Terre Haute Citizens Express Neutral Opinions of Events (Part 1)

Terre Haute Tribune, May 10, 1915, page 1


Few Feel That United States Should Go to war Over the Lusitania.


Opinion Generally Is That Nation Confronts Critical Hour and President Should Have Everyone’s Support.

The sinking of the steamer Lusitania by a German submarines does not necessarily call for a declaration of war against Germany by this country, according to opinions of Terre Haute citizens, expressed Monday. The United States should make a demand on Germany to abandon such methods of warfare, however, and this country should back up the demand, some of those interview said. Some of the expressions follow:

T.W. RECORDS, principal Garfield high school—As between going to war and not going to war, I do not believe it has come to that. I am opposed to war on principle, but I believe the United States should give Germany, as well as all European nations, to understand that the United States flag means hands off. This government should take a firm stand against the kidding of American citizens, and then back up that stand.

WILLIAM HOUSE, secretary of the Y.M.C.A.—I have not gone into the situation thoroughly but at all events whoever was to blame for the useless loss of American life ought to be held accountable to this government for their action.

FRANK J. HOLAND, manager of the Orpheum theatre—It is a dastardly outrage but it is just a trial, we must withhold judgement until all the evidence is in. I think the Cunard line is just as liable as the German government. The steamship people should not have taken Americans on board when carrying munitions of war.

JOHN J. CLEARY, postmaster—The culmination of so many complications between this country and Germany has

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Terre Haute Tribune, May 10, 1915, page 2

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given rise to one of the gravest situations since the beginning of the war, especially crowned as they are by the sinking of the Lusitania, and the loss of so many American lives. But then I don’t see why you want me to talk when President Wilson maintains so guarded a silence. No, I think I won’t express my opinion on the subject. It would not be in keeping with my official position.

DEMAS DEMING, banker—It was a bad steamship accident, wasn’t it?

E.H. CLIFFORD, secretary Chamber of Commerce—I’m neutral. I don’t care to express an opinion.

L.B. WEBSTER, Wiley high school faculty—Well, if we must have war, let’s fight it out.

ED SPARKS, haberdasher—I’m too busy to talk war. I’d hate to see it, though.

BRUCE F. FAILEY, Wabash Realty Co.—Under no circumstances should we go to war with Germany over the Lusitania.

C.J. Root, Root Glass Co.—I should be strongly opposed to any action looking to war with Germany.

M.L. LAUBACK, city school force—I can’t approve the action of Germany in destroying the Lusitania, but I can’t see where we would gain anything by going to war with her.

P.M. GARTLAND, Gartland foundry—I’m opposed to war on principle, and therefore am not in favor of war with Germany over the Lusitania, terrible as its destruction was.

H.J. ROTTMAN, manager Terre Haute House—War is worse than h—l, and we should not get into war with Germany of the Lusitania.

MAX EHRMANN, author—The Lusitania horror is one of the effects of the mad dog age in which we live. We should bear our grief and horror. If we cannot appease the dog, let us bear our sentiments in silence.

FRED PENTONEY, Ford’s clothing store—No chance for war. The passengers on the steamer knew what it meant to sail.

RAT DIEKEMPER, wholesale produce—I’m not in favor of war. You can join the army any time.

TOM O’MARA, lawyer—We ought to do something, I don’t know what.

JOHN PIERSON, Terre Haute Transfer company—We don’t want war. If Roosevelt were president, we would have been in war a long time ago.

HARRY BLEDSOR (Fire Chief)—I don’t know what will be the outcome of the sinking of the Lusitania and the loss of hundreds of American lives, but I sincerely hope it won’t involve this country in complications with any of the foreign powers.