Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN THE 1850s, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer wardrobePART 66 – Some of the Fool Killer’s targets on both sides of the aisle in the July of 1913 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of the folk figure:

*** Democrat Walter Hines Page, President Woodrow Wilson’s Ambassador to Great Britain. Page was part of the plutocrat or “plute” class that Pearson and his Fool Killer despised. Page had provoked Pearson’s ire through his public claims of simple living, all while he was renting a $20,000 per year mansion in England for himself, an enormous amount for the time.

*** Modern day gun owners. Pearson and his depiction of the Fool Killer defy categorization, since the attitudes expressed would annoy people on both the political right and the political left. Going back to 1910, Pearson’s Fool Killer openly disdained gun ownership in the 20th Century, yet many of his other positions would be placed on the political right.

*** Pearson’s fellow Christians, whom he thought bestowed most of their affection to the devil with their lifestyles, rather than to God. Here we see a position usually attributed to the political right. One of the intriguing things in every installment is the way Pearson and his Fool Killer cannot be pigeon-holed as left-wing or right-wing.

*** Uncle Sam, whom he depicted as more than a little bloodthirsty and callous toward his “nephews” who were killed or maimed in wars that benefited the wealthy, even though they themselves lived in poverty. So we’re back to a position associated with the political left.

*** Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, for his failed attempts to increase enlistment in the U.S. Navy. Pearson saw this as a sign that young men were showing common sense, since Pearson opposed militarism. 

*** The Pure Food and Drug Act, for being toothless.

*** Democrat William Jennings Bryan, Wilson’s Secretary of State at the time, whom he saw as a disaster for the United States.

*** Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, for abusing his Franking Privilege by sending out thousands of copies of the book Sugar at a Glance, a publication pushed by the Sugar Trust, from whom Lodge and other politicians received donations. The wealthy Lodge avoided paying an estimated $28,000.00 (Equal to $842,862.00 here in 2022) in postage mailing out to his constituents what amounted to an advertisement for his donors in the sugar industry.   

*** Postmaster General Albert Sidney Burleson, for his prudish confiscation of art books which featured reproductions of  September Morn, an oil painting of a nude woman. As a Democrat, Burleson also imposed racial segregation on the United States Post Office.   

*** Sixty-year-old Mrs. Christian Dominic Hemmick, for announcing that she was going to be the latest society woman to wear pants. Even though Pearson and his Fool Killer openly supported voting rights for women, for some reason women wearing pants really bugged him.

One of the Fool Killer’s pithier remarks this time around was “The letters M.D. after a doctor’s name mean “Money Down.” 


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Filed under Mythology, Neglected History

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