Thursday, December 29, 2011

Auctoritas

An example of it from pages 93 and 94 of Jean Bethke Elshtain’s Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy,

Chicago people look to Jane Addams of Hull-House in many emergencies. The other night the little woman was roused at midnight to meet a committee of firemen in the parlor. Stables had been burned in the neighborhood and horses were injured but not killed. There is a city law which requires a special order of court to shoot a horse within city limits. This order of court could not be obtained until morning. Horses were suffering with no hope of relief but death. “Miss Addams, can’t you give us an order to shoot them?” asked the burly fireman. “I have no legal authority but I will take the responsibility, “ said the little woman. They drove with her to the place and she stood by to see the horses shot.  --from the Boston Transcript, April 23, 1903

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