Volume 1 February 12, 1887
The Great Strike
The Coal-Handlers And
Austin Corbin Arbitrate
The Situation Along the River Front—The New Men Employed
by the Railroad and Steamship Companies—The Committee of Investigation—A Short
During the week past the topic uppermost in the minds
of New York business men and members of labor organizations has been the strike
along the water-front. At a meeting on last Thursday the chamber or commerce
discussed resolutions introduced by John F. Henry and James H. Seymour
suggesting arbitration as a means for ending the fight. The resolutions were
buried in being consigned to the executive committee, but Mr. Henry and
Sir. Seymour afterward directed their efforts toward having a mass meeting held
on Saturday evening at Steinway hall to call the attention of the public to the
necessity for arbitration. On the same evening five open-air mass meetings were
held by District Assembly 42. The legislative committee appointed to
investigate the strike have held several sessions during the week. Efforts have
been made for several days past by Austin Corbin, receiver of the Philadelphia
and Heading- railroad, to bring the difficulties to arbitration, and while the
other railroad managers have declined to do so Mr. Corbin himself has held
meetings with representatives of the knights.
The River Front
On Tuesday an
inspection by the writer on every dock, from the foot of Pike street, East
river, lo the Battery, and thence to the foot of Chambers street, North river,
showed that new men were at work at all points where there had been a strike.
Agents and stevedores said that they bad had a varied experience. While some
asserted that they had filled the places of their men easily, others admitted that
they had been obliged to close their piers and send to distant places for help.
The general testimony was that, though the new force of men employed was at
least us large as the old, the difficulties did not end with the procuring of
new men. and that the old hands were far preferable as workmen.
Hero and there
there was a blockade of freight trucks on South and West streets and the
streets running into them. One driver said at half-past 4 that he had been in
line since 11 with a load of through freight for the Pennsylvania road. The
agents, however, usually reported that the night before they had cleared away
all freight from their piers, and that the jam of freight trucks on the streets
was always an every-day affair. The men who had flocked to take the places of
the strikers gave their experience, and by their replies to questions
interesting evidence was adduced a s to the needs and sentiments of that large
body of unemployed men who are ready lo take any places that a strike may open
The majority of
the new hands were Italians, but there were hundreds of Scandinavians and
Germans, many Poles and Hungarians, and even Portuguese. The Italians, the pier
bosses said, furnished nothing but brute strength. They moved only as they were
told and showed less intelligence than horses in being driven about the piers.
They could not fill a truck load to advantage and could not stow away a box
without directions. They created a hurly-burly by their ceaseless talk and
rapid but ineffective movements, and the result of a day’s work compared poorly
with what had been done by the old, trained hands. Most of the men of other
nationalities, however, quickly took up the knack of freight handling, the
Portuguese and Germans especially working to the satisfaction of their foremen.
On the piers of several of the railroad companies were men from stations along
the railroads in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They were accustomed to handling
freight; many were already in the employ of the companies, and were sent here at
an increase of wages, while their places at home were taken by extra hands.
The New Jersey Central road had men from New Jersey towns who had been paid
$1.25 a day at home and who received here $1.75 a day and were boarded on the
The keeper of a Greenwich
employment agency said that he had furnished four hundred men, Germans and
Scandinavians, to agents on the docks, and was ready to send two hundred more
at a few hours’ notice. A watchman at one of the docks said That many of the
new men at his pier were from the streets near the river, old residents of the
neighborhood. Conversation with some of the young men who had taken the places
of striking check clerks showed that they knew something of the business,
having come from points in the interior where they had been extra railroad
employees. The new men who could speak English with whom the writer talked
seemed to see nothing more in the fact of their having taken the places of men
striking than that work was open for them and they took it. A steamship agent
said that among the men applying to him for work were American farmers owning a
small acreage, who needed cash to pay off mortgages on their farms. He thought
that some of the immigrants from the north of Europe were men who were not in
the depths of poverty, but who intended to work here for a season or two, and
then return to the old country.
The Mallory line
of steamships has been coaling since the strike at; Key West and Norfolk. The
outside freight line to Boston bas taken on coal at Boston. Transatlantic
steamers have stopped at Halifax for coal. Coal for the elevated roads in New
York and for many points in New England has been shipped up along west of the
Hudson and thence to its destination, avoiding Jersey City. Freights for the
far west went in large quantities by the Erie and New York Central piers, while
the Pennsylvania’s piers were closed. The strike was thus met by many new
adjustments in the machinery of freight transportation by the companies.
who are employed by the week or mouth by the railroad and steamship companies
receive $12 a week, or $50 a month, With 17 to 25 cents an hour for overtime.
Those who work as extras for such companies and who pick up jobs loading and
unloading sailing vessels, canal boats and “tramp” steamers, get from 17 to 25
cents an hour, but their monthly average is a small figure. It is this latter
class that is giving the greatest inconvenience to the employers, as the latter
have not the facilities that are enjoyed by the great companies for filling
their places. The extra men and partly employed men outnumber those having
The Mass Meetings
The five open
air mass meetings held last Saturday
evening were each attended by from 50 to 150 police officers and from 500 to
2,000 citizens. The night was bitter cold, and snow fell while the speakers
addressed the crowds, the meeting at Union square was held on the plaza, and
1,500 men gathered there about a freight truck. John J. McKenna, chairman of
the Ocean association, presided. Es were also made by James E . Quinn, James P.
Archibald, John McMackin, and D. J. Naughton. The
meeting at Houston square was addressed by Charles L. Miller, who presided,
Paul Meyer, Theodore Cuno, Jesse Miller and others. At Abingdon square the speakers
were Daniel Hurley, the presiding officer, Thomas Ford. Ludwig Carrell and
Henry Duncan. At the meeting at Canal and West streets James Brown presided;
Thomas Murun, John Murray and Patriek Doody spoke. At Rutgers square Hugh
Grenan was chairman, and Frank Ferrall, Richard Norris, Capt. Cullen and George
Duncan spoke. The crowds in attendance at all these meetings were
enthusiastic, and it was noted that the speakers almost uniformly directed the
attention of their hearers to their power in political action.
The meeting at
Steinway hall, called by John F. Henry and a few other merchants, in order to
make the sentiment of the business men of the city tell as against the coal and
railroad monopolists, brought together about 100 persons, a sprinkling of
ladies being present. James H. Seymour was called to the chair, and Mr. Henry
spoke and introduced resolutions in favor of arbitration. Elisha Winter, of the
retail grocers’ association, also spoke in favor of arbitration. It was then
announced that anyone in the audience wishing to speak was invited to do so. A
gentleman, who gave his mime to the chairman as Rogers, then said that he had
had experience in arbitration and had found that it yielded poor results to the
workingman. The favorable decision of an arbitration board was secured with
great difficulty by wage-workers, the employers could not be bound by it for
longer than a brief period, and the workingmen who served on committees were
made to suffer for it. The indifference to arbitration was shown, he said, by the fact that, although
the knights had been willing to arbitrate this strike from the beginning, no
attention had been paid to their peaceful overtures. The chairman expressed his
surprise at this statement, but a moment tater gave stronger evidence of being
surprised when Mr. Rogers, amid much applause, said there was one solution of
the labor trouble, and it lay in the land question. Mr. Rogers was followed by
others in the same strain.
The Coal Supply
Though Bradstreet’s of last Saturday regarded the
coal strike as “practically broken,” the Times of Wednesday contains a
summary of the situation, given by a railway official, which says that the
decrease in the supply of coal available for this city, Long Island, a large
portion of the state, and New England is more than 800,000 tons on account of
As soon as the
strike was begun, District Assembly 49 notified the local assemblies that if
the members of any assembly resorted to violence the local assembly would be
suspended for a year and cut off from any participation in the benefit and
relief funds. The sobriety and peaceableness of the strikers has been a subject
of favorable comment, the cases of violence being remarkably few, and going,
with hardly an exception, no further than a knock down. The police arrangements
for the suppression of any disturbance have been elaborate. Telephone
communication was established between police headquarters and the principal
piers, and Capt. Castlin was put in command of the 800 policemen drafted for
strike service A group of officers has been stationed at the entrance of every
downtown pier for two weeks.
Early last week
Austin Corbin was asked by
the knights to act as a mediator between them and the coal companies. On
Wednesday, the 9th inst., he conferred with the presidents of the coal
roads, but they refused to treat with the knights. On last Saturday evening
several local assemblies of stationary engineers were asked by District
Assembly 49 for assistance, and these engineers decided to send a committee to
consult with representative men of the coal companies. On Monday the committee
saw Mr. Corbin and Frederic Potts and suggested that they interest themselves
in having the strike arbitrated. A conference ensued, and Mr. Corbin appointed
James R, Maxwell to act for him, and T. J. Putnam of the executive board of 49
was sent for, and several consultations were held during the next two days.
Meanwhile Mr. Corbin went to Philadelphia and met a committee of seven, who had
been appointed on Sunday at a meeting of delegates from all the local
assemblies in the anthracite coal regions and along the Reading road and branch
lines. After conferring all day it was given out by the committee that there
would be no strike by their organizations. It was also announced that it was
agreed that the strikers at Elizabeth port would be taken back by the company,
that the disputed rate of twenty- two and a half cents an hour should be
submitted to arbitration, and that the company should secure, if possible, more
steady employment for its hands at Elizabethport.
The Legislative Committee
A special committee from the
legislature—Messrs. Hogeboom, Ainsworth, Kendall, Collins and Martin—began to
investigate the causes of the strike on Friday last. Assemblymen McLoughlin,
Feeney and Carroll, of New Jersey have attended its sessions officially.
Ex-Attorney General Leslie W. Russell examined the witnesses. Michael A.
Reilly, a topman at South Amboy, testified that if a trimmer earned $100 the
company paid him only $75, 25 per cent being taken off for collecting the money
from the boat owners. The topmen average $32 per month. Rent ranges from $5 to
$9, and the cost of living is very high. The strike was caused by a
reduction of wages from 22½ cents per hour to 19.
John Donohue, a topman, of
Perth Amboy, testified in general to the same facts. Terence Quinn said the
work of a trimmer was very unhealthful. Of twenty men who worked with him
eleven years ago eight are dead.
On Saturday. Master Workman
Quinn, of D. A. 49, testified that the trouble with the Old Dominion line was
caused by the agents of the line placing a force of men at twenty cents an hour
on their pier instead of a force which had been working for twenty-live cents;
corporations had grown so strong that they dictated the making of laws, and
labor organization was intended to offset such powers; the system of social
organization was being fought, not individuals; the government should assume
control of the corporations; he thought that eventually the government would
own even the large stores; it would own the land. The chairman suggested that
Mr. Quinn believed in Mr. George’s theory. He said he did believe in
On Monday Frederic W. Potts,
president of the New York and Susquehanna railroad and of the coal exchange,
told the committee that the average price of mining in Pennsylvania was from
$1.50 to $1.75 per ton. Labor cost 80 per cent. The cost of a ton of-coal at
tide water was $3.40.
Austin Corbin testified that
in 1885 Philadelphia and Reading lost $l,060,677, and in 1886 $2,121,737 in
mining coal, but it made a profit in coal transportation.
E. R. Holden, second
vice-president of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad, said that his
company was paying higher rates to coal handlers than ever.
The Rev. Mr.
Pentecost Preaches His Second Sermon On It
The Cause of Labor
Depression—Access to Natural Opportunities the Only Remedy—The Objections—The
Interests of the Few Must Give Way to Those of the Many
At the Belleville
Avenue Congregational church in Newark, last Sunday, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost
preached his second sermon on “Henry George’s Remedy for the Labor Troubles.”
Though the day was rainy the immense auditorium, one of the largest in the
city, was literally packed with people, among whom were some of the richest of
Newark’s citizens, as well as a larger number of workingmen than have probably
been in a Protestant church for many years. The discourse, which was delivered
entirely without manuscript notes, and which occupied more than an hour, was
listened to with close attention, and frequently interrupted by bursts of
applause following the statements of Mr. George’s views and evincing their
general diffusion and growing popularity. He began in his usual calm way, which
gave place at times to impassioned fervor, saying:
evening I discussed the disease and found it to be an apparently hopeless
tendency to poverty among the laboring classes in the midst of abounding wealth,
and hi spite of the application of all those instruments for increasing the
power of labor to produce wealth which have been devised by discovery and
invention known as laborsaving machinery. I showed the failure of remedies in
present use, such as legislation, co-operation and labor combinations, whose
only weapons are arbitration and strikes, very little of the former, a great
deal of the latter. Mr. George’s remedy is much more radical than any of these,
and as he thinks, and I am inclined to believe, goes to the bottom of the
difficulty and removes the single cause of the whole complication of disorders.
“He denies the
correctness of commonly received doctrines of political economy which are based
upon the theory of Malthus, that population increases faster than the supplies
of nature for its sustenance, and must therefore be reduced by prudential
restraints upon propagation, and the destructive results of misery, crime,
disease and war, in order to maintain the equilibrium, and the common doctrine
of all the leading authorities upon the subject that labor is paid by capital,
and hence that the rate of wages is determined by the ratio of the number of
laborers employed and the amount of capital available for their sustenance and
remuneration. If there are few laborers and much wealth the wages will be high.
If the number of laborers increases wages must fall, since the subdivision of
the existing amount of capital must be more minute.
attempts,” he said, “to show that if population upon the whole earth is really
increasing at all, or if the tendency of its increase is to press upon the
means of subsistence, the process is so slow that it is no more to be taken
into consideration by political economists for practical purposes than the ultimate
tumbling of the earth upon the sun. Population shifts, but the barren wastes
which were once the seats of vast empires, and the tendency of highly favored
families, as among the English aristocracy, to die out, raise the question as
to increase, and the ability of man to augment the productiveness of nature
warrants the presumption that he may thus compensate for any disproportion
between increase and supply. The Irish peasantry were just as poor as now when
they were not more than one-fourth as numerous.
“He also holds
that instead bf capital employing labor, labor, in fact, employs capital, since
there can be no wealth except what is produced by labor. A naked man standing
on the bare earth is a picture of society reduced to its elements, and at once
shows that wealth can only exist as the result of labor. The complications of
exchange obscure but do not alter the truth. This being true, other things
being equal, an increase in the number and efficiency of laborers ought to, and
actually does, increase the amount of wealth. Upon this point his
argument amounts to a mathematical demonstration, such as is not possible in
the preceding one, owing to the necessary absence of correct data.
“Why, then, do
not those who produce wealth obtain enough of it to lift them above the point
of bare subsistence? And how is it that while the army of wealth producers are
half starved another army of non-producers have more than the largest abundance
? There is plenty of wealth, but it is unequally distributed. While multitudes
are in want, there are men in New York who could stand on a pier and pitch
silver dollars into the bay as rapidly as possible, one by one, all through a
long life without materially reducing their possessions. Who always gets the
lions share, and how does he get it? Let us see.
“Land, labor and
capital are the factors in the production of wealth. Without land, man cannot
labor; without labor, land is unproductive; without capital, which is that
portion of the product of labor that is used to get more wealth, labor is
inefficient. The distribution of wealth, therefore, ought to be fairly made
among the three factors or those who represent them. The landholder should get
rent, the laborer wages, the capitalist interest in fair proportion. But is wealth
thus fairly distributed? Manifestly not. With the increase of population and
the increased efficiency of labor the tendency is to less wages and less
interest and more rent. In new settlements wages and interest are high because
rent is nothing or nominal, but as the community grows land becomes more
valuable, and rent goes up till it can get no higher, wages and interest go
down till they can get no lower without crowding the laborer out of life and
the capitalist out of business. (This point was enforced by illustrations.)
Nothing can be done to change this. Economy in government cooperation, labor
combinations, legislative enactments, greater distribution in land ownership,
improvement in machinery, all result in enriching the landowner, since he owns
that without which wealth cannot produce. The man who owns the land owns the
whole landless community. During the development of this point illustrations
were used to show the hopelessness of any human law operating successfully
against “the nature of things,” which, under the present system, bear down
wages and buoy up rent; to show that however cooperative measures may help a
few laborers, they could not possibly benefit all; to show that even if a
strike succeeds in raising wages in one place it can only be for a time, for
the tendency of wages to find a common level is as strong as the similar
tendency of water; to show that more general distribution of land ownership
could not ward off its ultimate monopolization. If multitudes of those who now
work for starvation wages could have easy access to land they could better
themselves and would do so and thus relieve the so- called overstocked labor
market. But they cannot go to the land because it is owned, very much of it, by
men who are boarding it for a rise in value. They will not use it nor let
others use it. The laborer on the land could make a good living; but because he
cannot get to the land he must work on any terms, starve, or become a criminal.
Now, suppose this is true, what
is the remedy? Make the land the common property of the people, as according to
natural law it really is. The land was made by God; it cannot, therefore, be
wealth, since wealth is what man produces. It is the common property of all
God’s children; of one individual as well as another: of one generation as well
as another. An individual has a right to himself and what he can produce by
labor and the use of capital—nothing more.
“Private ownership stands in
the way of this. It is at this point proper, then, to inquire how land came
into private possession. The answer is easy: By conquest, appropriation, grants
by those who had the might but not the right to take or give. The land in this
country has passed to its present owners by purchase from those who originally
obtained it from pope, king or Indian, neither of which had the right to give
individual title to it.
“All this is perfectly clear,
and it is generally conceded that the original owners had no right to the land;
but the more serious difficulty arises out of the fact that land at present is
held by innocent possessors, many of whom have bought it with their earnings.
How can these persons be rightfully dispossessed ?
“This is the only difficulty
worthy of the name which presents itself to any one not blinded by selfishness
to the absolute justness of the new political economy. All other objections
relate to methods, not to principle. Let us, therefore, consider this
difficulty. It is said that private possession in land is based upon the act of
government in instituting laws favoring it as being for the general good. To
this it is replied that when the people (that is, the government) become
convinced that the laws are not for the general, good they can unmake them,
particularly as they were made by generations long since dead and who had no
right to legislate for us. [Applause.] It is said again that it is a principle
of common law that possession for a certain length of time gives right. It is
replied that it is also a principle of common law that the deed of the buyer
cannot be better than that of the seller [applause]; and going deeper than
common law we have the right to ask how long it takes a wrong to become a right
It is said that present holders of the land have it by legal right It is
replied that they have it not by natural right [applause], and this is the real
point at issue. Which is greater, a natural or legal right? It is common to say
that Henry George’s doctrine is immoral, but that is to declare that it is
wrong to keep millions of human beings in dreadful misery out of their natural rights because to restore them it will be necessary to take from a few
highly favored persons their legal rights. I always suspect the
decisions of a conscience which is not outraged by a wrong done to the whole
people, but shrieks with horror at the thought of disturbing the use of a few
in the enjoyment of their ‘vested rights,’ without even stopping to consider
whether it is not possible that there may be wested wrongs.”
Here the speaker referred to
the fact that although Newark is suffering for pure water she cannot get a drop
without paying enormous sums to private persons who own every stream and spring
in New Jersey. He supposed the case of a syndicate getting the privilege, which
he said they could if they had money enough,
of erecting a great fence around New ark and shutting off all air except what
comes across the malarial meadows, and compelling people to pay for the
privilege of boring- holes in the fence to suck a little fresh air. He
described the workings of a coal pool. These were cited to illustrate the
injustice of legal as against natural right, and helped him to a decision. He
then continued: “The case is precisely analogous in principle, eliminating the
incidental difference between property in human beings and property in what is
the natural right of human beings, to that of the Vermont judge who, when a
fugitive slave was sought to be reclaimed by his owner, who presented his deed
of purchase, asked the I slave owner, ‘But where is your deed from God Almighty,
sir? It is a question of legal right against natural right. Under the influence
of a pure religion, and in a free government, men must sooner or later give up
what the,y can show no title to from God Almighty.”
“For my own part it is clear
to me that Henry George is in the stronger moral position, and since the great
body of humanity always end in doing what is right, the time will probably come
when all rents will go to the general government; that is to say, to the whole
people, instead of to a few, just as, in effect,wages and interest do now. It
is folly to talk of compensation to present owners, further than what they
would get by the general improvement of society, for the interest on the debt
thus created would be as great a drain on industry as rent now is.
“It may be a long time before
this comes about, for it is a question which must be decided by votes east
under convictions resulting from conscientious, intelligent reflection. Mr.
George is not an anarchist; he does not appeal to passion, but to reason and
conscience; he well knows that established laws cannot be successfully
violated; he does not wish them violated; he desires them changed.
“It remains to ask the
practical question what the result of such a change of laws would be? To the
man who owns only as much land as he needs for business or residence purposes,
practically nothing, since what he now pays to government in taxes on all kinds
of possessions he would then pay in rent on the bare land, regulated by its
selling value, say five per cent, all his other property being free from all
kind of taxation. He would still hold the title to the land guaranteed to his
perpetual use, to transmit to his children or to sell. His land would not be
taken from him; he would simply pay rent for its use in lien of every other
form of taxation. The only change would be that those who now hold more land
than they can use themselves, or entirely unused land for speculative purposes,
would have to give up what they could not afford to pay rent on,precisely as
they would now if they could not pay the existing taxes. Land under the new
order, being the property of all, would have to furnish all the revenue for the
common expenses, instead of the product of industry and thought, which is the
rightful property of the individual, having to furnish most
of that common fund, as now. Wages and interest would go where they should
go—to the laborer and capitalist—rent would go where it should go—into the
common treasury for the common good.”
Mr. Pentecost concluded by
saying he was “aware he had taken his life in his hands by preaching this
sermon similar in sentiment to that which had caused the ‘downfall,’ as it is
called, of the noble McGlynn, but he had confidence to believe that under the
right of private judgment, he would not be crushed for it.” The hearty applause
at the close of the sermon seemed to indicate that he was in no danger.
last Monday William Wilson pleaded
guilty before Judge Thayer to malicious mischief in demolishing a street lump
with a frozen brick. “I wasn’t drunk, your honor,” said the culprit; “I was
only shivering and hungry and wanted a home. Won’t you give me a year in the
Eastern penitentiary ?” His honor intimated that he could not give him that
much for one lump. “But I’in sick and—” “The city can’t board you for a year
for this offense. I’ll give you three mantras. Prisons are not hospitals or
of Oligarchs Trying to be Democratic
Providence, R. I., Feb.
8.—The Knights of Labor here are agitating for a constitutional convention.
There is a dispute as to whether the legislature can call the convention or
must submit the cull to popular vote. Ex-Judge Bradley is of opinion that the
call may be made directly by the legislature. This idea is opposed by the Rhode
Island oligarchy, not because it is specially anxious to proceed in conformity
to law, but because it does not want to proceed at all, and upon the principle
that in a shower the nearest barn is the best.
The Telegram, an
independent paper, has favored the convention. The Star and the Journal have opposed it, but the latter shows symptoms of a change. A resolution
has been introduced in the general assembly calling the convention, and strong
efforts are being made to influence its passage. Strong and more subtle efforts
are being made to kill it. The republican party is divided on the prohibition
question, and one or the other wing will favor a convention; but which wing no
one knows, not even the wing itself.
Labor organizations are
compelled to agitate for the convention in a very quiet way, for fear of the
They want citizen suffrage-
The present constitution does not permit that. A naturalized citizen must own
$1.34 worth of real estate, free and clear, to entitle him to vote; and no one
can vote at any election unless he was registered on the first of January of
the current year, and paid his poll tax by the second Saturday of January.
It is hoped that a
constitutional convention may make changes in the organic law that will bring
Rhode Island within a century or two of the times in which we live.
A New Co-operative Colony
Thirty Knights of Labor with
twenty families have left Chicago and gone to Tennessee City, a point about
fifty miles from Memphis, with the intention of founding a partly co-operative
company. The knights propose to manufacture nails, and employ three hundred men
in the nail factory. Brick machines having a capacity of 30,000 per day have
been bought and shipped, and as soon as the colony is in running order the
capacity will be increased to 60,000. Charles Lange of Chicago has been in
Tennessee City and bought up ground for a sash, door and blind factory. Other
factories and stores will be started as soon as practicable. The ground to be
occupied by the colony consists, it is said, of 120,000 acres, divided into
forty acre tracts. The town itself covers 2,200 acres and is situated on a
table land 2,000 feet above the level of the sea. Timber, iron ore and
limestone abound. The city will be incorporated inside of two weeks, and a city
hall, public school and engine house will be built at once, and in thirty days
two hundred houses will be built The Edgewood Normal college is four or
five miles from the city. Property is selling from $7 to $10 an acre, and a
stock company is formed, the first board of directors of which will consist of
seven men, six of them Knights of Labor. The projectors of the scheme expect to
get one thousand families settled down there inside of the next twelve months.
Eight hours, with fair wages, will be the rule.
Politics Makes Strange
The Evening Post of
Feb. 4 ridicules the idea that Dr. McGlynn “could avow sentiments like these
(i. e., that land values are created by all men, and should therefore be
secured by taxation to all men) and still remain a priest in the Roman Catholic
church, or, in fact, in any Christian church.”
Catholics and indeed
Christians of all denominations will not fail to value rightly this sudden and
eleventh hour solicitude for orthodoxy on the part of the Post, whose
present editors have for years been chief priests in the temple of atheism; and
Catholics of this diocese may well ask themselves how it comes about that their
archbishop is now patronized and flattered by such men as these.
“And Pilate sent him to
Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. . . . Then Herod
questioned him in many words. . . . And the chief priests and scribes stood and
vehemently accused him. And Herod . . . set him again at naught, and mocked him
. . . and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod
were made friends together; for before they were at enmity between
themselves."—St. Luke xxiii., 7-12.
The Philadelphia Labor
This Saturday evening a big
demonstration by the labor party in Philadelphia is to be given in
Horticultural hall, on Broad street Speeches are to be made by the workingmen’s
candidate for may or and a number of the local political chieftains, and Henry
George will also speak in behalf of independent political action and urge
workingmen to take into their own hands the matter of social reform. The
meeting will doubtless be a very large one, as the audacity of this third party
in aspiring to cope with its two
powerful rivals has awakened unfeigned surprise in the minds of Philadelphians,
and the radical plank in the labor platform asserting the equal right of all to
the soil has aroused lively discussion, mingled with bitter denunciation. The
labor party there has gone into that larger light which is destined to spread
throughout the country.
The Free Soil Club Dines
Seventy gentlemen, each armed
with a dollar and a keen appetite, sat down in Mouquin’s restaurant on Fulton
street, New York, at seven o’clock on Tuesday evening, and ate the first dinner
of the New York Free Soil club. President Abner C. Thomas beamed upon his
associates, each of whom had graven on his heart, “Land values belong of right
to the people in common,” and each of whom, a host in himself, ate, drank and
was merry. There was no kick of eloquence. John R. O’Donnell, Wm. T. Croasdale,
Alfred Brisbane, James P. Archibald, Rev. Charles P. McCarthy, Dr. M. K.
Leverson, Prof. Daniel de Leon, Augustus A. Levey, Louis F. Post, Henry George
and others made strong speeches. The mention of Dr. McGlynn’s name was the
signal for a wild demonstration, and a, long and hearty bumper was drunk to the
health and prosperity of the reverend father.
A Telephone Strike
In Norwich, Conn., sixty-nine
telephones went out of use the other day on account of a proposed increase of
rates. The users of the instruments at first were charged $25 a year; and
though the number using them increased, the price was increased also. The last
demand of the monopolists, of from $40 to $50 per year, was the straw to break
the camel’s back, and there was nothing left but to strike.
One of Jay Gould’s Latest
Mr. Jay Gould, while in
Shreveport lately, gave out the information that he had recently acquired by
purchase 200,000 acres of pine lands in Winn and Vernon parishes, Louisiana,
which he expected to use in his railroad interest for lumber and car
View of This Winter’s Performances At Albany
Attorneys for Railway
Companies Controlling Legislation—The Battle of the Bank Books for the United
Albany, Feb. 10.—The serious
comedy for which the people of New York paid $459,000 last year has now been
reacted for five weeks. The title of the play is “The Legislature.” The stage
is the rickety new capitol. The dressing room is the Delavan house. The actors
are senators and assemblymen chosen by the people and paid $1,500, from $20 to
$53 mileage and free stationery to make laws which are presumably for the
benefit of the commonwealth of New York alone. The total sum these gentlemen
get from the state is not very great when compared with their expenses,
although for 100 days of work they receive three times what many good workmen
make in a year. But where a legislator is superior tothe ordinary wage Garner
is that with no other honest income than his salary, with no trade or
profession except politics, many thrifty assemblymen and senators manage not
only to pay assessments at election time to the amount of from $500 to $11,000,
but they live like prosperous lords and accumulate houses, lots and personal
property on a salary of $l,500, mileage and fine stationery. That is the plot
of the play.
The first thing the assembly
did when it met early in January was to draw its mileage, get an advance of pay
and elect a speaker. The man unanimously selected in caucus is in his
seventeenth term as assemblyman and lift has speaker. He is the sharpest
professional legislator in the state. From the savings of his salary of $1,500
a year he has become owner of a tine country place, one of the best wine
cellars in the state, and other property to the amount of $80,000. His salary
would not pay his living expenses two months. Once this man ran for a state
office, and though the rest of his ticket was elected he was defeated. If the
number of voters who knew his record had been doubled the majority of his
opponent would have increased. This mans chief apparent duty is to prevent the
passage of any bills that are inimical in any way to corporations, especially
railroads. and the New York Central in
particular. It is hard to say exactly what sum is received for these valuable
services. Rumor places the stipend of former years at a little below $10,000,
which, through increased devotion, has been raised to$12,000 this
year. This is for the New York Central
road only. It would be unfair to the intellectual attainments and shrewdness of
the speaker to suppose that services to other corporations are not worth as
much as the effective work done for the New York Central. This is not bribe
taking. No one has ever accused the keen speaker of doing anything criminal or
dishonest. That would be a crime, and of course no legislator is a criminal.
What is done is to be appointed as assistant counsel and for legal services
rendered as such to be paid a regular salary or contingent fees, as the case
may be. This is within legal etiquette and in accord with the consciences of the most prominent members of the assembly—men who applied the
epithet of fool to the two assemblymen who returned their railroad passes.
After the selection of this
astute man, the keenest of his type, for speaker, the committees were appointed
with harmonious men in charge. Then the law-making functions of the legislature
lapsed while a United States senator was elected. There was a bitter fight over
this. The purses of the woodpulp manufacturers, the protected iron Lien and
certain railroad interests were pitted against opposite railroad interests, the
resources of an express company, of certain insurance companies and the
individual checkbook of a wealthy banker. After the expenditure of a little
over $200,000 on one side and about two thirds as much on the other, neither
party was able to win, and a combination was made by which a third man
qualified for the high office of senator by being the counsel and friend of the
old canal contractors was selected. A
necessary part of the contract that led to the choice of him was that certain
expenses incurred by the friends of the rich banker should be made good. It is
understood that the well-known Jas. J. Belden made good those moneys. New York
has exchanged a woodpulp senator for a congressman who in ten years of service
at Washington has saved several hundred thousand dollars. The transfer was not
elected without some legal expenses. According to the assertions of his friends
a veteran downtown assemblyman from New York city required several thousand
dollars of financial inducement to bring him over to the side that finally won.
Financial inducements were also spoken of about several other legislators,
though it is only fair to say that it always takes more financial inducement to
prevail on a New York city savior of society than on a country legislator. It
is impolite and at variance with good legislative breeding to speak of these
changes of opinion on the part of legislators as caused by bribery. No one calls them that here. A man may
receive a, $l,000 bill for election expenses, or $500 to have a bill copied, or
$5,000 to act as attorney for a corporation during the session, but nobody is
ever bribed. That would be shameful, and no one would cry “Fie!”louder than the
men who take the price of dishonor.
Part of the money that was
spent in the senatorial contest went honestly enough. Mr. Morton had a hotel
bill of seine $12,000; Mr. Miller of $7,500, though it is not all in; Mr.
Hiscock of a thousand or so. This was for the ten days that the con test raged.
The legislators and visiting politicians lived freely on the fat of the Delaven
house. They drank champagne like whiskey and smoked import ed cigars as they do
five-centers when the pay comes out of their own pockets.
It was titting that. an
assembly composed of such men and with such a speaker should send a stuffed
committee to New York city to investigate the strike. There was a demand for
legislative investigation into the pool that raised the price of coal, and into
the wrongs of the ‘longshoremen and coal trimmers. After a vain attempt to
stifle the investigation in the assembly the resolution to send an
investigating committee was passed. The speaker appointed John C. Hogeboom of
Hudson, who opposed the investigation, chairman of the committee. Hogeboom is a
coal pool agent, in the direct employ of Thomas Cornell and the Delaware and
Hudson Coal company. He regulates the coal supply over the Harlem road and in
Westchester and Putnam counties. For so doing he receives a salary, and he is
sent to the legislature to look alter the interests of the coal lords, the evil
genii of every fireside in New York. Under his chairmanship it is no wonder the
committee will do no good, and that is just what they were appointed for. If it
were not for the efforts of two members of the committee whom the speaker put
on, mistaking them to be of like character with the chairman, the committee would
be having no investigation.
This is a sample of what the
people may expect from this legislature.
Tributes To His Courage And Constancy
At His Request the Collection
of the St. Stephen’s Fund is Abandoned—The Wider Effort Continues—Letters and
Press Opinions on the Case
The parishioners of St.
Stephen’s have already collected some $2,000 as a testimonial for Dr. McGlynn,
but the doctor has asked them to suspend further efforts, on the ground that
the contributions have been a serious drain on the pockets of the very poor,
whose personal affection for him may induce them to give what they cannot
afford. For the same reason he has asked the committee to forego the proposed entertainment at Stein way hall on
Sunday night, tickets for which were being sold among the parishioners.
The funds which are being collected from more general sources the Doctor will
accept, in his own language, “rather as a trustee than as an absolute owner.”
A Call To
Address to the Catholics of
New York by the Committee Appointed at the Cooper Union Meeting on Monday, Jan.
At a mass meeting of Catholics held in the Cooper Union. New York, on Monday,
Jan. 17, a series of resolutions was passed proclaiming the sentiments of the
Catholic body on the case of Dr. McGlynn. The resolutions expressed strong sympathy with Dr. McGlynn and indignation at
the action of Archbishop Corrigan in suspending him from the exercise of his
priestly functions and deposing him from his pastorate because of his advocacy
of the doctrine that private ownership in land is unjust. and that the land of
every country belongs to the people of that country. The last of the series of resolutions was the
That a committee he appointed from this meeting with instructions to decide in
what practiced form we may show our respect and gratitude for Dr. McGlynn, and
make it manifest to the world the American Catholics claim political liberty
for their priests.
with this resolution a committee was appointed; and at a meeting of the
committee, held Feb. 2 at Sweeney’s Hotel, it was resolved to issue an address
to the Catholics of the city, calling upon them to cooperate in the work of
sustaining Dr. McGlynn financially and otherwise, as might be deemed necessary
In appealing to
you, fellow Catholics, for your sympathy and aid in this movement, we deem it
our duty to briefly recapitulate the grounds upon which we hold that Dr.
McGlynn is entitled to the support of all his co-religionists in this city and
in this country.
We wish in the
first place to impress upon you the fact that Dr. McGlynn has been suspended
and deposed, not because of any violation of his duty as a priest. His record
within the sanctuary stands without spot or blemish. He is charged with no
offense that would stain his reputation as a Catholic clergyman. By his brother
priests he is revered for his life of zeal and devotion in the sacred ministry.
By the parishioners of St. Stephen’s he is loved as a father. By the entire
community he is respected as a good man and a patriotic citizen.
It is sought to
make Catholics believe that Dr. McGlynn has been advocating principles which
are opposed to the teachings of the church. We beg of you, fellow Catholics to
apply your own intelligence in examining and to use your own judgment in coming
to a conclusion on this matter. What is it that Dr. McGlynn has been teaching.
It is this—that land, being the creation and gift of God to man, is the common
property of the people. Has the Catholic church condemned this doctrine? We say
emphatically, No! No council of the church has condemned it, or pronounced at
all upon it. No pope has condemned it or pronounced at all upon it. Catholics,
both priests and laymen, are as free to accept it as they are free to accept
any other proposition in regard to the matter of which the church has not
spoken. Is Dr. McGlynn alone among the clergy of the church in teaching this
doctrine? No. It has been taught for years past by illustrious Catholic
bishops. Archbishop Croke, Archbishop Walsh, Bishop Nulty and Bishop Duggan
have proclaimed that the land belongs to the people. Only a few mouths a go
Archbishop Crokce in a public letter wrote that “the land of Ireland belongs to
the Irish nation for the Irish people.” Bishop Duggan spoke of the common
ownership of land as a doctrine he had learned by his father’s fireside. Bishop
Nulty’s views on the subject are so widely known that it is hardly necessary to
cite a word from the long letter to his clergy a few years ago, every sentence
of which is a strong argument in support of what Dr. McGlynn is condemned for
teaching. Archbishop Walsh declared recently that the ultimate settlement of the land
question must be the settlement urged by Michael Davit. Cardinal Manning is on
record as having declared that in the principle of land nationalization there
is nothing oppressed to Catholic teaching. Is it just that Dr. McGlynn should
be driven from his pastorate and his home for advocating principles in which
those eminent dignitaries of the church see nothing wrong?
But there is
another view of this most serious case that we desire to present for your consideration.
Dr. McGlynn is punished because also of his action in American politics. He is
called to account by an authority outside his own country for exercising in his
own country his right as a citizen. And not only this: He is punished for
having taken a side in politics not agreeable to Archbishop Corrigan. He was
not punished or censured for publicly Supporting the Cleveland party at the
last presidential election, nor was Monsignor Preston censured or punished for
supporting the Tammany ring at the last mayoralty election. It was only when he
had a word to say for the oppressed people of Ireland, or the oppressed
workingmen of America, that Dr. McGlynn was censured and punished by his
ecclesiastical superiors. Is this system to be tolerated in America? It has not
been tolerated in Ireland. The Irish people refused to permit interference in
their national affairs by the ecclesiastical authorities in Rome. Shall
American Catholics tolerate it? We are good and loyal Catholics, and we are
resolved to be true to our Church, but we are also American citizens, and we
are resolved to suffer no invasion of our rights as such, no matter from what
We are convinced,
fellow Catholics that you will agree with us that it is your and our duty to
stand firmly by Dr. McGlynn. In his person are assailed our rights as
citizens—our right, to pursue all legitimate methods for obtaining justice in
our own country. There may be among you some who do not accept Dr. McGlynn’s
views on the land question; but there cannot be one among you who does not hold
that Dr McGlynn has a right to express his views on public questions and to
endeavor by all lawful means to give them effect.
With regard to
the call made on Dr. McGlynn to go to Rome we have this to say: We conceive it.
to be no part of our duty to dictate to or advise Dr. McGlynn as to whether he
ought or ought not to go to Rome. We are convinced that Dr. McGlynn will act in
that matter as befits his high character. We have from his own pen in his
statement just made public the assurance that he knows his theology well enough
not to sin against it ignorantly, and that he loves his religion too well to
sin against it willfully.
The duty that
devolves on us, fellow Catholics, is to support Dr. McGlynn in the assertion of
his rights as a priest and a citizen, and when he is asserting his rights he is
asserting ours. Let us continue to protest against the unjust treatment he has
received, and let us supply him with the material means which the necessities
of his position demand.
The committee has
decided on opening a fund for Dr. McGlynn’s benefit. Prof. De Leon of Columbia
college has been appointed treasurer, and the editors of The Standard,
35 Aun street, New York, and of the Leader, 181 William street, New York,
have consented to receive subscriptions and acknowledge them in their
papers. Subscriptions may be sent to
them or to Prof. De Leon, 104 East Eighty-ninth street, New York.
In conclusion we have to
express our earnest hope that your action in this matter will be prompt and
Signed, in behalf of the
Jeremiah Coughlin, M. D.,
M. Clarke, secretary.
New York, Feb. 5. 1887.
P. S.— The committee will
gladly welcome the co-operation of, and will be happy to give assistance to,
any local committees that may be formed in or out of New York to aid the fund.
The committee consists of the
following: Jercmiah Coughlin. M. D.; J. M. Fox, M. D.; John McMakin, Patrick
Doody, James P. Archibald, Michael Clarke, Win. J. O’Dair, Hugh Whoriskey,
Robert Crowe, James J. Gahan, editor Catholic Herald; James Fleming, A.
J. Steers Thomas F. Kenny, James McKim, Martin J. Cummings, Wm. P. O’Meara,
Call To Workingman Of New York
appointed at the Catholic meeting
in Cooper Union on Jan. 17 had a second meeting on Wednesday might in Sweeny’s
hotel, and adopted the following address:
To the Workingmen of New York—Fellow Workingmen: An appeal
has been addressed to the Catholics of New York to sustain Dr. McGlynn in his
courageous resistance to the attempt being made to impose restrictions on the
political liberty of his co-religionists. The Catholics of the city are asked
to support Dr. McGlynn in his stand for the maintenance of their right to hold
and to freely express their opinions on political questions, and to do
everything which it is lawful for non-Catholics to do to give effect to their
political opinions. It cannot be doubt ed that to this appeal the Catholics of
New York will respond promptly and fittingly. They will not fail to distinguish
between their duty to the church and their duty as citizens. They have enough
of intelligence to know where to draw the line, between the legitimate
authority of their ecclesiastical superiors and the obligations that are binding
upon them in their relations with the community in which they live. The
Catholics cf America will not consent that political disabilities shall be put
upon them because of their religious creed. This is what the suspension and
deposition of Dr. McGlynn really mean. The attempt to crush him is in reality
an insidious attempt to burden the Catholics of New York with the political
disability that they shall not be free to co-operate with their fellow citizens
in the work of obtaining rights the possession of which is essential to their
well-being and happiness. The constitution of the United States secures to all
our citizens freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of political
action within the law. Archbishop Corrigan in effect says to the Catholics of
New York: Because you are Catholics this freedom must be restricted within the
lines of my interpretation of your rights. You must not, because you are
Catholics, be free to hold and express certain political opinions which I do
not approve of. This is the plain and simple issue to which the Catholics of
New York are challenged. It cannot be doubted that they will meet it with the
spirit befitting men whose fathers in both hemispheres did not hesitate to give
their lives in the struggle for civil and religious liberty.
But, fellow workingmen, this
fight is not alone the light of the Catholic body. It is a fight in which
citizens of all creeds are deeply interested. Our friends of the labor unions
have a principle that “An injury to one is the concern of all.” If it be, as it
is, our duty to apply this principle where one man is oppressed, how much more
necessary to give it effect when an in jury is done, not to individuals only,
but to a large section of the community? The daily papers of New York have
endeavored to make it appear that this convenient doctrine for the classes who
profit by keeping things as they are. It is the same doctrine which we find in
the contention of the capitalistic press that in labor troubles no “outsider”
should interfere between the laborer and his employer. It is not a new
doctrine. It is as old as tyranny itself. In Ireland for many a generation the
enemies of popular right insisted that no “outsider” should interfere between
landlord and tenant. The world knows how it fared with the tenant so long as
the “outsider” remained inactive. In all ages it has been the inactivity and
indifference of the masses that have enabled the classes to plunder and oppress
the people. Had the toilers of other days adopted and acted on the principle
that an injury to one is the concern of all, we should not to-day have t o
fight for our fundamental rights.
It must be obvious to every
man of intelligence that the injury done to the Catholics of New York in the
person of Dr. McGlynn is a deadly blow ahead at the cause of the whole people.
It is an attempt to detach from that cause a numerous section of our citizens.
If Catholics must not help in the work of securing for later its rights, then
that work loses the support of many millions of earnest men. Is such a danger
no concern of non-Catholics? The question carries with it its own answer. That
the view here presented of the grave character of the issue is not an
exaggerated one is demonstrated in the columns of the daily press. What is the
motive of the daily papers in supporting the action of Archbishop Corrigan, as
they do with characteristic consistency support it, at the same time that they
tel1 us it is an affair solely between Dr. McGlynn and his ecclesiastical
superiors. The motive is not far to
seek. The great labor party, in which Catholics are so powerful an element,
threatens the destruction of the corrupt rings, in the maintenance of which the
classes represented by those newspapers are so deeply interested. The success
of the labor party—that is, the obtaining of their rights by the workingmen of
America—won id be the destruction of the system under which the few are enabled
to luxuriate in idleness on the products of the toil of the many, under which
the poor grow poorer and the rich richer: under which tens of thousands of our
people are in want of the bare necessaries of life. To avert the destruction of
their iniquitous monopoly the classes and their press do not scruple to
encourage the interposition in our national affairs of an authority from
without, with the object of depriving the labor party of an important auxiliary
in the struggle. They, in fact, invite the power of Rome into the field on
their side against the efforts of the American people to gain their rights.
Fellow-workingmen. shall this
outrageous attempt succeed? You have intelligence enough to see and appreciate
the danger, and we have no doubt you have spirit enough to take prompt steps to
ward it off. Your duty is to co-operate energetically with your Catholic
fellow-citizens in their effort to sustain Dr. McGlynn. This light is yours as
well as theirs. The best demonstration you can make is to aid in the work of a
substantial testimonial to Dr. McGlynn which a committee of Catholics has
already begun. Sixty-eight thousand of you voted for Henry George. Half of the
number can easily afford 50 cents each and the other half 25 cents. This would
realize $25,000. Such a presentation to Dr. McGlynn would be as telling a
demonstration for our principles as the 68,000 votes for Henry George, and a
sharper lesson to the Roman cardinal than was the Parnell testimonial.
As a machinery for
collection, we suggest and intend to immediately make arrangements for a
meeting in each of the twenty-four assembly districts of the city. At these
meetings our treasurer and committee will attend to take up the contributions.
The meetings we hope will be organized by the energetic men in each district who worked in the George campaign. The people, we
are convinced, know their duty and will do it. It is only required that
they shall have the opportunity. Signed on behalf of the committee.
Coughlin, M.D., Chairman
Words From Knights of Labor
Let Dr. McGlynn
Hold His Ground for Religious and Political Freedom
Knights of Labor
Assembly No. 4,223 of Tacoma, Washington
territory, has resolved that the action of Archbishop Corrigan and of the Roman
propaganda in suspending Rev. Edward McGlynn from the exercise of his priestly
functions and forcibly severing his relations with bis loving and loved
congregation for advocating the election of Henry George as mayor of New York
city is offensive and unjust and an unwarrantable infringement of his rights as
an American Citizen; that Dr. McGlynn owes it alike to his own character and
dignity as an American freeman, to the intellectual liberty and civic
independence of his fellow priests in this country, and to the land and labor
cause, for the espousal of which he is punished and sought to be degraded and
disgraced, to disobey the order summoning him to Rome for the infliction of ecclesiastical
discipline upon him, and to take his ground definitely and bold it manfully as
the defender of religious, civil and political freedom for the Catholic clergy
and laity in the United States.
A Boston Professor’s Sympathy
Boston, Feb. 7.—I have been
much interested in your defense of Dr. McGlynn, and consequently in your view
of social reforms. Any man who has a heart must sympathize with the hard-
working classes and labor earnestly for the amelioration of their condition.
You, have taken a manly stand and will do much to check the encroachment of
Italian cardinals in this country. It is not opposing Catholicism, but merely
the abuses, the tyranny that the enemies of true liberty endeavor to thrust
upon the masses under the cloak of religion. What does the pastor of Plymouth
church, Mr. Beecher, know of Catholic theology? It seems to me that Dr. McGlynn
must know better what he is about than any Protestant clergyman. I wish you God
speed, and hope to see the day when the poor victims of monopoly and
ill-acquired wealth will have under heaven’s sun the place to which they are
Archbishop Corrigan Should Go
Leavenworth, Kansas, Feb.
4.—I have become more interested in reading your ably edited journal in the
Father McGlynn case than I ever was in that of any American citizen. Although I
am not a Catholic, my very soul goes out to this great and good man—a man who has
proved himself the model of charity and Christianity combined, the leader of
the poor and the heavy burdened, their benefactor and their true spiritual
director. I cannot find words t o express my contempt for and indignation at M.
A. Corrigan. I would leave out the word bishop and insert traitor. This is his
true title, for by his conduct he has proved himself a traitor to his teachings
to his people—a usurper of power, a friend to the rich and an enemy to the
poor. If any man should go to Rome, it is this man Corrigan.
The Persecutors Should
Bridgeport, Conn., Feb.
6.—Would that I were gifted with Ciceronian eloquence, that I might raise my
voice and pierce the skies in defense of the noblest priest that ever donned a
cassock—that “soggarth aroon” whose heart swelled with sympathy for downtrodden
humanity. They have driven him from his church and home, and in doing so I
believe they have brought him nearer to God, whose faithful servant he has ever
been. If every heart that beats in sympathy with Dr. McGlynn could find a
voice, and if all the voices could unite in one, they would make a thunderbolt
that would cause his persecutors to tremble. It has never been the custom for
workingmen to seek for sympathy in a marble palace, How could they expect it
J. H. R.
This is a Prince of the
New York, Feb. 6.—Let the
church, which was founded to save man, pause for a brief space, consider her
way and be wise, and carefully note that this man hath done far more than
Christ enjoined when he told his followers to give all their worldly goods to
the poor, for he hath used his manhood for the poor. A true prince of the
church hath arisen—despoiled of sacerdotal vestments, yet clad in kingly, royal
robes—who hath lifted up his voice on high to declare that the fruit of the
vineyard is for all who gather the grapes; not alone for those who have
basely made stepping stones and ladders of their brethren and sisters whereby
to reach above and greedily snatch nature’s bounty.
The Church Made a Catspaw
New York, Feb. 7.—Will Rome
allow the brightest star in the galaxy o f American priests to set in darkness
after it has for twenty years illumined the path of the poor and oppressed
because he had his own ideas on the labor question and was fearless enough to
express them? Certain Tammany politicians, through their mouthpieces the
newspapers, have been inclined to induce him to withdraw from the Catholic
church, but men like Dr. McGlynn do not take kindly to such advice. These
politicians, who are first good Tammany men and then good Catholics, would like
to see the reverend gentleman make a bolt, but they are not likely to be
gratified, for the doctor evidently intends to fight it out on the old line “if
it takes all summer..” The case briefly is that the labor movement, in which
Father McGlynn was so eloquent a champion, by polling a tremendous vote last
fall checked the mad career of the politicians and corrupt rings of New York,
who now would use the church, though before they had never shown any love for
the institution, to reach George over the dead body of McGlynn.
M. J. McCann.
Are We a Province of Rome?
New York, Feb. 1—Is it, or is
it not, true that the Catholic church has the power to destroy the political
aspirations of a citizen of the United States? If it is true, then we are
merely the puppets of a religious oligarchy which can shape the future destiny
of our country into whatever form it pleases. If this is so we are no longer a
nation, but merely a province of Rome.
C. B. Boyle
Stop Italian Political
Wheeling, W. Va., Feb. 1.—I
have been reading Dr. McGlynn’s case in your paper, and I heartily agree with
every word you have said. I think the time has come for Catholics to assert
their independence, and stop this Italian influence in American politics. I was
horn and raised a Catholic, but I would rather leave the church than to have
politics and social questions dictated to me by a lot of Italian cardinals.
John L. Frank.
Will Rome Speak for Freedom?
Cleveland, O., Feb. 7.—Dr.
McGlynn has my cordial right hand of fellowship as a worthy, fur-seeing,
progressive American citizen who has “done his duty” under dreadful fire. Will
the pope of Rome now show forth that wisdom, and stand with Dr. McGlynn in his
thought of the use of all God’s land for all His creatures in common, as
against the man-made theory of much of it for some, a little for more, and none
for most of His creatures until they have labored for other men for privilege
to stay on a little of God’s land as
tenants? Or will the pope stay by the slavery of vested property right to land
till revolution eats this fair province from his spiritual realm?
L. A. Russell.
Dr. McGlynn Needs No
San Francisco, Cal., Jan.
31.—Your strictures on the suspension of that true follower of the divine
Master, Dr. McGlynn, were right to the point and your advice good. He should
never go to Rome as a penitent and his course as an American citizen needs no
P. J. Kennedy.
Who is Most in Politics?
Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 8.—If
the pope is not in politics, pray who is in politics? What means all the news
from Europe—especially from Germany—this week if it is not that the holy father
is deeper in polities than Father McGlynn and all other fathers.
Sympathetic Approval from a
Ludington, Mich., Feb. 7.—As
a sincere Catholic I desire to express positive approval of the attitude of The Standard from inception regarding the McGlynn-Corrigan controversy, and of the humanely
courageous course taken by Dr. McGlynn in refusing to assume the role of
hypocrite and profess disbelief in his conscientious opinions, in refusing
to surrender the rights and to neglect
to perform the duties of an American citizen, and in not permitting himself to be
coerced into answering to a foreign court why he is an unflinching champion of
Thos. A. McCann.
Land Rightfully Common
Brinton, Feb. 7.—As a
Protestant radical I am proud of the stand that you and Father McGlynn have
taken in behalf of suffering humanity. I have read “Progress and Poverty,” and
it presents the only remedy for the evils from which we suffer—to take back our
inheritance from the thieving landlords of creation and give it to the rightful
owners, the human race. As Burns, the poet wrote in “Man was Made to Mourn:”
poor o’er labored wight,
in«in and vile,
Who begs a
brother of the earth
To give him
loave to toil;
And see the
lordly fellow worm
a weeping wife,
So long a s private property
in land exists we will have riches on" the side of the few, and poverty,
crime and all the other ills that follow in its wake for the many. I say as
Then let us
pray that come It may.
And come it
will for a’ that,
When man to
man the whole world o’er,
brothers be for a’ that.
Stop this Tyranny
New York, Feb. 6—As a
Catholic I for one denounce Archbishop Corrigan unchristian-like actions toward
Rev. Dr. McGlynn. I hope those interested in this cause will not let Dr.
McGlynn go to Rome, nor allow such persons as Preston and Corrigan to have such
power over any priest as they have had over our own dear pastor.
Made Him a Hero
The church has taken a bold
but reckless step in the case of Dr. McGlynn, which it should have avoided both
for the sake of policy and right. The time is past when, in this country, it
can interfere with the political beliefs of its members. They will remain subject
to her on matters of religion, but will not brook interference with their
rights as citizens. The church, through the archbishop, has attempted to punish
Dr. McGlynn as a criminal. It has made him a hero.—[Omaha Truth.]
Bound by the Same Rules
Toledo, O., Democratic
If Father McGlynn has no
right to participate in political affairs, Archbishop Corrigan certainly has
not, as both are priests of the same church and are bound by the same rules.
A Comedy of Error
New York, Feb. 7.—I was born a
Catholic, and have come to know what I am talking about. I begin to think that
the Catholic religion is a farce or a comedy, with Drs. Corrigan and McGlynn
and Mr. O’Donoghue in the leading parts. The comedy opens with Mr. O’Donoghue
paying a visit to one Father Preston before election and saying, “I am in
formed that the majority of the priests are going to east their votes for Henry
George, and I resign as a director of the Catholic institution of New York,
though I have grown gray in the Catholic church.” Let me tell Mr. O’Donoghue
that while he has grown gray in the Catholic church he has also grown rich, and
has lost nothing by being a director of the Catholic institution. Then Father
Preston informs Mr. O’Donoghue that that was not true, that the priests would
vote for Mr. Hewitt. Then Mr. O’Donoghue told Bishop Corrigan of his
intentions, and before Bishop Corrigan could lose Mr. O’Donoghue’s friendship
he thought it best to suspend Dr. McGlynn. It has got to be a cold day when
Tammany heelers can run the Catholic church. I think this is a disgrace to the
Catholic church. Dr. McGlynn is the purest man in the world, and this
persecution is a shame and a disgrace.
A Catholic Citizen.
The Light is Spreading
Detroit, Mich., Feb. 7.—I do
not believe a better means of furthering our cause of “the land for the people”
could have been devised than the persecution of Dr. McGlynn has brought about,
and I believe it was heaven inspired. The curse we suffer has been brought to
the foreground from Maine to California and from the lakes to the gulf, and
that has been accomplished in weeks which would have taken mouths, possibly
years, to have accomplished in any other way. Now every one is taking a part in
the controversy, and those who do not understand the details of the arguments
for making land common property are industriously searching for them.
S. G. Howe.
A Catholic Layman Speaks
The Independent publishes
a second article from “A Catholic Layman,” again assuring its readers that the
writer is “a veritable and honored Roman Catholic.” He says:
But let it be granted that a
priest with a good cause goes to Rome, that he succeeds in his case against his
bishop, and that he is restored to all his priestly powers—what has he gained?
He is simply in a far worse position than he was before his suspension. Rome
has spoken, certainly; but Rome is a long way from New York. Few Catholic
laymen, and certainly no Protestant, can possibly understand the working A Catholic
ecclesiastical government. The power of a Catholic bishop is practically
numbered. His power to act in the most arbitrary manner, to crush, to inflict
the keenest pain, to break down the spirit and health of those under his
control, may each and all be exercised without even the least public suspicion of
injustice. . . . The unhappy priest would soon find his mistake. Better far for
him to have borne the in justice in silence and submitted quietly to his
wrongs. He is now a marked man. Every priest in his diocese is well aware he is
under episcopal displeasure, notwithstanding his success. Whatever his own
private feelings may be, no priest will date to show him sympathy or brotherly
friendship. The Catholic laity are against him also, and it is hard to say
whether his case is made better or worse by Protestant sympathy or Protestant
The pope is far away and the
bishop is a living and ever present power. Further. The authorities of the
propaganda, where all these cases are decided, are very careful not to censure
bishops; above all, they will receive interfere with the discipline of a
diocese. Thus a decision in the case of a priest or a religious order, which is
adverse to the decision of the bishop of the diocese is practically void. It is
even worse than useless, because it still leaves the person or religious order
subject to the very individual against whose injustice complaint has been made.
It is the bishop that brings
the alms of the faithful to Rome. It
depends on the bishop to increase or decrease the supplies. He is the local
governor, the diocesan pope. It has always been the policy, and the wise
policy, of the holy see to uphold all authority derived from itself. The
consequences do not need comment. God help the victims. Even in this country
there is evidence that the above assertions have not been made without
sufficient ground. One of the reporters of the daily press, having interviewed
Monsgigneur Preston, was informed by him that the church did not “care for
individuals, it only cared for obedience!” The meaning was very plain. There
was a strong feeling that a priest like Dr. McGlynn, whose ecclesiastical
career was well known to have been one of great personal parity and great
devotion to the poor, should, on that account, have met with special political
mistake, or fail momentarily in obedience, his past life should have saved him,
if not from public condemnation, at least from personal insult.
But Monseigneur Preston has
blurted out the naked truth. The church, he said, “did not care for individuals.” If this were so,
the Catholic church has ceased to be or it never was of divine origin. There is
something inexpressibly shocking to the Christian mind, or even to ordinary
benevolence in this. Mr. Bergh and the
society for the protection of animals care for individual dogs and horses, but
Monseigneur Preston comes forward boldly and declares that “the church” does
not care for individuals; it cares only for obedience. Obedience to whom and
obedience to what? Christ’s gospel is full of tenderness and [text missing] for
individual souls; even to scandalize [text missing] one is written down to be a
new gospel. [text missing] it is not new; it is as old as the first existence
of human love of power and human selfishness.
The monseigneur has left no
doubt of his meaning. It is necessary to compel obedience to the commands of
the church even at the cost of the sufferings of the souls of thousands of
individuals. It may be predicated of this, as of most general propositions,
that it is both true and false. Catholic theology teaches that we may not tell
a lie, even if by lying we might save a million of souls from the eternal fires
of hell. Yet there are a good many ways of telling the truth.
circumstances in which ecclesiastical discipline must be maintained at any cost
of individuals; but God will surely judge those who have made such
ecclesiastical discipline necessary. The Catholic church could not give Henry
VIII leave to commit adultery, and it is a favorite way of accounting for the
Reformation in England to say that the national apostasy was caused by this
refusal; yet, as an individual. Henry VIII could have done nothing. He needed
the support of a nation for his change of religion, and he never could have
obtained the support of nation if that nation had not been ready to renounce a faith
for which it had little respect. Was it the fault of the faith? By no means. It
was the fault, and the grievous fault, of priests and monks and friars and
laymen who gave public shame and scandal by their evil lives. If the bishops of
the Catholic church had firmly suppressed Tetzel’s sinful traffic in
indulgences, Luther could never have revolted, and therefore could never have
accomplished his information.
If the bishops of
the Catholic church in England had not oppressed and taxed the poor and fawned upon the rich: if they had not allowed the monastic houses
vowed to poverty individually to accumulate enormous wealth collectively,
England would still be Catholic.
When the church
emerged from the catacombs her danger began. The danger to the Catholic church
in America today is its enormous wealth, its unbounded political influence, and its social
success. It is supposed to be the church of the poor: but one davit will be
known how the poor have looked to it in vain. If a saint came today and cried,
like John the Baptist, to prepare the way of the Lord by the practice of
charity, poverty and evangelical virtue, he would be silenced as a disobedient
subject and persecuted to his death.
I yield to no man in my
regard for the rights of property, but I respect also the rights of the poor. I
do not believe in upholding law and order for the rich alone.
I am not
concerned to defend Henry George either in his politics or his religion. I have
no personal knowledge of him, nor have I read his hooks; but justice is justice. He has been
accused all round of attacking the Catholic church. One Catholic paper had a
most childish article headed “Eating Pope,” the very title being far more
degrading to the church than any words said or written by Henry George.
Attacking the church means attacking, condemning or criticizing the doctrines
of the church. I fail to see that Henry George has done this.
But attacking. condemning or
criticizing the public conduct of Catholics, whether lay or ecclesiastical, is
not condemning the church. The Catholic canonized saints have done this but
they have had the courage of saints. They were persecuted during their lives by
bishops and priests, but they were canonized after personal feelings and
bitterness had passed away by the very successors of these ecclesiastics.
Proof of the above assertion
could be easily given, and a glance at the life of any Catholic saint would be
sufficient. It is not so many years since an apparition of the Blessed Virgin
accredited by the church appeared in France, and one of the many revelations
made was a strong denunciation of the selfishness and sins of priests. Catholic
ecclesiastics denounce Garibaldi, Cavour and Ferry, but they forget that it was
when they had the fullest power in France, Italy and England that these
countries ceased to be Catholic. It was Catholics who turned against the pope.
A time has come when men will
have to speak out against evil and oppression, whether
ecclesiastical or civil, if
they would save their souls. The doctrines of the Catholic church are one thing, and the sins and shortcomings of
individual members of the church are another. No bishop, no priest, is
personally infallible. It is a device of the devil to cover sin when men try to
hide the evil deeds which they do, or shelter them under the pretext that to
condemn evil is to condemn the church. There is a time when silence becomes a
participation in crime, and when men can only save the church which they love
by denouncing the dangers which threaten its or its progress.
Shall the ecclesiastical
machinery of the Catholic church be used, with the machinery of corrupt
politics, to perpetuate the system of industrial slavery that has been put in
operation in this country, after the models of the old world? Dr. McGlynn,
standing for progressive political principles and for an enlightened
Christianity, says no, he will not be a party to those oppressions! But the
Bourbon never- forget, never-learn element, represented in Archbishop
Corrigan:, says “there shall be no progress,” and baffled at home in keeping
his people in political slavery, he relies upon the pope to interfere, as the
supreme authority, and, as “pontifex maximus,” curb the rising tide of
democracy in the United States. To falter in such a crisis is moral cowardice;
to avoid the issue as a matter of “policy” is political cowardice of a most
abject type. Down with the traitor to. American free institutions, be he
prelate or politician! Dr. McGlynn has shown himself I to be pro-eminently the
opposite, the uncompromising opponent of all such, and he should have the moral
and substantial support of every true American.
No Politics from Rome
The non-interference of any
ecclesiastical power in politics is part and parcel of the American citizens
bill of rights. In so far as Dr. McGlynn may have made himself liable to
discipline for any disobedience to the proper functions of church authorities,
the archbishop’s position is, no doubt, defensible. That is a matter which
concerns Catholics. But to the extent that any authority of the church of Rome
undertook to dictate the political opinions of the priest or to prevent the
free exercise of all his rights as an American citizen, the American spirit and
opinion is with the priest and the sentiment that Dr. McGlynn has so forcibly
expressed is the true republican sentiment.
What an Episcopal Journal
The Churchman, commenting
upon the newspaper assertions that The Standard had committed suicide by
its course with regard to Dr. McGlynn, says:
Is it openly avowed that
hereafter, Americans must, look to the Vatican for a mot d’ordre before
making up their minds on a political issue? Is the next president of the
republic most to foreign aggression. Mr. George whatever his political heresies
in other respects, has shown a remarkable sagacity as to two all important
signs of the limes, and it may be that he will compel the cowardly and venal
hordes of party politicians to learn of him a lesson which it is rapidly
becoming their interest to acquire. The two points are these: First,
that a foreign court is openly menacing fundamental liberties; and, second,
that thousands of those on whom that court relies for servile submission
ripening into Americans and are ready to resist its daring aggressions.
There are fools who delight
in the exercise of this foreign influence, so long as, for experiment, the
court of Rome exerts it in a line with their own sentiments. “Fools and blind!”
Do they not see that, once established as a power in politics, the same
influence will be worked against the national institutions and for the
enforcement of “the Syllabus,” which is a foe to all freedom and enlightenment?
Now, we use well-chosen words when we speak of “the court of Rome,” for we make
no issue here with Home as a church. Americans allow the fullest liberty
to its religion as a religion; but Rome as a foreign court is
another thing, and millions of Roman Catholics in France and Germany have lived
and died in conflict with that court on thevery grounds which Mr. George has
asserted, viz.: that beyond the domain of religion they will not tolerate Roman
Mr. George asserts that Dr.
McGlynn and all other Roman Catholics have a right to be Americans and to vote
as they may be pleased to vote, and he has had the good sense and the moral
courage to assert that to sermon Dr. McGlynn to Rome to answer for his exercise
of the elective franchise as a citizen, is a daring attack on American
independence. Can any one deny the truth and moral power of this position? He
thinks that thousands of Dr. McGlynn’s co-religionists are prepared to stand by
him in defying this impudent aggression. We trust it may prove so, and we thank
him in so far, as the pioneer of a national movement that should no longer be
A Catholic Journal on Dr.
Dr. McGlynn has thrown a
bombshell into the camp of his enemies, and the explosion, if we may judge from
the bowling of the camp followers, has been disastrous. We venture to think
that the feeling of the reverend doctor’s persecutors and assailant-s after
reading his statement, was one of abject dismay at the magnitude of the
proportions into which the issue they so unwisely challenged has developed.
They rashly imagined that it was a very simple and easy thing to crush a priest
who had dared to cross their path, but they find themselves in deadly grip with
a giant. They d id not pause to count the cost or calculate the chances of a
conflict with such a man as Dr. McGlynn on such principles as those for which
he stands to-day before his fellow citizens unconquered and unconquerable.
Their position now that the light is fairly on. which they so madly provoked,
affords apt illustration of the proverb that; they who sow the storm will have
to undertake the dangerous task of reaping the whirlwind.
It is as well that this fight
should come on now as at any other time—perhaps better now. Sooner or later the
labor party should have to face and crush the opposition of the men who have
struck down Dr. McGlynn, or rather who have attempted to strike him down, for
he is not yet down, and we are well convinced that contending on the ground he
occupies he never will be. Sooner or later the workingmen of America who have
resolved upon the recovery of their rights in the land of their country would
have to meet the issue now presented and to light the men who raise it. It, is
better that the question should be taken up now at the outset of the labor
program and be settled once and for all, and not be left as a rock ahead
threatening shipwreck to the movement at every stage. Let us fight it through
now and be done With it and so clear the way for other and bigger work.
The people of Ireland had the
same sort of opposition to encounter at the commencement of their grand
struggle which is now rapidly nearing a triumphant success. No sooner had the
land league been organized for effective work than the ecclesiastical machine
was set in motion in Rome to operate against the national movement and its
leaders. Without a iiioment1s hesitation Ireland sternly faced the enemy, and
with unanimous and resolute voice rung into the ears of the cardinals the
lesson which Michael Davitt repeated in his last speech in New York, that “the
Irish people brook no interference from Rome in their national affairs.”
It is the same lesson and
warning that rings out in Dr. McGlynn’s triumphant statement American Catholic
will brook no Roman interposition in their political affairs. They will insist
on having and exercising to the full extent their rights as citizens,
unfettered in the smallest degree by pope, propaganda, cardinal or bishop. The
question whether they shall or shall not accept Henry George’s principles on
the land question is one for them and them alone to consider and decide upon.
If they believe, as we think
the vast bulk of them do, that Mr. George’s; doctrine presents the only
settlement- of the difficulty which lies at the root of our social troubles,
they will not be deterred by any ecclesiastical censures or threatenings from
co-operating to the utmost of their energies with the party which has made that
doctrine one of the principal planks in its platform.
There is another
thing that we are assured the Catholics of New York and of America will do.
They will stand unflinching by Dr. McGlynn until this light is fought out to
the bitter end, come weal or come woe. Never was there a nobler cause to
uphold. Never was there a nobler. man lier champion to stand by. Dr. McGlynn
has been true to the people as the needle to the pole. Never has he by a hairs
breadth swerved in devotion to the right. His great heart has taken all nations
and all races within the boundless scope of its overthrowing sympathies. The
people he has loved and served and fought and sacrificed for will rally round
him more enthusiastically and cling to him more fondly than ever, now that he
is persecuted for their sake.
Catholic citizens of America who are not blinded by prejudice or partisanship
must see that Dr. McGlynn is fighting their fight. He denies the right of
bishop, propaganda or pope to order him to Rome to answer for his speech or
action in political affairs in America. So do we. We emphatically endorse his
denial and we emphatically approve the stand he has taken.
We are glad to
find that the Catholics of New York are taking the right action. Elsewhere we
print an address from the committee appointed at the great Catholic meeting
held at the Cooper Union on Jan. 17. We adopt as our own every sentence in that
address, and we earnestly commend to the sympathy of our readers the sympathy
of our readers the appeal it makes.
New York, Feb.
9.—I would like the privilege of
protesting against hanging the so-called anarchists. There is a conviction in
the minds of hundreds of thousands of workingmen that these seven men did not
have a fair trial. Even if the jury was honestly impaneled, it was unduly
influenced by the press and the excitement and prejudice which prevailed in Chicago.
The anarchists should not have been tried in Chicago at all. It was impossible
for them to have a fair trial in that city.
We have already, in wrath and
excitement, judicially murdered two persons. Every middle aged person blushes
when the name of Mrs. Surratt is mentioned. And if Garfield had been merely a
blacksmith or a carpenter, Guiteau would have been sent to an insane asylum.
Let us not repeat such blunders at a tune like this. A great conflict between
the poor and the rich in this country has already commenced, and we should do
all we can to confine it to the political arena. But the hanging of these men
in Chicago will embitter it. The day they are executed thousand of men in our
large cities will vow hatred and revenge.
W. H. Benson
Party Growing In All Parts Of The Country
The New York Committee—A
Movement in Brooklyn—Albany Awakening—Maine Heard From and the Great West
Falling to Line
At the last session of the
New York county general committee of the united labor party William McCabe
introduced resolutions approving of the great strike and pledging material and
moral aid to the strikers. Delegate Gottheil gave notice of a proposal to
reconsider the platform. Delegate Leverson of the Sixteenth assembly district
gave notice of several amendments to the committee’s constitution, one being
the election of officers and candidates on the system of proportional
representation. Permanent officers were then elected for the county general
committee as follows: Chairman, John McMackin; first vice-chairman, Frank Ferrall; second vice-chairman, Henry Emrich:
recording secretary, J. N. Bogert; financial secretary, A. S. Johnson;
corresponding secretary. William P. O’Meara: treasurer, William McCabe;
trustees, B. J. Hawkes, W. S. Gottheil and Thomas F . Kenny; sergeant-at-arms,
John T. Burke.
Some time ago the Central
labor union of Kings county instructed their locals, which have been organized
in nineteen wards, and the town of Flatbusb, to take action on the following and
report at the nest union meeting. to be held on Monday:
“Shall the Central labor
union take independent political action in holding their own primaries and
nominating an entire city and county ticket hereafter, and under no
circumstances affiliate with any political party?”
It is also proposed to make
it mandatory for all members who belong to any political organization to
immediately withdraw therefrom- The Brooklyn Eagle promptly sounds Hie
note of alarm, and suggests that the object is the defeat of the democratic
party. It also says that “it is very likely that a majority of the locals will
refuse to adopt the proposition, as it would compel those who hold political
offices to resign from their party organization. Consequently they could not
receive a renomination.” If the labor party on the other side of the East river
at all resembles the party on this side, it will not allow consideration for
office holders to influence its action.
The land and labor club in
Albany is very prosperous. Its membership is increasing rapidly and public
meetings are being held every second and fourth Saturday in the month, at which
instructive addresses on economic topics are delivered. A library, consisting
of popular works on political economy is shortly to be established, in order
that a more thorough understanding of important social questions may be
obtained. This club is leavening the loaf and “spreading the light” through all
sorts and conditions of workingmen’s bodies in Albany.
A united labor party has been
formed in Kansas City. Its first meeting was attended by 2,503 people, 1,000 of
whom signed the roll. The platform pledges the signers to withdraw from both of
the old parties, declares for the rigid enforcement of existing labor laws, for
an eight-hour day, prohibition of child labor, abolition of the contract system
on public works, discontinuance of contract prison labor for the weekly payment
of wages, the abolition of conspiracy and tramp laws, and for a government
currency without the intervention of banks.
A dispatch to the Cincinnati Enquirer declares that “the new party movement has struck Sandusky with phenomenal
force. The new party was organized a short time since, its leading lights being
our best and most respected mechanics. From what we have been able to learn
these gentlemen have been working quietly, but determinedly, using their every
endeavor to form a nucleus which would soon attract to it the great body of
Sandusky wage-workers. It is a well-concerted movement, and include a number of
large cities in Ohio; notably, Toledo, Cleveland, Springfield and Zanesville.
“Conferences have teen held
by the leaders of the Knights of Labor in these cities, and it was decided to
adopt the declaration of principles put for that the great Cooper Union meeting
in New York; November 6, 1886, after the defeat of Henry George for mayor.
“The new party will put a
ticket in the field here and contest for power at the April election, and it is
said the other cities will follow the example of the Sandusky knights. For the
past year there has been great industry manifested in organizing here and it is
claimed that the new party will poll over 800 votes out of a total of about
3,500; that is to say, they have a membership of 800 without counting upon
outside sympathy. The movement appears to be growing, and is exciting much
apprehension among politicians.”
A meeting was recently held
at Lewiston, Me., to organize a land and labor club, in response to the call
issued by the Cooper Union mass meeting in this city on Nov. 6. The platform
adopted at that meeting and selections from the books and speeches of Henry
George were read, after which a club was organized, with J . B. Elliott a s
president, B. B. Murtis vice-president, F. A. Buttertield secretary, and W. H.
The united labor party of
Cincinnati has asked for official representation at the polls at the spring
election. The board informed them that the appointments had been made for a
year ending next September, and the present judges and clerks could not be
removed; but if any vacancies should occur before the spring election, making
necessary new appointments, the labor party would be recognized in such
appointments. It was agreed, however, that if the labor party desired it, they
should have representatives at the various polling places to watch the count.
Robert Tompkins delivered an
able address recently before Union assembly l369. K. of L., at Atchison,
Kansas, on the principles of the land and labor party. He quoted figures to
show that farmers and small property holders would be benefited by the
destruction of land monopoly, while the bonanza farmers would be compelled to
bear their fair share of the burdens of society. The placing of taxation on
land values would, he said, open up a broad avenue of escape to the helpless
labor of the country. Mr. Tompkins wound up with an impassioned appeal to all
to shake off the old party prejudices and the slumber of apathy and
indifference that has bound us long in its chains, and join the new party of the
people, whose great gun a t New York, like the shot at Concord, has been “heard
around the world.”
Below we give a few brief
extracts from recent correspondence of the central committee, No. 2S Cooper
W. B. Crowell, Chester,
Penn.: At a meeting held this evening the Clarendon hall platform, with slight
modifications, rendered necessary to suit this locality, was enthusiastically
and unanimously adopted.
C. H. Stewart, Warrensburg,
Mo.: The land tax idea is taking hold on the people in this section. The
present system of land-holding assuredly lies at the root of our social ills.
W. H. Jewett, Portland, Me.:
I have recently been to Augusta, where I met leading men from all parts of the
state, and they all acknowledge the necessity of the reform you propose.
H. C. Baldwin, Naugatuck,
Conn.: I feel the greatest interest in your movement. One thing is certain,
something must soon be done to stem the tide of legalized robbery. The rank and
file lack courage, but I see indications of a change for the better.
J . D., Brooklyn, N. Y.:
Cannot something be done toward inaugurating your movement in Brooklyn! We are
ring-ridden and our press is no longer free. The most effective remonstrance
that labor could make to its treatment by the newspapers would be the
organization of a land and labor party in Brooklyn.
L. V. L., Montgomery; Ala.: I
am persuaded that the day is not far distant when the labor question must be
met, and that heroically. For my part, I am on the platform of right and
justice as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. I believe that each
child born has a perfect right to lite, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I
do not believe that any nine men have the right to say that the tenth shall or
shall not exist by reason of their possessing the land which is necessary to
such existence, and I earnestly hope that our countrymen may be enabled to see
this subject in such a light as to admit of its being settled, before it is too
late, without resort to harsh measures.
F. H., Cincinnati, O.: The
newspapers realize that the only real danger to the existing parties is not
from any organization of labor as a class, but from the organization of the
masses in support of the principles involved in the late New York campaign.
There is a strong and growing sentiment here in favor of reform in land
Andrew A. McDonnell, New
Orleans, La.: We have taken the helm and
have this day organized, starting with a fair roll, and hope by our next
meeting to have one hundred members. The men here are heart and soul in the
Indianapolis, Ind.: I suggest that you ought to have a lecture bureau that all
the clubs could call on for speakers, so as to get our principles fairly before
the people. And there must be some arrangements made to get the farmers
interested in the cause; for I believe that if we can get the land question
before the farmers a n d the renters, they will surely come over to our side.
F. H. Lincoln, Zylonite,
Mass.: I consider the land question a matter of vital importance to organized
labor. Heaven speed you in your efforts to strike the chains of party slavery
from the limbs of the wage workers of our land.
P. B., Sandusky, Ohio: There
is plenty of good material among our members here—men who have given thought to
the land question and who are able to enter into an intelligent debate on the
subject. But we ought to have public speakers and lecturers. The reports from
here will b y and by be very gratifying, depend upon it.
P. G. K., Elkhart, Ind.: The
members here are working heart and soul, and I have a notion that we shall open
the eyes of the two old political parties very widely when the time comes.
J. B. Hollinger, Harrisburg,
Pa,: The time is ripe for a proper agitation of the land question, and I
believe that a great work can be done in this city and county.
C. R., East Saginaw, Mich.:
There is already a labor party here, which holds the balance of power in local
elections, and which has hitherto shown its influence by fusion; but there is a
growing sentiment against fusion, and I think that by another year this party
can be thoroughly organized on the land and labor platform to east its votes
for its own candidates.
J. H. C., Cleveland, O.:
There are active discussions of the principal features of your platform in all
the assemblies of this city. If Tom L. Johnson was not going to leave the city
we could run him for mayor and elect him.
C. H. Fuller. Middletown, N.
Y.: You may depend upon our land and labor club to do good work. The charter
members know the meaning of the word “progress,” and have the determination and
independence to do the work imposed upon them.
C. M., Minneapolis, Minn.: My
work has been mostly among professional men, and it has not been without
results. Still, many who express sympathy with land reform seem unwilling to
sacrifice their personalities, as they think they would, by actively espousing
a cause that will merely set them up as a target for the arrows of a tory
press. The policy of the labor associations here is to use their vote simply to
hold the balance of power. They do not take into consideration the immense
following they could get outside of the labor organizations. The press
in this section is almost solidly against us, suppressing and miscoloring
facts, and even printing telegraphic news under false headlines.
C. H. B., Albany, N. Y.: Our
club is full already, and we shall probably divide it into four. We have just
voted for a library, with Henry George’s works to begin with. I feel very much
encouraged thus far in the movement, and look forward to a great work to be
done in the near future. We want to take up a collection here for Father
H. V., East Saginaw, Mich.:
The time is ripe for a new party with some other aim than a scramble for
office. There is widespread discontent here among both democrats and
Owing to the illness of two
of its members, the central committee has been compelled to postpone the
conference for the l6th inst.
“De Side of de Lawd”
The Louisville and Nashville
railroad company carried down to Pensacola about seventy laborers, gathered up
along the road, to take the places of colored longshoremen on strike. The
strikers “exhorted” the men in camp-meeting style, pleading with them not to go
to work, and singing: “Coine on de side of de Lawd. He will protect you."
After this pleading the new arrivals refused to go to work.
Workingmen Must Use the
Syracuse, N. Y., Feb. 6—In
your valuable paper I notice a sermon by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost in which he
asks, What is the remedy for the laboring class? There never has been any
remedy nor never will be until the. labor party rises to power. This can only
be through the ballot box. Otherwise there will be strikes, and rumors of
strikes, until the end of time, with no particular good resulting from them.
H. K. White.
Ye toilers of the land and
Ye tillers of the earth,
Ye workers in the deep, dark
Ye slaves in chains from
Behold above our western
For you a beacon beams,
That through “the mists and
Brings gladness in its
‘Tis liberty’s celestial
O’er earth and ocean flowing,
And clear through “chaos and
To you new pathways showing.
In lightning tongues its
To all who love the light.
“Forget all else to right
Join hands! form ranks!
Protest Against The “Tucker-Edmunds Bill”
Early Persecution of the
Peculiar People—Mormon Civilization Contrasted With Our Own—A Complete
Overthrow of All the Forms of Free Government in Utah
The acts of congress whose
professed aim is the suppression of polygamy in Utah, are, of special
legislation without a parallel in modem times. The plea of “necessity” of the
“interests of society” and of “religion,” are usurping the place of reason and
law. The last “blow at Mormonism,” as it is called, is establishing new
precedents of tyranny. The press is conspiring t o prevent discussion on the
subject To speak of the Mormon people as possessing any worth, moral or civic;
to hint a comparison between their beliefs and practices and our own, is to
place one’s self under the ban of “civilized society.” To ask for a formula of
the relation of the general government to the territories is to quibble over
small things. To call attention to the chaotic condition of our marriage laws
is to wander from the subject. To suggest the need of a a discussion of the
relation of the sexes is proof of one’s innate depravity. But facts cannot be
The Mormons had been driven
out many times before plural marriage was ever known among them. Such marriage
is even now practiced by not more than two per cent of the church membership,
while but a small proportion of these have more than two wives. But this
doctrine was avowed full ten years before congress took any notice of it, and
then a law was passed in war times. The party that passed it did really nothing
from 1862 to 1882 for its enforcement. The Edmunds law, now in force in Utah,
was passed on the eve of the last presidential election, as a means of helping
prop the sinking fortunes of the party of “grand moral ideas.” The nation which
had now recovered from the fatigue of its former struggle was summoned to
battle once more under republican leadership. Polygamy was to be. made the
great issue of the times. Congress was besieged with petitions to deal with
these Mormons, most of which came from ecclesiastical bodies or mass meetings
presided over by some reverend gentleman. Is it not strange, by the way, that
the church should so covet the distinction of leading in the attack on this one
of “the twin relies,” when it was the last in helping overthrow that other
one—slavery? And, stranger still, that it should sit down contented, as it
were, amidst a barbarism miscalled “civilization,” in which a new form of
slavery, and something worse than polygamy, are taking deep root.
Congress obeyed. The most
tyrannical of laws was passed (1882), and it laughed at the idea that in this
outside pressure was any of the spirit of persecution. That was possible only
in the past ages. And as little as possible was said about the treatment of the
Mormons from the time they began to preach their new religion. Know we not that
they were driven from New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois (the states now
most in danger of military rule), leaving the homes they had built, the fields
they had cultivated, the temples they had reared; then entering the wilderness,
making roads, building bridges, fighting storms, treating with the Indians, and
bowing in prayer morning and night, they had journeyed more than a thousand
miles beyond civilization’s furthest limits? Their planned and built cities,
sent out colonies, until the Mormon line of settlements became as an oasis in
the desert. Over their first encampment floated the Stars and Stripes, and the
beehive was their chosen emblem. Before long they petitioned congress for a
transcontinental telegraph and railway, and their hands helped to stretch the
wires and lay the rails! And this people are undeserving a place in the Union!
Utah’s population is twice that of Nevada, and exceeded that of Kansas and
Nebraska combined when these territories were formed into states.
Of Utah’s 175,000 population.
25,000 only are gentile. But this minority is distinguished in certain ways. It
fills nearly every position of influence and emolument from the governorship
down. Of the two hundred saloons, billiard rooms and bowling alleys, but a
dozen profess to be Mormon. All of the bagnios and other disreputable concerns
are run and sustained by anti-Mormons. Ninety-eight per cent of the gamblers,
and ninety-five per cent of the lawyers are of the outside element. Eighty per
cent of the litigation is from the same source. Ninety per cent of the
suicides, and eighty per cent of the homicides and infanticides are non-Mormon.
There are in Massachusetts
four times as many convicts. and nine times as many paupers, as in Utah; and
there is even one-tenth less of illiteracy in Utah than in
Massachusetts, and four times less than in the District of Columbia. Utah is in
advance of the general average of the United States, in the enrollment of
school population. percentage of daily attendance, and the amount per capita
invested in school property. The text-books in use are the same as else where,
with this exception that no religious tenets, or religious exercises, are
allowed in these public schools.
Ninety-five per cent. of the
Mormon people live in their own houses, on their own lands, for which they hold
deeds in their own names. Small divisions of land with high cultivation is the
rule. There are 10,000 farms, containing an average of twenty-live acres each.
Cooperation is practiced to a greater extent among the Mormons than among any
other people. In temperance reform they lead the world.
There exists in Utah an
unrestrained exorcise of faith and worship. The Mormon believes his creed
(based like the rest, on toe Bible); has nothing to fear from a free rivalry with
the creeds of Christendom, and the Mormon priesthood is unsalaried from the
head of the church down.
We entrust the execution of
our laws to a governor with a bias, judges with a mission, and a host of United
States officials, all hostile, as a rule, to the Mormons. Leagued with these
are clergymen, lawyers and politicians. This minority wants power over the
majority, which outnumbers it ten to one. Utah’s laws provide for minority
representation, and long ago congress gave to this minority equal numbers on
the juries. But this was not enough. The Edmunds law made the panel wholly
anti- ormon, so that the polygamist could be tried by a court and jury composed
wholly of his enemies. But there is a special commission appointed by congress
with powers and salary to match. This commission appoints registration and
election officers, canvasses the returns and issues certificates of elections.
It administers also a test oath to every voter, which disfranchises all
polygamists without trial or hearing, even those who entered into polygamy
before there was any law against it, and those who have ceased to practice it.
After having been thus stripped of his rights of citizenship, a polygamist is
tried for a crime whose penalty is a line and several years’ imprisonment, But
the man that cohabits with more than one woman, if he own but one as his wife,
enjoys his rights as a citizen and a member of society. While the man who is
but a believer in polygamy is not allowed to serve as a juror, the man who,
having one wife, lives in open and notorious adultery with another woman, is
lit to serve as a juror in the trial of a polygamist. The Mormons’ protest,
read to the President, says: “The companion of mistresses and harlots, secure
from prosecution, walks the streets in open day. No United States
official puts a spotter on his trail, or makes any effort to drag his deeds of
shame and guilt before a judge and jury for investigation and punishment. But
our families are dragged before commissioners and grand juries. Modest women
are made to answer shamefully indecent questions as to the sexual relation of
man and woman. Attempts are made to bribe men to work up cases against their
neighbors. Most disreputable characters are employed to spy into men’s family
But the progress of the
minority to power is not rapid enough even by these methods. It is now proposed
that all the Mormon women shall be disfranchised. The corporation known as the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is dissolved. And no religious society
is to hold property in excess of $50,000 in value. The perpetual emigrating
fund company is dissolved. All Mormon emigration is to be stopped. All grants
of land made to any association, civil or ecclesiastic, by the Utah legislature
are annulled, and “all fraudulent entries upon homestead and preemption claims”
are to be set aside by the attorney general. The laws of the territory
organizing the Utah militia are repealed. A new militia is to be formed under
“the laws of the United States,” and all its general officers are to be
appointed by the government of the territory. The existing election districts
and apportionments of representation are abolished, and the governor, secretary
and marshal (who are United States officers) are to redistrict the territory.
and reapportion representation. The council of the territory of Utah is to be
appointed by the president every two years, by and with the advice and consent
of the senate. The president and senate are to appoint all judges and selectmen
of the county and probate courts, and these courts are to appoint their clerks,
recorders and registers of deeds, wills and other papers. The governor and
council are to appoint all justices of the peace, all sheriffs, constables, and
other county and district officers. The office of the territorial
superintendent of schools, created by the laws of Utah, is abolished; and the
governor is to appoint a commissioner of schools, who shall exercise the powers
and duties of the superintendent, and receive the same compensation out of the
treasury of the territory. The United States marshal and his deputies are to
possess and exercise all the powers of sheriffs and their deputies as peace
officers. In the prosecution of polygamy or unlawful cohabitation the lawful
husband or wife of the person accused shall be a competent witness. An
attachment for any witness may be issued without previous subpoena, when, on
“the affirmation of two credible persons, there is reasonable ground to believe
such witness will fail to obey the summons.” Polygamy is “unlawful
cohabitation,” declared to be a felony, punishable with imprisonment in the
penitentiary from one to live years. Prosecutions for adultery may be commenced
at the instance of other persons than either the husband or wife. Laws recognizing
the rights of illegitimate children to a distributive share in the estate of
the father are annulled. Every male person over twenty-one years of age shall
appear before the court and, if married, give the name of his lawful wife, and
take and subscribe on oath that he will support the constitution of the United
States, and will obey the law of 1882, and this act, in respect to the crimes
defined and forbidden therein.
This is called the
Tucker-Edmunds bill. But this Mr. Tucker of Virginia said in 1882 of the law
then enacted, which was but the mild prototype of this one: “I should be false
to my sworn duty to support the constitution of the United States if I voted
for a bill which not only violates the constitution, but makes a precedent of
evil omen to the liberties of the people. I cannot consent to eradicate one
vice by an act of usurpation of power which might involve result of greater
magnitude and importance to the happiness of the present and future generations
of this great Union. . . . Given a board which is to regulate suffrage, to hold
elections, to make returns thereof, and all this without appeal, and for the
time being 140,000 Citizens of the United States will be subject to an
autocratic oligarchy as absolute in its authority, and capable of achieving as
much unhappiness for its subjects by the plunder of their property, the
deprivation of their liberties, and the violation of their constitutional
rights, as ever existed among any people in ancient or modern times.”
T. W. Curtis.
Wealthy Trades Unionists
Excelsior, a Buffalo labor paper, draws
a parallel between the Merchants’ exchange of that city and a federation of
trades unions. The exchange had made a “strike” against abuses in the canal
management during the past year, and had won. Some of its members had made a
“strike” on a “gross and net ton” question, had lost several weeks of the best
season of the year by it, and had been beaten. Committee rooms in the
Merchants’ exchange building are rented by the anthracite coal committees, lake
carriers’ committee, Packers’ association, each of which is a trades union. The
exchange has an arbitration committee and a bureau occupied by an officer, who
sees that no discrimination is made against members by transportation
companies—in other words, a walking delegate. The president of the exchange in
his annual address spoke of the benefits resulting from the “coming together”
of business men; it stimulated an interest in one another’s affairs, and it
showed “how much the prosperity of one affects the prosperity of all.” To the
initiated in labor unions, all this has the familiar sound of the language of
Killing Off the Surplus
The Stockton, Cal., Evening
Mail says that recently a man nu med James McCann, who had been in the state
but a few weeks, having immigrated from Halifax, Nova Scotia, went to Port
Costa on a railway train as a paying passenger. In the evening he crossed to
Benicia and seated himself on a dock with some men whom he met then for the
first time, when a constable came along. The other men proved to be tramps, and
ran away as the constable drew near. The stranger, McCann, also ran, and when
the constable commanded him to stop he continued to try to get away. The
constable then fired on him, putting two bullets in his back. The next day he
died. This was done in consonance with a widely declared policy on the part of
the police in various parts of California “to make it hot for the tramps.” The Mail’s comment is as follows: “Not a few of the immigrants coming into our state today
in response to lying advertisements put forth by those who have land to sell
will develop into tramps before the year is out, and then they must be shot
down, must they, by officers who would themselves be parasites upon society if
they could not get a living without work.”
Do Not be Hoodwinked
Orrington, Me., Feb. 7.—I
think the war talk in the senate on the Edmunds-Payne bill means more than we
are all aware of. To me it means that the American republic has reached that
point toward despotism where war is essential to perpetuate the power of the
dominant class and hinder progress toward a higher social plane. While humanity
is struggling for emancipation from the bondage or caste. creeds, crime,
corruption and confusion, the parasites of society are bent on war in order to
divert public attention. The world needs peace; humanity needs peace, and if
the toilers of the world can only be at peace among themselves they can soon
have peace, notwithstanding the parasites, and that without the use of bullets
E. F. Rowell
The man is thought a knave or
Or bigot plotting crime,
Who, for the advancement of
Is wiser than his time.
For him the hemlock shall
For him the axe be bared;
For him t h e gibbet shall be
For him the stake prepared.
Him shall the scorn and wrath
Pursue with deadly aim,
And malice, envy, spite and
Shall desecrate his name.
But truth shall conquer at
For round and round we run ;
And ever the right comes
And ever is justice done.
Pace through thy cell, old
Cheerily to and fro ;
Trust to the impulse of thy
And let the poison flow.
They shatter to earth the
lamp of clay
That holds a light divine,
But they cannot quench the
fire of thought
By any such deadly wine.
They cannot blot thy spoken
From the memory of man
By all the poison ever was
Since time its course began.
To-day abhorred, to-morrow
So round and round we run,
And ever the truth comes
And ever is justice done.
Plod in thy cave, gray
Be wiser than thy peers;
Augment the range of human
And trust to coming years.
They may call the wizard and
And load thee with dispraise;
Thou wert born five hundred
.years too soon
For the comfort of thy days.
But not too soon for human
Time hath reward in store,
And the demons of our sires
The saints that we adore.
The blind can see, the slave
So round and round we run,
And ever the wrong is proved
to be wrong,
And ever is justice done.
Keep, Galileo, to thy
And nerve thyself to bear;
They may gloat over the
senseless words they
From the pangs of thy
They vail their eves, but cannot
The sun’s meridian glow ;
The heel of a priest may
tread thee down,
And a tyrant work thee woe.
But never a truth has been
They may curse it and call it
Pervert and betray or slander
Its teachers for a time;
But the sunshine, aye, shall
light the sky,
As round and round we run,
And the truth shall ever come
And justice shall be done.
And live there now such
men as these,
With thoughts like the great
Many have died in their
And left their thoughts
And many live and are ranked
And placed in the cold
For sending their bright, far
Three centuries in the van.
They toil in penury and
Unknown if not maligned—
Forlorn, forlorn, bearing the
Of the meanest of mankind.
But yet the world goes round
And the genial seasons run,
And ever the truth comes
And ever is justice done.
They Can Only Be Secured by
the Abolition of Land Monopoly
Minneapolis, Minn., Feb.
6.—Homes for laborers is the only solution of the labor question and the only
bulwark of American institutions. Homes are the foundation of good government,
the basis of industry and sobriety; the cradle of religion, morality and
virtue. But private property in land is rapidly putting homes beyond the reach
of the masses. Capital is everywhere getting a corner in the gifts of God. All
available agricultural land is now in the hands of land grabbers who have no more
use for it than for white elephants. The crops of ’86 were raised on less than
one-ninth of the agricultural land, and yet workingmen’s families were crowded
into tenements among vicious associations.
The new party guarantees
every workman a home. Right wrongs nobody, and the land and labor party don’t
propose to do anything that is not right in placing all taxes on the ground ad
valorem and taking them off of improvements. It would be an immense relief to
farmers and all industrial capita as well as labor. The working farmer might
find his ground tax slightly increased, but his house and barn and other
buildings would be entirely free, as also his furniture, farm implements, stock
and crops. His purchasing power for consumption would be increased 33 per cent
and that of the gain of the working farmer about 25 per cent. The well to do
mechanic or tradesmen whose house or store stood on his own land would feel an
immense relief, although the ground tax would be slightly advanced. All his
buildings, stock, furniture, etc., would go free and no one would be disturbed
in his possession.
Who then would be disturbed?
Why, those land grabbers and leeches of industrial capital and labor, those
dogs in the manger who are holding what they have no use for only to stand
between nature’s gifts and productive capital and labor. Idly holding about
eight-ninths of the natural advantages of the country from the use of
productive capital and labor, let them pay eight-ninths of taxation. Then they
will find the planet too heavy to hold, and industrial capital and labor will
begin to have a show that will give work enough for all who are willing to work
and protect them from being robbed.
I have seen able-bodied men
working for ten hours per day with pick and shovel at $1.15 per day as section
hands on railroads, and on either side of the truck for miles and miles
stretched the most beautiful prairie land the eve ever rested on undisturbed by
plow, and not a home of settler in sight, but held by railroads, monopolists
and land grabbers at $20 to $40 per acre.
When workingmen are in homes
of their own, then they will listen to the teacher and preacher with pleasure
and profit. In the interim they will see what virtue there is in the ballot.
Driven from Home
Permission has been asked by
a tribe of civilized Canadian Indians to settle in Alaska. The tribe numbers a
thousand, and up to this year lived in a small town with schools and churches.
They had erected packing houses, wharves, etc., and exported large quantities
of salmon to Liverpool. But under Canadian laws these Indians cannot hold land,
so that when certain land sharks applied for permission to locate on these
lands, it was granted, and the Indians had either to go to Alaska or starve.
The envoys from the tribe to the Canadian government came near being treated as
were the representatives of the starving peasantry of France a hundred years
ago—the French government built “a new gallows forty feet high” and hung them
on it. In this case the Indians were thrown into prison us rebels. Whom the
Canadian government treats the white men as it treats the red men—that is,
allows none to hold land except under a rent tax system—it will see that a
prosperous colony of settlers is far worthier of encouragement than a half-dozen
Off With The
Abandons The Sham Democracy
Judge Maguire of San
Francisco Formally Withdraws from the Democratic Organization, and Declares for
the New Party
The following letter from
Judge James Q. Maguire of the superior court of San Francisco explains itself:
San Francisco, Jan 27,1887.
To the Officers and Members
of the California State Democratic Club—Gentlemen: I hereby tender my resignation, as a member of
In withdrawing, permit me to
return thanks to the officers present and past for many courtesies which they
have extended during our long and pleasant association.
Let me also assure the
members, with whom my relations have always been most cordial, that my
withdrawal is not prompted by any personal considerations. but that it is to me
a painful act of duty to political principles and convictions with which the
present policy of the democratic party is not in accord.
As this resignation is the
final act which severs my connection with the democratic party, state and
national, it is but just to you, and to all others who have stood shoulder to
shoulder with me in the political battles of the past, that I should fully and
frankly state the reasons which have moved me to this serious step.
Early in life I learned to
reverence the name democracy, as representing all that is sublime in the
political history of past ages and as connecting the best of political
principles. The party bearing this sacred name being out of power at the time I
reached my majority, I naturally entered its ranks, hoping and expecting that
it would ever be the aggressive and intelligent champion of liberty, equality
and justice, wherever and whenever these vital principles of social happiness
might be either neglected or assailed. Finally our party triumphed; but, alas!
it has brought no relief to our suffering people. The benefit of that triumph
has amounted to no more than the distribution of a few official prizes to the
friends and relatives of wealthy aristocrats and to the henchmen of political
bosses. There are, of course, exceptions, but this has been the rule.
Wealth is still the standard
of respectability, just as it was under republican administrations, and the
rights and wishes of the great democratic masses of the country are just as
completely ignored. Rival bidders for the affection of monopolists, the great
national parties have become like as two peas, both in actions and principles.
The great intellectual statesmen, the men of principle and courage, once the glory
of our country, have been retired from our federal senate, and the people have
practically ceased to be represented there. The chamber which once held
that highest body of earthly legislators is now a sort of national stock
exchange, wherein scats are sold to monopolists and to wealthy seekers after
social standing. In the matter of sanctioning this iniquity, honors seem to be
easy between the parties.
The entire solid area of our
great country, including the natural opportunities of all out people—the natural
resources without which none of our people can live—has been made the exclusive
private property of a few thousand alien and domestic landlords, who, by virtue
of the absolute control which they thus, as owners, exercise over the only
means of living of our land less millions, are robbing the latter continually
of from one-half to four-fifths of the fruits of their labor, and are daily
driving them to lower and lower depths of slavery and helpless misery.
This is a system of human
servitude just as complete as chattel slavery, and in many respects more
atrocious: yet the so-called “democratic party,” while claiming to be the
friend of the laborer, expressly defends this system and bids for the support
of those who profit» by it. But these are not the only matters in which the
party, has been recreant. In the late democratic state convention an emissary
of certain railroad corporations, who acted as a carrier of messages between
his master and the committee on platform, caused that committee to eliminate a
resolution condemning the election of the president of the Central Pacific
Railroad company to the United States senate, and also caused the committee to
eliminate Senator Reddy’s resolution upon the Chinese question, which, prior to
his appearance, had been adopted. This railroad emissary received as his reward
for this successful service a democratic nomination for congress. It is but
just, in defense of the people, that I should add he was not elected.
I will not recount the
painful history, nor dwell upon the deplorable condition of our local
democracy. It is difficult to speak of this brunch of the party in the language
of polite correspondence. Let it here suffice to say that our local democracy
is under the acknowledged dominion of a man who has been publicly charged with
having openly and notoriously purchased votes on last election day. This charge
has been strongly supported by the sworn and recorded testimony of several
citizens; yet, although this crime against the elective franchise is a blow at
the very heart of our liberty, a crime more dreadful in its consequences than
murder or open treason, no citizen has yet manifested sufficient confidence in
the democratic officers who are charged with conducting public prosecutions to
even file a complaint against, the alleged offender.
In face of this public charge
and of other equally outrageous doings, as if to wantonly humiliate the state
democracy and commit it to the ratification of such iniquities, the chairman
and other members of the state central committee publicly serenaded this man,
and the chairman thanked him and eulogized him. for his statesmanlike services
to the party during the campaign. And so I might go on ad libitum ad nauseam
usque, but it is unnecessary.
As a self-respecting man I
would feel justified and bound in honor
to withdraw from a party which has fallen to such levels; but there is another
and potent reason for my immediate withdrawal, which is that a new national
party is being formed for the purpose? of restoring the natural rights of the
great landless democracy of America.
It is founded upon the idea
that all men have an equal right to live, and, as a necessary consequence, that
all men have at all times an equal and inalienable right to the use of the
natural elements which God made and gave freely for the sustenance of human
life; “that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;” that all American
Citizens are entitled to equal opportunities with respect to the great natural
resources of our common country? that no speculator in the natural rights of
his fellow men should lie permitted to prevent American citizens from making
homes upon land which he does not- want to use; that no landlord—alien or
citizen—should be permitted to collect toll from American citizens for allowing
them the privilege of using the natural and indestructible powers of our soil;
that the rental value of land, which results in all cases entirely from the
presence, enterprise, virtue and industry of the whole people, belongs to the
whole people, and should, as a matter of common justice, be taken for public
use; and that no tax, or burden of any kind, should be imposed upon commerce,
agriculture, manufactures or other industries, or upon any products of human
labor, as long as this rental value of land—which is the margin of
production—shall be sufficient for public purposes.
To the new party, founded
upon these principles, which I conceive
to be the very soul and essence of true democracy, all of the time which I can
henceforth give to the political service of my country will he devoted. I
shall, therefore, in the next political campaign do all in my power to secure
the election of Henry George, or some other land reformer, to the presidency of
the United States, unless the democratic party shall in the meantime become
democratic by adopting the principles which we have espoused.
Having deliberately resolved
to pursue this course I desire that my position may be fully and exactly
understood, so that my actions and relations with respect to political matters,
shall be neither inconsistent nor ambiguous.
Sincerely trusting that our
social relations may be as pleasant in the future as they have been in the
past, I remain very truly and respectfully yours,
James G. Maguire
San Francisco, Jan. 27, 1887.
The “Fight In The Dark”
The Herald says:
Mr. George is
quite right in asserting that the strike is “a light in the dark,” and that is
the very reason why we have deplored it. We don’t believe that a lasting good can
be accomplished for any cause by “a light in the dark.” When a laborer doesn’t
know whom to hit he had better wait until he can pick out his man. Don’t you
think so yourself, Mr. George?
Not always. When
to wait is to be crushed, any action may sometimes be better than inaction, and
even “a fight in the dark,” if it leads to the striking; of a light, may be
better than stagnation.
But, to drop
metaphor, I have neglected no opportunity of telling workingmen that what they
had to light, in order to accomplish anything real and lasting, was not
their immediate employers, but the false and wrongful system, which, by
depriving the masses of men of the natural opportunities for the employment of
their labor compelled them to struggle with one another for the chance to work.
I have constantly endeavored in even way I could to throw light into the
darkness; to induce men to revert to first principles, and think of these
questions in a large way to convict them that the evils which they feel are not due to the greed or
wickedness of individuals, but are the result of social maladjustments, for
which the whole community is responsible, and which can only be righted by general
action. Now what is the Herald doing?
For a generation
the Herald has occupied the position of the loading newspaper of America. It has an
enormous circulation, commands the services of men of the very first ability,
and its repute for journalistic enterprise is world-wide. The Herald is,
moreover, the fairest of all the great American dailies. It is above the
temptation of participation in jobs, and, more than all, its policy is beyond
the control of its advertisers. But what is of doing to prevent the light to
the dark” by enlightening the multitude who daily read it? Merely giving place
to a few communications, mostly inconsequential; merely telling workingmen that
they ought not to strike until they clearly see the real party to hit. This is
futile. When men are hard pressed by bitter evils they must push in some
direction, and the only way to prevent them from pushing in the wrong
direction is to show them the right.
The Herald does not
contend that the condition of American workingmen is such as they ought to be
contented with, or can be contented with. What, then, let me ask the Herald,
is the cause of this wide-spread discontent, and what is its cure?
To both these questions there must be specific answers. I assert that the cause is the shutting out of
labor from those natural materials and opportunities without, which labor is
helpless, and that the remedy is in the restoration to labor of access to these
materials and opportunities, by breaking up the monopolization of land and
securing to all equal rights in the bounty of their Creator.
If I am right let
the Herald say so. If I am wrong let it point out how and why. Or, if it
can make a better diagnosis of the disease and prescribe a better remedy let it do so. At any
rate, let it no longer ignore the fact there are many of us—and our numbers are
rapidly increasing—who see clearly that the monopoly of land is the true cause
of the evils which it acknowledges to exist, and that in the concentration of
taxes on land values hes the adequate and peaceful remedy.
For this the Herald does quietly ignore. In another of its breezy articles it says:
community how the laboring class can be helped, Mr. George, and every man in
New York, from the batik president to the car driver, will load you with
thanks. But for heaven’s sake don’t talk in this nineteenth Century about “a light in the dark.” It is unworthy of an honest or an earnest or a
clear beaded thinker.
mass meetings, workingmen, and tell us, article by article, what will
permanently benefit you, and the whole press of the country will back you up.
This is refreshing. I have told the community how the laboring class can be helped, and the car
drivers have loaded me with thanks. But as for the bank presidents—I am
sure that the Herald will agree that their treatment of me has been
marked by what must seen to it ingratitude of the deepest dye!
So, the workingmen of New
York have held their mass meetings, and did in the Clarendon hall
platform of September last declare what would permanently benefit them. Since
then their brethren of Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and other cities have
adopted the same platform. Will the Herald tell them that the whole
press of the country is backing them up?
It is folly to
tell workingmen that they ought
not to strike because strikes can only injure them. Not only are there many
workingmen who have nothing to lose, but it is a matter of fact that strikes
and the fear of strikes have secured to large bodies of them considerable
increase of wages, considerable reflection in working
hours, much mitigation of the petty tyrannies that can be practiced with
impunity where one man holds in his hands control of the livelihood of another,
and have largely promoted the growth of fraternal feeling in the various
trades. The greater number of strikes fail; but even the strike that fails,
though its immediate object is lost, generally leaves employers indisposed for
another such contest, and makes them more cautious of provoking fresh
difficulties. The whole power of the trades union for good or for evil rests on
the strike; without that as a last resort it could neither hold its own members
together, nor treat with employers.
Nor is it so strange as some
pretend that one body of workmen without any special grievance of their own
should strike to help another. The immediate purpose of a strike is to inflict
damage upon opposing employers, and there are many cases in which employers who
could defy their own workmen can be seriously hurt by pressure exerted upon
them through the medium of other employers with whom they have business
relations. To be sure, third parties, who have no direct interest in the
quarrel, suffer, and frequently the greatest sufferers are the men who thus go
out to help their fellows. But if the strike be thus made more costly, its
results, in causing employers to hesitate before engaging in another such
contest, are likely to be more decisive and more effective. And men may strike,
as men fight, in a quarrel not originally their own, either as a matter of
sentiment or from the more selfish consideration that they thus make alliances
that will render them stronger in any quarrels of their own; or, as is
generally the case, from the mingling of both motives.
And when men are willing to
stop work and submit to loss and suffering in the effort to aid their fellows,
does it not show heroism of the same kind as that which prompts men to risk
their lives in battle for those weaker than themselves? Those who condemn the
strike of the freight-handlers in aid of the coal-trimmers must, if they be
logical and assume the standpoint of workingmen, condemn the aid which the
French gave to the struggling American republic.
As for the morality of
strikes it is precisely that of any other application of coercive force. They
who really hold that “whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to
him the other also;” and “if any man will take away thy coat, let him have thy
cloak also;” they who hold that the command, “Thou shalt not kill,” applies as
well to the man in uniform as to the man in plain clothes, might with some
consistency condemn strikes; but they alone. If there are any such people, they
are not to be found in the editorial rooms of our great dailies or the pulpits
of our fashionable churches. On the contrary, the loudest denouncers of
strikes—those who declare that they ought to be put down by force if
necessary—are to be found among the class who have grown rich by extortion
backed by force.
A favorite platitude, now
finding wide expression in the American press, is that although men have an
unquestioned right to stop work themselves they have no right to coerce others
into stopping work, and the disposition of workingmen to do this when they are
on strike is denounced as not merely wicked in the highest degree, but as un-American.
This is nonsense. When our
forefathers struck against England, they not merely struck themselves, but
compelled every one else they could to join them, first by “moral suasion,”
which amounted to ostracism, and then by such measures as tarring and feathering,
harrying and shooting; and when they boycotted the East India company’s tea
they were not content with simply refusing to drink it themselves, but threw it
into the sea, so that nobody else could drink it.
A strike can only amount to
anything in so far as it is coercive, and whatever workingmen may say they must
of necessity feel that is only by exerting some form of pressure upon those
disposed to go to work that a strike can accomplish anything. For the most
part, so far, this pressure has been a moral one, and the penalty of being held
in contempt as “scabs” has been sufficient to induce men to undergo actual
suffering rather than assert what the denouncers of strikes declare to be the
unalienable right of every American citizen. But admonitions are not wanting
that in these industrial wars—for they are nothing else—there is a growing
disposition to resort to more violent measures. And whether right or wrong the
growth of this disposition is natural.
“Everyone has a right to work
or not as he pleases, but no one has a right to prevent any one else from going
to work.” That is true. But is it a truth that applies only to strikers?
The fact is, that it is
because we ignore this truth that trades unions are made necessary and strikes
come. The fact is, that the very men who are now calling so loudly for the
maintenance, by the bayonet if necessary, of the liberty to work are the most
strenuous supporters of a system which denies the liberty to work.
How is it that a land, like
ours, abounding in unused natural resources, is filled with unemployed men? Is
it not because of the power which our laws give to some men to prevent other
men from going to work?
Let the striking laborers of
New York city accept the dictum that no man has a right to prevent another from
going to work. Let them turn from attempts to compel their former employers to
employ them, and where shall they go to employ themselves? Where can they go
that they will not find some one, backed by law and force, who forbids them to
work? There is plenty of unused land in the upper part of the city. Let them go
upon this land and attempt to employ their labor in building houses. How long
will it be before they are warned off? Let them cross the East river, the North
river or the Harlem. They will find everywhere unused fields on which, without
interference with any man, they might employ their labor in making a living for
themselves and all dependent on them. But they will not find a field, though
they tramp for a thousand miles, on which some one has not the legal right to
prevent their going to work. What is left them to do but to beg for the wages
of some employer? And if, to prevent being crushed by competition of others
like themselves, they strive, even by force, to keep others from going to work,
is theirs the blame?
The very worst the strikers
do or think of doing is to prevent others from going to work, in order that
they themselves may work—may earn a scanty living by hard toil. But what are
the dogs-in- he-manger doing who are holding unused city lots, farm lands,
mines and forests—the natural opportunities, in short, that nature offers to
They are preventing other
people from working, not that they may work themselves, but that they may live
in idleness on what those who want to work are compelled to pay them for the
privilege of going to work. If the freight handlers and coal trimmers
and other laborers were to form societies which should by force prevent any one
from going to work without their permission; were to change the highest price
for the privilege of going to work which the necessities of others could compel
them to pay, and were then to sit down and live in idleness on this blackmail,
they would only be doing to others what organized society permits others to do to
It seems hopeless to expect
the classes who imagine they profit by this primary wrong to open their eyes to
the real cause of these labor troubles, but when the workingmen do so, the day
of their emancipation is at hand. Every one of these strikes ought to show them
where the real trouble lies. In the great strikes that have been going on in
New York, as in all great strikes, the real difficulty the strikers have had to
contend with is the influx of unemployed labor. The men with whom the coal companies
and the steamship companies have supplied the places of the strikers in New
York and vicinity are men drawn from the country by the prospect of work, or
men who, after vainly tramping the country have crowded into the city. If there
was a brisk demand for labor in the country there would be no such surplus of
labor, anxious for work on any terms, on which employers could draw; and that
there is not such a demand for labor is due simply to the fact that laborers
are prevented by the monopoly of natural opportunities from employing
themselves. Here is the point on which the efforts of labor should be
concentrated. The platform of the united labor party of New York strikes the
key note. In the ballot the workingmen
have in their hands the power of so adjusting taxes as to make the
dogs-in-the-manger let go their hold. When this is done there will be no
necessity for strikes, and competition, instead of crushing the laborer, will
secure to him the fair reward of his toil.
A World Wide Question
The extreme importance of the
position taken by Dr. McGlynn in denying the right of bishop, propaganda or
pope to dictate or question his political action as an American citizen is
illustrated by what is now going on in Germany.
Bismarck has for years
maintained an attitude of hostility to Catholicism, and by his influence laws
have been enacted which Catholics there regard as very oppressive the result
has been the formation of a strong Catholic party, known as the center, and led
by an able Catholic politician, Dr. Windthorst. Germany is now in the throes of
a most important contest. Bismarck had set his heart upon the passage of a bill
known as the septennate bill, providing for the renewal for seven years of the
right which the government has since the last war possessed, of determining
what shall be the size, annual cost and disposition of the army; in other
words, continuing the virtual despotism which, under the garb of
constitutionalism, has existed in Germany for some years. The bill was amended
so as to give the required powers for three years instead of seven, and in this
shape was passed, whereupon Bismarck, who had threatened to do so if the
original bill was not passed, dissolved the parliament and appealed to the
country at large to return members who would do as he wished.
The bill has, of course, met
with the strenuous opposition of all who have any regard for constitutional
liberty. The two parties which offer the strongest organized resistance are the
Catholic, or center party, led by Dr. Windhorst, and the socialist party.
To weaken the socialist
strength in the coming elections Bismarck has resorted to acts of violence
which fall little short of a dragonnade. The socialists are being arbitrarily
arrested, their meetings broken up and their leaders imprisoned or expelled
from the country. To prevent the opposition of the Catholics he has resorted to
a subtler device, and by sending an emissary to Rome has secured the
co-operation of the papal authorities. Whether this cooperation has been
secured by promises of German support to the dream of the re-establishment of
the temporal power of the pope, or whether, as is largely believed in Germany,
it has been bought by the present of an enormous sum of money, cannot of course
now be known; but Cardinal Jacobini has addressed a letter to the papal nuncio
at Munich, which is in effect a manifesto to the Catholics of Germany, ordering
them in the name of the pope to support Bismarck’s septennate, on the ground
that it embraces religious and moral considerations, and that the pope desires
to meet the views of Emperor William and
Prince Bismarck, and thereby “induce the powerful German empire to
improve the condition of the papacy.”
Bishop Kopp of Fulda, who has
heretofore been one of the intermediaries between Bismarck and Rome, has been
authorized to declare that the holy father’s advice to the Catholics of Germany
is to “follow Bismarck’s lead,” and as a mark of the confidence imposed in Dr.
Kopp at the vatican it is announced that
he is to be promoted to the archbishopric of Breslau. The veteran Dr.
Windthorst and the ablest and best of the Catholic leaders do not take kindly
to being sold out in this fashion, and have in effect planted themselves on
O’Connell’s declaration that they want “no politics from Rome.” In his speech
at Cologne on Saturday. Dr. Windthorst declared substantially that the
Catholics of Germany knew what was good for them a great deal better than the
pope, and that the center party would fight Bismarck to the bitter end. But it
is probable that the papal influence exerted through subservient bishops and
dependent priests will be influential enough upon the mass of German Catholics
to give Bismarck the victory.
As we learn through the
special dispatches to the Staats-Zeitung of this city, one of the
leading Catholic papers, Germania, supports Dr. Windthorst, and declares
that if German Catholics would save their political independence they must
oppose the septennate, even though they oppose the pope; but a majority of the
German Catholic papers, characterized by the same subserviency that governs the
majority of American Catholic journals, have already gone to rightabout,
declaring that all true sons of the kingdom and the church must defer to the
pope and obey his wishes.
An Eye To Business
Secretary Manning has an eye
to business. When congress asked him whether certain moneys “had been expended
in issuing treasury notes of large denomination in lieu of small denominations
canceled or retired,” it did not expect in reply a business circular from the
prospective president of a new national bank; but that is what it got.
The greenbacks, of which
three hundred and forty-six millions are still in circulation, have long been
an eyesore to national bankers, and Mr. Manning’s communication to congress is
little else than a plea for their retirement. At the close of the war this
policy was pursued until congress put an end to it by a law which Mr. Manning
begs shall be repealed. To accommodate him would involve a contraction of the
volume of currency thirty per cent and increase the burden of every outstanding
private debt. But that, although he does not say it, is precisely what Mr.
Manning wants, or what, as president of a national bank, his stockholders
expect him to want; for it would drive debtors in shoals to the banks for
relief, and money and its equivalents would command a high premium. As national
banks are money manufacturers, such a state of affairs would do for them what
duties on iron do for iron manufacturers.
National bank currency is
guaranteed by the government, therefore it passes everywhere at par as money.
It would pass as well if issued direct by the government, as greenbacks are;
but then there would he no profit for the banks. Under the system as it exists,
bonds payable in 1907, and which are worth $l.28 in the market, are worth $1.90
to the banks. Upon depositing at Washington one hundred thousand dollars (par)
in bonds, a bank is entitled to have its notes to the extent of ninety thousand
dollars guaranteed by the government. This guarantee makes them in direct
current money, and the banks lend them to the people at interest while drawing
interest from the government on its deposited bonds. Its income therefore is on
a basis in rough of one hundred and ninety thousand dollars for every one
hundred and twenty-eight thousand dollars of its investment. A small tax
somewhat modifies these figures; but the important fact remains that national
banks manufacture loanable money out of nothing. The advantage to thorn of such
a contraction of greenback currency as would induce high rates of interest to embarrassed borrowers is obvious,
and as Mr. Manning is about to start such a bank the motive of his appeal to
congress is obvious also.
Greenback currency, instead
of being contracted, should be expanded, and substituted for national bank
currency. This would be beneficial to every public interest and to every
legitimate private interest; it would vest the sovereign function of creating
money where it belongs—in the people,—and nothing but the private monopoly of
manufacturing money would be prejudiced. It might be a bad thing for Mr.
Manning’s business enterprise, but it would be a good thing for the country.
New Times, New Teachings
Poughkeepsie, Feb. 9. —
Somebody sends me a copy of yesterday’s Evening Post, marking in blue
pencil an excerpt from the London Times, in which your proposed land tax
is characterized as “a lopsided monstrosity,” “an apparently transparent
fallacy.” Leaving aside the barbarous English it is written in, the Times article
surprises me, because I distinctly recall that some live years ago, in a long
review of “Progress and Poverty,” the same paper, after setting out with the
admission that you had written a book which could no longer be ignored,
repeatedly conceded that the existing system of land tenure contravened natural
justice. If the Times was right then, how can its present treatment of
the same question be accounted for? I clip out the article and enclose it
H. C. N.
Easily enough. Five years ago
land nationalization seemed but a curious speculation, safely remote from the
domain of practical politics. Today it is a burning question, not only in this
country, but in Great Britain. The London Times is read, in the main, by
people who look with a version on any proposal of change in existing social
conditions—an aversion that grows into horror just in proportion as such change
becomes immanent. You could hardly expect the Times to fly in the very
faces of its readers. Moreover, the article of four or five years ago was only
a review article, a very different thing from an editorial. A reviewer is
always allowed some latitude as to what he may say. He may, to some extent,
neglect the precautions which editorial responsibility involves; but to some
extent only, for the very review you recall would, of course, be out of the
The English of the Times
article you send us is certainly slipshod. The article is probably not an
editorial. Its faults of style are due to faults of thought. The writer
stumbles over himself every other sentence—the inevitable penalty of confusion
The same necessities restrict
the utterances of the Evening Post, from which you clip the article. Take any
number of that paper—take the copy you have—and glance at its advertising
columns. You will see that neither the people who advertise nor the people who
are advertised at can prudently be ignored in the conduct of their paper. Let
us look at these eight or ten columns of advertisements. What is all this space
daily devoted to? To these things: French tapestry, champagne, pianos; auctions
of paintings, porcelains, bronzes, rugs, real estate. stocks and bonds; legal
notices, dividend notices, investment notices; real estate for sale, to let and
to exchange; advertisements of select schools, of amusements, of steamships and
railroads; proposals for bonds and stocks; bankers’ and brokers’ cards. Now,
the people who pay for these advertisements and the other people who read them
belong to the comfortable classes, who either think not at all of the wretched
among their fellow creatures, or think of them with contempt and aversion. In
any espousal of the cause of the poor the editors of the Post would run counter
to the prejudices of the very people who sustain that paper. Besides, it is
only fair to make allowance for the fact that self-deception is the easiest of
all deceptions, since men readily believe what it seems their interest to
About The Standard
If there were any doubt as to
the existence of a real and lively public interest in questions of radical
social reform, that doubt should be dispelled by the success which has attended
the publication of this paper.
Issuing its first number only
s ix weeks ago, The Standard has already reached a paid
circulation of FORTY THOUSAND copies, with every indication of a steady and
permanent increase. It has as yet, of course, next to no income from
advertising; but it has, from circulation alone, paid its way from the first
number. This means a great deal.
It means that there is among
us a sufficient number of people who think to support a journal devoted
largely to the discussion of social questions. It means that at least a large
minority of the American people realize that the wailings and complainings and
muttered threats and blind strugglings of the workers of the nineteenth century
are not to be quieted with platitudinous eulogies of “things as they are,” but
must be heeded, and relieved by measures of radical reform, lest a worse thing
befall us. It means that men are studying the causes of poverty with a
determination to seek and apply the remedy.
Not every one of t h e
hundred thousand readers of the Standard thinks as the Standard does. We
wish they did; we hope they will; but for the present we are amply satisfied in
knowing that there is such a large number of thinking men. For truth is reached
Civil Service Reform
Henry George—Dear Sir: From
some recent official utterances of sundry labor organizations it would appear
that there is a strange misunderstanding on the part of a large number of wage
workers in regard to the nature and purpose of the work in which this
association is engaged.
To many of us it
seems that the open field which it is proposed to make of the public service,
limited only by competency on the part of the men to be selected for the
performance of its various functions, and not by their social position or
accumulated properly, is one of the strongest characteristics of the movement. and
one that should commend it to the intelligent citizen, whatever his position in
social or business life.
At a recent
meeting of our executive committee I was requested to communicate with you, and
ask whether you would welcome to your columns communications intended to set
forth fairly the object of the civil service reform movement ; that which it
his to this date accomplished, and that to which it hopes, at no distant day,
to attain. Yours truly,
The Standard will print
anything that seems of public interest if correspondents will be brief; but
does not consider the matter of enough importance to give much space to the
advocacy of civil service reform.
subordinate public officials shall be appointed for political services, or whether they shall
be appointed according to the ability with which they pass an examination, is a
matter of little moment as compared with the question whether we shall or shall
not have a host of totally unnecessary offices to fill. The best civil service
reform would consist in abolishing the thousands of offices for which there is
really no use, and in removing the temptations ; to moneyed interests to
corrupt politics and bribe officials. This I am and have been engaged in
advocating to the best of my ability. I would sweep away the whole customs
service and its horde of officials, and the internal revenue service as well; I
would abolish the offices held by nine-tenths of the tax collectors of various
kinds who are now engaged in collecting state and municipal revenues. And these
reforms would do away with the greater part of the present temptations to
invest money in controlling elections, debauching legislators and bribing
officials. If the civil service reformers would put some energy into this work,
they could accomplish far more for the purification of government than they can
by advocating any particular system of appointment. The kind of civil service
reform which the civil service reform association urges is good within certain
limits; but applied to a vast army of unnecessary officials, it would really be
an evil, since it would make the abolition of their offices more difficult.
The Herald, in
opposing a reduction of teachers’ salaries, has brought to light a fact that
ought to make the board of education blush, if it knows how. By a rule of the
board, when the average attendance in a class falls off, the teacher’s
salary is reduced accordingly. If the salary were a fortune this would be
wrong. and as it is but a pittance the wrong only lacks technical elements to
make it robbery. Morally it is extortion. The teacher’s salary is fixed, and so
long as she is blameless she is in all conscience entitled to it, whether
pupils come or not. The rule has not the poor excuse that it bases compensation
on attendance; for while a slim attendance reduces the salary a large one does
not increase it. It is a tine upon the teacher for what she cannot help, and
would not be sub mitt ed to if natural opportunities for labor were not so
“cornered” that the privilege of working on any terms is eagerly sought.
Thousands are willing and able to step into a teacher’s place, and the teacher
must submit to any outrage rather than take her chances in the swelling ranks
of the unemployed.
A religious paper says “We
like to count our acres and square miles,” and the heart of its editor leaps
with joy at the thought that Texas is huger than Germany, and Florida larger
than England. If the editor has any acres or square miles to count he is to be
congratulated; but let him not exult at the vastness of Texas. Large as Texas
is, it affords room for only a few landlords. They, too, like to count their
acres and square miles.
Passengers on the elevated
roads are often puzzled to understand the reticence of the employees. If there
is a break-down or accident of any kind the lips of these men are sealed. Some
attribute this to orders prohibiting the giving of information; others, less
charitable to the men, attribute it to churlishness. The truth is that elevated
railroad employ es are at all times in a state of terrorism. Men are frequently
laid off with out notice, cause or explanation. They are helpless against the
power of the “boss,” for, inasmuch as their work does not require special
skill, a strike would be futile. If the engineers would stand by them they
might ho more independent; but the engineers’ union is an anomaly among labor
organizations. It is organized on what its leader calls a “business” basis,
which, being interpreted, is a selfish basis. It matters not to that body if
other workmen starve, or how much they are oppressed, so long as men like
Chauncey M. Depew will publicly call Mr. Arthur a good boy.
The two old parties in
Massachusetts appear to be equal hostile to the working people. That stalwart
republican organ, the Journal, denounces organized labor as “organized
idleness,” while the democratic organ, the Post, declares that the men
engaged in the great New York strike have forfeited all, claim to public
sympathy. The next time the workingmen of Massachusetts are called on to vote,
they will, perhaps, prefer to support their own candidates, instead of those of
the parties represented by such papers.
The Star’s “Man About
Town,” in the course of an item about a street car ride, says: “I, as usual, stood
on the back platform discussing the labor question with an intelligent
conductor.” If the editor of the Star would do that sometimes he might learn
According to the southern
press, the south is booming. Speculators and mining syndicates are buying
thousands of acres of land, part of which they will retain for the sake of the
minerals, and part of which they will lease to laborers and storekeepers when
the little towns begin to grow. The Tuskaloosa (Ala.) Gazette just now
is congratulating itself and Tuskaloosans generally that an iron, coal and land
company has bought up all the land between Tuskaloosa and the nearest railway,
and made the biggest grab in that line that has been heard of in that part of
The ignorance of a newspaper
that does not. want to know is amusing. Just now railway organs are solemnly
warning legislatures against passing laws abolishing stoves in passenger cars,
on the ground that no other method of healing has been discovered.
Heating by steam from the locomotive has been introduced on many roads, and
there are more than a million people in this city who are familiar with the
system, since all trains on the elevated roads are thus heated. Yet a railway
organ, no further away than Philadelphia, declares that stoves are the
only device for healing trains.
The price of the Leader has
been advanced to two cents, and, as we are glad to learn, without diminishing
its circulation. This shows that the working people of New York intend to make
the Leader a success, and are willing to pay a fair price for it. This
is as it should be. The fact is that newspapers that are sold below the cost of
production are dependent on their advertisers, and thus become subservient to
their interests. The result of this is seen in the attitude of nearly the whole
daily press toward the great labor movement, Many of these papers have lost
thousands of readers because of the just resentment of workingmen, hut as this
fact was concealed their advertising patronage was not affected, and so they
were able to persist in their unfairness. Had they been wholly dependent on
their readers for support they would not have dared to insult and outrage so
many of them.
To the Saviors of Society
O ye fond fools, who daily
To wag the saucy, nonsense
‘Mid the low thunder of a
Deciding the oily platitudes
From your poor shallow brains
as wisdom stored!
Ye saviors! ye
anointed! sent among
The masses, whom man’s
cruelty has stung
To noble protest. Pharisaic
Paid puppets of a ring which
bars the way
To great reforms the people
mean to have!
The night has passed. the
dawn is here: the day
Shall come, when man shall
cease to slave,
And dark inhuman laws be
And freedom’s banner o’er the
whole earth wave.
Hudson, N.Y., Feb 8, 1887.
So Slavery is Abolished, is
A woolen mill in Pittsfield,
Mass.. has a contract with a boarding house to furnish it with a certain number
of boarders, and if the employees of this mill will not board with the man they
are turned out of employment immediately. The boarding house is one of the
worst kind according to reports, and some of the girls are in poor health and
cannot put up with the treatment they receive.
The republican politicians of
this city are looking forward with much interest to the banquet to be given at
Delmonico’s on this (Saturday) evening. The ostensible purpose is to celebrate
Lincoln’s birthday, but the real object is to bring this new political
club to the front as the successor to the old fogy Union league in “running”
the party. James G. Blaine is likely to be the principal figure at the banquet,
and both of the Shermans, the general and the senator, will be on hand. It is
supposed that a majority of the club favor Blaine as the party’s next
presidential candidate; but it is said that some of them incline toward Chauncey
M. Depew, the leather-tongued and lily-handed laborer who presides over the New York Central railroad. Some of these astute politicians express a fear
that, as a railway president. Mr. Depew may be regarded as objectionable by the
Knights of Labor. The objection is met by the suggestion that as Mr. Depew
furnishes baths, books, etc., to the Central employees, where low wages do not
permit them to buy such things for themselves, the fact that he is at the head
of a great and oppressive corporation may be overlooked. Such chatter is
interesting as indicating the estimate that politicians put on the intelligence
of workingmen. Precisely why workers should feel any interest in either Blaine
or Depew, or any preference between them, is something that it will bother the
Delmonico banqueters to point out.
Helfer, a commercial traveler from this city, was interested in Montgomery,
Ala., on Monday night, for failure to pay a tax of $40 to the state and $5 to
the county. He was found guilty next morning and had to pay a tine and costs
amounting to $55. As soon as he bad paid he was rearrested for trying to bribe
the officer who arrested him, and on this charge he was bound over to await the
action of the grand jury. The dispatches do not announce that he was trying to introduce
any noxious commodity into Montgomery, so this seems but another manifestation
of the protective idea as applied to home trade. Perhaps if Helfer tries to
introduce merchandise into Montgomery after this experience the local
shopkeepers will hang him.
The attempt to
negotiate a treaty between the
democratic dog and its tail has apparently resulted in utter failure. Randall
and his followers recently proposed a new attempt at agreement to the majority.
Carlisle, Morrison and their followers sent back the measure proposed by the
Randallites, with certain amendments providing for reduction of both tariff and
internal revenue taxes. In case these amendments were not accepted they proposed to the others either to
submit the whole question to a party caucus or to agree to support a
motion to go into committee of the whole on Randall’s own bill. To this
perfectly fair proposition Randall made no reply, but he fixed up a letter
requesting Speaker Carlisle to recognize some member, last Monday, to
move to suspend the rules and offer a bill repealing the tax on tobacco.
Carlisle refused this request, and Randall in publishing a reply stating why he
cannot assent to the proposed tariff changes, refuses to join in a caucus, and
professes to be considering the proposal to have the matter brought before the
whole house. Both profess to regard a reduction of taxation as entirely
necessary, and neither will surrender anything to secure it. The Carlisle men
really believe an tariff reduction, and the Randall men believe, on the other
hand, that they will lose their seats if they cease to defy their party, and
they prefer their seats. Meanwhile the country suffers from the rule of a party
held together by party prejudices and not united on any vital question of
bill making it unlawful for congressmen
to act as lawyers for corporations chartered by congress or holding land grants
was practically defeated in the senate. In committee of the whole Senator Hoar
offered an amendment under which any member may be employed as a lawyer unless
he has cause to believe that measures specially affecting the interests
of his client are or will be pending in congress during his term of office.
This amendment was agreed to by a vote of 25 to 21. It would be as well
to have no law on the subject at all. Any congressman who was stupid enough to
believe, in the face of a proffered fee. that measures affecting his client’s
interest would come before congress during his term would lack the mental and
moral qualifications that monopolies require of their attorneys. Such a
congressman needs no prohibitory law. No corporation would want to retain him,
and if any did he would be too sentimentally honest to accept the retainer.
The work of
getting rid of the surplus by raising
a war excitement and appropriating money for coast defenses and naval vessels
goes gaily on in congress, encouraged by shouts of approval from the
monopolistic newspapers. The naval committee of the house, has accepted without
amendment its sub- committee’s bill, appropriating $2,450,000 to begin the
construction of four gunboats and one torpedo boat. The conferrees on the
fortification bill listened eagerly last week to inventors of a multi-charge
gun and a revolving tower, and, what is more to the purpose, to a number
of iron manufacturers. Mr. Evarts has introduced a bill authorizing the
purchase of John Ericsson’s “Destroyer” and ten enlarged steel vessels of the
All this was a s
but child’s play, however, to Monday’s
work, when the senate took up the two house bills appropriating $21,000,000 for
modem ordinance and coast defenses, and, after slight amendments, passed them
without debate or division. The gun factory provided for in one of these bills
is to be at the Washington navy yard, and it will doubtless give employment to
those workmen who have political influence with members of the old parties.
The bill, as it
comes from the senate, has been
referred to the committee on appropriations, and as Mr. Randall is hostile to
the measure there is some hope that it may fail in the house.
opportunity to offer a pretext for this extravagant and needless belligerent preparation is
missed. Secretary Manning, with necessary clerical assistance, has issued a
manifesto denouncing the action of the Canadian authorities; Perry Belmont’s
bill is still pending in the house, and Mr. Reel of Maine has introduced for
his colleague, Mr. Dingley, a bill inflicting severe penalties on any Canadian
vessel caught fishing in American waters. Mr. Edmunds has presented to
the senate a list of sixty-seven outrages on American fishermen in addition to
those reported by the state department.
But all of this
bluster about a difficulty that could be settled in an hour by a treaty of ten lines
absolutely just to both countries falls rather flat. The people somehow will
not believe that we shall go to war to enable Yankee vessel owners to
keep up the price of fish, and hence an apparently brand new casus belli was
welcomed with flaming headlines by the newspapers last week.
minister at Washington recently told reporter of an Havana newspaper that unless negotiations
for carrying out a reciprocity treaty between Spain and the United States shall
reach a favorable result by March 1 he favors coercion and reprisals. This was
published in Havana, telegraphed to this country and made much of. It is said that the state department does not know what to make
of it, but the absurdity of the threat leads people outside of official
position to conclude that the minister has been making an ass of himself, and
will probably soon be recalled.
In response to
inquiry by the house, as to whether
any national banks are lending money to be repaid only in gold, Secretary
Manning curtly replied that there was no information in his department on the
subject. Hitherto it has been supposed
that the department knew as much about national banks as the banks knew about
the department. It certainly has means by which it can find out, and the letter
in question is evasive and disrespectful.
Manning cares but little about
the house. It is now definitely announced that he is coming to New York to
become president of the new “Western national bank,” and that U. S. Treasurer
Jordan is coming with him to be vice-president of the institution. Mr. Weaver
has been talking of having Mr. Manning impeached, but as the secretary is shortly
to retire, he is not likely to press the project. It does not in the least matter who goes into the treasury
under existing circumstances—he will be the right hand of the banks and of Wall
signed the interstate commerce bill last week, and Washington is now filled with gossip as
to what commissioners will be appointed. Mr. Thurman has been spoken of, but he
authorizes the statement that he would not accept that or any other office.
The New York
chamber of commerce have recommended
Mr. Hepburn, who was chairman of the committee that made the exposure of the
railroad rascalities in this state. Mr. Kernan of Utica, one of the New York
railroad commissioners, is all spoken of, as has been Wm. O. McDowell of New
Jersey, who will be remembered as Mr. Powderly’s adviser in his negotiations
with Gould during the southwestern strike.
If you scratch a
senator you find a railroad attorney—generally.
The senate judiciary committee reported a substitute for the house joint
resolution for investigating the books and methods of the Pacific railroads,
but Hoar and Hale managed to have the consideration of any measure whatever
houses of congress could agree without debate on the expenditure of $21,000,000 for useless
war preparations, they have utterly failed to agree on the bill to repeal the
timber preemption and desert land laws, though it has been clearly shown that
those statutes are made the instruments of constant frauds and land grabbing by
monopolists and speculators.
Cassius M. Clay
is nothing if not in deadly earnest.
He has heard that a cargo of English- Australian rabbits is at sea bound for
the United States, and he writes in great excitement to the president that “it
would be better to have pleuro-pneumonia, smallpox and cholera all over the
United States than to suffer the ravages which will result from the importation
of these rabbits.” The letter was referred to the treasury department, which it
is apparently assumed knows more about rabbits than it professes to know about
However it may be
with these over-prolific pests,
the rabbits, the house has passed a bill to prohibit the importation of foreign
contract labor, which, if it becomes law, is likely to prove as useless as
On Monday Mr.
Springer of Illinois, in the house,
moved to suspend the rules and pass the excellent senate bill remitting all private claims to the court of
claims; but as this would relieve congressmen from the blandishments of many
lobbyists at one stroke, of course the necessary two- thirds majority’ could
not be bad.
The senate has
issued a kind of manifesto concerning
the rejection of Matthews, declaring that it does not inquire whether a man is
white or black when his name comes before it. Some newspaper smartly calls this
a plea of color blindness. The senators knew very well the color of Matthews,
and some democrats voted against him simply because he is black, and
republicans did the same because they deny the right of a black man to be
anything but a republican.
The president has
signed the bill allotting lands
in severalty to Indians, a measure in the interest of land grabbing
speculators, and which the Indians have strongly protested against.
in the Indiana legislature have
decided to make no attempt to elect Harrison United States senator, but they
have prepared a memorial, to be presented to the senate, declaring the
illegality of Turpie’s election and demanding his rejection.
deadlock in the New Jersey legislature
continues, and both sides pretend to be confident of victory. It is believed
that the decisive struggle will take place next Wednesday. Legislative work is
at a standstill during the quarrel over the senatorship.
The gallant fight
against Standard Oil politics continues
in West Virginia. On last Monday, for the first time since the balloting began,
the twelve anti-monopoly democrats who refuse to support Camden, the Standard
Oil and railway candidate, were able to agree on a policy. They vote solidly for
some one candidate, but change from day t o day to give the republicans a
chance to elect some one other than Camden if they choose. The republicans,
however, are more likely to go over to Camden than to vote for an
anti-monopolist. The opposition to Camden appears to grow firmer.
of Philadelphia refused last
week the petition of the City Trust and Safe Deposit and Surety company “for
designation and authority to become sole surety in bonds and undertakings
entered into in said court.” The judge said the commonwealth is entitled to
more than the mere money security—is entitled to have the man in court. The
system proposed to be established is one that simply means that men may commit
crimes and pay money for them, the only question being how much money they
would have to pay and how much the corporation would make out of it.
presbytery has voted to strike
out from the confession of faith the declaration that “the man may not marry
any of his wife’s kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman
any of the husband’s kindred nearer in blood than of her own.” Few people knew
that the Presbyterians had so absurd a rule.
to sell or lease the Philadelphia gas works to private parties have been abandoned. The
attempt seems to have been a barefaced job in the interests of the dominant
attorney of Luzerne county, Penna.,
will at once bring criminal proceedings against 36 democratic and 23 republican
delegates to political conventions for accepting bribes. There seems to be
urgent need for a new party in Luzerne.
By a vote of 10 t
o 30 the Alabama state senate
has requested the congressmen from that state to vote for the Blair bill.
A poor wretch
attempted suicide by cutting his
throat in Washington on Monday. He said that failure to obtain work, worry over his wife and child, for whom
he could not provide, and hunger moved him to the act. The man will be punished
if he recovers for daring to try illegally to leave a world on which he had no
legal right to a livelihood.
The Herald prints
a dispatch from Louisville declaring
that Kentucky democrats are dividing into two hostile camps, in preparation for
a great contest next winter between Speaker Carlisle and Senator Beck for the seat
in the senate now held by the latter. The Herald correspondent says the
local journals are ignoring this matter. This information might go under the
caption: “Unimportant, even if True.”
reform league of Glasgow, Scotland,
which has for its primary purpose the securing of the rights of the people in
the land, is raising funds to enable it to prosecute the land war. The money is
to be used for the relief of those crofters who are in immediate distress and
those workers who may suffer persecution for their participation in the
The ideas of the
land and labor clubs and the
labor party are taking hold and being spread, partly by the old labor organizations, partly by new
organizations and papers. There have been sent to The Standard specimen copies of Land and Labor, a little four-page paper, published
semi- onthly in Buffalo, N. Y., “’in the interest of the independent political
labor movement.” It recognizes that society rests on land and labor, and it
seeks to bring them into their true relations to each other by nationalizing
ground rents and all values of natural opportunities. The editor hopes that his
paper will become the official organ of the land and labor party of Buffalo.
Parnell is far from well and shows
his recent illness plainly, he displayed much of his old-time vigor on Monday ,
when he moved his amendment to the reply to the queen’s speech. He said the
government seemed about to renew the mistake of attempting coercion, and warned
them that such a policy would not contribute to the establishment of peaceful
relations between the two countries. If coercion were attempted, agrarian and
political crimes would revive in their worst form. The government; s
prosecution of John Dillon and its suppression of the Sligo meetings were
denounced as arbitrary. Mr. Parnell said he could discuss the plan of campaign
freely, as one who had no responsibility for bringing it forward. Many tenants
now have a roof over their heads who would be homeless but for the plan, and to
the same cause was due the reduction in the number of evictions for the last
quarter. The government had waited two months before declaring the plan
illegal, and it yet remained to be seen if it is illegal. He also reminded the
government that almost every title to Irish land is founded on wholesale
robbery and confiscation, while the improvements made by the tenants had been
seized by the landlords, who robbed them of. the product of their labor.
John Morley took
up t he debate on Tuesday, and
declared that there was no remedy for the existing evils in Ireland short of
granting to the Irish self-government. Jacob Bright followed with a declaration
that it was no discredit to England that she has failed to govern Ireland. Her
discredit lay in refusing to abandon an impossible task.
About fifty tory
members of parliament met last
week to consider the depression in trade. They inclined toward retaliatory
duties on the products of countries that discriminate against Great Britain.
The conference of
the Scotch liberal associations at Edinburgh on Monday adopted resolutions declaring for reform
in land laws and in favor of local self-government and church disestablishment.
A vote of confidence in Gladstone was also passed.
Germany continue to hurry war
preparations and give out verbal assurances of peace. There is a strong
suspicion in many quarters that Bismarck does not desire any cessation of war
rumors until after election. The question is as to strengthening the military
establishment, and war rumors are likely to bring votes in favor of such a
It is possibly to
this, also, that the renewed rumors
of strained relations between Russia and Germany are due. A Vienna dispatch
goes so far as to declare that Bismarck has established a coalition between
Austria. England and Italy against Russia. The general tenor of the dispatches
does not warrant so extreme a conclusion.
If war rumors are
a part of Bismarck’s electioneering tactics he has rougher weapons at hand against some of his
opponents. The police attempted to disperse a socialist meeting at Stettin on
Monday evening but failed, whereupon the military were called in, who drove the
people from the hall at the point of the bayonet, killing three and wounding
There seems to be
a lull in the eviction business in Ireland. The tory government is devoting its superb
faculties to the establishment of a hydrophobia hospital in London. If it
succeeds in its wrestle with the mad dog it will come at the Irishman again
with renewed confidence. Perhaps it may try to vaccinate all children with
castle Catholic loyalty.
There is no
falling off in loyalty to the cause
of Ireland, however. Swift McNeill, nationalist, last week defeated Henry
Munster, liberal unionist, for a vacant seat in South Donegal by a vote of
4,001 to 933. T. M. Healy has been chosen without opposition to a vacancy in
North Longford. William O’Brien, editor of United Ireland, declines to
run for parliament, as he thinks he can be more useful to the Irish cause
outside the “detestable precincts” of the house of commons.
great things of the interference of the pope to compel the Catholics to support the army
bill. Dr. Windthorst, the leader of the Catholic party, declared last Sunday
that his party could not comply with the directions from Rome, and expressed a
hope that “the pope will not be displeased with his faithful sons in Germany for their refusal to comply with his
Dr. Montague R.
Leverson, who has given much
thought and study both in Europe and this country to such questions, proposes
an introduction of the principle of proportional representation into the
government of the united labor party. Through his influence the Sixteenth
assembly district association has proposed a plan, which is now under
consideration by the county committee.
Dr. Leverson is of opinion
that political machinery becomes corrupt inevitably, b3r force of its inherent
defects. “The men,” he says, “by whom these now corrupt machines —Tammany hall
and the republican organizations—were started, were for the most part pure and
honorable men, but by degrees those organizations have become instruments of
dishonest men. This result is due to fatal defects in the electoral machinery
adopted by their founders, by which a minority manages to control the majority,
and then by easy degradation a few bosses control the whole machine. If the
united labor party adopts these defects its organization will soon sink into
the same corrupt slough with the older parties. The proportional system of
representation furnishes a nearly perfect safeguard against these evils.”
A Free Soil
Proposition to Set Up a
Territory Where Taxes Shall Be Levied on Land Values
Vincennes, Ind., Feb. 4.—For
five years I have been revolving in my mind a plan whereby a practical
illustration of the efficacy of land nationalization may be given. This plan is
as yet nebulous as to details, but it involves the setting aside by congress of
adequate territory out of the public domain for the application of Mr. George’s theory of taxation. This territory
ought to be, in the first place, fairly well located as to climate, soil,
irrigation, etc. It should have an area say of 10,000 square miles, one-third
the size of Indiana. It should be provided that not one foot of it shall be
sold in fee simple; that there shall be no tax levied within its borders save
on land valuer, to be determined biennially; that the measure of such tax shall
be the full rental value of the lands; and that such tax shall go to cover the
expenses of government and to provide for education, public buildings,
highways, river improvements, etc., etc. The perfect security of land-holdings
should also be provoked for.
This plan would involve the
government in no expense. If the experiment should prove abortive, the
government would be no worse off than at the beginning; the land would still be
its own, and its value would be enhanced.
Congress has been liberal
enough in experimentation. It has appropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars
to Arctic enthusiasts in search of an open polar sea. It wasted tens of
thousands more on Le Duc and his bamboo and tea growing vagaries. Millions more
were worse than wasted on John Roach and the ship builders of the Delaware, and
thousands of millions have been devoted t o the madness of trying to make the
people rich by taxing them in the name of protection. It is, therefore, not
unreasonable to ask it to afford an opportunity for the making of an experiment
which could not possibly hurt the government, while it might prove of
inestimable value to the race by giving a practical solution of a problem of
social economy that is pressing upon every mind.
I offer this as a suggestion
to the editor and the readers of The Standard. I think it entirely
practicable, and I have advocated it in my paper for a long while, hoping that
in time it might induce definite action leading to wholesome results. I trust
that friends of the cause will consider my suggestion, and that the columns of The Standard will be opened to its discussion.
Warren Worth Bailey.
Mr. Bailey’s proposition is
one that, in one form or another, seems to commend itself to many minds. But to
make the experiment a fair one, not only must the territory set aside for the
purpose be fairly well located as to climate, soil, irrigation, etc., but there
must be a free port of entry and facilities for convenient communication with
the rest of the world. The energy necessary to accomplish this, even if Congress had the power to make a port
of entry free, would, if aimed at the abolition of revenue tariffs and the
collection of federal revenues from land values by a direct tax apportioned
among the states, push along general
reforms far enough to improve the condition of the whole nation.
At best, a colony could
benefit only a few. If successful, it would not influence those whose interests
are opposed to the principle of land taxation. And as duties must be uniform
throughout the United States, congress could not except it from the operation
of our customs laws. The proposition does not commend itself to us.
L. F. P.
If Daily Newspaper Teachings
Brooklyn, Jan. 18.—An
editorial writer in the Star of to-day makes use of essentially the
following language: “Henry George claims that ground cannot be rightfully
subjected to individual ownership because the land was given to the human race
by the Creator for its occupancy and support. How, then, can any valid title be
established to the ownership of horses, sheep, cows”(and the writer might have
added “asses,” but was probably deterred by personal considerations)?
Now, what earthly hope is
there for the emancipation of labor when such monumental asininity colossal
insincerity, finds followers enough to make a respectable subscription list for
the various papers publishing such imbecilities; when those who aspire to
direct and educate public opinion are either too obtuse to see or too bigoted
to acknowledge that there is no analogy between an acre of land and a cow, the
former being clearly beyond. the power of man to increase or diminish. The
latter entirely susceptible of such changes at his will!
The melancholy part of this
whole thing is not that some—the great majority, in fact—are too blind to see
their true condition, but that they have the power to outvote and thus
neutralize the efforts of those who are alive to the oppression made possible
by private ownership of land. When the possession of enough land to make a
respectable grave blinds a person to the moral illegality of its ownership, and
when the great rank and lite are too lazy or too stupid to do their own
thinking, any amelioration of the laborer’s condition seems nearly hopeless
and, indeed, were it not for unborn generations, all efforts for the
emancipation of those too blind or too willful to see the truth might better be
abandoned, and it would seem as if the best thing for the wise man to do,
having discerned the danger, would be to
hide himself and let the fools pass on and be punished.
I hope that your
unconquerable pluck may prove inexhaustible.
E. C. Roscoe.
The Tribune chronicles with manifest satisfaction a conversation in which Capt-. N. D. Moore of the
Gogebee iron mines, in Wisconsin, participated. The captain declares that his
firm would run no furnaces, but simply take out iron and sell it to those who
have furnaces. The cost of the ore thus delivered is about $2 per ton.
Of course it costs less than $1 a ton to mine it, and hence the possession by
two or three individuals of that gift of nature to man known as the Gogebee
range is quite profitable. This was clearly shown by a story told by Capt.
Moore to a Tribune reporter. In November, 1885, Mr. Benjamin, the
captain’s partner, sold a piece of mining property in the Gogebee range for
$21,000. In the course of their subsequent operations they found that they
needed that piece of property, and they had at the time of the conversation
just bought it back for $240,000; but he added, we will make $100,000 out of it
inside of a year. One man thus obtained $220,000 by holding a piece of property
for two years, while the new purchaser expects to make a much greater profit by
working it. Meanwhile labor will be paid as little as possible, iron be put as
high as possible, and the whole people to whom the gift of nature naturally be
longs will derive no benefit from it. The Tribune prints this story
under the singular heading, “Making the Nation Richer—Men who are Active in
Developing its Resources.”
Brutal Treatment of a Mill
William Cook, a foreman in
the St. Ann’s cotton mills at Hochelaga, a suburb of Montreal, was lined $5 and
costs for striking and abusing Delphine Marcoux, one of the female employees.
The evidence showed that the employees, old and young, male and female,
regularly work eleven hours a day. The plaintiff was leaving the factory after
a day’s work when Cook ordered her to remain and work overtime, and on her
refusal struck her.
Taxing Away the Home
Jamaica, L. I., Feb. 5.—
Discussing “Progress and Poverty” with others I am often asked: “Under the
proposed system, what security have the holders or users of land on which they
have built their homes for its further tenure? Suppose someone bids higher for
the land than the house owners can afford to pay, how are the latter to be
compensated?” By answering this you will greatly oblige.
Under the proposed system
house-holders would have the same security they have now. At present the house
and land are taxed as real estate. If the tax be not paid the real estate is
sold for taxes. A somewhat similar course might be pursued under the system
proposed. At any rate , nothing more severe would be required.
There would be no bidding for
land, as the question implies. The rental value of the land would be
ascertained, and upon this the tax would be laid and be a debt against the
occupier, as are real estate taxes now. If the land had no value, and a great
deal of very useful land all around us would have but very little value or none
a tall, the occupier would pay no tax. If the land were so valuable that he
could not afford to pay the tax merely for a home he would make his home
elsewhere, and use, or let others use this land for business purposes, just as
he does now.
But, perhaps your friends
will say, if here moves his home now on account of t h e value of his land, he
can sell the land for a good price, which he could not do if it were taxed to
its full value. True, but without cost he could take other land for a home at a
tax within his means, and the “good price” he can get now is something to which
he has no moral right. What he gets others must lose. That the plan proposed
would abolish the privilege some men have of appropriating the earnings of the
community is an argument in its favor. The fear that it would deprive men of
homes is unfounded: it would open the way—now closed—for all men to get homes.
L. F. P.
Limitations to Land Occupancy
Danville, Ky., Feb. 5.—When
you say no man ought to occupy more land than he can use, do you mean by
management or working without hired labor? If the former,it would still be
landlordism: if the latter, farming and stock raising would be abolished. In a
word, are you “putting the fence” between individualism and its selfishness, or
between collectivism and its tyranny?
L. M. Boustifar.
We mean any use the occupier
chooses, whether by his unaided labor or with the help of others. In the form
of a tax he would pay over to the community the rental value of the land he
occupied, and would consequently not occupy more than he could use profitably.
The tax would automatically determine the value of land taken by every
occupier. If some took land of greater value than others the disparity would be
equalized by the difference in tax.
This would not be
landlordism, for every occupier of valuable land would pay rent to the people,
and idle land would be free. Nor would it destroy farming or stock raising on a
large scale, for farmers and stock raisers would be able to get as much land as
they could use profitably.
We would “put the fence”
between individualism and its selfishness, and also between collectivism and
its tyranny. Leaving the individual free to follow his inclinations and to
appropriate all values of his own creation we would head off his selfishness
when it prompted him to interfere with the personal rights of others or to
appropriate communal values; and while demanding for the community what belongs
to it, we would cry halt when it interfered with individual freedom, or
appropriated labor products.
L. F. P .
The Land Tax and Small Owners
Brooklyn, N. Y., Feb.
7.—Suppose a dwelling house on one lot paring $125 taxes and an adjoining
vacant lot paying $25, in all $150. Would you place $75 on each lot and let the
house go free?
A. B. Caldwell.
If there were no land but
those two lots that is what it would come to. But as the quantity of
land is not limited to two lots, the answer is No. The proposition, in plain
terms, is to lay all taxes on ground rent. Therefore, if the two lots you
suppose did not command ground rent their occupiers would pay no tax at all;
but if they did command ground rent, they would be taxed in common with all
other valuable land on the basis of their ground rent. The tax now laid on improvements
would not be made up by dividing it between one improved and one vacant lot;
but by imposing taxes on the value of every piece of land in the community,
improved or unimproved, in proportion to its value. Do not lose sight of the
fact that taxes are to be shifted from improvements to land values, not to
L . F. P.
What Good Would It Do?
Morristown, N. J., Jan.
l6.—What matters it to workers whether private parties or the government takes
the bounty of nature if the workers do not get it back again?
S. E. Ford.
Regarding the government as
entirely distinct from the people it makes no difference. Our governments,
however, are governments of the whole people, workers included. It does.
Therefore, make a difference here whether the bounties of nature are
monopolized by a few or owned by the government. But you are mistaken if you
suppose it is intended to have the government take land. It is not necessary.
All the advantages of common ownership of land may be secured in a less
artificial way. By taxing land values instead of taxing labor products,
especially if the tax appropriates the whole value, every foot of land not in
use will be thrown open to the first corner free of rent or tax. Then,
on the one hand, all laborers will, through the tax: fund, get their equal
snare of the value of such of nature’s bounty as has a value, while such as has
none will, by being free and affording opportunities for work to every idle
laborer, entirely do away with the army of the unemployed. What effect that
would have upon wages and hours any striker who has been defeated by “scabs”
can tell you.
A Specimen of City Politics
New York Sun.
Clerk Twomey of the board of
aldermen was sitting at his desk yesterday, smoking a | cigar, when Alderman
James J. Mooney of the Twenty-fourth district, rushed into the office and
“I’d like to know by what
right you appointed David N. Cavallo reading clerk?”
Capt. Twomey was on his feet
in an instant. He didn’t like the alderman’s tone of voice.
“Because I saw fit,” he said.
“The office belonged to Alderman Tait, and as he suggested Mr. Cavallo, and as
Mr. Cavallo is a good man, I appointed him.”
“It’s not so,” said Alderman
Mooney. “The appointment belonged to me. Why didn’t you appoint the man that I
asked you to appoint?””
“Because he can’t read,”
answered Capt. Twomey.
“My man shall have the
place,” cried the alderman. He stamped on the floor and gesticulated as he
continued: “At the next meeting of the board of aldermen I shall introduce a
resolution to have my man appointed and you will find yourself in a bad box.”
“Introduce your resolution,”
rejoiced Capt. Twomey.
The McGlynn Testimonial
The publisher of The Standard acknowledges the receipt of the following sums for the fund for Dr. McGlynn:
I. Mendelson, New York
Walter Mendelson, N.J.
E.L. Massett, Westfield, N.J.
C.G. Beland, Scranton, P.A.
M.A. Mackay, Chicago
William Frank, New York
“A French Catholic” (M. de M.)
G. Fritz, Jr., Herald, Providence, R.I.
B.W. Wentworth, Waltham, Mass.
B. W. F.
Patrick H. Byrne, New York
“A Catholic,” Rochester, N.Y.
By Patrick F. Collins, West
Patrick F. Collins
A Friend, O.R.
A Friend, G.H.
Thomas E. Labor
John M. Loomis
Hermann C. Balbier
Albert A. Barton
Cash, T. N.
W. D. Monahan
S. S., Troy, N. Y.
Paul S., New York City
Richard Feltner, Boston
Richard Johns, Chicago
H. H. T., Chicago
J. T., Chicago
A Catholic priest
H. J. A., Lebanon, Pa
R. R. S., St. Louis
J. H. C., St. Louis
J. T., Buffalo
C. R. Ammen, New Orleans
P. L. M., New Orleans
A city official
A humble friend of Father McGlynn
C. B., Hartford, Conn.
Henry M., Hartford, Conn.
A Connaught man, Pittsburgh
A Donegal man, Pittsburgh
A German Catholic
M. O’Connell, Brooklyn
S. L. T., Brooklyn
R. Mahon, Brooklyn
F. N. A., Cincinnati
T. Carroll, Cincinnati
Local Assembly 3,459, K. of L., Poughkeepsie
From an English Protestant
Chicago, Feb. 6.—All t hanks
and praise to the brave and heroic soul. Dr. Edward McGlynn, who has dared to
give: utterance to his honest, convictions and to espouse the cause of
suffering humanity as against the powers that be, and who, like his Divine
Master, is now suffering for the same. But great .shall be his reward. Yea,
great is his reward now; for all good Catholics honor and reverence him as
never before. Yea, all toners of America and Europe, irrespective of creed, are
looking on in loving admiration, and his name shall go down to all posterity
with those of Washington and Lincoln, and not a hair of as head shall be
harmed, for the Lord of Hosts is with him, the God of Jacob is his refuge I
enclose one dollar for the McGlynn fund. Had I the means it should be a thousand.
M. A. Mackay, English
A Token of Admiration
Dominick Street, New York,
Feb. 7—By adding the enclosed $25 to the Father McGlynn fund, as a token of
admiration for the principles advocated by the Cooper Union committee, you will
Inspired by Dr. McGlynn’s
New York. Feb.7—The
undersigned, who have heretofore paid but little attention to the “McGlynn
controversy,” but having read the last week’s issue of your valuable paper and
from its columns learned the true facts as presented therein are so inspired
with the frankness and manliness of the reverend doctor that they desire to
show their appreciation of the cause he is upholding by contributing their mite
of $1 each to the fund now being raised for him. With our best wishes for the
good cause and the reverend doctor, we remain,
From a Protestant
Sir: Enclosed find one dollar
for the McGlynn fund. I am a Protestant, but I admire greatly the position
taken by Dr. McGlynn, not as some would like to make it that he has rebelled
against the church, but that he has shown the people that no church has a right
to interfere with a man using his right of citizenship according to his own
convenience. I hope there will be a liberal response of giving to the fund, and
that in the future the labor party will have valuable support in the person of
C. M. H .
From a Rochester Catholic
Rochester, N. Y.—Believing
that the best way to profess my faith in the land question a s taught by you
and advocated by Dr. McGlynn is to contribute my mite to the fund now being
raised to do him honor, enclosed please find one dollar.
$22 From West Haven, Conn.
West Haven, Feb.
7, 1887.—I enclose $22 collected for the Rev. Dr. McGlynn fund, and it
gives me pleasure to state that this money is given by persons, irrespective of
religious views, who admire Dr. McGlynn for his charitable acts, his liberal
opinions, and for the noble stand he has taken in defending his rights as an American citizen.
The doctor’s opinions in regard to the land question and other political topics
belong to himself is one of the American people, the only tribunal to determine
the advisability of altering the present method of land ownership in this
country, and any attempt to suppress the
discussion of political reform by any religious authorities is nothing but
coercion under the cloak of religion. Would it not be well to call on the
Catholics of every city in this Union, regardless of their opinions on the land
question, to meet and resent the invitation of their political rights, which
are dear to all good citizens.
Patrick F .
From L. A.,
Dutchess County, N. Y., Jan . 31.—At a regular meeting of this assembly No. 3,159, held on the
above date, the following resolutions were adopted:
Whereas, It has come to our
knowledge that the Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn, the acknowledged and honored
champion of right against might, because of belief and advocacy that man should
have a right to the earth that the Lord made for his use, has been deposed from
his charge and separated from his parishioners, of which he was the beloved
pastor for a quarter of’ a century; and,
Whereas, We, the members of
the above-named assembly, casting aside all religious differences, nationality
and politics, honor the name of the Rev. Dr. Edward .McGlynn; and,
Whereas, We recognize in the
Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn a priest who suffers because he dares to assert his
manhood and right to American citizenship and honest convictions; therefore,
Resolved, That we pledge our
.support, morally and material, to him, and as an earnest or our appreciation
of his self—sacrificing efforts to elevate the moral and social condition of
the people, it is hereby
Ordered, That the sum of
twenty-five dollars ($25) be forwarded to The Standard office to swell the fund
now being raised in his behalf, not with the object of compensating him, but as
a small token of friendship.
John P. Harvey, – Committee.
Peter F. Thorp,
Fred Slosser, Rec. Sec, box
From a Prohibitionist
Westfield, N. J.,
Feb. 5.—I sympathize with the courageous stand which Dr. McGlynn has made
against ecclesiastical aggression in politics to the extent of the enclosed
check for $5. I firmly believe, however, that every Christian ought to take his
religion into his politics; and believing this, I am well persuaded in my own
mind that both the persecutor and the victim of this church tyrant, as well as all other
lovers of humanity, ought to enroll themselves under the white banner of the
prohibition party. The church today the bulwark of the legalized saloon.
Told Him What I Thought
Peddler of Salvation Answered
Clinton County, Penn., Feb. 8.
Last week when I
was going to the woods to
cut a hickory pole for the sole purpose of making a splint broom, I met one of
those tissue paper gentlemen, who are too ignorant to preach and too lazy to do
manual labor. He was selling an allegorical chart, in which all the different,
modes of petting into Paradise were illustrated in oil colors.
He set his gripsack down and
removed his hat with a great deal of piety, and then produced one of his charts
and begged me to examine it.
All I could see on the chart
was a lot of boatmen rowing across a dark stream in highly colored boats.
Says I: “Mr. Man, it will
take a little explanation before I can sec the conflictity of this concern.
Isn’t it a fishing party?”
“Yes, truly it is: they’re
fishers of men. Each boat represents a church; the water is death, and those
boatmen are rowing poor souls over to Paradise.”
“What’s the fare?” I asked.
“The passage is free—only
there is a collection taken up now and then for the support of the boatmen.”
“I suppose those boatmen want
to be well fed—chickens and preserves and frosted cake, knick-knacks and funny
“They love the good things of
this world, of course, and must wear good clothes to correspond with their
brains. Men shouldn’t grumble at the small amount spent to save their souls.”
“What’s the meaning of that
pontoon bridge? where does it go?”
“’That is to represent the
broad way of sin and folly. Those little specks along the route are saloons.”
“But where does it run to?”
“To the burning lakes of
“Which one of the boats
carries the most passengers.”
“The Buddhists have the
largest boat, but their route is doubtful. The Mohammedans run an old junk and
carry a great number of passengers, hut it is doubtful whether they ever reach
the golden shore. Then there is the Brahmin’s old seow, running third best
among the doubtful boats, while the followers of Confucius and the Shinto
religion bring up the rear. The Roman Catholics run a large boat, and the stockholders are getting rich.
The Protestants are running more than a dozen yachts, and are doing a fair
business. Then there is the old Hebrew ship, that has been through many
terrible storms and has collided with nearly all the other boats, but still
floats grandly on, having the patronage of one entire race.”
Says I to the man, says I:
“Mister, don’t you think a great many of the passengers will feel out of their
latitude when they get to a country where the property is all held in common?
Don’t you think that those who were able to throw in the greatest amount at the
collections will want to boss the small fish around? When the common laborer
steps up to a railroad president and slaps him on the back and says. ‘Let’s
sing a little song, neighbor,’ don’t you
think that president will think he has got into poor company? When the poor old
washer woman puts on the lily white robe and takes her place alongside of the
millionaire’s wife, don’t you think that aristocratic woman will wonder w hat
business that poor serf has in the parlor?
“I tell you, my friend, the
religion of today is shipping souls over to Paradise without preparing them for
the laws of that country. Men who do not make good citizens in this world will
feel out of place on the evergreen shore.
“If it is no harm in this
world for a man to board up millions of dollars while ethers are living in
poverty, then these same men will think it right to buy the throne of Heaven
and run the place to suit themselves.
“Why is it that church
hierarchies always condemn every move the common people make to gain their
rights in this world? Why do they approve the means by which a rich man may add
another million to his millions of dollars while they condemn the common
laborer for demanding living wages? Why do they promise the poor man justice in
heaven if it is wrong for him to struggle for the same thing on earth? If a few
men dare own the earth why not give them heaven, too? If God and his people are
with the rich of this world how can the poor expect to enjoy happiness in the
world to come? How many of Christ’s disciples toted a million dollars around
with them? or, didn’t Christ actually condemn wealth? What did he say to the
young man that inquired what he should do to inherit eternal life?
“Our churches are too wealthy
to take sides with the poor. That’s what’s the matter with religion. They do
threaten sometimes to drive a rich man through the eye of a needle; but $10,000
donated to the church will buy the good will of a Christian community. They do
sometimes ask the rich to be charitable toward the poor; but if the poor had
equal rights, they would need no charity.
“The people of an unjust
world are poor subjects for a just heaven.
“It is admitted all around
that we have the best government under the sun; but can’t we make it still
latter? Need the moon shine on one house less body, or need the sun rise on one
that is pinched by poverty? We are able to banish all hunger, rags and
fireless rooms; we can give all our citizens employment, and open a way for
them to buy a home, and I can’t see why it shouldn’t be done.
“The only consolation a poor
man gets, is the premise of a free (except the collections) pass to Heaven. Why
not make this world a little more like Heaven? and then, when we get
there, we wouldn’t feel us much out of place as a cow in the parlor. It doesn’t
look very pious for men to be marching toward the grave with both hands full of
land and a mouthful of money, as it were, while others have nothing but ragged
clothes and an empty stomach.
“I’in only telling you how I
feel on this subject, stranger. I may be wrong. I am only a poor backwoodsman,
and never learned much about running a government, but I do know how the
government has been running me, and I go in for justice that will respect men
more than it does money.”
Chattanooga Real Estate
New York Times.
One o f the leading citizens
of Chattanooga remarked: ‘Then.’ is nothing strange about the recent boom in
real estate, while we have added thousands to our population, growing from
10,000, the figure ten years ago, till now we have over 32,000, while we have
added millions to our capital—indeed, made millions from nothing, while
factories have doubled, redoubled and doubled again—while all this progress has
been booing along, real estate has lain practically dormant, so far as its
value has gone, a veritable drug in the market.”
Let us have a glimpse of the
way in which the whirl of speculation has lately been kiting Chattanooga real
estate prices. A negro, the porter in one of the hotels, had saved 100 six
months ago and invested it in a building lot in the suburbs. A week ago he
exchanged his land for $1,000. A farm of 100 acres just on the edge of the town
was sold last summer for $150 an acre; cut up into building lots it has just
brought $1,000 an acre. A Market street merchant recently bought a house and
lot for $20,000, sold it for $12,000 a week later, and in another week tried to
buy it back again and couldn’t for $20,000. A lot that had a stable on it at
one of the corners of Ninth street was sold for $1,000, and now the present
owner has refused to give an option on it at $45,000. Plenty of lots that less
than a year ago were bought for $1,000 and $2,000 apiece now sell for $5,000
and $10,000. A tract of 100 acres that was bought for $175,000 has been closed
out at $800,000. Five men joined some little time ago and paid $8,000 for a
pace of land that was suddenly bought into notice as valuable; an hour later
another man came along and offered them $1,000 each for their trade and handed over
his check for $13,000. That was on Dec. 13. On Jan. 13 the purchaser sold out
for $21,000. In speaking of the business prosperity that led to the great advance in Chattanooga real estate,
mentioned elsewhere, a well-known citizen of the place said: “In every case the
money has been made in legitimate channels of trade and by no sudden good
fortune or speculation. During recent years Chattanooga has not had a single
important failure in business—not one.”
Class Distinction Between the
Whites, the Plebalds and the Blacks
From the Hindu.
In a certain island in the
Punjab lived a vast colony of goats.
The island was fertile, and
as no other animals were thereon, the goats had abundance to eat, and lived as
happily together us could be.
Now, among the goats was a
certain fat and lazy buck, and he began to ponder on a means of getting his
food without taking the trouble to look for and gather it himself.
But he saw that while the
other goats were so brotherly, there was no chance for him to accomplish his
One day a brilliant thought
struck him. He perceived that all the goats were of three complexions—white,
black and piebald.
Being white himself, he spoke
privately to a few white goats, and gradually impressed them with the idea that
it was wrong that they should have to gather their food in the same way as the
piebalds and blacks.
Then the white goat persuaded
some three or four piebald goats that it was scandalous that the whites and
piebalds should be obliged to gather their living the same as the black goats.
After a season all the white
and piebald goats united and informed the blacks that un less they gathered
food for the whites and piebalds they would be butted into the river. It was
certain death to fall into the swift tide, so the blacks succumbed.
Again the white goat got to
thinking. He thought he would like to eat nothing but the most delicate and
So again he approached the
same white goats that had acted as his emissaries before, and to them he suggested
that it was strange that such superior goats should be content to eat the same
food as the piebalds.
In a few days the white goats
assembled in conference with the piebalds, and announced to them that unless
they gave to the whites all the young carrots and other succulent plants they
must take up their lots with the black goats.
Now, the piebalds felt so
superior to the black goats that they submitted to the decree of the white
So the white goats came to be
the masters of the island, and the white goat became king. And the white goats
occupied the fairest portion of the island, sheltered by trees from the blazing
sun, as a sleeping place, the piebald goats occupied the grassy plains, but the
black goats had no other bed than the rocky cliffs.
Now. the piebalds and black
goats outnumbered the white goats as two is to one; but the piebalds hated the
blacks for their color, and the blacks hated the piebalds for their pride; so
they remained apart.
It came to pass, after a
time, that the white goats having multiplied, began to take to themselves more
and more of the island; the piebalds in their turn pressed the blacks nearer
and nearer to the river, till at last many of the latter were pushed into the
water and drowned.
Then a piebald goat began to
He remembered when he could
go anywhere on the island, and how happy he then was. But he could not remember
in what respect he found a white goat superior to himself or to a black goat.
He had seen a dozen black goats drowned that day, and he perceived with alarm
that the white goats were gradually pressing him to the water.
Then he lifted up his voice
to the piebalds, and insisted that the Creator intended the island to be an
abiding place for all the goats. And he went to the black goats and taught the
And the piebald and black
goats united, and they invaded the domain of the white goat. Then the piebald
goat announced that the piebalds and blacks had resolved that no goat—black,
white or piebald—had more right to the island than another; that all were
equal, and the white goats must henceforth gather their own food or starve.
And peace and plenty again
abounded; and even the white goats were fain to confess that the change was for
W. L. Luxton.
The Solution of the Labor
Question as Simple as Fa Me Ra Do
Towanda, Pa., Feb. 7.—Carroll
D. Wright affirms that “in fixing the compensation of the workman for t he hour
instead of by the day we have struck the keynote of what will finally be the
solution of the labor question.” If this is so we have only to ascertain the
exact time for which thelaborer should let his services and the thing is done.
And should the period of an hour prove
too extended all that is requisite will be “to fix the compensation for the
workman” by the half hour, or, perhaps, even by the minute, and, lo! the
solution of the labor problem becomes as simple and easy as fa me ra do,
As soon as the beneficence of this idea is explained to them the New York
strikers, who, if I mistake not, were paid by the hour, will no doubt at once
sec the point, and return to their tasks, for is not twenty cents an hour
better far than two dollars a day? Oh, what would become of us but for
these philosophers? God speed the right.”
A proof of the power of
extortion of ten possessed by landowners is given by this item from the London
Echo, which shows that the landlord was able and did exact from his tenants
more than his land was worth even according to governmental valuation, which is
calculated to be made in the interest of the owner rather than the tenant: “It
is worthy of note that whenever the rental paid by a Glenbeigh (Ireland) tenant
is mentioned, it is found to be very largely in excess of the government
valuation. Tims Maurice Quick, whose stone-built house was demolished
yesterday, paid a rent of $7, his valuation being £3 10s., and
his next door neighbor, who was also evicted, was rented at £6 10s., the
valuation being £3 10s.”
Boundingly up through night’s
wall dense and dark,
Embattled craps and clouds
out broke the sun
Above the conscious earth,
and one by one
Her heights and depths
absorbed to the last spark
His fluid glory, from the far
Of mountain granite, which, transformed
Laughed first the thanks
back, to the vale’s dusk fold
On fold of value swathing,
like a bridge
Shattered beneath some
giant’s stamp. Night wist
Her work done and betook
herself in mist
To marsh and hollow, there to
bide her time
Blindly in acquiescence.
Did earth acknowledge sun’s
Thrilling her to the heart of
things; since there
No ore ran liquid, no spar
No arrowy crystal gleamed,
but straightway grew
Glad through the inrush—glad nor more nor
Than, ‘neath his gaze, forest
Hill, dale, land, sea, the
whole vast stretch and spread,
The universal world of
By sun’s munificence, alike
AU creatures but one only;
gaze for gate,
Joyless and thankless,
who—all scowling can—
Protests against the
innumerous praises? Man,
Sullen and silent.
Stand thou forth then, state
Thy wrong, thou sole
While every beast, bird,
reptile, insect, gay
And glad acknowledge the bounteous
And Its Answer
Illustrating the Wisdom of
Providence and the Eternal Fitness of Things
I have a conundrum for The Standard readers.
Why does a bank president get
higher wages than a car driver?
Ridiculous question, you say
? Doubtless; but just suppose you answer it.
You find it easy enough, of
course. To be a bank president requires a lot of special knowledge which it
takes years to acquire, and which comparatively few men possess. This is all
very fine, and trips glibly off your tongue. But, my dear friend, has it ever
struck you that a car driver requires quite a little stock of special knowledge
too, which is not to be picked up in a day, and which quite a large number of
men don’t possess, and never could acquire.
Here is Mr. Maloney, who
drives a bobtail on Twenty-third street. Take him, for example, and consider
what a fund of knowledge and ability it takes to lit him for his responsible
Mr. Maloney can drive a horse
with one hand and wield a brake with the other, and find time to make change
without intermitting either performance. He can keep one eye on the street
ahead of him, another on the rear platform, and still have eyes left for the
espying of possible passengers. He can count the folks who enter, see that each
one pays his fare, and spot any delinquent unerringly. He can swear fluently at
carts and wagons that obstruct his onward course, and speak suavely to old
ladies in search of information. He can lift heavy bundles and baskets on and
off his little platform. He can endure the extremes of heat and cold, work
fourteen hours or more a day, and run his car unceasingly from one river to
another without a wild desire to throw himself into either.
Finally, Mr. Maloney has
solved the problem of existence on $1.75 or thereabouts per day.
Now, honestly, in all candor,
don’t you think Mr. Maloney’s fund of knowledge a trifle more difficult to
acquire than the bank presidents? Don’t you think it would be easier to teach
Mr. Maloney to run a bank than to teach the bank president to drive a car ? I
Well, but there’s the
competition. Supply and demand settles the price of labor, as of everything
Do you really believe that?
Of course you think you believe it; but just dive down into the recesses of
your inner consciousness and see if you really do believe it.
Did you ever know a bunk
presidency to be vacant that there weren’t at least half a dozen ready and
willing to burden themselves with the responsibilities of the position? Wouldn’t
you like to get a bank presidency yourself ? And if you thought you had a ghost
of a chance for it wouldn’t you invoke the influence of your fat her and your
uncles and your brothers and the whole circle of your family connections? I
trow, yes. I tell you there is more competition for the soft things of this
life than for the mere privilege of work, and you know it.
Well, but—but—confound it,
the bank president’s got to have the salary. He couldn’t live on less.
He must dress nicely and live in some sort of style, and be a credit, and not a
disgrace, to the institution he presides over. Why, if it weren’t for the
salary, who the deuce would want to be a bank president, anyhow.
Ah! my friend, rem acu—your
needle has touched the sore at last. The bank president gets the big salary
because he won’t consent to live on less, and the car driver commits slow
suicide on $1.75 a day because he will. Not to him that hath, but to him that
insists on having, shall be given, and from him that consents to do without shall
be taken away even that which he hath. This isn’t good Bible, but it’s good
nineteenth century gospel for all that. Let us thank heaven that it has given
wisdom to the bank president to see the necessity of $15,000 a year and
humility to the car driver to be content on $1.75 a day.
T. L. McCready.
Barons Wait Till Winter
Then, When Labor is Abundant,
They Reduce Wages
Scranton, Pa., Feb. 5.—The
truth of the great coal strike is just this: There was no justification for the
reduction of wages: but the tactics of the corporations this year has been, as
hitherto, to reduce wages in winter, when labor is abundant and men cannot go
elsewhere for work. Reductions occur generally about the first of December, if
they are to occur at all. This year the reduction has come in cold of winter,
when the cost of living is greatest and labor most plentiful. These employers
were never known to reduce wages except what no other kind of work could be
had. This proves that the motive for reducing wages is founded in wantonness,
selfishness and greed. The men who do it are such as Olyphant of the Delaware
and Hudson, whose salary is $25,000 per annum, or $500 per week, and Samuel
Sloan of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, whose salary is $30,000, or $100
per day. They do not allow to the men who enrich them the comfort given to
quadrupeds. The whole labor combination should strike, together, as do these
corporations, and not in sections, one following a week after another.
There is not a newspaper in
New York that will denounce the reduction of wages, simply because the poor
have no advertisements to enrich the editors, as have the corporations.
Consequently, the Tribune says the oppressors are right.
“Send Away the Drones”
The contempt with which a
large class of Englishmen are beginning to look upon the dilettante measures of
social reform proposed by upper class philanthropists was strikingly shown
recently, when Lord Brabazon, accompanied by “My Lady” and other choice
persons, addressed the members of the Clerkenwell branch of the social
democratic federation. “My Lord” proposed state aided colonization as a means
of alleviating the terrible condition of the poor in the metropolis. His
suggestion that to diminish the population of London would raise the wages of
those who were left was received with laughter; and when he spoke of “the
glorious empire of which we are citizens,” there were shouts of laughter from
every part of the hall. A reference to the thousands of acres in Manitoba
available for colonization was met by a question as to whether there would be
any landlords there. “If we were blockaded for one month,” the speaker went on
to say, “we should starve.” [A voice: “We are starving.”] “That is why I have come down here,” the
speaker continued, “to point out to you a means whereby the present distress
among the working classes can be very effectually relieved.” [A voice: “Go
yourself.” “Send away the drones.”]
Ages of Crowned Heads
The Almanach de Gotha prints this table showing on Jan. 1,1887, the ages of the various crowned heads
of the world:
The emperor of Germany, 89;
the pope, Leo XIII, 76; William III, king of the Netherlands, 69; Charles III,
prince of Monaco, 68; Victoria, queen of Great Britain, 07; Peter II, emperor
of Brazil, 61; Francis Joseph, emperor of Austria, 56; Léopold, king of the
Belgians, 51; Louis, king of Portugal, 48; Charles, king of Romania, 47; Abdul
Humid, the sultan, 44; Humbert, king of Italy, 4a; Alexander III, emperor of
Russia, 41; George, king of the Greeks, 41; Milan, king of Serbia, 32; the king
of Spain, a few months.
Plan for a Knight of Labor
Hotel in Every City
New York, Feb. 8.—Can we
workingmen secure better accommodation than the ordinary boarding house or
so-called hotel? In both we have to tolerate society we cannot sympathize or
harmonize with, and to accept food never of the best. As to sanitary
arrangements, who ever saw them in a workingman’s boarding house or hotel? We
have to put up with drunkenness, especially in the hotels, where men are made
drunk and in the small hours of the morning stagger to bed or are carried
there. And those cheerless bedrooms, so like clothes closets, for which, if you
wish to occupy them alone, you are charged extra rent.
Why not give some thought to
making our own hotels? We can do it, and at trifling expense, which will be
returned a thousand fold. Will the trade and labor unions and Knights of Labor
open a subscription list for a friend to build and equip a workingman’s hotel
in each city of the union, its occupants to be union men? In its office let a
list be kept of all jobs, the information to be given each day to the clerk as
the boarders return from their various employments. We can have our bathrooms,
first class food, cleanliness and order, a reading room and library, with a
smoking room and amusements, but no gambling. If a man wishes or is compelled
to seek work elsewhere, he can send a night telegram (which need not cost more
than twenty-five cents) to any city where a similar hotel exists and get a
truthful answer as to whether his calling or trade has a n opening for him.
This will save him many dollars in railroad fares and other expenses. For $2 he can make inquiries in several places at the same time. This could be
done by a telegraph code. These hotels would exercise a vast influence for
good, and would be common centers of general information.
The idea of a signal code, by
which union men could ascertain whether there were openings in their trade at
distant points, seems to be a good one. But it could be adopted without
establishing co- operative hotels. Every K. of L. local in country
places and every district assembly in cities can easily arrange this if their
experience teaches its importance.
No one acquainted with the
offensive surroundings in which workingmen are forced to live in cities can
withhold sympathy. But cooperative hotels are not the remedy. They would not be
even palliatives, unless endowed by some philanthropist or maintained by a
It is no argument against
co-operative enterprises that they have failed in the past, but it is an
argument against them that they kick the essentials of success. They have no
more chance of life than a spring lamb would have in a pack of hungry wolves.
To live they must turn wolves. If there is not enough “effective demand” for
the kind of hotel you propose, to interest individual enterprise, you may be
sure that no co-operative association could make one self-supporting. The
association would have no advantage over an individual, but an individual
would, in his self-interest, have an advantage over the association. He might
succeed when it would fail; but it could not succeed if he would fail. The
pecuniary advantages of co-operation are slight; the business disadvantages are
great. Do you suppose a co-operative hotel could be conducted any more cheaply
and cleanly than Smith & McNell’s? From the fact that they make a great
deal of money, you might at first think so. But reflection will convince you
that you are wrong. They make so much money because they have gradually
acquired advantages which only vast capital and extraordinary skill can compete
The truth is that, as a rule,
the consumer now gets through the channels of competitive trade all the
advantages of quality and cheapens that private property in land will allow;
and co-operation cannot do any better for him, for it will stagger under the
same burden and be limited in the same way as every other form of industry. Be
assured that your ideal of a working man’s hotel would be started as a business
enterprise if there were any probability that it would pay, and expend your
efforts in bringing about that land reform which will open up to weary man a
spot for a real home from which no landlord can order him away.
L. F. P.
Shall the Owners of Land be
Newark, N. J., Feb.
9.—Suppose I have invested capital in a plot of land, how would you indemnify
me when the land reverted to the government? It certainly would be unjust to
deprive men of their landed possessions, acquired in many cases with the
proceeds of industry, without compensating them for their loss.
T. J. Martin.
Suppose you had invested the
proceeds of industry in negroes, how ought you to have been compensated when
the negroes were set free? Do you not think that the negro, who had been robbed
of his earnings from boyhood, was better entitled to compensation for what he
had lost than the master for what he had expected to get? Emancipation took
nothing from the slave-holder but the legal and immoral privilege of
appropriating the future earnings of the slave. So land nationalization would
take nothing from the landowner but the legal and immoral privilege of
appropriating the future earnings of men who work. When men who work get tired
of this perennial confiscation of the proceeds of their labor, why should they
compensate land-owners for going out of the confiscation business? If I have
been fool enough to let a man extort a dollar a year from me for a long time,
is that any reason why 1 should be fool enough to pay him twenty dollars to
stop it? If he were a bigger man than I and put his demand on that ground I
might buy him off; but if he put it on the ground of “obvious justice,” I
should mistrust him as an escaped editor of the Evening Post.
But unless you are a large
land owner you would be compensated. The land value tax is a substitute for all
other laxes. Therefore, everything you made and everything you consumed would
be exempt from taxation. Your labor itself would be free. Your business, if a
business man, would be more profitable; your wages, if a working man, would be
higher. You would not be haunted by fear of bankruptcy or loss of a job; and no
mortgage would frighten you with possible loss of your home. Out of the fund
realized by the tax on land values you would be insured against poverty in age,
and in freedom of opportunity for labor you could be more confident than if a
millionaire of a useful and comfortable future for your children. Is your investment
in the plot of land you speak so of valuable that you would not pool that plot
with all the land in the country as an equal owner of the whole?
If, however, you are a large
land owner, living not by work or in business, but on what the law permits you
to extort from your fellow men for the privilege of a foothold on this earth,
try to be content without compensation When the people come to demand the
restoration of their own, they may, in analogy to a rule of real estate law,
demand the mesne profits also.
L. F. P.
S. N. Parsons of Prairieburg,
Ia. : I believe the movement you have inaugurated is fraught with many virtues.
Thoughtful men know that we must either do something or lose those liberties
our ancestors bequeathed to us, sanctified by human suffering and sacrifices.
Your plan seems to me the most feasible.
William Camm of Murrayville,
Ill.: I lectured on the land question last week in Jerseyville and Roodhouse,
two towns in this state, to large audiences, which gave unmistakable signs of
approval to the principal propositions.
Rev. J. W. Caldwell of
Mapleton, Kansas: You have done much toward the solution of the labor question,
and more than any other in bringing the question permanently before the public.
Waite B. Crowell of Chester,
Pa.: Here in this locality is exemplified to the highest pitch the bigotry and
partisanship of Pennsylvania politics. It is the heme of Thomas V. Copper,
stalwart republican, and yet, notwithstanding this, we have found thirty-four
men willing, nay, eager, t o renounce party affiliations and. devote both time
and ability to spreading the light.
C. W. Hoadley of Middletown.
Conn.: This city has been roused from lethargy and set thinking about the land
question by an address recently delivered before the Knights of Labor by Rev.
P. M. Snyder, a Congregational minister here, who boldly proclaimed “the land
for the people.” We never before realized the truth of the Biblical quotation,
“To the poor the gospel is preached.”
G. Leon Varmais, Hubbardsville,
N. Y.: I have been reading “Progress and Poverty,” “Social Problems,” etc., and
I am convinced that private property in land is unjust. I am lecturing and
doing what I can to spread this doctrine.
H. B. Martin of Cedar Rapids,
Iowa: There are those who gather round your Standard,
even here in Iowa, as you will hear anon. God speed you, for you are surely
awakening the people.
W. Buchanan of New York: Oh,
that there were more strong ones to uphold the cause of the weak, down-trodden
and underpaid masses! Our civilization brings with it a curse that bears
heavily on the young, who must work hard for a pittance. Boys and girls work
for the munificent sum of four, three and two dollars a week, and what a howl
goes up when any succumb to some temptation. God speed you in your noble work!
J. P. Carbery of Cincinnati:
The cause of labor in our country can be successful only through the
intelligent and united action of the masses at the elections. They have the
power of electing a house of representatives who shall legislate for the good
of the many. If they fail to understand this great fact, or, understanding it, lack the integrity to
follow it to completion, they deserve to remain thepoor slaves of the money devil. Neither priests nor doctors
can aid them one iota.
Who would be
must strike the blow.
Hon. John Moran of
Carlinville, III.: May God help us in this fight against poverty and misery.
And He will, because we are for truth.
It takes a professional to
scan the following from James Russell Lowell’s poem in the February Atlantic:
“Whence? Whither? Wherefore? How? Which? Why?”—[Waterbury American.]
The line is flat plagiary
anyhow. Tennyson wrote it:
Whither, Wherefore, How, Which, Why ?
have a meaning, but it’s all in your eye.
Why he asks,
or what houses, no one ever knew,
Alf, nor Tom, nor Dick, nor Harry—no, nor you.
Irishman (relating his
exploits): “I walked up bouldly to wan of the inemy and cut off his legs wid me
sword.” Listener: “Why didn’t you cut off his hand?” Irishman: “Twas already
off.”—[Adelaide, S. A., Commonwealth.]
There was once a time when we
wondered what the difference was between an alderman-at-large and a plain.
every-day alderman. We think we perceive a difference now.—[Life.]
A laborer having asked his
employer for a glass of whiskey, it was given him; but the master said,
“Remember, every glass you take is a nail in your coffin, Corney.” “Well, yer
honor,” said Corney, “maybe as ye have the hammer in yer hand you would drive
another.”—[London Irish Tribune.]
A notice posted in a certain
town reads: “Cash paid for butchers’ hides.” This shows what popular
indignation against butchers may lead to.—|.St. Albans Messenger.]
“Johnny, I have discovered
that you have taken more maple sugar than I gave you.” “Yes, grandma; I’ve been
making believe there was another little boy spending the day with
The OFFICER’S FAILURE.
A cop once attempted to knab,
A man who another did kstab;
But the chap made a run,
And his liberty won,
By getting away in a kcab.
The INDUSTRIOUS DAMSEL.
A damsel who knew how to knit
For hours with her needle
And the stockings she knitted
Were handsome, and kfitted
Without ever wrinkling a
In his “Reminiscences of
Scottish Life and Character” Dean Ramsay says: “At a prolonged drinking bout
one of the party remarked, ‘What gars the laird of Garskadden look sae gash?’
(ghastly). ‘On,’ says his neighbor, the laird of Kilmarddinny, ‘deil meane him!
Garskadden’s been wi’ his Maker these twa hours: I saw him step awa, but I
didna like to disturb gude company!’”
According to Bill Nye, who is
spending the winter in North Carolina, there are three kinds of farms in that
state: the mansard farm, the gothic farm and the dormer farm. “A good gothic
farm,” he says, “near town will bring from $25 to $100 per acre, including
large wall pockets to hold farming implements at night so that they will not
drop out of the gothic farm into the dormer farm below. I do not say that these
mountain farms are steep. I simply state that water readily runs off when
applied to them.”—[New York Tribune.]
San Francisco’s county clerk
is credited with this novel sign in his office: “Lady applicants for positions
will please weep in the ante room, as the clerk suffers greatly from damp
A Change is Coming
Edwin D. Mead, in New York
Every where grave questions
of social and industrial organization are pressing into politics. The recent
contest between Mr. George and Mr. Hewitt is but one of numberless such
contests which we are to see. The coming questions are momentous and complex,
demanding much serious discussion and not declamation; and it is in the
election seasons that the most efficacious discussion must be carried on. Let
our best political thinkers realize this, and let them keep close to the
The Existing Law Hard on the
Poor and in the Interest of Corporations
Gen. Pryor’s suggestions concerning
law amendment in The Standard of Jan. 29 are most seasonable
and just. I have just had hard work in trying to comply with the law which
requires two sureties to the bond of an administrator before his appointment by
the surrogate. The wife of a laboring man was killed through the negligence of
a corporation, and as the attorney for the surviving husband and family of
infant children, preparatory to bringing suit, I was obliged to apply for and
obtain letters of administration upon the estate of the laborer’s deceased
wife! Think of it—the grim humor of the law! Well, by perseverance and good
luck combined, after several weeks’ labor in that behalf, I succeeded finally
in getting a satisfactory bond filed. Now, this recent experience, coupled with
Gen. Pryor’s remarks on the subject, leads me to ask why should there be any
formal grant of letters of administration in such a case required by the law? The
right of action to recover damages for causing the death of a person by
negligence is the creation of the statute; that is, it is a case in which if
the person injured had not died he or she might have maintained a suit at law
to recover damages for the injuries against the person or corporation causing
them; but in the event of the person injured dying, the cause of action was
held to have died also, until the statute was first enacted in 1817, which
created a cause of action in favor of the widow and next of kin of the
Now, why will not the
legislature see the injustice and hardship of the law as it stands, and enact a
law that will enable the poor to get justice as easily as the “saviors of
society,” so called ?
The law ought to be amended
so as to permit a jury to be entirely untrammeled and unrestricted in
their estimate of the amount of damages suffered by the relatives of the person
killed, as they are in a suit brought by the person injured. Why should there
be a discrimination made against the widow and the orphan in such a case? If
the excuse for it is that juries are prone to be influenced by the widow and
the orphan, why then, it may be asked, does not the law limit the recovery in
every suit for damages for a tort or willful wrong wherein a woman or a child
is the plaintiff ?
The truth is apparent that
this is corporation made law; the corporation, and notably the New York Central
and Hudson River Railroad company, have always been on hand at every session of
the legislature of Albany to fight and kill any legislation intended to cure
the evil resulting from this unjust law. The New York Sun, in the
interest of the “saviors of society,” throws a sop to Cerberus in a recent
editorial, in which it advocates in its usual dogmatic manner that the recovery
by the relatives of a person killed by the negligent act or emission of another
be restricted in amount to $10,000 instead of $5,000, as it is now. This is a.
concession to justice for which we ought to be thankful, for “a half loaf is
better than no bread.”
Again. why should not the law
permit the surviving husband, wife, children, parent or parents who were
dependent wholly or partially for support upon the deceased to maintain a suit
directly for the damages they sustain in such a case, without the useless
ceremony and red tape formality f-f going to the surrogate for leave to administer
an estate, when there is no estate aside from whatever may ultimately be
recovered in the suit? A woman, whether she be “maid, wife or widow,” can now
bring suit for every conceivable cause in the same way as a man; and what
reason is there for sending her in a circuitous path through the surrogate’s
court into the court where she is compelled to go to get justice from some
corporation for slaughtering her husband? If the legislature would hold in
reverence that ancient and wholesome maxim of the common law, that “a
multiplicity of suits should not be encouraged,” it would enact such a law as I
Hurtful to our vanity as the
admission may be. the truth is that the empire state has not advanced so far in
the administration of justice in these matters as some of her younger sisters
in the west.
M. A. Gearon.
How Labor is Pauperized and
Monopoly Fostered by the Tariff
Augusta, Ga., Chronicle.
How monopolies are encouraged
by the tariff, and how free trade would help to force them to become legitimate
business enterprises, can be seen by a glance at two of our must important
industries, iron and coal mining, in behalf of which Messrs. Randall & Co.
still plead the baby act. Whoever has read the recent articles of Henry George
on “Labor in Pennsylvania,” in the North American Review, must have been
struck by the difference between the starvation wages paid to the miners who do
the work and the profits of the mining and railroad companies who furnish the
capital and own the mines. The former are absolute slaves, just able to keep
life in their bodies, while the wealth of the latter runs far up into the
millions, and this wealth, given to them by the tariff, is used by them to
oppress their workmen and to import Italians, Hungarians and Poles at as low
wages as possible! Who has profited by protection in this else? Surely not the
laborers, fur, come what may. They cannot be worse off than at pit-sent. The
protection has been fur the capitalists and mine owners, in the privilege given
them by the tariff to charge every consumer of coal a fancy prince, regulated,
not by demand and supply, but by their caprice. The mine owners meet in New
York, drink a few bottles of champagne, and combine to limit production to a
certain quantity for each. By their action, all the miners in Pennsylvania are
thrown out of employment, and every coal consumer must pay these coal lords
twenty-five cents a ton extra premium. If this is not monopoly, what is?
Now free trade in coal and
iron, while it would nut raise wages to any extent, would do a great deal
toward breaking up this monopoly and securing constant occupation to miners,
for then the owners would have to look out for English competition. They could
not put up their prices arbitrarily, nor could they gain anything by stopping
work, for at that moment English coal would step in and compete. But this would
not make it impossible for mine coal and iron in Pennsylvania, for the whole
cost of mining in present wages is less than the freight from England, so that
even if the coal were given away free in England it could not compete in our
markets. The sufferers would be the holders of watered railroad stocks, and the
mine owners, who would see their dividends growing beautifully less, and could
be forced to come down to a cash basis.
But the wages question goes
far deeper than the tariff. It is based on the land question, and even absolute
free trade would not raise wages for any length of time. The competition of man
against man for the privilege of working will reduce wages whether we choose
protection or free trade. What has heretofore kept wages higher in the United
States has not been the protective tariff, but the new land that was open to
settlement. That is rapidly being fenced in, and as it becomes more difficult
for a man to employ himself, through lack of access to natural opportunities,
wages will go down and down, until we shall find that free American labor is
Let the workmen pay less
attention to protection and more to the teachings of the new land and labor
party and they will then see that what, they must attack (and one way is
through free trade) is the greatest monopoly of all—private property in land.
Let them study “Progress and Poverty,” and when they fully understand Henry
George’s land tax theory then, and not till then, will they be on the road to a
new organization of labor that will not require to be protected,—[Benj. Adams,
Charleston, S. C., Jan. 29]
They ain’t no style about
And they’re sort of pale and
Yit the doorway here without
Would be lonesome, and shaded
With a good ‘cal blacker
Than the mornin’ glories
And the sunshine would look
For their good old-fashion’
I like ’em ’cause they kind
Sort o’ make a feller like
And I tell you, when I
Bunch out whur the sun kin
It allus sets me thinkin’
O’ the ones ‘at used to crow,
And peek in thro’ the
O’ the cabin, don’t you know.
And then I think o’ mother,
And bow she used to love
When they wuzn’t any other,
‘Less she found Yin up above
And her eyes, afore she shut
Whispered with a smile, and
We must pluck a bunch and put
In her band when she wuz
But, as I wuz a sayin’,
They ain’t no style about ‘
Very gaudy or display in’,
But I wouldn’t be without
‘Cause I’in happier in these
And the hollykawks and
Than the hummin’ bird ‘at
In the roses of the rich.
James Whitecomb Riley.
For The Night
It was late in
November, 1436. The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence:
sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes
there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air,
silent, circuitous, interminable. To poor people, looking up under moist
eyebrows, it seemed a wonder where it all came from. Master Francis Villon had
propounded an alternative that afternoon at a tavern window; was it only Pagan
Jupiter plucking geese upon Olympus? or were the holy angels moulting? He was
only a poor master of arts. He went on: and as the question somewhat touched
upon divinity, he durst not venture to conclude. A silly old priest from
Montargis, who was among the company, treated the young rascal to a bottle of
wine in honor of the jest and grimaces with which it was accompanied, and swore
on his own white beard that he bad been just such another irreverent dog when
be was Villon’s age.
The air was raw
and point ed. but not far below freezing; and the flakes were large, damp and
adhesive. The whole city was sheeted up. An army might have marched from end to
end and not a loot fall given the alarm. If there were any belated birds in
heaven, they saw the island like a large white patch, and the bridges like slim
white spars on the black ground of the river. High up overhead the snow settled
among the tracery of the cathedra1 towers. Many a niche was drifted full: many
a statue wore a long white bonnet on its grotesque or sainted head. The
gargoyles had been transformed into great false noses, drooping toward the
point. The crockets were like upright pillows swollen on one side. In the
intervals of the wind, there was a dull sound of dripping about the precincts
of the church.
The cemetery of
St. John bad taken its own share of the snow. All the graves were decently
covered; tall white housetops stood around in grave array: worthy burghers were
long ago in bed, thought-capped like their domiciles: there was no light in all
the neighborhood but a little peep from a lamp that hung swinging in the church
choir, and tossed the shadows to and fro in time to its oscillations. The clock
was hard on ten when the patrol went by with halherds and a lantern, beating
their hands; and they saw nothing suspicious about the cemetery of St. John.
Yet there was a
small house, backed up against the cemetery wall, which was still awake, and
awake to evil purpose, in that snoring district. There was not much to betray
it from without; only a stream of warm vapor from the chimney-top, a patch
where the snow melted on the roof, and a few half-obliterated footprints at the
door. But within, behind the shuttered windows, Master Francis Villon, the
Poet, and some of the thievish crew with whom he consorted, were keeping the
night alive and passing round the bottle.
A great pile of
living embers diffused a strong and ruddy glow from the arched chimney. Before
this straddled Dom Nicolas, the Picardy monk, with his skirts picked up and his
fat legs bared to the comfortable warmth. His dilated shadow cut the room in
half; and the firelight only escaped on either side of his broad person, and in
a little pool between his outspread feet. His face had the beery, bruised
appearance of a continual drinker’s: it was covered with a network of congested
Veins, purple in ordinary circumstances, but new pale violet, for even with his
buck to the fire the cold pinched him on the other side. His cowl had half
fallen back and made a strange excrescence on either side of his bull neck. So
he straddled, grumbling, and cut the room in half with the shadow of his portly
On the right
Villon and Guy Tabary were huddled together over a scrap of parchment, Villon
making a ballad which he was to call the “Ballad of Roast Fish,” and Tabary
spluttering admiration at his shoulder. The poet was a rag of a man, dark,
little and lean, with hollow checks and thin black locks. He carried his four
and twenty years with feverish animation. Greed had made folds about his eyes:
evil smiles had puckered his mouth. The wolf and pig struggled together in his
face. It was an eloquent, sharp, ugly, earthly countenance. His hands were
small and prehensile, with fingers knotted like a cord, and they were
continually flickering in front of him in violent and expressive pantomime. As
for Tabary, a broad, complacent, admiring imbecility breathed from his squash
nose and slobbering lips: he had become a thief, just as he might have become
the most decent of burgesses, by the imperious chance that rules the lives of
human geese and human donkeys.
At the monk’s
other hand, Montigny and Thevenin Pensete played a game of chance. About the
first there clung some flavor of good birth and training, as about a fallen
angel; something long, lithe and courtly in the person; something aquiline and
darking in the face. Thevenin. poor soul, was in great feather; he had done a
good stroke of knavery that afternoon in the Fanbourg St. Jacques, and all
night he had been gaining from Montigny. A flat smile illuminated his face; his
bald head shone rosily in a garland of red curls; Ins little protuberant
stomach shook with silent chucklings as he swept in his gains.
quits?” said Thevenin.
“Some may prefer
to dine in state, “wrote Villon, “on bread and cheese on silver plate. Or,
or—help me out, Guido!”
“Or parsley on a
golden dish,” scribbled the poet.
The wind was
freshening without; it drove the snow before it, and sometimes raised its voice
in a victorious whoop, and made sepulchral grumblings in the chimney. The cold
was growing sharper as the night went on. Villon, protruding ms lips, imitated
the gust with something between a whistle and a groan. It was an eerie,
uncomfortable talent of the poet’s much detested by the Picardy monk.
“Can’t you hear
it rattle in the gibbet?” said Villon. “They are all dancing the devil’s jig on
nothing up there, You may dance, my gallants; you’11 be none the warmer! Whew!
what a gust! Down went somebody just now! A medlar the fewer on the
three-legged medlar tree! I say, Dom Nicolas, it’ll be cold tonight on the St.
Denis road?” he asked.
winked both his big eyes, and seemed to choke upon his Adam’s apple.
Montfaucon, the great, grisly Paris gibbet, stood hard by the St. Denis road,
and the pleasantry touched him on the
raw. As for Tabary, he laughed immoderately over the medlars: he had never
heard anything more light-hearted, and he held his sides and crowed. Villon fetched
him a fillip on the nose, which tarned his mirth into an attack of coughing.
“Oh, stop that
row.” said Villon, “and think of rhymes to ‘fish.’”
quits,” said Montigny, doggedly.
“With all my
heart,” quoth Thevenin
“Is there any
more in that bottle?” the monk.
said Villon. “How do you ever hope to till that big hogshead, your body, with little things like
bottles? And how do you expect to get to heaven? How many angels do you fancy
can be spared to carry up a single monk from Picardy? Or do you think yourself
another Elias—and they’11 send the coach for you?”
replied the monk, as he filled his glass.
Tabary was in ecstasies.
Villon filliped his nose
“Laugh at my jokes, if you
like,” he said. “It was very good,” objected Tabary. Villon made a face at him.
“Think of rhymes to ‘fish.’” he said. “’What have you to do with Latin? You’11
wish you knew none of it at the great assizes, when the devil calls for Guido
Tabary, clericus—the devil with the humpback and red-hot finger nails. Talking
of the devil,” he added, in a whisper, “look at Montiguy!”
All three peered covertly at
the gamester. He did not seem to be enjoying his luck. His mouth was a little
to a side; one nostril nearly shut and other much inflated. The black dog was
on his back, as people say in terrifying nursery metaphor, and he breathed hard
under the gruesome burden.
“He looks as if he could
knife him,” whispered Tabary, with round eyes.
The monk shuddered, and
turned his face and spread his open hands to the red embers. It was the cold
that thus affected Dom Nicolas, and not any excess of moral sensibility.
“Come now,” said Villon,
“about this ballad. How does it run so far?” And beating time with his hand he
read it aloud to Tabary.
They were interrupted at the fourth
rhyme by a brief and fatal movement among the gamesters. The round was
complied, and Thevenin was just opening his mouth to claim another victory,
when Montigny leaped up, swift as an adder, and stabbed him to the heart. The
blow took effect be fore he had time to utter a cry, before he had time to
move. A tremor or two convulsed his frame, his hands opened and shut, his heels
rattled on the floor: then his head rolled backward over one shoulder with the
eyes wide open, and Thevenin Pensete’s spirit had returned to Him who gave it.
Every one sprang to his feet:
but the business was over in two twos. The four living fellows looked at each
other in rather a ghastly fashion, the dead man contemplating a corner of the
roof with a singular and ugly leer.
“My God!” said Tabary, and he
began to pray in Latin.
Villon broke out into
hysterical laughter. He came a step forward and ducked a ridiculous bow at
Thevenin, and laughed still louder. Then he sat down suddenly, all of a heap,
upon a stool, and continued laughing bitterly, as though he would shake himself
Montigny recovered his
“Let’s sec what he has about
him.” he remarked, and he picked the dead man’s pockets with a practiced hand,
and divided the money into four equal portions on the table. “There’s for you,”
The monk received his share
with a deep sigh and a single stealthy glance at the dead Thevenin, who was
beginning to sink into himself and topple sideways off the chair.
“We’re all in for it,” cried
Villon, swallowing his mirth. “It’s a hanging job for every man jack of us
that’s here—not to speak of those who aren’t.” He made a shocking gesture in
the air with his raised right hand, and put out his tongue and threw his head
on one side, so as to counterfeit the appearance of one who has been hanged.
Then he pocketed his share of the spoil and executed a shuffle with his feet,
as if to restore the circulation.
Tabary was the last to help
himself; he made a dash at the money and retired to the other end of the
Montigny stuck Thevenin
upright in the chair, and drew out a dagger which was followed by a jet of
“You fellows had better be
moving.” he said, as he wiped the blade on bis victims doublet.
“I think we had,” replied
Villon, with a great gulp. “Dama his fat head!” he broke out. “It sticks in my
throat like phlegm. What right has a man to have red hair when he is dead?” And
he fell all of a heap again upon the stool, and fairly covered his face with
Montigny and Dom Nicolas
laughed aloud, even Tabary feebly chiming in.
“Cry-baby,” said the monk.
“I always said he was a
woman,” added Montigny, with a sneer. “Sit up, can’t you?” he went on, giving
another shake to the murdered body. “Tread out that lire, Nick!”
But Nick was better employed;
he was quietly talking Vilion’s purse as the poet sat, limp and trembling, on
the stool where he had been making a ballad not three minutes before. Montigny
and Tabary dumbly demanded a share of the booty, which the monk silently promised
as he passed the little bag into the bosom of his gown. In many ways an
artistic nature unfits a man for practical existence.
No sooner had the theft been
accomplished than Villon shook himself, jumped to his feet, and began helping
to scatter and extinguish the embers. Meanwhile Montigny opened the door and
cautiously peered into the street. The coast was clear: there was in meddlesome
patrol in sight. Still it was judged wiser to slip out severally; and as Villon
was himself in a hurry to escape from the neighborhood of the dead Thevenin,
and the rest were in a still greater hurry to get rid of him before he should
discover the loss of his money, he was first by general consent to issue forth
into the street.
The wind had triumphed and
swept all the clouds from heaven. Only a few vapors, as thin as moonlight,
fleeted rapidly across the stars. It was bitter cold, and by a common optical
effect things seemed almost more definite than in the broadcast, daylight. The
sleeping city was absolutely still; a company of white hoods, a field full of
little alps, below the twinkling stars. Villon cursed his fortune. Would it
were still snowing! Now, wherever he went, he left an indelible trail behind
him on the glittering streets; wherever he went he was still tethered to the
house by the cemetery of St. John; wherever he went he must weave, with his own
plodding feet, the rope that bound him to the crime, and would bind him to the
gallows. The leer of the dead man came back to him with a new significance. He
snapped his fingers as if to pluck up his own spirits, and, choosing a street
at random, stepped boldly forward in the snow.
Two things preoccupied him as
he went: the aspect of the gallows sit Montfaucon in this bright, windy phase
of the night’s existence. for one; and for another, the look of the dead man
with his bald head and garland of red curls. Both struck cold upon his heart,
and he kept quickening his pace as if he could escape from unpleasant thoughts
by mere fleetness of foot. Sometimes he looked back over his shoulder with a
sudden nervous jerk; but he was the only moving thing in the white streets,
except when the wind swooped round a corner and threw up the snow, which was
beginning to freeze, in spouts of glittering dust.
Suddenly he saw, a long way
before him, a black clump and a couple of lanterns. The clump was in motion,
and the lanterns swung as though carried by men walking. It was a patrol. And
though it was merely crossing his line of march he judged it wiser to get out
of eye-shot as speedily as he could. He was not in the humor to be challenged.
and he was conscious of making a very conspicuous mark upon the snow. Just. on
his left hand there stood a great hotel, with some turrets and a large
porch before the door: it was half ruinous, he remembered, and had long stood
empty; and so he made three steps of it, and jumped into the shelter of the
porch. It was pretty dark inside alter the glimmer of the snowy streets, and he
was groping forward with outspread hands when he stumbled over some substance
which offered an indescribable mixture of resistances, hard and soft, firm and
loose. His heart gave a leap, and he sprung two steps back and stared
dreadfully at the obstacle. Then he gave a little laugh of relief. It was only
a woman, and she dead. He knelt beside her to make sure upon this latter point.
She was freezing cold, and rigid like a stick. A little ragged finery flattered
in the wind about her hair, and her cheeks had been heavily rouged that same
afternoon. Her pockets were quite empty; but in her stocking, underneath the
garter, Villon found two of the small coins that went by the name of whites. It
was little enough; but. it was always something, and the poet was moved with a
deep sense of pathos that she should have died before she had spent her money.
That seemed to him a dark and pitiful mystery; and he looked from the coins in
his hand to the dead women and back again to the coins, shaking his head over
the riddle of man’s lite.
Henry V of England, dying at
Vincennes just after he had conquered Franco, and
this poor jade, cut off by a cold draught in a great. man’s doorway before she
had time to spend lier couple of whites; it seemed a cruel way to carry on the
world. Two whites would have taken such a little while to squander; and yet it
would have been one more good taste in the mouth, one more smack of the lips,
before the devil got the soul, and the body was left to birds and vermin. He
would like to use all his tallow before the light was blown out and the lantern
thoughts were passing through his mind, he was feeling, half mechanically, for
his purse. Suddenly his heart stopped beating; a feeling of cold’ scales passed
up the back of his legs, and a cold blow seemed to fall upon his scalp. He
stood petrified for a movement; then he felt again with one feverish movement;
then his loss burst upon him, and he was covered at once with perspiration. To
spendthrifts money is so living and actual—it is such a thin veil between them
and their pleasures! There. is only one limit to their fortune—that of time;
and a spendthrift with only a few crowns is the emperor of Rome until they are
spent. For such a person to lose his money is to suffer the most shocking
reverse, and tall from heaven to hell, from all to nothing, in a breath. And
all the more if he has put his head in the halter for it; if he may be hanged
tomorrow for that same purse, so dearly earned, so foolishly departed! Villon
stood and cursed; he threw the two whites into the street: he shook his list at
heaven: he stamped, and was not horrified to find himself trampling the poor
corpse. Then he began rapidly to retrace his steps toward the house beside the
cemetery. He had forgotten all fear of the patrol, which was long gone by at
any rate, and had no idea but that of his lost purse. It was in vain that he
looked right and left upon the snow: nothing was to be seen. He had not dropped
it. in the streets. Had it fallen in the house? He would have liked dearly to
go in and see; but the idea of the grisly occupant unmanned him. And he saw
besides, as he drew near, that their efforts to put out the lire had been
unsuccessful; on the contrary, it had broken into a blaze, and a changeful
light played in the chinks of door and window, and revived his terror for the
authorities and Paris gibbet.
He returned to
the hotel with the porch, and groped about upon the snow for the money he had
thrown away in his childish passion. But he could only find one white; the
other had probably struck sideways and sunk deeply in. With a single white in
his pocket all his projects for a rousing night. In some wild tavern vanished
utterly away. And it was not only pleasure that lied laughing from his grasp;
positive discomfort, positive pain, attacked him as he stood ruefully before the
porch. His perspiration had dried upon him, and although the wind had now
fallen, a binding frost was setting in stronger with every hour, and he felt
benumbed and sick at heart. What was to be done? Late as was the hour,
improbable as was success, he would try the house of his adopted father, the
chaplain of St. Benoit.
He ran there all
the way, and knocked timidly. There was no answer. He knocked again and again,
taking heart with every stroke; and at last steps were heard approaching from
within. A barred wicket fell open in the iron studded door, and emitted a gush
of yellow light.
“Hold up your
face to the wicket,” said the chaplain from within.
“It’s only me,”
“Oh, it’s only
you, is it.” returned the chaplain; and he cursed him with foul unpriestly
paths for disturbing him at such an hour, and bade him be off to hell. where he
“My hands are
blue to the wrist,” pleaded Villon; “my feet are dead and full of twinges; my
nose aches with the sharp air; the cold lies at my heart. I may be dead before
morning. Only this once, father, and before God I will never ask again!”
“You should have
come earlier,” said the ecclesiastic coolly. “Young men require a lesson now
and then.” He shut the wicket and retired deliberately into the interior of the
Villon was beside
himself: he beat upon the door with his hands and feet, and shouted hoarsely
after the chaplain.
“Wormy old fox!”
he cried. “If I had my hand under your twist. I would send you flying headlong
into the bottomless pit.”
A door shut in
the interior, faintly audible to the poet down long passages, he passed his
hand over his mouth with an oath.” And then the humor of the situation struck
him, and he laughed and looked lightly up to heaven, where the stars seemed to
be winking over his discomfiture.
What was to be
done? It looked very like a night in the frosty streets. The idea of the dead
woman popped into his imagination and gave him a hearty fright; what had
happened to her in the early night might very well happen to him before
morning. And he so young! and with such immense possibilities of disorderly
amusement before him! He felt quite pathetic over the notion if his own fate,
as if it had been some one else’s, and made a little imaginative vignette of the
scene in the morning when they should find his body.
He passed all his
chances under review, turning the white between his thumb and forefinger.
Unfortunately he was on bad terms with some old friends who would once have
taken pity on him in such a plight. He had lampooned them in verses; he had
beaten and cheated them; and yet now, when he was in so close a pinch, he
thought there was at least one who might perhaps relent. It was a chance. It
was worth trying at least, and he would go and see.
On the way two
little accidents happened to him which colored his musings in a very different
manner. For, first, he fell in with the track of a patrol, and walked in it for
some hundred yards, although it lay out. Of his direction. And this spirited
him up; at least he had confused his trail; for he was still possessed with the
idea of people tracking him all about Paris over the snow, and collaring him
next morning be fore was awake. The other matter affected him quite
differently. He passed a street corner where. not so long before, a woman and
her child had been devoured by wolves. This was just the kind of weather, he
reflected, when wolves might take it into their heads to enter Paris again; and
a lone man in these deserted streets would run the chance of something worse
than a mere scare. He stopped and looked upon the place with an unpleasant
interest—it was a center where several lanes intersected each other; and he
looked down them all, one after another, and held his breath to listen, lest he
should detect some galloping black things on the snow or hear the sound of
bowling between him and the river. He remembered his mother telling him the
story and pointing out the spot, while he was yet a child. His mother! If he
only knew ,where she lived he might make sure at least of shelter. He
determined he would inquire upon the morrow; nay, he would go and see her, too,
poor old girl! So thinking, he arrived at his destination—his last hope for the
The house was
quite dark like its neighbors, and yet after a few taps he heard a movement
overhead, a door opening, and a cautious voice asking who was there. The poet
named himself in a loud whisper, and waited, not without some trepidation, the
result. Nor had he to wait long. A window was suddenly opened and a pailful of
slops splashed down upon the doorstep. Villon had not been unprepared for
something of the sort, and had put himself as much in shelter as the nature of
the porch admitted; but for all that he was deplorably drenched below the
waist. His hose began to freeze almost at once. Death from cold and exposure
stared him in the face; he remembered he was of physical tendency, and began
coughing tentatively. But the gravity of the danger steadied his nerves. He
stopped a few hundred yards from the door where he had been so rudely used, and
reflected with his finger to his nose. He could only see one way of getting a
lodging, and that was to take it. He had noticed a house not far away, which
looked as if it might be easily broken into, and thither he betook himself
promptly, entertaining himself on the way with the idea of a room still hot,
with a table still loaded with the remains of supper, where he might pass the
rest of the black hours, and whence he should issue on the morrow with an
armful of valuable plate. He even considered on what viands and on what wines
he should prefer; and as he was calling the roll of his favorite dainties,
roast fish presented itself to his mind with an odd mixture of amusement and
“I shall never
finish that ballad,” he thought to himself; and then. with another shudder at
the recollection, “Oh, damn his fat head!” he repeated fervently, and spat upon
The house in
question looked dark at first sight; but as Villon made a preliminary
inspection in search of the handiest point of attack, a little twinkle of light
caught his eye from behind a curtained window.
“The devil!” he
thought. “People awake! Some
student or some saint, con found the crew! Can’t they get drunk and lie in bed
snoring, like their neighbors! What’s the good of curlew, and poor devils of
bellringers jumping at a rope’s end in hell towers? What’s the use of day, if
people sit up all night? The gripes to them!” He grinned as he saw where his
logic was leading him. “Every man to his business, alter all.” added he, “and
if they’re awake, by the Lord. I may come by a supper honestly for once, and
cheat the devil.”
He went boldly to the door
and knocked with an assured hand. On both previous occasions he had knocked
timidly and with some dread of attracting notice; but now, when he had just
discarded the thought of a burglarious entry, knocking at a door seemed a
mighty simple and innocent proceeding. The sound of his blows echoed through
the house with thin phantasmal reverberations, as though it were quite empty;
but these had scarcely died away before a measured tread drew near, a couple of
bolts were withdrawn, and one wing was opened broadly, as though no guile or
fear of guile were known to those within. A tall figure of a man, muscular and spare,
but a little bent, confronted Villon. The head was massive in bulk, but finely
sculptured; the nose blunt at the bottom, but refining upward to where it
joined a pair of strong and honest eyebrows; the mouth and eves surrounded with
delicate markings, and the whole face based upon a thick white beard, boldly
and squarely trimmed. Seen as it was by the light of a flickering hand-lamp, it
looked, perhaps. nobler than it had a right to do; but it was a line face,
honorable rather than intelligent, strong, simple and righteous.
“You knock late, sir,” said
the old man, in resonant, courteous tones.
Villon cringed and brought up
many servile words of apology. At a crisis of this sort the beggar was
uppermost, in him, and the man of genius hid his head with confusion.
“You are cold,” repeated the
old man, “and hungry? Well, step in.” And he ordered him into the house with a
noble enough gesture.
“Some great signeur.” thought
Villon, as his host, setting down the lump on the flagged pavement of the
entry, shot the bolts once more into their places.
“You will pardon me if I go
in front,” he said when this was done, and he preceded the poet upstairs into a
large apartment, warmed with a pan of charcoal and lit by a great lamp hanging
from the roof. It was very bare of furniture; only some gold plate on a
sideboard, some folios, and a stand of armor between the windows. Some smart
tapestry hung upon the walls, representing the crucifixion of our Lord in one
piece, and in another a scene of shepherds and shepherdesses by a running
stream. Over the chimney was a shield of arms.
“Will you seat yourself,”
said the old man, “and forgive me if I leave you? I am a lone in my house
tonight, and if you are to eat I must forage for yen myself.”
No sooner was his host gone
than Villon leaped from the chair on which he had just seated himself, and
began examining the room. with the stealth and passion of a eat. He weighed the
gold flagons in his hand, opened all the folios and investigated the arms upon
the shield and the stuff with which the seals were lined. He raised the window
curtains, and saw that the windows were sot with rich stained glass in figures,
so far as he could see, of martini import. Then he stood in the middle of the
room, drew a long breath. and retaining it with puffed checks, looked round and
round him, turning on his heels, as if to impress every feature of the
apartment on his memory,
“Seven pieces of plate,” he
said. “If there had been ten, I would have risked its A line. House and a line
old master, so help me all the saints!”
And just then, hearing the
old man’s tread returning along the corridor, he stole back to his chair, and
began humbly toasting his wet legs before the charcoal pan.
His entertainer had a plate
of meat in one hand and a jug of wine in the other. He sat down the plate upon
the table, motioning Villon to draw in his chair, and, going to the sideboard,
brought back two goblets, which he filled.
“I drink your better
fortune,” he said, gravely, touching Villons cup with his own.
“To our better acquaintance,”
said the poet, growing bold. A mere man of the people would have been awed by
the courtesy of the old seigneur, but Villon was hardened in that matter; he
had made mirth for great lords before now, and found them as black rascals as
himself. And so he devoted himself to the viands with a ravenous gusto, while
the old man, leaning backward, watched him with steady, curious eyes.
“You have blood on your
shoulder, my man,” he said.
Montigny must have laid his
wet right hand upon him as he left the house. He cursed Montigny in his heart.
“It was none of my shedding,”
“I had not supposed so,”
returned his host, quietly. “A brawl?”
“Well, something of that
sort,” Villon admitted with a quaver.
“Perhaps a fellow murdered?”
“Oh, no, not murdered,” said
the poet, more and more confused. “It was all fair play—murdered by accident. I
had no hand in it, God strike me dead!” he added fervently.
“One rogue the fewer, I dare
say,” observed the master of the house.
“You may dare to say that,”
agreed Villon, infinitely relieved. “As big a rogue as there is between here
and Jerusalem. He turned up his toes like a lamb. But it was a nasty thing to
look at. I dare say you’ve seen dead men in your time, my lord?” he added, glancing
at the armor.
“Many,” said the old man. “I
have followed the wars, as you imagine.”
Villon laid down his knife
and fork, which he had just taken up again.
“Were any of them bald?” he
“Oh, ye… and with hair as
white as mine.”
“I don’t think I should mind
the white so much,” said Villon. “His was red.” And he had a return of his
shuddering and tendency to laughter, which he drowned with a great draught of
wine. “I’in a little put out when I think of it,” he went on. “I knew him—damn
him! And then the cold gives a. man fancies —or the fancies give a man cold, I
don’t know which.”
“Have you any money?” asked
the old man.
“I have one white,” returned
the poet, laughing. “I got it out. of a dead jade’s stocking in a porch. She
was as dead as Caesar. poor wench, and as cold as a church, with bits of ribbon
sticking in her hair. This is a hard world in winter for wolves and wenches and
poor rogues like me.”
“I,” said the old man, “am
Kuguerraud de la Feuillee, seigneur de Brisetout, bailly du Patatrae. Who and
what may you be?”
Villon rose and made a
suitable reverence. “I am cal led Francis Villon,” he said, “a poor master of
arts in this university. I know some Latin, and a deal of vice. I can make
chansons, ballads, lais, virelais and roundels, and I am very fond of wine. I
was born in a garret, and I shall not improbably die upon the gallows. I may
add, my lord, that from this night forward I am your lordship’s very obsequious
servant, to command.”
“No servant of mine.” said
the knight; “my guest. for this evening, and no more.”
“A very grateful guest.” said
Villon, politically, and he drank in dumb show to his entertainer.
“You are shrewd,” began the
old man, tapping his forehead, “very shrewd; you have learning; you are a
clerk; and yet you take a small piece of money of a dead woman in the street.
Is it not a kind of theft?”
“It is a kind of theft much.
practiced in the wars, my lord.”
“The wars are the field of
honor,” returned the old man, proudly. “There a man plays his life upon the east;
he fights in the name of his lord the king, his Lord God, and all their
lordships, the holy saints and angels.”
“Put it,” said Villon, “that
I were really a thief, should I not play my life also, and against heavier
“For gain, but not for honor.”
“Gain!” repeated Villon with
a shrug. “Gain! The poor fellow wants supper and takes it. So does the soldier
in a campaign. Why, what are all these requisitions we hear so much about? If
they are not gain to those who take them they are loss enough to the others.
The men-at-arms drink by a good fire. while the burgher bites his nails to buy
them wine and wood. I have seen a good many plowmen swinging on trees about the
country; ay, I have seen thirty on one elm, and a very poor figure they made;
and when I asked some one how all these came to be hanged, I was told it was
because they could nut scrape together enough crowns to satisfy the
“These things are a necessity
of war, which the low-born must endure with constancy. It is true that some
captains drive overhard; there are spirits in every rank not easily moved by
pity; and. Indeed, many follow arms who are no better than brigands.”
“You see,” said the poet,
“you cannot separate the soldier from the brigand: and what is a thief but an isolated
brigand with circumspect manners? I steal a couple of mutton chops, without so
much as disturbing people’s sleep; the farmer grumbles a bit, but sups none the
less wholesomely on what remains. You come up blowing gloriously on a trumpet,
take away the whole sheep. and beat the farmer pitifully into the bargain. I
have no trumpet; I am only Tom, Dick or Harry; I am a rogue and a dog. And
hanging’s too good for me—with all my heart: but just ask the farmer which of
us he prefers, just find out which of us he lies awake to curse on cold
“Look at us two,” said his
lordship. “I am old, strong and honored. If I were turned from my house
to-morrow hundreds would be proud to shelter me. Poor people would go out and
pass the night, in the streets with their children if I merely hinted that I
wished to be alone. And I find you up, wandering homeless. and picking
farthings off dead women by the wayside! I fear no man and nothing: I have seen
you tremble and lose countenance at a word. I wait God’s summons contentedly in
my own house, or, if it please the king to call me out again, upon the field of
battle. You look for the gallows; a rough, swift death, without hope or honor.
Is there ho difference between these two?”
“As far as to the moon.”
Villon acquiesced. “But if I had been born lord of Brisetout, and you had been
the poor scholar Francis, would the difference have been any the less? Should I
not, have been warming my knees at this charcoal pan, and would not you have
been groping for farthings in the snow? Should not I have been the soldier and
you the thief?”
“A thief?” cried the old man.
“I a thief? If you understood your words you would repeat them!”
Villon turned out his hands
with a gesture of inimitable impudence. “If your lordship had done me the honor
to follow my argument!” he said.
“I do you too much honor in
submitting to your presence,” said the knight. “Learn to curb your tongue when
you speak with old and honorable men, or some one hastier than I may reprove
you in a sharper fashion.” And lie rose and paced the lower end of the
apartment. struggling with anger and antipathy. Villon surreptitiously refilled
his cup and settled himself more comfortably in the chair, crossing his knees
and leaning his head upon one hand and his elbow against the back of the chair.
He was now replete and warm, and ho was in unwise frightened for his host,
having gauged him as justly as was possible between two such different
characters. The night was far spent and in a very comfortable fashion after all;
and he felt morally certain of a safe departure on the morrow.
“Tell me one thing,” said the
old man, pausing in his walk. “Are you really a thief?”
“I claim the sacred rights of
hospitality,” returned the poet, “My lord, I am.”
“You are very young," the
“I should never have been so
old,” replied Villon. showing his fingers, “if I had not helped myself with
these ton talents. They have been my nursing mothers and my nursing fat hers.”
“You may still repent and
“I repent daily,” said the
poet. “There are few people more given to repentance than poor Francis. As for
change, let somebody change my circumstances. A man must continue to eat, if it
wore only that he may continue to repent.”
“The change must begin in the
heart,” returned the old man solemnly.
“My dear lord,” answered
Villon, “do you really fancy that I steal for pleasure? I hate stealing, like
any other piece of work or of danger. My teeth chatter when I see a gallows.
But I must eat, I must drink. I must mix in society of some sort. What the
devil! Man is not a solitary animal—Cui Deus fæminam tradit. Make me
king’s pantler—make mo abbot of St. Denis; make me bailly of the Patatrae; and
then I shall be changed indeed. But as long as you leave me the poor scholar,
Francis Villon, without a farthing, why, of course, I remain the same.”
“The grace of God is all
“I should be a heretic to
question it,” said Francis. “It has made you lord of Brisetout and bailly of
the Patatrae; it has given me nothing but. the quick wits under my hat and
these ten toes upon my hands. May I help myself to wine? I thank you
respectfully. By God’s grace, you have a very superior vintage.”
The lord of Brisetout walked
to and fro with his hands behind his back. Perhaps he was not yet quite settled
in his mind about the parallel between thieves and soldiers; perhaps Villon had
interested him by some cross threat of sympathy; perhaps his wits were simply
muddled by so much unfamiliar reasoning; but whatever the cause, he somehow yearned
to convert the young man to a better way of thinking. and could not make up his
mind to drive him forth again into the street.
“There is something more than
I can understand in this,” he said. “Your mouth is full of subtleties, and the
devil has led you very far astray; but the devil is only a very weak spirit
before God’s truth, and all his subtleties vanish at a word of true honor, like
darkness at morning. Listen to me once more. I learned long ago that a
gentleman should live chivalrously and lovingly to God, and the king and his
lady; and though I have seen many strange things alone, I have still striven to
command my ways upon that rule, it is not only written in all noble histories,
but in every man’s heart, if he will take care to read. You speak of food and
wine, and I know very well that hunger is a difficult trial to endure: but you
do not speak of other wants; you say something of honor, of faith to God and
other men. Of courtesy, of love without reproach. It may be that I am not very
wise—and yet I am—but you seem to me like one who has lost his way and made a
great error in life. You are attending to the little wants, and you have
totally forgotten the great and only real ones, like a man who should be
doctoring toothache on the Judgment Day. For such things as humor and love and
faith are not only nobler than food and drink, but indeed I think we desire
them more, and suffer more sharply for their absence. I speak to you as I think
you will most easily understand me. Are you not, while careful to till your
belly, disregarding another appetite in your heart, which spoils the pleasure
of your life and keeps you continually wretched?”
Villon was sensibly nettled
under all this sermonizing. “You think l have no sense of honor!” he cried. “I’in
poor enough, God knows! It’s hard enough to sou rich people with their gloves,
and you blowing in your hands. An empty belly is a bitter thing. Although you
speak so lightly of it. If you had had as many as I, perhaps you would change
your tune. Any way, I’in a thief—make the most of that.—but Fm not a devil from
hell. God strike me dead. I would have you to know I’ve an honor of my own as
good as yours, though I don’t prate about it all day long as if it was a God’s
miracle to have any. It seems quite natural to me; I keep it in its box till
it’s wanted. Why now, look you here, how long have I been in this room with
you? Did you not tell me you were alone in the house? Look at your gold plate!
You’re strong, if you like, but you’re old and unarmed, and I have my knife.
What did I want but a jerk of the elbow, and here would have been you with the
cold steel in your bowels, and there would have been me, linking in the st roe
is with an armful of gold cups! Did you suppose I hadn’t wit enough to see
that! And I scorned the action. There are your damned goblets as safe as in a
church; there are you, with your heart ticking as good as new; and here am I,
ready to go out again as poor as I came in. with my one while that you threw in
my teeth! And you think I have no honor—God strike me dead!”
The old man stretched out his
right arm. “I will tell you what you are.” he said. “You are a rogue. my man,
an impudent and black-hearted rogue and vagabond. I have passed an hour with
you. Uh! believe me, I feel myself disgraced! And you have eaten and drunk at
my table. But now I am sick at your presence: the clay has come, and the night
bird should be off to his roost. Will you go before, or after?”
“Which you please,” returned
the poet, rising. “I believe you to be strictly honorable.” He thoughtfully
emptied his cup. “I wish I could add you were intelligent,” he went on,
knocking on his head with his knuckles. “Age! age! the brains stiff and
The old man preceded him from
a point of self-respect; Villon followed, whistling, with his thumbs in his
“God pity you!” said the lord
of Brisetout at the door.
“Good-by, papa.” returned
Villon, with a yawn. “Many thanks tor the cold mutton.”
The door closed behind him.
The dawn was breaking over the white roofs. A chill, uncomfortable morning
ushered in the day. Villon stood and heartily stretched himself in the middle
of the road.
“A very dull old gentleman,”
he thought. “I wonder what his goblets may be worth.”
Robert Louis Stevenson.
Mr. Reagan has been one of
the few men in congress since the war who have had a principle. and who have
dared maintain it. In the senate Mr. Reagan will have an excellent opportunity
of pursuing his studies of the great American corporation and its agents.—[Chicago
Having no stake anywhere, and
hungering only for the dollars and the opportunities which their questionable
service offered them, the Pinkerton men have been as reckless a upon of
anarchists as was over turned loose upon a free people. It will not be long
before all the states will have taken the same steps to preserve their dignity
and the lives of their citizens that Michigan has now done.—[Chicago Herald.]
As the public is paying the
extra cost of this strike in the enhanced price of such a necessity as coal, it
is about time, as we have before insisted, for the same public to call a halt
on the coal companies and insist upon a settlement, or at least a willingness
to discuss and consider the reasonable demands of their workmen.—[Boston
The natural right of every
Citizen to a free footing on the earth is the foundation stone of justice to
American labor. No man without free access to the earth and free standing room
upon it can possibly exercise the privilege of choosing what he will work for,
or for whom. He is at the mercy of the land owner and the tool owner. They have
dictated that the people shall work for the land owner for permission to sleep
on the earth, and for the machinery owner for the privilege of using his machinery,
and then for what wages the latter may choose to give in addition after these
privileges are pa id for. Tho alternatives left are to move off the earth or be
imprisoned as tramps.—[Amsterdam, N. Y., Labor’s Stage.]
Park Commissioner John D.
Crimmins thinks Dr. McGlynn “has lost his influence, particularly over that
class whom he has now an opportunity of serving.” If Mr. Crimmins means the
politician class, he is quite right. How well Dr. McGlynn could serve that
class by being false to himself is too obvious to need explanation.
Vice President Galloway of
the elevated railroads has curious ideas of discipline. His orders to gatemen
are strict to allow no one to puss without depositing a ticket or showing a
pass; yet he himself, without disclosing his identity. breaks his own rule.
About a mouth ago he summarily discharged a gateman at Battery place, who, not
having the honor of Mr. Galoway’s personal acquaintance, enforced the rule
against him. That interesting little romance about a private soldier who
wouldn’t let his general pass without the countersign, which has crime floating
down the centuries, will have to be reconstructed when Sunday school books
about generals of industry are written.
Judge Richard Prendergast,
who is talked of for mayor of Chicago by the united labor party, was born in
Ireland, Nov. 8, 1854. His mother died when he was but eight years of age, and
his father, who was a farmer and kept a country store, immigrated to this
country two years later, settling in LaSalle, Ill. The boy attended the public
school of that town, and during the vacations worked in a store. In 1833. when
ho was twelve years old, he went to Chicago, and for six years worked in a
store. With his scant savings he went to a college in Montreal in 1872 and
studied for two years. Then he returned to Chicago and entered St. Ignatius
college. In 1866, he entered a law office. In 1872 he was elected county judge
and was re-elected last fall.
Henry Clay Dean, a western
democratic orator, at one lime chaplain of the United States senate. died on
Saturday at his home in Putnam county, Missouri. He was sixty-five years
of age. Dean was a pronounced pro-slavery man, and devoted a great deal of
effort to showing that a negro is not really a human being. At one time ho was
quite prominent, but until the announcement of his death his name has hardly
appeared in the newspapers for years.
Progress of Concentration
C. W. Stanton in the Budget
Our farming land is so
heavily burdened with mortgages that the time is close at hand when it will be
absorbed by foreign syndicates and land barons. When the Roman owned the soil
he worked, Rome was happy and prosperous; but when the people became oppressed
they were formed to mortgage their land, which passed into the hands of less
than two thousand land barons. With poverty and loss of home and ambition to
the millions, discontent took the place of peace and loyalty, and the northern
barbarians found the key to the gates of Rome and the secret of her overthrow.
History repeats itself. Behold the change that has taken place in this country
in the past decade! Land tillers are rushing to the vortex as chaff before the
wind. Mortgages are driving the farmers from their homes, and millions are
locked up in the treasury vaults, while industry is languishing and labor is
training our streets in search of broad.
Nonsense About Official
Chicago Evening Journal.
A newspaper that evidently
believes in the common but delusive cant in regard to the “low salaries” of
public officers, refers to the anticipated departure of Secretary Manning and
Treasurer Jordan from the treasury department as an instance of men seeking
private employment because their public salaries are insufficient for their
wants. The official salary of Secretary Manning is $8,000 a year. That of
Treasurer Jordan is $6,000 a year. Neither of them ever had so large a salary
before in any occupation that he followed. Mr. .Manning and Mr. Jordan have
obtained possession of all the knowledge that is useful or of value relating to
the operations of the treasury department of the government. With this
knowledge they are going into the business of national banking in New York
city. Their experience is worth more to them than capital. It is something that
capital cannot acquire nor control. They have obtained it at the expense of the
United States, and are going to use it for their own profit.
The Pacific Pilate, a
German paper published in San Francisco, says, speaking of Southern California:
Below Fallbrook, where the
“blessings” of the old Spanish grants are still felt, one sees with sorrow and
indignation that magnificent mountain valley from one-quarter of a mile to
three miles broad given up to herds of half-wild cattle, because the grant, is
in the hands of lazy Spaniards who do not care to cultivate it, while poor men
willing to improve it are banished. We only wish that all opponents if Henry
George’s land theory could see this splendid vainly and be convinced: a great
part of them would recognize the folly of continuing the present land system.
Were it not for these absurd grants San Diego would new have 100,000 people. We
trust a change is coming very soon.
The Remedy Lies in
Toronto Correspondence Iron
Moulders’ Journal It is now tacitly acknowledged by all labor organizations
that full and permanent redress of the grievances of the laboring masses can
only be obtained by what is known as political action; in other words, the
selection of representatives to our legislative halls who are in thorough and
complete sympathy with our cause.
O Heart Divine!
O Heart Divine,
that pulsest through all space,
Why dost Thou
seem so far away and cold?
We miss the
pressure of the arms that fold;
We long to hear Thy
voice, to see Thy face.
But if Thou didst
vouchsafe this awful grace,
Might not the
question that Cain’s dread doom told,
“Where is thy
brother ?” shake our hearts too bold,
And brand our
foreheads with Hate’s hideous trace?
How oft our
groping hands, in seeking Thee,
Slip past, or
smite a brother in the dark!
heaven’s effulgent light are we
Who will not
faint earthly spark;
Who will not
learn that through a brother’s heart
Thy Heart Divine
will all its warmth impart.
“F. V.” on New
A Short Sermon by
the Rev. J. Llewelyn Davies
This preacher is
an English clergyman, introduced to American readers by Bishop Henry C. Potter
in a small book called “Theology and Morality,” from which we take this sermon:
“Why should we be
content to have so serf-like a peasantry in England? No fear of off ending land
holder, or farmer ought to restrain the expression of clerical sympathy with
the laborer; and we ought to look forward with hope to the time when the peasantry
shall be independent enough to make fair terms with those above them, and shall
enjoy a larker snare than now falls to their lot of the profits accruing from
the cultivation of the land.
“It is an
important fact, of which we must not lose sight, that the principle of
communism can hardly be stated in any general form which shall not demand
universal acquiescence. There are those who think that there is irreverence and
danger in discussing these questions at all. They would have property treated
with the respect due to a divine mystery, as a thing not to be approached even
in thought without delicacy and caution. They speak of ten of the sacredness of
private property. Now. various objects have been sacred in various religions.
But it is not the Christian religion that has ever consecrated private
property. Private ownership has its strength, not in religion or reflection.
but in the spontaneous impulses of human nature. You may persuade yourself that
nothing better can be devised than the competitive struggle for existence in
which the helpless go to the wall. But if you have imaginative enterprise
enough to construct an ideal scheme of social constitution, your scheme will
almost inevitably be more communistic than the existing arrangements of society.
It is scarcely possible to be religious or thoughtful at all without revolving
plans of some kind by which social miseries may be cured or social happiness
“I recall to your
minds the teaching of the new testament and the instincts of humanity. Now,
if certain plans were proposed to you by
which it could be shown to your satisfaction that, at the rest of some of the
wealth of the rich, the condition of the poor could be made permanently more
easy and more secure against degradation, would you not joyfully accept them?
You cannot say no. One of the most ambitious schemes is that of the acquisition
of the land by the state. On the great scale it seems impossible (l872) to
imagine how this could be done. But there is no a priori reason why more of the
land should not belong to the public than is at present the case among
ourselves. In Switzerland the communes hold a great deal of land, which they
either keep for common use or let to tenants at a rent. It seems to be simply a
question of good policy whether it would be well for us to adopt the same
“We are drawn on
the one hand toward the rich, on the other hand toward the poor. We may yield
ourselves to either attraction; but let as remember that it is the spirit of
the world that tempts us to make up to the rich, whilst the spirit of Christ
bids us sympathize with the humble and the poor.”
News and Opinions
The pope has
asked the center party of Germany
to support Bismarck in “preserving peace” by assenting to his seven years’ army
bill. The name of center party corresponds with the position of Catholic
populations in the empire. The Rhine and the Danube flow through Catholic land.
In Protestant Prussia the
Catholics hold the districts of richest agriculture and most famous traditions.
According to the latest census, they form a mass of 9,600,000 earnest Catholics
as against 18,000,000 nominal Protestants, not more than four or five millions
of whom ever attend any place of worship or hold a single dogma of positive
The young women of the
Catholic church at Stafford Springs, Conn., have formed "an association
for the cultivation of young men’s society.” They propose at balls, parties,
and all social gatherings boycott all young men who do not attend to church
duties regularly, do not lead strictly moral and temperate lives, and who fail
to keep company with some member of the organization.
St. Peter’s Catholic
cathedral, Montreal, is nearly completed. It resembles St. Peter’s at Rome. The
gigantic dome, the most striking part, is 210 feet at its summit above the
spectator on the floor. The top of the cross reaches 40 feet higher, and makes
the whole edifice 40 feet higher than Notre Dame, the older cathedral of
The American Christian
(pronounced Christian) convention, representing the “connection” to which the
late President Garfield belonged, has held its quadrennial session in New
Bedford, Mass. The members of the body in the United States and Canada are
given as about 140,000.
Father Damien, a Catholic
priest, has died of leprosy on one of the Hawaiian Islands where lepers are
kept. He went to work among them, knowing that it cut him off from the company
of other men, and that he risked his life. He was a representative of a host of
good men, Catholics and Protestants, who are doing the same work. Moravians
have been ministering to these outcasts for fifty years on Robben Island, near
the Cape of Good Hope, and at Jerusalem and in India are lepers’ homes wherein
God Gives No Title to Land
Rev. C. M. Winchester of the
Free Christian church, Middletown, N. Y., is teaching his congregation
sound morals as to land ownership. On Sunday week he said:
There are some things that
evidently belong to the race in common. It is impossible to have “a corner” in
air, or a monopoly of the sun or water. Al! of these are necessary to life No
more can a man live without land, and it is plain to be seen that land is a
common gift to all. Who can show a deed from God giving man an absolute title
to land? Every man has a right to be God’s tenant and use as much land as he
needs; but to obtain it for purposes of speculation and withhold it from his
fellow men is reprehensible, and the laws should be so framed as to make such
acts impossible. Let men obey the golden rule and soon they will find a way to
make distribution of land and all the necessaries of life so as to drive away
the poverty and discontent now creating so much distress among working people.
Ruskin at the Theater
We of the so-called
“educated” classes who take it upon us to be the better and tipper part of the
world, cannot possibly understand our relations to the rest better titan we may
where actual life may be seen in front of its Shakespearian image from the
stalls of a theater. I never stand up to rest myself and look round the house
without renewal of wonder how the crowd in the pit and shilling gallery allow
us of the boxes and stalls to keep our places. Think of it! those fellows
behind there have housed us and led us; their wives have washed our clothes and
kept us tidy; they have bought us the best places—brought us through the cold
to them, and there they sit behind us patiently seeing and hearing what they
may. There they pack themselves, squeezed and distant, behind our chairs—we,
their elect-toys and pet puppets, oiled and varnished and incensed lounge in
front, placidly, or for the greater part, wearily and sickly contemplative.
Here we are again, all of us, this Christmas! Behold the artist is tumbling,
our object of worship and applause; here sit we at our ease, the dressed dolls
of the place, with little more in our heads, most of us, than may be contained
inside of a wig of flax and a nose of wax; stuck up by these poor little
prentices, clerks and orange-sucking nobility, Kit and his mother and the baby
behind us, in the chief places of this our evening synagogue. What for? They
did not stick you up, say you; you paid for your stalls with your own money.
Where did you get your money? Some of you—if any reverend gentlemen, as I hope,
are among us—by selling the gospel; others by selling justice; others by
selling their blood (and no man has any right to sell aught of these three
things): the rest, if not by swindling, by simple taxation of the labor of the
shilling gallery, or of the yet poorer or better persons who have not so
much or will not spend so much as the shilling to get there. How else should
you or could you get your money, simpletons?— John Ruskin.
English Catholics Rejoicing
Over the Beatification
Two articles recently
appeared in The Standard showing that in Utopia Sir
Thomas More not only advocated the theory that the land of a country belongs to
the population of that country in common, but that all of the products of human
labor must in a true Christian commonwealth he similarly held. These articles
also announced that there was a possibility that Sir Thomas’ name would soon be
added to the Catholic calendar of saints, and that he has been already enrolled
among the blessed.
English Catholics are greatly
pleased over the formal enrollment of the names of their countrymen in the
noble army of martyrs, and the event was celebrated on Sunday, Jan. 16, when a
Te Deum was sung in all the Catholic churches throughout the kingdom in
thanksgiving for the beatification of the English martyrs.
Dr. Hedley, bishop of Newport
and Minevia, has issued a pastoral letter in which he refers to the “decree of
the sovereign pontiff in which he declared the beatification of fifty-four
martyrs who laid down their lives for the faith.” The bishop says: “Among them
are some of the most illustrious names in our Catholic annals. The blessed John
Fisher, the blessed Thomas More, the blessed Edmund Campion, are no mere names;
they are men who have left behind them so much noble history that, even if they
had never come to the scaffold, the rope, and the knife, they would be worthy
of all that attention and veneration which the world owes to its teachers and
its heroes.” He also refers especially to More as the first lawyer of his day
and one who, after the death of Wolsey, became the most prominent man in all
The Catholic Times and
Opinion of London accompanies Bishop Hedley’s pastoral with a biographical
sketch of Sir Thomas More, which so far from ignoring the work in which he
elaborated his socialistic theories, speaks of Utopia as a book that “delighted
all of the learned men of the day” and made Henry VIII still more anxious to
enroll its author among his courtiers. It appears from this that the church has
beatified Sir Thomas with its eyes wide open to his economic opinions.
In order that there may be no
doubt as to the meaning of the pope’s decree, Bishop Hedley explains it in his
pastoral. He says: “It would take too long, at this moment, to relate all that
has taken place in regard to the ’cause’ of the English martyrs in general. Let
it suffice to say that there are no less than 350 names in the catalogue of
those who, since the persecution of Henry VIII to the day when Oliver Plunkett,
Archbishop of Armagh, was executed in 1681, at Tyburn, have merited the
glorious title of martyr for the faith. A martyr who dies for the faith of
Christ and the honor of God, ascends, as we need not remind you, straight to
everlasting bliss. It is, therefore, more easy for the church to pronounce the
canonization of martyrs than of those holy men who had not the grace of dying
for Christ. Still, many wise formalities have to be gone through, in order that
there may be no mistake; many processes, much inquiry, and very exact judicial
investigation, both on the part of the ordinary bishops and of the holy see
itself, always accompany even that minor form of canonization which is called
‘beatification.’ It has happened, therefore, that it is only now—in our own
day—that the ’cause’ has been absolutely placed before the competent Roman
tribunals. As soon as this was done, it was found that in regard to fifty-four
names there was no difficulty.”
In such an investigation as
is here described, of course, the published works of any candidate for
beatification must have been closely scrutinized, and in the case of More and
his “Utopia” this scrutiny was facilitated by the fact that the book was
written in Latin, a tongue that all of the cardinals understand. Had that work
contained sentiments antagonistic to received Catholic doctrine it does not
appear likely that the poet would have escaped the attention of the examiners.
Yet they certified that he “merited the glorious title of martyr for the
faith,” which act, according to Bishop Hedley, is “a minor form of
canonization,” which assures the faithful that Sir Thomas More at his death
ascended “straight to everlasting bliss,” and which makes it easy for the
church hereafter, by full canonization, to enroll the now blessed old communist
in the calendar of the saints.
Ay, the Herald Ought to Know
New York, Feb. 8.—Workingmen
are not averse to discussing the cause and the remedy of their ills, but they
object decidedly to talk to those who assume deafness and blindness. The New
York Herald, which now invites discussion, is very well aware of the
wrongs we suffer, and knows the remedy. We have spoken often enough to make the
very stones understand us. If it does not it had plenty of opportunity t o
inform itself at the last municipal election, when 68,000 voices yelled it into
its ear. If the Herald be really animated with a desire to remove the
cause of strikes let it openly advocate the principle of "the land for the
people,” which is the only remedy. Until it does we can only regard it as a pretended
friend, not a real one.
Teaching the Land Gospel
Bay Shore, Long Island, Feb.
7.—Hugh B. Brown of this place delivered an address on the new gospel of “the
land for the people” in Suffolk hall on Tuesday evening, Feb. 1, to a large audience.
He showed the evils of the present system, and traced it back to its origin;
demonstrated that private property in land is sanctioned by neither natural nor
moral law, and dwelt on the point that, as land values are due to the increase
of population, they should be appropriated for public purposes, which could be
easily done by taxing land according to its value, irrespective of
improvements. The lecture excited a good deal of in, rest, and at its close
there was an interesting debate. A flood of light has been thrown upon the land
J. B. Smith.
At the meeting of
the Central labor union on Sunday a committee was appointed to take up
subscriptions for the strikers. The boycott on Straiton & Storm’s cigars
was removed. The special business for the next meeting is to be n discussion of
the removal of the boycott on George Ehret’s beer.
Bradstreet’s of last Saturday
furnished a report of (1) leading strikes begun in 1886 and unsettled on Jan. 1
last; (2) all strikes in the United States begun during January, 1887, and (3)
strikes announced during the first three days of February. The total number of
men on strike during January, 1887, was about 78,000, against 47,200 in
January, 1886. Inasmuch as 9,900 men have struck since Jan. 31 last, the
comparison becomes 87,000 on strike since Jan. 1, 1887, as compared with 47,200
in 1886; 16,300 workers in factories, mills, and elsewhere were idle because of
the scarcity of coal or because of lack of work caused by strikes of others.
This points to 104,000 industrial employees who have stopped work since Jan. 1.
There were eight strikes begun in 1880 carried over into the current year.
These involved 5,000 men. Four have ended, two of them successfully, including
1,170 men. And two failing, involving 830 men. In January there were begun over
ninety strikes by 73,000 employees. Of these thirty-two have ended, twenty-two of them,
involving 3,000 men, being successful and nine of them, involving 5,700 men,
having failed. About sixty January strikes, therefore. remain unsettled. The
twenty-four strikes reported for three days in February furnish a list of 9,900
men. None of these had been settled.
The “free shop”
notice of the boot and shoe manufacturers of Worcester county, Mass.. is
regarded by the factory employees in New England as an important event, far
reaching in its results. In all twenty shops have locked out their men, and
about 8,000 employees are affected. The matter involved is simply organization.
The employers decided that, rather than to deal with representatives of the
Knights, they would close their shops to ail members of labor organizations and
make contracts as they could with individuals. Only one factory is making a
determined effort to run with new help, the aim of the employers seeming to be
to keep up the lockout until the old hands are forced to submit.
Two of the
principal railroads of Boston, the Cambridge and the South Boston, are tied up,
the men demanding a ten-hour work day to come within twelve hours, as the
Schedule now spreads their day over thirteen to fourteen hours. The employees
of the other lines are reported ready for a general strike if necessary. The
directors of the South Boston road have
published official notices declaring that they have already granted concessions
to the men, and that to yield to further demands would be ruinous; that they
have offered to submit the question to the state board of arbitration and the
men have declined the proposal, and that, therefore, they have decided to
advertise for new men.
typographical union has given the employers the necessary thirty days’ notice
of an advance in wages. The publishers decline to accede to the advance and
demand arbitration. But the printers have been beaten twice in arbitration and
say they will not submit the question to any tribunal.
A lockout of
clothing cutters and trimmers took place in Philadelphia on Monday. The action
was decided upon by the board of arbitration of the clothing exchange because
the striking cutters of two firms had not been ordered back by the knights. The
members of the exchange employ 1,000 cutters, and several thousand other
employees are affected.
An order has been
sent out from the general headquarters of the Knights of Labor at Philadelphia,
commanding all knights who are members of the International cigar-makers’ union
withdrew from the union or leave the knights.
In March, 1886,
an assembly of the Knights of Labor was formed in Oswego with 100 members, and
now there are three assemblies, with 1,000 members. The only difficulty that
has occurred has just been satisfactorily settled by arbitration. The coopers
of Oswego had been working for very small wages, and taking their pay in orders
on the stores of the boss coopers. They demanded ten cents a piece in cash for
making barrels, an advance of four cents. The bosses ref used to accede to the
demands of the men, and arbitration was tried, but nothing could be done, and
the men quit work. After being out one week the bosses agreed to pay the
advance and the men returned to work.
The Boot and
Shoemakers’ white labor league of California is active and growing. It has
three agents on the road on the Pacific coast talking up the white labor stamp.
It is also asking for favorable legislation. The Knights of Labor of Washington
territory have had circulars distributed in San Francisco cautioning workingmen
to keep away from Seattle for at least two months, as men, women and children
are wanting the necessaries of life there. Yet the belief is prevalent here in
the east that the west has no poverty.
authorizing the manufacture of school books by prison labor is before the
Illinois legislature. It would result in employing 150 to 250 convicts as
printers, and the printing fraternity of the state is sending delegations to
Springfield to fight the bill.
thorough organization of the miners and coke workers of the Connellsville coke
regions during the past year wages have been increased, the pluck-me store has
rival stores, individual contracts have been abolished, grievances are settled
through officers of the organization, and fear has given away to a spirit that
demands fair play to the workers. Last week another advance in wages was
Me., Opinion says that labor is better organized than ever in that city, that
it knows of its rights and knows accurately what portion of them can be secured
and maintained. The employees of the manufacturers of lime there have addressed
to their employers a circular asking for a continuance of the wages of last
year. This was done after much discussion in various local assemblies on the
reports of two committees from the Knights of Labor and a report from the
county advisory board. These Maine men are evidently moving with caution and
The Philadelphia Record’s labor summary of Sunday last contained this paragraph: “Notwithstanding all our
tall: and boasting of high wages and the better condition of the working
classes than in foreign countries, and notwithstanding all that has been done by
the various labor organizations, large and small, there are hundreds of
thousands of wage-workers subsisting on a mere pittance. The number is not
decreasing. It is not easily explainable why such low wages and so much poverty
exist so near better labor conditions.”
In a Macclesfield
silk factory 114 hands throw 500 pounds of Canton silk at $2.25 per week. In a
similar American mill 30 hands throw 1,050 to 1,200 pounds of the same silk for
$5.50. It coots shoe manufacturers at Frankfort 21 cents to make uppers for
ladies’ high-top button gaiters, while at Lynn the cost is 11 cents. How much
longer are American workingmen going to be fooled by the false cry of
protection against the “pauper labor of Europe?”
farmers and planters threaten to have all the laws repealed which permit the
mortgaging of the crops in the field. The rates of interest are enormous, and
the people are kept poor.
and builders of Worcester, Mass., have organized and agreed that they will pay
for all work by the hour, and that they will not hire or discharge men because
they do not belong to labor organizations, but will insist on the right of individual contract.
The steel welters at
Pittsburgh have asked for an advance in wages of 15 per cent.
When a bill to punish “black
listing” was before the Pennsylvania legislature last week a member asked the
meaning of the word, having failed to find it in Ute dictionary. When it was
explained to him he said he wanted a provision in the bill to prevent one class
of employees from blacklisting another, as he believed that if it was a crime
for a dozen or more employers to agree to prevent certain workmen from earning
a living, it was also a crime for a union of workingmen to combine for a
Superintendent McCord of the
Sutter street railroad, San Francisco, has testified that the company has lost
since the beginning of the strike $45,000 receipts. The carmen are running
‘busses. Police are guarding every car.
The Miners and Laborers’
association of Pennsylvania have recommended to the legislature the passage of
bills as follows: The bill to prevent the payment of wages in store orders by
putting a tax on them; the two weeks’ pay bill: the blacklisting bill; the
Callahan conspiracy bill; the bill to prevent docking coal in the anthracite
regions; requiring coal to be measured by weight in the bituminous region;
doubling the number of mine inspectors in the anthracite region and increasing
the salary from $1,000 to $1.500 per year; appointing state inspectors for
enforcement of existing labor laws in mines: requiring uniform text-books in
schools throughout the state, not to be changed oftener than once in live
years; creating a school of coal mining; establishing miners’ hospitals;
requiring two practical miners on every coroner’s jury in cases of mine
Timothy J. Ryan, employed as
a dresser-tender at the Riverside mill at Olneyville, R. I., was fined and
discharged for alleged imperfect work. Ryan objected to the line and refused to
take his wages with the amount of the line deducted from them. He, sued and the
case was decided in favor of Ryan. The company appealed and took the case
before a jury, but were again defeated, and finally the company was heard
before the supreme court on their petition for a new trial on the ground of the
alleged disqualification of a juror. The petition was dismissed with costs.
The maritime labor council of
Australia has notified the San Francisco federated trades that unless the men
who struck against the vessels of J. D. Spreckels & Bros. returned to work
and put a stop to the shipping of Chinese crews the unions in Australia, would
themselves take the places left open by the strike, and it was recommended that
the strike be abandoned. Resolutions favoring a federation of water front
unions have been adopted by the steamship men of San Francisco. The members of
the Terre Haute brickmakers’ union accepted employment at the close of the
brick-making season in other occupations, many of them going with farmers during
corn husking. They are now drifting back to the city, and the union is again
holding meetings. The spirit of standing up for one another is strong in such
Mr. Henry Asken puts a plea
before the organized labor of the country for the establishment of an eight
hour day in the last issue of the Cincinnati United Labor Age. He says: “There
should be a national convention of all national labor organizations for the
express purpose of introducing and establishing the eight hour system. At such
a convention the undertaking could be systematized and made a national success.
Taking into account the vast interests that would “be affected by this
movement, and the radical difference it would make, it should be apparent to
the most obtuse that the reform must be sufficiently gradual to avoid the
dangers arising from violent and sudden changes in the laws governing the
industries of the world. A convention composed of the bodies I have mentioned
could adopt a rule lessening the hours of labor so that the end sought could be
gained without any perceptible injury to the industries of the country. It
could take half an hour a year for four years, or one hour with two years
The attempt of the Cincinnati
builders to fix the length of a working day for all their employees develops
the fact that the stonemasons alone have been working eight hours. The men of
all the other trades connected with the building industry worked nine. Hours
last season and are willing to continue at those hours during the coming season.
Most of them are asking, however, for an eight-hour Saturday.
The ten-cent barber shops of
San Francisco have been reduced in number from two hundred and ten to
seventy-five by the Barbers’ progressive league, and now it is proposed to wipe
out the rest.
A Strike Against Rent
There is discontent among the
tenants of the board of trade building in Buffalo, and the News says
that that magnificent structure may be nearly tenantless on the first of May,
unless the trustees withdraw a notification they have recently issued of an
increase of rent of from 50 to 65 per cent. The grain men have threatened to
move out in a body and create a new center for their trade. Last year the board
of trade netted 7½ per cent on its investment.
What Do Railway Managers
What do railway
managers care if a score or two of passengers, caught in a wrecked train, are
burned before the very eyes of their friends? The officials of a railway seem
to imagine that their duty to the traveling public is performed when
comfortable ears are run on fast schedule time. . . . To heat a train of cars
by steam, or to supply a baggage car with a profusion of wrecking implements,
is a matter of expense that to railway managers probably seems unwarranted by
the slight chances of disaster attaching to the trip of any particular train.
This is the reason why men and women are burned alive after escaping the shock
of a collision or derailment by which a passenger train has been wrecked. In
Ohio, alter the Ashtabula horror, and in New York, after the frightful
collision near Spuyten Duyvil, it was sought by legislative enactments to
afford some additional degree of security to the immense army of travelers
whose constant danger these dire disasters had made apparent. But such
regulations were of no avail beyond their effect in quieting the general clamor
against penurious and brutal methods of railway management. The outworn and
dangerous practice of healing cars by living coals should be stopped by legal
enactment. Each passenger train should similarly be compelled to carry an
abundant supply of wrecking implements, and railway managers who do not comply
with these requirements should be disciplined by exemplary punishment. Nothing
less conclusive than this will afford that protection which society owes to its
train should longer be lighted by oil lamps. The electric light is already used
on some roads, and should be used on all.
The Land Question
The land question
in Wales is rapidly attaining to
the dimensions of Irish agitation, except that the relative positions of people
and police are reversed in the two countries. In Ireland a body of police
appear and evict a tenant; in Wales a body of tenants appear and evict a
bailiff. A ludicrously solemn scene was recently enacted at Whitford, near
Holywell. Some farms are in the possession of bailiffs representing the
ecclesiastical tithe collectors, or commissioners, so a baud of 300 men
appeared, quietly “chucked out” the bailiffs, escorted them to a railway
station two miles off and saw them off in the train for Chester after
thoughtfully providing them with tickets.
And The New Party
The Editor of the Colored
Men’s Organ Discusses the Question
I am not surprised at the
views expressed by Mr. Edmonds in The Standard of the 20th in discussing the negro’s relation to the new democracy. Why should I be
surprised? Mr. Edmonds simply expressed the views of nine-tenths of the white
men of the south—men who still regard negro citizenship as an open and,
therefore, unsettled question, and who ransack the records of the past to show
that Jefferson intended to convey one thing and Jackson another, when, as a
matter of fact,nobody cares an iota what
Jefferson wrote or Jackson thought of the slave system further than as matter
of history to be received, as “information to be sifted.” Both Jefferson and
Jackson were slave-holders and the subservient tools of the slave power.
Indeed, it does not matter
for any practical purpose of today what
was thought said or done in relation to this negro question prior to the war of
rebellion. Any proposition relating to this matter predicated upon antebellum
data amounts to nothing in the solution of the problems of today, simply because
the incorporation into the constitution of the post bellum amendments changed
entirely the field of speculation in all questions affecting the negro. With
one amendment abolishing slavery, another defining citizenship and still
another conferring the franchise, what do we care about what Jefferson meant
when he wrote that “all men are created equal?” The amendments compel us
to interpret the constitution in an
altogether different light from that adopted by Jackson’s man Friday, Chief
Mr. Edmonds discusses the
question as: if he believed the negro was still a slave, still disfranchised,
still ignorant of his legal rights, still the pliant instrument of the white
man’s caprices. without any recourse in the laws of the land. There is much of
the Rip Van Winkle sort of ignorance and ante-bellum nonsense in all that Mr.
Edmonds has to say in his article. He shows that he remembers much that he
should have forgotten, and ignores or knows nothing of many things of which he
cannot afford to be ignorant without provoking the ridicule of those he would
convince and persuade.
Perhaps Mr. Edmonds has not
read the federal constitution as amended. There are a great many white men in
the south who have not done so. Indeed, the decisions on the civil rights bill
and the ku- klux law would seem to indicate that the judges of the supreme
court of the United States would do well to study the amended
constitution more and the unamended constitution less. In the light of the
constitution as amended, the black man has some rights that the white man is
bound to respect, and the colored people are learning this fact. and are beginning to impress it upon the whites
in a manner not to be mistaken.
There never was a wrong that
was not righted, for the eternal justice of God has pronounced in every
instance against “man’s inhumanity to man.” So it will be ultimately in the
south. To presume, as Mr. Edmonds does, the perpetual disfranchisement of the
colored voters of the south and the perpetuation of the caste prejudice based
on color, is to shut the eve of intelligence to the vast changes that have
already taken place in the sentiment and the condition of both peoples since
Lee’s surrender, twenty years ago. Such a presumption would leave the colored
man as an assertive force entirely out of the question. Can this be done and
still indicate with any degree of precision the possible outcome of the race
problem in the south? I do not think it can be done.
If the new democratic party
hopes to accomplish anything in the south it must work with colored and white
forces, and it must place them on the same footing in all matters in which they
have a common interest. To do otherwise would simply be suicidal. Take away the
black laborers from the labor force of the south, and what have we left? Mr.
Clemens has told you in The Standard of Jan. 8, and you can take
his diagnosis as thorough. Think of a new democracy in the south which should
bar out the colored labor element! The thing is supremely ridiculous, and
nobody knows this better than Mr. Edmonds. What he and men of his stamp in the
south contend for is that the colored laborer is not a man, not a free agent,
not a sovereign citizen, but a machine, a slave, a brute; that he must be left
alone to be indeed and degraded, as the white man shall determine and direct.
It was essentially this feature of the labor problem in the south that
compelled Horace Greeley to declare it an abomination under the sun, in that it
had an irresistible tendency to drag the free labor of the north down to its
brutish and slavish level. The laborers of the north cannot permit the laborers
of the south to be fleeced and degraded without being equally injured; and
southern white laborers can force no considerable and lasting concession from
capitalism if they shall exclude the colored laborers from their force.
T. Thomas Fortune.
New York, Feb. 5.
Its Managers Look for Success
Through Lower Wages and Unskilled Labor
Middletown, N. Y.,
Last summer there came to
town from a manufacturing district east of the Hudson a practical hatter. He
looked the ground river, talked with many unemployed hatters and prominent
citizens, and learned the exact condition of the wool hat manufacturing
interest in this place.
Back of this man was an
almost unlimited capital, running into the millions, it was clearly seen that
here this great monopoly could best accomplish the object in view—the
manufacture of wool hats at so Iowa cost that its competitors, the other hat
manufacturers, would be obliged to reduce the cost of manufacture or go out of
the business, thus leaving the syndicate a monopoly of the wholesale trade.
At the time this hat factory
was first reopened for business by the new company there were many hatters and
others who had formerly found employment in this shop who sought work under the
new management. Many of them had been out of employment for a long time; the
families of some were actually suffering
for the necessaries of life—starving. Can one wonder that they eagerly accepted
any rate of wages offered?
This was the situation when
the man from over the river took control for the monopoly. He established a new
scale of wages. Where men had formerly been employed he now hired boys in their
stead. They could do nearly as much work, besides they could be hired for
one-half the wages formerly paid men. And the boys were more than anxious to
get an opportunity to learn and to finish the trade. And this was the new
enterprise which was so gladly welcomed to our village by both our citizens and
The finishers. who usually
receive the best wages of all who work on hats, and tin.» other old employees,
were offered work at the new scale. Many accepted. When Fuller Bros. were the
employers they paid 50 per cent higher rates than are now paid to finishers,
trimmers, pressmen, curlers and shrinkers.
The young girls who work in
the carding room are obliged to stand on their feet continuously the whole day
long for ten hours. The operators in the hat factory are frequently the victims
of lung affections, super-induced by breathing air in which is suspended
poisonous particles of wool, shoddy, chemicals and dyes. For giving the best
years of their lives in this work, many of these poor girls, these helpless
wage slaves, do not receive over $2.50 per week. And let no man dare to say,
“They are only factory girls.” Whose fault is it? The weighers, who are girls
of much experience, receive but $3 per week. For fulling and shrinking hats men
are paid $1 per day and boys 50 cents. The finishers now receive the hat in a
less finished condition than formerly, which necessitates more work by them to
complete it, and at a greatly reduced rate.
Many boys and young men who
were taken on as green hands at low rates have obtained credit to a
considerable amount among our merchants, who supposed that these young
apprentices received the good wages paid had been obliged to serve at the trade
a number of years. Unskilled labor is employed in the finishing department,
with the object of replacing the higher priced finishers with it as rapidly as
it becomes competent.
And to all this injustice our
citizens are indifferent. Do you wonder that now and then one of these
plodding, hard working girls, receiving but $3 per week, the price of her
board, is overcome by the allurements and promises of the tempter and falls by
the way? Those of you who have enough and to spare of this world’s goods “don’t
care.” Many rub together their hands and say, “It’s too bad,” and there ends
their sympathy for suffering humanity.
There are those among you who
have been endowed by nature with a more fertile brain, a more vigorous body, a
better business talent, than falls to the lot of the average man. Is it not
yours to help the weak and unfortunate? Where is your Christian charity when
you heed not the voice of want?
Those who accepted the low
wages offered them at the factory did so because it was to them a matter of
bread. Is it probable that their condition will ever be bettered by a voluntary
increase of wages from the employers? Precedent says “no.”
Houston, Tex., Labor Echo
Houston witnessed two
spectacles this week that it would be well to place side by side: Jay Gould
visited the city by special train in his palace car, was received by notables,
and was feted and favored with all the attentions possible. Jay Gould is worth
his hundreds of mi1lions. About the same time a dozen or so tramps visited the
city, and by the time they reached the outskirts they were nabbed by the
vigilant minions of the law, taken before a court and found guilty of doing
without money and without friends. Th’s is a crime in these latter days, see
the tramps were loaded with chains and worked under guard because they were
destitute. These are two pictures that it would be well for the masses to place
side by side and study with care. The rapacity and lawlessness of the man who
was feted and honored has produced thousands of the men who were loaded with
chains and worked upon the highway.