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Date Original

1917 April 6


This editorial from the Arkansas Gazette criticizes the patriotism of a drafted soldier.


J.P. Eubank Says Youth Who
Sought to Join Army is
An account of the big preparedness
mass meeting Saturday night, printed
Sunday morning in the Gazette, telling
of the enlistment in the navy of Har-
vey Ethridge of Conway, who was used
at the meeting as an example of pa-
triotism, elicited the following comment
from J.P. Eubank of Argenta:
To the Editor of the Gazette: Let
us pause to shed a tear of pity for this
poor, ignorant country youth, the like
of whom there are many in this great
and glorious "land of the free
and home of the brave." If the writer
believed in the efficacy of such a func- tion, he would feel like offering up a
prayer in behalf of this, as well as all
other young men who have been duped
into joining the army and the navy to
fight for the honor of their coun-
try and the Wall street plues." who
are not going to war unless drafted in-
to service.
"No doubt it is true that young Eth-
ridge's opportunities of acquiring an
education have apparently been limited.
So limited, perhaps, that he has not
the slightest conception of what the
navy is. If you would visit the young
man's place of abode it would, more
than like, be difficult to find a scrap
of paper large enough to wrap a Bo-
logna sausage, not to mention anything
of a newspaper. He has been pumped
full of that old threadbare partiotism
chloroform until he really believes
that his services are necessary for the
salvation of 'his' country. No doubt
that he owns as much of it as 90 per
cent of his class own, which consists
of what he carries under his finger nails
and in his own pair of overalls, and
[Page 2] he would be criticized for being extrav-
agant should he possess two pairs in
one year. It is not at all strange that
this deluded and duped young man
could not give a detailed reason for
his desire to enlist.
"This young man is in the same de-
plorable plight of millions of others,
who, through environments and condi-
tions, over which they could not pos-
sibly have any control have fallen in-
to the pifall of duplicity, superinduc-
ed by listening to the 'hell and damna-
tion' stuff dished up to them by wise
'sky pilots' on Sunday. They have
listened to that class of stuff until it
has permeated their very existence, and
they absolutely believe that 'hell' is
located just outside the church door,
and that the devil awaits on the out-
side with a red hot pitchfork, prepared
to toss them into the vortex of the
fiery pit of brimstone, and they are
made to believe that if they only ac-
cept the chloroform dope that they are
immediately on the road to a home be-
yond the stars, where the streets are
paved with gold bricks, and that they
will occupy a seat on the right hand
side of God, and that they will be giv-
en a pair of golden wings and a golden
harp with which to entertain the mul-
titude of other angles.
"This is patriotism: Four Yards of
Dirt Gained; Twelve Thousand Young
Men Killed.' Headline. Think it over,
youg stranger friend. The writer has
Passed the half century mark, and is in
no danger from shot or shell, but has a
feeling for the young who is to dis-
place such as I, who have but a few
yards further on the raod of thlike to
"The writer would ask: How many
of those loyal patriots (including the
reporter, who was overflowing with pa-
triotism when he led the young man to
the front to be introduced to that vast
assemblage of highbrows, and who also
was responsible for the young man's
embarrassment), are going to join the
ranks and take equal chances with this
honest, ignorant, but brave young man,
who is going to take the risk of getting
mangled and bruised in the war's mad
maelstrom, and his young life poured
[Page 3] out to be soaked up by the earth or
buried in the deep blue sea? And all
for what? Because the profit takers in-
sist on running a German blockade that
they may furnish people in war torn
Europe, at hight prices, with the food-
stuff that is needed to feed the starv-
ing millions in this country.
"The writer fears not successful con-
tradiction when he states that not one
of those over zealous, loyal patriots,
who patted this young man on the back
and urged him on to an early and al-
most inevitable death, will be found
in the ranks fighting for their country.
"But it is on the program that this
murder feast and dying must go on
and why not be the chosen one out of
the vast audience of patriots to do
the dying?
"It would have shown a more Chris-
tian like spirit if those loyal patriots
had advised this honest and brave
young man, who has a life of usefulness
in peaceful pursuits before him, to re-
turn to his mother. She needs him
more sorely than does 'his' country.
"Will Mr. W.B. Smith, president of the Little Rock Chamber of Com-
merce, who used the boy's object les-
son to such an effective advantage and
who presided at the preparedness mass
meeting for the purpose of exciting
young men into enlisting as targets
take up a position alongside this young
Man? Echo answers, no, most assured-
ly not."

Physical Description



World War I, 1914-1918; Freedom of speech; Sedition


Arkansas Gazette

Geographical Area





MFILM NEWS 000432 Roll 85


Newspaper microfilm collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

"This Argenta Man Jeers Patriotism," Arkansas Gazette, April 6, 1917, Newspaper microfilm collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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