The first meeting of the Harvard Union for this college year was held in Sever Hall last night. An unusually large attendance was present, and the interest manifested in the question for debate-"Resolved, that the sentence against the Chicago anarchists was just"-was lively and general. The meeting was called to order by Pres. Furber, the minutes of the last meeting read, the vote on the merit of the question taken, which resulted in 116 affirmatives to 5 negatives, and then Mr. Osborn, L. S., opened the debate for the affirmative. He reviewed all the proceedings of the anarchists in Chicago until they culminated in the fatal catastrophe of last May, for which seven men are now held responsible. He showed that arms had been furnished to various organizations of workingmen with orders to kill the capitalists, and then quoted from one of their speeches: "If you would no longer be slaves, you must kill, you must throttle, you must stab!" This kind of doctrine certainly passed the limits of free speech, which the anarchists claim was their right, and one which they could make use of without outside interference.
Mr. Lee, L. S., opened for the negative, and humorously referred to the fact that he felt as though he were making a post-mortem examination, as the Evening Record averred that the debate was held last evening. He stated that the meeting in Chicago was practically over, a large part of the crowd had dispersed, and that the previous speeches were peaceable. More than half of the anarchists now under the penalty of death were away at the time the bomb was thrown. Only the first circulars made an appeal to arms, the later ones did not. The anarchists did not have a fair trial, the newspapers hounded them pitilessly and that if they are executed, the effect will be to make martyrs of them with their fellows and incite others to further crime.
Mr. Loeb for the affirmative argued that the condemned anarchists who were away at the time the bomb was thrown had been at the meeting where the murder took place previously. The crowd was not charged by the police until the bomb was thrown. A few blood curdling extracts from socialistic papers were then read.
For the negative Mr. Chenoweth declared that the jury system was liable to great abuses and that the chief reason the anarchists were sentenced was because the people of Chicago thought the blood of the murdered policemen called for vengeance. They only meant to forestall a change in the present social state of things, and we must beware of making martyrs of them by persecution. The hope was expressed that the Anglo-Saxon love of fair play would assert itself.
A vote was taken on the merits of the arguments of the discussion in which the affirmative received 67 ballots and the negative 5. Many of those present spoke from the floor, among whom were Mr. Ayer, L. S., Mr. Williams, L. S., Mr. Hazeltine, L. S., Mr. Clark, '89, Mr. With ow, '91, Mr. Norton, L. S. The Union seems to be well launched this year for a prosperous career. The final vote resulted: Affirmative 24, negative 5.