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The Clarence Darrow Letters

James K. Jones to Clarence Darrow, October 31, 1904

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James K. Jones, Jr.
Edwin Sefton
Telephone Main 638
Law Offices of
James K. Jones
621-622 Colorado Building
Washington, D.C.

Oct 31. 1904

My Dear Darrow=

I have just read "Farmington" and enjoyed it from start to finish= It is a simple direct truthful picture of the life of a boy & will have a wide appreciation- I think the name a splendid idea, much better "My recollection" [?] -

My only criticism is that I do not think you do justice to the stories in our readers – Like you I am sure that that story about the whip could have cost me much time which might have possibly made valuable,untying knots in strings, but altho like you I have never won a shooting match. I am not sure that the lesson was not a valuable one- it was an effective one in my case & in yours- The old story about the lark moving his nest when the old farmer concluded to cut his wheat himself has had a decided influence in my life & I believe a good one - By the way I have been trying to recall the name of the French tramp who wrote that story of self reliance but I can recall it - can you help me out? - You have set my head going

on a lot of forgotten things & I am mourning for them because they are not – things I used to memorize are clear gone & their names & authors are unknown - One about moving the indians - another about the tall temples of [?] - I wish I could find them now - I'd like to read them again and for a moment forget that I am no longer a boy. - My Webster speller had a yellow back - I've seen a million of them & all had blue & green backs except that one

When I was learning to spell— My lesson being that line beginning with "above" a land mark in the book as well as in the path of life – I struck - (My father was teaching me at home) – He urged me patiently to spell – the jackass was to the [?] with me & I could not spell – He then began carefully to point out the letters & pronounce them - then told me to repeat them after him - There I made my mistake I [?] [?] - the trouble was then clear & he did not spare the rod, whether he spoiled the child or not & when we finished that phase of the business I did not need any assistance I could & did spell then & there & from then on there was no question of rank between him & me tho he never struck me on but one other occasion

I believe that those stories have helped to develop character in boys & have done good tho some of them may seem absurd to us.

I don't believe you quite do the stories justice tho the way you treat them is entertaining & will be read with pleasure by every one - but I put in a petition now for a recognition in a proper way of the good that these stories have done in helping to bring out good points in character - this is to be done in the some future editions of the book =

Now I will not blame you if you refuse to work through all this stuff of mine— I had no right to inflict it on you— In the other old story of boy who offered the dog bread & when he came for it struck him on the head & kept the bread—

I hope we are going to win in this election & hope you will vote that way yet –

Good luck to you in whatever you do or say or think

Your friend

Jame K Jones

Law Offices of
James K. Jones
621-622 Colorado Building
Washington, D.C.

Hon Clarence S. Darrow