AMERICANS ACTIVE FOR TCHAYKOVSKY
500 Prominent Men Petition Stolypin for a Fair Trial for Him and Mme. Breshkovsky.
SIGNERS IN SEVERAL CITIES
The Movement Originated Among Those Who Met the Revolutionists Here -- Their Trial is Approaching.
Since it is believed that the time for the trial of Nicholas Tchaykovsky and Catharine Breshkovsky by the Russian Government on a charge of connection with the revolutionary movement in Russia is near, 500 prominent citizens of this city, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia have signed a petition to Premier Stolypin of the Czar's Cabinet, asking that the prisoners be accorded an open trial.
The petition was preceded by a cablegram directed to M. Stolypin. This was sent a week ago. As yet no reply or even an acknowledgment of its receipt has been received here. This is the cablegram:
New York, Nov. 24, 1909.
To His Excellency, M. Stolypin:
Sir: It is rumored that Nicholas Tchaykovsky and Catharine Breshkovsky are to be tried together in secret. Permit us to say that we are relying upon your Excellency's assurance that they will have a fair trial, and we assume that such trial will necessarily be open and public in accordance with the time-honored principles of justice in all nations. We are very truly yours,
DAVID H. GREER, Bishop of New York; SETH LOW, Ex-Mayor of New York, ex-President of Columbia University; F. A. BUSSE, Mayor of Chicago; FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON, Ex-President of the New York State Bar Association; MORGAN J. O'BRIEN, Formerly Judge of the New York Supreme Court; HENRY CLEWS, Banker; GEORGE FOSTER PEABODY, Banker, and 500 other prominent citizens of New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia.
M. Tchaykovsky, who has become known as "the Father of the Russian Revolution," until his return to Russia a couple of years ago, had been an exile for many years making his home principally in London where he earned a livelihood by his pen.
In 1907 he visited the United States. He was taken up by some of the most prominent men in this country and made an effective plea for the cause to which his life has been devoted.
He was watched her by Russian spies and upon returning to his native land was arrested and immured in the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
For some time he has been at liberty on bail pending his trial, owing to a serious breakdown in his health under the rigors of prison life. No date has been fixed for his trial, but according to reports from the Russian capital, it is imminent.
Mme. Breshkovsky, who early in life underwent the hardships of Siberian exile for the cause of Russian freedom, also visited this country for the purpose of arousing sentiment for the oppressed people of her native land. She was imprisoned on her return to Russia. Mme. Breshkovsky is still in prison. The charges against both arose in part from their activities while visiting this country.
It was said last night that the latest effort, on behalf of the two distinguished revolutionists was not inspired by the "Friends of Russian Freedom," but was undertaken by men of prominence and influence who had learned to know and respect M. Tchaykovsky and Mme. Breshkovsky when they were here.
Among the other signers of the petition are: the Right Rev. William Lawrence, Bishop of Massachusetts; John D. Crimmins, Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain), Robert W. DeForest, William Jay Schieffelin, Jacob A. Riis, Hamilton Holt, Oswald C. Villard, Horace White and R. Fulton Cutting.
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