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Captain F.F. Stoll Visits Whitechapel

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Captain F.F. Stoll Visits Whitechapel

Post by Karen on Thu 5 Apr 2012 - 9:29


Capt. F.F. Stoll


Capt. F.F. Stoll, Author of "DETERMINATION," "THE SOUL OF MAN," "THE HOME OF MAN," AND "DECEPTION," was born in the city of Chicago; was appointed General Superintendent of Carriers of the Chicago Postoffice during Cleveland's last Administration; was 26 years old at the time of his appointment; had 1,760 carriers under his supervision and 1,300 clerks; was the youngest man ever appointed to that position of responsibility. He organized the Post Office Employees' Mutual Aid Association and was its President for two consecutive terms. This Association today is still in existence and has thousands and thousands of members.


He was Postmaster of the National Democratic Convention held in Chicago at the Coliseum the first time the Hon. William Jennings Bryan was nominated for President. He conceived the idea of delivering mail on the floor of the convention hall to the delegates direct and, therefore, was honored with this appointment.
It is claimed by the press of Chicago that more improvements were inaugurated during his term as Chief of the Free Delivery Service in Chicago than during the previous fourteen years.
He was a member of the Illinois National Guard on the staff of Col. Sanborn of the First Illinois Infantry. The Hon. Frank O. Lowden, the present Governor of Illinois, served on Col. Sanborn's staff at the time as Lieutenant Colonel. The First Illinois Infantry saw service during the Spanish-American War and served with distinction at the battle of El Cana, Cuba, and during the World War lost more men than any other regiment in service.


He was offered the position of Postal Director of China by the Great Chinese statesman, Li Hung Chang, who visited America during Cleveland's last Administration and became very much interested in the postal service of America. Capt. Stoll was recommended for this position by the Hon. Wilson S. Bissell, then Postmaster General.


Capt. Stoll resigned his position after serving four years in the Post-office Department. He traveled very extensively in all parts of America. During the Klondike rush he went to Nome, Alaska. He was one of the original locators of the great Mida District. Nome at that time was the wildest town in the world. Adventurers came there from all over the world after gold, gold, GOLD - the gambler, the woman of the underworld, the man who changed his name to forget his past. Law and order were not known. Six-shooters predominated. Fortunes were made, yes, and fortunes were lost over the gambling tables. The United States Government at that time had not established any system of law and order. In 1908 he was Director General of the Elks' festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is claimed his generalship and executive ability made the festival the colossal success that it was. It brought thousands and thousands of people from the entire western country. The entire scope, plan and all detail were under Capt. Stoll's personal supervision.
The Hon. Theodore Roosevelt and Capt. Stoll became personal friends while Capt. Stoll was in the Postoffice Department. Roosevelt was a United States Civil Service Commissioner, a hold-over from the Harrison administration. He was reappointed by Grover Cleveland, and it is claimed that he made one of the greatest Civil Service Commissioners that ever held that position. Capt. Stoll had written several short stories and conceived the idea of writing a dramatization on the order of a Drury Lane conception. He was financially interested in "AMERICA," which was produced during the World's Fair at Chicago by Kiralfy Brothers. It was one of the greatest spectacular productions that the world had ever seen and will go down in history and in memory by those who were fortunate enough to see it as a work of master mind and brain.


Late in the fall of 1908 Captain Stoll went to Washington to pay his respects to the Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, then President of the United States, who had succeeded the late lamented Hon. Wm. McKinley. Col. Roosevelt, being a writer of note himself, became very much interested in Captain Stoll's conception of a human interest story to be dramatized. Captain Stoll had conceived the idea of going to London, living in the Whitechapel District among the most noted crooks in the world. He wanted to get the atmosphere of everything underworld. He skeletoned his story through the courteous connection and assistance of the Scotland Yard Detective Force. Every point of interest in the Whitechapel district was visited in eight months. While there Capt. Stoll met every underworld character of note; crooks, dopes, stool-pigeons, fagans, fences, the coster. He lived in their atmosphere, in their dens and became known among them; in Chinatown, which is at the West India Docks, the most noted Chinese quarters in the world, he met morphine fiends and opium fiends.


The horror of it cannot be described. He came in contact with the leading Chinese who had protection for this vice. Seventy per cent of the population of the Whitechapel District live in the atmosphere of crookedness. The law they do not fear. The author gathered data, also, in all parts of London to make the British atmosphere of the story complete. He met London society and its nobility. After a year in the Whitechapel District and in London, he traveled to Paris, where data was also gathered among the Apaches. He lived with them many months, and this data was obtainable through the courtesy of the Parisian Police Chief and Chief of Detectives. The French crook is an entirely different type than the British crook. He is more bent to murder and absolutely fearless. In Paris at the time the author was there a good many American crooks were housed under cover. After all this data was gathered, in over two years' work, the author came back to America and decided, upon the advice of friends, to write his conception in scenario form, but first he traveled all over the entire world in over two and one-half years. Capt. Stoll is a member of the Green Room Club of New York City, whose membership consists of the most notes actors, screen artists, composers and authors of the world. The author has lectured in all parts of the country on the title of his story, "DETERMINATION," and all his lectures have been for charity.


Source: Variety, 1920

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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