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The saddest news that comes from the West is that Mayor Schmitz of San Francisco, who in the period immediately following the catastrophe, surprised his friends and delighted his friend by his energy, ability and broadness, is slipping back into the clutches of Abe Ruef, the boss of San Francisco, who has run things in that city practically as he pleased for years.

Mayor Schmitz’s first committee of fifty were composed of the best men in the communty, the chairman, Mr. James D. Phelan, being so well and favorably known that contributors to the relief fund all over the United States sent the money raised in perfect confidence that it would be used properly.

Photograph of Dr. Edwart T. Devine VM # 3011The work of Dr. Devine, sent to San Francisco by the President to represent the rehabilitated Red Cross, has not been satisfactory. It was full of the characteristic red tape which is not acceptable or satisfactory to a people who are not asking for charity, but relief.

The army went about the work of policing the city and bring about sanitation and good order in a business-like way, and to it is due all praise for the results accomplished. Without the army there would probably been anarchy and chaos.

The city government of San Francisco, which has been pushed into the background, is naturally trying to reassert itself, and it is now proposed that the army shall retire from active control about the first of July, excepting the number which would be ordinarily held at the Presidio. Gen. Greely does not want to stay in San Francisco after the liquor stores are open, on the theory that any city tht can allow liquor to be sold is able to take care of itself. Gen. Greely says, further, that the money for relief work will be much more needed in three months, as the weather gets more inclement than it is today.

As a result of the developments, much of the relief money that has been raised in various sections of the country will be held until it is known exactly how it is to be spent and by whom the fund will be administered. Various plans are underway for organizing an independent committee that will be responsible that these funds are so disposed as to give the greatest benefit to the sufferers from the earthquake.

To turn money raised in the various states for the purpose of relief over to any board of aldermen or supervisors controlled by Abe Ruef, is out of the question; and as far as the Massachusetts relief committee is concerned, it will not be done.

Boston Traveller
June 27, 1906

Return to the 1906 Earthquake Exhibit.