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A Letter From 1917: On the City Charter and Liberty

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This letter was originally published in the Glen Cove Echo on July 7, 1917. 

Where Glen Cove voted to charter a city. Credit: North Shore Historical Museum

Where Glen Cove voted to charter a city. Credit: North Shore Historical Museum

Dear Mr. Editor,

I am delighted to hear of your victory in securing a city charter for Glen Cove. What a bright future you have before you! How different from that of Clam Creek. I told you something about the condition of things here in my last week’s letter. Possibly this change that you have wrought will have some influence upon our politicians. At least I hope so, for we have been deeply in the mire from our town boss down.

Why should democracies be affiliated with bosses? It was not long ago that our people were called upon to make some sacrifices for the general good, that the bosses told them that their liberties were being infringed upon, although the bosses know that there is no perfect liberty in any civilized community, and that the only true liberty is the liberty to do right. They did not, however, hesitate to continue to deprive the people of those sacred liberties by filling offices with men whose only idea of office is that of a job, some of whom as readily seek to graft therein as potato bugs seek the leaves of a potato thereon. Men who use their offices for private ends and who falsify their accounts and plead ignorance of the fact, and men who refuse to punish the falsifier. This is what we are up against in Clam Creek.

I turn with relief from such things here, to your election in Glen Cove and congratulate you all, both those who voted for the charter and those who voted against it, for the latter will see their mistake later, and I am sure that when they voted, they set behind them all selfish motives and wanted only what is best. I can not believe any evil of Glen Cove. I like to think of it as a new city budding forth on its long career of righteous prosperity, and I like to think of the fruits that future generations will gather, and how they will look upon the city fathers–yes, and upon the city mothers who created the City of Glen Cove.

Last weekend was a blessed one for Glen Cove, and the week that preceded it was a fitting prelude. The sun shone brightly and the birds sang sweetly last week–sweet forewords of gratitude from those who, later, will lie, helpless in the hospitals of the far off war lands.

If there are any potato bugs in Glen Cove, I wonder if they are on that $52,000 list!!

Very Sincerely,

A. Souper

Special thanks to the staff of the Glen Cove Public Library for their assistance accessing historical newspapers.

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About the author

Founder, Executive Editor

Before founding the Beacon, Mike worked at AOL Patch, Anton News, and most recently at Reason Magazine.

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