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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Postmaster lights out for Canada after embezzling funds

From our archives, 100 years ago

Benjamin L. Tweed, 23, the postmaster in Waverly disappeared after authorities discovered about $400 in funds were missing from his post office.

He had apparently fled to Canada.

In a letter he wrote to his assistant, he as much as admitted to embezzling the funds.

“For over eight months I have been short in my accounts and lived in fear of being caught up at any time,” he wrote. “The last few months I have chased around more in an attempt to forget everything. By the time you get this I will be in another country. If I ever am able to make good so I can come back and square up accounts, I certainly intend doing so. Don’t care much what happens to me. I am not all bad. Only got in bad with the dam booze. Hope to God I’ll never see any more. … Goodbye – maybe for ever.”

The letter was written in Spokane on the stationery of a cheap hotel.

From the censorship beat: The City Council deleted a clause of the city’s censorship ordinance barring films and vaudeville acts which “tend to incite race hatred.”

One commissioner and a Spokane minister advocated for the clause. They said the war in Europe was “directly due to the cultivation of race hatred” and that we “don’t want to stir up any old antagonisms.”

However, the mayor said, “We are not legislating for Europe, we are legislating for Spokane.”

An attorney for the theater managers said if the clause were enacted, “every Hebrew and Irishman will come up and protest that his race is being caricatured.”

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