Unitarianism and the Spanish-American War

28 Apr

In my book T. S. Eliot and his Youth as “a Literary Columbus” (2011), I emphasized the new fact the poet Eliot as a young man in St. Louis was deeply concerned with the Spanish-American War. I wrote: “It bears notice that the Unitarian Association of America (to which the Eliot family was closely connected) was the sole church which adocated the immediateindependence of the Philippines, a church which in that way manifested the foremost importance of autonomy (self-rule)” (p. 40).

A small newspaper at the turn of the century provides an important witness, saying as follows:

“Rev. Clay Macauley has attributed to Admiral Dewey a remark, which at first glance would seem to indicate that the Admiral is opposed to retention of the Philippines…. Macauley may not be a liar, but he certainly misreprts Dewey…. It must be borne in mind that the Rev. Macauley is a red hot anti-expansionist; that he wades through the columns in the Bostn ‘Transcript’ to prove the course of the United States in the Philippines all wrong….” (“Macauley and Dewey”, The Record-Union, Sacramento, Calif., 17 July 1899).

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* Cf. “Admiral Dewey on the Philippines” (http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Great_Republic_By_the_Master_Historians_Vol_IV/admiralge_dc.html).

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