Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 134

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 134

Bok distributed copies of the volume to the members of Mr. Beecher’s family, he had orders from Mr. Beecher’s friends, one hundred copies were offered to the American public and one hundred copies were issued in an English edition.

With such a figure to whom to do honor, the contributors, of course, included the foremost men and women of the time. Grover Cleveland was then President of the United States, and his tribute was a notable one. Mr. Gladstone, the Duke of Argyll, Pasteur, Canon Farrar, Bartholdi, Salvini, and a score of others represented English and European opinion. Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, T. De Witt Talmage, Robert G. Ingersoll, Charles Dudley Warner, General Sherman, Julia Ward Howe, Andrew Carnegie, Edwin Booth, Rutherford B. Hayes—there was scarcely a leader of thought and of action of that day unrepresented. The edition was, of course, quickly exhausted; and when to-day a copy occasionally appears at an auction sale, it is sold at a high price.

The newspapers gave very large space to the distinguished memorial, and this fact angered a journalist, Joseph Howard, Junior, a man at one time close to Mr. Beecher, who had befriended him. Howard had planned to be the first in the field with a hastily prepared biography of the great preacher, and he felt that Bok had forestalled him. Forthwith, he launched a vicious attack on the compiler of the memorial, accusing him of “making money out of Henry Ward Beecher’s dead body” and of “seriously offending the family of Mr. Beecher, who had had no say in the memorial, which

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