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Chapter IX. The Great Schism and Afterwards THE MYSTERY of why a popular magazine, so closely identified in the public mind with muckraking successes, should suddenly lose most of its staff, as McClure's did in the spring of 1906, was not totally explained by the participants in their autobiographies. William Allen White, who helped found the American Magazine, insisted that the rift came "over what seemed to us who followed John over to the American Magazine, a question of common honesty. Sam could not see it. That kind of insight was not his gift."1 Ray Stannard Baker credits Roosevelt's criticism of muck­ raking with being an irritant leading to the schism, but the "real break rested upon deeper and more personal rea­ sons with which I had long been familiar. It had been growing more and more difficult, on the part of members of the staff, to work with S. S. McClure."2 Steffens, rather dis­ satisfied because his material was heavily rewritten, "was in and out of New York, didn't have part in all the plans, and so don't know all that was said and done."3 Providing more detail, Miss Tarbell credits McClure with attempting to use the McClure's group "to reconstruct the economic life of the country," by founding a new company providing for a McClure's Universal Journal allied with a bank, an insurance company, a textbook publishing firm and eventu­ ally a "McClure's Ideal Settlement in which people could have cheap homes on their own terms."4 This was, she wrote, speculative and monopolistic, "as alike as two peas to certain organizations the magazine had been battling."5 There is very little additional information available in the contemporary newspapers, which almost universally saw 1White, Autobiography, 397. 2 Baker, American Chronicle, an. 3 Steffens, Autobiography, 536. 4Tarbell, All in the Day's Work, 256-157. 5 Ibid., 256. T H E G R E A T S C H I S M the schism as precipitated by the President's man-with-amuck -rake speech on April 14. The New York Morning Telegraph thought the strike in the "literary foundry" came because McClure was halting muckraking, and the event, if not instructive, added "greatly to the merriment of life."® The Chicago Journal, crediting Roosevelt with turn­ ing the tide, thought muckraking pass£, a game "almost as popular as bridge, whist, or golf," while the Inter-Ocean, at one time so close to the syndicate but now conservative, felt that "McClure has parted with his muckrakers, a con­ cession which, however, comes a trifle late to influence those readers who have parted with S. S. McClure."7 A bad parodist at the Long Island Sea Sickel Times voiced the sentiments of many when he wrote: " . . . What makes you look so white, white?" said Lawson-on-Parade. "I'm dreadingwhat I've got to hear,"J. Lincoln Steffens said. " . . . What makes Miss Tarbell look so faint?" said Lawson-on-Parade. "A touch of sun, a touch of sun," S. Hopkins Adams said. " . . . What's all that noise that shakes the ground?" said Lawson-on-Parade. "It's Teddy Roosevelt'smuck rake speech," a pale reformer said. They're exposing the exposers, there is trouble in the air.8 Other newspapers, such as the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Milwaukee Sentinel, and the New York World, were full of invective at "Makecure's" discomfiture, as the World lampooned.9 A few newspapers refused to make a public β New York Morning Telegraph, May 5, igo6. ι Chicago Journal, May 5, 1906; Chicago Inter-Ocean, May η, igo6. 8 Sea Sickel Times, April 26, 1906. s St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 6, 1906; Milwaukee Sentinel, May 7, 1906; New York World, May 13, 1906. T H E G R E A T S C H I S M statement on McClure's household troubles.10 Almost alone, Bennett's New York Herald adopted a friendly and accurate position. It printed a letter from McClure in May denying that there were any editorial differences within the staff or that Roosevelt's speech had anything to do with the magazine's policies.11 Later the Herald explained that McClure had been planning a new magazine for over a year and this was a contributing factor in the disruption of the most renowned editorial staff in the country.12 Perhaps the most important ingredient in the McClure's split was McClure's proposed new magazine and allied projects which...


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