The essay exposes thedepraved crimes of the Belgian imperialists in Africa; it was publishedas a pamphlet illustrated with photographs of some of the shackled andmutilated Congolese victims of European racist barbarity. Mark Twain struggled against powerful opponents on behalf of humanityand justice, as he understood them.
He also leveled a deadly threat:I would rather see any one of these men hanged?hanged for treason, hangedfor giving aid and comfort to the enemy?than see the humblest soldier inthe United States army lying dead on the field of battle (quoted in ). Mark Twains answer to Funston came in the form of another essay, called A Defense of General Funston (May 1902).
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The Anti-Imperialist League, after a stormy convention in which the foundingof an anti-imperialist third party was seriously considered, narrowly votedto support Bryan (who lost by 800,000 votes out of 13.5 million cast?African-Americans,many foreign-born workers, and all women were barred from voting). In the February 1901 , Mark Twain publishedTo the Person Sitting in Darkness, perhaps his most popular and influentialanti-imperialist essay.