Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 353



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

Page 353

The next number of his magazine presented a graphic picture of the Horseshoe Falls as they were and the same Falls as they would be if more water was allowed to be taken for power: a barren coal-pile with a tiny rivulet of water trickling down its sides. The editorial asked whether the American women were going to allow this? If not, each, if an American, should write to the President, and, if a Canadian, to Earl Grey, then Governor-General of Canada. Very soon after the magazine had reached its subscribers’ hands, the letters began to reach the White House; not by dozens, as the President’s secretary wrote to Bok, but by the hundreds and then by the thousands. “Is there any way to turn this spigot off?” telegraphed the President’s secretary. “We are really being inundated.”

Bok went to Washington and was shown the huge pile of letters.

“All right,” said the President. “That’s all I want. You’ve proved it to me that there is a public sentiment.”

The clerks at Rideau Hall, at Ottawa, did not know what had happened one morning when the mail quadrupled in size and thousands of protests came to Earl Grey. He wired the President, the President exchanged views with the governor-general, and the great international campaign to save Niagara Falls had begun. The American Civic Association and scores of other civic and patriotic bodies had joined in the clamor.

The attorney-general and the secretary of state were instructed by the President to look into the legal and diplomatic aspects of the question, and in his next message to Congress President Roosevelt uttered a clarion



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