Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 354



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

Page 354

call to that body to restrict the power-grabbing companies.

The Ladies’ Home Journal urged its readers to write to their congressmen and they did by the thousands. Every congressman and senator was overwhelmed. As one senator said: “I have never seen such an avalanche. But thanks to The Ladies’ Home Journal, I have received these hundreds of letters from my constituents; they have told me what they want done, and they are mostly from those of my people whose wishes I am bound to respect.”

The power companies, of course, promptly sent their attorneys and lobbyists to Washington; but the public sentiment aroused was too strong to be disregarded, and on June 29, 1906, the President signed the Burton Bill restricting the use of the water of Niagara Falls.

The matter was then referred to the secretary of war, William Howard Taft, to grant the use of such volume of water as would preserve the beauty of the Falls. McFarland and Bok wanted to be sure that Secretary Taft felt the support of public opinion, for his policy was to be conservative, and tremendous pressure was being brought upon him from every side to permit a more liberal use of water. Bok turned to his readers and asked them to write to Secretary Taft and assure him of the support of the American women in his attitude of conservatism.

The flood of letters that descended upon the secretary almost taxed even his genial nature; and when Mr. McFarland, as the editorial representative of The Ladies’ Home Journal, arose to speak at the public hearing in



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