August 31, 1904
EDITOR GAZETTE: — We take this method of correcting certain disreputable statements made by some correspondents of the Ruston Leader in regard to the candidacy of Fred F. Preaus.
From reading these articles one would be made to believe that Mr. Preaus had aligned himself with the “blind tigers” and “boot-leggers” of this district, and was standing idly by, winking at their law-breakings.
But such is not the truth. All who know Mr. Preaus, know him to be a man above reproach, a man of unquestionable honor, a man of moral habits, a man who was never under the influence of whiskey in his life, a man who as a citizen and district-attorney has fought its illicit sale, and vigorously prosecuted every bill of indictment placed in this hands.
And it is a fact that Mr. Preaus’ most bitter opponents in Union Parish to day are men whom he has in the past prosecuted and convicted for selling whiskey. These same men are Mr. Clayton’s most ardent admirers. What does that show?
We have know Mr. Preaus for 18 years and have always known him to be on the side of right, a religious gentleman, and an advocate of morality.
As a lawyer he is the equal of any, and surpassed by none in this district. As an officer his record compares — Messrs. Roberts, Everett and McClendon. As a prosecutor he is ever zealous of the state’s interest.
True, Mr. Preaus has warm supporters among whiskey men in this district. So has Mr. Clayton. But the moral voters of this Parish are supporting Mr. Preaus. And from what we can hear, it is the same in Lincoln Parish. The law abiding citizens of this district will be glad to see honest Fred Preaus renominated. We can’t afford to swap a true, tried, and trusty horse at this time for one we know nothing about. The Leader speaks of Mr. Clayton’s aggressiveness, so is Roosevelt aggressive, but all the moral men of this district will not support him. We have no assurance that Mr. Clayton’s fighting if elected, would be for the best interest of this district. A man can be too aggressive especially when he wants an office and wants it bad.
We realize that the Leader’s communications and assertions are for Mr. Clayton’s political gain. This is his “Modus Operandi” for getting before the “dear people”. But they should remember that in painting the immoral condition of this district with their very moral eye, they reflect not only on one officer, but on the court itself, their grand jury and the moral and law abiding citizens of both parishes. They should remember that the district attorney is not the whole push. It he were and Mr. Clayton would do all that he now claims if elected we would say “Lay on McDuff”.
But assertions are easy made.
Now, Mr. Editor, we wish to say right here that Mr. Preaus knows nothing about this communication. It is neither written nor dictated by him. He is now in the northern part of this parish canvassing.
We said something to him several weeks ago about his answering certain accusations made by the Leader. But he was disposed to treat them with contempt. Said he knew from whence they came and who their dictator was. Said that wasn’t his method of presenting his candidacy. Said he was willing to stand or fall on his past record and ability.
So are we, VOTERS OF FARMERVILLE.