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Cyrus/Editor Hamlett Speaks Out

By the spring of 1918, the Great War had fully engulfed the United States, and patriotism had reached fever pitch. In the April 17, 1918 issue of the Adair County News, Editor Barksdale Hamlett (a former resident of Hopkinsville), in his usual fearless style, wrote these stirring words:
"The man who does not help by influence or advice, and help with money, if he has it, to float the Third Liberty Loan is a 'DAMNED TRAITOR,' and ought to be either in Germany, or Hell."Some weeks later, the editor of the Hopkinsville Era, aghast at "such language from an ex-Sunday School Superintendent," took Hamlett to task for using profanity.Editor Hamlett never blinked, never faltered, never backed down from his stance.Indeed not!Instead, he added fuel to the flames.In a scorching op-ed in the May 8 News, he took the Hoptown editor to the woodshed and laid to with the strop of a seasoned wordsmith. Mr. Hamlett wrote:
"...You should also know that it is one of the milder quotations from the patriotic utterances of one or more of the true blue types of American Patriots, ministers of the gospel, if you please, the kind that stand unapologetically and unsentimentally against the German spy and traitor, here at home, and the brutal Huns and their Kaiser in Germany, who if they are not by the will of God, in whom we trust, already damned and doomed, shall soon be, we hope, when "Johnny Reb" and "Yankee Doodle" blending in victorious harmony with the Marsailles, shall be the tune of march thru Unter den Linden, and the Bird of Freedom from her perch above the folds of Old Glory, from the minarets of Berlin shall scream out the doom of monarchy, the democracy of the world, the freedom of mankind. Then may little children play unmolested, in Picardy, and romp in God's free air by the banks of the beautiful Rhine.

"My friend, I am on just, one side of this game, are you?

"I have no apologies for my quoted profanity. I only wish that I could be a more powerful instrument in the hands of God to 'Damn' the Kaiser, the traitor in America who aids and abets, and all such 'razor backed hell-hounds' who murder men, women and little children...

"Let this, please God, be my condemnation as an 'ex-Sunday School teacher'."...

Central Ohio Bureau Chief

This story was posted on 2006-01-11 12:34:56
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