April 16, 1918

RUSSELLITES ASK PROTECTION FROM VIGILANTE THREATS

Because of the inking of George Maynard last Friday night and the letters sent out by the vigilantes to members of the Russellite religious faith to make known their stand on the war at once, the adherents of that cult in the city and vicinity are badly frightened and most of them communicated with Prosecutor Roberts and Mayor Gates demanding protection.

Prosecutor Roberts reiterated today that he stood for law and order, was against mob rule, and would vigorously prosecute any violation of the law either by mob or individual.

Mayor Gates suggested to a number of the Russellites yesterday that the best thing they could do to alleviate their fears and obtain protection and peace of mind was to call a meeting of their members with him, at which they would pledge themselves not to hold meetings, until after the war, and pledge loyalty to the government, and furthermore would promise to give up any part of the principles of their faith which were opposed to war, until after the war.

If they would do that the mayor said he would guarantee them absolute protection. The mayor understood from those to whom he made this suggestion that such a meeting would be called at which such promises would be made, but up to early this afternoon had received no word as to a meeting having been called.

Mr. and Mrs. Maynard and Pastor Taliaferro have evidently left the county as no track of their whereabouts has been gained.

Because the state and municipal laws do not cover cases of disloyalty and sedition, and prosecution for such crimes can only be brought about thru so-called presidential warrants. Mayor Gates is considering having the city council pass a stringent ordinance which will enable the city authorities to cope with all cases of this nature and punish pro-Germanism and acts which tend to that end.

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