. Edmund K. Goldsborough, his wife Julia and their children - two sons, Fitzhugh, the eldest, and Edmond the youngest child, - and two daughters in-between – Francis the older and Ann the younger girl. Julia doted on all her children, and denied them nothing,  But Fiitzhugh was her favorite. He showed real talent with the violin and he loved poetry, which he produced in prodigious quantities.  He composed, by his own admission, a new ode to Venus about once a week. And his mother assured him every line was sheer genius.
In 1898 Dr. Goldsborough decided his son needed a profession. And that year the would-be poet was dispatched to Harvard College, to become an attorney.  After just one year however, the boy withdrew and returned home. Tensions in the house on K Street began to rise.  Fitzhugh  (above) told his diary that he was being followed by private detectives, and increasingly,  the volitile young man would intervene when his father tried to discipline Francis or Ann,  eventually even threatening violence if the doctor “so much as laid a hand” on either girl.  There is no record, Dr. Goldsborough ever did. After two years of this, in 1901, and by mutual consent, Fitzhugh  left home again,  this time for Europe, to study the violin.  Here he met with considerable success, and he did not return for four long years, coming home briefly during the winter of 1905-06. That spring he left again, first to Montreal, Quebec where he worked as an instructor, and then in 1907 he followed a Berlin acquaintance, Karl Pohlig, who had been hired as the new conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The city of brotherly love offered Fitzhugh his best chance for normality, and he became first chair violinist. However, at the same time he took to signing his name with a multi-pointed star, with his name forming all the spokes. But then in 1909 he followed an offer of more money, when half the Pittsburgh orchestra quit in a dispute with their new cold intellectual conductor, the Frenchman Emil Paur. The labor tensions had an impact upon Fitzhugh, as shown by his attack upon the head of the unfortunately outspoken Mr. Kegel.  As the orchestra teetered on the verge of bankruptcy early in the 1910 season, the 31 year old Fitzhugh learned his little sister Ann had become engaged to William Stead, and the pair intended on moving to England. Shortly there after Fitzhugh Coyee Goldsborough disappeared from Pittsburgh, leaving behind only a note of explanation. “The Pittsburgh smoke has driven me crazy”, he wrote. “You will never see me again.” He confided to his diary that he had decided to murder a man he had never met, the journalist, social novelist, and affected eccentric, David Graham Phillips.
The tall, handsome and beryl eyed Phillips once said he would rather be a journalist than President. His 1906 series “Treason in the Senate”, serialized in the magazine “Colliers”, was such a scathing indictment of political corruption that it led by 1912 to the 17th amendment to the Constitution, requiring the open election of senators. Phillips was a workhorse,  writing late into the night while standing at his desk (above), grinding out 6,000 words a day.  He said, “If I were to die tomorrow, I would be six years ahead of the game”  And beginning in 1901 he also produced six popular pot boiler novels like his 1909 best seller “The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig”.
His characters were little more than caricatures, but because Phillips (above) told interviewers he based them on living people, readers were intrigued. Phillips described his female protagonist in “Craig” , the wealthy “noodle-head” Margaret Severence, in venomous terms. “To her luxurious, sensuous nature every kind of pleasurable physical sensation made keen appeal, and she strove in every way to make it keener.” In reality Phillips wrote from his fertile imagination, and what he knew his readers wanted. The hint of slander was a marketing ploy, like the white suits with a mum in the lapel Phillips always wore in public, or his crumpled alpine hat. The problem was, Fritzhugh fell for the ploy.
And when the mad young Mr Goldsborough read the “Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig” he was convinced the unflattering character of Miss Severence (above)  was based upon his own younger sister, Ann.  Fitzhugh wrote to Phillips, claiming libel and asking for an apology. However, since he did not sign his name and failed to provide a return address, Phillips could not apologize, even if he had wished to. Fitzhugh took the lack of response as arrogance, and wrote a series of increasingly angry and threatening letters, eventually signing them in Phillips' own name,  convincing the novelist his mysterious correspondent was a lunatic - which he was. Clearly this miss-communication could not continue.
With his sister Ann's wedding day scheduled for 25 February, 1911,  Fitzhugh rented a top-floor rear room for $3 a week at the Rand School on East 19th Street in New York City.  His check in date was 2 November, 1910.  He informed no one of his new address.  His family thought he was still in Pittsburgh. In fact he was now just a block away and just around the corner from the brownstone National Arts Club at 16 Gramercy Park South – where David Graham Phillips lived. And almost directly across that small private Gramercy Park was the Yale Club, where Phillips received his mail.  Fitzhugh spent the next two months stalking his victim.
As was his usual habit, the 42 year old David Phillips rose late on Monday, 23 January, 1911. He had been working the night before, grinding out his six thousand words, and after breakfast and dressing, it was well after one before he took the elevator to the first floor and hurried down the front steps of the Arts Club (above) . He carried with him the corrected proofs of his new short story, “Susan Lenox:  Her Fall and Rise”,  ready to be mailed to the Saturday Evening Post magazine
Rather than cutting through the gated park, Phillips turned left and walked the few steps to the corner of Gramercy Park West, and then turned right.  It took him less than a minute to cross 21st Street, or Gramercy Park North, where he turned right again, walking the half block toward Lexington Avenue, which “T”ed into Gramercy Park. At the corner was the mansion that housed the Princeton Club (above).
As Phillips approached 115 East 21st Street a man stepped away from the cast iron fence he had been leaning against, and blocked Phillip's way. From his coat pocked the assassin pulled a ten shot .38 caliber pistol, and was heard to announce, “Here you go.”  Then, with a sweep of his arm he fired six shots, each one hitting Phillips, once in the right lung, once in the intestines, the left forearm, the right hip and both thighs. Phillips staggered backward against the fence, almost falling into the arms of John Jacoby, a passing florist. Then, according to two other wittiness who had just come out of the Princeton Club, and without bothering to look at his victim,  Fitzhugh stepped into the gutter and, announced, “And here I go”. Fitzhugh then shot himself in the head.
The Princeton Club's paper recorded the incident as follows. “David Graham Phillips, (class of ) '87, editor, publicist and novelist,  was shot six times today as he approached the Princeton Club, by Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough, a Harvard man...”
The three witnesses carried Phillips into the club's foyer and laid him on a settee. There the victim said he had no idea who his assassin was, and begged them not to tell his mother of his shooting because “the shock might kill her.” Out in the gutter Fitzahugh's body lay under a sheet for hours while police tried to understand. In Fitzhugh's pockets they found two short story manuscripts, and a membership card for the American Federation of Musicians. Now they knew the who and what, and after they read Fitzhugh's diary found in his room at the Rand School, they understood the why. He was a lunatic.
Three days after the shooting, David Graham Phillips died in a fever of septicemia. He was survived by his sister Caroline, who had been sharing his apartment at the Arts Club after leaving her abusive husband. She finished up her brother's final short story, and it was published posthumously. And in 1931 it was made into a motion picture, staring Clark Gable and Greta Garbo (above) . The Goldsborough family sent their sincere regrets to the Phillips family. The Goldsboroughs held the mad man's funeral service in the family home at 1331 K Street Northwest, and a month later held Anne's wedding in the same rooms. After the wedding, Mr and Mrs. William Stead moved to Nottingham, England, where he served as the United States Counsel.
The only positive outcome from the shooting was the passage of gun regulation, named after its co-author, State Senator Tim (Big Feller) Sullivan, which went into effect in August, just seven months after the shooting. To this day, the Sullivan Act requires a license to carry a hand gun in New York State, and allows each county to set their own limits on handgun licenses. Possession of an unlicensed gun in New York City results in an automatic one year in jail. Similar murders have occurred since, of course, but then crime prevention does not have to be 100% effective. Every life saved is of value, even if it is the life of an arrogant obnoxious lunatic like Fitzhugh Coyle Goldsborough
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