Chapter Four:
The Life and Ideas of Francis Bellamy

From The Pledge Of Allegiance:
A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992

by Dr. John W. Baer.

Copyrighted 1992 by John W. Baer.
Dr. Baer's new edition, The Pledge of Allegiance A Revised History and Analysis, 2007, is now available on Amazon.com.


Family Background

As mentioned in Chapter Three, Francis Bellamy and Edward Bellamy share the Bellamy family tree. Francis's father, David Bellamy, was forty-nine years old when Francis was born. He was the eldest of four brothers and decided to go into business as a youth. In 1828 he married Eliza Benedict of Marcellus, New York. The following year he established himself as a merchant in Ellery,a small town in New York. He had been raised a Baptist and even though he had no formal college education, he felt the call to join the Baptist ministry in Ellery.

In 1852 his wife died and in 1854 he married Lucy Ann Clark Eells, who was fourteen years younger. She had been raised by her aunt and uncle in Manlius Square, New York. David Bellamy went to work for a Baptist Church in Mount Morris, New York, where Francis was born in 1855. In 1859 he accepted a call to the First Baptist Church in Rome, New York. He died there in 1864. He was for the Union in the Civil War and forecasted its victory on the basis of its superior man power, manufacturing power, the economic interest of foreign nations, and the spirit of the North.

Francis Bellamy's Education

Francis was raised in Rome by his mother. He attended the schools in Rome, including the new Rome Free Academy. He graduated in 1872 and was the first president of it's Alumni Association. In September 1872 he entered the University of Rochester and pursued the regular course in preparation for the Baptist ministry.

In 1876, the year of his graduation, Francis delivered a commencement speech on "The Poetry of Human Brotherhood." He argued that the French Revolution awakened men to a realization of the personal dignity and God-given rights of man. From the dignity of the individual to the Brotherhood of man is the inevitable next step, best expressed in the French revolutionary watchwords, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." He felt that politicians, confusing Fraternity with Communism, could not grasp the meaning of Universal brotherhood, a concept expressed by the British romantic poets.

Francis' Baptist Ministry

Bellamy entered the Rochester Theological Seminary in the fall of 1876. After graduation in 1880, he began his ministry at the Baptist Church of Little Falls, New York. In 1884, while fighting intemperance in Little Falls, he supported John Pierce St. John of the National Prohibition Party against Republican James G. Blaine and Democrat Grover Cleveland. In his church and community he preached and campaigned for prohibition and its candidate for president.

On June 1, 1881, Francis married Hattie Benton of Newark, New York. She had been raised a Methodist and had completed one year of higher education. His cousin Edward Bellamy and Edward's bride-to-be, attended the wedding. (To the children that would be born to them, Francis would be known as "Uncle Frank.") Francis and Hattie had two sons, both of whom went into business. Marion Bellamy Earnshaw, only daughter of Edward Bellamy, described her "Uncle Frank" as a man of magnificent physique, imposing and magnetic. "He had rugged features to match his body. He was altogether charming and urbane which qualities did not seem to fit his physical makeup."

In 1885 Francis left for the Dearborn Street Church in Boston. He had become accustomed to working among factory people in Little Falls and he felt it was his duty to bring moral and spiritual uplift to hard- pressed factory workers and their families. He liked the idea of a church service for the poor which emphasized charity, philanthropy, education, and spiritual uplift. Labor disturbances were prominent in the news, and Francis wanted to help solve their economic, social, political and religious problems.

In his work with the poor at the Dearborn Street Church, Francis climbed tenement house stairs. Under his direction, the church grew and was enlarged. The Baptist Social Union of Boston was helping these mission churches both as an opportunity to help the poor and for expansion of the Baptist faith. Daniel Ford, publisher of The Youth's Companion, was impressed by the social work of Dearborn Street Church and prompted the Social Union to support the church financially. Francis also continued his temperance work in Boston.

In 1887, prompted by a shift in population, a new church was erected on Urich Street. (A rapid influx of Catholic immigrants had changed the old community and was making it difficult for the church to support itself.) In 1890 the church moved several miles to West Cottage Street and was renamed the Bethany Baptist Church. The new neighborhood was also poor but was on the edge of an affluent neighborhood. Daniel Ford attended Francis`s church services because he liked his sermons and probably the church's welfare activities. Ford, who was the editor of The Companion and himself an excellent writer, liked a man who expressed himself well. He apparently liked Francis's sermons on liberty, fraternity, and patriotism and ratified his minister's negative judgment on the extreme individualism and materialism of the Gilded Age.

As discussed in Chapter Three, Francis Bellamy's role in his cousin Edward's Nationalist movement took the form of advancing the cause of the Society of Christian Socialists. By the close of 1890, the conservative businessmen on the Committee on Christian Work of the Baptist Social Union were increasingly bothered by his socialist activities and sermons and so reduced their appropriations to the Bethany Church.

In a January l, 1891 letter to the Committee, Francis explained that he sympathized with the workingman. He wrote that Daniel Ford had urged him to show in his preaching how the Bible was full of sympathy with the poor and that the Savior was the poor man's friend. He stated he had never preached against the rich, even avoiding reading the many biblical statements against them, but admitted that he had condemned covetousness as the most prevalent sin of his day and pointed out that the New Testament condemned this sin at greater length than any other. He explained that he had become a Christian Socialist on the basis of the Scriptures alone. He threatened to resign if funding was not renewed. In April 1891 he did resign and announced his intentions to go to work for his friend and mentor, Daniel Ford.

Working for The Youth's Companion

At this time Daniel Ford was Francis's closest friend and career advisor. When Francis had been a minister, they had discussed a new proposed Introductory Department at The Youth's Companion for devising methods for arousing the interest of the public in the magazine. Ford may have hired Francis also to "shake up" The Companion as his special assistant. He told Bellamy to "consult nobody on the editorial floor; be intimate with nobody; let a certain degree of mystery attach to you among the editors."

Ford assigned Bellamy to work with James Upham. Upham needed someone to take charge of his National Public School Celebration for Columbus Day. Upham had gone to school in an era when children were trained in patriotism. Children would recite sections of the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution or a part of a speech by Daniel Webster. He hoped that the substitute in the public schools would be the flag. Children would watch the flag being raised at their schools and would develop a little more love for their country.

The nation's enthusiasm for honoring the American flag in the schools was beginning. The flag's place had been seen as flying over military bases and on patriotic occasions. Teacher Bernard Cigrand had started the observance of "Flag Day" on June 14, 1885, when he placed a small American flag on his schoolroom desk in Waubeka, Wisconsin. Upham and Bellamy would make saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge a year round observance.

Promoting The National Public School Celebration

Upham had asked the young readers of the Companion whether or not they would like to participate in a program to honor patriotism and the public school on the Columbus Day. The response was good. He got the nation's educational newspapers interested in the flag-raising movement . He lined up W. T. Harris, commissioner of education, who wanted more patriotism taught in the schools.

The Columbia Exposition was to be located in Chicago in 1892. The Exposition was to have a Youth's World Congress and the World's Youth Congress Auxiliary and this group asked The Youth's Companion to become its official representative. The president of the Youth's World Congress, A. F. Nightingale and his associate, Leslie Lewis, assistant superintendent of Chicago schools, had read in The Youth's Companion of Upham's idea for a National Public School Celebration for the 1892 Columbus Day. The World Congress Auxiliary gave the management of the Celebration to The Youth's Companion.

Ford had agreed to back the campaign. Ford asked Bellamy to get the cooperation of educational personnel of the country, newspapers, and government officials. The authority to run the National Public School Celebration for the Quadricentennial should emanate from the State Superintendents of Education and an executive committee appointed by them should be headed by a Youth's Companion employee, namely Francis Bellamy.

On the February 17th , 1892, at the annual meeting of the Superintendents of Education of the National Education Association, W. T. Harris strongly supported the National Public School Celebration plan and a series of resolutions were adopted recommending the project to all superintendents, teachers, and newspapers, with a program of exercises for the occasion written by The Youth's Companion.

Bellamy was chosen chairman of the National Education Association's executive committee for the celebration. Its members were J. W. Dickinson, Secretary to the Massachusetts Board of Education, T. B. Stockwell, the Commissioner of Rhode Island Public Schools, W. R. Garrett, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Tennessee, and W. C. Hewitt, Superintendent of the Michigan Educational Exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair. Garrett also was a president of the National Education Association at the time.

Years later Bellamy could make a good argument for the position that The Youth's Companion campaign for the National Public School Celebration in 1892 was first nationwide advertising and public relations campaigns in the United States.

The Youth's Companion urged its young readers to ask their teachers and schools boards to support the National Public School Celebration, and to set up local committees composed of citizens, teachers and students. State Superintendents of Education were asked to issue a circular to school superintendents and teachers urging them to support the celebration. The Superintendents of Education Committee was to provide the official program for the celebration, the program actually being written by The Youth's Companion's Francis Bellamy.

Francis prepared mass mailings of press releases and circulars. He mailed a stereotype page for the American Press Association to appear in about four thousand city and village papers. He provided leading local papers with editorials and lead stories on stereotype plate. Associated Press Dispatches were sent out on his speech to the Saratoga Spring's National Teachers' Convention of the National Education Association.

The theme was that the public schools was the one characteristic institution which linked all neighborhoods together in the United States and thus furnished a common bond for a national celebration. The program was to honor Columbus' landing in the new world, but, even more, to honor the American public school as the fruit of four centuries of our history and the institution most truly representative of American ideals.

Grand Army Posts were urged by circulars to press for local school observances and to detail escorts of honor to help children raise the flag in the Celebration. Eventually General John Palmer, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, endorsed the Celebration. He stated that "I believe in the influence of the flag over the public school. It is the right place for it, for our national emblem ought to be over schools just as much as over our fort and ships."

Senators, Congressmen, and other politicians were urged to make statements about the proposed Celebration. Theodore Roosevelt, then a member of the United States Civil Service Commission, stated that "The Common School and Flag stand together as the arch-typical of American civilization. The Common School is the leading form in which the principles of equality and fraternity take shape, while the Flag represents not only those principles of equality, fraternity and liberty, but also the great pulsing nation with all its hopes, and all its past, and all its moral power. So it is eminently fitting that the Common School and the Flag should stand together on Columbus Day."

Grover Cleveland, who had been President and was about to run again came out for The Celebration. He was concerned about the problem of Americanizing the foreign youth in the public schools. With the help of Republican Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, he lined up President Harrison and Congress to support the Celebration. President Harrison was concerned about the lack of enthusiasm, in many places, for financing the public school, sometimes accused of being socialistic.

President Harrison Proclamation of July 21, 1892, enjoined the people to honor Columbus Day on "the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America on the twenty-first of October, 1892 by public demonstrations and by suitable exercises in their schools and other places of assembly. ...Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment. The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment, and it is peculiarly appropriate that the schools be made by the people the center of the day's demonstration. Let the National Flag float over every school house in the country, and the exercises of such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship."

Upham, in the meantime, was encouraging his youthful readers in The Companion and members of the Lyceum League of America to buy flags for their school houses for the National Public School Celebration. He argued that there were still many schools without flags and that the flag was necessary to stir up the love of country in youngsters, especially the foreign born.

Writing The Public School Celebration Program

Upham and Bellamy worked closely in putting together the program for the Celebration. They both believed it should not be just an ordinary list of exercises but a ritual.

Bellamy was given the job of actually writing up the program. The program was in eight parts:

1. Reading of the President's Proclamation by the Master of Ceremonies.
2. Raising of the Flag by the Veterans.
3. Salute to the Flag by the Pupils.
4. Acknowledgment of God. Prayer or Scripture.
5. Song of Columbus Day by Pupils and Audience.
6. Address, "The Meaning of the Four Centuries."
7. The Ode, "Columbia's Banner."
8. Addresses by Citizens and National Songs."

Bellamy wrote the "The Address For Columbus Day, The Meaning of Four Centuries," and its flag salute, the Pledge of Allegiance. The nub of the program was the raising of the Flag, with a Salute to the Flag recited by the pupils in unison.

In the Address he began by stating that the people were gathering around the school house to honor the great American institution which united the nation, the public schools. "We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principle of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic product of our four centuries of American life."

He goes on to say, possibly copying from Edward Bellamy, that "We look backward and we look forward . Backward , we see the first mustering of modern ideas...We hear the axe, We see the flame of burning cabins and hear the cry of the savage. We see the never ceasing wagon trains always tolling westward...We note the birth of the modern system of industry and commerce, and its striking forth into undreamed-of-wealth...Through it all, we fasten on certain principles, ever operating and regnant - the leadership of manhood; equal rights for every soul; universal enlightenment as the sources of progress...

"We look forward. We are conscious we are in a period of transition. Ideas in education, in political economy, in social science are undergoing revisions. ...The coming century promises to be more than ever the age of the people; an age that shall develop a greater care for the rights of the weak, and make a more solid provision for the development of each individual by the education that meets his need."

He ended his speech with praise of the public school and a polite jab at the parochial schools:

"One institution more than any other has wrought out the achievements of the past, and is today the most trusted for the future. Our fathers in their wisdom knew that the foundations of liberty, fraternity, and equality must be universal education. The free school, therefore, was conceived as the cornerstone of the Republic. Washington and Jefferson recognized that the education of citizens is not the prerogative of church or of other private interest; that while religious training belongs to the church, and while technical and higher culture may be given by private institutions - the training of citizens in the common knowledge and the common duties of citizenship belongs irrevocably to the State.

"We, therefore, on the anniversary of America present the Public School as the noblest expression of the principle of enlightenment which Columbus grasped by faith. We uplift the system of free and universal education as the masterforce which, under God, has been informing each of our generations with the peculiar truths of Americanism. America, therefore, gathers her sons around the schoolhouse today as the institution closest to the people, most characteristic of the people, and fullest of hope for the people...

"We, the youth of America, who today unite to march as one army under the sacred flag, understand our duty. We pledge ourselves that the flag shall not be stained; and that America shall mean equal opportunity and justice for every citizen, and brotherhood for the world."

Writing the Pledge of Allegiance

Of all the parts of the program that Upham took most seriously, it was the Salute to the Flag. He tried writing many variations of a salute and asked for comments from The Companion staff. He was never satisfied with the salutes he wrote and eventually asked Bellamy to write the Pledge.

The only well known American Flag Salute at the time was Colonel Balch's salute, written in 1889, which Balch had first used on the Flag Day, June 14th, in his free kindergarten for New York City's poor and immigrants where he served as a principal. Apparently he soon extended it to a daily salute in the classroom for all his students. His Salute went as follows: "We give our heads and our hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one Flag."

Both Upham and Bellamy agreed that the new words for a salute should be more than just a Salute, it should be a vow of allegiance. A pledging of allegiance would be much more than a "Salute to the Flag" and hopefully would replace Balch's simple salute. The word "allegiance" had for most people of his time a Civil War familiarity from the use of "oath of allegiance" by the Union in the Civil War and afterwards during Reconstruction in the South.

As the program near ready for publication in mid-August, Upham did not have a Salute ready that was worthy of being the center of the school program. He asked Bellamy to write it for him. They both agree that the general notion of a flag salute would be subordinate to a vow of loyalty, or allegiance to the flag. "Allegiance" was a word pleasing to both of them because of its Civil War associations.

Bellamy perhaps thought that "pledge" was a better word than "oath" or "vow" because of his associations with the "temperance pledge" of his prohibition campaigns. Moreover, the words "Oath of Allegiance" would connotate uncomfortable memories for citizens of the former confederate states. The Catholic Church also argued that only a state or church could administer an oath, one of its many disagreements with the Masons.

During and after the Civil War many southerners were required to take an "Oath of Allegiance" to the Union before they were given their political rights. The "Oath of Allegiance" for southerners recommended by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 was as follows: "I, ______, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the union of the states thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves..."

More stringent oaths were administered during the reconstruction period. The "iron-clad" oath went as follows: "I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have never voluntarily borne arms against the United States since |I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility, thereto..." This eliminated former confederates and southerner sympathizers from government office or even jury duty.

This was to be a vow of loyalty for what the flag stood for - a "Republic" founded after the American Revolution which means a nation without a king and does not necessarily imply a democracy.

The high cost of the Civil War suggested three words: "one nation, indivisible." The word, "liberty," may have been suggested by the then unofficial national anthem for children, "America," that the children sung in the program. Its first verse starts as follows, "my country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing..." However, there probably were more important reasons why he put the word into the Pledge.

"Liberty and Justice for All"

What were the basic national doctrines or ideals that the nation stood for? Bellamy was tempted to use the slogan of the French Revolution and his cousin's Nationalism movement: "liberty, fraternity, equality." But "fraternity"was not soon to be realized or agreed on and the word "equality" would be unacceptable to the state superintendents of education in a society that denied the vote and most civil rights to blacks and women.

The words "Liberty" and "justice" that he used are in the Preamble to the Constitution. Among the purposes in establishing the Constitution were a desire to "establish justice" and to "secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." The words, "liberty" and "equality" are in the fifteenth and sixteenth amendments to the Constitution. Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment says "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property , without due process of law. Under the auspices of laissez faire economic thought, the term meant primarily freedom of contract and governmental protection of personal rights. Liberty and property and contractual rights were popular with the business community. The liberty of poor individuals to enter into contracts, however disadvantageous, without state regulation or interference was approved of by the courts and by the business community.

In the occasion of the Constitution's Centennial in 1887, a favorite theme was the close association of "liberty" and "law and order" which were closely associated with the protection of property rights. In the 1880's essayists emphasized that the Anglo-Saxon peoples had demonstrated above all other racial groups the ability to combine liberty and order. Labor strikes were considered a sign of "foreigners" and anarchists. Many Americans and especially the business community liked the theme of liberty and law and order.

The concept of equality did not appear in American constitutional law until adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment by the states in 1868 and Americans showed scant interest in enforcing the spirit of liberty and equality until well after World War II. The word,"equality," had been in the Declaration of Independence" - and in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which identified the United States as a nation "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Thus, "liberty and justice" were non-controversial and undebatable and plenty for one nation to try to accomplish. Bellamy felt that if "for all" was added these last two words implied the spirit of equality and fraternity - two words he did not dare include because the pledge had to be approved by the NEA's Executive Committee of Superintendents of Education. The NEA did not integrate African American and white membership until 1966 and only in the late 1960's did the NEA begin to support aggressively the concept of "equality" in most state educational systems.

When Bellamy had finished writing the Pledge in August, 1892, he showed it to Upham who liked it and suggested a salute that was used by many states up until World War II. As Upham pretended to salute the flag, he came to attention, snapped his heels together to begin reciting the Pledge. As he started to recite, "I pledge allegiance to my flag," he stretched out his right arm and hand with palm up and kept it raised while he recited the rest of the Pledge, "and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Both Mr. Ford and the executive committee of the Superintendents of Education approved the Pledge as written. It first appeared in the Official Program for the National Public School Celebration in the September 8th issue of The Companion. Bellamy wanted to sign his name to it but Ford insisted on the Companion's policy of anonymity.

The Public School Celebration and Columbus Day

The Pledge was apparently first used in New York City. The New Yorkers, including many immigrants, had a three day celebration revolving around October 12th. On the first day thirty five thousand school children marched by the reviewing stand on Fifth Avenue while half a million people watched the parade.

What was a one day celebration in most places was a three-day Columbus celebration in New York City. The second day one million turned out along the Hudson River to watch a naval pageant of ships from Europe and South America to illustrate the progress in sailing from the days of Columbus's small caravels to the large ocean liners of the late 19th century.. The third day drew two million people into Central Park. The people of the ethnic neighborhoods and the tenements had come to honor Columbus, not the public schools.

In 1892 the New York's foreign born were the city's poorest. Many of them did not know the name of the President or New York's governor or even the names of Washington or Lincoln, but the name of Columbus they recognized. They embraced Columbus who had opened the new world of America and United States, their land of opportunity. The Italians and Hispanics, especially, were proud of Columbus and often had little identification with the Public Schools.

The other schools celebrated on October 21st, the "true" date of Columbus discovering American when one takes into consideration the changes in the calendar over the centuries.

Bellamy apparently first heard the Pledge recited by the students in Boston on the morning of October 21st. It probably followed the program's recommended procedure: "At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil give the Flag the military salute - right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all." At the words, "to my Flag," the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation.; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side. Then, still standing, as the instruments strike a chord, all will sing "America, My County 'tis of Thee."

Bellamy officially celebrated the Public School Celebration in Malden, Mass., the home of Upham. On the afternoon following the exercises at the schools, a parade of four thousand school children took place. The Malden New described the children as follows" "As they came up Main Street with perfect rank and file, heads erect, shoulders back, and eyes front, they presented a sight that even old veterans respected and showed approval by cheers and hand clapping." Bellamy, Upham and the local notables were on the reviewing stand in front of the Malden's Centre Methodist Episcopal Church.

In an evening program Upham presented School Board Chairman, the Rev. W. P. Whitcher, with a gavel which had been used by George Washington. Mayor James Pierce welcomed "Deacon James B. Upham, the author and director of this national celebration." Bellamy gave the evening address.

Over half of the one hundred and twenty thousand public schools in the country participated in the National Public School Celebration. Bellamy had several more months of glory with the aftermath of this Celebration.

Bellamy's Last Years at The Companion

While working for The Youth's Companion, the Bellamy family lived in a house on Griffin Avenue in Newton Highlands, than and now part of Newton, a western suburb of Boston. His wife, Harriet Benton Bellamy, owned the house. She had a flair for writing and collaborated with Francis on several magazine articles. She was not as enthusiastic for the socialist movement as Francis was, but she did respect the reform movement. Her inheritance from her father, John Wesley Benton, at his death in 1900, enabled Francis to visit Europe in 1901. On this trip he decided to switch into the new business journalism which was developing higher literary standards.

At The Companion, Bellamy went on the lecture trail before miscellaneous groups and especially the clubs of the Lyceum League of America, founded by Upham in October, 1891, and sponsored by the Companion. His themes were, "The Spirit of Americanism - Perils from Immigration - Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in Relation to the New American Idea."

Francis's speech was a modified version of the Edward Bellamy and Christian Socialist themes, which would indicate that Upham and Ford approved of most of these themes. His major theme was what was meant by "Americanism." Francis's "Americanism" was not the spirit that look to commercial gain.

Francis argued that American had been supporting liberty more than equality or fraternity. The business community had run the concept of "liberty" into the ground. "Liberty" had come to mean the right of great corporations to oppress the people; for fraudulent stock sales, for electric wires to be haphazardly hung along railroad tracks; liberty for the Adam Smith economic atoms on the top of the heap to oppress the atoms on the bottom of the heap of society.

Bellamy's "Americanism" included the spirit of "fraternity" and "equality." "Fraternity" was the recognition that society was not a loose collection of atom-like economic individuals but an extended family. "Equality" meant equal rights to an education on the part of the poor children as much as for the rich children. It included the right of an individual to work and earn a decent living for his family.

After completing his work for Upham's National Public School Celebration and helping with Upham's Lyceum League, Bellamy was assigned a job to secure leading writers as contributors, reading manuscripts, and editing. Mr. Ford was now in poor health and usually not in his office and took much less interest in Bellamy's career. Bellamy was not getting interesting assignments and many of the other editors were jealous of him because Bellamy had been brought into the company at a higher position than most of them.

Editor of The Illustrated American

In 1895 Bellamy left the Companion for Edward Bok's Ladies Home Journal as a chief manuscript reader. He became bored with this job and after four months left to join The Illustrated American as Editor and Manager. This magazine covered current national affairs and gave Bellamy an opportunity to write editorials and articles on national affairs.

In 1896 he attacked William Jennings Bryan as a demagogue and as the first Presidential candidate who has tried to excite class against class and the masses against the upper class. He was threatening to raise the red flag of armed revolt. Part of the charm of Edward Bellamy's, Looking Backward, to the American public was that the change from capitalism to socialism was described as gradual and peaceful without any bitter class warfare or revolution.

Like his cousin, Edward, Francis revealed his biases against the southern Europeans in his editorials. He attacked open immigration. In an August 28, 1897, editorial he said the following:

"The hard inescapable fact is that men are not born equal. Neither are they born free, but all in bonds to their ancestors and their environments...

"The success of government by the people will depend upon the stuff that people are made of. The people must realize their responsibility to themselves. They must guard, more jealously even than their liberties, the quality of their blood.

"A democracy like ours cannot afford to throw itself open to the world. Where every man is a lawmaker, every dull-witted or fanatical immigrant admitted to our citizenship is a bane to the commonwealth. Where all classes of society merge insensibly into one another every alien immigrant of inferior race may bring corruption to the stock.

"There are races, more or less akin to our own, whom we may admit freely, and get nothing but advantage from the infusion of their wholesome blood. But there are other races which we cannot assimilate without a lowering of our racial standard, which should be as sacred to us as the sanctity of our homes."

In praise of the sport of football and his Northern European ancestry in a November 13, 1897, editorial he states:

"The stuff in our Anglo-Saxon blood which supplies the sure foundation of football's popularity also supplies the stamina and wholesome aggressiveness of our race. The sane impulse of conflict that is in us needs some recognition. Football meets that unforgotten need of the race which in the days of chivalry had to be satisfied by the tourney and the joust.

"There is no quality that a nation can less afford to lose than its aggressive manliness. It is a quality amalgamate of courage, endurance, restraint, and the power to act surely and unfalteringly in an emergency. It is a quality which football tends to foster and to keep alive.."

His views on the blacks apparently were ambivalent. In a January 15, 1898, editorial, he said:

"We are witnessing the beginning of a new campaign in the long war of races in the South It is the beginning of a battle for independence for one race, and the loss of political rights for another. The white man is in the saddle for the overthrow of negro dominion...

"The leaders of the negroes have been unendurable, more than the negro voters themselves. .. So white Republicans make common cause with Democrats for the disfranchisement of the negro...

"When the Southern finds a method for accomplishing his purpose he does not stop. Will he be able to intimidate the whole race of black men while he takes quick action to deprive them of their political rights? Will they make no protest, raise no mob revolt, enter into no fellowship- of terrible revenge against the race which would thus sweep their rights aside?"

In a May 22, 1897, editorial, he mentions in passing his view of the Mexican labor force:

"Cheap peon labor in Mexico is of a shiftless and unreliable kind. The native Mexican works only that he may live. If he can live for a month on the rewards of a week's work, he will work for twelve weeks out of the year and not a week more."

He praised the expansion of American trade overseas and the need for a larger U. S. Navy. In a March 5, 1898, editorial he blamed Congress for what he thought was a American military weakness at the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Like many Americans, he feared that part of the Spanish fleet would bombard some of the unprotected eastern American ports while the American fleet was involved in the invasion of Cuba:

"You (Congress) have had the sole power to build an adequate navy and to fortify our coasts. You have had year by year the military estimates of the navy and war departments placed before you..The press has been incessant in its appeals to you for the action of commonest prudence, and wise, patriotic men of your own number have worried you in season and out of season...You have sneered at the military appropriations asked for and cut to a third those proposed by your own committees...You have seen for years the gathering storm of European enmity. You knew that our only safety was in our ability to repel attack..."

Editor of The Duke of Stockbridge

Bellamy raised this magazine from operating at a loss to a profitable operation. In 1898 the magazine was sold by the owner and he left it for the book publishing house of Silver, Burdett & Co. as editor. While there he had published his cousin Edward Bellamy's book, The Duke of Stockbridge. Edward had written this book in 1879 but decided on its publication only shortly before his death in 1898. His widow agreed to let Francis edit it and he also wrote the introduction to the book.

When Edward wrote this romance, he chose the episode of the revolt of the debtor-farmers in 1786 against the harsh creditors and oppressive government in western Massachusetts near the present resort town of Stockbridge, Mass. In this century the town was the location of much of Norman Rockwell's work and is the present location of the art museum dedicated to his work.

But back in 1786 it was the center of radicalism and the location for "Shays' Rebellion" This revolt helped scare the leaders of the thirteen colonies into supporting a strong central government seen in the U.S. Constitution in 1788. Edward's book is sometimes designated as the most authoritative piece of fiction written about this rebellion.

The hero, Captain Daniel Shays, an ex-Revolutionary officer, and the majority of men in his rebel ranks were revolutionary soldier who were nearly all impoverished through their Revolution War services and were considered never-do-wells by the governing classes of merchants and lawyers.

The Massachusetts' taxes were so heavy that the annual tax per farmer or mechanic was more money than the average farmer or mechanic made in over a year. A profitable business for the local lawyers was the foreclosing on the farmers' or mechanics' property and filling the jails with those who could not pay their debts. The exasperated Revolutionary war veteran emptied the jails of their friends and neighbors and demanded financial relief. The rebellion was put down by the Massachusetts's government with only a small loss of life but it scared the ruling classes in the State.

In 1901 Bellamy left the publisher and for about a year was a free lance writer for the New York Sun newspaper reporting on leading church leaders and their sermons. He took a vacation in Europe. He then spent three years working and writing for the Equitable Life Assurance Society where he learned more about salesmanship and advertising.

Working for the Everybody's Magazine

In 1904 he began his eleven years with Everybody's Magazine as an advertising manager. This magazine is sometimes classified as one of the notable "muckraking" reform minded magazines along with McClure at the beginning of this century. Noted radical reformer Lincoln Steffens joined its editorial board in 1910. The magazine was noted for fearlessly attacking corruption on Wall Street and other financial centers.

Its owner was John Adams Thayer who believed in reforming the outrageous advertising practices of his time. Advertising back then usually included fraudulent patent medicine ads, which he rejected, along with other knowingly fraudulent adds.

Bellamy's work with the magazine included the soliciting of national advertisers, cooperating with the their advertising agencies, and writing a series of articles about the advertising and product policies of many of the magazine's large advertisers. He solicited reactions from the readers to these ads and wrote a book based on these findings, "Effective Magazine Advertising," which had a vogue among the national advertisers and advertising agencies as one of the first guides in the scientific construction of advertisements and advertising research.

Bellamy apparently wrote no "muckraking" articles for the magazine except for an 1904 article on, "Is America Developing An Aristocracy?" He did criticize John D. Rockefeller in his Commencement address to the graduating class at the University of Rochester in 1906. In his address, "An Advancing Conscience," he first criticized political graft and then criticized Rockefeller for using questionable business practices in developing his giant oil trust.

He said that Rockefeller, like many businessmen, had a good set of principles in most areas of life but a wholly contradictory set of principles in business. The word, "hypocrite," was not adequate to explain such a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde case as Mr. Rockefeller. The public was demanding a more advanced form of moral conscience.

The average businessman could see his small scale evasions, injustices, briberies, blackmailing, falsehoods, and breaking of fiduciary obligations projected on the large scale in the case of Mr. Rockefeller. The average businessman was beginning to question the long accepted principals of business practices common in America.

The public was disgusted with the moral standards of the big businessmen. The business idols were collapsing. The public had seen trusted financial institutions shaken and tottering because the great financiers disregarded their fiduciary obligations. The haughtiest of the American financiers had run away from a subpoena like a petty thief. Corporate directors were guilty of tricks, falsifications, and criminal manipulations with their stockholders' money. Railroad barons were in disgraces because they had both given and accepted bribes.

The businessmen needed a moral revolution. In a new moral business code, justice should have a place. Truth telling would be a necessity. Graft and bribery would be avoided like larceny. At the end of his speech, Bellamy stated that he thought a new business conscience was evolving already.

Advertising Agency Account Executive

In 1915 he joined a leading New York advertising agency, the Erickson Advertising Agency. There he was an account executive and copy writer. He solicited accounts and handled the advertising of such large firms as Westinghouse and Allied Chemical. He resigned in 1921 to go into semi-retirement.

Including his years at Everybody's Magazine, Bellamy had spend nineteen years in advertising in New York City. He had played a part in the development of the advertising industry from its infancy to a fabulous world of signboards, neon lights, double page color ads, and the beginnings of radio commercials. The "Madison Avenue" advertising world had arrived in New York City with his blessing and help.

Bellamy believed in high pressure advertising but believed it still could be truthful advertising. He believed that advertising should create the demand for the increasing output of American industry. He saw selling as very important to business and saw advertising copy as his specialty. In many ways, the advertising industry could argue that the Pledge of Allegiance is the greatest piece of copy writing seen in the United States in the last hundred years.

Retirement in Florida

In 1922 he decided to leave New York City for the remainder of his life in Tampa,Florida, with his second wife. His first wife, Harriet Bellamy, had died in 1918. In 1920 he had married Mrs. Marie Morin, who had been a successful business woman in the women's hat business in New York City.

His sons, David and John, by this time were well established in the business world. David had served in the U. S. Marine Corp in World War I in France and had won a medal for bravery but had not been wounded.

As to some clues to his politics at the end of his life, Francis in 1928 was disappointed in his sons for voting for Herbert Hoover instead of Al Smith, the democratic candidate for President. He considered Smith a more forceful and wiser man than Hoover. Smith had fought corruption and the Political Machine in New York City while Hoover as U. S. Secretary of Commerce had condoned the oil and other scandals during the Coolidge and Harding administrations. Francis also supported Smith because Smith wanted to repeal the prohibition amendment against alcohol while Hoover wished to continue this "Noble Experiment." Francis obviously was not longer a prohibitionist as he had been in the nineteenth century.

In 1926 he began working part time as the advertising manager for the Tampa Electric Company after he convinced the management that the company needed systematic publicity and adverting that he could develop. On July 15,1931, he was fired from this part time job at the Tampa Electric Company and on the same day he applied for and received a similar job with the Tampa Gas Company. He died on August 28, 1931, in Tampa, Florida, at the age of seventy-six.


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Right Arm Salute to the Flag During the Reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, A Standardized Ritual in Many Public Schools, 1892 to about 1950.
(Illustration by Roxanna Baer based on illustrations in The Youth's Companion.)



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