Asheville, N. C. (Aug. 13)
Undaunted by the sad termination of his previous journalistic ventures at the hands of the law, William Dudley Pelley bobbed up again today with the announcement of a new Silver Shirt publication, Pelley’s Weekly.
The head of the anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Silver Legion, in a form letter sent out to those on “a new list from such fragmentary rosters of names as may come into my possession,” dismisses his flight from justice and his ultimate surrender and indictment for fraud in the following casual manner:
“For eight weeks I have been in a sort of shell-hole at Asheville, more or less cut off from the outside world, denied the funds to finance communications with leaders and supporters, defending as I could my interests and reputation.”
But the financial tangle which brought enforced oblivion to his former weekly organ, Liberation, and which resulted in the indictment of himself and his two lieutenants, Don D. Kellogg and Robert C. Summerville, on charges of fraudulent stock sales which are still pending, failed to dampen Pelley’s ardor for agitation of racial hatred.
“In this bitter war to achieve the Christian goals for which my publications have steadfastly striven,” he writes to his followers, “it is grimly necessary that I continue to have available a personal organ in which I can report periodically the evolving phases of our fight until it is won gloriously.
“With the unanimous approval of our legal counsel, therefore, I am starting publication of Pelley’s Weekly, immediately that I have completed a new and accurate list of persons who may be as interested to receive and read it as they have been interested to receive and read it as they have been interested to receive and read any former publication connected with my name.
“I am advised that I have every Constitutional right to edit and publish such a journal personally, and I propose to do so regardless of the colossal forces with millions of dollars that are bent on my destruction. Furthermore, I may if I choose send such publication to whom I desire. Our antagonists, however, took possession of most of the data that would have enabled me to compile an accurate list of my former supporters and readers and I am under the necessity of building up a new list from such fragmentary rosters of names as may come into my possession.
The semblance of a carefully worded threat is contained in the following excerpt:
“Now that competent counsel for us is on the job, and strong defensive measures have been begun, I am able to begin the work of overhauling our organization and revealing to true friends the desperate expedients taken against us in order to smash us before we became too powerful to be smashed at all.”
In the face of cold, unbiased court records and reports printed in newspapers throughout the country, Pelley says:
“During this period all sorts of mischief has been consummated in Silver Legion work, poison-pen newspaper reports have had it that I fled the country, the story has been given out that The Foundation for Christian Economics and The Silver-shirt Legion have likewise been declared bankruptâ€” Which They Have Not!â€”and a Jewish Congressional committee has been industrially (sic) engaged in making it appear to the nation that I have been guilty of fraud and sedition.”
He again mentions the Congressional committee to investigate Nazi and other un-American activities in the United States in the following paragraph:
“If the Jewish Dickstein committee confiscates my mail in utter violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, we will have to make such fight upon that issue as we can.”
Is Pelley interested in money? Perish the thought! This is what he has to say on the subject of finances:
“This is not a sales letter therefore, asking you to obligate yourself further, or buy anything which I may have to offer. I want no money from you unless you choose to send such of your own volition and strictly as a donation toward the work I am striving to consummate against tremendous odds. But if you wish to read Pelley’s Weekly from its first issue, and for as many issues as you think may have been honestly due you on any further subscriptions with us for which you paid, will you please fill out one of the enclosed cards and mail it to Asheville at once!
“If, however, you are one of those staunch supporters of ours who realizes the cruel need of money to wage this war, you are at liberty to do one of two things: You can send us a subscription to Pelley’s Weekly for a year in addition to the issues you have coming to you on your former unfilled subscriptions, or, you can use this extra card herewith to fill out and mail us for some friend.”
The appeal is addressed to “Dear Friend of Liberation” and is signed “Fraternally yours, William Dudley Pelley.”
The Silver Shirt leader laments the fact that Pelley’s Weekly “is going to cost me more than the former publication to get into your hands, for I cannot mail it at second-class rates of postage and I am going to fill hundreds of unexpired subscriptions without compensation over the six months ahead.”