W. W. SMITH,
SUTTON, P. Q.
STORY OF A DARK PLOT;
TYRANNY ON THE FRONTIER.
(BY A. L. O. C. ^
THE WARREN PRESS,
160 WARREN STREET,
Entered according to Act of Parliament, in the year one thousand eight
hundred and ninety-eight, by W. W. SMITH, in the oilh-f of the
Minister of Agriculture and Statistics at Ottawa.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept ;
ine upon line, line upon line ; here a little and there a little.
(Isa. xxviii. 10.)
This is a divinely appointed rule to which we will do well
if we take heed, as it will save from many disappointments and
The writer of " The Story of a Dark Plot" has no hope by
.his work of revolutionizing society or even working any very
marked reforms. Books and essays on temperance topics are
numerous, and this is but one among many. However, it is
hoped that this may prove one of the lines and precepts that
are of some service to the cause. There is always need for
those who are on the right side of any important question to
unfurl their banners and show their colors bravely, but just
now, in connection with the temperance movement in our
Dominion, there is a very special call for action presented by
We sometimes read on the pages of fiction exciting and
blood-curdling tales of deep laid plots for murder and other
crimes, but just when our feelings are being aroused to the
highest pitch, we pause and comfort ourselves with the thought
that after all this is only imaginary.
Or perchance, we may read the truthful details of a more
or less successful attempt to end the life of a fellow being, but
if we are unacquainted with the persons concerned in the affair
and the circumstances which led to it, and especially if it
happened some distance from us, we feel but little interest
Again we find in the records of the past that thousands
have suffered and many died in a really good cause, the
victims of depraved and brutish persecutors who hated what
was good. We cannot doubt the truth of the statements nor
the innocence of the sufferers, but we may be tempted to
complacently remark the martyr age is past. 11 But if we look
about us with unprejudiced eyes, we must see that the sufferers
for conscience sake are still not a few.
The details of the dark plot as given in these pages are all
matters of fact, and perhaps if all the particulars could be
known, it might seem blacker even than now. Moreover, it
happened in an old and progressive county of Eastern Canada,
just across the border from New England, and Mr. Smith had
incurred the anger of his persecutors only by trying to enforce
law and order and working for the protection and uplifting of
In view of such facts, let the voters of our Dominion pause
ere they give their sanction to a system which throws around
the makers and venders of alcoholic liquors the protection of
the strong arm of the law.
That this volume, by showing the liquor party in its true
light, and thus warning our countrymen of their position and
danger, may be the means of arousing some who, though tem-
perance people at heart, are sleeping on guard, and of adding
a few to the ranks of active workers for the cause of right, is
the earnest prayer of
The publication of this book has been with the
approval of some of the best thinkers on the temper-
ance question, and we doubt not that its careful
perusal by all who read it will prove a stimulus in
connection with the cause of temperance, and if they
are timid or hesitating will cause them to become
decisive in the noble work for humanity. It is a
well-known fact that the grand old County of Brome
is one of the banner counties in every thing which
is helpful to the cause of morality, and we hereby
offer a fraternal hand to all our co-workers in the
Dominion, and pray God's blessing may rest on
every effort put forth that, whatever may be the pri-
vate opinion they may entertain respecting the course
pursued by the government, in order to ascertain
the minds of the people on the prohibition ques-
tion, they may not only pray right, but when the
time presents itself may vote right. Notwithstand-
ing the fact that a majority of the inhabitants of our
county are true to prohibition principles, yet a
minority would not hesitate, if possible, to repeal the
Scott Act, as was evidenced in the dark plot which
was enacted in our midst, but which could not be
carried out until a rough from another country was
hired to commit the murderous assault, which was
made on Mr. W. W. Smith, one of the most earnest
temperance workers in the Province of Quebec,
President of the Brome County Alliance for five
terms in succession, and who is actively engaged in
sustaining the Scott Act in our county, and saving
from the sad consequences of the traffic the tempted
and the fallen.
J. H. F.,
STORY OF A DARK PLOT;
TYRANNY ON THE FRONTIER.
PREVIOUS EVENTS WHICH LED TO THE ASSAULT.
There are few communities, however small, that
have not been aroused and stirred into action, by
some uncommon event, or where opposing parties
have never rejoiced, and mourned over a triumph of
one at the other's expense, and often have men and
women, unappreciated by the many, bravely suffered
for their fidelity to a good and beloved cause. Thus
the little County of Brome has been stirred to the
depths of its soul by the actions of contending
parties, and especially by a deliberate attempt to
hinder the work and destroy the life of a law-abiding
IO THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
citizen. Mr. William W. Smith, the hero of this
dark plot, was a native ol the county which had al-
ways been his home, and had been during about
fifteen years the Agent of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way Company at Sutton Junction. During those
years, he had been a man of the world, fond of pleas-
ure, and not objecting to a social glass, and it is not
surprising that, amid all the temptations of railroad
life, he had already felt the awful power of an appe-
tite for strong drink. But he was led to see his dan-
ger and to flee from it, largely through the influence
of his beloved companion, a faithful Christian, who
rests from her labor, and her works do follow her.
Breaking his bonds by the power of God, he became
not only a temperance man, but a Christian, and in
his great joy and gratitude for his own salvation was
filled with a desire to warn and rescue others, whose
feet were treading the same slippery paths. He then
began holding Gospel Temperance Meetings, as he
had opportunity in many places mostly within the
County of Brome. This county has long held an
honored position as being one of the leading tem-
perance counties in the Dominion of Canada,
because during many years no license to sell intoxi-
cating liquor as a beverage has been granted within
its borders, and a temperance law known as the
EVENTS WHICH LED TO ASSAULT. ll
Scott Act had been in force for eight years previous
to 1893, when the second attempt was made by the
liquor party to obtain its repeal. Like the serpent
in the Garden of Eden, the liquor sellers of the pres-
ent day are remarkable for their subtility, and many
are the innocent victims entangled in the meshes of
the net woven by their deceptive tongues ; therefore,
it need not seem strange that they should display
great power and influence, even in a so-called tem-
perance community. In the spring of 1893, the liq-
uor party in Brome, having decided that they had
been troubled by an anti-license act quite long
enough, sent out their agents to various parts of the
county with innocent looking papers to which they
wished to obtain signatures. They called upon all
the known supporters of their party, and also upon
that doubtful class of persons which sometimes proves
to be among their best helpers, although counted as
temperance people. To this doubtful class they
carefully explained that the petition they bore did
not ask for the repeal of the Scott Act, but only re-
quested that an election be held for the purpose of
bringing the matter before the people, and deter-
mining their minds upon the subject. Therefore,
they were told the signing of this petition was in
no way equivalent to voting against the Scott Act,
12 THE STOKY OF A DARK PLOT.
nor would they be bound to vote against that Act
if an election was brought about. Many names
were appended to the petition, the desired election
took place, and very hard did the liquor men
work to obtain a result that should favor their
However, not all the faithful work was on their side.
A few temperance speakers came from distant places,
and held many interesting meetings in different parts
of the county, but perhaps the most efficient work
was done by people living in the county, who in
many cases seemed to possess greater influence than
strangers could exert. Mr. J. W. Alexander, at that
time Principal of the Sutton Model School, added
more recruits to the ranks of earnest workers by
organizing a number of his pupils with a few other
young people into a band which, under the name of
the "Young People's Temperance Crusaders," did
good work during the ensuing weeks. Older work-
ers were admitted into the society as honorary mem-
bers, and the officers were chosen from among these.
One of the honorary members was Mr. W. W. Smith,
who was also one of the Committee appointed to
accompany the younger members and aid them in
their meetings, and no one worked harder to retain
the Scott Act than he. He took an active part in
EVENTS WHICH LED TO ASSAULT. 13
nearly every Crusade meeting, and on evenings,
when the Crusaders were not thus employed, held
other temperance meetings, thus occupying nearly
every night during three or four weeks in the heat
of the campaign. Not content with this, he worked
and argued by day as well, and, associating his work
with prayer, did not cease from his efforts until, on
June 1 6th, 1893, the polls were closed and the vic-
tory for God and the temperance cause was won.
The hotel-keepers and their confederates had gained
that for which their petition has asked, but plainly
they were far from satisfied with the result of the
contest, and many were the curses pronounced upon
Mr. Smith as one of the most active opposers of
their cherished plans. Now the vote against them
was greater than ever before, yet they were not con-
tent to abide by the voice of the people which they
had seemed so anxious to obtain, but practiced the
illegal sale of alcholic drinks until nearly, if not quite,
every hotel-keeper in the County of Brome was
known to be boldly and frequently breaking the law.
A great cry of the liquor men while attempting to
repeal this law had been " The Scott Act is all right
if you would only enforce it ; we don't want a law
which is not carried out," and it was now the wish of
those who had sustained the Act to prevent any fur-
14 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
ther complaints like this. Therefore, on the
ning of Feb. 26th, 1894, a public meeting was held
in Sutton to discuss the circumstances and form plans
for work, and at the close a society was organized
to secure the enforcement of the Scott Act in the
township of Sutton. Mr. Smith, who had been
instrumental in bringing about this conference,
was a member of the Executive Committee of the
One of the leading temperance organizations of
Canada is that known as the Dominion Alliance,
which is divided and sub-divided into provincial and
county branches. When, on April 25, 1894, the
Brome County Branch of the Alliance held its an-
nual meeting for the election of officers, Mr. Smith
was chosen its President for the ensuing year. Here
was field for increased usefulness, and he took up
his work with a zeal that soon won the disapproval
both of the liquor party and a certain class of so-
called temperance people whose principal work for
the cause usually lies in criticism of the work of
Soon a public meeting of the Alliance was an-
nounced by the new President to be held at Sutton,
and a large number of people gathered in the hall on
the evening appointed. Many speakers addressed
EVENTS WHICH LED TO ASSAULT. I 5
the audience, and told in no uncertain words that the
law must be enforced and offenders must be pun-
ished. It had not been deemed best to prosecute the
liquor sellers without first giving them a fair and
public warning, and therefofe this meeting had been
called ; but now that they were notified of the inten-
tions of the temperance people, if detected in dealing
out the liquid poison, they had only themselves to
blame. True to these announcements, Mr. Smith
and others proceeded at once to obtain satisfactory
evidence of the traffic in strong drink which was
known to be taking place in the various hotels. This
was by no means a slight task, for though the liquor
sellers were not willing to keep the law, they were
entirely willing to preserve the appearance of so do-
ing, and very loath to sell liquor in the presence of a
stranger, while the testimony of their regular cus-
tomers could not be relied on. However, the task
was done, and the evidence gathered was sufficient to
condemn nearly every hotel-keeper in the county to
imprisonment or a fine. On June 6th, these cases
were considered in the District court, at Sweetsburg,
Quebec, and punishment was meted out to the offend-
ers. In some instances where the offences merited
imprisonment a fine was allowed instead, and this
was accepted by the Alliance President, who believed
1 6 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
that justice should be tempered with mercy. This
bit of leniency, however, was not taken into account
by the liquor sellers in considering his treatment of
them. They appeared to have altered their opinions
as to the enforcement of the law, and their anger
waxed hot, while many, often ranked with the tem-
perance people, were in sympathy with them. Divi-
sions occurred in temperance societies, because some
of the members had friends who were made to suffer
by the imposing of fines on the lawbreakers, and
members of secret brotherhoods, who felt it their
duty to uphold their brethren in good or evil, cc m-
plained of the injustice of thus depriving the hoiel-
keepers of the property they had earned ; some even
declaring such transactions to be on a par with t'ne
meanest theft. Meanwhile the liquor sellers and
their allies, who had already by the recent trials been
shown to be a company of lawbreakers, seemed to
be forming plans of their own. Many dark whispers
floated through the county to the effect that W. W.
Smith had better look out for his personal safety,
and some declared with an air of wisdom that they
would not like to be in his position, while a suspi-
cious looking stranger, said to be a horse buyer, was
noticed by some to be frequenting the hotels at Sut-
ton and Abercorn, and attending the horse races in
EVENTS WHICH LED TO ASSAULT. \f
the vicinity. However, Mr. Smith had not the spirit
of fear, and believing, as he said, that "the Lord will
take care of his own," he continued as usual to go
from place to place on errands of temperance, or any
other work which he felt claimed his attention.
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT.
Thus matters went on until the night of July ?th,
1894, when Mr. Smith drove out from his home and
returned somewhat late. After caring for his team
he went into the station. It was afterwards told that
some young men had noticed a stranger at the depot
that night, who had appeared to be waiting for a
train but had not gone away on any. After the
crowd at the station had dispersed, and the inmates
of the building had retired, as there was little night
work to be done, Mr. Smith went into his home in
the station, where his brother's family were then liv-
ing with him, and having obtained a pillow for his
head went back to the waiting-room, where he lay
down upon a settee and dropped asleep.
An article published in the Montreal Daily Wit-
ness soon after this so well describes some of the
circumstances which cluster round the events of that
night at Sutton Junction that we give some parts of
it here. It says:
THE MIDNIGH1 ASSAULT. \g
"The liquor selling ruffians will descend to any
warfare however dastardly and mean when forced by
law to a standstill. There is something in the sad
business that degrades every one in it. This time it
is liquor sellers in Brome County that are indicted.
Mr. W. W. Smith, President of the Brome County
Branch of the Dominion Alliance, is also the station
agent at Sutton Junction for the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company. As president of the Alliance he
represents the temperance element of course, and
that is the element determined to carry out the law
against liquor selling. Mr. Smith represents them
in this. In doing so he is certain to make enemies.
He has been assiduous in his duty, and has been
threatened several times. These threats did not keep
him from actively participating in efforts to secure
the conviction recently of several lawbreaking liquor
sellers in Brome, some of whom were convicted, and
have had sentence suspended over them pending
their good behavior. On Saturday night, Mr. Smith
took the night operator's place, arranging that the
latter should take his place on Sunday. After secur-
ing everything for the night, Mr. Smith lay down on
the sofa, never dreaming that any evil was to come
Instead of copying the account of the assault which
follows the above", we will describe the facts as nearly
as possible as they have been related by the victim
2O THE S'lORY OF A DARK PLOT.
It was between one and two o'clock on Sunday
morning, July 8th, when Mr. Smith was attacked by
the cowardly miscreant who has thus made himself
notorious. We say "cowardly," because when a
large, strong man who carries arms and is a profes-
sional fighter, as he appears to have been, attacks a
man who is weaponless and not more than two-thirds
his size by giving him a stunning blow upon the
head while he is asleep, there is clearly no evidence
of heroism on the part of the man who makes the
assault. Yet this was what Mr. Smith's brave assail-
ant did !
After receiving the first blow, Mr. Smith felt a
strange sensation as though he were taking a long,
happy journey, and he thinks he was aroused by his
assailant attempting to drag him from the settee.
As a train was going by before daylight, it is the
opinion of many that his intention may have been to
leave his victim stunned upon the railway track, that
the locomotive might complete the frightful work
which he had begnn. At least, he doubtless intended
by some means to guard himself from suspicion and
leave Mr. Smith entirely unable ever to identify him.
When he saw that the object of his brutal attack was
arousing he struck him a second time, but this blow
not having the effect of the former one, Mr. Smith,
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. -21
who was now fully conscious, although he could not
see clearly, grappled desperately with his foe. He
saw a long weapon of some sort waving fiercely above
his head, and now and then received a blow from it,
while his assailant was constantly dragging him nearer
the door, and he struggling to remain in the room
fearing the villain might have associates outside.
Mr. Smith was all the time shouting "murder," as
loudly as possible, but, his mouth being filled with
blood, he was unable to make himself clearly heard,
and his calls brought no assistance. At length, be-
ing somewhat weakened by the blows he had received,
he was dragged outside in spite of his efforts to
remain within, but still no one came to the help of
either himself or his antagonist. The two men, still
struggling desperately, passed on from the upper to
the lower platform without the station, and thence
to the railway track below, and finally back to the
lower platform. Then Mr. Smith got possession of
the weapon which his assailant had been wielding,
and the last hope of his enemy seemed to vanish
with the loss of that, for, freeing himself from the
grasp of the man whom he had thought a few min-
utes before was entirely in his power, he disappeared
in the darkness, and fled up the track in such haste
that he did not even stop for his hat, which wa3
22 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
found by some one upon the platform next morning.
The weapon which he left in Mr. Smith's possession
proved to be a large piece of lead pipe well battered
and bruised, near one end of which was attached a
short piece of rope, apparently intended to be slipped
around the wrist of the user so that the weapon might
be concealed up his sleeve.
Mr. Smith, having seen his enemy retreat, hastened
to the part of the house where his brother's family
were sleeping, and thence to the other part where a
Mr. Ames and family lived, and aroused the inmates
of both apartments, who were very much surprised
and alarmed at thought of the frightful scene which
had been enacted so close to the apartments where
they were calmly sleeping. However, there was one
brave man, a train hand, who was sleeping above the
scene of the assault, who declared that he had heard
the blows when given, but did not go down to learn
the cause as he " did not want to mix up in it," and
was afraid he might get hurt. There are far too
many people who display the same disposition when
others within their reach are in danger or in need of
assistance. When the people of the house were
awakened it seemed already too late to capture the
retreating criminal, but Mr. Smith's injuries were
attended to, and a message sent at once by telephone
THE MIDNIGHT ASSA ULT. 2$
to Sutton for a physician. The bruises proved to be
very severe, and it seems to be a modern miracle that
life itself was spared.
The article from the Witness, part of which we
quoted above, after describing the assault, says :
" A good deal of indignation is felt by the law-
abiding people not only of Sutton Flats, but of the
county, and it is hoped that every effort will be made
to discover the perpetrator. The woollen cap and
slung-shot should give a clever detective a good clue
to work upon. Some time ago, at the public meet-
ing called to discuss the liquor question, Mr. Dyer,
M. P. for the county, said that the authorities had
been twitted by the liquor men for not enforcing the
Scott Act. That reproach might have been justified
in a measure at least, as there was some doubt as to
the opinion of the people in its favor. But in 1893
the liquor men had appealed and perhaps it was
well they did so to the county, to decide whether
that law should be enforced or not. The county had
declared against the liquor men. Now the time had
come when this majority should stand at the back
of the officials, and all should endeavor to enforce
the law. Mr. Dyer's remarks at the time were taken
to represent the desire of the law-abiding people of
Brome County. In carrying out this idea, Mr. Smith,
they contend, was simply doing his duty, and it is
expected that in doing it he had the majority of the
people of the county with him."
24 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
This brutal assault, made upon a law-abiding citi-
zen by one whom he had never injured in any way
is a fair sample of the fruits of intemperance wher-
ever found. There are those who have seemed loath
to believe that Mr. Smith's strong temperance con-
victions and his activity in carrying them out were
the real causes which led to the bitter hatred that
inspired this fiendish act. They seem to think it
impossible that "respectable (?)" citizens of a tem-
perance county should attempt in such a reckless,
lawless way to prevent opposition to their traffic in
strong drink. But what is there incredible in this?
When we consider that traffic in strong drink means
a trade in the souls of men, women and children,
and in innocence, virtue and hope ; when we remem-
ber that the bartender daily takes from his customers
the price of food, clothes, health, respectability and
all that he has of real value in the world, and gives
him in return nothing but liquid ruin ; when we know
that the rumseller's business is a sort of wholesale mur-
der continually, inasmuch as by it millions of lost souls
are sent into eternity annually ; in view of all these
facts, why should we be surprised when the liquor
sellers of a community plan together to rid themselves
of one who has vigorously opposed their dangerous
work ? It is only another form of the same business.
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. 2$
The disclosures following the assault upon Mr.
Smith convinced many people of the evils of the
liquor traffic, and some who had favored and pitied
the hotel keepers when they had been fined for law-
breaking now turned against them, feeling that they
could no longer uphold their deeds. Meantime, some
of the hotel keepers of the vicinity gave evidence of
their guilt by disappearing from the locality very
soon after the assault took place.
The investigation of the affair was placed in the
hands of S. H. Carpenter, Superintendent of the
Canadian Secret Service, and detectives were at once
set at work upon the case. Either Mr. Carpenter or
one of the men under his direction was constantly in
the vicinity, seeking to obtain clues by which to
determine the guilty party. One man, who lived
near the mountain pass between Sutton and Glen
Sutton, declared that, early on the morning of July
8th, he had seen two men pass his house driving
very rapidly and going in the direction of the latter
village, one of the men having no hat, but wearing a
cloth around his head. Of course this story had an
air of significance inasmuch as the assailant of the
previous night had left his hat at Sutton Junction,
but it did not prove to be of much importance. It
was soon settled in the minds of many that the
26 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
stranger whom we have mentioned as having been
frequenting the hotels at Sutton and Abercorn had
been the wielder of the lead pipe on July 8th, but
his name and whereabouts were not to be obtained,
as he had been sailing under false colors during his
stay in the country, and those who were initiated
into the secrets of the case, of course, kept silence.
At length, Mr. Smith received a letter from a
woman in Vermont, who had formerly been em-
ployed at one of the hotels in the vicinity of the
assault, and soon after he met this same woman at
Sutton, and her evidence was a great aid towards
locating the assailant. She knew nothing about the
pretended Boston horse-buyer, who had apparently
forgotten the object of his northward journey and
disappeared without having purchased any of the
Canadian steeds, but she remembered an American
having once stopped for a time at the hotel where
she was then working, and from the description
given it seemed that he might be the same man.
The one whom she described she said came from
Marlboro, Mass., and thither a man was soon
despatched in search. It proved that the man to
whom she had directed Mr. Smith was not the one
in question, but in searching for him the real perpe-
trator of the crime was found, as he chanced to
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. 1J
be also a resident of Marlboro, Mass. Having
located his man, the gentleman in search returned
home, leaving in Marlboro a Canadian detective
who should keep watch of the man until Mr. Car-
penter went there. However, when Mr. Carpenter,
who was accompanied by Mr. Smith, reached the
place, the man whom they sought had already been
lost track of by the detective, but after a few days
Mr. Smith saw him in company with several others,
and at once identified him as being the man whom
he had seen in the vicinity of Sutton Junction pre-
vious to the assault, and also as having the form and
gait which he had noticed his assailant to have when
he had watched him fleeing from the scene of his
cowardly attack. Soon this man was captured at
Hudson, Mass., a place about five miles distant from
Marlboro. He was arrested by Chief of Police
Skully of Hudson and Policeman Hater of Worces-
ter, and taken to Fitchburg. The name of this
young man who had apparently come very near
being a murderer was Walter W. Kelly, and he had
been a bartender in Marlboro, which probably
made him feel more sympathy for his Canadian
brethren when their liberty to sell intoxicants was
While at Fitchburg, Kelly was advised to yield
28 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
himself up and go freely to Canada with Mr. Car-
penter and Mr. Smith, because, he was told, they
were determined to have him at any cost, and, if he
made them the trouble and expense of extraditing
him, he would only be obliged to lie in jail a much
longer time before his trial could take place, whereas
the sentence of punishment would doubtless be just
as severe in the one case as in the other.
Acting in the spirit of this advice he gave himself
up into the hands of Detective Carpenter and went
with him to Montreal, where he acknowledged his
guilt, and also told that he had been hired to do the
deed by John Howarth, a young man who lived with
the hotel keeper at Abercorn, and that James Wil-
son, one of the hotel keepers at Sutton, had driven
the team which carried him to and from the Junction
on the night of the assault.
Mr. Smith, who had also accompanied Mr. Car-
penter to Montreal, at once returned home, and, hav-
ing notified a number of his friends and procured a
constable from Knowlton, Que., went in company
with several others from Sutton to Abercorn, on
Saturday night, August 25th, for the purpose of
arresting Howarth. On a Saturday night also, just
seven weeks previous, a smaller company of men
had gone from Sutton in the opposite direction, not
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. 2Q
to arrest a guilty man, but to assault an innocent
man, not in the cause of right and justice, but of
wrong and injustice. But now it seemed that the
tide had turned !
The little company of " friends of temperance "
surrounded the Abercorn hotel, and the constable,
going to the door, called loudly to Mr. Jenne, the
proprietor, who was doubtless in the land of dreams.
Mr. Jenne, who appeared to be somewhat suspicious,
was loath to open his house at that unseemly hour,
and demanded his visitor's name ; but the constable,
giving a fictitious name, enquired for John Howarth,
and when that individual made his appearance, he
was at once arrested in the name of the Queen.
Seeing the people outside, neither he nor Mr. Jenne
dared resist, and, being assured by the latter that he
would soon have him free again, Howarth accom-
panied the constable to the jail at Sweetsburg, feel-
ing, doubtless, much less pleased with his future
prospects than he had felt when planning by violence
and bloodshed to frighten the temperance people
into submission or silence, and leave himself and
his congenial associates free to drink and sell as
much liquor as they chose. Thus Satan may some-
times appear to his servants as a very good master
when they serve him faithfully, and accomplish his
3O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
designs, but when they fail to carry out some of his
cherished plans and find themselves in danger and
trouble, as a result of their zeal in his service, then
he proves a very poor sort of comforter. Better far
to serve a Master who will not forsake His followers
in time of need !
A few days later an attempt was made to arrest
James Wilson, who had left the hotel at Sutton, and
was thought to be staying at Glen Sutton, his former
home. This expedition is so fully described by an
article in the Montreal Daily Star that we quote
from it here. The two local guides mentioned in
this report were W. W. Smith and his brother, H. S.
Smith. The account, dated August 3ist, is as
"A mysterious midnight expedition left Richford
Station, Vermont, a little after twelve this morning,
and disappeared in the gloomy shadow of Mount
Sutton. The party was composed of Superintendent
Silas H. Carpenter of the Canadian Secret Service, a
Star reporter and two local guides. The object of
the expedition was a search for James Wilson and
M. L. Jenne, hotel keepers of Sutton and Abercorn,
for whose arrests Carpenter held warrants. These
men are accused of being the conspirators who organ-
ized, aided and abetted the arrangements for the at-
tempted and nearly successful murder of W. W.
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. 31
Smith, the President of the Brome County Temper-
ance Alliance, who for some time has been like a
thorn in the side of the Brome County hotel keepers,
because, by insisting upon the enforcement of the
law, to wit, the Scott Act, he spoiled their profitable
liquor trade. The excellent means of communica-
tion in the counties of Missisquoi and Brome, by tel-
ephone and otherwise, necessitated the greatest care
in keeping the purpose of the trip secret, especially
because the entire county seems to be situated too
dangerously near the American border line for officers
of the law to take any chances, and, accordingly, the
ground had to be reached from Sweetsburg in a
round-about way. It was with grave apprehension
that the officers of the court and the citizens of that
town let our small party depart on what to them ap-
peared a most dangerous errand ; it seemed perfect
folly to them that Detective Carpenter alone, with only
a Star reporter, should thus attempt to 'beard the
lions in their dens' and on a very dark night, too !
"Why, they said, when the constable from Knowl-
ton went to arrest Howarth, another of the alleged
conspirators who lives in the same vicinity, last week,
he surrounded the house with a cordon of twenty
men. They said, besides, the Wilsons were known
as a fighting family, who would never allow a mem-
ber to be arrested easily. As to Jenne, no two men
would be able to prevent him from slipping out of
the house and escaping. As it turned out, Mr. Car-
penter had, in a measure, a greater success than even
he anticipated. Since the arrest of the man Kelly,
32 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
who was hired to do and perpetrated the act of as-
sault, those who were interested in the plan of getting
rid of Mr. Smith have evinced a really remarkable
preference for the air across the line, and a score of
residents of this vicinity more or less connected with
Brome liquor interests have emigrated to the neigh-
boring towns of the United States, hoping that they
may not be extradited. Mr. Carpenter's little ex-
cursion cost a good many people beside himself their
night's rest. The first house where Wilson was sup-
posed to be was searched at about three this morn-
ing, and three other houses were subjected to a
similar process within the next two hours. At the
last place Wilson's parents, wife and sick child were
found ; but they pleaded utter ignorance of the head of
the family's whereabouts. There is little doubt but
that he is in hiding in the States. Jenne's hotel, at
Abercorn, was visited about six, and he, too, was in
the States. But Mr. Carpenter gave Jenne's son such
convincing proofs that his father would be extradited
anyhow, and that his staying away would only be
considered an acknowledgment of guilt, that the old
man was sent for and decided to come to Canada
without trouble. It is known that the confession of
Kelly, now under arrest, implicates, directly and in-
directly, a dozen or so of well-known people around
here. There is a promising prospect for penitentiary
terms for several of them."
In the above account is given evidence of both the
guilt and cowardice of these hotel keepers. When
THE MIDNIGHT ASSAULT. 33
men concoct plans of evil which they dare not exe-
cute in person, and then hire a foreigner to carry
them out, it is not strange if they prove too cowardly
to face justice when their part in the crime has been
made known. It is little wonder if they seek a for-
eign clime, but more strange that they do not hide
for shame after their fear of punishment is lessened.
Is it because they find too many sympathizers at
Let those who doubt that this crime was under-
taken because of the temperance principles of its
victim search the records of other localities for par-
allel cases. Many earnest men and women have
suffered for the same cause. Satan never yields a
foot of ground anywhere without fighting vigorously
to retain it, and no important reform was ever inau-
gurated but it met with strong opposition from the
The more important a reform also, that is to say,
the more it is opposed to the rule of the powers of
darkness, the more bitter the persecution is likely to
be which meets it at every step. Witness the fierce
opposition to the spread of Christianity in the early
centuries and the persecution which has almost al-
ways followed its introduction into a new, neglected
region. The temperance reform has been no excep-
34 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
tion in this respect, and as a leading temperance
worker has said : " The martyr-roll of temperance is
just as sacred as that of any other reform that was
This same worker, Mr. J. C. Nichols, gives a
sketch in this connection which may be of interest to
the readers of this narrative. It is of a young man
in New Orleans a young man pure and earnest,
such as the world everywhere has need of. He was
a zealous temperance worker, and had met with con-
siderable success in this work, which lay so near his
heart. One dark night, alone and unarmed, he was
crossing a bridge beyond which lay a clump of
bushes. When he reached these bushes he was con-
fronted by six men with weapons who lay in ambush
waiting for him. They sprang out and shot him,
and, not content with that, bruised and battered his
features beyond recognition. And then his noble
mother wrote to Miss Willard, President of the
World's W. C. T. U. f that she had yet two boys left,
and she had rather they would die as he had, fight-
ing for the right, than that either of them should
turn aside to the right hand or the left.
These six men, attacking one defenceless temper-
ance man, displayed the same spirit of cowardice as
their northern brethren show when they hire a stran-
THE MtDXIGH T ASS A ULT. 35
ger to do the work for them. They had greater suc-
cess attending their efforts, but probably there was
no more hatred or revenge in their hearts than was
in the hearts of the Brome County liquor sellers when
they sent to Massachusetts for a prize fighter to come
north to injure and perhaps kill a Christian temper-
Through the providence of God, the plans of these
men do not always succeed, and when they do the
real victory is often for God and the right rather than
for them, because no right-thinking man or woman
can but oppose them and their business when they
see such fruits of the traffic. North or south, the
nature and effects of intemperance are ever the same.
THE AUTUMN COURT.
The Autumn Court of the District of Bedford was
opened at Sweetsburg, Que., on Thursday, August
30th, 1894, and at this session the Sutton Junction
Assault Case was considered. The lawyers in charge
of the case were H. T. Duffy, on behalf of the Alli-
ance, and E. Racicot, on behalf of the accused hotel
keepers. The court room was thronged each day
with eager listeners, and much interest was evinced
both by the temperance and anti-temperance people.
The following account of proceedings at court and
other matters relating to the assault case is from The
Templar, a temperance paper, published in Hamil-
ton, Ont., and a large part of this description was
also published in the Montreal Daily Witness :
"The excitement in Brome County, Quebec, over
the arrest of several prominent liquor sellers on the
charge of conspiring to murder Mr. W. W. Smith,
President of Brome County Temperance Alliance,
THE AUTUMN COURT. 37
increases as the developments are becoming known
to the public. According to the evidence, there
remains no longer any question that Mr. Smith's
devotion to Prohibition, and particularly his deter-
mined stand for the honest enforcement of the Scott
Act, which is in force in that county, made him a
shining mark for the vengeance of the men whose
trade and profits were so seriously affected thereby.
The confession of Walter Kelly, the assailant, that
he was employed to 'do up ' Mr. Smith because he
was a man who gave the hotel keepers much trouble,
and had to be thrashed, as well as the payment of
money by Mr. Jenne, proves the animus of the as-
sault, while the general evidence indicates a wide-
spread conspiracy, embracing others than the accused,
to cause the diabolical crime. The publicans of
Brome, and, indeed, the liquor traffic as a whole, lie
under the terrible suspicion of sympathy with this
crime. It is not beyond the traffic. Its record is
traced in blood as well as tears. The Templar is
quite ready to believe that there are men in the
business who would shrink with horror from the very
thought of engaging in such a deed of blood, but the
assault upon Mr. Smith, of Sutton, is the natural
fruit of the damnable business, and those exceptions
have not been wholly dominated by the genius of
the traffic. What cares the liquor seller who suffers
while he thrives ? The excitement centres at Sweets-
burg, where the court is engaged in hearing the evi-
dence against James Wilson and M. L. Jenne, hotel
keepers at Sutton and Abercorn, who are charged
38 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
with conspiring to murder Mr. Smith. The prelim-
inary hearing began last Friday morning. People
had come from all parts of the surrounding country,
and several newspaper people from across the line,
male and female, were on hand.
"The Magistrates occupying the bench were
Messrs. C. H. Boright and G. F. Shufelt; Mr. H. T.
Duffy was prosecuting attorney, witfi Hon. Mr. Baker
as counsel. Sheriff Cotton was also present. The
prisoner, John Howarth, was represented by Mr. E
Racicot, and was in court.
" Howarth is an American, and still a young man.
He is closely shaven, and wears his hair cropped
short. He came here about three years ago, with a
stallion worth about $1000, in which he owns a half
interest. The man who owns the other half still lives
in the States, and by means of tedious litigation has
been trying to get his share. This man at present
lives with the Jennes, at their hotel at Abercorn. He
is one of the principal figures in the case, because
he, it is said, was the man to whom the entire man-
agement of the attempted murder was entrusted.
"Mr. Smith is a medium-sized man, with a heavy
blonde mustache, and is a fluent talker, who evidently
is very much in earnest in his temperance work. He
seems to possess the lives of the proverbial cat ; but
many people here prophesy that they will not be of
avail to him much longer meaning thereby that the
liquor men will yet be the death of him. This does
not seem to worry him much, however.
"Kelly is a well built man, a little over medium
THE AUTUMN COURT. 39
height, with dark brown hair, restless, dark eyes, and
a small mustache, turned to a needle point at each
end. It cost a great deal of time and trouble
to locate him; once nabbed, he turned Queen's
"Mr. W. W. Smith was the first witness. His
testimony consisted in a description of the assault as
our readers are already familiar with it. He nar-
rated how he had warned the hotel keepers against
breaking the Scott Act, on pain of prosecution, and
how, by interposing on their behalf, he had saved
many of them from prison. He concluded his evi-
dence with a description of Kelly's attempt to mur-
der him. Every eye in the court room was fixed
upon Walter Kelly, the man who committed the
murderous assault, as he entered the witness box.
It was generally known that he had turned Queen's
evidence, and would tell a thrilling story. He took
the situation very coolly, and after explaining that he
had been a bartender in Marlboro, Mass., gave the
following testimony :
" 'Some time before the end of June last, I was
shown a letter by a man named Flynn, which re-
quested him to come or send a man to do a job, and
it was stated that there was good money in it. The
letter was written by a man named Howarth, who
resides at Abercorn, P. Q., in the county of Brome.
Neither Flynn nor myself paid much attention to this
letter, as we did not understand the meaning of it.
About the end of June, the same man showed me a
second letter, which he had received from Howarth,
4O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
also requesting him to send a man on the next morn-
ing to do a job connected with the liquor business,
and he asked me to go, as there was good money in
it about two hundred dollars and I agreed to go
over. He then instructed me to go to a man named
Willard, whom Howarth had instructed to give me
the money to pay my way, or give me a ticket. I
went to Willard, and told him that I was going to
Canada to do a job for some parties there ; that
Howarth had sent for me to call on him for the
money to buy the ticket to go there, and that he
would repay him. Willard gave me ten dollars, and
I bought my ticket, and came on to Abercorn. I
started towards the hotel there, when Howarth drove
up, recognized me, and asked me to get into his
wagon. He drove me to Jenne's hotel, and there
introduced me to Mr. Jenne as a Mr. Stewart. While
at the hotel, Howarth told me he had sent for me to
thrash a fellow named Smith, who lived over at Sut-
ton Junction. He said that he was a mean cuss who
drank all his life, would drink whenever he got the
chance, was all the time running after the women
and, to cover up his deviltry, he goes round preach-
ing temperance, and raising the devil with the hotel
keepers. They wanted to chase him away and get
him out of the business. Howarth went on to say
that Smith, who is station master at Sutton Junction,
was so mean that people cannot ship goods to that
station without their being opened, looked over and
their contents reported to the temperance people.
They had, he added, reported Smith to the com-
THE AUTUMN COURT. 41
pany, and his discharge had been ordered. I asked
Howarth what about the money for doing this job,
and he answered, "Don't fear; everything is fixed,
and you will be well taken care of." In the after-
noon, Howarth took me to Sutton, and we called at
Curley's hotel, and went from there to Lebeau's,
where he introduced me to a man named Lebeau,
who owns a race course, as a Mr. Stewart, a horse
buyer from Boston. I then rode with Mr. Lebeau
and drove his horse, staying round there until the
evening, when I went back to Curley's hotel, and
had supper. I did not pay for it, and was not asked
to pay. I went to Sutton, purchased a ticket for
Richford, where I met Howarth in the afternoon by
agreement, received fifteen dollars from him and had
a long conversation regarding the job I was to do,
after which Howarth went back to Abercorn. I,
however, remained over night at Richford, and next
morning took the train for Sutton. I then went to
Mr. Wilson's hotel, and remained there for two or
three days. They asked me no questions in regard
to my board bill, they did not seem to care whether
my bills were paid or not, and they were never paid
by me. I remained there until the horse race at
Knowlton, to which I went with Mr. Wilson, and
where I expected to meet Howarth with a team for
me to use, but I did not find Howarth at Knowlton.
I left Knowlton the same night, and rode back to
Sutton, to Wilson's hotel, with a man whom I met at
the races. A day or two following, I was supplied
with the team, which was fed and cared for free of
42 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
charge at Curley's and Wilson's hotels. This team
was supplied me for the purpose of driving to and
from the Junction in order to meet Smith. The
night I committed the assault on Mr. Smith my team
was at Curley's hotel until 9 o'clock in the evening,
when I ordered it to be harnessed. I then started
for the Junction, and on the way I met a man a short
distance out of the village, whose name I do not re-
member, but I would probably recognize him if I
saw him again. I was supplied with a disguise of
clothing, which was put into my buggy when the
team was sent to me. I do not know who put it
there, but Howarth gave me to understand that it
would be there.
" ' Some talk transpired between myself and the
parties engaged in this matter as to what weapon I
should used to beat Mr. Smith, when it was sug-
gested, I think by Howarth, that a piece of lead pipe
would be a good thing, and when I opened the
bundle, I found a lead pipe in it. I saw that it was
a piece of new pipe, and I battered it to give it an
old appearance. There was also a new hat in the
bundle. When this man got into my buggy, I drove
to Sutton Junction, where I waited for Mr. Smith.
After our arrival there, and until I had committed
the assault on Mr. Smith, the man who drove with
me from Sutton kept the team waiting for me about
one hundred rods from the station. I saw Mr.
Smith arrive at the depot about 10.30 P. M., and
after putting the team up, he went into the station
with four or five men. I watched Mr. Smith until
THE AUTUMN COURT.
all the men had left, the last two going north on an
engine, after which I saw Mr. Smith lie down on a
settee. After some time I entered the room, where
he was lying, and struck him over the head with the
pipe, which was in my possession. His head moved
on the pillow, and when he started to rise, I struck
him again. We then clinched, and had quite a
severe struggle during which I lost my hat and the
lead pipe. I then freed myself from Mr. Smith, and
disappeared, running to where the team was waiting
for me. We drove direct to Sutton, where the fel-
low jumped off, and I kept on to Richford, where I
left my team at the American hotel, telling them
that it would be called for. On the way to Richford
after having committed the assault, I called at
Jenne's hotel, Howarth having told me that on my
way back the money would be left with Jenne to
pay me. When I arrived there I called to him, and
after a few minutes he came, and I asked him if
there was some money there for me, and he said,
"Yes," and at the same time he went back and
brought out fifty dollars, which he gave me. I asked
him where the rest of the money was, and he said:
" Only a part of it had been collected ; give me your
address, and we will collect it and send you a money
order." This money order I have never received.
At Richford I hired a team and drove to what I
thought was about half way to St Albans, where I
stayed all day Sunday, and took the night express
for Boston. The bay horse and open buggy, with
yellow running gear, were furnished me by Howarth
44 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
a few days previous to the assault. The team was
engaged by Jenne at the livery stable in the rear of
the American House, Richford, and the young man
who drove the team on the night of the assault was
young Jim Wilson. He left me at Sutton, and I was
instructed to leave the team at the Richford livery
stable above mentioned, which I did, and the same
livery man whom I asked for another team to drive
me to St. Albans, or a part of the way, hitched up a
team and sent a man with me whose name I do not
know. When I drove up to his place that Sunday
morning, I awoke him and said that I had brought
back his horse which I had been using for the last
few days, and I also told him that this party would
settle for it, and he replied, "All right.'""
In this testimony of Kelly's we see the evidence
of a preconcerted plot in which many liquor men,
both Canadian and American, must have been initi-
ated. It is an important fact also that the man
entrusted with the execution of their lawless plans
was himself a bartender. From the evil account of
Mr. Smith's deeds, which Kelly says was given to
him on his arrival in Canada, it appears that the
enemies of temperance are not contented with taking
the property of their fellow-men as they often do in
different ways, they are not even satisfied with inflict-
ing bodily injury and suffering upon those who
THE AUTUMN COURT. 45
oppose their ways, but they would blight their repu-
tation, and this, too, is no small injury, for in the
words of Shakespeare :
" Who steals my purse, steals trash ; 'tis something, nothing ;
Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands ;
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed."
The announcement also that the liquor men had
reported their enemy to the railway company, and
that his discharge had been ordered, is significant in
the light of later events. The complaint made by
them to the company seems from the above to have
been that Mr. Smith was examining goods shipped
into the county by way of Sutton Junction, and this,
we are assured, was a false report. However, it
seems probable that, if the hotel keepers had not
been receiving illegal goods in this way, they would
not have been so suspicious. Another account of
Kelly's testimony was published in the Montreal
Daily Star. Omitting those parts which do not
differ materially from the report in The Templar,
this report is as follows :
"The reason that Kelly did not get his hundred
and fifty dollars for half murdering Mr. W. W. Smith,
it appears, was ' that he did not half finish his job ; '
46 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
at least that was the reason given in another letter
of Howarth to his friend Mr. Flynn in the United
States, who showed it to Kelly. It is left to the
imagination as to what the result would have been if
he had finished the job. Kelly's testimony occupied
all the afternoon, and he stood the ordeal extremely
well. Mr. Racicot tried to shake him, but in vain.
He told his story in a straightforward manner, and
it showed how easy it is even in our present civilized
and advanced age to get rid of or punish people
without running personal risk of bodily injury if you
go the right way about it. The case is also a forci-
ble reminder of the truism that the laborer is worthy
of his hire, and that things done on the cheap are
apt to turn out badly
" That night he drove in the vicinity of a friend's
home, where he was told that Smith was not at
home. He went with the intention of seeing Mr.
Smith. If he had met him he would have licked
him then and there. He always stayed at the Wil-
son's, when he had nothing better to do, and they
did not charge him anything. He was convinced
that the Wilsons, though they did not say so, knew
perfectly well what he was doing. Kelly met Smith
once at the Sutton Junction station while he was on
the train. The night of the attempted murder he
asked Jim Wilson to drive him. Wilson must have
know what Kelly was going to do, for the latter
undressed while they were driving together, and put
on the disguise, and Jim Wilson must have seen him
put the lead pipe in his pocket. Wilson waited for
THE AUTUMN COURT. 47
him with the rig, while the drama in Smith's station-
house took place. Kelly then rehearsed the act him-
self, varying but little in the story from the version
given by Mr. Smith. The remainder of the story
was soon finished
" When he was half way to St. Albans he sent the
Richford team home and hired another on the road.
He took the train at St. Albans to Boston, and from
there returned home to Marlboro. He met How-
arth at Marlboro afterwards, and Howarth said that
he would see about the money. He then spoke to
Howarth's friend Flynn and the latter wrote. In
reply he got back a letter from Howarth, in which
the latter said : ' Kelly did not half do his job, and
all the others are kicking at me/ At any rate, Kelly
did not get his one hundred and fifty dollars. Mr.
Racicot then took him in hand and tried very hard
to tangle him up. He commenced by trying to
break down the force of the evidence of the letters,
which Kelly claims Howarth has written, and which
Kelly claims he had seen. Of course he had to
admit that he could not swear they were written by
Howarth. Next, his efforts were directed to words
trying to prove by Kelly's testimony that the assault
was not a murderous one. Partly to protect himself,
partly because he believed it the truth, Kelly then
was compelled to testify that he was not asked and
had not undertaken to kill Mr. Smith. He never
told any one that he had, and did not intend to kill
him or do him serious injury. The murderous-look-
ing gas pipe club on exhibition on the Judge's Bench
48 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
gave this part of the testimony a rather sarcastic
tinge. In continuing, he got Kelly to say he did not
think he had hurt Smith seriously, but simply that
he had fulfilled his contract. It came out that, while
living in Marlboro, Kelly was a barkeeper, and was
seen drinking with others in a hotel. There is ap-
parently a good opportunity for missionary service
of the sort Mr. Smith delights in in Vermont. He
was asked to go into lengthy details as to how he
was arrested, brought from the States by Mr. Car-
penter and treated while in his custody, and said
that he expected to take his chances on being sent
to jail or penitentiary. When his testimony was
finished a wrangle took place between opposing
counsel as to whether or not prisoners should be
admitted to bail. Mr. Duffy opposed in so far as
Howarth was concerned, because he was an Ameri-
can, and because once at liberty he would approach
the other conspirators and frustrate the ends of jus-
tice. Finally Howarth was remanded till Wednes-
day. Jenne was allowed out on nominal bail, and
Kelly remanded to the custody of Mr. Carpenter.
Some more arrests and some more verbal and very
interesting documentary evidence is promised for
The statement of Kelly that he did not intend to
kill Mr. Smith, and was not asked to do so, has a
decided look of absurdity when viewed in the light
of the various circumstances surrounding the assault.
WALTER K. KELLY, MARLBORO, MASS.
THE AUTUMN COURT. 49
If he simply intended to "lick" Mr. Smith, why did
he attempt it in such an unfair and cowardly way?
Why did he, when the object of his assault was
asleep, attack him with a weapon which might cause
death? And why, having such an advantage over
his victim, did he begin at once to pound his head?
This is a very dangerous way to administer a whip-
ping ! Moreover, if the hotel keepers of the vicinity
only wished to have Mr. Smith pounded, it seems
strange that not one of their number was willing to
undertake the task himself. Or, if not, why did
they 7 not hire some ruffian who could be induced to
give almost any man a pounding for a smaller sum
of money than that promised to Walter Kelly, and,
besides, might have supplied his own necessary out-
fit, and save them the trouble and expense of pro-
viding board, team, weapon and disguise of clothing.
Again, the liquor men should have known that
such a course would not be likely to help them very
much, for any man who is sincerely in earnest and
seeks the prosperity of a good cause, will not be
likely to stop his work because of a slight pounding.
There are many things in this world not easy to
understand or explain, and this affair seems to be
one of them, but, of course, it is a lawyer's busi-
ness to work for the interests of his clients, and
5<D THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
prisoners usually consider it their privilege, when in
the witness box, to work for their own safety.
The testimony of Mr. Smith, which had been
begun on Friday, and had given place to Kelly's
evidence when he arrived from Montreal, was re-
sumed on Wednesday, Sept. 5th, when the case was
again considered in court. The following report of
Wednesday's proceedings was published in the Mon-
treal Daily Witness :
"The preliminary enquiry into the Sutton Junc-
tion attempted murder case was resumed this morn-
ing before Messrs. C. H. Boright and G. F. Shufelt,
J. P.'s. The court room was crowded, and much in-
terest was evinced in the progress of the case. Mr.
W. W. Smith, continuing his evidence, described his
struggle with Kelly. The first blow rendered him
partially unconscious, and apparently was not re-
peated for two or three minutes. A second and
third blow was given with the lead pipe, but, owing
to his having clinched with Kelly, they did not have
the effect of the first. During the struggle, both
men got out on the station platform, and eventually
rolled from the upper to the lower one, Smith all the
time calling out * murder/ and Kelly breaking loose
ran away. He was positive that it was Kelly's
intention to kill him, not merely to give him a beating.
"He recognized the lead pipe as the weapon
Kelly used, and also the hat was the one he left
behind in the station.
THE AUTUMN COURT. 51
"He went to Marlboro on August 25th, and iden-
tified Kelly, whom he saw drinking with three other
men at the bar of the Central House.
"He travelled from Fitchburg to Montreal with
Mr. Carpenter, and was present in the former's of-
fice, when Kelly acknowledged to having committed
"Two other witnesses testified to having seen
Howarth and Kelly together at Sutton, on May
24th, where it was given out that the latter was from
the United States, and was buying horses. It was
also in evidence that Kelly was seen at Curley's
hotel, Sutton, on the evening that the assault was
After these witnesses were heard, the case was put
over until Spring, to be considered and decided by the
Court of Queen's Bench, which was to be held at
Sweetsburg, in March, 1895. Kelly, Howarth and
Jenne were committed for trial at that time. Jenne
was released on bail, and application was made for
bail to be granted for Howarth also. This was re-
fused by the magistrates, and Mr. Racicot then ap-
plied to the Judge, being opposed in his application
by Mr. Duffy, the lawyer for the Alliance.
Judge Lynch carefully considered the matter in its
social and legal aspects.
He brought up several cases in the history of the
country in which application for bail had been re-
52 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
fused, recited the general principles which had gov-
erned the various judges in making these decisions,
and concluded his remarks thus :
" It only remains for me now to apply these gen-
eral principles, which have received the sanction of
our highest courts, to the present case, and cannot
better do so than by asking myself the questions
which were submitted by Judge Power, as being the
basis of his conclusions in the Maguire case.
" What is the nature of the crime charged against
Howarth? Is it grave or trifling? It certainly is not
trifling, it is one of the most serious known to our
law, being nothing less than an accusation of an at-
tempt to commit murder. 2d. What is the nature
of the evidence offered by the prosecution, and the
probability of a conviction? I prefer not to dis-
cuss or consider now the strength of the evidence
which was adduced before the magistrates, to which
alone I can look. It apparently presents a strong
case, and if it is believed by the jury, and not rebutted
by other evidence, it would, in all human probability,
lead to a conviction. 3d. Is he liable to a severe pun-
ishment? Yes to imprisonment for life. In face,
therefore, of the answers which I am obliged to give
to the foregoing questions, I cannot hesitate as to
my duty in this matter. It is important in the pub-
lic interest that Howarth should be present in court,
and stand his trial on the charge preferred against
him, and nothing can or should be allowed to inter-
fere to prevent this from taking place.
THE AUTUMN COURT. 53
" It might possibly be otherwise were bail allowed,
and I cannot take the responsibility of such an
occurrence. The application is refused."
From these words of Judge Lynch we see clearly
how very serious a matter this assault case must have
seemed to him at that time. After this decision
Kelly was again placed in custody of Mr. Carpenter,
and returned to Montreal, where he was kept in prison,
while Howarth passed the winter in Sweetsburg jail.
Meantime, some of the members of the liquor
party took advantage of the excitement which this
assault had caused by trying to frighten other tem-
perance people. One man, Allen C. Armstrong,
living in the neighborhood of Sutton Junction, who
had been an aid in the work of locating Kelly, awoke
one morning to find upon his doorsteps a miniature
coffin, which bore an ominous inscription, giv-
ing his name and the record of his death (without
date), and calling him a " Sutton Junction detective."
Also, anonymous letters were reported to have been
received by two men in the same vicinity, viz.: N. P.
Emerson, Vice-President of the Alliance for the
township of Sutton, and J. C. Draper, President of
Brome County Agricultural Society, who was also a
member of the Alliance, bidding them beware lest
they also suffer in the same manner as Mr. Smith.
54 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
It may have afforded a degree of satisfaction to a
certain class of people to thus add fuel to the fire
already kindled by the liquor men, but their cause
will certainly never triumph through any such acts as
these, for there will always be some in the ranks of
the temperance party who will be willing to work the
harder the fiercer roll the flames of opposition.
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
As may be supposed this assault case became the
subject of a great deal of discussion and controversy,
not only in the vicinity of its occurrence, but also in
places far distant, and among people who had no
personal knowledge of any of the parties especially
concerned in it. If the assault upon Mr. Smith had
been committed for almost any other reason than the
one which really led to it, it would probably have
caused less intense feeling than it did. But an as-
sault of such a serious nature, made on account of a
man's temperance principles and practices, appealed
to the public sense of right, and seemed the signal
for a war of pens and tongues between the opposing
parties of temperance and inebriety. Very few of
the latter party proved brave enough to have their
opinions submitted to the press (or else the press
would not accept them), but doubtless those opin-
ions were freely expressed in private.
We purpose devoting this chapter to a few of the
views of societies and individuals respecting this affair,
56 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
as they were published in the columns of certain
newspapers. The following from The Templar shows
the feeling of the Alliance in a border county to that
in which the deed was committed, as expressed just
before the opening of court:
"The Missisquoi County Alliance, at a meeting
held August 28th, passed the following resolution,
which was unanimously adopted amid applause :
'Resolved, That this County Alliance now assembled
desires to record its deepest sympathy with Mr. W.
W. Smith, President of the Brome County Alliance,
in the recent outrage perpetrated upon him by the
emissaries of the liquor traffic. We rejoice to know
that there is a prospect of the speedy bringing to
justice of the perpetrators of that assault. We also
desire to record our high appreciation of the valued
services to the cause of prohibition in this section by
Mr. Smith, and trust that he may long be spared to
continue his heroic efforts to free our country from
the ravages of strong drink.' "
The following resolution was adopted by the exec-
utive of the Quebec provincial branch of the Domin-
ion Alliance, at a meeting held in the parlors of the
Y. M. C. A., in Montreal:
"That this Alliance records its profound sympa-
thy with Mr. W. W. Smith, President of the Brome
County Alliance, in the recent murderous assault
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 57
made upon him, resulting from his earnest and suc-
cessful efforts in the cause of law and order in the
County of Brome, and this Alliance trusts that full
justice will be meted out to the perpetrators of this
The letter given below appeared in The Knowlton
News of Oct. 1 2th, 1894, under the heading "A Few
Words on the Other Side:"
"To the Editor of The News :
14 SIR, In the discussion of a case which has and
is now agitating this good County of Brome, that
spirit of British fair play which has attained to the
dignity of a proverb has been lost sight of to a
marked degree. I refer to the alleged assault on
Mr. W. W. Smith, at Sutton Junction, in July last.
The Dominion Temperance Alliance and its friends
are doing their best, by means of the press and oth-
erwise, to poison the public mind in advance of the
trial against the party who is charged with procuring
the assault on Mr. Smith, and also against divers
other persons in the county who are said to be his
accessories, charging them with the commission of a
grave crime without a scintilla of reputable evidence
on which to base such a charge. This, I say, is not
fair play, and those guilty of the unfairness need not
find fault if lovers of justice refuse to follow them in
their raid on men and characters, or by silence lend
strength to the unwarranted assumption that each
58 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
and every one of those so flippantly accused are
guilty from the word 'go/ and must be pilloried in
public and private, and subjected to the shame and
embarrassment arising from these attacks on their
character, as law-abiding citizens and legal subjects
of Her Majesty.
"There is a limit beyond which self-constituted
conservers of public morals must not go ; and good
men should not be brutally attacked in public by
agents of the Alliance on the strength of the admis-
sions of a fellow, who, if he tells the truth, is one of
the meanest rascals that ever cumbered the earth. I
refer to the fellow Kelly, Mr. Smith's self-confessed
" I offer nothing in defence of lawbreakers, nor
would I, if I could, do aught to mitigate in the least
degree the punishment that may be meted out to the
person who wantonly assaults a peaceable citizen,
but candor and strict impartiality force me to refuse
to accept as truth all the rubbish of tergiversation
with which this agitated Smith case has been sur-
rounded by the intemperate zeal of professed tem-
perance men. I believe in temperance, and if those
who knowingly violate the law against the sale of
intoxicants are brought to judgment and punish-
ment, they get but what they deserve, and all good
men will applaud the vindication of the majesty of
the law. But we are scripturally enjoined to be
'temperate in all things.' This applies as well to
words as to the use of stimulants, and the grossly
unfair attacks on men's characters by certain of the
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 59
Alliance emphasize the necessity for a strong curb
on that unruly member, the tongue, which has
brought many a good man and worthy cause into
grave disrepute, and made them enemies where
otherwise they might have had friends.
"This whole Smith business has a 'cheap John'
flavor, which makes careful men view it askance.
Who witnessed the assault on Smith? Nobody. He
tells of being struck three times on the head with a
piece of lead pipe, weighing some four pounds, and
has in evidence the terrible weapon. Did his person
bear evidence of the murderous assault? No. All
who saw him in the early morning following the
alleged assault were surprised that he bore no marks
of the terrible struggle for life through which he
claimed to have passed. Why, one blow from such
a weapon as he exhibits would have crushed his head
as if it were an egg shell, yet he claims to have sus-
tained three blows, and is alive to tell of it ! Shades
of Ananias and of Munchausen !
"But it were useless to pursue the subject
" It is to that spirit of fair play so characteristi-
cally British, and to which we are proud heirs, that I
would appeal. Everything is being said and done to
prejudice the public against those who are accused
of instigating Kelly to the assault on Smith ; but,
singular as it may seem, Kelly is patted on the back
and called a good fellow. Why? Admitting the
truth of Kelly's story, is he less guilty because he
had confederates? A strange feature of the case is
6O THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
that Kelly willingly came back to Canada, when
extradition would have been about impossible.
" He was taken to Montreal instead of to Sweets-
burg, and was there royally entertained instead of
being put in close jail. While in Montreal he was
interviewed, and by whom? the Crown prose-
cutor? No; but by Smith and his counsel, Mr.
Duffy. Meantime, several so-called 'detectives'
were scouring the country for evidence. Of what?
They had Smith's assailant, and he had told his
story. Those whom he charged as being instigators
of his crime were attending to their business, and
might have been apprehended within twenty-four
hours after Kelly's arrest in the States. Then what
were the detectives seeking? what were they after?
That $1000 reward was in sight, and this may have
been the inducing cause of this prowling.
"It would seem to 'A man up a tree' that there
are certain revenges to be completed sundry old
grudges to be satisfied, and the Crown is asked to
assist in this questionable work. Those familiar with
the matter say that in our broad Dominion there are
no better conducted hotels than those to be found in
the Eastern townships. They are well kept, and the
travelling public is most hospitably entertained, well
fed and comfortably lodged. A well-conducted hotel
adds to the strength and business character of a vil-
lage, and a faithful landlord is expected to furnish
guests certain necessities, one of which may be liquor.
" And because he does this should he be reviled,
and persecuted, and driven out of business? That
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 6 1
liquor is a great evil, no one can honestly deny, and
being such, and being beyond the power of man to
destroy, let us do the next best thing curb and
control the evil in the best manner possible.
14 A dozen wrongs will never make a single right,
and the wrongs that are being committed in this
Smith case have appealed to one who believes in
" Brome, Oct. 8th, '04. FAIR PLAY."
The following comments appeared in an editorial
in the same paper:
44 It is impossible to shut one's eyes to the ill-feel-
ing that is growing throughout the County of Brome,
and spreading itself over the district, as a result of
what is known as the Smith assault case. Hitherto,
only one side of the case has found an echo in the
public press, but to-day we open our columns to a
correspondent who expresses in moderate language
the sentiments of those who think there is something
to be said on the other side. We commend his let-
ter to the attention of our readers without in any
sense committing ourselves to the writer's conclu-
sions. Everybody must feel sorry for the misfor-
tunes of Mr. Smith, and if, as it is alleged by some,
he has allowed his zeal to get the better of his dis-
cretion, he is not the first man who has been carried
away by a superabundance of enthusiasm, or who
has suffered therefor. Mr. Smith's friends will try
to make a martyr of him. We doubt that they will
62 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
If, as the Editor of The News seems to consider,
" the sentiments of those who think there is some-
thing to be said on the other side " are expressed in
the above letter in " moderate language," how must
those views sound when expressed in the most forci-
ble terms of angry barroom parlance? Let us thank
God that we are not compelled to hear these opin-
ions when thus declared, nor even to see them made
known through the press.
It is said in the above note that Mr. Smith's friends
would try to make a martyr of him, but it was doubt-
ful if they would succeed. We think the Editor of
The News is mistaken in this, it was Mr. Smith's ene-
mies who appeared desirous of making a martyr of
him, and they very nearly succeeded ; but, through
the providence of God, he is still in the ranks of tem-
perance workers. We are told that "one with God,
is a majority," and more than one in Brome County
are true to the right, therefore, the liquor party with
all their efforts are still in the minority there. In
the next issue of The News, dated Oct. iQth, appeared
the following replies to the above epistle from " the
other side : "
"To the Editor of The Knowlton News :
"SIR, In regard to the communication in your
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 63
issue of October I2th, over the signature of Fair
Play, your correspondent says :
" 'This whole Smith business has a "cheap John"
flavor, which makes careful men view it askance.
Who witnessed the assault on Smith? Nobody.
Did his person bear evidence of murderous assault?
No. All who saw him in the early morning follow-
ing the alleged assault were surprised that he bore
no marks of the terrible struggle for life through
which he claims to have passed. Shades of Ananias
and Munchausen !'
" Mr. Editor, here we have the substance calling
upon the shadows. As one who visited Mr. Smith
on the morning following the assault, I assert that
Fair Play makes a direct departure from the truth.
I challenge Fair Play to give the name of a single
reputable individual who now will corroborate his
assertion. Such a statement is in direct contradic-
tion to the sworn testimony of our respected fellow-
citizen, R. T. Macdonald, M. D. Mr. Smith was
visited on the following morning by scores of people,
and they saw upon his person the evidence of a vio-
lent and brutal assault. Many of the visitors ex-
pressed their determination to see fair play, and their
willingness to subscribe, which they subsequently
did, to a fund to bring the guilty party or parties to
justice. Fair Play need not worry about the slan-
dered characters of the hotel keepers of this county.
Their characters are in their own keeping, just as the
characters of merchants, mechanics and ministers are
64 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
in theirs. If the parties who are accused of com-
plicity in this affair are innocent, they will have the
opportunity of proving themselves so.
"And why should not your correspondent exercise
that spirit of fair play, the lack of which he so much
deplores in others, and not make the useless attempt
to impeach Mr. Smith's veracity in the case of this
assault Such an attempt is both useless and sense-
less, for within an hour or two of the assault he was
under the professional care of one of the most emi-
nent and reputable physicians of the Province, who
surely would at once have exposed any impos-
" Even Fair Play would be willing to see an as-
saulter punished, but seems to have made a discovery
which, singular to say, in nearly three months of in-
tervening time no one has yet thought of, namely,
that no assault was committed.
" The cheap John part of this affair is in Fair Play's
letter, in which in one breath he professes to be a
temperance man, and says a hotel keeper who vio-
lates the law and gets punished gets just what he
deserves, and in the next breath tells us that liquor
is a necessity, and asks why trouble the man who
furnishes it. Surely, we see the hem of the cloak of
hypocrisy. Fair Play should also give the public his
name, so that people may judge for themselves the
value of his peculiar and disinterested view of fair
play; farther, some folks are already conjecturing
who the author was, and it is not fair to let any one
be under the imputation of a thing he did not do,
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 65
and surely no man need be afraid or ashamed to
have his own views appear over his own name. He
asks, Who saw the assault? and answers, Nobody.
Who saw Hooper try to drown his wife? Nobody.
And yet one of these so-called detectives was instru-
mental in landing him in prison, and people seem to
think that he did get fair play.
"Fair Play says careful men view this askance. In
this town, where naturally the keenest interest is
taken in this affair, nearly or quite all of the repre-
sentative men have condemned the assault in the
most decisive manner.
"Now, Mr. Editor, let me say that among the
great mass of the people of this vicinity, there is no
desire to make out that Mr. Smith is either a hero or
a martyr. It is a question of law and order on the
one hand, and crime and violence on the other. The
assault is admitted, and a conspiracy is alleged. No
doubt there are landlords in this country who would
not implicate themselves in any illegal proceedings
against Mr. Smith nor sympathize with the same.
Such men are suffering nothing, but it is doubtful if
there is a person of ordinary capacity in this vicinity
who does not believe that the assault was the out-
come of a conspiracy, and men are not slow in ex-
pressing the wish that if we have such people living
among us that they may be exposed in their true
character and punished, whether they profess to be
saints or sinners, and the people of this town would
extend the same sympathy and offer the same assist-
ance to the accused parties, if they had been the
66 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
victims of an assault and suspicion pointed to Smith
and the Alliance as its instigators.
"Siitton, October 1 5th, 1894"
"To the Editor of The News :
"SIR, Permit me to reply to some of the state-
ments of 'Fair Play' in your paper of October I2th.
First, I should like to ask what is meant by poison-
ing the public mind?
"If Fair Play means enlisting the sympathies of
the public on the side of the temperance party, all
that is needed is a clear statement of the plain, un-
varnished facts. There need be no 'unwarranted
assumption,' or charges without evidence, for mem-
bers of the liquor party before that assault at Sutton
Junction, and more especially since that time, have
themselves acted in a way that has estranged some
who have been their warm supporters, as they have
procured the discharge of Mr. Smith from the em-
ploy of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company,
whom he had served faithfully for fifteen years, and
have also threatened the lives of other peaceable citi-
zens, because they chanced to frown upon violence
"Furthermore, Fair Play declares that the Temper-
ance Alliance and its friends, of which he plainly is
not one, are charging divers persons in this county
with the commission of a grave crime of which they
have no reputable evidence. Thus does this very
brave apostle of 'the other side* fearlessly assert,
PROS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 6?
with no proof for his statement, that all the various
persons who have given evidence in this case in Mr.
Smith's favor are disreputable, and their testimony
of no value. Truly this is a bold statement, and it
would seem that sometimes pens as well as tongues
need ' curbing/ Although Fair Play declares that
he * offers nothing in the defence of lawbreakers/ yet
his entire epistle is plainly in defence of just that
class of people, for it is written in behalf of the hotel
keepers who have repeatedly broken the law, and
were convicted of liquor selling in court, not long
"Again, this * believer in fair play/ in speaking of
Mr. Smith, says:
" ' Did his person bear evidence of murderous as-
sault? No, etc/ Either the writer of these words
has very little regard for truth, or else he knows very
little of the subject he is talking about. What is he
going to do with the evidence of the skillful physi-
cian who attended Mr. Smith, and who upon his first
visit dared not promise that he would ever recover?
What is the opinion of those people who were awak-
ened at dead of night by cries of murder, and who
found Mr. Smith with the marks of the combat
freshly upon him? Why is it that he has not yet
fully recovered from the effects of this assault? And
what reason has Fair Play for doubting the testimony
of Mr. Smith himself, even if there were no other
proof? He says, 'One blow from such a weapon as
he exhibits would have crushed his head, as if it were
an egg shell/ Perhaps he has forgotten that circum-
68 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
stances alter cases, and the position of the victim, the
courage of the assailant, and the direction of the
blow might alter this case very much. It is little
wonder that at this point he invokes the aid of the
shades of Ananias and of Munchausen ! He next
states that while the public are being prejudiced
against the liquor sellers of this county, 'Kelly is
patted on the back, and called a good fellow.' Would
Fair Play wish to be patted in the same way, being
retained in a prison cell, knowing not what punish-
ment may await him ?
" We would repeat the question asked, ' What were
the detectives seeking?' But we do not conclude,
like Fair Play, that it was the $1000 reward they were
working for, as no such reward was ever offered.
The objects for which these detectives were really
seeking were those men whom Kelly had accused,
who, according to Fair Play, 'were attending to their
business,' and perhaps they were, but if so, they must
have had much business abroad. He next enlarges
upon the merits of Eastern township hotels, and
among other things says ' A faithful landlord is ex-
pected to furnish guests certain necessities, one of
which may be liquor. And because he does this,
should he be reviled, and prosecuted, and driven out
of his business?' How does this compare with his
former statement that he ' offers nothing in defence
of lawbreakers,' and that ' all good men will applaud
the vindication of the majesty of the law?'
PKOS AND CONS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 69
In the following number of The News appeared
this note :
"We are in receipt of another letter from 'Fair
Play,' but as personalities are indulged in, and as we
are averse to entering upon a prolonged and bitter
controversy, we are constrained to decline the publi-
cation of this communication."
In this we seem to see a hint of that spirit of harsh-
ness and unfairness which so often characterizes the
actions of the liquor party, and which sometimes
leads to just such deeds as this brutal assault, which
"Fair Play" would persuade the public had never
THE ACTION OF THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO.
It has already been stated that Mr. W. W. Smith had
been for fifteen years the agent of the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company at Sutton Junction. During two or
three years previous to receiving this appointment, he
had also held other positions in their service. He had
long been a trusted and privileged employee of the Com-
pany, to whom he had apparently given full satisfaction.
It will be remembered that Walter Kelly, in his
evidence at Sweetsburg, testified that Howarth had
told him on his arrival in Canada that the liquor men
had " reported Smith to the Company, and his dis-
charge had been ordered." Mr. Smith soon had
reason to believe, also, that his temperance work was
not pleasing to Assistant Superintendent Brady, who
had charge of that division of the Canadian Pacific
Railway in which Sutton Junction was situated.
With this man Mr. Smith had at one time been quite
a favorite, but, after he had united with the temper-
ance workers, the friendship of Mr. Brady became
less apparent, and after the time of the assault his
coolness grew quite marked, and it soon became evi-
A CTION OF CANADIAN PA CIFIC RAIL WA Y CO. J\
dent to Mr. Smith, although his friends were long
loath to believe it, that the Assistant Superintend-
ent was anxious to get rid of him. The rumor
spread abroad, also, that the liquor men were trying
to influence the Canadian Pacific Railway Company
so as to obtain Mr. Smith's dismissal from their em-
ploy, and people of other places became anxious to
learn the truth of the matter, as is shown by the
following article from the Montreal Daily Witness:
"It being rumored that the liquor men who so
cruelly assaulted Mr. W. W. Smith, President of the
Brome County branch of the Dominion Alliance, and
station agent at Sutton Junction, were not content with
their cowardly conduct, but were making strenuous
efforts to get the Canadian Pacific Railway Company
to remove Mr. Smith from his position as station agent,
a Witness reporter, yesterday afternoon, interviewed
Mr. Thomas Tait, Assistant General Manager of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, on the subject.
'"Is it true, Mr. Tait, that the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company have been asked by men inter-
ested in the liquor trade to remove Mr. Smith from
Sutton Junction, as they disliked the active interest
he takes in the temperance cause?'
" It has been stated to us that Mr. Smith at times,
in order to get convictions against men who broke
the liquor laws, used the information which his posi-
tion as station agent gave him to secure convictions.
Of course, you understand none of our employees
7 2 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
have the right to use for their private ends information
they get as employees of the road. I mean that if Mr.
Smith prosecuted liquor men in his private capcity
he was perfectly justified in doing so, but if in order
to get convictions he had to use information which he
could alone get as station agent, he has laid himself
open to censure. I have no proof that Mr. Smith has
violated the confidence of the Company. Mr. Brady,
of Farnham, has gone to Sutton Junction, and is
investigating the outrage, and he will let me know
whether or not there is any foundation in the charge
against Mr. Smith. If Mr. Smith is in the right you
may rest assured the Company will take care of him.'
" ' Are you trying to find the man who committed
the assault ? '
" ' Yes, we have taken action in that direction, too.'
"Another official of the Company said: 'I was
in Richford the day Mr. Smith was assaulted. It
was rumored there that the liquor men were incensed
against Mr. Smith, as they believed he found out by
the way-bills when liquor was addressed to any one
at the Junction, and used that information to get
convictions. I also heard that it was men from Ver-
mont who assaulted Mr. Smith, and that they had
been sent to do the deed by liquor men in Vermont,
who are enraged at Mr. Smith.' "
In this conversation the acknowledgment was plainly
made by Mr. Tait that the liquor men had made com-
plaints to the Company concerning Mr. Smith, so that,
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIL WA Y CO. 73
whether their reports had any influence with the Com-
pany or not, the fact remains without contradiction
that these enemies of temperance did make an effort
to rob him of the favor of his employers, and they
doubtless intended by this means, to accomplish just
what was finally, by some means, brought about.
The only accusation which they could make to the
Canadian Pacific Railway seemed to be that Mr. Smith
was using information which he had obtained through
his position as agent in order to prosecute them, but as
these hotel keepers were accused and convicted, not
of buying liquor and shipping it into the county, but
of selling it to others, and as Mr. Smith could not pos-
sibly have obtained evidence of this in the capacity of
station agent, but only through the testimony of those
who had purchased the liquor or witnessed its sale, it
is very hard to see the reason of these complaints,
which were made by the liquor men, and gravely in-
vestigated by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
The only explanation which seems to suggest itself
is that these hotel keepers felt very angry because their
trade in the souls of men had been somewhat inter-
fered with, and not content with the assault which
had been committed, could devise no better way of
seeking further revenge than by thus arousing the
displeasure of the Company by which Mr. Smith
74 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
was employed. It was no doubt another outcome
of the same spirit which had prompted that assault.
It is stated in the above report of the interview
with Mr. Tait that the Canadian Pacific Railway had
taken action towards discovering Mr. Smith's as-
sailant, but it seems probable that had this statement
not been made to the reporter the public would have
had no means of knowing that they had made any
such attempt, as the results were never seen.
Not only the Witness, but the Dominion Alliance
as well, became interested in these rumors concerning
the Canadian Pacific Railway and the liquor men of
Brome, and wished to learn for themselves the truth
of the reports. The following is an extract from an ac-
count given in \htDaily Witness of an executive meet-
ing of the Quebec Provincial branch of the Alliance :
" Mr. S. J. Carter referred to the outrage com-
mitted upon the President of the Brome County Al-
liance. He had known Mr. Smith all his life, and
spoke very highly of the good work Mr. Smith had
done for temperance in the Eastern townships. He
regretted that there had come rumors from Brome
which would indicate that the liquor men were not
satisfied with the assault upon Mr. Smith, but were
endeavoring to secure his dismissal from the posi-
tion of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Sutton Junc-
tion. He wanted to know, and every temperance
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIL WA Y CO. 75
man in Canada wanted to know, if the Canadian Pa-
cific Railway were going to dismiss an officer of
their Company at the behest of illegal liquor sellers
of a Scott Act county ? He, therefore, moved :
' That we have heard with pleasure through the press,
that Mr. Tait, Assistant General Manager of the Ca-
nadian Pacific Railway, has stated to the press that
the Company was doing everything in its power to
discover the guilty parties in the attempted murder
of their agent at Sutton Junction, Mr. W. W. Smith.
That recent reports have come from Brome County
to the effect that officials of the Company are in league
with the liquor men, and are assisting them to pre-
vent, if possible, further annoyance by bringing pres-
sure upon their agent, and that the Company has
made no practical effort to bring the guilty parties in
the recent assault case to justice. That we hereby
instruct our secretary, Mr. Carson, to ascertain from
the officials of the Company if such reports are true,
and make a full report for the next meeting of this
Alliance.' The resolution was adopted."
Somewhat later the following remarks appeared in
the editorial department of the Witness :
"The liquor men who tried to murder Mr. Smith,
the President of the Brome County Alliance, by
stunning him with a skull-cracker, and then leaving
him on the track, failed in that cowardly and brutal
attempt, but have escaped punishment at the hands
of the authorities, who seem to be, as usual, perfectly
76 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
helpless in the matter. These same liquor men, who
in Brome County are all outlaws, have the impu-
dence to use all sorts of influence with the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company to get them to dismiss Mr.
Smith, who is their agent at Sutton Junction. This is
a fine state of things, and the county, which is a pro-
hibition county, is watching to see what the Company
will do. Here is a chance for capital to tyrannize
at the behest of organized iniquity and lawlessness."
It often happens that people get very much aroused
and alarmed when there is no real foundation for their
fears, but not so in this case. The following from the
Witness of October 8th shows that there was some cause
for excitement in the minds of the temperance people :
"The sequel to the lead pipe murderous assault
upon Mr. W. W. Smith, President of the Brome
County Alliance, occurred on Saturday last. It has
been well known that the liquor men, baffled in their
attempt to murder Mr. Smith, had, however, not
abandoned their plan to ruin him and discourage
other temperance workers in the county. Their
scheme was known to the temperance people, but it
was not thought possible that it would succeed. It
was nothing more nor less than the securing of the
dismissal of Mr. Smith from his position as agent of
the Canadian Pacific Railway. It has, however, suc-
ceeded. Mr. Smith was notified on Saturday last of
his dismissal from the Company's employ. Some
astonishing revelations may be expected, as the tern-
A C TION OP CANADIAN PA CTFIC HAIL WA Y CO. 77
perance people are intensely indignant that the Com-
pany should have yielded to the demands of the liquor
party and removed from its service one who has been
for years a trusted servant and a faithful officer."
It was indeed a great surprise to most of the tem-
perance community when the news of this dismissal
went abroad. They had not been ready to believe
that in these days of temperance agitation, in these
last years of the nineteenth century, a great and pow-
erful corporation like the Canadian Pacific Railway
Company, knowing for a fact that nine-tenths of all
the terrible accidents that occur on railroads caus-
ing loss of life and property are the outcome of
intemperance, would become the instrument in the
hands of illegal liquor sellers to carry out their will.
The correspondence which had passed between Mr.
Smith and Assistant Superintendent Brady was pre-
served and placed in the hands of the Alliance, who
requested and obtained its publication in the Witness.
It was also afterwards published in The Templar and
in several other papers. It describes many of the events
which led to Mr. Smith's dismissal, and seems to show
plainly the real cause of that dismissal in spite of all later
contradictions. The first communication which the
accused agent received from theAssistantSuperintend-
cnt concerning his temperance work was as follows :
78 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
" W. W. Smith, Agent, Sutton Junction.
"DEAR SIR, I enclose you herewith two letters,
one from B. L. Wilson, of Glen Sutton, and one from
Nutter & French, of Sherbrooke, both making com-
plaints that you are taking advantage of your posi-
tion as agent of this Company in getting together
testimony to convict hotel keepers and others of sell-
ing liquor. It does not seem possible to me that
these statements can be true, but the charges are
made not only by the parties, writing these letters,
but by several other parties in Brome County, and
who claim that they are in a position to subtantiate
them. I desire to know from you whether you have
used your position to get evidence as stated above,
or whether you have used your evidence which you
may have come possessed of through being an agent
of this Company for the purpose of convicting liquor
sellers. Your immediate reply with the return of
the enclosed papers is requested.
"Yours truly, F. P. BRADY, Asst. Supt.
"Farnham, June nth, 1804."
Below are the letters enclosed in this communica-
tion from Mr. Brady, and containing the complaints,
or a part of them, which had been received by him
concerning the Sutton Junction agent. The first was
written by a wholesale liquor firm in Sherbrooke,
P. Q., the second by a brother of James Wilson who,
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIL WA Y CO. 79
Kelly said, drove the team for him on the night of
the assault at Sutton Junction.
"F. P. Brady, West Farnham.
"DEAR SIR, We are having goods shipped by
us to Sutton returned to us with the information that
your agent at Sutton Junction watches all liquor
shipments that go there, and then gives the informa-
tion to temperance parties, who make complaints,
and get the hotel men fined. We are in receipt of
two letters to that effect this morning. We think
you should take some action in the matter, as it will
effectually stop all shipments to that county if it
"Yours truly, NUTTER & FRENCH.
" Sherbrooke, June 6th, 1804"
"Nutter & French.
"DEAR GENTLEMEN, I can't buy no more goods
from you at Sherbrooke, for the agent at Sutton
Junction, name W. W. Smith, is pawing over all
goods and reporting, and he has been having men
to inform of all the hotels in the county. Unless he
is out of that job you won't do more business in
Brome County. Yours, B. L. WILSON.
"G/fn Sutton, June jth, 1804."
8O THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
To these accusations, Mr. Smith made the following
"F. P. Brady, Esq., Asst. Supt., Farnham.
" DEAR SIR, Referring to enclosed, I deny charge
made against me, fairly and squarely, and, further
than that, I have looked back nearly two years and
find no shipments of liquor for these parties in my
transfer books. I have never used my position in
any way as an agent for this Company to convict
liquor sellers, and no man can substantiate such a
"As a member of the Brome County Alliance, I
have worked as a private citizen with other members
of the Alliance, and the complaints sent to Mr. Jewell,
East Farnham, as evidence against the hotel keepers
in this county have come from the leading men. I
shall use no evidence which I become in possession
of as an agent of this Company for the purpose of
convicting liquor sellers.
"Yours truly, W. W. SMITH.
"Sutton Junction, June ijth,
"This is certainly a very emphatic denial of the
charges made against him, and, coming from a trusted
employee of fifteen years, it would seem that it should
have been quite satisfactory. However, Mr. Brady
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAIL WA Y CO. 8 1
appeared to give more credence to the testimony of
the liquor men than to that of Mr. Smith, and to
allow himself to be influenced by later complaints
which were made by them.
Some time after the above letters were written, Mr.
Smith made application to the Assistant Superin-
tendent at Farnham for leave of absence to attend a
National Prohibition Convention, to be held at Mon-
treal on July 3d and 4th. He received the following
reply, which shows how unwilling Mr. Brady was to
do anything which might tend to encourage Mr.
Smith in his temperance work:
"W. W. Smith, Esq., Agent.
"DEAR SIR, As per my wire of this date, I cannot
arrange to let you off on July 3d and 4th ; I have no
spare man at liberty. The assistant at Sutton should
have all he can properly attend to during the night
to necessitate his sleeping during the daytime.
" F. P. BRADY, Asst. Supt.
" Farnham, July 2d, 1804."
The next letter from Mr. Brady, written the day
after the assault, and while Mr. Smith was confined
in bed on account of the bruises he had received,
was as follows:
82 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"W. W. Smith, Esq., Agent, Sutton Junction.
" DEAR SIR, Within the past four or five weeks the
heads of different departments, as well as Mr.
Leonard, the General Superintendent, and myself,
have received numerous complaints from shippers
and the public generally with reference to your ac-
tions with the late prosecution of liquor sellers in
Brome County. The basis of these complaints is
made that you have used your position as agent for
this Company to procure evidence with which to
prosecute liquor sellers. I have replied to some of
these people that so far as I can ascertain you have
not used your position as agent to procure such evi-
dence; but I must inform you that the same rule
with reference to temperance agitation that governs
employees of this Company with reference to politics
must be lived up to, i. e., you must devote your
whole and entire time to the Railway Company if you
desire to hold your position. You must do nothing
whatever to antagonize the interests of the Company,
or to create feeling between the Company and its
patrons. You will understand by this that you
must cease temperance lecturing or taking an active
part in temperance gatherings or agitation.
44 1 make this letter personal as I consider that the
contents of it will remain strictly between ourselves.
" Yours truly,
"F. P. BRADY.
"Farnham, July $th, 1894"
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO. 83
This letter is very emphatic, and if the spirit of
it were carried out in every case as faithfully as Mr.
Brady endeavored to carry it out in this case, the
employees of the road would be a band of slaves, and
the Canadian Pacific Railway a sort of Canadian
Siberia with all its positions shunned by every self-
respecting laborer. It is well, indeed, for the Cana-
dian Pacific Railway that all its officers do not carry
out these tyrannical rules with such precision as this,
yet it is plainly inferred by Mr. Brady's words that
such rules had been previously applied in the matter
If so, the Canadian public need to stop and realize
what a moderate autocrat they are supporting in
their midst in a land of responsible rule.
Mr. Brady says : " You must do nothing whatever
to antagonize the interests of the Company, or to
create feeling between the Company and its patrons.' 1
This seems to be a very strange sentence in two re-
spects. First, how can temperance work " antagonize
the interests of the Company?" A railroad is al-
ways supported by a community, and must depend
entirely upon that community for its success, its wealth
and its very existence. The more wealthy and pros-
perous a people become, the more will they patron-
ize a railroad and contribute to its maintenance and
84 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
growth. The community, moreover, is made up of
individuals, and its prosperity must depend upon the
health, enterprise, ability, success and moral charac-
ter of the people who compose it. Does not tem-
perance tend to build up the virtues and prosperity
of individuals, and thus to increase the general pros-
perity of the country and add to the success of all
useful public institutions?
Second, how can temperance work " create feel-
ing between the Company and its patrons?" Surely
not all the patrons of the Canadian Pacific Railway
are wholesale and illicit liquor sellers? Mr. Brady
seems to entirely ignore the great company of law-
abiding temperance people who would respect the
Company far more if its employees were active tem-
perance men, and with whom Mr. Brady himself,
rather than Mr. Smith, created intense feeling.
It was stated in a former chapter that Mr. Smith
accompanied Detective Carpenter to Marlboro,
Mass., when he went in search of Kelly. Mr. Car-
penter "on his own responsibility," went to Mr.
Brady, to ask permission for him to do so, and the
following leave of absence was sent to Mr. Smith :
"W. W. Smith, Esq., Sutton Junction.
"DEAR SIR, You may go on No. II, Conductor
will have pass for you.
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO. 85
"Sinclair will be at Sutton Junction on No. 15 to-
night to take charge during your absence. O'Regan
must look after the business this P. M.
"F. P. BRADY.
" Farnham, Aug. 2Oth, 1894."
As this leave of absence was indefinite as to time,
and Mr. Smith was engaged with the assault case
for several days after his return from Marlboro, the
court having opened on Sept. 1st, he had not yet re-
sumed work at Sutton Junction, when on the eve-
ning of September 3d he addressed a temperance
meeting at Richford, Vermont. The next day Mr.
Brady, who seemed to keep remarkably well in-
formed as to the whereabouts of his agent when off
duty, wrote Mr. Smith as follows, labelling this letter
like the previous one, " personal: "
" W. W. Smith, Esq., Agent, Sutton Junction.
" DEAR SIR, I wrote you on July 9th with refer-
ence to what you must do if you remained in the
employ of this Company. I am aware that last night
you delivered a temperance lecture at Richford ; this
leads me to think that you propose to ignore en-
tirely the wishes of this Company, and do as you see
fit. If such is the case you will oblige me by send-
ing me your resignation by the first train, and va-
cating the Company's premises at Sutton Junction at
86 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
the earliest possible moment so that they can be
occupied by the new agent.
" F. P. BRADY, Asst. Supt.
Farnhamy Sept. ft/i, 1804."
Strange, indeed, that the Assistant Superintendent
should have supposed that an affair like this could
always remain personal, and never be subjected to
the public gaze ! Did he not know there was a
temperance community in Canada who would, at
least, enquire into the case of a persecuted brother?
It is strange, also, that while other roads at the pres-
ent time are finding it very much to their advantage
to employ temperance men to the exclusion of
others ; while serious accidents are frequently taking
place on the different roads in which scores of
human beings perish through the recklessness of
some employee whose intellect is clouded by the ac-
tion of strong drink ; and while some new roads in
the beginning of their existence are adopting very
strict temperance rules; when even the Canadian
Pacific Railway has been obliged to dismiss or sus-
pend some of its men for excessive drinking ; it is
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO. 8?
very strange in view of all these facts that an official
of this great road should ask a station agent, be-
cause he delivers a temperance lecture off duty, to
"vacate the Company's premises, so that they can
be occupied by the new agent."
An example of what intemperance among railway
employees often means may be found in the Craigs*
Road disaster, which occurred on the Grand Trunk
in July, 1895. In this accident, thirteen persons
were killed, and thirty-four others, some of whom
died soon after, were wounded. At the inquest a
Victoriaville hotel keeper testified that the engineer
of the wrecked train had purchased from him a quart
of ale on the night before the fearful disaster, which
hurried so many into eternity.
There were some well-meaning people who are
counted in the temperance ranks who advised Mr.
Smith to submit to Mr. Brady, and take no more
active part in temperance work rather than risk the
loss of his agency. This advice was no doubt meant
as a kindness, although it did not partake of the
martyr's spirit, but Mr. Smith did not see fit to fol-
low it, choosing rather to yield his position than his
principles. However, he did not send a resignation,
but a few days later wrote Mr. Brady the following
88 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"F. P. Brady, Esq., Asst. Supt., Farnham.
" DEAR SIR, On account of circumstances which I
could not in any way control, I have been obliged to
delay answering your letter of the Qth of July last.
I regret very much to notice that you have had occa-
sion to refer again to complaints made against me,
which you say are numerous, and not only from
shippers, but from the public generally. In a former
letter to you I denied any just cause for com-
I have now been fifteen years or more in the service
of the Company, and during that time I have endeav-
ored to render, I trust, a faithful service. I have
also received another letter from you, dated Septem-
ber 4th, asking me to send you my resignation by
the first train, and ordering me to vacate the Com-
pany's premises at the earliest possible moment, so
that they can be occupied by the new agent. I wish
you would explain why you order me to resign, be-
cause I delivered a temperance lecture at Richford,
as I have a leave of absence from the Company for
the present, and supposed I had a right to lecture off
duty on any occasion, time or place. You perhaps
cannot realize how much I value my honor and rep-
utation, as it is about the only thing that I have in
the world to protect, and I must ask you to supply
me with the names of those making complaints against
me and the nature of their complaints, and as you
also state the public generally have made complaints,
I trust there should be no hesitancy on the part of
the Company to supply me with the information
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO. 89
asked for, as you can readily see it is beyond the
realm of privacy. Please reply.
"W. W. SMITH.
"Suttoii Junction, Sfpt. ^th, 1804"
This was Mr. Brady's reply:
"W. W. Smith, Esq., Sutton Junction, Que.
"DEAR SIR, I have your letter of the 6th inst. ;
my letter of July 9th to you was perfectly plain. It
told you that you must either quit temperance work
or quit the Company. It makes no difference whether
you are on duty or off duty so far as this Company
is concerned. They demand the whole and entire
time of their men, and they are going to have it.
So far as the leave of absence you speak of is con-
cerned, I am not aware that you had any. Mr. Car-
penter came to me, he said, at your request, to get
permission for you to be absent three or four days to
go down into New England, and I gave such permis-
sion, since which time I have heard nothing from
you, except that you are disobeying my orders and
the wishes of the Company. I was in hopes you
would relieve the strain by gracefully tendering your
resignation. Unless you see fit to do that I shall have
to take other steps.
"Yours truly, F. P. BRADY, Asst. Supt.
" Farnham, Sept. jth, 1804.:' Dictated.
90 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
It appears from this letter that Mr. Brady wished
his agent to resume work immediately on his return
with Mr. Carpenter and Kelly from "New England,"
and did not expect him to help in the search for other
guilty parties in the assault case, or even to appear
as a witness in court.
How does this compare with the statement which
had been made by Mr. Tait that the Company had
taken steps towards discovering the man who com-
mitted the assault?
After reading these letters from the Assistant
Superintendent, it is very difficult for some of the
temperance people to believe that Mr. Smith was
dismissed for any reason other than that so plainly
indicated in Mr. Brady's own words.
Mr. Smith's next letter to Mr. Brady was as follows :
"F. P. Brady, Esq.
"DEAR SIR, Your letter of the ;th inst. to hand
in reply to mine of that date, which does not cover the
information asked for. Now, I would like to know
upon what grounds you demand my resignation, viz. :
because I addressed an audience in the United States
or because complaints have been made against me as
you say in your letters of June nth and July 9th, as
I wish to be in a position to answer to any charges
made against me. I am very sorry you take the
stand against me you do in regard to my temperance
X Ofi CAXAL>1A.\ JAUJ-IC A'AJLll'AY CO. 9!
principles. I understand perfectly well that I am no
longer pleasant to your taste ; but I expect fair treat-
ment from the Company, and ask for nothing more.
As far as my leave of absence is concerned, I have a
telegram from you that I can be absent and Mr. Sin-
clair will take my place until I resume work again.
No time is specified. Since I returned home, I have
been busy looking up evidence against the parties
who were instrumental in my assault on July 8th last.
I intend to resume work again as soon as possible, I
think about a week from Monday next, September
24th, unless advised by you that my services are no
" Yours truly, W. W. SMITH, Agent.
"Sutton Junction, Sept. nth, 1894"
As no reply came Mr. Smith wrote again :
11 F. P. Brady, Esq., Asst. Supt., Farnham.
" DEAR SIR, Will you please reply to my letter
of the i ith inst. in regard to resuming work Monday
next, September 24th. I am waiting anxiously to
hear from you.
"Yours truly, W. W. SMITH.
" Sutton Junction, Sept. lyth, 1894."
Still there was no answer, and on Monday morning
Mr. Smith telegraphed as follows :
92 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
44 F. P. Brady, Esq., Farnham.
44 1 am ready to resume work this morning. Please
reply. W. W. SMITH.
14 Sutton Junction, Sept. 24th, 1804"
To this came the following reply:
"W. W. Smith, Sutton Junction.
44 Nothing for you to do this morning. Will advise
you when your services are required.
44 F. P. BRADY.
44 Farnham, Sept. 24th,
This was followed on October 6th by an official
announcement from Mr. Brady telling Mr. Smith
that his services were no longer required by the Com-
pany. And in all this correspondence there is not a
hint of unfaithfulness on the part of Mr. Smith to any
order of his employers save the one to 4 'quit tem-
perance work." When the above correspondence
appeared in the Montreal Daily Witness it was ac-
companied by the following remarks in the editorial
44 We are requested by the Brome County Al-
liance to publish the correspondence which preceded
the dismissal of the President, Mr. W. W. Smith,
from his position as station agent of the Canadian
Pacific Railway at Sutton Junction. We have al-
ACTION OF CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY CO. 93
ready pointed out the extraordinary assumption of
wage slavery, which is implied in this dismissal as
accounted for by the official who did it. The claim
made by Mr. Smith's employing officer, and practi-
cally indorsed by the Company in concurring in
this dismissal, is that the Company owns its em-
ployees, soul and body, and that they can only ful-
fill their rights of citizenship at its pleasure. It is
not to be supposed that this power asserted over the
lives of its employees is going to be insisted on by
the Company as against every thing they do, and
that every man who takes part in a baseball match
or a mock parliament will be dismissed. It is not to
be supposed that the man who busies himself even
in politics will be dismissed if he takes care that he
does not do so on a side distasteful to the Company.
The particular thing which is a capital offence with
the Company, according to this correspondence, is
to busy one's self with the enforcement of the laws of
the land or advocate temperance in public. If tem-
perance advocacy is going to be boycotted by the
Canadian Pacific Railway in the interests of the ille-
gal and murderous liquor business, there are ten
thousand good customers of the road who will want
to know the reason why. This should indeed be
asked for in parliament."
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
The action of the Canadian Pacific Railway, in
thus dismissing their agent at Sutton Junction,
apparently for no other cause than the vigorous
opposition which he offered to the work of the liq-
nor party in his own vicinity, like the assault case
previously, elicited much criticism from the public.
We purpose in this chapter reproducing some of
the many opinions regarding the dismissal which
appeared in the columns of the public press.
It has been said that " the greatest power under
heaven is public opinion," and it may be profitable
for us sometimes to study such an important power,
and especially to consider the opinions of people
who uphold peace, temperance and religion. The
following is the view of The Templar of Hamilton,
as quoted in the Montreal Daily Witness:
"The announcement that the Canadian Pacific
Railway has rallied to the aid of the lawless and
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 95
murderous liquor gang in Brome County, Quebec, is
sufficiently suggestive and startling to demand at-
tention. Its dismissal of Mr. W. W. Smith, C. P. R.
agent at Sutton Junction, and President of the
Brome County branch of the Dominion Alliance,
because of his activity in the discharge of his
duties in the latter office, is one of the most foolish
and anti-Canadian acts of that great corporation.
"Mr. Smith, it will be remembered, incurred the
hostility of the illegal liquor venders in his locality,
and, as the recent legal investigation shows, a con-
spiracy was formed, and a bartender hired to 're-
move* him. One night, while in the performance of
his duties at the Sutton Junction station, he was mur-
derously assailed, and barely escaped with his life.
Detectives were employed, the assassin was arrested,
and has confessed that he was paid by local men,
interested in the liquor traffic, for his work. He and
two others, including a hotel keeper, are now in jail
awaiting trial, bail having been refused.
"Since the committal of the prisoners, Mr. Smith
was dismissed by the C. P. R. Upon September /th,
he received a letter from the Assistant Superintend-
ent in which occurred these words : ' You must either
quit temperance work or quit the Company. It makes
no difference whether you are on duty or off duty, so
far as this Company is concerned. They demand
the whole and entire time of their men, and they are
going to have it.'
This subject is broader than Mr. Smith or any indi-
vidual. It is the question of the right of the citizen
96 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
to enjoy and exercise the rights of a citizen while
employed by such a corporation as the Canadian
Pacific Railway. It is the old problem of slave or
freeman. The Railway is undoubtedly entitled to
the best service of its employees, while on duty ; but,
after hours, the citizens should be free to engage in
those pleasures and pursuits which do not conflict
with the welfare of society and the State, Mr. Smith
should be free to participate in the agitation to drive
the criminal liquor traffic out of the country without
being called upon to suffer the loss of income. The
man who braved the liquor party, and nearly sealea
his devotion to the temperance reform with his lift
blood, was not the man to abandon his conviction*
at the command of a railway manager.
"The course of the C. P. R., in dismissing Mr.
Smith, has been warmly endorsed by the cowardly
and murderous liquor gang in Brome, and is so open
to the suspicion of being an attempt to coerce the
conscience and abridge the liberties of the citizens to
serve the liquor interests as to make it imperative
that some member of the Commons, which has so
largely subsidized that road, demand in the approach-
ing session a public investigation. A whole army of
men are in the service of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way Company, scattered from the Atlantic to the
Pacific, and the nation cannot afford to allow the des-
potic authority claimed by the Company over these
men. If it can demand the entire time of their men
on or off duty, may it not next demand the service
of the men at the ballot box? An issue has been
BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 97
raised by this incident which demands the vigorous
protest of the press of the country."
The opinion of the Witness itself may be learned
from the following article in the Daily Witness of
November 24th, 1894:
" We have received a number of letters from per-
sons who have determined to give the preference of
their railway patronage against the Canadian Pacific
Railway, as a testimony against the attitude of that
Company towards the temperance reform, as mani-
fested in the dismissal of Mr. W. W. Smith from his
position as station agent at Sutton Junction, for his
active advocacy of temperance and enforcement of
prohibitory law. Is it right for us to publish these
letters, which are evidently only the beginning of
what is yet to come, for the feeling throughout the
country is very bitter in many quarters where this
challenge to the advocates of law and order has be-
come known? The question amounts to this : Is it
right for persons who condemn the course of the
Company to punish it in this way, and is it right for
them to make a public question of it by publishing
their action? The reason given for the dismissal of
Mr. Smith, as shown by the correspondence which
was recently made public in these columns, was that
he was making things uncomfortable for certain cus-
tomers of the Company who were importing liquor
into Brome County. As Brome is a prohibition
98 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
county, those who import liquor for sale within its
bounds are outlaws. In Mr. Smith's painful experi-
ence they are also assassins. As a matter of fact,
according to Mr. Smith's statement, no shipments of
liquor passed through his station, and he did not use
his position as agent of the Company to bring the
lawbreakers to justice. Why both the Company and
its agents should not be ranged on the side of the
law of the land, and why the Company should so
protect its share in an unlawful business against any
promoter of law and order, are questions not raised.
Commercial corporations do not pretend to have
souls or conscience. Nobody expects them to have
any, and consequently no one is angry when they
show that they have not. Quite apart from all ques-
tions of morals, the money interests of the Company
are those of the country, and the liquor business
does not promote the business of the country. More-
over, it is in the interest of the railway, and emi-
nently so of its customers, to have railway servants
protected from drink, and the enforcement of the
laws against liquor is the most direct way to protect
them from drink. This is all by the way, however;
Companies are not abstract reasoners.
"But there is that in this action of the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company which the public are in-
clined to resent even at the hands of a Company.
In the first place the Company declares that it so
values the custom of the liquor men of Brome, that
it can afford for their sake to boycott the advocates
of temperance and the enforcers of law. A station
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 99
agent, or even a superior officer, might be long and
notoriously a victim of these same liquor men, and
still remain an officer of the Company, but if he be-
comes their active enemy, and the active friend of
mankind, he is dismissed. This is and it is evidently
accepted as being a challenge to all friends of law
and order, who are in a position to make the Com-
pany suffer in its sensitive pockets, to show whether
the custom of the friends of law cannot be made as
powerful an engine for the defence of right as that
of the enemies of law and order is for the defence of
crime. This is what temperance men throughout
the country seem to be turning over in their minds
just now, and are likely to go on doing so, so long as
the position taken by Mr. Brady towards Mr. Smith
remains the approved action of the Company, and so
long as one holding the intolerable views of Mr.
Brady remains its approved agent.
"There is another aspect of the Company's action
through Mr. Brady which is rankling in the minds
of the wage-earning population. Mr. Brady told Mr.
Smith that the Company wanted all his time, and
was going to have it, and that whether on duty or off
it would not allow him to give temperance lectures.
It is not sufficient to answer that this is not the posi-
tion of the Company ; that its employees, as a rule,
are allowed to go to what church they think best, to
take part in Christian Endeavor, or football, or what-
ever they may prefer as the occupation of their
leisure. The fact remains that the Company has,
through Mr. Brady, announced its right to check a
IOO THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
man, if it chooses, in the exercise of his ordinary
rights and duties as a citizen and as a Christian, and
has, by sanctioning Mr. Smith's dismissal for tem-
perance lecturing, formally approved Mr. Brady's
attitude. The Company may summon to its defence
any other reasons for Mr. Smith's dismissal that it
chooses. It cannot alter the fact that the reason
given in Mr. Brady's letters is the one which was
given to him, and which was the real cause of his
act. This claim of a soulless Company to own its
employees, body and soul, is one of the most daring
and intolerable enunciations of what is in the lan-
guage of our day termed wage slavery that we have
seen, and one for which the great public will proba-
bly call it to account. The Canadian Pacific Railway
is a national institution, constructed at the public
expense, and a ruling influence in the land, and its
attitude towards the liquor question and the rights of
employees is a matter of national interest, open to
free discussion in the newspapers and in the parlia-
ment, and if there are citizens who, for the purpose
of making it feel in its only sensitive spot how it has
outraged public sentiment and done a public wrong,
are willing to sink their private advantage and con-
venience in the public good, by going out of their
way to patronize another road, we think it is nothing
but right that the railway should be plainly seized
of all the facts."
The comments of another Canadian paper, the
Toronto Star, are thus quoted in The Templar :
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. IOI
"It is a most regrettable condition of affairs when
a corporation like the Canadian Pacific will dismiss
an employee because he is active in the cause of pro-
hibition, yet that is the case of a Mr. Smith, who lost
his position as agent at Sutton Junction, Quebec,
because the liquor dealers whom he opposed had
sufficient influence to secure his dismissal.
"No charge of neglect of duty could be made
against Mr. Smith, and the only justification the Com-
pany offered was the plea that the agent should give
his whole time to the Company, and do nothing to
antagonize the interests of the Company. There is
in this no claim that Mr. Smith had ever neglected
his duty, and the whole thing narrows down to the
fact that he had incurred the enmity of the liquor
dealers, who induced the Company to dismiss him.
This action of the Company may please the men
who hired a thug to assault Mr. Smith, and nearly
batter his life out, but it is a poor way to make friends
of peaceful citizens. It speaks poorly for personal
liberty when a man is dismissed from a railway be-
cause he opposes the liquor traffic, a traffic which
the Company itself acknowledges to be wrong when
it requires its employees not to touch liquor while
In The Templar of November 23d appeared these
remarks with reference to one paper which upheld
the C. P. R. :
IO2 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
" The dismissal of Mr. W. W. Smith from the ser-
vices of the C. P. R., because he was obnoxious to
illicit whiskey sellers in Brome County, has evoked
strong expression of disapproval from not a few of
the papers of the Dominion.
"Others have preserved a silence, or feebly and
unfairly stated the case, not daring to rebuke the
C. P. R. So far as we know, the Hamilton Spectator
alone has had the courage to defend the gross injus-
tice done a fellow-citizen, and its defence is peculiar.
"Would The Spectator permit us to clear the issue?
The Templar, in giving the C. P. R.-Smith corre-
spondence to the public, pointed out the danger to
the country involved in suffering the C. P. R. con-
tention to prevail. If that corporation can justly dis-
miss a man because he employs a portion of his time
off duty to demand respect for the law of the land,
on the ground that he is antagonizing the interests
of the Company, may it not logically demand, under
pain of dismissal, that he shall vote as the Company
judges to be in its interests? What right has the
citizen that the Canadian Pacific Railway may not
require him to give up to serve its ends? Is The
Spectator prepared to defend such tyranny, and, yes,
we will say it treason to the State?"
Not only the journals of the Canadian Interior, but
those of the Maritime Provinces as well, showed their
interest in this affair, which had so aroused the tem-
perance people of Quebec and Ontario. The follow-
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 1 03
ing, published in The Templar, is taken from The
Intelligencer, Fredericton, New Brunswick:
" We have set out the facts of the case at some
length, because it involves much more than the posi-
tion and prospects of the dismissed official. His
case is certainly a hard one. It is not denied that
for fifteen years he served the Railway Company
faithfully. No charge of neglect of duty is made
against him. Even the charge of the rumsellers,
that he used information obtained as the Company's
officer to aid in their prosecution, is not proven.
He denies it, and the Assistant Superintendent
admits that he has failed to find proof of it.
" But in spite of this, the Company, yielding to
the clamorings of the rum gang, dismiss an officer
against whom it has not been possible to make any
charge of neglect, and not even to substantiate the
complaints of those who were bent upon his dis-
missal. Mr. Smith's offense was that he was too
good a citizen to suit the views of the outlaws who
are engaged in the illicit rum-traffic. They sought
to take his life, hiring one of their own brutal gang
to commit the murder. The attempt was made, but
failing to kill him, they renewed their efforts to have
him dismissed. And in this they were more suc-
cessful. It is scarcely possible that the outlawed
rumsellers of Brome County had sufficient influence
alone, to accomplish Mr. Smith's discharge. They
were probably backed by the traffic in Montreal and
elsewhere. And this goes to show that the traffic is
IO4 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
one ; that distillers, brewers, wholesalers and saloon
and hotel keepers are united ; that licensed and il-
licit sellers make common cause, and that they use
their awful power not only to defy all laws and regu-
lations which hamper them, but are ready to rob ol
their means of livelihood, and their good name, and
even to murder such men as they think stand in
their way. These are things which might be ex-
pected of the traffic. But it is quite amazing that a
great corporation like the C. P. R. should become its
ally. Most employers would stand by an employee
who had suffered at the hands of murderous ruffians,
because of his sympathy with law enforcement, and
the promotion of the moral welfare of his com-
munity. But the Assistant Superintendent of the
C. P. R., under whom Mr. Smith worked, was not
moved by such consideration, a mere sentimental
consideration he wonld probably call it. He pre-
ferred to cooperate with the rum traffic to become
"We find it difficult to believe that the General
Manager or the Directors can approve the dismissal
of an employee for the reason stated in this case.
If they do, then men interested in temperance re-
form can no longer have a place in the employ of the
Company. And further, the Company declares its
willingness to be known not only as the ally of the
legalized rum traffic, but as the friend and helper of
the outlaws and would-be murderers of the traffic.
"This case should not be allowed to fade out
of the memory of the people. It asserts the right
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
of an employer, not only to the time of the em-
ployee, but to his conscience, his sense of the duties
of good citizenship, and his self-respect. If per-
mitted, unrebukcd and uncorrected, it helps to estab-
lish the right of capital to do any unjust and
tyrannical thing, either of its own will or at the dic-
tation of the conscienceless rum traffic, or of other
"There ought, certainly, be some way of getting
redress for what on the face of it appears to be an
act of cruel injustice, done at the behest of the rum
traffic, legal and illicit.
"Not those alone who are interested in temper-
ance, but every man who believes that men are other
than serfs, and who would have established beyond
question the right of a man to have his own con-
science in matters which relate to himself and the
community, should be concerned to make impossible
such tyrannical exercise of power."
Not only the Canadian, but some of the American
papers also, took up the cry of tyranny, as is shown
by the following, which was published in the Presby-
terian Observer, Philadelphia, and repeated in the
11 A Canadian Railway Company has been guilty
of a piece of mean persecution against one of its
agents on account of his temperance activity. The
station master at Sutton Junction, of the Canadian
IO6 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
Pacific Railway, in the Province of Quebec, was re-
cently notified that he * must quit temperance work,
or quit the Company.' The letter further states the
ground upon which this action is based. ' It makes no
difference whether you are on duty or off duty, so far
as this Company is concerned. They demand the
whole and entire time of their men, and they are
going to have it.' Short, sharp, peremptory this,
but is also a high-handed proceeding an infring-
ment upon personal rights. It does not appear that
this man had been derelict in duty to his employers,
or that he took the time that belonged to them in
promoting the cause of temperance. His only of-
fence was that, while conscientious in daily work, he
thought of others, and labored for their welfare in
his spare moments. For that he incurred official
reprobation, and was given the choice of quitting
temperance work or the Company.
"The railway magnates claimed entire control over
all his time, whether on duty or off duty, demanding
in their tautological language, 'The whole and entire
time' of their men, and bluffly adding that 'they are
going to have it.' They would leave no room for
doubt, parley or protest. Accordingly, nothing was
left a man of conscience but to retire and seek em-
ployment where he could exercise a little personal
liberty. It is no new thing for men to give up rail-
way positions on conscientious grounds, when com-
pelled to work on the Sabbath, but this is the first
instance we have known where a Railway Company
has forced a person out of its employ because of his
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
temperance principles. In our country, other things
being equal, total abstainers are preferred by rail-
way men. This Canadian Company is away behind
An affair like this must indeed be very widely dis-
cussed, and awaken considerable interest, when the
general opinion in any place with regard to it is pub-
lished in the local news from that vicinity, yet the
following paragraph appeared among other items in
the Witness of November 24th, as Danville news :
" Railways have a right to all the time of em-
ployees in hours of duty, but many are grieved at the
action of the Canadian Pacific Railway in demanding
of Mr. W. W. Smith, whom they dismissed for activ-
ity in the temperance cause, that he must not give
any of his time to it when off duty, as such demand
is un-British and strongly in the direction of serf-
dom. Many spirited people are going to resent the
Various associations discussed this dismissal in
their meetings, and passed resolutions concerning it.
The following is an extract from a report, which ap-
peared in the Witness of November 2Oth, of a meet-
ing of the Quebec Evangelical Alliance, held in the
city of Quebec just previous:
IO8 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
" It was also voted that the following resolution be
placed on record, and a copy furnished to the press
"'That this Alliance voice its sympathy through
the press with the different moral and religious or-
ganizations of the Province, which have taken action
condemnatory of the arbitrary procedure of the man-
agement of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the dis-
missal of Mr. Smith, their station agent at Sutton
Junction, for no other offence than that of being
deeply interested in the moral and religious welfare
of the people of his own district.
" 'And further, that this Alliance regrets that the
Canadian Pacific Railway, as a Company subsidized
by the Government of Canada, should see fit to in-
terfere with the civil and religious rights of its em-
ployees, and ally itself with those who are evading
established law, and doing their utmost to destroy
social order in this country.
"'And this Alliance is of the opinion that if the
Canadian Pacific Railway management seriously de-
sires to retain the sympathy and support of the best
element in the community in building up their busi-
ness as public carriers, they will, at the earliest pos-
sible moment, do full justice to their late agent, Mr.
The following, also published in the Witness, is
from a report of the meeting of a temperance society
in one of the sister Provinces :
MORE BITS OP PUBLIC OPINION. 1 09
" PRESCOTT, Ont., Dec. 5th. The forty-fifth ses-
sion of the Grand Division of the Sons of Temper-
ance \vas held here to-day. The question of the
discharge of Mr. W. W. Smith, of Sutton Junction, by
the Canadian Pacific Railway, for his loyalty to the
temperance cause, was brought up, the following re-
port of a special committe on the subject being
unanimously adopted: WHEREAS, Mr. W. W. Smith
of Sutton Junction, President of the Brome County
Alliance, in the Province of Quebec, whose attempted
assassination for his fidelity to law and order is a
public fact, has been summarily dismissed from his
position as agent of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
for the express reason of his advocacy of the cause
of temperance, this Grand Division desires to express
the view that this action of the Railway Company is
a distinct violation of the rights of citizenship, and
deserves strong condemnation as being tyrannical
and unjust in the extreme, and is calculated, if not
redressed, to destroy public spirit and inflict deep
injury to the civil rights of the people."
\Ve will now look at some of the opinions of indi-
viduals, as expressed in letters sent by them to the
The following communication was sent to the Wit-
ness before the publication of Mr. Brady's letters.
Doubtless, the writer of this article may, after read-
ing those letters, have entertained some doubts
as to the infallibility of the opinions here expressed,
IIO THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
but they show, at least, how impossible it seemed to
some citizens that such a corporation as the Cana-
dian Pacific Railway could oppose temperance ac-
tivity on the part of its employees. The letter,
addressed to the Editor of the Witness^ is as follows :
"SIR, In your issue of October Qth, a state-
ment occurs which suggests the necessity of a word
of caution. The following is the sentence : ' Some
astonishing revelations may be expected, as the tem-
perance people are intensely indignant that the Com-
pany should have yielded to the demands of the
liquor party, and removed from its service one who
has been for years a trusted servant and faithful
officer.' From a personal acquaintance with several
gentlemen who control the appointment of officials
of this and similar grades of office in connection
with the Canadian Pacific Railway, I wait an expla-
nation of this act of executive power which will pre-
sent it in an altogether different light from that in
which it now appears. I cannot believe that officers
of any Company, transacting business with, and de-
pendent upon, the public, as the Canadian Pacific
Railway is, would descend to an act as described in
the case in hand. What the explanation will be, I
will not conjecture, but I can easily conceive it is
susceptible of an explanation which will remove all
cause of censure from the Company. In more than
one instance, I have known the officials of this Com-
pany to firmly support an employee in the mainte-
MORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. \ 1 1
nance of moral principle, even at a financial loss to
the Company. But, apart from all loyalty to right
principle, on the part of the officiary of the Com-
pany, it is to me simply inconceivable that shrewd
business men as these officials are known to be would
be guilty of an act which from a purely business
point of view would be a stupidly suicidal one. It
taxes one's credulity to too great a degree to ask one
to believe that, in view of the recent plebiscite taken
in several Provinces, that any officer, possessed of
mental qualifications sufficient to secure a position of
power in the Company, would ally himself with a
coterie of lawbreakers in a secluded village, and per-
petrate an act which would be resented by thousands
of business men and tens of thousands of the travel-
ling public in our Dominion, and attach a stain to
the name of the Company which would challenge
contempt for years future. The facilities afforded
by other competing lines at so many points in our
Dominion for such as would resent an act of this
character are too great to permit a Company that is
hungering for freight and passenger traffic to yield
to such inconsiderable and immoral influences as
the liquor men of Sutton Junction and their sympa-
thizers could command. The Company knows well
how slight a matter often creates a prejudice for or
against a railway which affects its dividends for
years, and they know well also that when an act of
this kind is actually done and unearthed, that it ap-
peals to principles held as sacred by the public of
our Dominion. They also know that, however the
112 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
temperance ballot holders may be divided in their po-
litical allegiances, in a matter of this kind, when no
political ties bind them, they would be practically a
unit in resenting an act not only tyrannical, but under
the circumstances cowardly and immoral. One can-
not believe that this shrewd Company of high-
minded and acute business gentlemen would be
guilty of the folly attributed to them. Their effort
is in every way honorable to attract their own line,
and it is past belief that they should play into the
hands of the Grand Trunk and other competing
lines in any such manner as the accusation, if
proved, would mean. Give them time and oppor-
tunity for an explanation before any expression of in-
dignation manifests itself, and especially before any
hasty and inconsiderate act of discrimination against
the Company is made." SPECTATOR.
The publication of the correspondence between
Messrs. Brady and Smith brought a flood of letters
from the public to the Editor's offices. It would be
scarcely possible in this place to give all the letters
which appeared in the various papers, but we qnote
a few. The following is from the Witness of Novem-
" SIR, I read with much pleasure the letter from
*A Total Abstainer' in your issue of November 4th,
and his purpose not to travel by the C. P. R. in
future, when he has the privilege of another route.
A/ORE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. 113
I would like to assure him that he does not stand
alone, that there are many others who feel just as
strongly. It was only to-day that I learned of two
persons who, at some inconvenience to themselves,
took passage by the Grand Trunk Railway in prefer-
ence to the Canadian Pacific Railway, on account of
the way in which the Company has played so miser-
ably into the hands of the liquor dealers ; and I
know of other travellers who are resolved to use the
C. P. R. only when it cannot be avoided. I am in-
formed that some of the temperance organizations to
which he refers are not going to let the matter rest
where it now is, but will manifest their indignation in
their own way and time.
" It is almost beyond belief that a Company like
this should treat a servant with such inhumanity.
"After being almost murdered when on duty by
an employed agent of the liquor party, and when
about recovered from his wounds, he is dismissed
from the service for taking part in temperance work
in his own time. These are the facts as stated in the
published correspondence, and they need only to be
stated to call forth the indignation and condemnation
of all honorable men.
'ANOTHER TOTAL ABSTAINER."
Another letter, published in the Witness of Decem-
ber 29th, and signed " Disinterested," is given below.
The allusion to the queries of the Alliance and the
114 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
replies of the Assistant General Manager will be more
fully explained in the next chapter.
"To the Editor of the Witness:
"SlR, I am usually of moderate temperament
and seldom take extreme views or measures on any
subject, but if I understand rightly the present state
of the controversy between the Dominion Alliance
and the Canadian Pacific Railway, unless the latter
has a secret compact with the brewers, distillers and
liquor venders of this county, to warrant their taking
the present stand, they are adopting the most ex-
traordinary course of any corporation seeking public
patronage I have ever known. The following is, as
I understand it, the present position of the affair :
" I . There are lawbreakers in the county of Brome.
" 2. An employee of the C. P. R. aids in detecting
them, and bringing them to justice.
"3. The lawbreakers hire a man to murder him,
who fails to quite accomplish his task.
" 4. The employee, in his hours off duty, denounces
the practices of the lawbreakers, and the traffic that
creates such lawbreakers and murderers.
"5. A district superintendent of the C. P. R. in-
forms him that for so doing he is dismissed
"6. The Dominion Alliance asks why t*its should
be so? Is it not interfering with the liberty of the
British subject? Is not slavery revived in another
form for an employer to say to an employee, ' You
must not express an opinion on any subject of social
AfORM BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION. \ \ 5
reform or otherwise on pain of being dismissed from
" 7. The Assistant General Manager comes out in
a two-column letter explaining the attitude and act
of the C. P. R. The purport of that letter is that the
man who antagonizes a considerable portion of the
community is therefore . . . less useful than he other-
wise would be in any position (such, for instance, as
a station agent) in the employ of a railway company,
whose main object must be to increase the business,
from every possible source, and who must be careful
not to antagonize any portion of the community upon
whose patronage, as a part of the general public, the
success of the Company depends. In all this letter
there is no distinction between the law-abiding and
lawbreaking sections of the community. The logical
inference of the whole letter is, the agent at Sutton
antagonized the lawbreakers of Brome, and those who
abetted their doings, and, therefore, the superintend-
ent of the road was justified in dismissing him. But
by that act the superintendent * antagonizes' a very
large section of the community, stretching from Hali-
fax to Vancouver, but he is sustained by the Com-
pany in his act. ' Consistency, thou art a jewel ! '
As a Canadian I have felt just pride in the C. P. R.,
I have advocated its claims against all other trans-
continental routes, especially have I compared it with
the Grand Trunk Railway, and advised my friends to
patronize the former. Now, however, as a free and
law-abiding citizen I must, on principle, change my
method unless Mr. Tait, or some one else, can ex-
I 1 6 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
plain the act of the Company. If both employees
interested in the Sutton matter had been dimissed, I
could see that there was an honest effort on the part
of the Company to do justly, but as it is I can only
see underneath all this the intention of the Company
to favor the lawbreakers of Brome and liquor inter-
ests generally at the expense of the temperance and
Christian community. If my views are wrong, and
anyone will do me the kindness to correct them, I
shall owe him a debt of gratitude ; for I am exceed-
ingly loath to believe such things of the management
of our noble Canadian Pacific Railway. Until then,
however, I must say that I shall not travel on one
mile of the C. P. R. when I can take another line.
I am constantly on the road between Quebec and
Toronto, with headquarters in Montreal. I take this
stand not by choice nor caprice, but on the princi-
ples of a free citizen."
The following is an extract from a letter discussing
the same subject, published in The Templar of Jan.
4th, 1895, and signed J. W. Shaw:
"Without giving names, let me state what I have
learned directly affecting the moneyed interests of the
C. P. R. Thinking of visiting a certain station on
one of their lines I asked a friend who had just re-
turned from it: 'What is the fare to that place?'
He replied, ' I don't know ; I never buy a ticket ; I
can't say.' When remonstrated with, he just said :
' I pay whatever is handy, sometimes more and some-
^fOKE BITS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
times less! 1 Another individual, in the habit of
travelling in the same way, and boasting of his smart-
ness, casually remarked : ' My trip this time was a
failure, for Conductor was on the train, and
you know I could not work him/ It did me good
to hear that, for the conductor in question is a well-
known gospel and temperance worker, who labors as
he has opportunity for the uplifting of fallen human-
ity. On this low plane then it would pay these com-
panies to employ such conductors, and give them all
the scope required outside their own business. Such
employees save more to them than they will ever
lose through the fidelity to principle of any Mr. Smith.
Sterling honesty of principle that such men mani-
fest, instead of proving an objection, should merit the
recognition if not the approval of the wisest directo-
rate, and should denote their qualification rather than
Part of another letter, which was signed W. J.
Clark, and appeared in the same issue of The Tem-
plar, is as follows :
" Now, suppose the ' section ' which Mr. Smith
had antagonized had been the temperance people
instead of the liquor element, what would gentlemen
Brady and Tait have said then if the matter had been
brought to their notice? Would they have dismissed
Mr. Smith? I trow not. They would in all likeli-
hood have attributed the complaint to what they
would mentally designate as a handful of cranks, and
paid no attention to it. But when the liquor element
IlS THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
complains, what then? Their complaint is attended
to at once. Why? Because they are the most law-
abiding and influential section of the community?
No, but because they are just at the present time the
most powerful section of the community. Do not
misunderstand me. I do not mean that the temper-
ance people of our land have not the balance of
power in their own hands. They certainly have, but
they do not make use of it, while the liquor element
use what power they have for all it is worth. The
C. P. R., and all other such like corporations know
full well this state of affairs, and as Mr. Tait says:
'Their objects do not extend beyond the promotion
of their business/ and consequently they are ready
at all times to cater to the commands of those who
are making their power felt in the land, and to ignore
almost entirely the wishes of those who have the
power, but fear to use it. Mr. Editor, what are the
temperance people doing? Are we sleeping on
guard? It seems to me that we are. How many
of us, after reading the two last issues of The Tem-
plar y will not deliberately step on board of a C. P. R.
train, and pay our money to that corporation when
in many cases we could just as conveniently transfer
our patronage to some other road. What is our plain
duty in the case? Is it not to show the Canadian
Pacific Railway that we are a power in the land, and
that we intend to plainly show that corporation that
the rights of good citizenship are not to be trampled
upon with impunity? The action of the C. P. R. in
the Smith case should call vividly to our minds the
MORE BITS OP PUBLIC OPINION. I 1 9
action of the Grand Trunk a few years ago, when
they discharged their agent at Richmond, Que., be-
cause he openly opposed the temperance people."
In concluding this chapter, we will give the opin-
ion of an eminent clergyman, Rev. J. B. Silcox, as
expressed by him from the pulpit of Emanuel
Church, Montreal. Nor is this by any means the
only voice which sounded from Canadian pulpits on
the same subject. The Witness of December 3ist,
1894, has the following:
" Referring to the C. P. R., Mr. Silcox denounced
it vigorously for its action in dismissing an employee
because he saw fit to fight the drink traffic. There
was nothing in the world so heartless as a great cor-
poration. The C. P. R. had shown itself more heart-
less than a despotic king. It had come to a sorry
pass when an employee was robbed of the right of
exercising his own free will. By its action the Com-
pany had thrown all its weight on the side of the
liquor party to which it catered. He had lived in
the Northwest several years, and had seen other in-
stances of how this great Company had ground oth-
ers under its iron heel. 'In discharging the man I
refer to, the Canadian Pacific Railway has shown that
it lays claim to both the body and soul of its em-
ployees. In the history of this country did you ever
hear of anything more shameful? It makes one's
blood boil. And the men who commit these acts
can boast of knighthood. Alas ! ' "
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST.
We have been considering some of the opinions of
the temperance and law-abiding public regarding the
dismissal of Mr. W. W. Smith. However, the tem-
perance people were not all content with simply dis-
cussing the matter, and blaming the C. P. R. for the
action they had taken, nor even with transferring their
patronage to another road. The Alliance took steps
to obtain an explanation of Mr. Brady's conduct and
the policy which he had attributed to the C. P. R.,
and if possible to gain some reparation for an act
which seemed to them unreasonable and unjust. It
was stated in a former chapter that the secretary of
the Quebec Provincial Branch had been instructed to
enquire into the rumored attempt of the liquor men to
secure Mr. Smith's dismissal, and report the facts in
the case at the next meeting of the Alliance. His
conclusions after this enquiry are embodied in the
following letter, dated October 9th, and addressed to
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 121
" Thomas Tait, Esq., Assistant General Manager,
Canadian Pacific Railway":
" DEAR SIR, I herewith return the correspond-
ence concerning Mr. Smith which you allowed me
to have, and which our committee very carefully
considered. The action taken by your Company in
dismissing Mr. Smith from his position as your
agent at Sutton Junction, notice of which he re-
ceived on Saturday last, October 6th, renders futile
any further conference between the Company and
this Alliance on behalf of Mr. Smith. I am, how-
ever, instructed to say that after a very careful con-
sideration of all the correspondence referred to us,
after a thorough investigation of the whole matter,
we have come to the conclusion that the paramount
reason for Mr. Smith's dismissal is his activity as a
temperance man. Your Assistant Superintendent in
his letter to Mr. Smith, dated September 7th, makes
this as clear as possible. He says : * You must
cither quit temperance work or quit the Company.
It makes no difference whether you are on duty or
off duty, so far as this Company is concerned. They
demand the whole and entire time of their men, and
they are going to have it.' These are as plain words
as the English language can produce, and their
meaning cannot be misunderstood. The complaints
made subsequent to my interview with you on the iQth
of September have, in our opinion, the appearance
of an effort to find a reason to explain the one given
by your Asistant Superintendent; a reason which
122 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
we think your Company will find exceedingly diffi-
cult to sustain at the bar of public opinion to which
it must now go. As regards these recent complaints,
Mr. Smith has never seen them. He has never been
given an opportunity to deny them, or offer any ex-
planation. If these or other charges of a similar
character are the essential ones, then he has been
condemned without a hearing, either before your
superintendent or any other officer of the Company.
Mr. Smith informs us that he is quite prepared to
defend himself against any charge of neglect of duty
or unfaithful service to the Company. His record
of fifteen years' service is an indication that as a
railroad man he has done his duty. As regards the
principal charge, the charge upon which his resig-
nation was asked for by your Assistant Superintend-
ent in the letter referred to above in the following
words : ' I was in hopes you would relieve the strain
by gracefully tendering your resignation,' the specific
complaint made being that he had on the evening of
September 3d, delivered a temperance lecture. To
this charge he pleads guilty, and now suffers the
consequences, viz., dismissal and pecuniary loss.
"This Alliance, as representing the temperance
people of this Province, protests in the most em-
phatic manner against this act of obvious injustice to
one of our number ; an act which we have every
reason to believe to be the result of a concerted
plan to use your Company to injure and if possible
render nugatory the temperance work of the people
of Brome County, who, for very many years, have
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST.
been endeavoring to uphold and enforce the law of
the land, which declares that no intoxicating liquor
shall be sold within the bounds of that county.
"In this effort, they did not expect to have the
powerful influence of your Company turned against
them, and, therefore, feel keenly and with intense re-
gret this action in regard to Mr. Smith, the Presi-
dent of the Brome County Alliance ! You will
readily understand that we cannot allow this matter
to drop, and, therefore, have taken steps to bring the
whole matter before another tribunal.
11 1 am, dear sir, respectfully yours,
"J. H. Carson, Sec'y."
On October i6th, a meeting of the executive of
the Quebec Provincial Alliance was held in Mon-
treal, for the purpose of considering affairs relating
to this dismissal. Mr. Carson reported the corre-
spondence which he had had with Mr. Tait, and the
Executive, having unanimously approved Mr.
Carson's letters, adopted the following resolution :
" WHEREAS, Mr. W. W. Smith, the President of
the Brome County Alliance, has been dismissed from
his position as agent of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way, and whereas we have reason to believe that his
dismissal has been brought about because of his
temperance activity, and not because of dereliction
of duty : Resolved, That this Alliance will stand by
Brome County Alliance in any action it may take
124 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
under the advice of our solicitors to vindicate the
reputation of Mr. Smith."
At this meeting also, a committee was appointed
to whom the correspondence in the hands of the
secretary should be referred for whatever action
they might deem best.
On October 26th, a meeting of the Brome County
Alliance was held at which the dismissal was also
considered. Some members of the Provincial
Alliance from Montreal were present at this meeting.
On December 22d, the following appeared among
the Witness editorials:
"The dismissal of Mr. W. W. Smith, the Canadian
Pacific station agent at Sutton Junction, for law and
order work ia a prohibition county, and specifically
for delivering a temperance lecture, is still a live
subject. The Dominion Alliance, as whose officer
Mr. Smith committed the offences for which he suf-
fers, naturally protested to the Company, and ap-
pealed to the public against this assault on the
liberties of their workers. The Company, we under-
stand, thinks it only fair that its reply to the Alli-
ance's protest should be published as widely as that
protest was, and this we think entirely reasonable,
whatever may be said of the merits of that reply,
which does not seem to us to make the matter any
better. After being duly presented to a meeting of
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 125
the Alliance committee, and then referred to Mr.
Smith, against whom it raises new charges, it is now
with the consent of all parties published, and it will
be forwarded to all the temperance organizations for
their information. It occupies a good deal of room,
but will be read with extreme interest as showing
just how a money corporation looks on the liberties
of its servants."
The reply referred to in this article as being that
made by the C. P. R. to the letter of Mr. Carson,
which we quoted above, is as follows :
" J. H. Carson, Esq.,
" Secretary Dominion Alliance, Montreal.
"DEAR SIR, Your letter of November Qth reached
me in due course. I have been somewhat disin-
clined for several reasons to take part in any further
correspondence on the subject, but upon further re-
flection I have decided to point out to you in writing,
as I have already, on two or three occasions, done
verbally, that the termination of Mr. Smith's engage-
ment with this Company did not take place by the
reasons assigned by you in that letter. You say,
'We have come to the conclusion that the paramount
reason for Mr. Smith's dismissal is his activity as a
temperance man.' Whether intentionally or unin-
tentionally, this language is framed so as to convey
the meaning that the Company objected to the prin-
ciples (namely, temperance principles) which were
advocated by Mr. Smith. Nothing could be further
126 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
from the truth. If Mr. Smith had been as much
occupied in abusing temperance principles as he was
in advocating them, the objection would have been
not only as great, but greater. It must be manifest
to every business man in the community that every
railway company, and, indeed, every other business
organization employing large numbers of workmen,
is most emphatically in favor of temperance ; so
much so that in the case of our Company I feel con-
vinced that its influence in favor of temperance and
the prevention of the improper use of intoxicating liq-
uors is ten thousand times more than that of Mr. Smith
or any other individual, in fact, it is probably one
of the most powerful factors in that direction in
"Our Company has for many years past done
what is not often done by property owners. We
have declined to sell our lands at different stations
along our line, except under conditions which pre-
vents the sale of intoxicating liquors on the premises,
and which have the effect of depriving the buyer of
his title to the property in case that stipulation is
broken. In addition, we have had for many years
past, amongst the rules and regulations governing all
our employees, the following rule:
"' Use of Liquor. The continued or excessive
periodical use of malt or alcoholic liquors should be
abstained from by every one engaged in operating
the road, not only on account of the great risks to
life and property incurred by entrusting them to the
oversight of those whose intellects may be dulled at
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. I2/
times when most care is needed, but also, and espe-
cially, because habitual drinking has a very bad effect
upon the constitution, which is a serious matter to
men so liable to injury as railway employees always
are. It so lessens the recuperative powers of the
body that simple wounds are followed by the most
serious and dangerous complications. Fractures
unite slowly, if at all, and wounds of a grave nature,
such as those requiring the loss of a limb, are al-
most sure to end fatally. No employee can afford
to take such risks, and the Railway Company cannot
assume such responsibilities.' This rule has, in fact,
been revised within the last few months, and couched
in more prohibitory language, and will shortly be is-
sued to the employees in that form. Along our line
there are thousands of its officials who are every day
insisting on the practice of temperance. They deal
with the engagement of subordinates and the con-
duct and efficiency of persons in our employment in
such a way as to show that temperance is indispen-
sable to the efficiency of our employees, to the con-
duct of the Company's business, and to the success
and promotion of the workmen themselves, but this is
done in respect of matters which are entirely within
their jurisdiction as officers of the Company.
"There are, unfortunately, many questions upon
which the public hold different opinions so strongly
that they are virtually divided into opposing classes,
and it is impossible for any one prominently and
publicly to advocate either side of any of these ques-
tions, without immediately raising a strong feeling of
128 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
opposition in a considerable portion of the commu-
nity, who take the opposite side. These questions
are of different kinds, religious, political, social, racial,
etc. ; and it must be apparent that no matter how
well founded any person's views may be on any of
these questions, if he devotes himself energetically to
the promulgation and advocacy of his views at pub-
lic meetings, lectures, etc., he will without fail antag-
onize a considerable section of the community. It
is, therefore, apparent to every business man that
any person who adopts this course at once renders
himself less useful than he would otherwise be in any
position (such, for instance, as a station agent) in
the employment of a Railway Company, whose main
object must be to increase its business from every
possible source, and who must be careful not to an-
tagonize any portion of the community upon whose
patronage, as part of the general public, the success
of the Company depends. Illogically, and perhaps
unfortunately, there are many persons in every com-
munity who hold the employer answerable for the
public advocacy of the views of the persons in his
employment, even when disconnected with the busi-
ness of the employer. This ought not to be the case,
but as undeniably it is the case, it follows that the
usefulness of an employee is with certainty dimin-
ished, and perhaps destroyed, when he gives much
of his attention and some of his time to advocating
his personal views at public meetings, lectures, etc.,
upon either side of any question upon which the
public is divided in the way I have before mentioned,
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST.
and this, although he do so only during the hours of
the day when he is not supposed to be in the active
service of his employer. As far as I am able to
judge, no official of our Company, of whose duties
one is to solicit and secure traffic for the Company,
could take sides on any of these questions at public
meetings and lectures without impairing his usefulness
to the Company. Taken by themselves, and with-
out regard to the circumstances, some of the expres-
sions in Mr. Brady's letters to Mr. Smith are capable
of misinterpretation, and, as I have stated to you on
several occasions, do not meet with the Company's
approval, as they do not express correctly its policy
on the subject. There is no doubt, however, in our
mind, as I have already assured you, that throughout
this unfortunate affair Mr. Brady was only intent on
protecting the Company's interests by preventing
unnecessary hostility, and at the outset on saving
Mr. Smith himself from trouble.
" I have already shown you correspondence from
different persons containing statements concerning
Mr. Smith, which, if true, indicate the impossibility
of any person being able to give thorough and effi-
cient service to any railway company, whilst he pub-
licly advocates views on either side of any question
such as I have referred to, upon which the public is
divided. But the matters referred to in that corre-
spondence are insignificant compared with the taking
in public an active part on either side of such moot
questions as I have referred to. The conclusion that
Mr. Smith's usefulness was gone, does not depend on
I3O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
the truth or untruth of them ; it was therefore not
necessary or proper to discuss them further with Mr.
Smith upon the theory that they were material to the
question whether he should continue or not in the
Company's service. As, however, in your letter you
refer to the complaints covered by that correspond-
ence as having the ' appearance of an effort to find a
reason to explain the one given for Mr. Smith's dis-
missal/ and as you have returned this correspond-
ence to me, it may not be out of place for me to
refresh your memory as to some of the points cov-
ered by it. Mr. Stewart, the Superintendent of the
Dominion Express Company, wrote Mr. Brady, from
Montreal, on September 29th as follows :
" ' Route Agent Bowen informs me that when visit-
ing Sutton Junction this week, he found F. G. Sin-
clair in charge of the station, and doing the work in
Mr. Smith's name. Mr. Smith had gone away with-
out giving us notice. He did not give the new agent
the combination of the safe, and carried away our
revolver for his protection, instead of leaving it at the
station to protect our property. Mr. Bowen suc-
ceeded in finding Smith, and getting the revolver,
and also had the combination of the safe changed
and given to the new agent. I may say that Mr.
Smith had given the relieving agent the combination
of the outside door of the safe only, which left us
without any better protection than an ordinary fire-
proof safe, and we sometimes have very large amounts
of money to carry over night. This is just about in
keeping with all Mr. Smith's work. Unless we can
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 131
be assured of better protection at Sutton Junction, we
will have to make different arrangements in regard to
handling our money for the Northern division, by
transferring the fire and burglar proof safe at Sutton
Junction to Fosters, and make the money transfer at
that point instead of at Sutton Junction.
"'Of course, it will be absolutely necessary to
transfer some money at the Junction at all times, but
bank packages, etc., will have to be sent by the other
route for our protection.
" ' Route Agent Bowen reports the present agent
is attending carefully to our business. If the old
agent will be re-appointed I would be glad of a few
days' notice so we can make different arrangements
in the interest of this Company.'
41 You will remember from the correspondence that
Mr. O. C. Selby wrote to Mr. Brady that he had
the combination of the outside door of the safe, and
that the combination of the inside door, which should
also have been used, was not used from the time Mr.
Selby started work (October, 1893) until June last;
that Mr. Smith was often absent from the office dur-
ing the day, frequently remaining there only half an
"You will remember also that Mr. J. O'Regan, the
operator at Sutton Junction, stated in writing that he
had at the request of Mr. Smith, who desired to ab-
sent himself from duty, worked in the latter's place
on the afternoon and evening previous to the assault,
and that on several occasions he had been left in
charge of the station during Mr. Smith's absence.
132 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
In this connection you will remember that I informed
you that on the occasion first referred to, and that on
some, if not all, of the previous occasions, Mr. Smith
had absented himself from duty without permission.
I believe that it was admitted by Mr. Smith himself,
at the trial, that when he was assaulted he was asleep,
although at that time he should have been on duty
" You will also recollect that Mr. Smith, having
applied through Detective Carpenter to Mr. Brady
for leave of absence to go to New Marlboro, Mass.,
for the purpose of identifying one of his assailants,
and having obtained such leave of absence, and a
pass to Newport and return, remained absent from
duty for ten days after his return from New Marl-
boro, without communicating with Mr. Brady, and
that it was while he was so absent without leave that
he delivered a temperance lecture at Richford.
" It is not customary with this Company to discuss
with persons not directly interested the reasons for
discharging, punishing, rewarding or otherwise deal-
ing with its men, but you will recollect that in this
case an exception was made, and that I offered you
every facility, including free transportation over our
line, if you would, by visiting localities in which
Messrs. Smith and Brady were known, satisfy your-
self as to the propriety of Mr. Smith's discharge, and
it will also be within your memory that I offered to
arrange a meeting between yourself and Mr. Brady,
or, if it was desired, to meet your committee myself
to discuss the matter. None of these offers was taken
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 133
advantage of, and, so far as I know, none of the sug-
gestions made were followed.
" It is not, however, as I have said, necessary to go
into these details in order to support the conclusion
that Mr. Smith's usefulness as agent for the Cana-
dian Pacific Railway Company is over. The Com-
pany is carrying on the business of a railway company,
and its objects do not extend beyond the promotion
of that business. Its success depends upon the favor
and patronage of the community at large, and if one
of its officers or employees so conducts himself as to
antagonize a section of the community, or even in a
manner which is likely to bring about that result, the
Company's interests are injuriously affected, and the
Company will naturally do, what every business man
would do, namely, protect its interests by his removal.
"Yours truly, THOS. TAIT,
"Assistant General Manager.
"Montreal, Dec. 6th y 1894."
It will be noticed that in this letter Mr. Tait, refer-
ring to the acts of officials, "who are every day in-
sisting on the practice of temperance," says : "But
this is done in respect of matters which are entirely
within their jurisdiction as officers of the Company."
The implication plainly is that, while officers of the
Canadian Pacific Railway have a right to insist upon
sobriety among the employees of the Company, they
have not a right to engage in any other form of tern-
134 THR STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
perance work. That all Mr. Smith's work for the
cause was within his jurisdiction as an officer of the
Alliance, and a free citizen is not taken into consid-
eration, and it appears that no employee of the Can-
adian Pacific Railway is supposed to have a right to
accept any offices or perform any duties outside the
Mr. Tait does not condemn the position taken by
his Assistant Superintendent, on the contrary he very
plainly takes the same position himself, and simply
disapproves of some of Mr. Brady's expressions.
This reminds us of what is told of some parents who
are said to punish their children, not for evil doing
but for getting found out. If Mr. Brady had con-
cealed the motive for his act so as to prevent any
complaints from the public, the Company, according
to Mr. Tait's letter, would have had no objection to
the dismissal of an employee simply for temperance
To the above letter Mr. Carson made the follow-
ing reply, which was published in the same issue of
"December 2ist, 1894.
"T. Tait, Esq., Asst. General Manager, C. P. R. :
"DEAR SIR, Your letter of December 6th has
had the attention of the Alliance Committee, which
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 13$
takes great pleasure in hearing of the stand taken by
your Company in various ways in behalf of temper-
ance, the wisdom of which will commend itself to all.
When, however, you say Mr. Smith was not dis-
missed for the reason assigned in my letter to you,
namely, his activity as a temperance man, you deny
what seems to be admitted in the whole of the rest
of your letter. This was, as the correspondence
shows, the only reason conveyed to Mr. Smith as the
cause of his dismissal. My letter did not allege, nor
was it intended to convey the impression, that the
Company's action was due to its objection to the
principles held by Mr. Smith, but that it was due to
his activity in advocating those principles.
"You have at considerable length set forth that
what the Company objects to is, that an employee
of the Company should actively take sides on a ques-
tion on which the community is divided, even 'al-
though he do so only during the hours of the day
when he is not supposed to be in the active service
of his employer,' and you add that 'no official of our
Company, one of whose duties is to solicit and secure
traffic for the Company, could take sides on any of
these questions at public meetings and lectures with-
out impairing his usefulness to the Company.' This is
precisely the position taken by Mr. Brady in his cor-
respondence with Mr. Smith, and it is against this
position, to which the Company through you pleads
guilty, that we, in the name of the temperance peo-
ple of Canada, protest, implying as it does a condi-
tion of servitude to the liquor interest on the part of
136 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
a national institution dependent upon the public
patronage for support, which insults all that is best
in our public opinion, and insisting as it does on a
condition of ignoble slavery on the part of the em-
ployees of the Company. You refer to the matter
in which Mr. Smith was regarded as over-active as a
"Whether men should be required to observe the
law of the land, or be punished for violating it, is, we
submit, not a moot question. On the contrary, we
hold it the duty of every loyal citizen to uphold law,
and render such assistance as lies in his power to
secure its enforcement.
"With regard to the later charges against Mr.
Smith, parenthetically enumerated in your letter, you
say they are insignificant, and that, therefore, ' it was
not necessary or proper to discuss them further with
Mr. Smith.' If so, we may also be excused from
discussing them. We have given Mr. Smith com-
munication of your letter, that he may reply to these
if he sees best.
"Referring to your kind offer of free transporta-
tion over your line, to visit the localities in which
Messrs. Smith and Brady were known, and satisfy
myself as to the propriety of Mr. Smith's discharge,
I might say that I did visit those localities without
accepting the offer of free transportation, which ac-
counts for your not knowing of my visit to Brome
County. As the result of that visit I was still better
informed as to the operation of the occult influence
which had brought about Mr. Smith's dismissal.
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 137
"Your offer to meet our committee and discuss the
question was rendered nugatory by the dismissal of
"In the management of your Company it is not
our part to interfere, but when an employee of your
Company is dismissed, as alleged by the Assistant
Superintendent, and now confirmed by yourself, for
publicly advocating those principles which this Alli-
ance is organized to promote, and for promoting the
observance of the laws of his country, it is right for
us to express to you the protest of a very large por-
tion of the people of Canada, and their indignation at
seeing one of their number thus suffer for conscience
sake. It is, of course, for the Company to judge how
best to promote its own business, but when so large
a portion of the public as those who support temper-
ance laws and seeks their enforcement is openly
snubbed in the interests, and it would seem at the
instance, of illicit and murderous dealers in a contra-
band article, from the transport of which your Com-
pany seeks profit, we may fairly ask the question
whether the Company is acting even the part of
worldly wisdom. Your declaration that if one of the
Company's officers or employees so conducts himself
as to antagonize a section of the community, or even
in a manner which is likely to bring about that result,
the Company's interests are injuriously affected, and
the Company will naturally do what every business
man would do, namely, 'protect its interests by his
removal,' is definite and distinct, and seems to apply
to the definite attitude assumed towards the advo-
138 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
cates of temperance by your Assistant Superintend-
ent. His conduct is certain to be remembered with
resentment all over Canada, so long as his continu-
ance in office and the endorsement of his act are the
index of the policy of your Company.
" I remain, dear sir,
" Very respectfully yours,
"J. H. CARSON, Secretary."
As stated by Mr. Carson, Mr. Tait's letter was for-
warded to Mr. Smith, that he might reply to its ac-
cusations if he saw fit. Accordingly, he wrote to the
Editor of the Witness as follows :
"SlR, I desire, in replying to the complaints
made against me in Mr. Tait's letter, addressed to the
Secretary of the Dominion Alliance, to say that, so
far as these complaints are concerned, this is the first
time I have seen them, and I have never been asked
by the Canadian Pacific Railway to offer any expla-
nation, nor have I been given an opportunity to deny
the correctness of the charges made against me.
"With regard to the letter of Mr. Stewart, of the
Dominion Express Company, I have this to say:
This complaint, in the first place, was only made
three weeks after Mr. Brady had requested me to
tender my resignation, for the specific reason given
in his letter, so that it could not have had any con-
nection with the real cause of my dismissal.
"When I was assaulted on July 8th, I wired Mr.
THE DOMIXION ALLIAXCR PROTEST. 139
Stewart that I was unable to work, and asked him if
I should give the combination of the inside door of
the safe to the man in charge. I received no reply.
Mr. Stewart knew perfectly well that I was sick in
bed, and that it was his duty to send a man to
change the combination, which he did not do, after
being wired of my disability. Now Mr. Stewart,
after paying not the slightest attention to the notice
of my illness, censures me for not notifying him when
I went to the United States to identify the man who
assaulted me. Regarding my carrying off the revol-
ver, this is true ; but, as the Company demanded the
whole of my time off duty, as well as on, and as I
was expected to resume work any day, I do not see
why I should not be regarded as their property, and
as much entitled to protection as any other until I
"Mr. Selby's statements are also misleading. It
was months after he entered my office before I allowed
him to have the combination of the safe (outside
door), and this was with the knowledge and consent
of Route Agent Bowen, or he would never have had
even the combination of the outer door. Mr. Bowen
checked up my office with Mr. Selby two or three
times, and was satisfied. Mr. Selby's statement that
the inner door of the safe was not used from October,
1893, to June, 1894, is not true, and cannot be sub-
stantiated, as he was away from my office for weeks
during that time.
"As to my changing work with Mr. O'Regan, I
did, and such things are quite customary with agents
I4O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
and operators, as well as Assistant Superintendents ;
and this custom prevails at the present time all along
the line. I may add that there was a distinct under-
standing between Mr. Brady and myself that I could
drive out or walk out whenever I saw fit, without
communicating with him.
" Some explanation ought to be made concerning
the manner in which these complaints from Mr.
Selby and Mr. O'Regan were secured by Mr. Brady,
when it was found necessary to produce before Mr.
Tait other evidence against me. I have seen both
Mr. Selby and Mr. O'Regan in company with a wit-
ness I took with me, and questioned them as to how
they came to make such charges. I found that Mr.
Brady had taken the fast express from Farnham,
which does not stop at Sutton Junction ; it, however,
slowed up enough to allow him to jump off. He
walked to the station and remained nearly three hours
endeavoring to obtain incriminating evidence against
me. Mr. Selby informed me he did not think his
letters would come to light, as Mr. Brady told him it
would be personal, and he thought as I was dismissed
from the Company's service, the statements would
not hurt me, and it might help him to a situation at
some future time. He said the statements were first
drawn from him by adroit questioning, and he was
then asked to put them in writing.
"When Mr. Brady arrived at Sutton Junction, the
night operator, O'Regan, was asleep, but he did not
hesitate to call him up, and deprive him of two or
three hours' rest, notwithstanding the fact that on the
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 141
first of July, when he refused to allow the night oper-
ator, Ireland, to work for me so as to permit of my
going to Montreal to attend the National Prohibition
Convention, the reason he gave was that night oper-
ators required their days to rest to insure efficient
service during the night. But in this case he breaks
up the rest of a night operator in order to secure this
statement from O'Regan.
44 Mr. Tait says I was asleep when assaulted. This
I do not deny, but he knows his operators all sleep
more or less during the night, when they understand
the position of their trains. Every railway man
knows this. But why are these matters brought be-
fore the public now? Why was I not allowed a hear-
ing by the officers of the Company? If a collision
occurs on the line, or other serious things occur, the
parties concerned are given a chance to clear them-
selves. If men get drunk and damage the Com-
pany's property, they are given a hearing, and in
many cases they resume work. But all this was
denied me. There must have been a reason for this ;
it must be because Mr. Tait really understood the
whole matter thoroughly, as he says in his letter, * This
correspondence' (referring to these later charges)
*is insignificant,' and especially as he has said to a
Witness reporter, and published in the Witness of
July I ith : 'I have no proof that Mr. Smith has vio-
lated the confidence of the Company.' No, my seri-
ous offence was, as Mr. Tait states, 'the taking in
public an active part on either side of such moot
Questions as I have referred to.'
142 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
" Mr. Tait also stated that this rule applies to ques-
tions of politics. Now, if the same rule applied to
temperance as applies to politics, I would still be in
my position as agent of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way at Sutton Junction, for during the last general
elections the Company would have allowed me to
move heaven and earth, if possible, to elect their
candidate, which we did through their wire pulling.
I don't wonder people say the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way runs the government, but they cannot run the
Brome County Alliance or any of the other temper-
ance organizations. I would like to ask Mr. Brady
in connection with these charges, why he should add
insult to injury by asserting that the temperance peo-
ple could all 'go to h 1,' and he 'does not care a
G d ' for them all, and why was I approached in
an obscure way, and inducements made to me to
resign my position as President of the Brome County
Alliance, and give up lecturing on temperance, and
retain my position as agent of the Canadian Pacific
Railway? These are some facts that more clearly
reveal the real cause for my dismissal, and the source
from which opposition to me really came, namely,
the liquor traffic, exerted through its emissaries.
" It should be borne in mind that every scrap of
evidence against me, such as it is, has been trumped
up, since my dismissal. Who before ever heard of a
man being sentenced and executed and then the
evidence of his guilt hunted up?
"W. W. SMITH.
"Sutton, December 24th> 1804"
THE DOMINION ALLIANCE PROTEST. 143
The feelings which then animated the temperance
public of Canada concerning the conduct of the Can-
adian Pacific Railway may be seen from the following
article in the Witness of December 28th:
"The meeting of representatives of the various
provincial and Dominion temperance bodies, held
yesterday afternoon in the Temple Building, was
for the purpose of receiving reports from the execu-
tives of these grand bodies concerning the action
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, in dis-
missing Mr. Smith for his activity in temperance
"The Secretary presented a very large number of
resolutions adopted by these various executives, ex-
pressing their condemnation of the Company, and
endorsing heartily the action of the Alliance, in seek-
ing to have the injustice removed. The resolutions
were from British Columbia, Northwest Territories,
Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, as well as from Maritime
Provinces from far off Victoria, B. C., to Halifax,
"The communications indicate that the whole
temperance community is thoroughly aroused, and
intensely interested in this matter. The meeting
adopted a strong resolution, which was referred to a
committee of five, who were empowered to take such
further action as they deem best to carry out the
spirit of the resolutions presented to the meeting
144 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"The Secretary was instructed to inform Mr. Tait,
Assistant General Manager of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, that this committee would confer with him
in regard to this matter, if we should so desire. The
committee will await Mr. Tait's reply before publish-
ing the resolutions received or those adopted at yes-
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST.
In our last chapter was given a letter written by
Mr. Qarson on December 2ist, and addressed to Mr.
Tait. Tfce reply to this was as follows :
"J. H. Carson, Esq., Secretary Quebec Provincial
Branch ot the Dominion Alliance, 162 St. James
Street, Montreal :
" DEAR Slfc, I have acknowledged the receipt of
your two communications of the 2ist and 28th ult.
As your letter of the 2ist states that the Alliance
does not allege that the reason for Mr. Smith's dis-
charge by the Company was the nature of the prin-
ciples held and advocated by him, and states that the
sole objection of the Alliance to the action of the
Company in this matter is the discharge of an em-
ployee from its service 'for his activity in advocating
those principles,' I now desire to state briefly, and in
such a way as I trust will prevent any possibility of
being any longer misinterpreted, the views of the
Company on that point.
"The Company does not object to its employees
holding, practising and promoting temperance prin-
ciples in such a manner as not to injuriously affect
the Company's interests, but it does object seriously
146 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
to any employee actively engaging in the advocacy
and agitation of these or any other principles or
views, no matter how respectable and proper in them-
selves, about which there is a well understood differ-
ence of opinion in the community, in such a manner
as either to injuriously affect the Company's interests
or to impair his usefulness as an employee, or to in-
terfere with the proper performance of his duties to
his employer, as to all of which it cannot be expected
that any other than the Company should be the judge.
"There is a large portion of the population of this
country who, rightly or wrongly, differ from and op-
pose the views which are promulgated and promoted
by the Alliance, and which have been so vigorously
and persistently advocated by Mr. Smith, the result
being, as it was sure to be, that his usefulness as our
agent was seriously impaired, owing to the Company
having to bear to some extent the antagonism which
logically perhaps ought to have been confined to
him, though there was some ground for the public
considering that the Company was taking a part in
his advocacy, since in advertising public meetings to
be addressed by himself, Mr. Smith described him-
self as ' VV. W. Smith, of the Canadian Pacific Rail-
way, Temperance Lecturer.'
" In this connection I beg to draw your attention
to the fact that Mr. Smith did not confine his work
of agitation, public lecturing, etc., to the County of
Brome, or that section of the country in which the
majority of the population had voted in favor of the
prohibition of liquor, but that his operations extended
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 147
beyond these limits. After the fullest investigation,
and consideration of this whole matter, I feel con-
strained to say that the Company's course was, under
the circumstances, not only justified, but, having
regard to its business interests, unavoidable.
"In yours of the 2ist ult, you refer again to the
correspondence between Mr. Brady and Mr. Smith.
Inasmuch as the Company has stated that the ex-
pressions complained of do not meet with its approval
or express correctly its policy, I submit that it is now
clearly improper and unfair to endeavor to make
them appear as a reason for the continuation of the
complaint against the Company.
"I note from your letter of the 28th ult., that a
meeting is suggested between the officials of the
Company and a committee representing the Alliance.
I shall be glad, as I a long time ago offered to meet
this committee, and as you have kindly left the ap-
pointment of the time and place of meeting with me,
I suggest, if it is convenient to the committee, my
office on Monday next, at eleven A. M.
"The delay in replying to your letters was due to
the uncertainty of my movements and consequent
difficulty in naming a time for the proposed meeting.
"(Signed), THOS. TAIT,
"Assistant General Manager."
According to the spirit of this letter, no man hav-
ing an interest in any reform, or a desire to aid in any
work for the good of his fellow-men, can conscien-
148 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
tiously hold a position in the employ of this great
Company, which is so influential in our beloved coun-
try. Must every self-supporting man be a slave?
Mr. Tait says, "After the fullest investigation, and
consideration of this whole matter, I feel constrained
to say that the Company's course was, under the cir-
cumstances, not only justifiable, but, having regard
to its business interests, unavoidable."
Mr. Tait does not say "Mr. Brady's course," but
"the Company's course," thus showing that Mr.
Brady had not acted independently of his superior
officers in dismissing Mr. Smith.
Mr. Tait also expresses the Company's disapproval
of Mr. Brady's "expressions," while he, himself,
makes statements which seem quite as objectionable
as those of Mr. Brady. Moreover, as Mr. Tait sanc-
tions the dismissal of an employee for active temper-
ance work, and mentions in this letter no other cause
as having led to Mr. Smith's discharge, we do not
see why he should object to an Assistant Superin-
tendent naming the same reason to an under official,
whom he is dismissing from the Company's service.
The conference arranged between Mr. Tait and the
representatives of the Alliance was held in the office
of the former on January 7th, 1895. The meeting
began at half-past eleven, and continued until nearly
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 149
two o'clock, when, as no definite decision was reached,
it was decided to adjourn until the following morning.
The resolutions adopted by the various temperance
bodies in Montreal, and elsewhere, were presented to
Mr. Tait. The following circular, issued by the
Quebec Provincial Branch of the Dominion Alliance,
shows the result of the conference on January 8th.
11 Dominion Alliance,
"Quebec Provincial Branch,
"MONTREAL, Jan. 30th, 1895.
" DEAR SIR, On November 28th last, by circular
letter, we called the attention of the executives of the
various grand bodies of the temperance organizations
of the Dominion to the action of the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company, in dismissing from their employ
the President of one of our county alliances, Mr. W.
\V. Smith. Enclosed in this circular was a copy of
the correspondence which led up to the dismissal.
In response to this circular, resolutions were received
from every Province of the Dominion, as well as from
the executives of Dominion organizations.
"These resolutions were very emphatic in their
condemnation of the position taken by Assistant
Superintendent Brady, in the published correspond-
ence, to wit, that an employee 'must quit temperance
work or quit the Company.'
"These resolutions were carefully considered at
the conference of temperance representatives, held in
I5O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
this city on December 27th, and it was decided to
ask the Canadian Pacific Railway to repudiate the
position taken by Assistant Superintendent Brady,
and that it take such action in regard to Mr. Brady,
whose course has given so much offence to the tem-
perance people, as will convince its employees and
the public that its policy is not that represented by
his act. It was also decided that before any further
action be taken, the Canadian Pacific Railway should
be notified that if it so desired, a deputation from
this meeting would be prepared to meet the repre-
sentatives of the Company in conference.
"The Company concurred in the suggestion, and
as a result of two lengthy conferences, the following
agreement was arrived at :
" 'The Canadian Pacific Railway distinctly repu-
diate, as they have done from the commencement of
the discussion, the expressions used by Assistant
Superintendent Brady, when demanding Mr. Smith's
resignation, which expressions have been taken ex-
ception to by the temperance people.
" 'The Canadian Pacific Railway admit the right of
employees to identify themselves with the temper-
ance movement, and work for the same, provided
such work is done outside official hours, always with
due consideration to the interests of the Company.
The committee accept such declaration as satisfactory.
" 'The committee claims that the hasty and ill-
advised language used in Assistant Superintendent
Brady's correspondence, and otherwise, has caused
grave dissatisfaction on the part of the temperance
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 151
people of Canada. The committee disclaim any
attempt to coerce or dictate to the Canadian Pacific
in the management of the Company's affairs, but
under the circumstances look to the Canadian Pacific
Railway to place on record some substantial mark of
their disapproval of the expressions of one of their
staff, same having been the means of causing offence
to a large portion of the community.
" 'The Canadian Pacific Railway claims that, if for
no other reason, Mr. Smith's discharge was justifiable
on the ground of neglect of duty.'
"This was signed by Mr. Thomas Tait, Assistant
General Manager, on the part of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, and by the following delegation as represent-
ing the temperance people of Canada: Major E. L.
Bond, Mr. E. A. Dyer, M.P., Rev. A. M. Phillips, Mr. A.
M. Featherston, Mr. S.J. Carter, and Mr. J. H. Carson.
"This agreement and the delegation's report was
received and approved as satisfactory, by the execu-
tive of this provincial Alliance, and a committee ap-
pointed to communicate the result to the temperance
" It will thus be seen that the Company has entirely
repudiated the offensive language used by Mr. Brady,
and declares that it does not express the attitude of
the Company towards the temperance cause.
" The Company also admits the right of its em-
ployees to engage in temperance work ; and as regards
Mr. Brady, it acknowledges that cause for dissatis-
faction has existed, and promises that action will be
taken to remove this cause.
152 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"In placing these facts before you, we have to
congratulate our friends throughout the Dominion
upon the satisfactory conclusion of this matter, which
has given us all so much anxious concern.
"Another cause for congratulation is the intense
interest manifested in this case in every part of the
Dominion. From Vancouver to Prince Edward Isl-
and have come expressions of hearty cooperation,
which have been exceedingly gratifying, clearly
demonstrating the fact that there is a temperance
force throughout the country which, if only concen-
trated, and directed unitedly against the legalized
liquor traffic of our land, would be positively irresist-
ible. In the present instance a vital principle of
temperance reform was attacked and almost imme-
diately the whole Dominion resounds with the pro-
tests of the temperance people, and forthwith the
injustice is removed.
"With regard to Mr. Smith, we have this to add,
that having since accepted the position of organizer
and lecturer for the Independent Order of Good Tem-
plars of this Province, he had no desire to return to
the Company's employ, preferring to devote himself
entirely to the temperance work.
" On behalf of the executive,
"E. L. BOND,
"S. J. CARTER,
"A. M. FEATHERSTON,
<4 A. M. PHILLIPS,
"J. H. CARSON,
RESULTS OP THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 153
It will be noticed that in this letter the committee
congratulate their friends upon "the satisfactory con-
clusion of this matter." Also at a meeting of the
Executive of the Alliance before the above circular
was issued the following resolution was adopted :
"That this executive having heard the agreement
and the report of the committee thereon, is satisfied
with the same, and congratulate the temperance
people of Canada on the result."
It is often well for us to look at the bright side,
and this was what the Alliance Committee determined
on doing, and there surely were some encouraging
features connected with this case.
Nevertheless, as there are generally two sides which
may be seen in such an affair, there were many of
"the temperance people of Canada" who did not
consider this conclusion satisfactory, and exchanged
no congratulations, and it may do us no harm now
to look briefly at some of the disappointing features
in this settlement.
First, it is said, "that the Company has entirely
repudiated the offensive language used by Mr. Brady,
and declares that it does not express the attitude of
the Company towards the temperance cause." Now,
Mr. Tait had taken precisely this same position in
154 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
his4etters to the Alliance Secretary, previous to the
meeting with the committee, and even in the minutes
of the meeting, as above given, it is said, "The Cana-
dian Pacific Railway distinctly repudiate as they
have done from the commencement of the discussion
the expressions used by Assistant Superintendent
Brady." In view of this it would seem that not much
was gained by the meeting on this point.
Secondly, we are told that "the Company also
admits the right of its employees to engage in tem-
perance work." It certainly was encouraging that
this great Company should try to appear pleasing to
the Alliance, and seemed to show that the Canadian
Pacific Railway considered the temperance party a
powerful factor in the land, but when we come to
consider the manner in which the admission men-
tioned above was made, we can but see that it has a
very doubtful side. The sentence in which the Com-
pany makes this announcement is as follows:
"The Canadian Pacific Railway admit the right of
employees to identify themselves with the temper-
ance movement, and work for the same, provided
such work is done outside official hours, always with
due consideration to the interests of the Company."
As we are not told that Mr. Tait, at the meeting,
repudiated any of his own former statements, we will
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 15$
look at the above in the light of the following, from
his letter of December 6th, to Mr. Carson :
"As far as I am able to judge, no official of our
Company, of whose duties one is to solicit and secure
traffic for the Company, could take sides on any of
these questions," referring to matters about which
the public disagree, "at public meetings and lectures
without impairing its usefulness to the Company. . .
The Company is carrying on the busi-
ness of a railway company, and its objects do not
extend beyond the promotion of that business. Its
success depends upon the favor and patronage of the
community at large, and if one of its officers or em-
ployees so conducts himself as to antagonize a sec-
tion of the community, or even in a manner which is
likely to bring about that result, the Company's
interests are injuriously affected."
The admission made to the Alliance seems to be
robbed of most of its virtue by the above statements,
and it would seem that even yet the employees of
the Company may have but little liberty of conscience.
It is also said in the aforementioned circular that,
"as regards Mr. Brady, the Company acknowledges
that cause for dissatisfaction has existed, and prom-
ises that action will be taken to remove this cause."
This acknowledgment was certainly a good one,
but we have no knowledge of the promise having
156 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
been fulfilled. Mr. Brady has been moved from one
division to another of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
but as this change did not take place until long after
this meeting was held, and then only in connection
with many others among the officials and employees
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and as Mr. Brady
still holds an honorable position in the Company's
employ, we see no reason for supposing that this
had any connection with the promise made to the
Some of the temperance people feeling dissatisfied
with the results of the Canadian Pacific Railway-Alli-
ance Conference sent communications regarding it to
the papers, but the press, from some cause, seemed
very loath to publish these protests. However, the
following, addressed to the Editor of the Witness, did
find its way to the public, and may have expressed the
opinions of many besides the writer:
"SlR, That the temperance people of Canada
were moved, as never before, by the dismissal of its
Sutton Junction agent, Mr. W. VV. Smith, by the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company, because he had
rendered himself obnoxious to the lawbreakers of the
County of Brome, who had tried but failed to kill
him, there is no doubt, as may be clearly seen from
your columns, to say nothing of the thousand hearts,
which, like mine, said nothing, but felt no less all the
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 157
while that by its action the Canadian Pacific Railway
had placed a premium upon lawlessness and immor-
ality at the expense of those whom I had been taught
to regard as the 'salt of the earth.'
"The immediate consequence of this was that that
line of railway was being shunned, and its services
neglected by many of its old patrons, and by this
loss its magnates were being taught a lesson, and put
on the ' repentent stool,' and it seemed almost certain
that never more would the Bradys, Taits, and Van
Homes of this Canadian made and pampered cor-
poration forget that temperance people of Canada
had both the will and the power to retaliate upon
their persecutors. And that if another such dis-
missal was ever again attempted, they would ' more
darkly sin,' and hide the 'cloven foot,' which was so
openly shown by Brady and Tait.
"At this juncture of its affairs, and at the moment
when a persistence in the agitation would probably
have resulted in reparation of the wrong done to Mr.
Smith, and an open repudiation of its immoral atti-
tude, Mr. Tait managed to get a hold of some gentle-
men, who like the seven Tooley Street tailors, who
called themselves 'We, the people of England,' arro-
gated to themselves the right to speak for the tem-
perance people of Canada, and he played them off
on the 'Come into my parlor, said the spider to a
fly,' and the upshot of the matter is the most disap-
pointing and sickening, I think, I have ever seen.
" I do not know the names of any one of these men,
so I cannot be accused of malice in holding up their
158 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
conduct to the commiseration not to say contempt of
the public. Though an intense prohibitionist I have
never been able to appreciate the wisdom and nerve
of some of our temperance people ; yet, never before
have I noticed anything that looked so like treachery
to our cause.
"In your issue of the 8th inst. we have a large
heading, * Brady Repudiated,' and in the body of the
article we see this temperance committee, if not
openly repudiating Mr. Smith, allowing the Canadian
Pacific Railway to defame his character, and to their
very teeth justify his dismissal, and giving their con-
sent to both.
"How artfully Mr. Tait changed the whole ground
of complaint; and how simply the committee were
hoodwinked and befooled will be seen, when I say
that that which roused the temperance people was
the truckling of the Canadian Pacific Railway to the
liquor traffic, and its marked contempt for temper-
ance men, its moral tyranny over its employees, and
its wrongful dismissal of Mr. Smith, simply because
his attitude on a moral question had exasperated the
other side. But in the report which you give of the
interview between this committee and Mr. Tait, all
this is lost sight of, and the whole ground of com-
plaint is made to rest on poor Brady, the ' scape-
goat's' phraseology. 'The committee claimed that
the ill-advised language used in Assistant Superin-
tendent Brady's correspondence has caused great
dissatisfaction on the part of the temperance people
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 159
"The committee would seem to have insisted on
the punishment of Brady, while concurring with Tait
in everything. The report says :
"'The Canadian Pacific Railway acknowledges
that cause for dissatisfaction has existed, claim the
responsibility of dealing with, and will deal with the
matter in such manner as they consider deserving
in the premises.' If this is offered as a salve to the
small, cowardly feelings which would like to see a
subordinate punished for doing what he was told to
do, I trust the Canadian Pacific Railway will disap-
point the committee, and let their scapegoat go free.
It would be both cruel and unfair that the blow should
fall on Brady, the mean tool, and the bigger tyrants go
free. This is so evidently seen in the fact that Tait
practically insists on the same right to muzzle Cana-
dian Pacific Railway employees that Brady did.
" JAMES FINDLAY.
" Beachburg, P. Q"
Commenting on the above letter the Witness says :
"The question might be raised whether the com-
mittee appointed by the temperance conference had
instructions to come to any agreement with the Cana-
dian Pacific Railway. They certainly were instructed
to give the Company an opportunity to right the
wrong it had done before proceeding to publish the
finding of the conference. It was, therefore, natural
for the Company's representative to ask the commit-
tee what would satisfy them, and it would seem to
l6O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
the committee unreasonable not to answer such a
question. Mr. Findlay labors under a misconcep-
tion if he thinks the committee were not independent,
and determined to maintain the rights of temperance
men. They were selected so as best to represent the
interests of Mr. Smith as well as those of the princi-
ples at stake. The assurances they received were
certainly about as complete as could well be looked for
from a Company that was not prepared to acknowl-
edge itself dictated to as to the management of its
internal affairs. The Company was not asked to re-
instate Mr. Smith, which would have been unpleasant
for him. What it promised was that temperance
men should be under no disability in its service, and
though it reserved to itself the right to manage its
own affairs, it acknowledged that cause for dissatis-
faction existed, and undertook to deal with the mat-
ter. This, we submit, if followed up in accordance
with the Company's policy, as stated in Mr. Tait's
letters, is a very satisfactory position."
The reason of this latter statement is seen when
we remember that "the Company's policy as stated
in Mr. Tait's letters " was that when any officer or
employee antagonized a part of the community on a
question on which the public were divided, the Com-
pany would "protect its interests by his removal;"
and Mr. Brady had certainly opposed and displeased
a very large portion of the community. How this
Assistant Superintendent was really dealt with, is
RESULTS OF THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. \6l
shown by the following from a report of an executive
meeting of the Provincial Alliance, on April i8th:
"The first business considered was the communi-
cation from the Canadian Pacific Railway, forwarded
to the executive from the general committee for
action. This letter was in reply to the Secretary's
request to know in what manner the Company had
dealt with Mr. Brady, the Assistant Superintendent,
whose action in connection with Mr. Smith's dis-
missal had been so offensive to the temperance
people. The letter is addressed to Mr. Carson, the
Secretary, and is as follows :
" ' DEAR SIR, I have to acknowledge the receipt
of your letter of the ist inst.
" 'The Company has reproved and dealt with Mr.
Brady as, under the circumstances, was considered
deserving, and in such a manner as, it is trusted, will
prevent any reasonable cause for further complaint.
" ' Mr. Brady, while stating that he never intended
the slightest disrespect towards the Dominion Alli-
ance or disapproval of temperance principles, has
acknowledged that he gave cause for dissatisfaction,
and expressed regret for the same, and a determina-
tion to avoid a recurrence. Yours truly,
" 'Assistant General Manager.' "
A few days previous to this Executive meeting the
above letter was presented at a meeting of the general
1 62 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
committee of the Provincial Alliance, and "was not
considered at all satisfactory."
However, the Executive Committee, without ap-
proving the letter, decided to publish it "for the
information of the temperance public," probably ac-
cepting it as the best which could be hoped for under
But, although all was not satisfactory, there were,
as we have said, some causes for gratitude in connec-
tion with this affair. The Canadian Pacific Railway
and Canadian liquor men had a chance to learn that
among their opponents there was some zeal and
spirit, and a desire to help one another, and this
knowledge may make them more careful in the future
as to how they oppose and arouse temperance senti-
ment. Such an agitation and interest as resulted
from this dismissal, doubtless might decide some un-
settled minds in favor of the temperance party. Also
the action of the Canadian Pacific Railway in thus
reproving Mr. Brady, and eliciting from him a prom-
ise to exercise greater caution in the future was
probably as much as could be expected from a pow-
erful corporation which is not willing to acknowledge
itself in the wrong, and whose " objects do not ex-
tend beyond the promotion of its business," so long
as the laws of our land permit liquor sellers to be
RESULTS OP THE ALLIANCE PROTEST. 163
licensed, and Prohibition is a thing talked of, but not
Not until national prohibition finds a place among
Canadian laws, and is upheld by the Canadian gov-
ernment, will such bodies allow themselves to be
dictated to by the temperance people.
The Scott Act is very good so far as it goes, but
if the County of Brome, instead of having this Act,
and standing, in this respect, almost alone in the
Province, had possessed its share in a prohibition
law which held sway from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
the outlawed liquor venders of the county would
probably not have had such power with a great cor-
poration as they displayed in this case. If the tem-
perance people of Canada wish to have a powerful
voice in such matters as this, or if they would have
great institutions like the Canadian Pacific Railway
conducted on principles of temperance and true free-
dom, let them work for prohibition, and send repre-
sentatives to Parliament who will do the same. And
just now, when they hold in their hands a key which
may be the means of unlocking to us the gate of
Prohibition for our country, let them use it to the
best advantage, by giving a powerful majority for
good when the Plebiscite vote is taken.
THE MARCH COURT.
As was stated in Chapter III. of this book, the
prisoners, Kelly and Howarth, remained in jail, the
former at Montreal, the latter at Sweetsburg, during
the winter of 1894-95, awaiting trial at the Court of
This court opened at Sweetsburg on Friday, March
1st, 1 895 , but the Assault Case did not receive special
consideration until the following week. Monday,
March 4th, the Grand Jury reported a true bill
against M. L. Jenne, Jas. Wilson and John Howarth
for conspiracy, and against Walter Kelly for at-
On Tuesday morning the court room was crowded
so that it was impossible to obtain even standing-
room for all the eager listeners, and many were
obliged to content themselves with the little that
they could hear outside the doors. Thus was shown
the great interest which the public felt in the result
of this trial.
THE MARCH COURT. 165
When the names of the accused were called, Mr.
Racicot, counsel for the defence, asked in an elo-
quent speech that the prisoners be allowed to sit
with their counsel instead of being made to stand for
hours in the dock. Mr. Baker, Crown Prosecutor,
opposed this request, and Hon. Judge Lynch ordered
that the prisoners be put into the box.
The next thing in order was the empanneling of a
petit jury. It appeared that many of the proposed
jurymen were known supporters of the liquor party,
and these were, of course, objected to by the lawyer
for the Crown. In the words of The Templar^ " It
seemed as if Mr. Baker challenged all who were
known to 'take a glass,' while Mr. Racicot chal-
lenged all known temperance people."
The afternoon session opened at one o'clock. The
Crown Prosecutor made an eloquent speech to the
jury, reviewing the evidence given at the preliminary
trial. The following account of his address was given
in the Witness:
" He said : ' It will be an evil day for Canada when
men, becoming indignant that the machinery of the
law is put in force against them, send to Marlboro or
any other place for an assassin to "do up" those
against whom their indignation is aroused.' Speak-
ing of the combination of circumstances that led to
1 66 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
the identification of Kelly, he said: 'There is a
Providence in these things. There is an overruling
power that is directed in the cause of right.' He
said regarding the character of Kelly : ' The learned
counsel for the defence will try to make you believe
that Kelly's evidence should not be accepted. The
witness, Kelly, is not one of my choosing ; he is not
chosen by any member of this court. He is of the
prisoners' own choosing. They could not have pro-
cured the pastor of the first church of Marlboro, nor
one of the deacons, to do their work, but they were
compelled to take a man from behind the bar of a
saloon, in a low street ; one who would take a shil-
ling for his work, and do the job as directed by
The first witness examined was Mr. W. W. Smith,
whose evidence was similar to that previously given
by him. He identified Kelly as the man who had
committed the assault on July 8th. The following
is a part of the cross-examination as reported in the
'"Do you know Peter McGettrick, of Richford?'
'"Do you know Frank Brady?'
"'Did you tell them on the Sunday that they
came to see you that you would take your oath that
the man who assaulted you was Orin Wilson, a
brother of Jas. Wilson?'
THE MARCH COURT.
"'I did not.'
" ' Did you tell Jane Fay, at church, that you did
not know who assaulted you ? '
'"I did not.'"
From some of the above questions it would seem
that Mr. Brady, not content with having dismissed
Mr. Smith from the service of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, was trying to aid his assailants to escape
The next evidence given was that of Dr. Mc-
Donald, of Sutton, the physician who attended Mr.
Smith after the assault. His testimony was given
in the Witness, as follows :
11 1 know Mr. W. W. Smith. I was called to him
professionally on July 8th. I found him in a dazed
condition, with a bruise on the top of his head, four
or five inches in length, swollen and contused.
There was also evidence of another blow, not so
long, more in the centre of the top of his head, and
another blow still shorter and more to the right of
the head, another on the side of the neck and
shoulders, and one on the hip. All these bruises I
considered serious. The appearance later was that
of the discoloration consequent upon such bruises.
The bruises were such as might have been inflicted
by the weapon now in court. They could not have
been inflicted by the fist. I saw Mr. Smith that
morning, and on the night of the same day, on the
1 68 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
following Monday morning, and again on Tuesday
night. I then considered him sufficiently recovered
to not require medical assistance further. I saw him
afterward, but not professionally. Death has often
resulted from less blows than these."
Daniel Smith, of Sutton, then gave evidence that
he had seen Kelly at Sutton on various occasions,
the last time being on the evening previous to the
Charles C. Dyer, of the same place, also testified
as to Kelly's identity. He said that he had seen
him on the race track, at Sutton, in July, had heard
him called a horse-buyer from Boston, and had re-
ceived the impression that he had come there to
look at a trotting horse which belonged to Mr. Le-
beau, the owner of the track. He had not consid-
ered it anything strange that Howarth should be
carrying him around the country to look at horses.
The next witness was Silas H. Carpenter, of
Montreal, chief of the Canadian Secret Service. He
said that he had been employed to investigate the
assault case. He had been informed of a stranger
who, after staying in the vicinity of Sutton for some
time, had disappeared immediately after the assault,
and decided that he was probably the guilty party.
Had learned that a man answering to the description
of this stranger was in Marlboro, Mass., and to this
THE MARCH COURT. 169
place was sent a neighbor of Mr. Smith's, who iden-
tified Kelly as a man whom he had seen in the
neighborhood of Sutton Junction previous to the
assault. The witness and Mr. Smith, after going
before a justice of the peace, and obtaining papers
for the arrest of their man, proceeded to Marlboro.
At Fitchburg, Mass., a warrant was made out from
the papers which they carried, and Kelly was
arrested. He consented to go to Montreal without
extradition, and there, in Mr. Carpenter's office, re-
lated voluntarily the story which he told at the
preliminary investigation, and on this evidence the
other prisoners were arrested.
Mr. Carpenter's testimony was the last on Tuesday.
Court opened again at ten o'clock on Wednesday
morning. This was expected to be the last day of
the trial, and a large crowd was present. Mr. J. F.
Leonard, clerk of the court, was first sworn, and testi-
fied to the bad character of M. L. Jenne, who had
been indicted on Sept. nth, 1879, for assaulting an
officer in the discharge of his duty. The jury had
found him guilty of common assault. Mr. Leonard
identified the prisoner Jenne as being the same man.
George N. Galer, a constable, confirmed this testi-
mony, and said that he remembered having arrested
Mr. Jenne at the time referred to.
THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
The next witness was Walter Kelly. He described
how the liquor men had obtained his services, and
told the story of his arrival and stay in Canada, and
the assault at Sutton Junction much the same as in
his previous testimony.
He stated that once while he was stopping at Sut-
ton it had been feared that his presence was exciting
suspicion, and he had been sent to Cowansville for
He also said that after the assault he had seen
Howarth at Marlboro, and told him that he had
done his work, but only received a part of the pay,
and Howarth had promised to see that the remain-
der was sent him. A while after this Kelly had
heard that detectives were in Marlboro looking for
him, and Flynn, the barkeeper to whom Howarth
had written at first, had advised him to go away for
a few days while he (Flynn) should write to How-
arth, and learn the facts of the case. He went away,
and on his return saw a letter from Howarth which
stated that Kelly had not hurt Smith at all, and they
had been obliged to pay $30 for the use of the team
which he had while in Sutton, and now the others
were "kicking" and unwilling to pay any more.
Kelly said he supposed from this letter that he had
done nothing for which he could be arrested,
THE MARCH COURT. J/l
and, therefore, after reading it, did not try to hide
After being arrested he was taken to Fitchburg,
where, instead of wasting a month in jail while wait-
ing for extradition, he waived his claim, and went
with Mr. Carpenter, and had since remained in his
office in the care of a constable. He had told his
whole story voluntarily ; Mr. Carpenter had offered
him no inducements whatever. Kelly also stated
that he had not been instructed to kill Mr. Smith,
only to scare him, and give him a good " licking."
Wallace B. Locklin was next sworn. He said his
residence was at Richford, Vt., where he was a notary
public and attorney. He had been appointed to take
evidence in Richford on this assault case. He knew
Ford, who kept the livery stable at Richford, and
had asked him to come to his office and give his
evidence. Ford refused to come, and said, if sub-
poenaed, he would pay his fine.
The next witness was J. P. Willey, of Abercorn,
formerly of St. Lawrence Co., N. Y. He was ex-
ceedingly unwilling to tell what he knew of the case,
and it was only by dint of very close questioning that
his evidence was obtained. He knew Jenne, the
hotel keeper at Abercorn. Had held a conversation
with him in the barroom of his hotel, when he asked
I 72 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
Jenne how much he had been fined for selling liquor
without a license. He replied that he had had to
pay over $90, and witness remarked that it was no
outsider's business if he sold liquor. Jenne said they
could not do much with that man Smith ; they could
not carry their goods over the road. The remark
had been made that Smith ought to be whipped or
killed, or sent out of the country. Witness believed
.that he had first suggested this, and then Jenne had
agreed with him, and asked him if he knew any one
in his part of the country who could do such a job.
He would not say that Jenne had asked for a man
who would "kill" Mr. Smith. Witness remembered
having mentioned this conversation to three men,
and might have spoken of it to others.
Arthur Holmes, of Abercorn, sworn, said that he
had heard of the assault on Mr. Smith. Had under-
stood that Jenne was away when these prosecutions
began. Said they had all supposed that Smith was
the prosecutor in the liquor cases.
Albert E. Kimball, a hotel keeper of Knowlton
said he knew there were prosecutions for liquor sell-
ing. He was fined, so was Jenne, also Wilson of
He was asked : " Do you know of any scheme to
get even with Mr. Smith?" Mr. Racicot objected
THE MARCH COURT. 173
to this question. Mr. Kimball said it had been re-
marked in the barroom that Smith was a "mean
cuss," and should be whipped. It was barroom
This is a strong testimony, coming from a hotel
keeper, as to the nature of barroom adjectives and
compliments, especially when applied to temperance
Edward Martin, of Sutton, was the next witness.
He was occasionally employed by Wilson, and
looked after his business in his absence. Was sent
for one day in August, and asked to look after the
house, as Wilson was going away for a few days.
He could not say how long he was gone.
Next Mrs. James Wilson, of Sutton, testified for
the defence. Her maiden name was Etta Miltemore,
and she had been married to James Wilson eight
years previous to the trial. She said she had heard
of the affair at Sutton Junction through Mr. Smith's
brother, who drove up about six or seven o'clock on
Sunday morning, and told that his brother had been
assaulted the night before. On the Saturday previ-
ous she had been with her husband at Glen Sutton,
and about noon he had complained of feeling bad.
They drove to Sutton in the afternoon, and he was
sick when they reached home. Her aunt, Mrs.
1/4 THR STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
Vance, was there, and also Henry Wilson and wife.
They put Jim to bed, and doctored him, and he did
not leave his room during the evening or night. As
he seemed worse about half-past one, she called
Henry Wilson and wife, who got up and remained
up the rest of the night, but they did not call a doctor.
Mrs. Vance was the next witness. She said her
maiden name was Annie Fay, and she was the wife
of Beeman Vance. She was acquainted with James
Wilson, and was aunt to his wife. She had gone on
July 7th to call on Mrs. Wilson, and found that she
and her husband were away, and Henry Wilson and
wife were there.
James Wilson came home sick. Witness remained
at his house until nearly nine o'clock, and when she
left he was a little better, but still very sick.
She had known Mr. Smith for years. After the
assault, she had one day met him at church, and
congratulated him on his recovery, when he told her
that he had no idea who committed the act. She
said she had frequently seen James Wilson ill, and
had practised as nurse.
Henry Wilson, following, said that he lived at Glen
Sutton, and was brother to James Wilson. He re-
membered the day of the assault, and knew it was in
the summer, but could not tell the month. He had
THE MARCH COURT. I 75
gone to his father's on Saturday morning, and re-
mained there until the afternoon of the next day.
James and his wife were away when he reached their
home, but returned Saturday afternoon. James was
very sick. About eleven o'clock witness helped un-
dress him and put him to bed, and about half-past
one he was called up by Mrs. James Wilson. Next
morning the news came that Smith had got a licking.
Mrs. Henry Wilson's testimony was a confirma-
tion of her husband's, and was the last given on
More evidence was promised for the next day, and
the court adjourned till the following morning at ten
The first witness on Thursday was Peter McGet-
trick, Canadian Pacific Railway agent at Richford,
Vt. He said he had been the Richford agent in July,
when Mr. Smith, also, was agent at Sutton Junction.
Witness knew Frank Brady and W. W. Smith. When
he heard of the assault he informed Mr. Brady, and
they went together to visit Mr. Smith, whom they
found in bed suffering from the effects of his injuries.
In conversation with them Mr. Smith told them that
he did not know who had committed the deed, but
from the appearance of the man thought it might
have been James Wilson, one of the prisoners.
176 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
William Sears, of Sutton, a brother-in-law of Mr.
Smith, testified that he had been sent for by the lat-
ter on Sunday morning after the assault, and went to
him at once. Mr. Smith told him that he did not
know who was his assailant, but it was a heavy man
who walked with a peculiar gait. Witness was with
Mr. Smith while Mr. Brady and Mr. McGettrick were
there, but heard no conversation such as was related
by the previous witness.
James E. Ireland, telegraph operator at Sutton,
who was the next witness, said that he had been night
operator on July 8th, and had received a telegram
for Dr. McDonald, asking him to come to Sutton
Junction immediately, as Mr. Smith had been as-
saulted. Another message had been sent to James
H. Smith, telling of the affair, and requesting him to
be on the watch. He could not produce the record
of the dispatches, but told them as he remembered
James H. Smith, also of Sutton, a brother of
W. W. Smith, was then sworn. He said he had been
notified of the assault by telegram about two o'clock
on the morning of July 8th. The message which he
had received was as follows :
"W. W. Smith is badly hurt. Get Homer and
others to watch the roads."
THE MARCH COURT. \JJ
He went for the man mentioned, and then learned
that Mr. Ireland had received a message asking that
Wilson's hotel be watched. No light was seen in the
house there, but L. L. Jenne was appointed to watch
the place. Witness had seen Kelly four or five days
before the assault driving a team which he supposed
to be Wilson's. He had thought it strange, but could
not say that he had felt any suspicion. He had sup-
posed the team to be Wilson's because he had noticed
the latter driving it at different times during the sum-
mer. He had seen James Wilson the night before
the assault, walking on the street towards the post
office, and Wilson had spoken to him. He had also
seen Kelly at that time with a team.
Lewis L. Jenne, a clerk for the Canadian Pacific
Railway at Sutton, testified that he knew the prison-
ers, and was distantly connected with one of them,
M. L. Jenne, of Abercorn. He had been in the em-
ploy of the Canadian Pacific Railway for seven years.
On the morning of July 8th, at about two o'clock, he
was awakened by James H. Smith and another man,
who told him what had happened. Witness had
taken it as his work to watch Wilson's hotel, but saw
no light or stir about the house. If any light had
been there he must have seen it, as he had on many
nights before and since.
THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
During cross-examination he said that he had
watched the hotel on the night in question, from a
little after two o'clock until morning. A swift horse
could go from Sutton Junction to Sutton in ten or
fifteen minutes. Witness had not tried to enter Wil-
son's house, but had watched outside. He had
heard that the Wilsons threatened Smith, and was
quite sure he had heard it said that they were mixed
up with this affair.
Walter Kelly, being then recalled, said that he
had seen Wilson on Saturday night, July /th, be-
tween seven and eight o'clock, near Curley's hotel,
going towards the post office. He also stated that
once he had driven Wilson's team on the road where
James Smith claimed to have met him with it.
This completed the evidence in the case.
Mr. Racicot, counsel for defence, then addressed
the jury, quoting all the points of law which might
seem to have a bearing in favor of the prisoners, and
making an eloquent plea which lasted one hour and
Hon. G. B. Baker, Q. C, quoted the law on the
other side, proving quite clearly that the prisoners
were deserving of punishment. He laid great im-
portance on the facts that Kelly's evidence had not
been contradicted, and that, while Henry Wilson had
THE MARCH COURT. 179
told of getting up at half-past one, and lighting a lamp
which he said had been left burning in the kitchen
until morning, the witness Jenne had stated that he
watched the house without seeing any light, as he
must surely have done had there been one to see.
Judge Lynch followed with a very earnest address
which lasted about forty-five minutes. He summed
up the evidence in the case, and quoted the laws
bearing on it, reminding the jurors of their great
responsibility, and endeavoring to impress upon their
minds the importance of a righteous judgment. His
speech was not at all in favor of the accused.
The jury then retired, and forty-five minutes later,
when the judge demanded their verdict, the sheriff
reported that they did not ag-ee, and there was no
possibility of their doing so that night. This was
announced to the waiting crowd, who had thronged
the court room to hear the decision. Court then
adjourned, and the jury were locked up for another
On Friday morning, March 8th, the jury were
again summoned, and stated that they were still una-
ble to agree upon a verdict. The judge appeared
both surprised and disgusted. In dismissing them
he said : " Gentlemen of the jury, while you have
exercised the discretion which the law allows you, I
I8O THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
must pronounce your decision most extraordinary.
The public are indignant that in a case where evi-
dence is so clear, there should be doubt or hesitation
in the mind of any intelligent man who should be
summoned on a jury."
Mr. Baker, Q. C., moved that a new jury be em-
panelled at once to proceed with another trial. Mr.
Racicot seemed willing, but Justice Lynch postponed
such proceedings until Monday, March nth.
In the meantime, on Sunday, friends of the accused
and of the liquor party in general were seen driving
in the direction of Sweetsburg, and it was thought by
some that a plan might be forming to secure easy
terms for the prisoners.
On Monday morning many anxious people were
awaiting the issue, and previous to the opening of
court it was noticed that the crown prosecutor was
absent, and soon the counsel for defence also disap-
peared. On their return, it is said, the latter wore a
look of satisfaction, while the former's courage of
last week seemed to have in some degree deserted
When the judge had taken his seat, Mr. Racicot
stated that his clients were now willing to withdraw
their former pleas of " not guilty," and acknowledge
themselves " guilty of common assault."
THE MAKCH COURT. l8l
Then the lawyer for the Crown, who had on Fri-
day been so eager to proceed with a new trial at once,
but who now seemed to fear that another jury would
mean only a second disagreement, assented to this
proposal ; while the judge, who had given such a
strong charge to the jury and appeared so much sur-
prised at their failure to declare the prisoners guilty,
now agreed, on behalf of the court, to withdraw the
indictments for " attempt to murder," and accept the
pleas, " guilty of common assault."
John Howarth, Marcus L. Jenne and James Wil-
son then pleaded "guilty of common assault," while
Walter Kelly was indicted on a charge of "commit-
ting assault with intent to murder." However, he
also pleaded " guilty of common assault," and the
plea was accepted.
Then Mr. Racicot, not content with what had
already been gained, asked for the leniency of the
court towards the prisoners in giving sentence for
the charges to which they had pleaded guilty, and the
judge appointed to each of the four prisoners the light
sentence of one month's imprisonment in common
jail with hard labor, accompanying this sentence,
however, by some very severe remarks as to the seri-
ousness of their crime, and the disgrace it had brought
I 82 THE STOKY OF A DARK PLOT.
Thus ended this assault case, so far as its hearing
at Sweetsburg was concerned, and the prisoners and
their friends departed from the court room well
pleased with its termination.
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL.
The Court of Public Opinion is an important tri-
bunal before which all such affairs as this we have
been considering must come for decision, and its
judgments are not always identical with those of the
judges and juries in the courts of law. Therefore, it
must not be supposed that the temperance public
were at all satisfied with the termination of the assault
case related in our last chapter. On the contrary,
they were quite disappointed and indignant, although
their opponents seemed very well pleased with the
turn affairs had taken.
Some of the criticisms from temperance papers and
people are here given. The following comment by
the Montreal Witness was quoted in The Templar of
'The sentence of one month in jail for each of the
tavern keepers, who pleaded guilty to having procured
184 T ^E STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
an American idler to committ an atrocious assault
upon Mr. Smith, the President of the Brome County
Alliance, is probably as severe as can be looked for
in a county where a jury dare not find men guilty.
That the purpose was to commit murder, the fatal
weapon provided proves. The plea of guilty on the
part of the prisoners is a plain condemnation of the
jury in failing to bring in a verdict.
"The liquor men, for the sake of whose illicit trade
the Canadian Pacific Railway Company dismissed
Mr. Smith from its services, are self-convicted at least
of the most dangerous and brutal ruffianism. Mr.
Brady, who took the part of those customers of the
Company against his own subordinate, Mr. Smith,
remains the accredited authority of the Company in
that section of the country. This is a fact which
should be generally known."
Below is the view expressed by The Templar, it-
self, and also repeated by the Witness.
"The result of the trial of the conspirators to 'do
up' W. W. Smith, President of the Brome County
Branch of the Dominion Alliance, for his zeal in
bringing to justice the men who would persist in
maintaining an illicit liquor traffic contrary to the
fully expressed judgment of the people, has been a
confession of 'guilty' by the accused, and the impo-
sition a sentence of one month in jail at hard labor.
"The confession and the facts brought out in evi-
dence reveal the liquor traffic in a most unenviable
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL, 185
"The plot was hatched in a barroom, a liquor
seller hired a Marlboro, Mass., bartender to do the
4 job,' and he was the guest of hotel keepers while he
was spying out the land preparatory to his murder-
ous assault. Never was a more cool, calculating and
infamous deed wrought in this country. The wretch,
Chatelle, acted under a sudden impulse to gratify an
abnormal passion, but these wretches planned weeks
ahead to 'do up' Smith, yet such cowards were they,
they dared not strike the blow, but hired the Marl-
boro tool to do it for them. Jenne, Howarth and
Wilson, you are arrant cowards, and your weakness
is only exceeded by the devilishness of your malice !
" These are the men who say we cannot enforce
prohibition, and undertake to make the law a dead
letter. Men who will murder no, they lack that
courage, but will hire the slugger if they are not
permitted to carry out their work of death. Shall
we make our laws to please, or to restrain and punish
"Not the least ignominious feature of the trial was
the failure of the jury to convict upon the clearest
evidence. Their disagreement was rebuked by Judge
Lynch, and later by the prisoners themselves plead-
ing guilty. The murderous assault and the terroriz-
ing of the jury furnish all the evidence that is requi-
site to justify the demand for prohibition."
The Witness of March i6th contained the follow-
ing, giving the opinions of certain local papers re-
specting the decisions of the court in this trial:
1 86 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"The Huntingdon Gleaner t referring to the sen-
tence of a month's imprisonment passed on the de-
fendants in the Smith assault case, says: 'This is a
most inadequate punishment. Had Kelly put more
force into the first blow he struck with his piece of
lead pipe, Smith would assuredly have been killed.
The liquor men, who were the authors of the foul
deed, should have been sent to the penitentiary.'
" Referring to the disgraceful conduct of the jurors
in disagreeing, despite Kelly's confession, the Water-
loo Advertiser says: 'The jury might, at least, have
brought in the verdict of a Western jury that tried a
man for assault with intent to kill. After being out
two minutes the jury filed into court, and the fore-
man said: "May it please the court, we, the jury,
find that the prisoner is not guilty of hitting with in-
tent to kill, but simply to paralyze, and he done it."
The trial has been an expensive one to the Crown,
and its inglorious ending will hardly satisfy the pub-
lic that the ends of justice have been served and the
The following appeared as an editorial in the Wit-
ness of March 2/th :
"We have received many very strong expressions
with regard to the failure of justice in the matter of
the cold-blooded and cowardly attempt on the life of
Mr. W. W. Smith, the President of the Brome County
Alliance. A leading citizen of the district proposes
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. 187
a public demonstration to denounce the jury and
judge for this failure. As for the judge, as we said
at the time, we cannot see that he can be blamed
much for the lightness of the sentence upon a verdict
for only common assault. So far as can be gathered
from the conduct of their representatives on the jury
the people of the district have concluded to live in a
condition of timid subjection to a band of assassins
settled among them. And not only they, but the
great national railway, which passes through their
district, felt called upon, on behalf of the same law-
less crew, to heap abuse and obloquy upon, and
finally to dismiss one of its own officers for busying
himself with the enforcement of law against them.
We should be greatly cheered to think that this jury
which betrayed the public safety committed to it by
law, was exceptional, and that the district could yet
be roused to vindicate law and order."
In all these articles it is assumed that the reason
of the jurymen not agreeing on a verdict of guilty
was their personal fear of the liquor men. There is
another possible aspect of the case which is not
touched upon by these papers, viz., that the jurors
may have been friends of the liquor party, and their
disagreement may have been intended not to secure
their own safety, but to shield the hotel keepers
from such punishment as must follow a decision of
guilty on the part of the jury.
1 88 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
We quote here some of the communications men-
tioned above, which were sent to the editor of the
Witness regarding the settlement of the assault case.
The letter given below, signed "Justice," was written
from Sweetsburg under date of March I2th, 1895 :
"SlR, The Smith assault case is concluded, but
the people are not done talking about it, by any
means ; and for some time to come the privilege of
free speech will be exercised on that case. The
judge in his charge to the jury on Thursday said :
'No intelligent and right-minded jury can fail to
bring in a verdict in accordance with the testimony.'
The evidence for the prosecution proved unmistak-
ably the guilt of the prisoners, while the testimony
for the defence was evidently manufactured for the
"The prisoners on Monday pleaded guilty to com-
mon assault. If Howarth, Jenne, Wilson and Kelly
were guilty of anything, they were guilty of more
than common assault, if ever there was a deliberate
and well-planned scheme for ' doing up' any person,
that plan was made in this instance, and the nail was
clinched when Howarth, at Richford, paid to Kelly
the fifteen dollars earnest money, which was to be
followed later by the hundred and fifty when the
'job' was done. That 'job!' Such a 'job' as that!
An assassin hired for the purpose, by villains blacker-
hearted than himself, to go in the middle of the
night, armed with a murderous weapon, to attack a
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. 1 89
defenceless and sleeping man, to ' do him up.' What
does that mean? Who is initiated into the mysteries
of the language? Does it mean to disable him? or
does it mean to kill him? Who is safe in the dis-
charge of his duty and in the performance of the
God-given work to which every Christian man is
" If the law protects a rumseller who has a license
in his business of selling the liquid poison, should not
that same law protect a man who, residing in a town
where the Scott Act is in force, prosecutes liquor
sellers who are dealing contrary to the laws? Let
us have fair play ! If the law is like a game of
checkers, in which, not the best man, not the right-
eous cause wins, but the party wins who makes the
most dexterous move, then the least we can ask is
"What have we seen in the courts during the past
week? One man arrested for stealing a dollar's
worth of goods or so, and that man jailed for fif-
teen months. In contrast to this case, we see these
men with their murderous schemes, deliberately
planned, attempted and partially executed, we see
these men condemned to one month's imprisonment
with hard labor ! What a farce is the law ! Is it
any wonder that indignation is aroused in the hearts
of the conscientious and God-fearing members of the
community, and that men as they meet ask each
other the question, 'Why is this? Did the jury
fear that they, too, might be exposed to a sudden
attack of lead pipe?'
THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
"If it is cowardly to shirk an issue on a point be-
tween right and wrong, then we certainly have moral
cowards here, in the district of Bedford. However,
there is this to comfort the heart of the right-minded
citizen ; punishment does not altogether consist in
the number of days spent in jail, but the disgrace to
which these men have been subjected can never be
wiped out nor removed.
"The investigation of the case was thorough, and
the crime proven unmistakably against those four
men. It will undoubtedly prove a warning to
others, and, we may say, to themselves also, in the
Another letter, written by a "Law-Abiding Cana-
dian," and published in the Witness of March 25th,
is as follows :
"SlR, Many have been surprised and disap-
pointed at the silence that has prevailed in our
newspapers since the verdict of the jury in the W.
W. Smith attempt to murder or 'do up' case. In-
stead of a resolute onslaught of protests from the
people through the press and by public bodies, all is
"What is the reason of this? Is it that they are
paralyzed with surprise and horror for the time be-
ing? It surely must be so. If not, it is time we
were asking where we are and what we are coming
to. Sir, our ears are made to tingle, and our hearts
are thrilled with horror, when we read of the wild
lynchings by shooting, rope or burning, that have
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. IQI
taken place in the United States. These dreadful
things are reported from new States or in old ones,
where race feeling runs high, and where justice, often
handicapped by all the lawlessness and savage cru-
elty and ignorance of both a home and foreign ele-
ment, fails for the time being, and we complacently
say: 'It is just like the United States. What an
awful country it must be to live in ! ' Are we going
back to such a state of things? Has it come to such
a pass that law and justice are becoming a mockery?
God forbid that it should ever come to this, but
something must be done that not only our persons
and property may be protected, but that our belief
that we have and hold in this Canada of ours that
British justice and fair play that is world-wide in its
administration, and ever the same.
"There is no doubt that the brand of public opin-
ion on these individuals for their self-confessed and
clearly proven guilt, if they have any conscience left,
will be terrible, and make them bury themselves
away forever from the community and public that
thrir acts have horrified. But the matter must not
enl here. A great wrong to an individual and soci-
ety has been done, and the public may well ask who
will it be next ; and whose person or property is safe
if such lawlessness is allowed to go unpunished.
Let the lawkeepers be heard from in a way that will
make our lawmakers enquire into our jury system,
and devise some way to prevent the miscarriage of
justice and consequent grievious wrong done to in-
dividuals and the people."
I Q2 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
The following from "One of the W. C. T. U.,"
appeared in the Home Department of the Witness
of March 23d:
"DEAR EDITOR HOME DEPARTMENT, Though
I enjoy reading the Home Department, I have never
before written anything for it, as writing is not my
forte, but I feel almost compelled to send this to ex-
press my indignation at the light sentence passed on
those three men in the Smith assault case. I think
it perfectly outrageous that they should get off so
easily. Such a crime, perpetrated in cold blood ;
even a man hired and brought from a distance to do
the diabolical work ! Ten years in the penitentiary
for each of them would have been quite light enough.
But to give them one month at hard labor, they
might about as well have let them go free. If Mr.
Smith had been killed I wonder if they would have
got two months? It seems to me this is the way to
encourage crime. How is it that for so much lighter
crimes, so much heavier sentence is often pro-
nounced? Is it because the people are afraid of the
liquor men? It seems like it.
11 1 am heartily thankful that the Witness stands
up so nobly for truth and right. I know I will see
a scathing article from the editor on this very sub-
ject. I hope it will do all the good he intends it
" We may be sure of one thing, and that is the
liquor men never did the cause of prohibition so
much good before. Their brutality in this case will
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. 193
likely win many to our cause who would otherwise
not have joined us."
The following protest, signed "A Lover of Right,"
was published in the Witness of April 5th:
"SIR, Would it not be feasible to have a public
meeting in the matter of the gross miscarriage of
justice in the case of the would-be murderer of Mr.
VV. W. Smith, of Sutton.
"Shameful as of late years the decisions of some
juries and judges have been, never has a more
shameful acquittal been known in this Canada of
ours. One man gets six months for stealing an ash
barrel, probably really ignorant that it was not any-
body's who chose to take it; another man 'one
month with hard labor,' that man by his own confes-
sion a would-be murderer. But that such sentence
should be allowed without public protest! Surely
the soul of righteousness is dead in a people if it
Now that the assault case was settled, in spite of
its unsatisfactory termination, the temperance people
found the expenses connected with it, which amounted
altogether to more than $1,200, remaining for them
It was decided to ask the government at Quebec
to assume these costs, or a share of them, and ac-
cordingly Mr. Carson, Secretary of the Provincial
194 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
Alliance, wrote to the government requesting its
help ; but, no reply being received, arrangements
were made for a delegation to wait upon the pre-
mier. This was done on April 24th, the Alliance
representatives being Mr. R. C. Smith, Mr. S. J.
Carter, Rev. J. McKillican and Mr. J. H. Carson.
The case was clearly stated, and the provincial gov-
ernment, of which all the members were present, was
asked to bear a portion of the expenses. The dele-
gation acknowledged that the proper course would
have been to leave the matter in the hands of the
attorney-general at first, yet, although this had not
been done, as the temperance people, considering
this affair of much more than individual interest, felt
themselves morally bound to see that these expenses
were paid, and not to leave all the burden upon the
shoulders of Mr. Smith; and as, at a recent Provin-
cial Alliance Convention, it had been decided that
this was a matter which concerned the temperance
people of the whole Province, the delegation asked
in the name of the temperance people of Quebec
that the government assume the expenses connected
with the vindication of justice in this case. Mr.
Carter stated that, although he had no authority to
say sc, he thought if the government paid Mr.
Carpenter's bill, which amounted to about $800,
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. 195
the temperance people would consent to raise the
The attorney-general, Hon. Mr. Casgrain, said he
thought this might be done, and without any further
assurances the Alliance representatives withdrew.
Later the government consented to pay $500 of
the costs only, and the balance remained to be can-
celled by the temperance public.
The assault case is now ended, and lies some time
in the past, and in these hurrying times an event of
a few seasons ago is usually soon gone out of thought
and interest. Probably no such affair has ever hap-
pened in the Dominion, or at least in the Eastern
townships, which has stirred the depths of so many
hearts, and continued in interest for so long a time
as this assault and the circumstances connected with
it. And now shall we relegate these matters to a
position among the dim memories of the almost for-
getten past, and let them gradually slip away from
our thoughts? Even in these times of changing and
forgetting, there are events which, by a few, are not
soon forgotten, and which leave a lasting influence
for good or evil upon some hearts and lives. Shall
it not be so in this case? Will not we long remem-
ber the dark plotting of Brome County's lawless
liquor sellers, the desperate attempts to carry out
196 THE STORY OP A DARK PLOT.
their evil plans and the partial success which at-
tended their efforts, and shall not the memory bring
fresh zeal and energy to every son and daughter of
temperance in the land?
We find in this assault case a very marked exam-
ple of some of the fruits of intemperance. We see
here the evil thoughts, the loss of conscience, and
the desperation that makes men shrink not from the
darkest deed within their reach if by this they may
further their own interests or gain revenge upon one
who has opposed them. All these are the attend-
ants and followers of strong drink in every clime.
From the history of these deeds of darkness in
Brome County we may learn, also, the power pos-
sessed by the liquor party, the dread influence that
can prevail upon a great corporation to dismiss an
employee who has previously been satisfactory, and
that can frustrate the ends of justice, and obtain its
will in a court of law.
From these facts let us take warning, and, with an
increased knowledge of the terrible work of strong
drink and the powerful influence of the party that
supports it, a stronger sense of the great need of
willing, earnest workers who will "battle for the right
in the strength of the Lord," and a new realization of
our own personal responsibility, let us work so faith-
THE DECISIONS OF ANOTHER TRIBUNAL. 197
fully for God and humanity against the powers of
evil, that the grand result of these dark plots that
were formed by outlawed liquor sellers in an illegal
barroom shall be the adding of many fresh recruits
to the ranks of those whom they wished to destroy.
And whenever we have an opportunity of defeating
these enemies of good and taking from them some of
their ill-used power, let us strive, lest the victory be
theirs, to give a strong majority on the side of right.
In this way may the plans of Satan prove instru-
ments in the hands of the Lord that shall work for
his glory and the good of his creatures.
It may be well to add here a few words by way of
explanation, as mention is several times made in this
book of the future taking of a Dominion Plebiscite.
At time of writing it was supposed that this book
would be in print long before the vote was taken, but
for various reasons its publication has been delayed.
On September 29th, 1898, the question of the liquor
traffic was submitted to the people of Canada, and a
considerable majority was given for Prohibition.
Quebec, alone, of all the Provinces, failed to declare
against the traffic, but even here there arc some
1 98 THE STORY OF A DARK PLOT.
bright spots, prominent among which is the county
where this Dark Plot was enacted, which gave a ma-
jority for Prohibition of 529. As this is considera-
bly more than that formerly given for the Scott Act,
it is evident that the liquor men of Brome are not
gaining ground by dark plots or any other means.
By this Plebiscite, the prohibitionists of Canada
have been given a privilege never enjoyed by any
other nation, and they have used it well, but now the
work is just begun. Let them not rest content until
the end for which they have voted is realized, and
then the cooperation of temperance people will be
needed if the law is to be well enforced.
There is still much we all must do if we would see
our country freed from the curse of strong drink, and
let prohibitionists take courage from the victory al-
ready achieved, and with renewed zeal press the
battle to the gates.
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