|Click on the individual images to see them in larger and more legible form.
As discussed in the "The Lines are Drawn" section of the Prologue, Chicago attorney Charles C. Bonney founded the national "Law and Order League" following the railroad strike of 1877. The organization dedicated itself to the enforcement of existing statutes, especially those restricting the sale of liquor to young people. Bonney delivered this discourse, prompted by the Haymarket riot, in the Union Park Jerusalem Church on Sunday evening, May 16, 1886, twelve days after the bombing.
Bonney himself was not a member of the clergy, but, as might be expected, from May 1886 to after the executions, Haymarket was the subject of numerous similar discourses by ministers. Some of them seemed as bent on revenge as any policeman or irate citizen. In his sermon on May 9 in the Union Park Congregational Church, the Reverend Frederick A. Noble demanded revenge in no uncertain terms. "They have said, with a fiendish tone" he stated, referring to the anarchists, "that blood must be spilled; blood has been spilled; let their own veins and arteries furnish the further supply."
A more benevolent aspect of Noble's message was his reminder that it was the duty of right-minded citizens to provide the masses with "moral and religious training" that would keep them "within the orbit of a Christian civilization." Here Noble expressed the common opinion that anarchism was Godless. Most anarchists did reject organized religion, which they saw as being allied with oppressive authority.
The alliance of Christianity and citizenship is certainly at the heart of Bonney's message. Bonney's publication was paid for by the Chicago Sabbath Association "at the instance and expense of law-abiding citizens, who believe that its circulation among the masses will promote the best interests of both Labor and Capital, and the general welfare of the community." The churches, Bonney maintained, "are not the only places in which the people can be assembled for instruction in the duties of citizenship, and those provisions of the civil laws that should be universally known." The title page, with its message, "What we want between Labor and Capital, is not War, but a Wedding," and the page of maxims, convey Bonney's central message. The pages can be seen in larger form by clicking on the images here.
Bonney's argument reveals a strong strain of paternalist thought on the part of native-born, upper- and middle-class Chicagoans, who were not only fearful of anarchy but also deeply distrustful of local politicians. They felt that the city was too much in the hands of corrupt aldermen whose power was based in the large ethnic working-class population. It was time to reassert control, in part by uplifting the masses who were too ready to listen to terrorists and party hacks. The "intelligent and cultivated people of this country," Bonney asserted, "have willfully and persistently allowed the dangerous classes of the great cities to hold the balance of political power," which has led to "Sunday desecration, gambling, and the sale of liquors to children and youth."
Bonney also blamed the well-to-do for current conditions. They needed to endow more kindergartens, missions, and like institutions that would teach the working class the values of people like him. Bonney wrote that now the "sacred and imperative duty" of good citizens was to reach out to all segments of the community in their own language and explain to them "the objects of our free government, and that its supreme purpose is the elevation, the prosperity and the happiness, not of a favored class, but of the whole body of the people; and that those grand results can be secured in only one way, the way of industry, virtue, sobriety, obedience to law, and conformity to the principles of Christian civilization." The worker should receive a better reward from the profits of business, and the workday should perhaps be decreased, not to make more time for the saloon, but for libraries and reading rooms, lectures, and healthful recreation.
Bonney and numerous other reform-minded Chicagoans thus showed concern for the masses, but not support for democracy. Since local government has proved unworthy, it was time for the state of Illinois administration to take over, "until the corruptions and imbecilities of municipal politics shall have been reasonably well removed."