January, 22nd, 1898
Mons. Emile Zola.
I can hardly find words to express my feelings and admiration for your heroic acting in the defense of a man who was made the scrapegoat of a lot of men, who, to cover their own crookedness, to protect their own guilt, accused a fellow officer, a man who had sworn on the sword, to be faithfull (sic) to his country, a man, who was always true to his word, whose names was never tainted without suspicious or dishonorable action.
Is that France of old whose noble and brave soldiers fought heroïc battles and of whom is said : We die _ but we never surrender _ where chivalry reigned supreme in olders days ? And whose fair women count a Jeanne d'Arc among theirs ?
Can then be a viler conspiration, once this among the aristocracy of the country, to condemn a man without legal forms, without of chance to defense himself to such a degradation, to an island, where hardly beasts can live-guarded by rough unscrupulous men, who have no more feelings for a human creature as for a poisonous insect.
Public opinion all over the world already branded the accusers and judges of the so-called courtmartial as cowards and traitors to their own oath to justice and if men, who are the heads of government and armies should be so depraved of honor, what is to become of France, the richest and most fertile Country with the world ? My dear Sir, I am [not barré] surprised that some of your citizens and among them the students denounce you. But who are they ? Are your students at their schools taught hate against religion _ injustice against justice _ right against wrong _ disobedience of law and order, or are them taught love and esteem against their fellow creature ?
When such scenes occur, as in Paris the last week, committed by students, who should be the pollars of civilization, who should enrich their knowledge with the principles of the Alma water _ true education _ true joy _ true honesty.
Can you expect any thing else from a mob, who at any occasion will defy law and order and who are a menace to every government.
I will not go to detail about the Dreyfus affair as enough is written about once only hope that your noble work in demanding justice may be crowned with success. It makes you already the Hero not alone in Europe but in our beloved country, the United States of America.
Future generation will keep your name sacred and your own conscience will reward you for your kind and true deeds. I remain Yours, most honorable Sir.
Signature : Fred. Ed. Sales.
San Antonio Tex.
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Sales, Fred. Ed., Lettre de Fred. Ed. Sales à Émile Zola datée du 22 janvier 1898, 1898-01-22. Édition des lettres internationales adressées à Émile Zola.
Centre d'Étude sur Zola et le Naturalisme & Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, CNRS-ENS ; projet EMAN (CNRS-ENS-Sorbonne Nouvelle)..
Consulté le 22/09/2023 sur la plate-forme EMAN : https://eman-archives.org/CorrespondanceZola/items/show/6527