"It is not creditable to Harvard when its distinguished spokesmen are obliged to misquote history to justify their position when they say 'In 1860 our Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln joined to prevent war over the Trent affair." In these words E. F. McSweeney attacks the telegram sent by President Lowell and a thousand other members of the University asking Senator Lodge of defeat the Mason Bill.
Mr. McSweeney makes much of the "our" which he finds before "Queen Victoria." He is either the victim of or guilty of gross misrepresentation. The telegram actually read "In eighteen-sixty-one Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. McSweeney is further not quite clear as to what the historical error was. He devotes some time to proving that there were hostile feelings between the United States and Great Britain before the Civil War. This is, of course, true, and obviously consistent with the telegram.
As to the reference in the telegram one needs only to turn to the Encyclopedia Britannica, page 33, volume 28, for ample proof.
Mr. McSweeney attempts to show that there is hostile feeling in Great Britain against this country. After the Gerry bill it would indeed be surprising if there were not some hostile feeling against this country. Unfortunately, however, Mr. McSweeney cites several passages from Horatio Bottomely's "John Bull." The recollection that Bottomely is the Hearst of England is sufficient to discount these passages to their negligible value.
It is not Mr. McSweeney that is important, but his obviously hyphenated attitude, an attitude which tends more every day to become characteristic of the politicians who imagine that they may thus appeal to American citizens of Irish origin. If we are to have a nation we must forget all sorts of hyphenated Americanism. They hyphen is bad simply because it is a hyphen. The last things that the vast majority of Americans want, or can afford, or ought to have, is a war with Great Britain. However just the cause of any other country may be, there stands above it the cause and interests of the United States. Those who because of racial prejudice attempt to influence our national action in any way are guilty of the rankest disloyalty.