Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

V P. Kirk's Letter  



Open Letter.

Culver, Ind., Feb. 20.

Editor Nearpass:

The influence for good or evil of a newspaper being far-reaching in shaping public sentiment, its publication should be preceded by careful examination for facts and the exercise of material judgment, especially where personality is involved. “ Tell the truth” should be the motto and rule governing newspapers as it should be for individuals.

Haste should be used only in ascertaining the truth and avoided lest an untruth be published. Truth told on improper occasions is liable to result in injury, hence propriety is one of truth's safeguards

The pen, as well as the tongue, is an unruly member” sometimes and though it is said to be “ mightier than the sword”, it is at times libelous as the tongue it slanderous and as dangerous as the sword is deadly.

Newspapers, as individuals, should not “jump to conclusions, nor gossip nor quote from unreliable authority or sources.

I am dealing in generalities merely and do not mean this as a castigation, as from a teacher, nor as a lesson in journalistic ethics, nor as the law to govern the press, presuming nor assuming myself as one high up in authority along these lines, but I am writing as au humble man in self defense against the possible effect of your article in the Herald, in which, among other allusions and alter perfuming them with a laudatory reference, you said—“has, we understand, left Culver for good.”

I keenly appreciate that the words, “ left Culver for good,” expressed the hope and the heart’s fondest wish of a certain Mediantish set who don't live over a thousand miles from here.

Your article most certainly did give publicity to en erroneous impression, which impression had been put in circulation by that omnipresent class who infect, and infest decent communities, and feast on the rankest gossip as a “ sweet morsel" This omnipresent class are the scavenger cart that goes around and gathers up the gossip of the town and stirs up the stench that sickens the moral sensibility of the community and be smirches the character of their betters.

It is true I “ left Culver for good - but not for the kind of “good” the people thought and the article expressed, but for my own personal good—to get sober and I succeeded too —praise the Lord. I left Culver for good, this wise —“If I go away, I will come again” and not because of an impelling or compelling cause, nor did my leaving mean that I had “gone else where" as the Metropolitan paper of Plymouth put it, in its i ntroduction to the publication of your article.

It is plain to be seen of all men, that I am here in the lush in answer to your inquiry.

“Oh, where, oh, where is Kirk I” I am somewhat- of a surprise box—sometimes you open me expecting to find something and find nothing, then again you open me expecting to find nothing and find something I have rented a nice, comfortable office in the Mender block. and it is likely this will compel some to take Mrs. Winslow's “Soothing Syrup.” or a prescription for “heart failure” Empires crumble, municipalities surrender, and dynasties fall, but I never crumble, never surrender, never go under; nor have I ever fallen—in character and manliness only when I have set aside the value of character end the sell respect and dignity of manliness to indulge in intoxicating liquors. While I have thus indulged to my sorrow, injury, and now sufficiency, some are now seeking to use my indulgence as a club with which to slay me, and throw up their hands in holy horror at drunkenness (which would be a credit to them over the knavish practices of which they are guilty ) while they, “ under cover’ carry on peculations against the unfortunate. the ignorant and the credulous. The drunkard is seen o f all men, but the present day Pharohs [Pharaohs] , Herods and Judases keep sober and enslave, murder and betray in the dark, where evil deeds are wont to be done I am not sitting on the “stool of repentance” while writing this, nor moved by a “ quickened conscience,’’ but am sitting am in sober reflection and moved by an honest heart and the right of self defense. In conclusion, “the attorney, temperance lecturer and sometimes preacher” intimates that his return is not likely to be the only surprise to occur to some people.

My return need not have been a surprise and was not only to those who hoped I would not.

My absence was not that of a fugitive, and my return is that of a citizen and my stay will be until I voluntarily go away as I voluntary came, notwithstanding the “conspiracy”' to “ hypnotize” and “ hammer” me out of existence. ‘ ‘Let him who is without sin. first cast a stone." I apprehend there will be no “stones cast” for they are of n0 value in these regions, as no man has such use for even one.

I hope you will be as liberal with this letter as you was with the “rumor'’—publish in full as an act of justice, though have written at length. V P. Kirk






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