The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
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Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

J. Howard Moore to Henry Salt, January 1, 1916

Moore's "The Universal Kinship" was published in Chicago in 1916.

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

6030 Monroe Avenue
Chicago 1/–

My Dear Mr. Salt–

I have been sitting looking at a picture for a half hour — a picture that came into my study this evening — just a dash of cheap chromo colores — but it gives me more pleasure than the forty thousand dollar [?] that they point out to you in the ball-room ceilings of the Waldorf Astoria. It is the first one of the sun setting at sea. The Smoking ships of strange & striking ap=

pearance float on the quiet waters, & the sky is all on fire with those glorious dyes that sometimes accompany the going down of the sun. And then that pathway on the waters leading away toward the west— that endless line of metallic splendor stretching away to the water line — always did affect me strangely. The scene is Spanish or Italian — & calls one's mind back in retrospect to the days

of Spanish or Venetian greatness. I love the poetry & romance & dreaminess of those Romanic peoples. The matter of=fact Germans & the hard commercial=minded Americans make me tired. It seems to me there is so little beauty & imagination in the lives of most men. We are so sordid, so monotonous, & so scientific. The whole earth is being spoiled by civilization, with its endless retinue of "improvements".

Oh nature! — beautiful, peaceful, unimitating, & sublime! Sometimes when I think of the great, slow=sweeping rivers, with prairies & wildernesses, the great, beautiful seas, & the sweet flowers & pretty birds, I feel as if I would like to just go out & put my arms around the whole earth in one giant, magnetic embrace, & melt away or become a part of it, I judge you are able to sympathize with feelings


like this, from the tender & sympathetic manner in which you sometime ago spoke of the mounting Humanity is only in its larvae stage. We are barbarians — I Know we are — for sometimes I can get away from the present — on into the future & can look back on these miserable, ignorant, materialistic generations, & can see how they will look to men thousands of years older.


thru the pastures, & great happy trees growing on the banks, & birds singing in the trees. I imagine there would be more success to the square mile than there is now - infested as it is by hurrying, half=crazy, tired=to=death men & women.

I haven't heard from you for such a long time - excepting thru your dear little Hu man ity. Did you come to America the past summer? I suppose

It is barbarous to feel so I suppose, but I do wish I could be omnipotent for five or ten minutes. Or, if not omnipotent, then a giant ten or fifteen miles high & armed with a sledge hammer of corresponding propositions, so I could fully relieve my feelings when they get to [?] unmanageably high. I'd like to make cow pastures out of a few places like Chicago - with lovely brooks flowing joyously

you did not, for you promised to see me if you came. I would like to see you, for i am sure you are one of the noblest of this civilization = [?] world.

"The University Kinship" is finished & I hope to offer it to publishers before many weeks or months. I would have liked pretty well if you could have looked it over before it went into type.

I must be in debt to you by this time. I have no idea how much I owe you, but must be something by this time. Always yours

J. Howard Moore