Vol II Issue No. 13 October 1, 1887
AN ADVANCE ALL ALONG THE LINE.
Women in Politics —The Silent Vote and Its Probable Strength – John McMackin’s Estimate for New York City – The Movement Throughout the State
The great fair of the Anti-poverty society, now in progress at Madison square garden, is significant of the practical entrance of women into the field of politics. The advocates of woman suffrage, if they are wise, will see in the united labor party the instrument of their triumph.
If women hitherto have not obtained the ballot, it has been simply because, as a rule, they have not wanted it. The contests of politicians have been as nothing to them. Their interest in the fortunes of this leader or that, of this or the other set of civil service clerks, has been faint and languid, and it is years since any issue more important than these has existed between the two old parties. But no sooner does a new party spring into the arena, with an aim whose achievement will be a positive solid benefit to every man, woman and child upon the planet, than suddenly the women throw aside their languor and indifference and bring every energy they possess to the aid of the party whose triumph will be the triumph of the people, and not merely of the men for whom the majority or plurality of the people may have voted.
This is the explanation of the extraordinary zeal of the women of the Anti-poverty society. This explains why they are raising a fund for the united labor party, and why they attend its meetings and manifest such enthusiasm. They are filled with the spirit of this new kind of politics.
The deeply religious spirit of the movement, too, is drawing men and women to its support whom nothing else could move. The correspondence of The Standard, week by week, shows how rapidly the clergy are falling into line, and with what devoted zeal they labor in the cause. Within the past few days two noticeable recruits have come in: the Rev. John A. Copeland of Rochester, and the Rev. James Nilan, D.D., of Poughkeepsie, the former a recent apostle of prohibition and the latter a Catholic priest, whose sympathies have long been known to be with Dr. McGlynn, and who now, in emphatic terms, indorses the principles and objects of the united labor party.
The second of the old parties has held its convention, nominated its candidates, and declared what it would do if it only had the chance. Among other things it would reduce the duty on “raw materials”— not all raw materials, but only those “which now assist and promote foreign competition with ourselves in our own markets and prevent or hinder the sale of our surplus products in foreign markets and which increase the cost to our wage earners of the common necessaries of life, and the price of the common daily clothing of all our people.” A somewhat remarkable contract, not unlike that of the boy who tried to give each of his two friends three-quarters of the same apple.
The convention, while having no thought of committing itself to the principle of state ownership of railways, regards canals as quite another matter. These are to be deepened and improved generally at the cost of the people of the state for the sake of building up towns and cities, and transporting necessaries of life and raw materials “at the lowest practicable cost.” During the winter months, when the canals are frozen, democratic political economy suspends operation, and the people may get the necessaries and materials on such terms as the railroad corporations will allow.
Otherwise, the democracy of New York repudiates prohibition, indorses President Cleveland, likewise Governor Hill, confounds oleo-margarine, sympathizes with the Irish tenants who won’t move out when the landlords tell them to, loves the G. A. R., and is the special friend of the immigrant. The platform is ingeniously drawn. It avoids living issues, and delivers harmless platitudes and bombastic declarations with immense vigor and enthusiasm.
The real work of the campaign is now in progress: the conflict is extending all along the line, and men’s hearts are becoming heated and their nerves braced with the joyous ardor of the fray. Meetings are being held, tracts distributed. districts canvassed, organizations started and perfected, and principles forced into discussion. Within the city, in addition to a number of well attended smaller gatherings, two noticeable demonstrations have been held — one in Cooper union on Friday night under the auspices of the Printing trades’ legion, at which Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, John R. O’Donnell, John H. Mitchell, Jr., of Richmond, John McMackin and others spoke; and the other in Nilsson hall, under the management of the Third assembly district association, at which Dr. McGlynn and Henry George delivered addresses. Both meetings were crowded, notwithstanding that a charge for admission was made to the latter. The triumphant tone of the speakers and the cheers of the audience told of a conscious strength and confidence of coming success.
And there is good reason for this feeling of confidence. Before the campaign is over the united labor party will have, beyoud question, the most powerful political organization in New York city. Its members arc steadfast, incorruptible and zealous. They work for principle and not for spoils, and naturally they attract to their side the sympathy and aid of citizens who have been longing for honest government, but have despaired of obtaining it from either of the two parties that “point with pride” and “view with alarm.” Already the assembly district organizations have been much strengthened and recruits are coming in each day in increasing numbers. The silent vote — the vote which makes no sign before election day — is going to count heavily on our side this year. There are thousands upon thousands of Nicodemuses1 in New York city, and, for that matter, throughout the entire state, who either because of that reluctance which many men feel to subject themselves to the sneering comment which awaits all who adhere to struggling truth, or because their bread and butter would be endangered if they were to speak out, are firmly adverse to declaring their preference for the united labor party. But they will take precious fine care to put their opinions in the ballot box, and every such expression of opinion will count just one. The Standard, through its correspondence, is in a position to form a reasonable opinion regarding this silent vote; and while anything like an exact estimate is of course out of the questiou, we believe it may be reckoned, in the city alone, by scores of thousands.
John McMackin, chairman of the county executive committee, predicts that the united labor party will not only poll the largest vote in this city, but that assemblymen will be elected in the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-second districts, with a good fighting chance in the First, the Nineteenth and the Twenty-third. He bases his estimates upon the condition of the respective districts, the number of members enrolled, the reports made at meetings. the work of house to house canvassing, and the enthusiasm and earnestness that pervade every part of the city save in the wealthiest and poorest quarters. In many of the districts the names which were last year signed to the guarantee roll of votes for Henry George have been obtained, and signers are being sought out and brought into the ranks.
Careful inquiry into the condition of those districts which are supposed to be socialist strongholds show that the numerical strength of the socialists is comparatively slight, while their defection has actually increased the strength of the party they abandoned. August Meyer, chairman of the Tenth district, which cast 3,695 votes last fall for the united labor candidate, and is composed for the most part of Germans, says that shortly before the socialist disruption his association embraced less than one hundred members, but that it now approximates two hundred and fifty. On looking over a large pile of applications for membership in the Fourteenth it was found that German names greatly preponderated, and in the Twenty-second district not only are Germans, who have hitherto been strangers, applying for admission, but many of the Germans who formerly were members of the German branch, which cut away when the socialists went out, are coming back and exchanging their cards for cards of membership in the regular organization.
It seems pretty evident that outside of the socialist organization the united labor party will lose none of the German votes that were cast for it last year, and that the socialist vote itself, if used in opposition, will be greatly reduced, as many socialists are thought to prefer the united labor party with its alleged shortcomings to either of the others.
The organization in the Eighth district was temporarily weakened by the resignation of its officers, who were socialists, but hard workers have taken matters in hand and expect by election day to draw out a big vote.
Each one of the districts is preparing to hold outdoor and indoor meetings to set before the voters the party’s principles. In pursuance of this policy the Thirteenth district association has engaged Miner’s Eighth avenue theater for a succession of Sunday evening meetings, the first to be held on October 2, when Henry George will make a speech; and the Seventh district wiil invite Judge Maguire of California to address a mass meeting in Chickering hall early in October.
A survey of the state outside New York city shows an amount of progress which either of the two old parties would be glad to chronicle in its own case, and which for a new party, without money, with limited representation in the press, with a wall of prejudice to be surmounted, is simply phenomenal. In cities, towns and throughout the rural districts earnest men are gathering for the work and laboring, concertedly and as individuals, on behalf of the cause they hold so dear. As might be expected, it is in the centers of population that the new doctrines find quickest acceptance, and it is among them that the organizations are the strongest and most advanced. But in the strictly rural districts the reports that reach The Standard show a noticeable gain. A vast amount of personal work is being done among the farmers, who are found by no means deaf to argument. Tracts are eagerly taken, copies of The Standard are being read with interest, and the respect with which the teachings of the united labor party advocates are listened to, suffice to show that if the New York farmer is not absolutely converted to our views, he has at least lost much of his respect for the teachings of the old party politicians, and rather smiles than otherwise at their hobgoblin stories of the awful things that will befall him when the united labor party takes charge of the legislation of the Empire state.
The lower counties—Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Richmond and Queens — are noticeably waking up and preparing for vigorous action. A correspondent writes from Peekskill, where Dr. McGlynn and Everett Glackin recently delivered addresses:
Such a time was never witnessed in Peekskill. Dr. McGlynn’s presence and address created the wildest enthusiasm in an audience composed largely of business and professional men; and when he said that “if he were not allowed to preach this religion from the pulpit he would preach it from the stage of the theater on the tail of a cart,” it seemed as if every person in the hall applauded. I have never seen so much enthusiasm in a public meeting in this town since I have been here.
Since the meeting I have heard many expressions of approval and even in support of the doctrines from people who before were not interested in the subject of land taxation, while I have yet to hear a single word of dissent. We are in first rate shape for the campaign, and from all I can gather we shall poll a large silent vote. F. Sylvester.
In Poughkeepsie Dr. McGlynn had an equally encouraging experience. The Anti-poverty society of that city holds regular Sunday evening meetings for the purpose of arousing public attention, and when Dr. McGlynn and Mr. Glackin spoke at least two thousand people crowded into the opera bouse and listened with close attention.
Orange county already has five land and labor clubs, all with rapidly increasing memberships. The good effects of the Newburg meeting of last week, at which Henry George spoke, are already apparent. The Newburg papers, which have a large county circulation, gave very full reports of the gathering, and the result is a noticeable anxiety to hear the truth about the united labor party from those who can be depended upon to speak it.
But it is to Albany that we must turn for the most significant news of the week. The action of organized labor in that city in its convention on Sept. 27, and in the spirited mass meeting held the same evening, is full of hope for united labor and prophetic of the speedy downfall of at least one wing of the great pro-poverty republican-democratic party. Fully 20,000 voters, composing District assemblies 147, 104 and 68, were represented in the convention, which, by a decisive majority, resolved “that the convention here assembled endorse the platform of the united labor party and pledge themselves to support its candidates, and also that the candidates nominated by this convention pledge themselves to support said platform, and that they accept or decline their nomination within forty-eight hours of the publication of the proceedings of this meeting, and that a special committee be appointed to fill any vacancies that may occur.”
The convention also nominated a full county ticket: T. J. Dowling, D. M. W. of D. A. 147, for state senator, P. S. O’Heaney for congress, Thomas Palmatier of Typographical union No. 4 for county treasurer, and George W. Terrill of Cohoes for coroner.
At the mass meeting at Van Vechten hall on the same evening Everett Glackin delivered one of his ringing addresses, pointing out clearly the origin of the evils that afflict society; and showing in terse and vigorous style the justice of and necessity for the remedy proposed by the united labor party. The meeting was an enthusiastic one, as well it might be, for, like the great mass meeting in Union square, it marked an epoch in a city’s history.
It is too soon to say that Albany is safe for united labor; but it certainly isn’t safe for anybody else.
A Troy correspondent writes to The Standard that the farmers in that vicinity who get but the barest living out of their land, and just manage to make both ends meet, are becoming stirred up considerably by the report that there is a movement on foot to lighten their taxes, and are anxious to know more of the principles of the united labor party. This they are learning through the medium of tracts and from speakers from Troy. Two of these workers recently went over into Washington county, and after explaining what the party proposes organized a club among the farmers at Barker’s grove. The meeting was presided over by a leading republican, and democrats and prohibitionists were among the earliest members.
Efficient work is doing in the central counties of the state. Newtown, Canajoharie. Fort Plain, Utica, Northport, Clyde, Seneca Falls, Syracuse, Rochester and other cities are so many centers of organization whence men go out into the counties round about, making speeches, distributing tracts, and organizing assembly district associations or land and labor clubs. In Syracuse eight wards are efficiently organized and several large meetings have been held. Of the party strength in Rochester the correspondent of the New York Tribune says:
Many democrats are workingmen, and with the present prospects for strife far-sighted observers predict that not a few will be found this fall in the ranks of the Henry George followers. The fact that D. C. Feely, the candidate of the united labor party for attorney general, is a resident of this city will also be an inducement to them. Mr. Feely is well known here as an able lawyer and is really popular with the working: classes. In years past no trustworthy estimate could be obtained of the strength of the labor party, so much splitting has occurred on its tickets at different elections. This year, however, the feeling of unity is very strong. No section of the union labor party seems to be in existence here, and its adherents, if there be any, are greatly scattered. Consequently it can be said that the united labor party vote will be heavy, and perhaps as far as Rochester is concerned, surprise many politicians. The Feely men are well organized, and being aware that the country is their weakest point, have begun work in the towns.
Indeed, throughout the state the situation is full of hope. Our enemies are divided among themselves. Without any clearly defined purpose or reason for their being, beyond the desire for office or for the power of plunder which control of office gives, they are under the necessity of constantly modifying their pretended principles to suit the varying characters of the communities whose suffrages they seek; and their attempts to be all things to all men lead to awkward exposures of their emptiness. Against them the united labor party presents its clear cut, well defined, easily defended platform of justice to mankind in the doing of God’s will on earth. That the ultimate triumph will remain with the party of truth and principle is not to be questioned. The signs of the times are that that triumph is much nearer than, a month ago, any man could have dared to hope.
The state executive committee has arranged for the following speeches for the coming week:
Monday, Oct. 3—Rochester, Henry George; Saratoga, Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin, president of Typographical union No. 6; Binghamton, Dr. Alfred S. Houghton of Cincinnati and Robert Crowe of New York; Sing Sing, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J., and James P. Kohler of Brooklyn; Penn Yan, Louis F. Post of New York.
Tuesday, Oct. 4 — Canandaigua, Henry George; Schenectady, Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin; Owego, Dr. A. S. Houghton and Robert Crowe.
Wednesday, Oct. 5—Geneva, Henry George; Amsterdam, Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin; Elmira, Dr. A. S. Houghton and Robert Crowe; Albany, Louis F. Post; Poughkeepsie, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and James P. Kohler.
Thursday, Oct. 6—Hornellsville, Dr. A. S. Houghton and Robert Crowe; Ithaca, Henry George; Gloversville, Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin; Plattsburg, Louis F. Post.
Friday, Oct. 7—Jamestown, Dr. A. S. Houghton and Robert Crowe; Little Falls, Dr. Edward McGIynn and Everett Glackin; Auburn, Henry George; Malone, Louis F. Post; Nyack, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and James P. Kohler.
Saturday, Oct. 8-—Hoosick Falls, Judge James G. Maguire of San Fraucisco; New Brighton, James P. Kohler and Henry George; Syracuse, Louis F. Post; Dunkirk, Dr. A. S. Houghton and Robert Crowe.
We Want a People’s Nation, Not a Landlord’s Nation.
Brooklyn, N. Y.—I have been frequently and pleasantly surprised during the last few weeks by evidences of the growth of sentiment in favor of a free earth and honest politics. Many gentlemen whom I had looked upon as republicans or democrats, irretrievably joined to their party idols, have declared their intention of withdrawing from a battle where the forces contend for no issue other than mere temporal supremacy, and of casting their votes for Henry George. These men are intelligent, not a few of them of some distinction in the professions, and their utterances show that ignorance of the principles that animate the new crusaders is being rapidly dispelled. Some caste prejudices remain to be overcome, and the movement for a people’s nation, as against the conservatism that seeks to penetrate a landlord’s nation, a capitalists’, a railroad company’s nation and a Jay Gould’s nation must be explained more fully to those who do not wish to learn the truth; but the knowledge is growing fast. A lady once said to me, “Is it possible that you sympathize with this labor movement?”
“I sympathize,” I answered, “with all movements that tend toward the spread of justice. Nearly all of us are laboring people, and all that is wanted is that the will of the idle earth owner should not countervail the needs of the million. We want the same rights, chances and privileges that speculators and capitalists manage to get for themselves. In short, we want a return of the good old American idea of a free country and equal rights.”
“But these laboring people are so ignorant.”
“That is rather hard on your husband. I have always considered him as rather a bright man.”
“Oh, but he’s not a laboring man.”
“Isn’t he, indeed? He works from twelve to sixteen hours a day, and works hard when he is at it.”
“Yes; but it is literary work.”
“Which is about as exhausting as any, and none too good pay.”
“Why, I thought this labor movement was confined to hod carriers!”
There is an exhibition of the state of mind among some people. Of course, it is true that the labor movement is more especially designed to help those who maintain life under the hardest conditions, but it should none the less appeal to all who rely on their daily toil for their daily bread. It is a contest of the worker against the speculator; of the man who lives on his earnings against the man who lives by legislative grants and by changes in the price of stocks, of wheat, of cotton and of God’s earth. Charles M. Skinner
A Clergyman Describes the Situation In Syracuse.
Syracuse, N. Y., Sept. 20.— Several ward clubs have been formed, and although the local press is striving hard for fair and sometimes unfair means to reduce to iniquity the doctrines of our party, justice and truth have their attractions, and many are piling into the ranks of the united labor party. A republican to whom I gave to read “Protection or Free Trade,” by Henry George, has gone so far in the work as to admit that if he continues to the end he will certainly be convinced. There is need on the part of our local organizations of a bold missionary spirit which will at once scatter far and wide the tracts of anti-poverty. Several bundles were sent by the writer to women whose husbands are rabid partisans, and the writer was surprised to see how both the husbands and wives treasured these tracts and how deeply they were interested in them. People are arguing today who have never known what logic is, and the false premises and bad propositions which are advanced show how uninformed many are as to what constitutes the essentials of the land question.
It is to be expected that many will not clearly argue through the entire philosophy; but who is so perverse or so ignorant as not to know what the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God means. The philosophy of our politics is built upon this truth. The city of New York, I understand, is safe, yet as the good tidings are newsed through the state cities and villages will come to our rescue and redeem not only Christianity, the church, but humanity from the degeneracy into which our civilization has sunk. Slowly the figure of Jefferson comes before us with the sharp yet severe declaration: “The land belongs in usufruct to the living, and not to the dead.”
- C. F. G.
The Two Systems Compared.
New York City.—A gentleman writing from Wisconsin says in The Standard of September 17: “In Bunn county about 600 pieces of land and town lots are annually sold for non-payment of taxes” That is, they have been confiscated for the taxes. But is not this the same confiscation that the pro-poverty press has been howling at George about? only very much more, because the houses, barns, wells and other improvements may now be confiscated with the land, which means that for a comparatively small amount of money called taxes an owner may be robbed of property which cost him the labor of years. If any of the brilliant and pre-eminently truthful editors of the pro-poverty press can point out anything in the George theory within a stone’s throw of being half as atrocious as this I will present him with a lock of my hair and a chroma. The truth is that the present system is one of robbery that the George system would make impossible. Besides, the equalization of tax, which would result from the latter system; would so reduce the taxes of small land holders that their land would more seldom be sold for the taxes.
- B. B.
Victory In New York Will Open the Eyes of Millions
Cleveland, O.—Some time ago you requested the names and addresses of Methodist preachers. I inclose a list, clipped from the final day’s proceedings of the northeast Ohio conference, which adjourned yesterday.
I am still doing what I can to spread the light. May the God of justice and truth bare His arm and help in the great November battle in New York. A victory there will open the eyes of millions everywhere, for in this as in all other great movements, “nothing succeeds like success.” Yours for our Father and brothers. Jno. F. Hart.
PRESS AND PARTY.
WHAT THE NEWSPAPERS SAY ABOUT THE NEW CRUSADE.
A Low Plane of Argument, Varied by Honest Expressions of Respect — Encouraging Admissions of the Strength of the United Labor Party in Various Parts of the State — A Partisan Prophet Goes Wide of the Mark.
During the past week, that portion of the pro-poverty press of the state which sees virtue only in exaggerating the merits of its own party and in belittling its opponents has furnished a mass of testimony against itself. Its editors would affect an air of contempt, or at least indifference, toward the united labor party. But they betray their nervousness in the form taken by their comments and in the amount of space given to events connected with the new party in their news columns. They dare not maintain silence while the new party is capturing battalions of their voters, and when they speak it is but to confess their misgivings and admit their losses.
The arguments of the papers that wage war on the labor party, as a rule, run in a low plane. Republican organs have apparently been directed to pretend to think that the labor party is simply a new democratic “hall,” preparing to strike for offices. And democratic machine papers aver that they see in its activity the effect of the machinations of Tom Platt. The well worn charge of communism is still hurled steadily at it, but evidently rather through the force of habit than in the hope of preventing intelligent readers from studying its platform. Many editors seem satisfied, in the performance of their bounden duty to write down the new party, with according to it a witless and factless paragraph in their editorial columns of silly squibs.
To those who end their side of the controversy by a fling at some one of the men prominent in the new party, the following paragraph from the World is commended:
Dr. McGlynn scarcely needed to make the very thorough refutation contained in his speech on Saturday night of the charge that he and Henry George are in the “new crusade” for what they can make out of it, and are “living like nabobs.” Whatever may be thought of the theories of these two men, no one who knows them even slightly, or who is familiar with their work, can doubt their honesty, sincerity and unselfishness. It would be a great thing for politics if all party leaders had a tenth part as much of these qualities as George and McGlynn possess.
The Albany Journal reprints Governor Hill’s expressions of respect for George, and says: “There have been no weightier words uttered in the political field in New York state this autumn.” It regards them as a deserved rebuke to the base attacks on the labor party’s candidate. It thinks the governor’s remarks ought to stop the circulation of the innuendo in democratic papers to the effect that republicans are secretly strengthening the labor party as a means of defeating the democratic ticket.
The Utica Globe holds that Henry George is setting an example to the other parties in the industry he brings to advance the canvass of the anti-povertyites. It says that both democratic and republican politicians are agreed that the George movement grows as election day nears. It adds:
“There is no questioning the sincerity of the rank and file of the new party. They are made up of men who have faith in the antidote prescribed by George to improve their condition, and such anticipation makes them fervent followers of the new doctrine. This enthusiasm is infectious, and converts are being made at an astonishing rate. New York city cast 68,110 votes for George a year ago. There are well-informed men who predict it will reach 90,000 in November, despite the withdrawal of the socialists.”
The Troy Observer of Sunday last thought it knew that “the rank and file of the Knights of Labor” there were not for George, and in speaking of the county convention to be held on the following Tuesday in Albany, it was positive that the united labor party’s ideas would not be tolerated by the delegates. The Observer labored along through much space devoted to argument and interview, all for the purpose of showing the absurdity of “Georgeism” and the folly of certain supporters of the new land doctrines who had expressed hopes of seeing them adopted by the convention.
The description of the convention as it was, which was printed by the Albany Press, proves how little faith is to be put in prophets like the Observer, who are blinded by partisanship. Knights of Labor assemblies and trades unions were entitled to three delegates each at the convention. Nearly one hundred delegates were present. “The details of the meeting,” says the Press, “indicated that the strength of Henry George’s local following was unknown to themselves and altogether underestimated.” A resolution was adopted indorsing, the Syracuse platform, a full ticket was nominated, and, after an orderly session, the convention adjourned with rousing cheers for the ticket.
The Troy Evening Standard of a recent date furnishes additional evidence that the new party may regard the situation in that city hopefully. It says:
“There can be no denying the fact that the labor party hereabouts will astonish somebody in November. Clubs have been organized in nearly all the wards, and the leaders of the movement are most enthusiastic. They have little to say, but those who looked into the matter have been astonished by the strength of the party. The theories of Henry George have taken a strong hold upon Trojans of all classes. Not only are men in the mechanical trades and laborers ardent advocates of the labor party doctrines as preached by George and McGlynn, but many professional and business men are in the movement.”
Many of the news items in the state press are of an encouraging character. The Kingston Freeman says that the Academy of Music of that city was filled on last Saturday night, with “a quiet, attentive, well conducted audience,” who listened to addresses by Everett Glackin and John J. Bealin, and the Freeman devotes sufficient space to the speeches to give the substance of them. The Lockport correspondent of the Buffalo Express admits that it would not be surprising to see 500 votes polled by the labor party in Lockport. The Albany Express, in noticing the meeting at Van Vechten hall on Tuesday evening, says:
Any one who still labors under the delusion that the united labor movement is not developing strength in this country need but have looked in upon the large gathering that assembled in Van Vechten hall last evening, in response to the call for a mass meeting issued by the united labor party, to be convinced of his error.
The Auburn Bulletin says the court house there was thronged at the meeting on last Tuesday evening “by men of intelligent appearance and orderly demeanor.” Rev. Frank H. Hinman presided and H. H. Freeman and Louis F. Post spoke. Throughout the state, wherever the labor party holds meetings, the press gives columns to descriptions of them.
Our good friends, the New York city papers, have apparently settled into their respective lines of policy for the campaign. The Herald gives the labor party movement plentiful space in its news columns, but the editorial writer assigned to this question is still off on his long vacation. The World also prints much anti-poverty and labor party news. Its good natured editorial writers find time to pen a kindly worded paragraph anent the new crusade occasionally, but their opinions are those of the unregenerate. The Sun sparkles about thrice a week with a two-stick editorial, relating to one or other of the side issues of the great popular movement, and disposes of its subject in one epigram and two antitheses. The Evening Post has taken to composing letters from farmers on the single tax.
A Significant Decision by the Court of Appeals of New York.
New York.—The court of appeals of New York has just rendered a decision which removes all doubt, if any has existed, that land can be taxed up to its full rental value in this state without a change in the state constitution.
The decision is in the “Matter of McPherson’s will,” and sustains the constitutionality of the state tax on inheritances. The following is an extract:
“The power of the legislature over the subject of taxation, except as limited by constitutional restrictions, is undoubted. It is for that body, in the exercise of its discretion, to select the objects of taxation. It may impose all the taxes on lands, or all upon personal property, or all upon houses or upon incomes. It may raise revenue by capitation taxes, by special taxes upon carriages, horses, servants, dogs, franchises, and upon every species of property and upon all kinds of business and trades.” . . . “A tax imposed upon a particular house, or the houses of a particular neighborhood, would be amenable to constitutional objection; but if imposed upon all the houses in the state, then it is a tax imposed upon all property of that class, and is amenable to no objection.”
The decision is by Earl, J. It is printed, from advance reports, in “American and English Corporation Cases,” September number, published at Northport, L. I.
In the debate at the Saratoga republican convention last week on a platform clause regarding taxation of liquor, Senator Evarts quoted and laid great stress upon Chief Justice Marshall’s famous dictum that “the right to tax is the right to destroy.” We thus have, as the latest utterance of the court of appeals, a decision that the legislature can place all taxation upon land, and a reiteration by the leader of the New York bar of the principle that the tax so levied can be raised to the point of taking all the commercial value of the thing taxed. Nothing further is needed to show that Mr. George’s plan could be put in operation without requiring a constitutional amendment. W. T. Loper.
I bought your “Progress and Poverty” over six years ago through the Irish World. Last year I voted for the first time, and cast my ballot for Roosevelt because I thought you were wrong on free trade. Since then I have studied the problem more fully and made the following conclusions:
That a single tax on the land to its full rental value will do more for the industry of the country than all the protection the republican party can offer. It would make a net reduction of fifty percent in the cost of goods manufactured and produce raised by the farmer. This would place us in such a position that we would command the trade of the world.
Acting on my convictions, I am with you to the finish.
If you see fit to publish this do so, but do not put my name to it, because I am employed in the New York postoffice.
News from Auburn.
Auburn, N. Y.—The Rev. Mr. Hinman of the Calvary Presbyterian church presided at the united labor party meeting Monday night. H. H. Freeman and Louis F. Post spoke to about 800 people. This town polled a large labor vote last spring and the new party has a strong hold. All through the lake section the coming of Henry George is looked forward to with great interest.
Jersey City Stirring.
Jersey City, N. J.—Our flourishing land and labor club here meets every Tuesday evening in Library hall. Our last meeting was addressed by Dr. I. M. Quimby of Jersey City, and resolutions condemning our present system of fining industry and recommending the single tax on land were adopted.
Joseph Dana Miller.
A New Paper in Brooklyn.
United Labor, a weekly newspaper supporting the principles of the new party, has made its appearance in Brooklyn. Judging from the two numbers issued, it will ably cover the field it has marked out for itself. It is replete with party news and packed with able editorial comment.
To Our Friends Throughout the State.
The Standard invites correspondence from its friends throughout the state relating to the progress of the campaign, and giving facts which may illustrate or bear upon the principles advocated by the united labor party. Such correspondence should be brief, and confined to the recital of facts, to avoid undue pressure upon our columns.
A REPETITION OF THE WEEKLY CRUSH AT THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC
Speeches by Mr. Joseph Wilkinson, Major A. E. Calhoun and Henry George – Major Calhoun, Who Picked Up “Progress and Poverty” in Order to Refute Its Principles, Testifies That He Read It a Third Time That He Might Teach Those Principles
No feature was wanting on last Sunday evening to crown with success the meeting at the Academy of Music. With nightfall the usual waiting crowd appeared in front of the house in Irving place; on being admitted it filled floor and galleries in a few minutes, and during the delivery of the addresses every point favorable to the teachings of the Anti-poverty society elicited testimony of appreciation, while storms of applause frequently swept back and forth over the vast auditorium.
The audiences attending the meetings appear, if possible, to grow more enthusiastic with time. The people at the earlier meetings of the society astonished themselves and perfunctory church goers alike by cheering the Lord’s prayer and applauding the declarations of the humanity that is contained in religion; but the astonishment now consists in seeing the rapid spread of the sentiments of the society, and the openness with which great numbers of men and women are announcing their faith in the new doctrines of a world-wide brotherhood, and the practicability of the means by which the reign of justice shall be brought about. On all sides, in the Academy on last Sunday night, such remarks were heard as, “This is the largest meeting we have had yet,” “Just see the long rows of people standing by the walls.” “Give me some more tracts for friends,” “How this movement is taking hold of the public,” and “Nothing can stop it short of entire success.” The thousands present evidently felt that the doctrines taught were their doctrines, and that when converts were made it was their victory.
The Concordia chorus, under Miss Munier,2 opened the evening’s proceedings, and the
house promptly showed its friendliness to the young people by prolonged applause. A warm greeting was given to the speakers of the evening a moment afterward when they made their appearance.
Henry George introduced Mr. Joseph Wilkinson of the Tailors’ union, who, he explained, “rendered good service to the labor party last year in the executive committee.” Mr. Wilkinson said:
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Anti-poverty society is composed of men, and, thank God, of women, too (immense applause), engaged in nearly if not all the various vocations and professions. It is well that this is so; for it is accessary in order that we may engraft our principles on the laws of the land — which we hope to do at no distant day (applause) — that the great mass of the American people, and not any single class alone, should first understand and indorse them.
This movement of ours is a labor movement in the higher and broader sense of the term. (Applause.) The united labor party today, of which the Anti-poverty society is a most valuable ally, is freighted with more of hope and more of promise to the industrious and downtrodden millions than any movement ever undertaken for the emancipation of a people. (Applause.) The time is now ripe for the industrial classes of this country to redress their grievances — not by strikes, which, though sometimes necessary and successful under the present system, are, nevertheless, at best but two-edged swords which cut both ways — but by exercising their rights as citizens, secured to them under the constitution, at the ballot box.
The widespread discontent of labor today is not caused, as the Rev. Howard Crosby (hisses) said, by the mere improvidence of the poor; nor is it due, as some of our newspapers charge, to defects and errors in the national administration. It is due to no passing cause which, like a summer cloud, will soon vanish away, but it has for its self-evident reason the fact that the bounties of nature, which Christianity tells us were provided for man’s use and benefit, have been monopolized by the few to the exclusion, degradation and misery of the many. (Great applause.)
Look around the world today and what do we find? We see that those who labor hardest have the least; that those who perform the most necessary and useful toil can but barely provide themselves with the means of existence, while those who themselves work least control our labor and have an abundance of everything. Monopolies after monopolies have raised their heads, and by the sanction of law or by its evasion — it matters not which — have systematically robbed the public, and remorselessly and shamefully oppressed the workers.
We see children of tender years and of both sexes dragged from school to labor in the factory and work shop, while thousands and thousands of workingmen are tramping the streets and country roads vainly in search of employment; we see invention after invention coming along which should be the means of lightening human labor and relieving it of its burden, but whose only effect is to fetter the workman more and more and make him but a mere machine. We see little but injustice to the workingman in the present social system, and we know and feel that this has not been brought about by the design of the Creator, who provided a competence for all, but is the result of the rapacity and greed of man. (Applause.)
Does any one suppose that this condition of affairs will be permitted to exist much longer? Of what use, I would ask, is education — I mean the increasing education of the masses — if it do not lead to higher aspirations? (Applause.) Think you that the vast majority the American people, with the ballot in their hands, will be content to work for a mere pittance in order that a small minority may revel in luxury? (Cries of “No!”) I am one of those who think not, and I believe that when the principles of the united labor party are fairly presented to, and understood by the people, it will soon be declared by statute that no man shall enjoy the use of one inch of land that shall not be taxed to the full extent of whatever rental value it may possess. And when that comes to pass we shall have struck a staggering blow at the present monstrous injustice of the social system. (Applause.)
Let us all work, then, with a will and a determination to bring about this result as speedily as possible. The revolution of one hundred years ago effected political freedom in this country; let it supplement that today, at the close of the nineteenth century, by abolishing poverty and establishing justice in this land. (Loud and prolonged applause.)
Mr. Wilkinson introduced Major A. R. Calhoun, the speaker of the evening, who said:
The reason you have never heard of me before is that I am a follower and not a leader. (Applause.) I have no sympathy with the spirit shown by a western regiment at the beginning of the war. There were eight hundred men, and they were called on to elect officers; the colonel was the first on the list, and on counting the votes it was discovered that every man but one had voted for himself for the highest office (applause and laughter), and it was also discovered that the modest man who did not think himself competent to lead the regiment was a non-combatant and a candidate for the chaplaincy. (Great laughter.) In this war of the new crusade I feel that it is an honor to stand as a high private. (Applause.)
I come before you not to enlighten you, but to exchange experiences, and to give a reason for the faith that is in me.
By profession I am a writer for the press. (Applause.) As a newspaper man I often saw Henry George’s name in print, and like a great many other people who condemn without reflection or investigation, I set him down as a crank — if, indeed, he were not a dangerous anarchist, prowling the streets with blood in his eye, and pockets full of dynamite bombs, which he was fairly aching to hurl at the head of some bloated capitalist. (Laughter and applause.)
But one day at a news stand I picked up a paper bound copy of “Progress and Poverty,” and opened it. I read a few paragraphs, enough to convince me that for an anarchist and a disorganizer of society Mr. George wrote excellent English. (Applause.) The book was cheap; I bought it, took it home and read it. I read it with the avowed purpose of combating every point. When I had finished my first superficial reading, I found that I had lost the thread of the argument, and that any attempt to formulate it to another would result very disastrously. Now, a book that is not worth reading a second time is not worth reading at all. I read “Progress and Poverty” a second and a third time. I studied it till every doubt as to its truth was overcome by arguments answerable; I studied it until I began to feel that the great principle that all the land of a country belongs to all the people of the country had been learned, like the Lord’s prayer at my mother’s knee. (Great applause.)
Afterwards I read all Mr. George’s works and every other work pro and con that I could find bearing on the subject, and the result is, my brothers, that I am tonight enrolled with you in the fearless and ever-increasing army of the new crusade. (Applause and cheers.)
Since that day I have come to know Henry George personally, and I have learned to love the man for the pure, child-like simplicity of his character, for the strength of his intellect, for his unflinching courage and his exalted sense of duty. (Great applause and cheering.) Other men have been more learned in the curriculum of the schools, other men have vaguely hinted at the truths which he makes so clear, but it remained for Henry George to take the forbidding skeleton of political economy, to clothe it with flesh and endow it with beauty and to breathe into it the breath of life, and send it out to enlighten the ignorant and to give hope to the heavy of heart. (Applause.)
We are told that the conservative feeling of the country is against this movement. (Hisses.) Of course it is; the conservative feeling, or rather the conservative want of feeling, is against every movement that suggests change. When Fulton’s steamboat first sailed up the Hudson, the conservatives, who thought a sailboat the perfection of navigation, sat on the bank, and at the sight of the steam and smoke they said their prayers, for they believed they beheld the work of the devil. The conservatives mobbed Wendell Phillips; they destroyed the poet Whittier’s presses, and they murdered Owen Lovejoy. The conservatives sent up a howl of indignation and remonstrance when they read Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation. (Applause.) He had interfered with an existing order of things, and the conservatives declared that the Union was shattered beyond redemption; yet that act saved the Union. (Great applause.) The conservatives are men who live on traditions, and with their faces to the past, walk backward till they tumble into the grave. (Laughter.) The conservatives are not brakes upon the car of progress, as some one has suggested, they are the obstructionists who place obstacles on the track to wreck it. But the march of humanity is upward and onward, and even the conservatives must follow. The conservatives of today would have been ultra-radicals had they lived and held the same views sixty years ago. (Great applause.)
It is urged by the conservative press and the conservative citizens of the country that these land and labor organizations and these anti-poverty societies foster discontent (laughter; “So they do!”), and threaten the land with an upheaval like that of the French revolution a hundred years ago. History is less valuable than an old almanac if we do not benefit by its lessons; the conservatives forget that it was not organized, but unorganized labor that brought on the French revolution. (Applause.) History does not record the case of any people who ever sought to redress real grievances by the bullet, so long as they had the right of free speech and the power to deposit an honest ballot and have a fair count. (Applause and cheers.)
Before that revolution the whole agricultural territory of France proper was in the hands of less than one thousand owners. The twenty-five millions of people were not serfs de jure, but they were serfs de facto. They were considered in the purchase of old estates and they went with the land, like the fences, the roads and the water. They lived in hovels, and grew gray and died in the furrows in which they searched for money to pay the rent to their noble masters, who lived the lives of voluptuaries in gay Paris. The sons of the peasants were drafted into the army to die for a cause they could not understand. For a noble to kill a peasant was only a misdemeanor punishable by a fine; for a peasant to strike a noble was a felony. In the vineyard and in the mill, in the mine or at the fishing stations, these people, early and late, the child robbed of its joys and the old man looking eagerly for comfort to the grave, toiled for their merciless masters, the thousand land holders. To the French peasants, gaunt with hunger and clothed in rags, the landlord, with his splendid chateau, his carriages and liveried retainers, was a superior being, and contrasting his wealth with their own poverty they were justified in the belief that they had not a common origin, and that they were not children of the same God.
Organization! There was no organization of the unhappy toilers of France; had there been, the land masters would have hastened to concede some rights to the workers, and so saved their own heads. (Applause.) At length, brutalized by centuries of degradation and driven into resistance by the very instinct of self-preservation, the tenants who had been crawling and delving along the face of the earth stood up and realized that in stature and strength they were superior to the landholders. “We are men!” was shouted by the mob in the streets of Paris — shouted with all the force of a new and great discovery. (Great applause.) “We are men!” The cry startled the nobles at their banquets, at their cards, and in their harems. They ran to their windows, and with blanched faces they saw that mob with ever increasing fury and strength pouring like an irresistible mountain torrent through street and highway and park. They saw the banner of St. Louis, the standard of the fleur de lis, which these very workers had defended on a hundred battle fields, torn into rags and trampled under the feet of people who had just discovered that they were men and had rights as well as the noble landholders. (Applause.) Like a blind Samson, the mob laid its hands on the pillars of state, shook them, and the social fabric of France lay in ruins.
What though these people afterward yielded to the sway of Napoleon, the greatest tyrant of France! The fact remains that when the revolution had become a matter of history and Napoleon was carried to his grave at St. Helena, the landholders of France had increased from less than 1,000 to over 3,000,000. (Great applause.)
To those timid souls who look upon these organizations of the people as revolutionary and extreme, I feel like replying as the Irishman did to an opponent who was trying to convince him that there was no such place as Purgatory, because there was no need of it. “Well,” said Pat, “mebbe there’s no need of it in your own case, but you’ll agree that when you go further you’ll be sure to fare worse.” (Shouts of laughter and applause.) .
Like every other revolution called into being by man’s inhumanity to man, this movement for the suppression of poverty and with it the suppression of vice and misery (applause), has been met by the misrepresentations of the press (hisses), the ridicule of the politicians and too often by the denunciations of the pulpit. (Hisses and groans.) But a laugh is not an argument; a sneer never convinces; and as for those phrase mongers — the politicians — they will come a-courting when we show them our friend, the ballot box.
Two prominent New York gentlemen, one of whom was elected mayor by the democrats (hisses) and the other of whom never will be elected mayor by the republicans, have expressed themselves about this organization. Mr. Hewitt told the Brotherhood of locomotive engineers, and through them the general public, that he started out in life poor; that early in his career he made up his mind to abolish poverty in his own case; and that he had succeeded. (Laughter.) This is certainly commendable, and I think we can assure Mr. Hewitt that there is no one in this society who envies him his wealth, or who would detract from his credit. More than that, we can convince Mr. Hewitt, if he will look into this society and mark its membership, that it is not an association of lunatics or paupers. The men and women of the Anti-poverty society support themselves, and they support a great many of the landlords too. (“Hear, hear,” applause and laughter.)
But, unlike Mr. Hewitt, we are not thinking of ourselves, nor are we inclined to close our eyes and thank God that we are not as other men. (Applause.) We forget ourselves in the poverty, the vice and degradation about us, and while Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Roosevelt (hisses) may point to themselves as the flowers of nineteenth century civilization, we turn to the festering tenements, where death keeps his headquarters with all the diseases on his staff, and we ask, Where in the records of barbarism, where in the annuls of degradation can you find anything so horrible as this?
No, we are not thinking of ourselves, nor do we stand at the doors of rich men begging them to drop a coin into our hats for sweet charity’s sake, nor do we ask them to right the wrongs of the distressed as a favor to us. We are simply calling the attention of the rich and intelligent of all classes to the suffering and misery in our midst. (Applause.) We believe we have discovered the cause of the disease and the remedy for it, and we propose to agitate till every true man and woman shall see the justice and humanity of our movement, and become enrolled in our ranks. (Great applause.) We are not begging; we do not mean to beg; we are organizing, and we shall keep at it till the day arrives when in thunder tones of a mighty people we shall demand that justice be done. (Applause and cheering.)
The young statesman who ran behind his own party vote in this city (laughter), in speaking about this organization made the same remark that the blase English tourist did after looking into the crater of Mount Vesuvius: “There is nothing in it.” (Laughter.) “Why,” said he, “these people might as well pass resolutions against the laws of gravitation. Poverty always has been and always will be.” And this profound statement was cheered to the echo by the gentlemen who listened to it. (Laughter.)
Because poverty always has been, is that a reason why no effort should be made for its abolition? (Applause.) As well might we argue that because ignorance always has been therefore we should not try to enlighten the people through our public schools. Disease is as much the result of a law as is health, and disease is as old as the race; therefore, according to Mr. Roosevelt and his fellows, we should not attempt to abolish or even to alleviate disease. (Laughter and applause.) From the day men first appeared with lungs, there have been pulmonary complaints; but under scientific treatment the disease of consumption has been checked, and scientific men have come to think it can be cured. But there is a disease older than consumption, and which threatens a speedier death, if not abated. Mr. Roosevelt never felt it, or he would think the law of gravitation weak in comparison with the law of self-preservation. (Applause.) The disease I speak of is hunger, and it is gnawing at the vitals of twenty, aye, fifty thousand men, women, and children in this great city tonight, and little ones are begging their widowed mothers for food, while the bells of five hundred magnificent churches call the well-fed rich from their mansions to prayers. (Applause and cries of “Hear, hear!”)
Of the religious features of this great movement I shall not speak at this time, for you have heard them discussed with ability by men who have made them a study. (Applause.) I wish to consider the purely human aspects of the question — that section of our creed which refers to the brotherhood of man. (Applause.) This part of our platform is so broad that any human being can stand on it. We do not ask the land of a man’s birth, nor the altar at which he kneels, nor is it necessary even that he should know the name of his own grandfather. (Laughter and applause.) Is he a good citizen, an honest man, and does he pledge himself to use his every effort for the abolition of poverty? If he does, we grasp his hand, and uncaring whether he be fair haired and blue eyed, as are the children of the Rhine, or blackened by the tropic sun of Africa, our hearts go out to him, and, by virtue of a common past, a united present and the hope of a glorious future we hail him by the name of brother. (Great applause.) And permit me to say that in using the name brother, I do not wish it to be understood as including only one sex. As an old preacher said, in explaining his use of the word, “The brothers, you know, embrace the sisters also.” (Laughter and applause.)
This organization is proving to the world that a God-like love and interest in their fellow men is natural to the masses, and that the old time feeling of hate for a man because of his race or his creed is being relegated to the ghosts and superstitions of the past. (Applause.) Fifty years ago the Catholic priest who should have dared to speak in the interests of humanity (applause) from the same platform with a Protestant clergyman would have been disgraced in the eyes of his parishioners, if, indeed, he were not placed under the censure of the church. (Groans.) But in this broader day men like Heber Newton, Mr. Pentecost and Dr. McGlynn (applause and cheering) meet on the same platform and clasp hands as they pledge each other to that most catholic of creeds, “the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.” (“Hear! hear!” and applause.) Truly the lion and the lamb are lying down together, and this time, fortunately, the lamb is not inside the lion. (Laughter.)
Here we have the advantage of one language which is used by over sixty millions of people. Here in the new world the rival races of the old are blending into one through the peaceful and ennobling agencies of a common language and a common destiny. (Applause.)
It is true that many of the Italians crowding into our ports are not exactly the kind of men Julius Caesar led into Britain. (Laughter.) Julius could never have been made a land king with such troops. Still, in a generation or two, they will be transformed into enlightened citizens, and will look upon the stiletto and stale beer (laughter) as the relics of a barbarous past. But the Celts in the guise of the Irishman (applause), the highland Scotchman (applause) and the Welshman are here with all their race vigor, daring and impulsiveness, tuned down through civilizing agencies and forming a powerful element in the composition of this new American race. The German has invaded these shores, but he comes under the banner of no Hengist or Horsa. He looks to the land for wealth, but not for plunder. (Applause.) He brings his family, his love of liberty and his steady industry. His daughter marries an Irishman, and he wonders why her children can’t speak Deutsch. (Laughter.) And so too come the Dane, Swede and Norwegian, but not under the lead of a piratical viking. They are armed with spades, not spears. They settle down and are absorbed, and the chances are that the children of the third generation will have black hair, and will make Fourth of July speeches about their forefathers who fought in the revolution of 1776. (Laughter.)
All the great powers of the old world have widened their territories by preying on their weaker neighbors. They won through unequal war and they hold by the brute force of the sword. But the growth of the United States, territorially and in population, has been on different lines. (Applause.) The territory claimed by the young republic one hundred years ago was considerably less than 500,000 square miles, and the population was about 4,000,000. Today we have a population of over 60,000,000 and, including Alaska, we have a territory of nearly 4,000,000 square miles. (Great applause.)
We bought Florida from Spain. From France we purchased Louisiana, and this not only includes the state now bearing that name, but also the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and all that vast territory south of latitude 40, and stretching away from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Texas came to us through a treaty. Southern Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California came to us from Mexico through what is known as “the Gadsden purchase.” Alaska and the Aleutian islands, stretching like stepping stones across Behring’s sea into northeastern Asia, we purchased twenty years ago from Russia.
If we were to calculate the interest at six percent on the money paid for these vast territories it would amount today to over $300,000,000. Who bought this territory? The government, some one will reply. But whom did the government represent? The people, is the answer. (Great applause.) So that our territory was actually purchased by all the people, and at the time of first possession there was no man so rash as to doubt that all this vast virgin territory belonged to all the people of the United States. (Applause and cheers.)
But subsequently, through sales that should never have been made, and through charters that should never have been granted, this splendid domain with its mines, forests, fisheries, pasture lands and grand arterial rivers passed into the control of a few, as compared to the many who actually owned it. Nor is it the American capitalist alone who has seized upon this grand estate. Foreign syndicates (groans) have been permitted to enter and to buy up millions of acres, which they propose to rent to Americans, and thus to re-enact in our free land the feudalism of the old world, where the renter has ever been the slave of the land owner. This movement, then, to tax the land exclusively, is not, as the conservatives cry out, an attempt to confiscate any man’s property; it is simply an effort to re-invest in the people, through process of law, that of which they have been divested by fraud. (Cheers and applause.)
We have come to realize that the progress of a nation is the sum total of the progress of the people composing it. If certain parts of the body politic be congested by artificial laws, it is evident that the growth of the whole will be arrested, for the growth of each part is dependent on the growth of all. As our ignorant, lawless and impoverished element increases, so, as in the case of the French revolution, will the tenure of the wealthy become insecure.
And let me say right here that there is a spirit of discontent stirring the workers of this land to day of which those phrase mongers, the statesmen, take no note, but which there are not bayonets enough in the land to crush down if it chose to assert itself by force. (Applause.) The labor organizations and the anti-poverty societies (applause) are the only hope for controlling and educating this spirit of discontent. It now remains for us to show the statesmen that we can do something besides passing resolutions against the laws of gravitation.
Among the prejudices we are burying are the political hates and party affiliations of the past, and among the masters whose collars we are tearing from our throats are the political bosses. (Great applause.) We realize that to free others we must be free ourselves; and we begin by turning our backs on the democrats who fight for plunder, and on the republicans who fostered monopolies, and henceforth we propose to show our power by votes cast for the candidates of the people’s party. (“Hear, hear,” cheers and applause.)
But as we propose to remedy existing evils through the ballot-box, and in defiance of the whip cracking of the old party masters it behooves us as sensible men and women calmly to consider the obstacles that must be overcome before we achieve success; and let me say that in overcoming these obstacles we shall receive a training that will qualify us for the higher duties of legislation.
These obstacles are: The ignorance of people as to our objects; the opposition of organized wealth represented by the classes; the obstruction that will be offered by religious organizations; and, I may add, the internal dissensions that are sure to arise among us with every advance toward power.
Kant said when he had given to the world his “Critique of Pure Reason,” “I have no fear of being controverted; my only dread is that I shall be misunderstood; but I can only be misunderstood by those who will not study.” And so we feel now that the danger is that we shall be misunderstood, not that we shall be controverted. What we want is the fairest and fullest discussion possible; and meanwhile, being sure that we are right, like Davy Crockett, we propose to go ahead. It is a little discouraging that even among men fairly well informed on ordinary subjects there should exist the densest ignorance as to the theories of Henry George and the objects of the Anti-poverty society. These men who hide their ignorance under loud assertions, see not one whit of difference between nihilists, socialists, communists, anarchists, and labor organizations. All unknown things are alike vile mysteries to the man who never studies or reasons. There is no profession in proportion to its numbers that has in its ranks more well informed men than journalism, yet the dense ignorance shown by nine-tenths of the writers for the press when they come to discuss our objects is positively appalling. They know more and can write more intelligently of the doctrines of Buddha than they do of the theories of Henry George. Our opponents sneeringly tell us that we are going to die out like an extinguished rocket tomorrow or next day, but the morrow of our dissolution will see our mission fulfilled, and we will then have cleared the land of ignorance as St. Patrick cleared Ireland of snakes. (Great applause.)
As ignorance is the first obstacle we have to encounter we must destroy it right and left as we advance. (Applause.) There are but two weapons by which this can be effectually done, namely, the tongue and the pen, and through these the question — the cornerstone question — that all the land of the nation belongs to all the people of the nation (applause), must be agitated calmly, earnestly and persistently. Our theories are not complex; having in them the very essence of religion they are so simple that the wayfaring man need not err therein. But to dispel ignorance it is first necessary that we should enlighten ourselves. In all discussions with our opponents we should be calm, firm and self-possessed, ever exercising the broadest charity. (Applause.) We should bear in mind that the man who shows anger in the heat of debate proves that he is getting the worst of the argument. Difference of opinion and even strenuous opposition from outside is as essential to our growth and prosperity as are harmony and persistency among ourselves. (Applause.) We should bear in mind that immediate success might mean speedy disaster. Defeat will have its lessons and its blessings, and rightly used the Bull Run which may come will lead to the Appomattox which is inevitable. (Great applause.)
As our object is to affect humanity not only in the present, but for all time, we should see
to the training of the children. As the Carthagenian priest brought his boy to the altar and made him swear eternal enmity to the hereditary foes of his country, so should we inculcate in the minds of our children an eternal hatred of wrong and swear them to do noble battle during all their lives against the institutions that have kept their fathers in a state of industrial slavery. And we must impress upon them, till it becomes a sixth sense, the great truth that God created the land for all his children, and that for a few to possess it is a violation of an eternal law. (Long continued applause.)
I have said that we should meet with opposition from church organizations. I might point to St. Stephen’s in confirmation of this. While respecting religion and giving all credit to religious organizations for the good they have done and the good they are doing, I simply repeat what history confirms when I say that the churches are intensely conservative. Instead of leading with the torch of truth they hang behind and reluctantly follow in the wake of progress. They defended slavery when godless infidels were shouting for its abolition. They have steadily opposed scientific truths which in their blindness they could not harmonize with a literal interpretation of the scripture; and the leaders of the churches have done much to bring into contempt the narrow training of theological schools. This we know is the fault of the man, and not of the primitive creed, but the church opposition depends on the strange alliance between religion and wealth.
The conservative ones have altered a famous text so that it reads: “It is as easy fora needle to pass through the eye of a camel as it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Laughter and applause.) So long as the churches are themselves wealthy corporations, we must expect them to look upon their interests as identical with those of the secular corporations. But as individuals, there are no men so eager to do right as the clergy, and there can be no doubt of their final support. (Great applause.) Already scores of these men, endowed with high moral courage, have arrayed themselves boldly on the side of the people (applause and cheers), and others will follow in good time and become evangelists of the old but ever new gospel that advocates the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. (Great applause.)
There is one branch of the Christian church — or rather it is the parent stem from which the sects have branched off — which claims to be pre-eminently the church of equality; the one church in which the poor man may eat of the bread of life without money and without price. (Applause.) Once this could be said in truth of the Roman Catholic church, but in this later day her leaders, alas! have ignored the oppressed and reached out their hands to uphold the oppressor.
But oh, look up, ye lonely and despised men! Heaven has not forsaken you. The black clouds are rolling away, and a light flashes down, deepening and glowing with the glorious promise of the day that is at hand. Rome has unwittingly sent out another priest to rouse the world to a new crusade. (Deafening applause.) See! through the lessening mists the army is gathering, and the bugle call that heralds a nobler freedom goes ringing through mountain and valley and mine. Hear it! hear it! and rejoice, all ye who believe in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, for the day of your deliverance is at hand! (Great applause and cheering.)
But I find that I have mapped out in my mind more territory than I can possibly go over without exhausting your patience, and so I shall hasten to a conclusion.
I had intended warning you against giving too much weight to the differences that have arisen, or that are sure to come up in the future. These differences show that our brethren are thinking, but while we cannot prevent them, and would not prevent them, we must see to it that neither internal dissension nor outside opposition blind us to nor swerve us from the great principle that lies at the foundation of our society. (Applause.) If men are simply ambitious for self, bar them out or cast them out; the demagogue and self-seeker must have no place in our ranks.
We must be the upholders, not the violators of law. (Applause.) The banner of the republic is, above all, the banner of the men who have produced its boundless wealth and preserved its territorial integrity. (Great applause.) If, in the future as in the past, domestic dissension or a foreign foe dares to assail the Union, the men who would rally to the defense would be the mechanic, the laborer, the farmer and wage earner (applause); the rich man, after his custom, could buy a substitute. (Laughter.)
Our indignation should be sudden and righteous against those who charge us with any intention of taking from any man that which is honestly his. (Applause.) We want no distribution of property, for besides the wrong involved in such a thought, we know only too well that no equality of wealth could last twenty-four hours.
They say that our purpose is utopian, but the same charge can be brought against the Christian plan of redemption. Is it utopian to aim at the abolition of poverty? (“No, no” and applause.) Do we dream when we assert that the status of the worker can be elevated? and are we demagogues when we reach out our hands to save the girls in the slums from a living death, and the boys from the workhouse or the prison? (Applause.) Is it wicked in us to raise our voices against that Herod whose throne is in our tenement houses and who cruelly sends to death — that the rich may be richer — the children of the poor?
Let the pulpit assail, let the press deride and misrepresent, let the “upper class” sneer, at our efforts; but if the smiles and the approval of God the Father be with us, who can be against us? (Applause.) If this be not a religious movement, then there can be no God, and we are simply the creatures of an inexorable destiny, and all efforts for the elevation of our race are indeed as futile as passing resolutions against the laws of gravitation. Nay, if we lose our faith in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, then nothing is left but to invoke the spirit of resistance by physical force, and to let it be with our civilization as with the lower orders of animal life, a question of the survival of the fittest.
It is falsely asserted that we wish to live without work. Why, our great object is to uphold the dignity of labor (applause), and to oppose as unjust to labor all wealth not obtained through its efforts. We propose to make the workingmen our model — our king — for to us the sweat that glistens on the brow of labor is more beautiful and precious than the jewels that flash in the diadem of emperor, kaiser or czar. (Great applause.)
Live without work? No, no! We propose to have more work; more and more profitable work for men and less work and less degradation for our women and children. (Applause.) The republic, as we shall yet have it, will be a vast rich hive in which the bee who does not work with head or hand shall have no honey. (Great applause.)
We are organizing a grand army for a glorious contest, a contest before which all the
world’s campaigns will be dwarfed, for it is the cause that glorifies the struggle. Come, rally round the banner of labor!
Hark! the lumbermen of Maine hear the shout, as of old they heard the cry, “Come to the Union’s defense,” and they strike a sturdier blow as the answer rings down from the forests, “We come! we come!”
The shout goes ringing through the granite hills of New England. How it rises above the whirr of spindles and the clatter of looms, and a new glow comes to the cheeks of the workers, as they respond, “Brothers, we come, we come!”
Through the Empire state the cry goes thundering with more than the roar of her own Niagara, and the workers on her glorious hills and by her lordly rivers raise their drooping heads and see a sign in the sky as inspiring as that which greeted the visions of Constantine, and they answer, “For God and fatherland, we come, we come!”
The grimy delver in the Pennsylvania mines hears the command, and the black walls are illumined with a strange light, and the hope dying in his heart leaps into life, and with tears of joy in his dimmed eyes he thinks of the promise to wife and children in that command, and he calls up from the depths and darkness, “Thank God for the promise; I come. I come!”
West and south the shout goes echoing; and the farmer on the prairie, and the black man in the cotton field stop to listen and to ask if they shall join the army of the new crusade. They cannot hesitate for long; already we hear the shouting in every state: “Brothers, in the name of the living God, we come!”
From the eternal mountains of the west, from the golden shores of the Pacific, hark to the rallying cry of the gathering legions.
The new land of promise is the objective point; our soldiers wear breastplates of truth. They are armed with spade and hoe, and pick and shuttle and ax. The fields shut out by the barbarous laws are opening to the many. Forward! forward they march! their battle cry the fatherhood or God and the brotherhood of man. Banners, white banners, float above them, and as the sun of a newer and a better day kisses them, and the breeze of the brighter morning sweeps out their folds, we read inscribed thereon: “Peace on earth and good will to men?” (Great and prolonged applause.)
Major Calhoun’s speech was listened to throughout with close attention, and it was evident that the audience closely followed his argument, and was in hearty sympathy with the ideas he advocated.
Loud and enthusiastic calls were now made for Henry George; who had been announced as the second speaker of the evening. His appearance at the front of the stage was the signal for a hearty outburst of welcome, after which Mr. George spoke as follows:
These eulogiums of myself to which I have sometimes to listen are embarrassing and almost painful to me, kindly meant though I know them to be. This movement is not a matter of men. It is higher and more sacred. It means, as an eloquent speaker has just said. “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” The old fire is beginning to burn again in truth; that spirit that sent out through Europe the missionaries of Christianity, that spirit that, against all that was powerful, once conquered the world, is today coming to the front again. Such crowded meetings as this; such crowds as those that beset the doors as I came in; such meetings as are now being held nightly all over the state, mean something more than politics as we have been accustomed to think and speak of politics. They mean a movement that has in it more of the nature of a religious revival – more of the devotion of a crusade. These meetings are really an effort to fit men not so much for heaven as for earth, and to do that by so improving the condition of mankind as to give virtue an opportunity to grow, and to repress vice and crime.
I have been during this week through the state and have been much impressed, wherever I have gone, with the readiness of the people for this movement; with the avidity with which they are coming to the front in the support of our principles. I have no doubt about the result of this campaign. I am confident that on the 8th of next November we shall win a moral victory that all over the country and all over the world will mark the beginning of a new era that will bring to the front a party which shall everywhere aim at restoring to men their natural and unalienable rights. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Applause.)
If we but base our laws upon justice; if we but do right as between man and man, there will come to us things to which we at present give little thought. Once secure the primary right, the right of man to the use of the earth, the right of labor to the element without which it cannot be exerted, and in all directions difficulties will disappear; in all directions improvements will become possible; the one great monopoly gone; the little monopolies will soon follow. (Applause.)
Mr. George then described a trip which he had taken that day to Sea Cliff, where he had addressed a meeting. He described the present aspect of the city as he viewed it while passing in the steamboat along the East river front, and spoke earnestly of the strange contrast between what New York might be with its wonderful advantage of location, and what it is.
“What a beautiful site for a city! There is not in the civilized world, so far as I know, a more magnificent site than this island, washed by two great rivers, with its beautiful bay in front. And yet what a miserable, unsightly city New York is, as compared with what it might be. The chief official of the city declares its thoroughfares to be an utter disgrace. And yet New York is rich enough. The land values of this city, taken for public use, could make this the most beautiful city in the world; and consider how just and right it is that the expense of improvement should be borne in that way. One of our great papers (the New York Herald) is now advocating the taking of Blackwell’s island for a public park. That chain of islands, Blackwell’s, Ward’s and Randall’s, would make a magnificent group of parks, that would give us a pleasure ground finer and better than any city in the world that I know of possesses. But under our present system the money for the improvement of these parks and for making the necessary changes would be levied upon all species of property. And just so if we were to go to the expense of improving our river front, of taking and removing the unsightly houses, and opening up alongside of the river a broad boulevard, the expense under our present system must be borne by property of every kind. That is clearly unjust, for the one species of property that those improvements would increase the value of is property in land. Were taxes placed, as we propose to place them, upon the value of land, then such expenses would be borne by the value that would be added to the land. Under such a system the cost of opening a street, or of making any improvement would involve but little more expense than the buying and tearing down of the buildings.”
Mr. George then drew attention to the difficulty placed in the way of any honest expression of popular opinion by the existing electoral system.
“The platform adopted at Syracuse by the united labor party (applause) contains a provision asking for the adoption of the Australian system of voting. (Applause.) Under that system the names of all candidates are printed together upon an official ballot that is handed to the voter as he goes to the polls. He takes it into an apartment where he is concealed from observation and makes a mark against the name of the candidate he desires to vote for; he then folds it and takes it to the proper officer, and it is deposited in the box. Under that system, in the first place, much of the enormous expense of elections is done away with; the necessity now resting upon political parties of spending large sums for the printing of ballots is avoided; ticket peddlers are entirely done away with; and the absolute secrecy of the ballot prevents intimidation and prevents bribery — for no one will pay a man for a vote unless he can obtain some security that the vote for which he pays will be cast according to agreement.
“Here is a reform in the interests of political honesty, in the interests of good government, in the interests of everything that is right and just; and I sincerely hope that it will be agitated, talked about as much as possible, during this campaign, that the good men of all parties, of all preferences, no matter what they think about us politically, will endeavor to pledge candidates for the legislature and to arouse public opinion to this great reform; so that at the next session of the legislature it may be embodied upon the law book of our state. One prominent republican, Allen Thorndike Rice, editor of the North American Review, has already drafted a bill for that purpose, and the measure so commends itself to all right-thinking people that it has but to be brought to the front to arouse in its favor a force of public opinion that will surely press the next legislature into passing it.
“As I said, I have been in the country during the past week. I start tomorrow morning to speak again for the week. Everywhere I find that the enthusiasm which has made these New York meetings so distinctive is beginning to appear in other places. I find that the doctrines we are advocating and the principles that we profess are making their way. It is as Major Calhoun has said, a certain thing, that if we can get a man who is not entirely blinded by self interest to consider the matter, we make a convert and an ally, and when we once get a man or a woman on our side we keep them there.”
Mr. George then in a few words alluded to the Anti-poverty fair to be opened at Madison square garden on the following day; and pointing out the importance to the society that the fair should be in every way a success, urged all present to do whatever might lie in their power to advance it.
The chairman announced that the total contributions for the evening from the collection and dues of new members was $157.05.
“Let Her Revolutionize!”
Austin, Texas. — A copy of “Progress and Poverty” accidentally happening to fall into my hands, I determined to give it a careful and critical investigation. After reading and rereading most of it I have become convinced that you have solved the knotty and complicated problem of political economy. The books are not on sale in any of the news stores in this city and can only be obtained by special order. Since reading “Progress and Poverty” I have conversed with a number of prominent politicians and statesmen on the questions discussed therein, and all seem to be unanimous in saying, “Oh, it is a very fine-spun theory, but very impracticable.” But at the same time they signally fail to tell us why it is so.
When I urge upon them the truths you advocate they do not attempt to deny or gainsay them, only declare it would disorganize society and revolutionize our government. I answer them. If the old organizations are wrong “let her revolutionize!” I want to organize for the fight in this city; it being the capital, I think it the most formidable place to commence operations.
Frank M. Alley.
A “Boss” Who Realizes That There Really Isn’t Much Difference Between Chattel Slavery and Industrial Slavery.”
Oakville, Cal.—I have read “Progress and Poverty,” “Social Problems” and “The Land Question” to several of my friends, and they are as firmly convinced of the truth as I am. If I can in any manner further the good cause I am willing to do so, even to the losing of my work, for I am but a poor man depending upon the kindness or caprice of my employer for means of gaining a living. I have had several talks with my boss on those questions, and, while admitting their truth he says it is impossible to carry on any reformations of the existing wrongs; for, says he, it would result in anarchy and ruin to society, and he forbids me, on the pain of a discharge, to bring those books on his premises, or for me to talk on those subjects to any of the men. I have had some meetings held outside of his premises and he was very angry, and only yesterday informed me that they must be discontinued or he would dispense with my services. He has in his employ from twenty to one hundred men. One of the natural rights of man is free speech, and I will exercise it, even though I am forced to starve in consequence. I remain your unknown friend, A ——– ——–
THE ANTI-POVERTY FAIR.
“I believe in Mr. George’s theories, and I am heartily in sympathy with the objects of the Anti poverty society, but I don’t know that I sympathize with the united labor party,” said a lady member of the Anti-poverty society to me the other day. “I am willing to give of my means to spread a knowledge of the doctrines, but I don’t care to contribute to a political fund.”
There are perhaps many who share my friend’s opinion on this subject, forgetting that in this country, at least, the quickest way to disseminate any truth is to bring it into politics. A party which becomes feared at the polls is, on that very account, more sure of a respectful hearing. And, therefore, it is quite proper that the Anti-poverty society should lend all its energies to raising funds to aid in carrying on the present campaign.
One means to this end is the great fair, opened on Monday evening last in Madison square garden.
Every one who has been a manager at a church or charitable fair knows how discouraging the first hour or two after the actual opening is, and last Monday evening was no exception to the rule. Arriving quite early, I found the ladies (whose right to the title of the “fair” sex seems indisputable) busy putting the last touches to the various booths, many of which show great taste and skill in decoration. A notable instance of this is the choir table, which, under Miss Munier’s direction, has been arranged in imitation of a grand piano. Music, both vocal and instrumental, is, natura1ly, one of the principal wares at this table, which is appropriately placed quite close to the stand erected for the band near the center of the building. Dr. McGlynn’s face greets one on all sides, for there are few booths which do not show a fine likeness of this idol of the people. At the table of the Eighteenth assembly district a good portrait of Dr. Curran is also shown. Most of the tables have inscriptions showing under what management they are, such as “Our Pastor’s Table,” “Committee of Thirty-five from St. Stephen’s Parish,” “Knights of Labor,” which represents the female departments of that organization; while others again have given such characteristic names to their stalls as “Anti-Cruelty,” “Millinery Corner,” “The Star of the Sew Crusade,” etc.
Many articles of historic interest have been contributed to the fair, some of which are for sale, while others are on exhibition for a small fee. Among the latter may be noted, at the “Anti-cruelty” table, a cameo pin given by Napoleon Bonaparte to Hortense before his marriage to Josephine. The pin was subsequently given to Baron Edmund Hackett by Napoleon on the occasion of his leaving America to return to the old world.
Another article possessing great interest and value for both amateur and professional actors is the prompt book of Shakespeare’s “King Henry IV,” used by J. H. Hackett when giving his noted impersonation of Sir John Falstaff. This book has been presented to the fair by Mrs. Hackett and will be sold by chances while with the book Mrs. Hackett engages to teach the part as played by the eminent comedian to the fortunate possessor.
The Fourteenth assembly district devotes its space chiefly to cigars and similar wares. It rejoices in a most unique substitute for the traditional Indian. This is a representation of one of the Montezumas clad in a leopard skin so arranged as to form a garment which covers him literally from head to foot, the leopard’s wide open mouth disclosing the man’s head inside. As the figure carries a shield the costume is presumably that of a soldier and is certainly well calculated to inspire terror. It is said to date back to 1327.
Another ancient curiosity is an old Irish besom, or broom, which is suspended over the Anti-cruelty table. It was taken from the castle of Grace O’Malley, queen of Mayo, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and is at least 100 years old. It has been presented to the fair by Mrs. Borgen, with the hope that it will help to sweep poverty out of existence.
Among other devices for obtaining money is a rather ingenious one, adopted by the Thirteenth assembly district, who provide boxes representing each of the political parties now prominent, and solicit an expression of opinion at the slight cost of one cent for each vote cast. Voting, indeed, is quite a feature of the fair. The female Knights of Labor have had a handsome testimonial prepared, which is to be presented to the paper receiving the most votes as the best daily newspaper, while a gold headed cane is to be voted to the most popular man in the Eighteenth assembly district.
On this first night, however, the people, rather than the booths, were the great attraction. Very, very slowly they came in at first, seeming a mere handful in the vast hall capable of holding so many thousands. But presently the band struck up and the fair was really opened. We began to meet young ladies anxious to sell chances on the many really valuable articles to be raffled. Almost imperceptibly the visitors increased in number until by nine o’clock it was evident that the fair would have no lack of patronage. Special attractions, such as the glass blowers, the donkey party, where that traditionally patient animal awaits the restoration of his tail, etc., were so surrounded that it was hard to get a satisfactory look at them. One of the most fascinating of these side shows is the race course, where little metal horses and their riders, driven by electric power, race round a ring. I could easily realize, as the mimic race progressed, and as first one and then another passed to the front, or was left far in the distance, how exciting the real thing must be, and how strong the temptation to back one or the other of the swift-going steeds. I noticed that this stand was never without a crowd of eager watchers. The interest is still further heightened by the fact that the person holding the number of the winning horse receives one of the prizes displayed on the table. Tickets numbered to correspond with the horses are sold at the beginning of each race.
A mysterious tent, tightly closed, and bearing no placard or sign to denote the nature of its contents, had aroused my curiosity for some time, and finally, seeing a lady attempting to enter, I ventured to ask what it contained. “Nothing but a baby,” she replied, “but it’s asleep on a flag I want, and I can’t get these hooks undone.” I helped her with the troublesome hooks, and then followed her in to look at a baby who could lie undisturbed through the racket that was by this time going on, for the band was playing quite near, and the crowd was sufficiently large to create quite a noise on its own account. There lay the little one as sound asleep as though at home. I could not help but wonder if it didn’t live close to an elevated railroad or near a boiler factory, and there stood the lady, evidently puzzled. “Can you move a baby?” she asked, suddenly turning to me.
“I’m an old maid, and I can’t.” And when I had carefully transferred the little one to a folded shawl, she remarked. “Well, you are a trump. I never could have done that.” I stood near the tent fearing the little one might suddenly wake, but very soon the mother came and bore it off to the stall at which she had been busily working.
Tired of standing and walking, my friend and I took seats in the gallery and watched the comers and goers. It was a pretty sight, with the gay booths and the constantly moving throngs. The assemblage might not have been called a brilliant one by a visitor from Murray hill. Most of the attendants showed plainly that they were people who worked honestly for their living — teachers, clerks, seamstresses, etc. Said one of the girls at a stall to me, as I questioned her about the getting up of the fair: “I just took a day from business, and went around to get contributions,” and there was an air of earnestness about both workers and visitors that augured well for any cause they were engaged in. Chance hits of conversation catching the ear would almost always bring some discussion of the doctrines of the party, or some allusion to “the doctor.” There were no elegant toilettes or dress suits that I saw, but every one looked bright and happy.
The balcony had apparently but few patrons, most people preferring to remain on the floor, and presently, as the band struck up, quite a number of couples walked into the inclosure devoted to dancing, and began to promenade. Their numbers were quickly swelled until a long procession was marching in time to the music, following the leading couple through a long series of intricate and very pretty evolutions. Now the ladies came down one side and the gentlemen the other, meeting again and walking together up the center. Again, alternate couples went to right and left, meeting in the center, and then winding in and out in a way that entirely baffled any endeavor to follow their movements. It was very pretty, and I felt quite sorry when the procession (a very long one by this time) filed out of the inclosure. But presently the band struck up a waltz, and in the twinkling of an eye the space was full of dancing couples. I could not but think it a remarkably attractive feature in the evening’s entertainment. There was a great deal of very good dancing, many couples being easily distinguishable by the grace of their movements. I have seen it stated that the inclosure would hold 400 dancers. If so, I should think 300 would be a fair estimate of the number occupying it the first night.
Many have been the donations to the fair. Straiton & Storm sent a valuable contribution of cigars. A handsome set of parlor furniture from Coogan’s, a beautiful decorated upright piano from Hardman’s, and many fine sets of books, etc., from other sources will doubtless add a handsome sum to the earnings of the fair, which, the managers seem confident, will be counted by the tens of thousands. An attractive table to housekeepers is the one at which Dr. Philip Thorpe’s fresh butter baking powder is sold for the benefit of the fund.
Any one who has ever read Virgil’s description of bees swarming would have been reminded of it when it was rumored in the garden on Tuesday evening that Dr. McGlynn had arrived. The place was thronged, and the crowd surged here and there, like a resistless sea, as the doctor was seen at one point or another. When, finally, he reached the music stand, and stood surrounded by the choir, the throng about him was so closely packed that it must have been impossible to see him from the floor. And as the new “Battle Hymn of the Republic” rang out my mind was irresistibly carried back to the monster war meetings, although even then it was never my fortune to see so large or enthusiastic a gathering as on Tuesday night. That these people are in dead earnest is certain, and it is almost as sure that their enthusiasm is contagious, and that many who go merely to see the man who has inspired the multitude with such devotion to a principle will often, almost against their will, join in the plaudits, though as yet their judgment may be unconvinced. Probably not all of that tumultuous crowd could give a reason for their strong advocacy of the “land movement,” nor are such crowds an absolute measure of political strength. But no thinking man can witness such a scene as that in Madison square garden last Tuesday evening and not inquire seriously into the meaning of it, and the probable end of the movement. And when any man seriously begins to seek the truth there are guide-posts on every hand. “Let him who runs read.” Not half of the throng around Dr. McGlynn on Tuesday evening could have been his old parishioners, yet from all alike came up the same shout of welcome, for he represents to them the ideal freedom for which they are striving.
I think that one of the things exciting most interest in this gathering is the fact that in this Anti-poverty fair so few of the abjectly poor are to be found. Judging by appearances, most are very comfortably situated, and many look as if the world went easily with them. But they think of thousands of fellow men to whom life is only one dreadful struggle for mere existence and the flavor of their food is spoiled. Because a man can support life on a small sum a day is no reason in their eyes why he should be forced to do so. And so they are working, many of them after a hard day’s labor in school or store, to help to bring in the new era of justice.
And every day shows the current setting a little stronger. The very day the fair opened a friend said to one of the Episcopal ministers in this city: “I’m going to the Anti-poverty fair tonight. I suppose you will look on me as an outcast.” But instead he grasped her hand warmly and said: “Why, I want to send something to the fair; now, help me to choose it.” And then he showed her a circular just drawn up and intended to be sent among the clergy, in which the anti-poverty ideas are set forth and which pledges each clergyman signing it to make diligent inquiry into these questions and to take at least one paper devoted to their discussion.
But we have left Dr. McGlynn standing on the platform too long. While we have been discussing other things he has been the recipient of a beautiful silk flag, presented by a former pupil in the name of the old scholars of St. Stephen’s Sunday school; and having received it with a few appropriate remarks, he has taken his place in the front of the stand and been introduced by Mr. Feeny of St. Stephen’s parish. During Mr. Feeny’s speech a beautiful floral harp, presented by Miss Florence Brennan to Dr. McGlynn, is placed beside him, eliciting fresh cheers from the audience. And as the doctor steps forward to begin his speech, the beautiful flag is waved gently to and fro above his head amidst the tumultuous cheering of the audience, who recognize the fitness of thus honoring him who has stood up so boldly for the right of every American citizen to the free expression of his honest convictions.
As the doctor begins to speak a hush falls on the assembly. It is wonderful to look from above on that sea of attentive faces, with their eyes all fixed steadfastly on the speaker. Solemn and reverent almost is his manner as he acknowledges their greetings on this, his fiftieth birthday. Their plaudits, he says, overwhelm rather than elate him, so deep a sense of responsibility do they impose. And then, alluding to the occasion they are celebrating, he just touches on the troubles of the last few mouths, calling forth tears and sobs from many of his hearers. Then, in eloquent words, he reminds the people of the work yet to be done, the battles yet to be fought, before the kingdom of Christ shall be established on earth. He reminds them that this fair is something more than a mere money making scheme — that they are working there to help make true the Declaration of Independence, to help to make real to others the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
“Men on the other side of the world,” he cries, “have heard of the almost divine enthusiasm kindled here. Toiling masses, both in the old world and in our own country, have taken heart at hearing that thousands here have taken a vow to abolish injustice, to work, and toil, and suffer in order to hasten the day when Christ’s prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be doue, on earth as it is in heaven,’ will be literally fulfilled.” Then, after speaking of some of the ways in which good has come out of the evil that had befallen him, he makes an earnest appeal to the members of the Anti-poverty society, to the members of the united labor party, to keep fast in their remembrance the fact that theirs is no mere political movement, but has behind it a deep religious principle, the earnest desire to establish the unity of Christ’s family on earth.
The speaker ceases, and in a marvelously short time the stand is cleared, and the band, who have been pushed and crowded by the impatient throng almost past endurance, brightens up and plays a march, and dancing is the order of the evening. The doctor, with many invited guests, is peacefully taking a well earned supper, served to them by Mary Halligan, well known for her devoted adherence to the doctor during the days of Father Donnelly’s incumbency in St. Stephen’s.3
What more is there to say? One night is but a repetition of the night before, except that the enthusiasm, if possible, is steadily increasing. The fair means hard work for those engaged, but there is little doubt that it also means a handsome reward for the toil expended.
Elizabeth B. Sykes.
What Is Wanted.
The world wants men, large-hearted, manly men,
And glorious whole-souled women, too,
To join its chorus and prolong
The psalm of labor and the song of love.
The world wants statesmen, statesmen who shall shape
The doubtful destinies of dubious years,
And land the ark that bears their country’s good
Safe on some peaceful mountain top at last.
The age wants heroes, aye, and heroines, too,
To clutch the monster, Error, by the throat,
To blot the era of oppression out,
And lead a universal freedom in.
The Seed Sprouting in South Carolina.
Charleston, S. C.—At last I begin to see the seed planted in this benighted city since last November begin to sprout.
The united labor party of Charleston, S. C., was organized last Monday night, taking its stand on the following platform of principles:
- The Syracuse land tax plank. 2. Government ownership of railways, telegraph, etc. 3. Prohibition of convict leases, their labor to be made use of by the state in such employment as will bring them least into competition with honest labor. 4. Prohibition of child labor, and extension of public school facilities (with manual training), so that no child of South Carolina shall go out into the world without an ordinary education. 5. Equal right of every citizen to his vote, and reform of elective methods, etc. 6. We break from both republican and democratic parties; we indorse the united labor party of New York; we await their call for a national convention, and we call upon our co-workers throughout the state to organize on these lines, that they may be prepared to send delegates in a state convention.
Our members are as yet few, but we expect at our next meeting to reach some two hundred, all white men. Simultaneously with our independent movement, new deal clubs of workingmen have been forming in several wards, asking more or less for these same reforms but believing that they would stand a better chance of success by going into the democratic primaries, as it is almost a foregone conclusion here that the democratic ticket will always be carried at the elections, by fair means or foul, and that to organize an independent party would only be to be counted out, stuffed out or shot out. I have talked to the leaders of these new deal clubs, however, and have, I think, converted them to my way of thinking, that even if defeated we can do more good by a straight out fight, standing up to our principles like men, and preparing the way for joint national action with our brethren in other parts of the country. At our next meeting these new deal clubs will join us, and we will then go to work to map out our campaign.
From my remarks alone the readers of The Standard must not infer that we ignore the much abased negro. We intend to ask the voters of that race to join with us in our common fight for our rights for on no other basis could we expect to succeed. If we do not extend the hand of fraternity to our co-workers of that race the democratic party will be ready to misrepresent us and draw that vote to its side; but we must first have a strong nucleus of white men.
So much for policy, but I am proud to say that many of my associates think with me, that we must take the higher stand of justice and extend that helping hand to the negro, because he is a man, equally entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Ridicule by our newspapers is not wanting; social ostracism is hanging over our heads, and I have been informed that some of the court house ring talk of running me out of Charleston. I hardly think it will come to that, however, for even in South Carolina there is some law left — at least in Charleston. Whatever may happen, I have tried to do my duty in the cause, and, if silenced, some one else will one day take up the crusade and push it along.
In the name of my associates I send ardent wishes for your success in New York. Success is only a matter of time, but your victory in New York will hasten the day wonderfully, and change the ridicule of our newspapers into opposition. Benj. Adams.
St. Stephen’s Parishioners.
International hall was crowded last Friday evening with the faithful men and women of St. Stephen’s parish who follow the preacher of the new crusade while preserving intact their allegiance to the defined and dogmatic teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Chairman John R. Feeney of the committee of thirty-five presided, and telling speeches were delivered by Frank Purcell and J. J. Bealin. The devotion of St. Stephen’s parishioners to the principles of Dr. McGlynn continues unabated, and they are further off than ever from any tame submission to the arbitrary decrees of Archbishop Corrigan. The meetings will be kept up, they declare, until justice is done to their beloved pastor, whose deposition they still regard as an outrage on Christian civilization.
THE UNITED LABOR PARTY IN BROOKLYN.
The development of the labor movement in Brooklyn is a marked example of the wonderful growth of independent political ideas among the people.
It is a matter of notoriety that the city of Brooklyn has long been held in the grasp of a set of corruptionists in unblushing violation of moral law and political honor. From time to time spasmodic efforts have been made to purify politics in that city. Respectable figureheads have been nominated and elected for the principal offices. But the ring has steadily kept control until it seemed a very mockery to expect clean politics, no matter how earnest the desire of the people for reform. It mattered little whether republican or democrat held apparent sway. The difference between the ward bosses and heelers of either of the old parties was simply that of tweedledum and tweedledee. Taxation was increased, the wants of the masses ignored, and corruption revelled in civic management, while gaunt poverty, with its grim attendance of disease and crime, invaded the homes of those who, by producing the wealth of the community, were but increasing the powers of their taskmasters.
At length it dawned upon the minds of many active workers in the ranks of organized labor that the time had come when the people should gather their forces together, outside of those political parties so long existing as mere agencies for the degradation and dishonor of public life in Kings county. The light spread with amazing rapidity among the Knights of Labor assemblies and the trades union organizations until, encouraged by similar action in New York and elsewhere, the Central labor union of Brooklyn issued a call to each labor organization for a convention to be held on Sept. 22, 1886, in Labor lyceum, there to consider and decide on the question of whether it was advisable to take independent political action. From each organization three delegates were sent. The Convention was held, and, as might be expected, there were present some men whose immediate interests lay in defeating the purpose of the call. Hack politicians of both parties were there, masquerading as faithful workers in the ranks of labor. They maintained a lively fight for three nights, but suffered an ignominious defeat, notwithstanding their resort to the worst tactics of the corrupt political schools in which they had been trained. By an overwhelming majority the genuine representatives of labor decided in favor of independent action, and adopted a platform in harmony with such decision.
The next important step in advance was the appointment of a central county committee of organization, consisting of three representatives from each assembly district and county town. As its name implied, the special duty of this committee was to organize the friends of labor in every locality, and it selected Victor A. Wilder, now nominee of the united labor party of this state for the office of state comptroller, as chairman. Impressed with a lively sense of its mission this committee immediately entered on its work. Circulars were addressed to the voters in the several wards, meetings were held in various districts, and the good work was pushed forward with such earnestness and rapidity that about one week prior to the election last fall five wards were so well organized that the men felt themselves in condition to make at least a skirmishing fight all along the line against the ringsters and corruptionists of the old parties. In two assembly districts nominations were made, William H. Dimond and Richard T. Caffrey being chosen as standard bearers. In the Eighth ward James Waters received the nomination for supervisor, and in the Twenty-second ward George Pearson was nominated for the same office. These nominations were made on the straight, clear-cut labor platform. Alliances or entanglements with any of the old parties were forbidden, and when the fight was over it was found that 7,000 voters had declared by their ballots that they were tired and sick of the degraded politics which had so long disgraced Kings county.
This result did not appear to frighten the politicians, because they regarded it as a mere ephemeral ebullition of protest against their methods — something that would pass away, leaving no substantial trace of its existence behind. But they reckoned without their host. They failed to apprehend the energy of the men who had dared them to the contest; and they could not realize that the birth of independent political action in the ranks of labor meant for them the destruction of their ill-gotten power. The organizers of labor were encouraged by their maiden effort. They went to work with renewed zeal and unbounded confidence in their ability to reach the minds of the people. The day of election was in truth the opening of a campaign for them which would never relax its efforts until victory was assured. House to house visits were made, and meetings continued every week until in May last the central county organization committee found that no less than two-thirds of the wards were efficiently organized.
It was felt then that the time for permanent organization had arrived, and a convention of representatives from each ward was called to effect that object. Five delegates from each ward organization attended this meeting. The field was critically examined, permanent organization was determined, and while the central organizing committee necessarily dissolved, its labors were assumed and perpetuated by the general county committee of the united labor party of Kings county, appealing to the masses, on the lines of the original Clarendon hall platform of New York. The local organizations already existing were perfected, by-laws for the management of the general committee and ward organizations adopted, and amid general enthusiasm steps were taken to immediately organize the one-third of the wards which had not yet been reached by the original organizers.
Of this general county committee Mr. Wilder was appointed chairman. The executive committee held continual session; semi-monthly meetings were held in each ward, from which reports were regularly received at the monthly meetings of the general committee, and now the united labor party in Kings county has effected permanent organization in each ward, while constantly increasing numbers attest the enthusiastic devotion with which the party is generally inspired in Brooklyn.
The several ward organizations number each from one to four hundred men, or a total of about four thousand as earnest workers in this movement as can be found anywhere. Prior to the Syracuse convention each ward organization was represented in regular manner for the election of delegates to that important body, and since its deliberations the secretaries in the several wards have a busy time in recording the names of recruits, whose zeal is equal to that which so long characterized the veterans in the cause.
When contrasted with the slender forces of last fall, the present state of the united labor party in Brooklyn is highly encouraging. Then but four independent nominations were made, whereas now there is a full county and city ticket in the field, complete senatorial and assembly tickets nominated, and every judicial or other elective office will be contested. And now, as then, but with vastly increased chances of success, the issue will be fought on purely party lines, the principles and practices of the party being utterly opposed to “trades” or “dickerings” with the other parties.
Headquarters have been opened at the corner of Hoyt and Fulton streets, where arrangements for the campaign are nightly as well as daily made. A paper called United Labor was started two weeks ago, and its circulation is already running up into the tens of thousands. Meetings are held every night in each ward and assembly district, and on each Sunday evening the Henry George land and labor club, the work of which corresponds to that of the Anti-poverty society of New York, holds a meeting in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the principles of united labor are advocated and the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man inculcated by several local speakers, assisted from time to time by Mr. George and Dr. McGlynn. At all these meetings tracts and circulars are distributed, so that the purposes of our party may be clearly understood; and it is arranged that on the 8th of October a mass meeting of the united labor party will be held in the Academy of Music, after which special public meetings will be so arranged for the various assembly districts that at least two grand rallying meetings of the party will be held every night until the day of election.
There is already an active campaign committee at work and a naturalization bureau has been opened. Each ward district is looked after by a specially appointed representative of the party who is known as the district captain, and the Work of these several captains is supervised by the executive committee.
The amount of work performed by our Brooklyn friends deserves special commendation. The lowest estimate of the vote for J. J. Clancy, nominee for mayor, is 30,000, and with concert of action that vote may be so increased as to insure triumph. The office of sheriff also bids fair to fall into the hands of united labor. At least four of the assembly districts will send faithful men to the assembly, and in two senatorial districts there is more than a fighting chance for victory. With such a good organization and with active and honest men in the van, the position of the united labor party in Brooklyn is eminently satisfactory; and those who have borne the heat and burden of the day in that much-misgoverned city will before long enjoy the esteem and approbation of their fellow citizens, rescued from the hands of plundering politicians, greedy monopolists and dishonest officials.
A Sermon by a New York Priest That Greatly Resembled an Anti-Poverty Address.
New York, Sept. 26.–Yesterday morning (Sunday) I arrived in this city, and when the wants of the inner man had been supplied by mine host of the Gilsey, I looked around for a place of worship, first examining the hotel directory of city churches. To my surprise, but one Catholic church appeared in the list. It was that of St. Leo’s, of which Monsignor Thomas J. Ducey is pastor. I had heard of this gentleman before as the rector of a fashionable parish, where the wealthy fill the pews and where the poor can find no place. Curious to see a Catholic congregation of this description, ministered to by a priest of whom so much fashionable tattle had been made, I wended my way thither and entered, with the feeling that now I was about to see religion, taught after a fashion to suit the ultra-fashionable set said to worship in St. Leo’s. Glancing round I was astonished to find myself surrounded by a congregation rather simply clad. There were no external evidences of superabundant wealth, but an air of culture was apparent in many of the worshipers, while all seemed engaged in earnest prayer. A young priest was reading the mass, and when a portion of the ceremony was ended he took a seat, while another clergyman, in cassock and surplice, ascended the steps and stood facing the congregation on the altar. A courteous neighbor, in reply to my whispered inquiry, informed me that it was the pastor of the church who stood there. At last, I thought, I see before me the clergyman of whom people speak as the rich man’s priest, the votary of fashion, whose preaching is so soothing to the consciences of the “Dives” class of fashionable Catholics, and I settled myself comfortably to see Christ presented in purple and fine linen to the lovers of ease and luxury in New York.
In clear tones Monsignor Ducey read how Christ taught the love of God and the love of one’s neighbor, in which the law and the prophets are fulfilled. The reading over, he placed the book on the altar, and then began a sermon which riveted me where I sat, because of its freedom from the ordinary cant of the pulpit. He pointed out the humble Carpenter’s Son as the ideal man for a Christian to imitate. He argued that pretending to love God while neglecting to labor for the spiritual, moral and physical elevation of mankind is a phariseeism as revolting in this age as it was in the time when hypocrites and mere formalists sought to entrap the Master. He denounced as a crime crying to heaven for vengeance the defrauding of the laborer by not paying him the full amount of his hire, and he drew a glowing picture of how the ideal Christian recognized and adored the fatherhood of God while accepting and practicing the principles of the brotherhood of man.
I was amazed while listening to the discourse, so similar in its broad love for humanity to the addresses of Dr. McGlynn in the Academy of Music. In fact, St. Leo’s congregation seemed to me to be an anti-poverty meeting, and when I was informed that St. Leo’s parish was formerly included in that over which Dr. McGlynn presided, I felt that no little of the same zeal for the welfare of the people which animates the heart of our great crusader lingered behind in the district now ministered to by Monsignor Ducey.
A year ago I might possibly have heard the sermon without other reflection than the passing charm its eloquence would naturally produce. But in view of the present strained situation in the Catholic community, I regarded it as being quite significant, and I thought that if this is the kind of religion taught by this “fashionable” priest, we could not get too much of it.
“We Shall Make a Red Hot Campaign.”
Cedar Rapids, Iowa.– The members of the united labor party of Linn county, Iowa, send greeting to their brothers of New York. We have put a full legislative and county ticket in nomination on the straight Syracuse platform, demanding the land for the people who want to use it, and shall make a red hot campaign on that issue. The inclosed order for tracts is the first shot at the enemy. We have a fighting chance to win; at all events, I do not believe we shall be the third party. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
- H. Verhes.
Rev. S. H. Spencer of Henry, Ill., to Enter a Broader Field of Usefulness.
On October 1 Rev. S. H. Spencer, who has so eloquently preached the doctrine of the new crusade, leaves his pulpit at Henry, Ill., to establish himself in Philadelphia as editor of The New Christianity. We wish Mr. Henry [sic] every success in his new career.
HENRY GEORGE, Editor and Proprietor.
Published weekly at 35 ANN STREET. NEW YORK.
TERMS, POSTAGE FREE, One year, §5.50; six months, $1.25; single copies, 5 cents.
Entered at the postoffice, New York, as second class matter.
Communications and contributions are invited, and will be attentively considered. Manuscripts not found suitable for publication will be returned if sufficient stamps are sent for return postage. No notice will be taken of anonymous communications.
Contributions and letters on editorial matters should be addressed to THE EDITOR OF THE STANDARD, and all communications on business to the PUBLISHER OF THE STANDARD.
THE STANDARD wants an agent to secure subscribers at every post office in the United States, to whom liberal terms will be given.
THE STANDARD is for sale by newsdealers throughout the United States. Persons who may be unable to obtain it will confers, far or on the publisher by notifying him promptly.
Sample copies sent free on application.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1887.
The Standard is forwarded to subscribers by the early morning mails each Friday. Subscribers who do not receive the paper promptly will confer a favor by communicating with the publisher.
PLATFORM OF THE UNITED PARTY.
Adopted at Syracuse August 19, 1887.
We, the delegates of the united labor party of New York, in state convention assembled, hereby reassert, as the fundamental platform of the party, and the basis on which we ask the co-operation of citizens of other states, the following declaration or principles adopted on September 23, 1886, by the convention of trade and labor associations of the city of New York, that resulted in the formation of the united labor party.
“Holding that the corruptions of government and the impoverishment of labor result from neglect of the self-evident truths proclaimed by the founders of this republic that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, we aim at the abolition of a system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God’s gifts to all, and permits monopolizers to deprive labor of natural opportunities for employment, thus filling the land with tramps and paupers and bringing about an unnatural competition which tends to reduce wages to starvation rates and to make the wealth producer the industrial slave of those who grow rich by his toil.
“Holding, moreover, that the advantages arising from social growth and improvement belong to society at large, we aim at the abolition of the system which makes such beneficent inventions as the railroad and telegraph a means for the oppression of the people and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power. We declare the true purpose of government to be the maintenance of that sacred right of property which gives to every one opportunity to employ his labor, and security that he shall enjoy its fruits; to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, and the unscrupulous from robbing the honest; and to do for the equal benefit of all such things as can be better done by organized society than by individuals; and we aim at the abolition of all laws which give to any class of citizens advantages, either judicial, financial, industrial or political, that are not equally shared by all others.”
We call upon all who seek the emancipation of labor, and who would make the American union and its component states democratic commonwealths of really free and independent citizens, to ignore all minor differences and join with us in organizing a great national party on this broad platform of natural rights and equal justice. We do not aim at securing any forced equality in the distribution of wealth. We do not propose that the state shall attempt to control production, conduct distribution, or in any wise interfere with the freedom of the individual to use his labor or capital in any way that may seem proper to him and that will not interfere with the equal rights of others. Nor do we propose that the state shall take possession of land and either work it or rent it out. What we propose is not the disturbing of any man in his holding or title, but by abolishing all taxes on industry or its products, to leave to the producer the full fruits of his exertion and by the taxation of land values, exclusive or improvements, to devote to the common use and benefit those values, which, arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong justly to the community as a whole. This increased taxation of land, not according to its area, but according to its value, must, while relieving the working farmer and small homestead owner of the undue burdens now imposed upon them, make it unprofitable to hold land for speculation, and thus throw open abundant opportunities for the employment of labor and the building up of homes.
While thus simplifying government by doing away with the horde of officials required by the present system of taxation and with its incentives to fraud and corruption, we would further promote the common weal and further secure the equal rights of all, by placing under public control such agencies as are in their nature monopolies: We would have our municipalities supply their inhabitants with water, light and heat; we would have the general government issue all money, without the intervention of banks; we would add a postal telegraph system and postal savings banks to the postal service, and would assume public control and ownership of those iron roads which have become the highways of modern commerce.
While declaring the foregoing to be the fundamental principles and aims of the united labor party, and while conscious that no reform can give effectual and permanent relief to labor that does not involve the legal recognition of equal rights, to natural opportunities, we nevertheless, as measures of relief from some of the evil effects of ignoring those rights, favor such legislation as may tend to reduce the hours of labor, to prevent the employment of children of tender years, to avoid the competition of convict labor with honest industry, to secure the sanitary inspection of tenements, factories and mines, and to put an end to the abuse of conspiracy laws.
We desire also to so simplify the procedure of our courts and diminish the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich and the long delays winch now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.
And since the ballot is the only means by which in our Republic the redress of political and social grievances is to besought, we especially and emphatically declare for the adoption of what is known as the “Australian system of voting,” an order that the effectual secrecy of the ballot and the relief of candidates for public office from the heavy expenses now imposed upon them, may prevent bribery and intimidation, do away with practical discriminations in favor of the rich and unscrupulous, and lessen the pernicious influence of money in politics.
In support or these aims we solicit the co-operation of all patriotic citizens who, sick of the degradation of politics, desire by constitutional methods to establish justice, to preserve liberty, to extend the spirit of fraternity, and to elevate humanity.
United Labor Party of the State of New York.
Headquarters State Executive Committee,
28 Cooper Union,
New York City, Sept. 1, 1887.
To all Members and Friends of the United Labor Party throughout the United States: By its platform, adopted at Syracuse on the 19th of August last, the united labor party of the state of New York has brought into state politics the principles on which the memorable municipal campaign of a year ago was fought, and thus taken a great stride in the forward movement which must not know retreat. Within the next twelvemonth the advance must be made upon the national field. To this end a national conference will at an early day be called in conformity with a resolution adopted by the New York state convention. To all throughout the state and the union who desire the emancipation of labor, the destruction of the doing of even justice, the simplification and purification of government, with the abolition of privilege on one hand and of poverty on the other, the united labor party of New York sends greeting and it solicits their help. Every such contest as the one we are now entering upon must be a costly one. We need money to send speakers through the state, to distribute literature in every city, town and village, and to print and distribute our ballots. The last item alone, owing to unjust electoral laws which we are striving to reform, and which throw upon private generosity what should be a public burden, will cost us several thousands of dollars. Contributions, small or great, to aid in this work will be gratefully received and promptly acknowledged by this committee.
Chairman and Treasurer.
Gaybert Barnes, Secretary.
Judge James G. Maguire of the superior court of San Francisco who comes from California to take part in the united labor party campaign in this state, is a man of ability and character. The son of Irish parents, who emigrated to California when he was a boy, he obtained a common school education and learned the trade of a blacksmith, which he worked at for some time, devoting his spare moments to educating himself further and reading law. He was elected from San Francisco to the legislature of 1870-71 on the democratic ticket, and his career in that body was marked by signal ability and an uprightness which gave him the character of a man above suspicion. After some years’ successful practice at the bar he was elected judge of the superior court, and has in that position made a most enviable reputation, both for ability and integrity. Up to the beginning of this year Judge Maguire has always been counted as a democrat, belonging, however, to that wing of the California democracy that did their best to oppose ring rule and corporate control. He has been for years a thorough believer in the principles now brought into political issue by the united labor party, and recognizing in the formation of this party a revival of true democracy he determined to publicly withdraw from the old sham democracy, and did so in a letter to the California state democratic club, which was published in The Standard of Feb. 12.4
Judge Maguire is known to the readers of The Standard, not only by this letter of resignation, but by various speeches of his in advocacy of anti-poverty principles, which we have from time to time published, by the able address in which as a Catholic he defended Dr. McGlynn and by the recent letter in which he showed that the state courts and the supreme court of the United States have already declared the constitutionality of taking land values for the use of the community by the method of taxation.
Judge Maguire is a logical and effective speaker, and California could have sent New York no better representative in the campaign, which this year makes the Empire state the battle ground of the whole Union.
Mr. John S. Kennedy of the St. Andrew’s society of this city has done a public spirited act in formally calling the attention of Collector of Customs Magone to a recent outrageous violation of the law of the United States, prohibiting the importation of contract laborers — the guilty parties being the wardens and vestrymen of the Episcopal church of the Holy Trinity, and the Rev. E. Walpole Warren of London. Not satisfied, as patriotic American churchmen ought to be, according to protectionist ideas, with the quality of preaching to be had from American citizens, and desirous of pandering to a dudish taste for sermons of a British flavor, this religious corporation entered into a contract with this “foreign” clergyman to do a certain amount of preaching in this city for a certain amount of pay. He was imported by the British steamer Adriatic, which arrived on Friday afternoon of last week, and by the laxity of the customs authorities was permitted to land unchallenged.
The law of the United States, which has thus been grossly violated, is explicit in its terms. It declares:
It shall be unlawful for any person, company, partnership or corporation, in any manner whatsoever, to prepay the transportation or in any way assist or encourage the importation or migration of any alien or aliens, any foreigner or foreigners, into the United States, its territories or the District of Columbia, under contract or agreement, parole or special, express or implied, made previous to the importation or migration of such alien or aliens, foreigner or foreigners, to perform labor or service of any kind in the United States.
The act goes on to make certain exceptions to this sweeping prohibition, viz: The hiring by foreigners temporarily in this country of private secretaries and domestic servants, or the hiring of professional actors, artists, lecturers and singers, or the engaging of skilled workmen to perform labor “in or upon any new industry not at present established in the United States.”
None of these exceptions, it is clear, cover the case of Rev. Mr. Warren. He is certainly not a professional actor, artist, lecturer or singer; he is certainly not a private secretary or a domestic servant, nor is the corporation of Holy Trinity, which has imported him, a “foreigner temporarily in this country.” Nor yet is Mr. Warren “a skilled workman engaged to perform labor in or upon any industry not at present established in the United States.” On the contrary, the industry of preaching has long been established in the United States. It is, in fact, one of the earliest of American industries, and was established here by the first colonists who settled in this country.
Collector Magone, having in the first place been guilty of the negligence of allowing the Rev. E. Walpole Warren to land, now, it seems, proposes to brazen the matter out by declaring that Mr. Warren is not a laborer within the meaning of the act.
It is to be hoped that Mr. Kennedy will call the attention of the secretary of the treasury to this repudiation of an act of congress by one of his tide waiters. Such an interpretation of the law is contrary both to the clear provisions of the statute and to common sense. The exemption by the act of actors, artists, lecturers and singers makes it clear that the intention of congress was not to confine the prohibition to manual laborers, but to include in it those laborers whose vocations are usually termed professions, when not expressly excluded. And if preachers are not laborers, what are they? Are they drones or paupers? They make their living by preaching as other people make their living by singing, lecturing, painting, tending rooms, raising crops, making bricks or digging cellars. They themselves frequently style themselves laborers, and the law makes no distinction between laborers in the Lord’s vineyard and laborers in any other vineyard. And the united labor party, whose effort it is to form a union of laborers of all kinds, whether they labor with hand or with head, does clearly and emphatically recognize clergymen as laborers. Collector Magone evidently has a notion that the preparation of a sermon involves no labor, that all a man has to do is to stand up in a pulpit and open his mouth. But if he were ever to try it, he would find that preaching, and especially good preaching, involves labor of the hardest kind. And the work of the clergyman is also labor of the highest kind; it is not devoted to providing for physical needs as is the labor of the farmer, the butcher, the tailor, or the baker, but it is devoted to something, not of less, but of even more importance — the satisfying of the moral and the religious needs of men, the inculcation of virtues without which organized society cannot long exist, and the providing of gratifications for the spiritual nature. Clergymen are producers; not producers of commodities, it is true; but producers of utilities.
Now, the plain intent and purpose of the law under which Mr. Kennedy asks that the Rev. E. Walpole Warren be sent back to London, that a penalty of one thousand dollars shall be imposed upon the vestrymen of the Church of the Holy Trinity, and that the master of the Adriatic shall pay a fine of five hundred dollars, is to prevent the competition of foreign producers with American producers; it is the first step toward making the protective system by which we impose fines upon those who bring here the products of foreign labor, apply to foreign laborers themselves. It may be true that the members of the Holy Trinity church think that they would make greater spiritual progress under the preachings of the Rev. E. Walpole Warren than they would under the preachings of an American clergyman; but we are not in the habit of considering the wishes or rights of consumers in such regard. Many people prefer Scotch woolen goods to American woolen goods; many people prefer Havana tobacco to our native tobacco; but the law which levies enormous duties upon the importation of Scotch woolens and Havana tobacco pays no regard to the wishes of the people who consume these things. It merely regards the American producer; and surely, under the same system, the people who are to be regarded are not such congregations as that of Holy Trinity church, but the numerous American clergymen who would be very willing to accept the rectorship of Holy Trinity and the good salary that is attached thereto. Is the industry of the clergyman inferior to the industry of the wool grower and wool weaver, or to the industry of the American producer of tobacco, that he is to be subjected to a competition from which the others are protected? It may be said that the discrimination ought to be made because the industry of a clergyman is devoted to preaching the word of God; but the sermons of foreign ministers, when put in printed form, are subjected to a duty, and even the Holy Bible itself cannot be brought into this free country without the payment of a protective duty. While this great American republic is engaged, through its officials, in stripping lady passengers landing from foreign ports, even though they be American citizens, and searching their under garments for contraband goods, it would be idle to speak of any discrimination in the case of the holy scriptures.
In fact, a copy of the Bible seized upon the person of a traveler who had ventured to bring it from Canada across the Detroit river was recently sold by auction at the custom house of the Michigan metropolis and the ten cents which it brought added to the surplus in the treasury.
Clearly to carry out our well-settled national policy the Rev. E. Walpole Warren must be sent back to the foreign parts from which he came, the vestrymen of Holy Trinity church must be fined a thousand dollars, the captain of the Adriatic made to pay a penalty of five hundred dollars or not be allowed to come within our waters again, and Collector Magone removed for his wanton carelessness.
But it is to be hoped that after all this is done the clergymen of the United States, of all denominations, will begin to consider whether the exclusion of preachers who come here under contract will really do anything to improve their own condition. It is true that, like all other laborers, the clergymen of the United States are poorly paid, the average of their salaries not amounting to five hundred dollars; but is this because of the competition of foreign clergymen or is it because the great mass of the people, the great body who support the majority of American clergymen, have really hard work to make a living for themselves? It is worth the while of the clergymen of the United States to consider whether the true way to improve their own condition, as well as the condition of all struggling professional men, is not that pointed out by Christ himself in his injunction to do unto others as we would have others do unto us. That it is hard for the great bulk of Americans to make a living; that hundreds of thousands of them, willing and anxious to work, are, even in what we call good times, unable to find the opportunity to work, arises from that monopolization of natural opportunities which compels the man who has nothing but the power of labor to find some other human creature who will employ him before he can exert that power. The condition of this great body of such skilled laborers as clergymen and other professional men must finally depend upon the condition of that greater body, the unskilled manual laborers of the country; and the conditions of society, if they are to be generally improved, must be improved from the bottom. In striving to prevent the monopolization of land by the simple means of concentrating taxes on land values, the united labor party are taking the only step that can prove effectual toward the improvement of the condition of all laborers — whether with hand or brain. In the meantime, President John S. Kennedy of the St. Andrew’s society deserves the thanks of the community for calling attention to this violation of the law, and it is to be hoped that he will push the matter to a decision by the treasury department, or, if need be, by the courts.
THE CASE OF MRS. O’DONNELL.
Mrs. O’Donnell is a free born resident of New York, a Catholic in good standing, and a member of the Anti-poverty society.
When preparations were making for the Anti-poverty fair in Madison square garden, Mrs. O’Donnell, like many other ladies of the society, volunteered to collect subscriptions, and was furnished with a book in which to enter them, such book, of course, being the property of the society temporarily placed in her charge.
Among the gentlemen to whom Mrs. O’Donnell appealed for subscriptions to the praiseworthy object which she had at heart, was Michael Augustine Corrigan, more generally known as his grace Archbishop Corrigan, of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York. This was unwise on Mrs. O’Donnell’s part, but not unlawful; it simply showed that she possessed the harmlessness of the dove, untinctured by the wisdom of the serpent.
Archbishop Corrigan, however, regarded Mrs. O’Donnell’s action not only as a trespass on his dignity, which was bad, but as a sin against God, which was worse, if such a thing be possible. Instead of instructing the archiepiscopal butler to place refreshments before Mrs. O’Donnell while he wrote her a check for a thumping contribution, Archbishop Corrigan confiscated the book, and sentenced Mrs. O’Donnell to hell for having presumed to speak to him on such a subject. Such, at least, is Mrs. O’Donnell’s story. The archbishop, in a published statement, denies having excommunicated the lady, but is discretely silent about the book.
It is whispered that Mrs. O’Donnell, seeking spiritual instruction for her guidance under these untoward circumstances, was told by a priest of this archidiocese to “just pay no attention to him,” meaning by “him” his grace the archbishop; which, it seems to us, was uncommonly sensible advice under the circumstances.
But if it’s all the same to the archbishop, the Anti-poverty society would like to get back its book.
A Utica Man Sees the Justice of the Reform.
Utica, N. Y.– Government is instituted for the protection and benefit of the people, and it is simple justice that no individual shall be compelled to deliver up even the smallest part of his individual earnings to defray the expense of maintaining government until the wealth that is produced by the people, in the shape of unearned increment in land, is first taken to defray such expense. There can be no doubt that the increase in the value of the land in the city of New York is the product of every man, woman and child who has lived in the United States since that city had its beginning as a commercial metropolis. It may be truthfully said that all the individuals in the world, during the same period, have in a degree contributed to such increase of value, which increase is termed the unearned increment. Who should say, then, that what the people create is not the property of the people? Who shall say that the people’s property should not be taken to defray the expense of the people’s government? The same line of reasoning will convince us of the fact that individuals owning valuable lands have not individually given value to such lands, no matter where the land may be, but that the people as a whole have created whatever value the land has. How could there be a commercial metropolis without commerce, and how could there be commerce without people? Let all commerce be stopped, all business abandoned, and land that is now the most valuable in any city would be of less value than the least valuable farm lands, for on the latter something to sustain life could be produced. It is the various enterprises in which the population of any country engages, the product of the labor of such population, and the demand for the use and occupation of the land of that country, that comes of such enterprises and labor, which gives to the land its value. This value is the property of the whole population, and it should be taken for the use of the people. What better use could the people make of it than to apply it to the purpose of maintaining the government? J. F. K.
Some Mighty Good Advice.
Cincinnati, O.– Unlike some who affect to think it unworthy, the writer takes pride in what he knows of practical politics, and only regrets that bread winning should confine him at this time in a state without a party clearly voicing the principle of the great reform. But he begs to suggest to those in the thick of the fight a method in practical politics which he has seen practiced with great effect in a reform campaign. Follow the bidding of the Delphic oracle and “Turn every stone.” To do this take the registry list in as full a club meeting as can be mustered. Begin at A— John Anderson. Who is he? Who lives near him, knows him, does business with him, goes to church with him? Mark him for his past politics. Mark him if he is committed on the new issue, certain, hopeful or doubtful. Who can influence him? Who can see him? As the open investigation proceeds from A to Z, quiet men in the corners are waked out of their diffidence. They can tell about some one, or agree to see some one who but for this would not be gathered into the great anti-poverty army this fall.
Next meeting go over the list again and report progress. The running comment is more interesting than some great speakers, and the method is sure to make thorough work, help the vote and give confidence to the workers. Many a diffident man will find in him the making of an Isaias, who said: “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not.” Then in a warmer sense he will feel as though he really belonged to the great human family, which will be, and of right ought to be, one anti-poverty society. Charles H. Fitch.
From an Oswego Lawyer.
Oswego, N. Y.; Sept. 25.– In compliance with your request prefixed to your work on “Progress and Poverty,” I write this to say simply that after a very careful and critical reading and rereading of the book I now fully share the views expressed therein and desire to advance them. As the most practicable method of doing so I have determined to vote for and support the ticket headed by your name, and to advocate the doctrine of the Syracuse platform to the extent of my opportunities. A— — .
News from Ithaca.
Ithaca, N. Y.– About five hundred people, including 150 Cornell students, attended the united labor party meeting Saturday night. C. C. Platt presided, and H. H. Freeman of Binghamton and Louis F. Post of New York spoke. Some of the students are members of the party and intend to form a Henry George economic club in the college. Pierce Pearson, a leading farmer, is out openly for the ticket.
Going to Make Things Warm in Louisville.
Taylorsville, Ky.– Sample copies of The Standard received. I am located here for a short time only – probably a month – but while I stay I am distributing tracts and papers among the farmers and business men. When I return to Louisville I will go actively to work. I am vice-president of our land and labor club in that city, and we intend to make things warm the coming winter.
- B. Sparks.
They Needn’t Leave the Cities to See Valuable Land Covered with Nothing but Weeds.
Westminster, Cal.– If they could only see the thousands of acres of rich land in this valley held by speculators and covered with weeds, every ten acres of which would support a large family, it would certainly set some of the people in the large cities thinking. E. C. Phelps.
Delaware Coming to the Aid of New York.
Wilmington, Del.– It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have organized united labor club No. 1, of Wilmington, Del. It was decided that at our next meeting, Sept. 26, a collection should be taken up to aid the campaign in New York state so auspiciously begun last Saturday.
Geo. W. Kreer.
Donations for the Anti-Poverty Fair.
The committee in charge of the Anti-poverty fair and festival desire out of town friends to know that donations of goods or money can be addressed to Mr. W. T. Croasdale, Madison square garden, or to the secretary of the Anti-poverty society, room 30, Cooper union, New York.
The International Recruiting Fund.
We have received from Mr. H. A. Strahmer $2 toward this fund, making the total to date $53.75.
The International recruiting fund is applied to the translation and printing of tracts in the German language.
Why, Indeed, Does he Oppose It?
Amsterdam Labor’s Stage.
We have received the following postal card communication from John Swinton and have answered it:
“Dear Sir:– You made an error in returning my check. I shall now send it to the Brooklyn Labor Press, which will be mailed to you to fill out your unexpired term. I had intended to send Labor’s Stage 3,000 subscribers, with the cash; but its course in joining the foe dumfounded me. I now send you the Brooklyn paper. Respectfully,
Now, we need $3,000 about as bad as any one, and would appreciate an extra three thousand intelligent readers more than the lucre; but had we been sure of twice the number of congenial subscribers, and twice the $3,000, we would have been just fool enough to stick by this land reform and remain poor.
John Swinton knows that the earth belongs to the children of men, and was given them by the God of Justice. He knows that the mass of the children of men have been shut out from the use of the earth and are forbidden to use it except they agree to surrender one-half the product of their labor for the privilege of living upon the earth and drawing product from it.
John Swinton knows that this is a blasphemous interference with natural and divine law, and that it has brought its punishment in the poverty and wretchedness of the people who allow it, and whose duty it is to undo and prevent it.
John Swinton knows that this great wrong is intrenched behind barricades of human law and protected by natural consideration for “rights” of supposed innocent holders, and he therefore knows that the easiest, the fairest and the most scientific way to get rid of this wrong and restore the right of every man to his free inheritance in God’s green earth is to separate the product of individual labor from god-given gifts to all, independent of labor, and while retaining the first to its rightful owners, restore the latter to the people by the least forceful means. Why, then, does he oppose the land tax plan when his assistance would hasten its success?
Terence V. Powderly’s Thoughtful Words.
- M. W. Powderly in Journal of United Labor.
If you are a farmer you will find that the road over which you must send the result of your toil is owned by men who are interested in bonanza farming, and they will make haste slowly in getting your goods to market. Millions of tons of coal were deposited in the bowels of mother earth for the use, comfort and “happiness” of mankind in general. The agriculturists of the nation bring forth from the surface of mother earth millions of bushels of wheat, corn and potatoes; but the corn is burned for fuel and the coal remains in the bosom of old earth, because the government allows the railroads and corporations to decide what shall be done. The railroads form a combination not to take a pound of freight under a certain price, and if any of the parties to the combine are caught “scabbing” it, they are boycotted most vigorously. The coal companies form a combination. What for? To sell more coal? No; but to keep the coal in the earth and away from the consumers. Did anyone, in reading the history of the past, ever stumble across a more stupendous piece of asininity than that which keeps the coal away from the man who wants it, simply because a few men who have monopolized the gifts of the Creator have so willed it?
“Title of prince, 75,000 francs; duke, 50,000 francs; count, 25,000 francs; baron, 20,000 francs. All warranted and in good form.” So runs an Italian circular, which is being largely put about. American buyers are especially sought.
Two well-dressed, plausible individuals have been practicing an old swindling trick successfully in the Hudson river valley lately. Their plan of action is to represent themselves as agents for a newly patented hay rake and pump, which they offered on unusually favorable terms, both as to price and payment. All they required when making the sale was the signature of the buyer on a slip of paper to insure his taking the articles when sent. This modest stipulation was generally complied with unhesitatingly, with the result that the givers found that promissory notes for different amounts were in circulation shortly afterward with their names attached.
There is absolutely no gayety of any kind in New York to which the adjective fashionable can be applied. There is a little driving in the park, but it is for the sake of driving, and nothing else. If one escapes being seen it is all right – a little better, indeed. Delmonico’s large room is beginning to hold many diners, but every one who goes there has the air of being surprised at seeing his neighbor. In fact, September is the between and betwixt time when no one is in town if he can well avoid it. The green shades are still down in all the Fifth avenue windows. –[New York Tribune.
Michael Collins and his four sons, the youngest five years old, were dispossessed from their home on Twenty-fifth street, and for want of means to pay for a lodging, took to sleeping in a hay loft at No. 528 West Twenty-sixth street. The family were arrested and arraigned in Jefferson market police court. The father and eldest son were warned to find a home somewhere, and the younger children were turned over to the Children’s aid society.
Mrs. James G. Blaine’s French poodle strayed from its hotel one day last week. A general alarm was promptly sent from police headquarters.
Around the Palmer house rotunda any evening may be seen a tall, smooth-shaven man, with twinkling eyes, a nose tiptilted as Tennyson’s Maud, and a generous paunch. He wears not a single article of jewelry. His clothes are as costly as money can buy. This is Charley Bush of New Orleans and Chicago, called the richest gambler in the south. To New Orleans he is what Phil Daly is to Long Branch. His establishment is one of the minor sights of the city. For three or four years he has controlled the pool privileges at Washington park and cleared handsomely every season. Bush is what is called a jolly good fellow. He knows everybody. There are scores of men who would not recognize the average gambler who hobnob with Bush. He is said to be worth $500,000, invested in cattle farms, real estate securities and in solid cash. In the reign of Carter Harrison he was a partner of O. S. Hines in a no-limit game on Dearborn street. Hines, about whom little is heard, is altogether the wealthiest gambler in Chicago. He owns at least fifty dwelling houses alone of the better class. He is an old man, between sixty and seventy, and has a wonderful physique. Save on the very coldest days in winter he never wears an overcoat. – [Chicago News.
Since May 1 extensive improvements have been made to the approaches to the Vanderbilt mausoleum in the Moravian cemetery at New Dorp, S. I. Three hundred and fifty Italians and twenty-five teams have been employed daily in leveling five acres of land. Several hundred trees, which have heretofore obstructed the view of the magnificent tomb, have been cut down. A large stone wall is being built around the mausoleum. The interior of the walls will be handsomely laid out in a garden. The monument can now be seen plainly for many miles at sea from the decks of incoming and outgoing vessels. It will be some time yet before those improvements will be completed. Crowds of strangers inspect the mausoleum on Sundays. The Pinkerton detectives continue to guard the tomb containing the remains of the late William H. Vanderbilt.
The census of England and Wales records 7,668,000 women as wage earners.
There are said to be over 400 persons in this city who are worth all the way from $1,000,000 to $200,000,000, and there are said to be l,000,000 persons in this city whose combined wealth, would not amount to $200,000,000.
- B. Parmenter, postmaster at Middleton, Wis., for twenty years, has been arrested by the federal authorities. He is charged with embezzling $500 government funds, and with making false returns to the postoffice department, whereby he was able to secure $600 more salary per annum than he was legally entitled to.
The waning season at Bar Harbor and Newport brings Lenox more prominently into notice, and this lovely spot, with its environment of the Berkshire hills, is sought by all the leaders of the fashionable world, and social interest will center there for some weeks to come. A succession of dinners have been given by the Sloanes, Whitneys, Iveses and Frelinghuysens. Particularly delightful have been the entertainments at Mrs. Sloane’s magnificent place, “Elm court.” The approach to this house is palatial. One enters by a great marble terrace and court, gay with plants and flowers, and near by is a magnificent elm tree that droops gracefully but majestically over this chateau. Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Vanderbilt have been Mrs. Sloane’s guests for some days. The Misses Furniss, besides giving a progressive euchre party, have entertained in their wonted hospitable manner the members and guests of the tennis club, and the good weather of yesterday made tennis possible and enjoyable. Last Saturday a picturesque schuetzenfest5 was given on the lawn of Dr. Kinnibutt’s place, and the archery prize was won by Miss Sargent of Boston. Much amusement was caused by the target, a big rooster on a pole decorated with garlands and streamers, and all the assembled company had a shot at his chanticleership. – [Evening Telegram.
The police of the East Fifth street station found Bridget Matthews, seventy years old, living in a filthy 7×9 room in the rear of No. 7 Extra place early yesterday morning. She was nearly dead from a complication of diseases, and was entirely without the necessaries of life. She said that her relatives and friends had deserted her and left her to die of starvation. She was taken to Bellevue hospital. Similar cases are brought to the attention of the police almost daily.– [New York World.
The correspondent of an English paper gives the following menu of Queen Victoria’s every day breakfast at her home in the highlands: Scotch porridge, cold rump steak pie, hot rump steak, cold gammon of bacon, boiled eggs, Scotch scones, brown bread, butter, honey, tea, coffee and a kind of cocoa specially prepared for the queen. People who eat breakfast with the queen are obliged to eat porridge, but may let the rest of the things alone if they want to.
Mrs. J. W. Mackay is going to have one of the most beautiful mantles in the world. It will be unique and a monument of the destruction of life. It is to be made of the breasts of birds of paradise. The breast is about four inches broad and about six long at the greatest length, and nearly heart shape; the upper portion is about an inch and a half deep, and is like the finest plush, in color a deep seal brown; the color shades off below to a pinky terra cotta. About five hundred birds will be necessary to furnish enough for the cloak, and two skillful marksmen are now in New Guinea engaged in this wholesale slaughter.– [New York Tribune.
Will Dr. Crosby Please Advise These Laborers How to Abolish Their Poverty?
Petersburg, Va., Index-Appeal.
The commissioner of labor statistics announces that, taking six trades as a basis, the average pay of a skilled laborer in North Carolina is $1.65 per day; unskilled, 65 cents; farm labor, without board, 55 cents; farm labor, with board, 30 cents.
QUERIES AND ANSWERS.
Most of the objections to the land value tax grow out of false impressions as to what it is or superficial thought regarding its operation and effect.
Patrick Fahy of Hoboken, N. J., sees that if the tax were enforced what now goes into the pockets of landlords would go into the public treasury, but observes that the returns to labor and capital would remain the same, and asks if there is any way in which this wrong could be prevented, and labor and capital secure their just proportion.
He must agree that if the profits of land owning were devoted to public use there would be no private profit in land owning, but only in land using. There would then be competition as now; but instead of being competition for an opportunity to work it would be competition for workers — and that continuing, as it would, the price of labor would rise to the extreme point of the value of the laborer’s product. Thus the laborer would get all that he contributed to production. Nothing more can be asked.
The Philadelphia North American gravely informs a correspondent that when it speaks of land “it speaks not of corner lots, but of that vast breadth of arable or grazable land whose productions must be secured by labor of hand and brain,” and so affirms that when in a former issue it said that all the land is worth is due to the brain and muscle of him who wrests it from wildness a literal fact was stated. “Without the expenditure of such effort,” it proceeds with the confidence of a country pedagogue, “there can be no property value in land, and hence no basis of taxation whatever,” and then, with refreshing innocence of its inconsistency, lays down a law that “the true value of anything is based on its capacity to earn something which the world demands.” It admits, however, that “the soil within the city plot of Philadelphia has a value apart from that derived from the expenditure of brain and muscle,” but hastily adds that this is only in a narrow sense, for in the widest and truest sense the value of Philadelphia lots “is greatly due to the buildings and public improvements, all of which are the creations of brain and muscle,” and asks, “Without these improvements what would the soil on which they rest be worth?” Its answer is that it would be worth nothing unless cultivated, “for it would earn nothing, and hence no owner could derive anything from it with which to pay taxes.” From all which the North American concludes that “there can be no natural property value in land not created by labor;” that this property value belongs to its creator; and that there is nothing else upon which to levy a tax unless a man is to be taxed “for the opportunity which the land gives him for the creation of property value,” which would have to be paid by the laborer after all.
I am asked to reply to this piece of Philadelphia wisdom. No extended reply is necessary.
An economic writer who does not include corner lots when he speaks of “land” is like a mathematician who does not include six when he speaks of seven, or an astronomer who does not include the planet when he speaks of the solar system, or a lawyer who does not include murder when he speaks of homicide.
That the productions of arable or grazable land must be secured by labor no one denies; but the arable or grazable land is there, whether its fruits are secured or not; and until our Philadelphia Solomon can show that a man is entitled to own the ocean because its fish must be secured by labor, he cannot show that a man is entitled to own the soil because its productions must be secured by labor.
Nor is it a literal fact that all the value of land, even of all arable or grazable land, is due to the brain and muscle of him who wrests it from wildness. There is plenty of valuable land that has never been rescued from wildness, and which is, nevertheless, valuable, because land equally desirable is scarce; and so there is land which has been rescued from wildness which, nevertheless, has little or no value, because equally desirable land is not scarce. It is the demand for particular land that gives to it its value, whether it be arable or grazable land or corner lots.
That the value of Philadelphia lots is greatly due to the buildings and public improvements there is in a sense true, for if there were no buildings or public improvements the demand for Philadelphia land would be less and its value lower. But the land owners do not own Philadelphia land by virtue of having erected buildings and made public improvements; they own it by virtue of a royal patent under which, whether they build or do not build, they are empowered to levy a tax on everyone who emigrates to Philadelphia, whether he emigrates from New Jersey, Europe or heaven.
I agree with the North American writer that “there can be no natural property value in land not created by labor,” and, therefore, it is that we propose to tax away that legal property value in land which is not created by labor, exempting from taxation all values that are created by labor.
This would leave as the only subject of taxation what the Philadelphia writer describes as “the opportunity which the land gives” to men for the production of property. That such a tax would be paid by the laborer is true. But the laborer already pays it. He now pays it to a landlord; he might then pay it to a landlord, but if he did the tax would take it from the landlord for the general good.
- H. of Wheeling, Virginia, thinks that if it is wrong to take rent for land it is wrong to tax land. It is not wrong to take rent for land. Rent is the natural equalizer of natural opportunities. If Smith and Jones jointly own two farms, a good one and a poor one, it is better that Smith should use the good farm and Jones the poor one than that they should quarrel for the good one, provided that Smith pay the value of the good farm and Jones the value of the poor one into a common fund to be divided between them. So in society, land varies in desirability; the variation is measured by rent; and if that rent be devoted to common use the opportunities of all are equalized. Some use good land for which they pay rent, while others use poor land for which they pay nothing; and the rent being divided between them produces the same result as if all used the good land.
Rent is natural as a regulator of opportunities, and if taxed into a common treasury it is beneficial as an adjuster of natural rights.
John H. Schilling of Stapleton, S. I., asks how cemeteries would be taxed, and suggests that as they are generally located in remote places where land would have but little value, they would not be taxed much, if at all. This is correct. Cemeteries, as private business enterprises, would be taxed upon the value of their land. Accordingly, to answer another question that Mr. Schilling asks, the difference in taxing Trinity cemetery on Broadway and a cemetery on Staten island would be determined by the difference in the land value.
John H. Paschall of Ward, Pa., is puzzled to know how farming implements, buildings, small fruit trees, fences, etc., would be provided, and how the fertility of the land would be insured and wood land and water courses preserved.
Implements and buildings would be provided by mechanics and fruit trees by nurserymen, who would trade them for farm products; the fertility of the land would be insured, as it has been, is now and always will be, by the Creator, and wood land and water courses would be preserved by occupiers, who would find it more profitable to preserve than to destroy them.
Henry Jacobs of New York repeats an often answered question. He supposes two lots of land of equal size and value, with a two-story building on one and a seven-story building on the other, and asks if the owner of the seven-story building would pay the same tax as the owner of the other building.
Certainly. Each occupies the same value of public property, therefore each should pay the same price for his privilege.
The persons who would directly benefit by this would not be the owners of the buildings, but their tenants. There being no tax on houses, house rent would be cheaper; and as the tax on the land value could not be shifted to the tenant the tenant would escape a tax that he now pays indirectly. The owners would benefit by being able to rent their houses more regularly and readily.
Franklin Smith of Dedham, Mass., speaks of a case in his neighborhood where a large lot of land is held out of use. The rental value of this land, he says, is very small, but its selling value very great; and he asks whether the land value tax would be imposed on the selling value or on the rental value.
The first step of shifting taxation from products to land values would require the tax to be laid on the selling value of land. The result of that tax would be, in the instance mentioned, to cause the owner to seek a buyer for his land. But no one would buy at the present value, nor at any value greater than a capitalization of the rental value. Indeed, no one would buy at a capitalization of the rental value, for the tax would make it unprofitable to do so. Consequently the selling value would fall to some point below a capitalization of the rental value, which would be the basis of taxation.
The owner might then either continue to hold the land out of use, paying that comparatively small tax, or use it, or sell it. He would not keep it out of use because he would know that the rate of tax would rise as the value rose, and thus make any attempt at speculation an inevitable loss. If he used the land the object of the tax would be accomplished. If he sold it the buyer would take it only for use, and in that case, too, the object of the tax would be accomplished.
This is a general outline of the way the tax would operate in the instance presented by Mr. Smith.
Louis F. Post.
Let Us Keep a Soft Spot in Our Hearts for the Nicodemuses Whose Enforced Silence is Really an Endurance of Persecution for Righteousness’ Sake.
Concord, Mass.– A letter of mine inclosing a subscription has invoked some comment, noticeably by “Nicodemus.” In that communication allusion was made by me to the case of a certain attorney who, fearing his family might forfeit their subsistence were he known openly as supporting your anti-poverty movement, requested that his name be suppressed. I cannot imagine that any one could have other than a feeling of tender pity for this man. He does not elect to hold the position he does, I fancy. None of us elect to fill positions in which we must forfeit our manhood. But we find ourselves facing the world with tender and innocent children to care for, who, without leave asked of them, have found themselves here, and have a right to claim of their parents that they shall not be allowed to starve or die of exposure. If under existing conditions most fathers manage to acquit themselves of their duty with no greater reproach than an occasional dodge around the corner of expediency, then most of us will be satisfied. The support which your movement needs is moral and material. Neither element can work alone, and lest I should have appeared to censure the silent givers pray allow me space to say that I know only too well the infinite consideration which is due the man who from some base necessity of feeding his perishable body and the bodies of his family is compelled to wear a mask.
We all know what the essential principle is at the core of Mr. George’s work toward better government. So simple and innocent is it that it takes no eloquence to state it, no gifted intelligence to receive it, but to be guided by it it takes that requisite, alas! which a world long sodden with respect for the mere power of wealth has too often robbed us of, and that requisite is an honest heart. Before we condemn those who give anonymously at least we must use up our stock of judgment on those who do not give at all. Therefore, when as in the case of this attorney we feel that he is compelled to stifle the open protest which his heart would utter at the appalling material inequalities which society perpetuates among men — I say when an honest cry like that is stifled, it behooves those who are no longer in bonds to come to you by hundreds proclaiming their conviction on the house tops. It has not been so long since I myself was similarly placed with these men, and though now free, I have not forgotten how grateful was the word which a wise counselor gave me in my hour of need. Said he, “My friend, that which you do under constraint to the needs of your family does not represent your true action. True action, that alone which can indicate your quality, must always occur in freedom. God judges the motive and not the performance. Therefore do not blame yourself for appearing to acquiesce in injustice when that appearance is forced upon you by your duty to those you love. Such action is in no sense your own any more than is the act of deference which the slave yields the master today who may have flogged him yesterday.”
If the time is not ripe when many may reveal their names who now wear a mask, we may well believe that an added obligation falls on those who can show their faces to let the silent ones know that their gifts are appreciated — gifts which I doubt not often cost the donors more than the speech of those who talk and write. There are doubtless hundreds today who hear your appeal and say to themselves: “Can I afford to wreck my chances in life by openly espousing this gospel of good will on earth to men?”
Perhaps “Nicodemus” goes to church. If so, he may have chanced to hear among the beatitudes which Christ uttered as he braved the scorn of his whole nation, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake!” Does any one pretend that it is not righteous to remain dumb when by speaking those who are dependent on us for support will suffer? Or, does any one pretend that it is not to suffer for righteousness sake when we are compelled to live on and on, and throttle every heaven-born instinct of manhood as the Nicodemuses do?
It was my lot to be employed for some fifteen years by one of the largest railway corporations in this country. The officials of that road had the option to make it earn all it possibly could, or to let some other lot of officials do it. Had any one of this first lot of officials proposed to himself in the conduct of his business to be guided by any of that rubbish known as the “beatitudes,” the board of directors would very soon have relieved him of his ethical problems by placing a candidate from the reserve lot in his place, at an increased salary. The discharged official would have been called “Quixotic” by his friends as well, and the saddest part of it is that he would have been open to the reproach. There was many a Nicodemus on that railway. They were as manly as they dared to be, and I am sure that now that there seems to be recognition of the fact that poverty debases, those eager faces must have upon them the light of the dawn which is breaking.
When one reflects upon what our social and material maladministration does to foster hypocrisy, to breed duplicity and to crush those tender and innocent ideals with which the youth of this generation starts out to meet and vanquish mammon, the wonder is not that there are a few who prefer to write under an alias, but that there are not many more. Robertson James.
A Specimen of One of the Ways in Which the Farmer is Taxed by the Landlord.
Grant, Iowa.– I wish that I could do more for the cause, but to tell the truth I am at present in what might be called a financial strait. I moved from here to southwest Missouri in 1884. I bought land there for a home in 1884, when land was on the boom, but found it would be best for myself and family to return to the eighty-acre farm I still owned in Iowa. So I sold in 1886; but by that time the boom had ended, and the consequence was that I paid the Missouri landlords a very pretty penny for the privilege of playing that I owned some of their land for a couple of years, and came back to Iowa considerably poorer than I left it. As far as I am concerned, the Missouri men have just as much land as they had before, have the benefit of my improvements on it, and have a lot of my money to boot.
I have talked the land tax reform since 1884, and in Missouri I found many who would listen and agree, and several advocates. Many here are interested, while others say they know all they want to of Henry George’s theories. I tell them they had better learn it well from his books and from The Standard, so that they can successfully refute it if it is wrong, for that it has come to stay. I am a farmer among farmers, and they are slow to change their minds, but they will change them.
I send subscription to The Standard, membership fee in Anti-poverty society and list of names for sample copies and tracts. J. A. Romig.
From the Anti-Poverty Society of Minneapolis.
Minneapolis, Minn.– Inclosed please find twenty cents in stamps, for which send set of “Land and labor library.” You need not send any of the hymns, as I have a large number now.
I hope soon to send for a thousand or more tracts for distribution at our Anti-poverty society meetings and among business men here of my acquaintance. I lose no opportunity of speaking to business men, especially to call their attention to the injustice of taxing vacant lots so low, while improvements are taxed so high. I have yet to meet the business man who has not agreed with me that if vacant lots were taxed at the same rate per front foot as improved ones it would create a great business boom, make wages higher and times better.
I believe this a good field to work in, for though a new city, yet the evils of the present system of land holding are very glaring here.
- J. Buell,
Vice-President Anti-Poverty Society
An “Argumentum ad Hominem,” but Probably the Best the Chicago “Tribune” Could Do.
Mr. Charles H. Fitch of Cincinnati wrote recently to the Chicago Tribune as follows:
Taking New York state as an example, the assessed real estate value was in 1880 $638 per person for New York and Kings counties (practically cities) and $360 per person for the rest of the state. Assuming your estimate that the land portion of farm values is seven-tenths of the entire value of the farms, and then classing all smaller towns as part of the farming districts, and then estimating the land portion of real estate values in New York city and Kings county as being one-half, or equal to the improvements, we will have as a land valuation $319 per capita in the two cities and $252 in the rest of the state. But taking out such cities as Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, etc., and classifying them with New York and Kings county, the remaining land in the state would not exceed $100 per capita. The value of farming lands then would be $100, city lands $319, for each person in the respective districts. Now, taxing at five percent we would have in the cities $15.95 per capita and $5 per capita in the country.
This is right, since cities require most government and should pay most for it.
Charles H. Fitch.
The Tribune’s pithy answer to this argument is as follows:
Yes; the farmers would shoot the top off the heads of those town chaps who would undertake to impose “Georgeisin” upon them. It is all nonsense to talk about it.
Is there not a law in Illinois against inciting people to lawless violence in this way?
A LITTLE CONFERENCE.
Speedville, N. Y.– This morning I and John Dawson, my neighbor just above, were grinding up our corn cutters in the woodshed, and my Lucy was singing about her work in the kitchen close by. I guess she got her song out of an old book up garret, for it was one I used to sing myself when I was a boy, and a rousing good one it was, too, and is yet for that matter, only it doesn’t seem to suit the times nowadays. It began like this:
Of all the mighty nations, in the east or in the west,
This glorious Yankee nation is the greatest and the best;
We have room for all creation, and our banner is unfurled
With a general invitation to the people of the world.
Come along! Come along! Make no delay!
Come from every nation, come from every way;
Our land is broad enough, don’t be alarmed;
Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm!
“That song sounds good to me, Hankins,” Dawson said. “I well remember when we all used to be singing it, and feeling so proud and so fine to think how rich our Uncle Sam was, with room on his farm to take in and take care of all creation. That’s only about thirty years ago, I believe.”
“Just about,” says I, “and little did I suppose then that it would be in my days we should hear this new tune about ‘restricting immigration,’ and letting nobody come in with us unless he brings along money to ‘employ labor.’ I declare, it goes against the grain with a moneyless immigrant’s grandson, this idea of shutting our doors in the faces of honest men with their hands full of days’ work. It is a surprising thing how fast Uncle Sam has grown poor since those days. But his land is about all taken up now. Uncle Sam has given away all his farms, and there isn’t work enough now for all creation.”
“It was never quite clear, though, to my mind, that the land being taken up and improved makes less work,” said Dawson, doubtfully. “It isn’t so on my farm. That old bush pasture that I plowed up two years ago and put into potatoes, and then to corn, never made me any work to mention till I began to improve it; and that patch along the bluff, that we set out to grapes and raspberries, has furnished work to devour all the spare time I have had ever since — not but that the fruit has paid well for the work. But I can’t think of a place nor a case where taking up and improving the land doesn’t make more and more work instead of less.”
“But machinery has displaced hand labor so much,” said I, “and that makes less work.”
“Well, I must say again,” Dawson answered, “that it ain’t so on my farm nor in my house. Machinery only makes less work of a certain kind. When I bought my wife’s sewing machine we found right away that instead of making her less sewing it made her more, and more different kinds of sewing. She had to have things that she hadn’t thought of having before because she knew she couldn’t manage them. And now that we have mowers and reapers, we don’t spend so much time and strength haying and harvesting, to be sure, but we do more building and fixing and more fine garden and orchard work. We can’t be satisfied with our old ways.”
“You’re right about that,” I allowed. “Machines don’t make us less work, but only get us to doing more different kinds of work, and help us to have things that we couldn’t have without them. I have always noticed that the more chance we had to get things the more things and the more different things we want, and the wants always keep handsomely ahead.”
“Well, it is just the same all over the whole country. There’s never any end to the wants, and never any end to the work to be done; the tremendous difficulty is to find how to fix it so that things can be done. I swanny6,” says Dawson, trying to look as black as his good-natured face would let him, “when I get thinking of the things that want doing in this world and the men that want to do those very things, but can’t have the privilege, I feel mad as blazes.”
“Some claim that more money is what the country needs.”
“I’ve thought about that a good deal. Suppose there should be a new issue of a hundred millions of fresh greenbacks, and that they should be divided among us, so much apiece — which couldn’t be done, of course, but suppose it. Every family of five would get about $10. Business would be lively for from four to six weeks, while that hundred millions were slipping around into the same hands that hold about all the money there is now, and there would be a lift of prices for a spell. Then we would find ourselves just where we are now. I voted the greenback ticket as long as I could conveniently get one to vote, but I never could pretend to see that further issues of money or any change in money arrangements would help us much in the long run. I don’t like being robbed by the bankers, but as long as I am robbed at the same time by so many other kinds of thieves, I don’t know as I should feel the difference if the bankers should be pulled off.”
“A further issue of money would give debtors a chance to get out.”
“Yes, it would give them a chance; but I have noticed that when money is plenty and prices rising more men will rush in and buy, in hopes to make money by the rise, than will pay for what they’ve already got. It was so in the war. I can name three men that ran in debt for land in the flush times to one that paid off his mortgage.”
Dawson had me there, for I bought that Morgan place in ’66, and I thought one time it would cost me my home.
“But we could keep issuing more and more money.”
“What would be the use? Credit would always swell faster than the volume of money, and nothing could save it from bursting up every few years; for it is a law of nature that whatever goes up has got to come down. I tell you, Hankins, we have got to go deeper to get at the root of our troubles. You may not see much yet in the new scheme of laying all the burden of taxation on the value of land, but you keep looking at it. You will be amazed to see how it will grow and spread and round out before your eyes the more you look at it. Come up tonight, or any night you can,” said Dawson finally, corn cutter in hand to go home. “Let’s read and study this thing together. Let the boys and the hired man come along. It is by that road we must travel, and we had better be studying up the route. I have bought a copy of ‘Progress and Poverty’ and subscribed for The Standard.”
I am going up. Nathan Hankins.
Is It “All Their Own Fault?”
“Why do the poor suffer?” Improvidence, extravagance, bad management, drink, tobacco, passion for finery, attempts to ape their “betters,” want of nice economy in little things, waste of precious time, laziness. Such is the answer of the well-fed man, with a luxurious home, plenty of stocks, real estate and money in bank! This man is an awful model of severe virtue on behalf of other people. He has his wines and his club dinners, his champagne suppers, his trips to Europe, his cottage by the sea, his private car, his yacht, his appliances for sport, his fast trotters and thoroughbred saddle horses, his “farm” and cottage ornee, his conservatories, his library, with its editions de luxe, his bric-a-brac bronzes and ceramics, his rare Bohemian glasses, his gold and silver plate, his artistic furniture, his gallery of paintings by great masters, old and new. His wife and daughters, who most virtuously and serenely agree with him regarding the causes of poverty and the failings of the poor, what have they? Well, they have all these things, and more — more that no masculine pen can describe and no poor man’s imagination conceive.
But this “philanthropist,” who is so deeply pained at the shortcomings of the “lower classes,” is not endowed with quite all these “good gifts” I have named. Perhaps his wife may not spend ten thousand dollars for one party or ball. Our pious friends of the poor may be several grades lower on the golden ladder, and yet be “mighty comfortably fixed,” I can tell you. They need not be Goulds or Astors to be virtuous on the poor’s behalf. “Anyway, the principle is the same,” as Mrs. Nickleby would say.
The writer is a minister of religion, and dare not excuse the sins of the poor or of the rich. Drunkenness, idleness, extravagance, all things of the sort, are crimes. But how about the mote and the beam? The idea seems to be that if the poor are not models of virtue, such as we read of in namby-pamby Sunday school books, then they deserve no compassion, and ought not to get any. That the poor might be better off if they were perfectly wise, perfectly intelligent, perfectly virtuous, nobody denies. But I verily believe there are, even here in rich, free America, exceptions even to this rule. Yet, leave out the exceptions, and take the rule.
Before you preach all this austere wisdom and self-denial to the poor, ask yourself how you would get along with it. Who are the poor? Men, women, children, of like flesh, like passions, like infirmities, with yourselves. Is there no pleading voice in their breasts prompting them to seek the poetry, the joy, the sunshine of life? Grant that they, in these pursuits, often take the false for the true, and find misery where they sought delight. Didst thou never follow shadows?
Ridicule, as one may, the cheap prints, the tawdry “chromos,” the counterfeit “bronzes,” that adorn the poor man’s home, they show that these human hearts, however gropingly, and in whatever darkness, are yearning after the beautiful things of God, which are truer and better than the merely “useful” things of man. Laugh at the petty finery of the sewing girl, the cheap ribbons of the cigarmaker, the flashy silks of the housemaid. They are God’s seal and sign of woman’s longing after that gift of beauty which is her dowry by God’s law, and of that other rightful claim of hers, which no human being can rightfully take away from her, the claim to be queen of some man’s heart, the joy and crown of a husband’s life. These things may be silly and in false taste; they often are. But as the signs of what “might be,” the world is infinitely richer and sweeter for them.
Let us accept man for what he is. Let us hope in man for what God’s truth and love can make him. This life, if it be a true and loving life, must have, at best, its self-denial, its bitterness and tears. Still, there is much brightness, many harmless joys, along the road of him who walks, in his weak way, after the Son of Mary. Shall the way of the poor man be all hard and dark? Is he to have no joy, no rest, no play? Are we to scorn him because, seeking those things, he often, like ourselves, goes astray?
Dare we take the poor man’s burden upon ourselves, as He of Nazareth did, and show how even poverty may be perfect? But one Son of Man ever did this, and He was also the Son of God. I want no stronger proof of Christ’s divinity.
Let us set to work, then, brothers and sisters all, to help the poor man out of his poverty. Let us give him the brightness of life God meant for him, and then see if we make him not the better man. It may cost some of us much of our present superfluity. But shall they that give be better for the giving, and they that receive be better for the having? This is what God meant for us all, and when we take God’s gifts from our brother, do we not rob him of his rights? All honor to the noble men who are fighting the holy battle of the poor. Clericus.
Mr. J. J. Coogan and the United Labor Party.
In making, through the medium of the daily press, a public avowal of his adherence to the united labor party, Mr. James J. Coogan7 has set an example worthy of imitation by other prominent business men. “My whole sympathy,” said Mr. Coogan to a representative of The Standard, “is with the magnificent platform adopted at Syracuse. I am an absolute convert to the doctrine that God made the land for the people and not for a privileged few. I agree with Mr. George, that the present unjust and unnatural conditions of our civilization which creates millionaires on the one hand and paupers on the other and fills the land with thousands of tramps roaming about trying to get work or else perish by starvation, is due to the vicious system which allows individuals to ‘own’ the land and thereby create monopolies of the natural bounties intended by the Creator for the use of all. I believe that the alteration in the methods of taxation as advocated by Mr. George would bring about a change that would result in our attaining a civilization compared with which our present civilization would seem barbaric.” .
“What do you think of the constitution of the Anti-poverty society?”
“I agree with every word. It is true, and no man can honestly deny this fact. The Anti-poverty society is the twin sister of the united labor party, and is doing a magnificent work in arousing the people to a stern realization of the great fundamental truth advocated by the united labor party.”
Mr. Coogan is at the head of one of the most extensive furniture stores in the city, is a large employer of labor, and an extensive holder of real estate. When such men not only acknowledge that the principles of the united labor party are destined to a speedy triumph, but express delight at the prospect, it is evident that the end is not far off.
A Methodist Minister’s Account of Dr. McGlynn’s Address at the Conference.
Allendale, N. J.– As a member of the Methodist ministers’ meeting held to listen to Dr. McGlynn, permit me to say a few words in reference to the press comments thereon:
First, it was no “bear garden.” There was an honest difference of opinion as to the wording of Dr. King’s resolutions and the mode of procedure; that’s all. By their constitution, Ministers’ meetings expire by time, not by vote, at 12:30 p. m. Father McGlynn spoke till 12:35, and if he had continued till 1:35 no one would have called attention to the hour. After the conclusion of the address the resolution of thanks was presented. The chairman, Dr. Craig, was willing to infringe the rules sufficiently to pass, but not to debate the resolution; hence the difficulty and dispute. There was not a dissenting voice or thought respecting the merits of the wonderful address or respecting the evident sincerity, intense earnestness, moral conviction and general grandeur of Dr. McGlynn.
It would be too much to expect that an assembly of three hundred ministers should be instantly converted to an indorsement of doctrines which possibly many of them then heard properly presented for the first time, and all thought it was not well to commit the meeting to such an extent. Such a wholesale conversion would be, as Dr. McGlynn said, “as miraculous as that of St. Paul.” On the other hand, be it remembered that any resolution saying the meeting did not indorse those doctrines would have been as quickly or more quickly voted down than the other. Under the spell of Dr. McGlynn’s eloquence such a vote would have been impossible. It was evident from the after discussion of the subject that many of the divines have already made these matters their earnest study, and nearly all of them expressed their desire to give to them, what Dr. McGlynn appealed for, “their prayerful consideration.”
The plan adopted was the correct one, viz.: for the meeting to thank Dr. McGlynn for his address, and leave each individual to indorse or otherwise the views presented.
It is questionable whether the eloquent priest has ever had a more appreciative audience or made a better address than at that Monday meeting. To present the George doctrine to three hundred men, each a leader of the thought of his parish, and each in a position of influence, was an object worthy of his best energies, and he gave them. The speaker was worthy of the theme, as was the theme of the speaker, and both made a profound impression.
Another press comment is worthy of notice. The Sun makes a statement to the effect that dislike of the Roman Catholic church had as much to do with the meeting as love of Dr. McGlynn or desire to investigate the George doctrines. To such an allegation the best possible reply was the spontaneous burst of applause that followed the speaker’s statement of the care of the Roman Catholic church for the masses intrusted to her; how that, “notwithstanding the adverse and terrible surroundings of the tenement house, where virtue and goodness seem impossible, the Catholic church both developed and trained the masses in the fear of God and made of them good and honorable citizens. Such a result is a triumph of Christianity.” There was no sentence of the address that received more applause than this, and Dr. McGlynn had to wait fully two minutes before he could proceed.
The Methodist church is too broad and catholic not to welcome and bid Godspeed to any sincere workers in the Lord’s vineyard, be they called by any name so ever. If as a Protestant church she protests occasionally, it is only a protest against sin and error, or what she believes to be such, and in that protest one cannot but admire her fidelity to conviction. But she does recognize, and always has recognized, as the Lord’s workers, those “who cast out devils in the Lord’s name, even though they follow not us.” And he must be willfully blind who fails to recognize and thank God for the good work the Roman Catholic church has done through the generations and is doing today.
Another thing I think the Methodist church will recognize, viz., that within the pale of the Roman Catholic church there has been trained and developed a good and noble character worthy to rank with the saints of the past and the heroes of the ages, past and present, and his name is Edward McGlynn. W. P. George.
A Call to Duty.
Come forth from the valley, come forth from the hill,
Come forth from the workshop, the mine and the mill;
From pleasure or slumber, from study or play,
Come forth in your myriads to aid us today —
There’s a word to be spoken, a deed to be done,
A truth to be uttered, a cause to be won.
Come forth in your myriads! Come forth, every one! .
Come, youths, in your vigor; come, men, in your prime;
Come, age, with experience fresh gathered from time;
Come, workers, you’re welcome; come, thinkers, you must —
Come thick as the clouds in the midsummer dust,
Or the waves of the sea gleaming bright in the sun!
There’s a truth to be told and a cause to be won.
Come forth in your myriads! Come forth, every one!
“The Standard” Publishes the Resolution with Pleasure, and Hopes the Responses Will be Many.
Holland, Mich.– At the last regular meeting of land and labor club No. 1, of Holland, Mich., the following resolution was adopted unanimously:
Resolved, That land and labor club No. 1, of Holland, Mich., is desirous of acting in conjunction with the several clubs of the state for the purpose of forming a state organization by appointing a state central committee and by selecting a state organizer; and that the said club No. 1 is desirous of corresponding with the various clubs of this state for the purpose of obtaining their views.
Will The Standard please publish the resolution and forward advice to us if possible?
- O. Graham, Secretary.
STRAWS WHICH SHOW THE WIND.
Of the twenty-two prominent anti-monopoly papers in Kansas, twenty sustain the Henry George land value tax, one opposes it slightly, and the other admits it has never studied the question and is not ready to take sides until it has done so. We have yet to see in the old party press the first attack or comment on the weak and meaningless land plank of the Cincinnati platform. The plutocrats know it is impracticable and harmless to the landlords, hence they let it alone, but all the vials of their wrath and mendacity are poured out on the land value tax advocated by Mr. George and his friends, because they know it is dangerous to class privilege, is practical, and would prove effective. “See which side the devil takes, and then take the other,” is an old and wise adage.— [Enterprise. Kansas, Anti-Monopolist.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; and so the Henry George men may feel proud when they read in the united people’s platform “We hold that every individual should have equal access to all natural opportunities.” The platform does not tell us how these rights are to be attained.— [Charles Harvey in Denver Arbitrator.
We must confess, too, that Mr. Atkinson’s figures do not always impress us as conveying the whole truth. “Nothing lies like figures,” and Mr. Atkinson’s mind is evidently not of the judicial cast which exposes the unveracity into which statistics easily fall.— [Literary World.
The importance of the united labor party as a factor in New York state politics this fall is shown by the bitterness with which the partisan press are assailing its nominees and platform. It was not always thus. It is not so long since the republican and democratic journals directed all their ire at each other, and contemptuously ignored labor nominations, being certain that they would only poll a miserable fraction of the vote. Now they seem to devote most of their attention to Henry George and his followers. If there were no other indications that the labor party will poll a big vote, this itself is a pretty sure sign.— [Toronto News.
Back to the Land.
The banner of the new crusade floats proudly in the breeze,
Borne forward by the eager sons of toil,
By the army of the people, filled with purpose fixed and high,
Marching on to take possession of the soil.
For the slaves of man’s injustice have risen in their might;
They are marching, side by side and hand in hand,
To claim their stolen birthright and to guard it evermore;
Hear them shouting: “Back, oh! brothers, to the land!”
Lo! to them that sat in darkness has come a precious light,
With a star of hope to guide them on their way.
Lo! the giants have awakened to free their mighty power,
And are eager, sure of victory, for the fray!
Soon the strong walls of oppression shall crumble in the dust,
And the chains be struck from every prisoner’s hand;
For the people have declared it that labor shall be free,
And the children of God’s earth get back the land!
The mighty social forces that in majesty move on
Are arrayed and fighting for the cause of toil.
Time is with us and the future is marshaled on our side;
Labor only shall be monarch of the soil.
Tho’ our hearts may oft be fainting and oftentimes may droop,
O’er our weary heads the banner of our band,
Proudly in the eye of heaven it soon again will float,
And shall wave in triumph o’er the people’s land.
Far beyond the brightest visions of prophets and of seers
Will the splendor of the coming peoples be,
When the voices of the ages in thunder shall proclaim
That the earth to all her children must be free.
Then monopoly shall vanish and justice reign, and peace,
For the armies and the navies shall disband,
And a golden era usher in the brotherhood of man,
And the fatherhood of God in every land.
Toronto, Can. J. D. Blain.
THE TAXATION PUZZLE.
In order to meet the expenses of government, the people of the United Slates annually contribute a portion of their wealth to the public treasury. How to levy these contributions so that each resident may contribute to the common fund his fair share of the expenses of the government and no more, is a problem to whose solution every body of legislators in the country is continually addressing itself.
An equal tax on every individual would not be fair; no legislator would dream of framing a law requiring every man in the country to pay into the general purse one hundred dollars a year. Fairness must be sought not by equalizing the amounts to be paid by individuals, but by putting on an equal fooling all who contribute to the tax fund and exempting no class to the detriment of another.
Why it is that there is not in force a scheme of taxation meeting these simple requirements will be seen when one considers, not so much the inability of men to devise such a scheme, as the conflict in men’s interests. The makers of tax laws have been influenced more by men who wished to evade their share of taxation or to make a profit by having their fellow citizens taxed than by the people in general, who desire to have arranged an equitable system of taxation. As a consequence, our national tax laws are unfair and self-contradictory in principle, while our state laws reflect local dominating influences, laying burdens in one part of the country on a class of property owners who are lightly taxed or entirely exempt in another.
An easy lesson in taxation may be derived from what newspapers print concerning those taxes which most closely interest their readers. The papers publish the truth in mentioning local taxes and speak up for the good of their subscribers. The partisan editor may make mistakes and practice the deceptions of his political party only when the results of the taxation he writes about are to be felt in a field wider than the vision of the average reader. He knows that a concrete example of unjust discrimination in the taxes of his community is sure to arouse indignation, but that a general burden is borne with a feeling of indifference or with a notion that things might be made worse with any change. He is aware that the people of his community will view with equanimity heavy taxation in another community, especially if it results with their own profit. He is free to enunciate general principles of taxation that are just, providing they do not draw an increased amount of money out of the pockets of his readers. He is usually prodigal of the space he allows for the discussion of the subject of taxation, since it is certain to attract the attention of substantial citizens. Hence he is a good witness when you know the springs of his action.
With a very little effort a good deal of newspaper testimony in regard to taxation has been collected from The Standard’s list of exchanges. It treats of many parts of the country and can be used in guiding the jury of our readers to a verdict as to what is fair taxation.
Governor Foraker of Ohio, it seems, believes in taxing everything, while he is fully aware of the ease with which men evade taxes on certain classes of property. He is now telling the farmers of Ohio that this is his policy: “Foreign insurance, telegraph and express companies, doing business in this state, are now taxed upon their gross receipts. There is no reason why foreign telephone, transportation, car trust and car equipment and sleeping and parlor car companies should not be similarly taxed.” He calls attention to the fact that the total property returned as taxable in the state is $1,670,079,868, while it ought to be, and would be, if honestly returned, at least $3,000,000,000. There is, he says, not a particle of doubt that the state is defrauded year after year of at least one-half of its just dues in taxes; and this fraud is practiced by the very men who are able to pay taxes and who ought to pay them. The governor says: “Unincorporated and private banks that pay no equitable tax upon their business, valuable real estate that is rated far below its real value, stocks, bonds, securities, credits, personal properties that are concealed from the assessor, ought to be made to pay their fair share of taxation upon a just valuation.”
To carry into effect the governor’s conception of taxing all the wealth of Ohio would be a colossal contract. To set the necessary machinery going would require the united efforts of countless assessors, collectors, inspectors, spies, judges and jurymen. But is it not to be supposed that the diplomatic governor knew precisely the value of his talk? Was he not amusing the multitude by a contemplation of the impossible, believing that the knowing ones could perceive his point, while the honest and dull witted would be hoodwinked?
In Pennsylvania a revenue commission has prepared two acts affecting taxation, which are to be presented to the legislature. The Philadelphia Times traces out in a column editorial nice distinctions as to exemptions and various other subtleties of the proposed laws that will puzzle the plain citizen and likely benefit the wily financier. The Times says of one proposed new method of assessment that it was manifestly offered in the interests of the railroad and transportation companies and ought therefore to be scrutinized with great care by the legislature. The tax laws of Pennsylvania are already multifarious and perplexing. The commission referred to was assigned the task of framing a new revenue bill, but it seems in doing so to have adopted the principles on which the old one was constructed and to have added new and cumbrous features. It could hardly do otherwise than cover every trail so long as it is hunting all kinds of game.
The Richmond State of the 6th inst., in speaking of the tobacco tax, said that its worst feature was its unjust discrimination. It enforces the employment of so large an amount of capital, which must lie idle from the time the revenue stamps are bought from the government till the tobacco is sold, that many small capitalists are unable to engage in the business. Favoring the large capitalist as against the small one, and reducing the number of men engaged in the trade, the tax narrows down the market, renders it subject to the control of buyers, and causes the producers to suffer. Soil, climate and custom make tobacco to Virginia and North Carolina what iron and coal are to Pennsylvania, and thus an article of production on whose cultivation and sale a large number of people in these states are dependent for a living is subject to the manipulation of monopolists. The supervision of the production of tobacco by the internal revenue bureau is inquisitorial. The State, doubtless reflecting the opinions of the mass of Virginians, demands “the immediate abolition of the internal taxes on tobacco.” Reasons are brought forth in this brief statement of the effects of the tobacco tax sufficient to suggest the evils that perforce must attend the imposition of all taxes of this nature.
A correspondent of the Open Court lately wrote from London: “I have been staying at Jersey, one of the channel islands, and there, I am informed, tithes are payable on corn and apples only. Curiously enough, corn has fallen almost entirely out of cultivation, and there are comparatively few orchards. It has been found much more profitable to grow potatoes than either corn or apples; so that, at Jersey, although the clergy have the right to exact tithes, nevertheless there is little or nothing for them to exact them on.”
A pregnant statement. Between the lines one may read that taxation discourages production, even to well nigh destroying the supply of that form of wealth which a country is best fitted to produce.
In Topeka, Kas., the city council has been holding secret sessions and discussing the tax question — secret because it was proposed to impose taxes on the occupations of the citizens. For example, florists were to be taxed $10 annually, and theatrical companies $10 a night. The tax schedule was being made out, as one of the councilmen expressed it, “to catch every man in town.” Some reporters listened at a window, overheard what the councilmen were doing, and then proceeded to interview people on the subject. The city clerk said that the city council expected to raise $20,000 by the tax, but from experience he did not believe that more than $5,000 could be raised; that the cost of collecting the tax would be more than the interest on a like sum if borrowed, and that an injury would be done the city in the reputation of having an occupation tax. Topeka’s expenses are $60,000 a year. Its real estate is worth $21,000,000; a six mill rate on this would fetch $126,000 to the city treasury. But real property is assessed, on the whole, at only one-third its true value, or $7,000,000, and brings in but $42,000. The Topeka Chieftain says: “It is readily seen where the fault lies. As a plain question we would ask if our poor and industrious citizens should be burdened with an unjust occupation tax, in order that our rich lot speculators may only pay taxes on one-third of their property valuation? When the council can answer this, we may take a different view of the occupation tax.”
The Charlottesville, Va., Chronicle says that the board of supervisors of that place has ordered that merchants’ stocks be listed for taxation the same as other personal property. The merchants, who have come to view the exemption of their stocks as a right, are fighting the supervisors. But the Chronicle reminds them that even the tools of mechanics are taxed, and that they must expect what other men have submitted to for years. The merchants believe that a just tax levy cannot be made on their stocks. Values are constantly fluctuating; a merchant may have on hand, when the assessor visits him, twice the average quantity of stock, and in the course of a year he may have at one season a large stock of goods of small value and another a small stock of other goods of high value. His “dead” stock, if liable to taxation, had better be thrown away. It will occur to the reader that these arguments apply with almost equal force to what is commonly termed the fixed capital of manufacturers.
The Paterson Guardian last week spoke skeptically of the efforts of the customs officials to put an end to the under valuation of imported goods. The practice has grown up of substituting pro forma invoices for legally verified invoices, and rigorous measures are proposed to correct the abuse. But the foreign influence in the importing business has grown so bold and insolent that our government finds serious difficulty in handling it. A single London firm practically controls the iron importations everywhere from England and the continent. Through its manipulations the American market is disturbed. Activity in the iron trade was lately expected to bring with it a season of good profits for American manufacturers, but excessive importations at questionable valuations neutralized the good effects of the increased demand. Here is a timely illustration of a single phase of the corruption associated with a customs tariff.
In the province of Quebec timber is cut from the public lands on ground rent. The Montreal Post thinks the system of fixing the rent by acreage, as is the custom, is unfair, some lands being heavily and others but thinly wooded. It recommends the continuance of a minimum ground rent for all timber lands and a “stumpage” tax — in other words, a tax on the values of the land for the purpose required.
The Birmingham, Ala., Sentinel noticed a meeting on Aug. 30 of a large number of citizens of that place, representing its wealth, which was called to take into consideration the tendency to excessive taxation. Birmingham’s assessed value of property had been raised from $12,000,000 to $30,000,000 in one year. The Sentinel said that representative bankers and other real estate owners were conspicuously absent from the meeting. Some of them were perfectly satisfied with their assessments, which had either been lowered or retained at the figures returned by the owners.
The Oyster Bay, Long Island, Pilot notes the result of a contest between the real estate owners of that town and the assessors. A railroad has recently been run into the place, and lands along the shore front have increased in value. The assessors put up the valuations, but the real estate owners combined and were powerful enough to make them put the figures down again.
The Greeley Howitzer of the 2d inst., in calling attention to corrupt favoritism in assessments in Colorado, quoted statements made lately by Alderman Driscoll of Denver before the Arapahoe county delegates to the legislature. Mr. Driscoll said the Pullman car company paid no taxes on its Denver property, and telegraph and telephone companies were treated almost as liberally. The tools, machinery and supplies of the Rio Grande road, valued at $225,000, and seventeen miles of side track, yielded the city less than $26 in taxes; those of the Burlington, valued at $9,000, and eight miles of track, less than $16; those of the Union Pacific, valued at $65,000, and forty-four miles of track, less than $86. The Santa Fe road had in Colorado 326 miles of track, and by the tax schedule sent to the state board of equalization they have to maintain and keep in repair all these miles of road, $12 worth of axes, 80 cents’ worth of hatchets, $1 worth of switch keys, $14 worth of white and $15 worth of red lanterns, $12 worth of oil cans, $80 worth of pickaxes, $96 worth of shovels, $27 worth of sledge hammers, $12 worth of locks, $6 worth of augurs, $3 worth of saws, 54 cents’ worth of monkey wrenches and 35 cents’ worth of files. The unfairness of the assessments on Denver real estate the alderman illustrated as follows: “The ‘English company’ own 300 lots, mostly in the heart of the city, worth at a fair valuation $500,000, the buildings upon which cannot be replaced for less than $500,000 more, making a total valuation of $1,000,000; this property is assessed at $378,000. A widow named Wartner, who labors every day at the wash tub to maintain her family, owns one lot which cost her $500; on this she has a small two room house worth $250. Her property was assessed at $700. The washwoman has no one to plead for her; the English company has its paid agents.”
Several points are made plain in these incidents occurring at Birmingham, Oyster Bay and Denver. While tools and supplies may be hidden away, lands cannot be removed from view. In each case the value of the land seems to be a matter of common knowledge. If it were of importance generally that the lands should be assessed justly, and if the larger tax payers themselves were not in collusion to shift taxation on other people, the lands could be easily levied upon at their true value.
Perhaps it might be safely asserted that if in each of these three places all other taxes had been gradually abolished during the few years just past while land values have been mounting upward, and a tax imposed simply on the increased value of the lands, the fund raised by the latter tax could be made equal to that now raised by all the forms of taxation at present in vogue. Obviously such a tax would not reduce the wealth held by any land holder; he would have in the end what he possessed when the taxes began to be shifted upon the value of his land. If he put value upon his land in the meantime, it must have been in the form of improvements. These he would now possess free of all taxes. The increase in the value of his mere land has not been due to any work he may have done on it or improvements he may have made, but to the fact that his land stood in growing demand with respect to the needs of a progressive place. His land, like all land, of itself of no value, has become valuable simply through men’s demands for its use. And if all land values were absorbed by a tax upon them, men in general would be only restoring to the common purse the value that men in general have created.
Such a tax would not be open to the objections that have just been quoted to many other forms of taxation. In paying it, all men would stand on an equal footing, as each would pay back to his community the value of the advantages that it extended to him. In releasing all other kinds of wealth from taxation, no man would be given any exclusive privilege by the state. With but one tax levied on that which cannot be stowed away or undervalued or overlooked by the assessors, there need be no thought of searching town and country for every dollar’s worth of movable goods that men may possess. Then the Philadelphia lawyers could forego their delicate task of discriminating between dividend and non-dividend paying stocks to ascertain whether they should pay four or three mills in taxes. The average citizen might dismiss the thought that he was paying taxes that his richer fellow citizen could avoid. No monopolies in tobacco or manufactured goods could arise because of taxes that favor the rich. Nor would there be discouragement to production of any kind.
It is encouraging that today, while many of our so-called taxing experts are directing their energies toward levying taxes on every one of the countless articles that the ingenuity of man produces, there is a growing conviction among a class of thoughtful observers that the fewer the objects taxed the better. It is as if, on the one hand, a puzzle were being worked at by men who, having tried their hands at it again and again, could repeat expertly the movements that tantalized them by carrying them nearly to a solution only to throw them into hopeless confusion, while, on the other hand, others who had been studiously watching their attempts had detected a simple principle in the complexities of the puzzle and saw the only solution possible. For example, the Brooklyn Citizen recently made the following remarks editorially on the subject of taxation: “If Brooklyn, instead of taxing real estate both improved and unimproved, should decide to make only the latter tributary, it is evident that the tax rate would be greatly increased without bringing any more money into the treasury or representing any enlarged expenditure on the part of our authorities. In this light it is evident that a city with a tax rate of three percent may be more lightly burdened than one in which the rate is only two percent. . . . What remains to be considered is whether upon the whole it is sound policy to concentrate our taxation upon one element rather than distribute it over many. Is it or is it not injustice to real estate to make it the pack horse of the whole community? This question involves in turn an appeal to the principles of political economy, to the end that we may know how a tax on real estate operates. If, as a matter of fact, the real estate owner has to pay the tax and not his tenants and all the users of real estate, the system under consideration is self-condemned; but if the truth be that in a rapidly growing community like ours a tax on real estate distributes itself — that is to say, under the operation of an economic law takes effect upon every person in the city, whether landlord or tenant, merchant or artisan, it seems to follow not only that there is nothing to complain of, but that it would be both unscientific and wasteful to multiply the objects of taxation. The Citizen inclines to this latter opinion. We look upon the taxation of personal property as delusive; delusive because it brings in no revenue that would not with equal certainty be reached through real estate if that alone were levied upon, and in the nature of things must give the dishonest man, the man who stands prepared to commit perjury, an advantage over the citizen who will neither conceal his possessions nor forswear himself in regard to their value.”
If the Citizen can induce the people of Brooklyn to go as far as it has gone, it cannot prevent them from going straight to the end of the path it is now following. Levy a tax on real estate only, and discussion relative to taxation will at once arise in a new form. Men will ask, first, Why should the element in real estate produced by labor — houses, etc.— be taxed while all other forms of labor-produced wealth escape? And, second, Why should the other element, land, which takes a value not due to the land owner’s labor, not bear all taxation?
A correspondent of the Albany Press and Knickerbocker says he believes that the assessors there are becoming converts to the “land tax theory.” They have greatly increased real estate valuations over last year where there have been no new buildings erected. The houses, he says, are worth less than they were a year ago. The increase must be on the land alone, and the writer suggests that it would be an excellent idea to go on and test the single tax on land values in the capital of the state. Albany has its chance of being the first to solve the taxation puzzle.
- W. Sullivan.
Rally to the Fight!
Who shrinks from marching to the fight?
What coward lags behind?
Who fears to battle for the right
Is false unto mankind!
He’s but a knave, an abject slave,
A thing to loathe and scorn;
But men like you, who dare and do,
Are freemen nobly born!
Why should we bend beneath the yoke
Of men the same as we?
When by a bold, united stroke
Our chains would shattered be.
Arise you, then! from mount and glen,
From city and from plain;
Up men and do, it rests with you
Your freedom to attain!
God made us all from common clay,
The earth to all He gave;
To one “Be lord!” He did not say,
To another, “Be a slave!”
And so we swear, by earth and air,
No more as slaves we’ll plod,
But freemen be, on land and sea,
As was ordained by God!
Truth’s flag is waving in the air —
The cross of our crusade —
And gallant men and women fair
Beneath it are arrayed!
And they have sworn they’ll wave it o’er
A thousand fields of fight;
Till crime be fled, and wrong be dead,
And victor is the right!
A Philadelphia Man Who Does His Own Thinking on the Basis of His Own Experience.
Philadelphia, Sept. 20.– I am a young married man, strictly temperate, honest and industrious. I have never been able to save more than a few dollars, and that by the closest economy. The more I strive to save the more pressing my needs become. There is always some trouble appearing to snatch my cherished savings, such as sickness in my family, or being out of work in the dull season, and other causes too many to mention.
Four years ago I was receiving $11 a week and paying $7.50 a month rent for a very small house, which was situated in a court. Thinking my sad condition was caused by the republican administration I determined to cast my vote for Cleveland, which I did, with the following results: Today I am working for the same man and receiving $10 a week and paying $8 for living in the very same house — the roof is now leaking.
This state of affairs has caused me to investigate why I have to do the same amount of work for $1 less and pay fifty cents more for rent than I did four years ago. The cause of it all is this: My employer built a large addition to the factory, and purchased more machinery, and, of course, he had to pay more taxes on this improvement, so I suppose he cut the men’s wages down to help pay this tax. Then my landlord told me he was compelled to raise me fifty cents more, because his property had become more valuable by the great improvements on a small park in the neighborhood, which, of course, raised his taxes. This caused me to consider the matter seriously. I finally came to the conclusion that I was the man Mr. Tax was bringing to gradual starvation.
I am now going to vote for the party that will abolish taxation on the products of labor and put it where it belongs, on land values. I have become a constant reader of your paper, The Standard; have read “Progress and Poverty,” which is a book after reading which no man would say Henry George is crazy, unless that man be terribly ignorant, or willing to sin against his conscience. I must now bring my letter to a close by saying I have only a partial education, and am a poor writer, but I have a mind which enables me to see that God never gave the raw material on this earth to any man or set of men. I believe the only right any man has to the raw material of this earth is that which he takes from it by his own two hands, and that the rest still remains common property.
I have succeeded in converting my friends and neighbors to the number of forty-six. When I am in the company of other men I fling this subject at them. Sometimes I succeed in converting a few, but very often they all walk off and leave me with such parting words as “Good by, Crazy,” or “Another man gone wrong!” Ah! it makes me feel so sad to see them refusing to believe what is God’s own teaching. But even if the whole world was to turn on me, my soul would tell me that private ownership in land was never intended by God. Daniel J. Hammitt.
Seven Hundred Respectable Homeless People Seeking Homes.
The remark of Mr. George at the Sunday night Brooklyn gathering that seven hundred and forty-one responses were made to a single want advertisement in the New York World recalls a similar experience of my own last fall.
I had occasion to advertise in the World for a family to take care of a country place for the winter, with no other duties. The compensation offered was simply rent, fall and winter vegetables, nothing else; and yet I received nearly seven hundred replies from apparently worthy and needy people, two hundred and thirteen of whom were Americans — homeless people seeking shelter.
With my intimate knowledge of the inner life of the common people this was a startling and humiliating revelation. Seven hundred worthy and needy families were compelled by their necessities to eagerly seek the shelter of a roof; and yet I am satisfied that a repetition of the same advertisement today would call out responses from three times that number of homeless people crowded out of the common vocations of life, in the midst of all this apparent prosperity, “homeless beside a thousand homes,” and landless amid the bounties of nature spread out in every direction. And yet conservative society can see no harm in the social ulcer of the unlimited acquisition of wealth and land which is eating the heart out of humanity and pauperizing the republic. John H. Keyser.
The Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Motherhood of Earth.
Las Cruces, N. M.– Though geographically too far away from the present field of conflict to enter the fight in person, as I should rejoice to do, still it may be that a few earnest thoughts from this far off land may serve some good purpose in the glorious reform you have undertaken, as I believe, under the approving smile of heaven.
After a thorough and earnest investigation of what is known as the “Henry George theory,” I see and feel that this anti-poverty movement is deeper and higher and holier than mere politics or mere religion. Had not Edward McGlynn been a better Christian than priest and Henry George more a philanthropist than a politician, they had never been standard bearers in a cause like this. I am glad that the soul of this movement is not a mere platform, but a gospel that can be preached and sung into the very hearts of the people; and when I see a great preacher like Edward McGlynn snapping the fetters of papal usurpation, and placing God above the pope, and esteeming the world above a parish, and standing before the great multitudes of God’s common people sanctifying a political reform in the name of justice, righteousness, religion and God, I feel my faith and hope grow strong in the early regeneration of even our own corrupt and iniquitous political system.
What a sad comment it is on our political condition when a great paper like Harper’s Weekly proclaims to the world that both the great political parties of the United States are alike, without a distinctive idea or principle to look to for inspiration in the approaching national campaign, and that if there is to be any earnestness or enthusiasm in the struggle it must be of a purely personal and partisan character. Until the consciences of the people are touched and awakened by a moral insight into our political depravity they will be still unable to see anything worthier of a citizen of our republic than “Hip! hip! hurrah!” for our man and our party! Dr. McGlynn is right in his constant pleading that conscience and right and God must have a place in politics, if politics is to be worthy of human pursuit.
As man is a rational being only in proportion as he thinks in harmony with the laws of reason, so he is a moral being only in proportion as he acts and lives in reference to conscience — the moral sense. Here is the rock on which we are split. We have not been drilled to march by the standard of our higher nature. Our religion is not rational. Our politics has no conscience. Our pursuits and our dealings with our fellow men are conducted with reference, it may be, to what is lawful or profitable or safe, but not with reference to what is right and just and good in the light of conscience. Here is the distinctive feature of the new crusade. It is summoning politics to the bar of conscience as with the voice of God and demanding that the divine law of justice, morality and humanity begin to play some part in the drama of our republic. It insists that justice to the oppressed is more important than party triumph, and that the rescue of wretched babes and mothers from crowded dens of poverty and filth is an object more worthy [of] the character of a true patriot and a great Christian nation than the mere question as to whether the republicans or the democrats shall enjoy the spoils of office for the next four years. It is this that is enlisting the sympathy and co-operation of the thoughtful and conscientious throughout our land. It is this that is firing the hearts of those gospel preachers everywhere who esteem the true and simple teachings of their Master above the dogmas of theology, and who, like the great prophet of Nazareth, find delight in proclaiming to a suffering world the principles of justice, mercy and love rather than in the traditional observances of “mint, anise and cummin.”8 This, in a word, is why the united labor movement is enlisting in its ranks the great mass of good and thoughtful people just as fast as the true character of the movement is understood.
The only obstacle in the way of more rapid progress in this reform is in comprehending the remedy proposed. All readily see and acknowledge the terrible evils inherent in our body politic, and I believe the great majority of our fellow citizens would readily aid in the removal or abatement of these evils if they were once perfectly assured of the remedy. The remedy proposed in this labor movement is not of that plain and superficial kind to be seen and comprehended at a glance. It not only requires study to see it, but an active course of reasoning and investigation in one of the most difficult, and with the masses one of the most neglected of the sciences — political economy. Scarcely one voter in a hundred even tries to understand our system of taxation and revenue, the great majority trusting the mysteries of politics to the politician just as they trust the mysteries of religion to the priests and the mysteries of medicine to the doctor. How difficult, then, it seems to push a reform rapidly under such conditions. Yet, such is the simplicity of the one system of revenue as compared with the cumbrous complexities of our present system, and so directly and powerfully does the anti-poverty movement address itself to the common sense and the common conscience of the people, that only the selfish and the uninformed can in their hearts oppose it.
I know that mental habitude is something to overcome and that the long accustomed cognizance of property in land cannot be surrendered without a shock. But I also know that a little serious reflection upon the major premise of this movement, that land is the gift of God and not the purchase of men, will develop a sufficient quantity of light! The argument is quick and powerful as a two edged sword: If all have an equal right to live, all have an equal right to the means of living; and land being a fundamental condition of life, must be free alike, to all, as air and light and water. If this argument fails to strike some people, all I have to say is that they can dodge lightning better than I can. It would be difficult to make Dr. McGlynn’s lay sermons better than they are, but I wish the next time he preaches that world-saving doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men he would just add the motherhood of earth. I know it looks now as if she were not the mother of us all. Her lap and her breasts have been monopolized. The bigger and stronger children have crowded their smaller brothers and sisters away and kicked them out. But the little ones are growing stronger now, and they are making an earnest scramble to get back — and I believe by the help of God they will get there. W. C. Bowman.
EVOLUTIONS OF FREEDOM.
The close of the eighteenth century was marked by two great political upheavals which had a potent influence in directing the course of public events on two continents. In Europe the voice of humanity had been for ages hushed in a death-like silence until the French revolution shattered the fabric of absolutism, aroused the masses to feel that they had rights they should dare maintain, clipped the wings of feudalism, inspired the people with newly-born confidence in themselves, and utterly destroyed the bold pretensions of that kingcraft which had the audacity to declare that the monarch was the state.
The effects of that great revolution were manifold. A new gospel of liberty was heard on every side. Tyrants trembled when they saw the awakening of the mighty giant of the people. The masses felt the electrical thrill of freedom in every vein of political life, and from the time of the French revolution to the present day the tides of European democracy have been sweeping onward, bearing on their vast expanse argosies of richest hope to those who believe in government by, for and of the people.
In America another great political movement followed closely in the wake of the French revolution. With many dissimilar features it was one with the movement in France so far as it resulted in the destruction of kingcraft on this soil. The colonies of Great Britain revolted against arbitrary rule. Taxation without representation was too galling a chain for men to wear whose lives were spent amid scenes of natural freedom, far from the glitter of courts, from the corruptions of aristocracy and the debasing influences which attend a system where power and place oil the hinges of the knee. In the light of liberty’s torch a republic was born which promised to become a beacon to the masses, a haven for the wrecked of other climes, a refuge for the oppressed of all races, creeds and colors, offering limitless opportunities for every legitimate development of human endeavor, and every reasonable exercise of the faculties of mankind.
In these, the closing decades of the present century, we see once more manifestations of revolution on every side. Economic questions now occupy public attention. Slowly but steadily and surely aristocratic privilege is perishing in Europe, while in these United States the voice of labor is heard, demanding that the essential principles of our Declaration of Independence be reduced to practice, the equality of man recognized in the laws, the social system purged of its impurities, the excrescent evils of monopolist growth removed, the bounties of nature rendered accessible to all, and every child of God given his full share in the magnificent inheritance which the Eternal Father has bestowed upon all His children.
In many things the fathers of this republic builded better than they knew; but in many things they failed to foresee and provide for the necessities of their posterity. Their political foresight, in so far as national freedom is concerned, was almost perfect, but they seem not to have understood the full meaning and measure of that natural liberty which they indicated in declaring the equality of men, and which is wholly impossible in a state or community which recognizes private property in land. Had they grasped the essential distinction between ownership and possession, acknowledged the grandeur of the principle, taught by Jefferson, that “the land belongs in usufruct to the living,” and removed from the constitution and the laws every trace of those social inequalities which necessarily belong to and flow from the aristocratic and monarchical system, we should not have in our day and generation to face the great problem whose solution is the special duty and mission of the united labor party. But they saw through a glass darkly. Even Jefferson but asserted a principle without showing the method of its application; and it was reserved for our day to discover the remedy for the major portion of our social wrongs.
The processes of a revolution which aim at the abolition of social and industrial slavery are necessarily slow. If men reasoned out the situation for themselves and applied to the results of their inquiry the same amount of energy they are compelled to use in winning the pittance which monopoly permits them to retain from the wealth created by themselves, the question would be speedily settled. But the great mass of mankind has slumbered while the watchful few have ever been on the alert to appropriate the inheritance of the many. The familiar maxim that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” takes on a new meaning when read in the light of the past hundred years. During that time the old order has been changing from monarchical absolutism to a state of simple democracy. But while the wings of kings by right divine have been clipped, the pinions of kings by right of wealth have grown until their flutter alarms the world and proclaims the existence of a many headed, monster tyrant, more dangerous to the public weal than the most imperious of czars or kaisers.
This point should be held well in view by those who undertake to treat of the evolutions of freedom in the march of mankind during the decades of years immediately preceding those in which we live. The French revolution broke up the vast estates to which the relation of lord and vassal had so long attached. Ownership of the soil passed from the hands of some 1,000 lords to 3,000,000 of the people, thus destroying the absolute power of a privileged class. By rejecting the principles of primogeniture the American revolution took a long stride toward a just appreciation of the dangers which surround the system of land monopoly. But in France, and in this country as well, no effective means were taken to prevent the system from reasserting its evil powers and influences under other forms; and the system must inevitably exist, grow and flourish to the detriment of the people until utterly annihilated by that taxation of land values which is the natural means of restoring, and for ever, the land to the people.
Notwithstanding the gloomy conditions which compel labor to take independent political action at the present time, yet the progress made in the past forbids any pessimist view of the situation. If we have much to strive for we have much to be thankful for. This is the age of steam and electricity, the age in which men do and think quickly. Everywhere the signs of healthy activity among the workingmen – the men who contribute so largely to the comfort, culture and civilization of the world – show that the day of doom for monopoly is at hand. The united labor party can do much to hasten its coming, and, in fact, until the principles of united labor become the public opinion of the country monopoly will hold the fort. We have but to be true to ourselves, to see in every man a brother, sheltered in the fatherhood of God, and thus acquitting ourselves as good citizens, it shall be our happy fortune to rescue this republic from the grasp of monopoly, while enabling each one of our brothers to enjoy life, partake of liberty and pursue happiness.
James J. Gahan
THE PURSER’S CLERK.
I made the passage lately from Liverpool to New York in a steamship. As I think over the events of the trip my mind dwells with lively interest upon a talk I had with one of the ship’s subordinate officials. Some business I had with the purser brought me into his little office the first day we were out, and I happened to recognize in his clerk a man whom I had known well as a druggist’s assistant in a small interior town a score of years before and who had gone off to challenge fortune elsewhere and disappeared from the purview of our community’s note-takers.
We exchanged greetings. He had been nearly all the twenty years at sea, he said, usually engaged in clerical work on a trans-Atlantic line. He told me he was generally kept busy, but he would, of course, like to hear about old times and half forgotten neighbors when both of us should be at leisure.
It so happened that we had but one conversation on the trip. Occasionally he would find a moment to say a pleasant word to me or suggest to a steward something conducive to my comfort, as I was not in robust health, but his time seemed to be taken up, not only with his duties at his desk, but acting as escort to ladies traveling alone, or looking out for the welfare of elderly people like myself. His offices apparently stood midway between those of host and servant, and as it was the first time I had ever seen anyone occupying such a position on a steamer, I made a memorandum of the fact, so as to recommend the vessel to friends who might in future wish to go abroad. The purser’s clerk was easy-mannered, and grew into everybody’s good graces. People liked to talk with him, I could see. His little kindnesses were better than the doctor’s medicines.
One evening he came along where I was seated on the upper deck in a quiet corner, sheltered alike from the wind and the noisy chatter of other passengers. He said he had come to have the promised talk, if I was inclined to talk with him, and on my expressing assent with pleasure, he fell to good-humoredly catechising me about every one he had known in the old place. As do most men past middle life, I like to know the history of my neighbors, and so I was primed with much interesting, though harmless, gossip about the persons whom he mentioned. We discussed many people in a kindly spirit. Men and women who, it might be thought, were of no earthly concern to us were sympathetically dissected; the stories of their lives were outlined, their loves and hates shared in, their struggles, follies and adventures smiled upon or for a fleeting instant grieved over. This disposition to know our kind and feel with them, it is my impression, is not a blameworthy element in men’s characters. It is a weighing of human worth, and is it not with pleasure and surprise we so frequently find that men and women bring down the scales well with honest weight? We, ourselves, do not object to being weighed, if it is done in a spirit of fairness.
When I had recited my chapter of the old town’s news, I suggested to my friend that he enjoyed rare opportunities for seeing men and women in their better and wiser moments, since at sea people, the passengers especially, entertain relations to one another that are totally different from those they sustain on land. Business cares are cast aside, social restraints are relaxed, dangers are sometimes encountered giving rise to the fellow feeling that makes us wondrous kind. These impressions my friend confirmed, and, being mellowed through the emotions awakened by our memories of old-time friends and neighbors, he allowed his thoughts free rein, and talked long into the night of the things that ran in his philosophy.
It is in their sincere moments that one soul pours its light in upon another. Speech does it, not writing, most commonly, for men can forget themselves in speaking, while few do so when writing. An hour with a talker who knows whereof he speaks is worth a week with a text book. Thus it is, I suppose, why I remember so well my friend’s share in our colloquy. I will not attempt to give his words, but his thought.
His life brought him to be an observer of men, but did not make him of men as they live their ordinary lives. Back and forth, forth and back, he went across the ocean. People from all parts of the earth came to him, showed him their true selves, and then went off to engage in life’s struggles on land, where, perhaps, they veiled their better feelings and concealed their higher thoughts. As he sometimes mused at his desk over what he saw of the real character of people, he felt as might a man who lived in mid air and looked down and over the world, hearing men’s prayers arise to heaven, and seeing them when they believed themselves unseen.
It was his conviction that the good in this world’s conditions came from men’s hearts, and the bad proceeded from their heads. First impulses were universally generous and just, but human nature was narrowed and warped by respect for traditions and imperfectly conceived laws. If it were as easy for a nation to agree upon principles of justice as could a ship’s company, the world would be soon well governed, and peace and plenty would be in every land.
The great world sent to his ship aristocracy and the proletariat, culture and crudity, minds sedulously miseducated and simple minds that were wise. The great world also sent into the hold of his ship matter that in its way testified strangely to erroneous notions of government and national wealth gathering. In the cabin he saw worldly success and pride; in the steerage, failure and mortification.
The duplicate of the ship’s manifest, which it was his business to study, told him many stories of the greed, poverty, craftiness of individuals and the mischievous policy of nations. The footings of the columns told an astonishing story; the vessel and cargo, when worth a million dollars at the dock in Liverpool, might be worth two millions, duties paid, in New York.
His ship, the City of Utica, was built in Clyde yards. Though constructed on British soil, she had American money invested in her. A provision of the law prevented the avowal of American ownership, but no law could dam the flow of wealth to wherever it could breed more wealth. The construction of the ship gave work to British subjects; the preparation of her materials had made work for other British subjects. She was manned mostly by Englishmen. The laws of the United States forced these blessings of employment upon men of other lands. Yet along the Atlantic coast, in America, could be found in abundance all the materials of which the finest steamships might be built. The policy of taxation maintained by the American Union crushed out its ship building interests. The taxes added to the cost of building a ship in Scotland amounted to somewhere about the value of the ship in America. Only Americans could not buy her. To win its people to the pursuit of happiness the government of the United States forbade them to buy ships of foreign make. Here were bad results, he thought, from poor headwork.
The City of Utica was carrying to the United States in her cargo a marble altar. Its cost at Liverpool was $2,000; in New York, with duty paid, it would be $3,000. A marble altar could be had much cheaper than this in America, but this particular altar was wanted by some one, and the extra pay was given. Was any one benefited by the enhanced price? My friend could not see that any one was. There were some blankets in the cargo made of a kind of wool not grown in America. In Liverpool they cost a third less than in New York harbor. And so the prices of the various goods in the ship’s load ran up until at New York their total value was nearly double what it was in Liverpool. Now, he said, if the ship’s company were to divide, half remaining in Liverpool and half going to New York, would the latter half believe it to be for their benefit to pay prices for goods nearly double those paid in Liverpool?
On board the ship were about 700 persons — 150 of a crew, 150 cabin passengers and 400 steerage passengers. To mark the ranks by which the social importance of each person might be indicated would require a minutely graduated instrument — a homometer, say. The captain, standing highest, would touch 1,000 degrees; the stowaway would be zero; the steerage passengers, who had their own social circles, might run from 10 degrees to 50 degrees; the stokers and sailors from 10 degrees to 75 degrees, for the pettiest officer felt himself a greater man than any steerage passenger; the cabin passengers and officers would range from 500 degrees to nearly the top nick. In other words, men assume to themselves grades adjusted accordingly as they are enabled to hold themselves above or aloof from their fellows. The cabin passenger looked on the crew as beasts of burden and on the steerage as a place for human cattle. All this sprang from false teachings and artificial inequalities engendered in a misgoverned world.
Our clerk had observed that social distinctions were easily overlooked or forgotten among the cabin passengers if even the necessities of a game of cards required it. If a storm arose people were exceedingly apt not to stand on ceremony in seeking aid or giving assistance. He had thought that if his ship should be wrecked and the boats lowered man and man would quickly be on a parity.
A shipwreck! What possibilities the thought conjured up! Days and nights of suffering in open boats at sea; the leveling tendencies of hunger and thirst, and the fear of death and the equal hereafter. Imagine the wrecked vessel’s boats in mid ocean seeking land. The pampered cabin passenger, wet, faint, a gloomy sky overhead and huge rolling waves on all sides, would think the usual annoyances accompanying the landing at New York the joys of paradise. He would long for the chance to be detained by the customs officers, to be deafened and dazed by the noises and confusion at the landing wharf.
In the face of possible death, every rich man must grieve poignantly that he cannot take his wealth with him to eternity. But, aside from parting with dear ones, why should the poor fear death? It is no pleasure to live in abject poverty. Thousands voluntarily seek death rather than endure life’s miseries. Among the shipwrecked, the steerage passenger might rise in the estimation of his fellows. He could work better at the oars than the rest. He could endure exposure. His courage might equal or even surpass that of the others. The prospect of the approach of the supreme moment which must come to every human being — when the soul passes from mortality to immortality — why should they dread it who are of the class whose lives are mostly spent in misery? With death to come, or life to save, the higher emotions of such men were likely to be exhibited.
In open boats at sea there would be no cabin passengers. A life under such conditions is a life only. Provisions would be issued to all alike. Circumstances would in an hour re-establish nature’s equi-ponderance of human kind.
Let it be imagined, pursued my friend, that a landing should be made on an island uninhabited; that time should bring no means by which the wrecked people could be carried away, and that life should be begun by them anew under their changed conditions.
The homometer would be shattered the very first day. Natural rights, innate talents, practical acquirements, the forces of character, would instantly assert themselves. The artificial lines of social demarkation would disappear like snow under April’s sun and winds. Would the trained houseworkers of the steerage ask for work of the lily-handed ladies of the cabin? Would the house builders of the steerage seek employment among the gentlemen who had owned estates in England? Would the poor students or the farm hands or the skilled artisans of the steerage seek guidance in raising grain and making tools of the lawyers and brokers who had played cards and bet high in the main saloon? What would ancient titles profit in that island? What privileges would family bring? Differences there would be in powers, tastes, education, breeding; but who could say that, with opportunity to know one another, impressions of character would not be altered and notions of manhood and womanhood bettered? And who could say that the goodness of cabin, crew and steerage would not fraternize?
On such an island, landing in such circumstances, who would own the soil? The weakest, humblest, would hardly agree to work for another unless that other would give him more than he could gain by fishing, hunting or cultivating for himself. If there were any wise men among that shipwrecked community they would aim to perpetuate for all alike that liberty of choice in employment. Who would rule the community? Unless it fell into chaos, order and justice would be preserved by the consent and force of all, and the common will administered by that nobility of merit and talent with which nature provides every group of men. The talent would be developed by opportunity; the merit evoked through the equalities of a democracy. And the people would perceive the nobility and cause it to serve them.
If, after the lifetime of a generation, communication were to be established between the rest of the world and the island, its people being happy and moderately prosperous, would they pass laws to prevent themselves from trading with the world? Would they pay anyone for a ship and its cargo, delivered at their landing place, twice the cost three thousand miles away? Would they dream of “making work” for their people by fencing off into idleness three-fourths of their land, forcing some of their brethren to seek work of the owners of the other fourth, and prohibiting the bringing of goods upon the island, excepting under a fine, so that the workers’ employment might not be interfered with? And would they then bring to the island foreign laborers to take the places of their own? No. They would trade freely with the world, gladly bartering all the productions peculiar to their land for the more varied ones of the rest of the earth.
When my friend, the purser’s clerk, bade me good night he smiled and said his talk had run from subject to subject — it had been ethical, speculative, material in its character. So it was. It would not make an interesting narrative for a young ladies’ story paper. Yet I like to think of him and his notions. Hagan Dwen.
What Will the Archbishop Do to Dr. Curran Now? — Excommunicate Him? or Try to Find a Still Smaller Parish for Him?
New York Sun.
Saugerties, Sept. 24.-The Rev. Dr. Curran, formerly first assistant in St. Stephen’s church, New York, is now assistant in the Roman Catholic church here. This is his third station since he was in St. Stephen’s a few months ago. At the time of the removal of Dr. McGlynn, Dr. Curran was transferred to St. Patrick’s. For having appeared on the platform with Dr. McGlynn at the Academy of Music, he was sent to a week’s retirement at Hoboken. Afterward he was removed from New York to Ellenville,9 where he had charge of a large country parish during the absence of the priest in charge, who was laid up in the hospital from injuries caused by being thrown from a buggy. When a successor was appointed to the injured priest Dr. Curran was transferred to the church at Saugerties, where he now is. This year is the first he has spent away from New York since he entered the Catholic priesthood. He began at St. Stephens’ under Dr. McGlynn twelve years ago, and until his transfer his service there had been unbroken. As he was not in charge of a parish he had no right to object to any transfer, but the change from being first assistant in one of the largest parishes in the country to sole assistant in a small country parish is great.
Dr. Curran was home on Saturday when a Sun reporter called to interview him. His priest’s dress was dusty from the roads over which he has to drive many miles daily on sick calls and parish visits. His eyes were bright and his cheeks ruddy. The house where the two priests of the parish live is on the outskirts of the town, and near the crown of a bluff at whose foot flows a creek that empties into the Hudson, a few hundred yards away. From the windows of the house there is a view down the river for miles until a bend brings in the mountains to close off the view.
Dr. Curran talked about Dr. McGlynn’s suspension and the many stories told about it. In answer to questions he said:
“This whole matter arose to a great extent from a misapprehension, and I hope that the case of Dr. McGlynn is not finally closed. If Dr. McGlynn should apply for a reopening of his case I feel confident that his application would not be denied. Dr. McGlynn was ordered to go to Rome in a way that made it impossible for him to go, believing as he did. The order came from Cardinal Simeoni, not from the pope, and commanded that Dr. McGlynn should make a reprobation of his beliefs before he should go. This the doctor would not do, and as a renunciation and apology were made prerequisite to his going to Rome he declined to renounce his beliefs, and so did not go.
“Since then the books of Henry George have been sent to Rome and read by the church authorities there. They have not been condemned, and that is prima facie sufficient to prevent any condemnation of a man who believes the doctrines of the books. The church has a right to take up any book and to say that there are heresies therein, and no member of the church can thenceforth teach the ideas of the author as expressed in the book. It is possible for the author to explain that he has been misunderstood, and that his writings are not heretical, whereupon the book may be taken off the list. Since these books of Mr. George have been read in Rome and not condemned it raises the presumption that they contain no heresies and nothing opposed to the belief of a true Catholic. If, now that the doctrines of Henry George are better understood, Dr. McGlynn should ask for a reopening of his case, I feel confident that it would be granted.
“The misunderstanding arose from a confusion about the meaning of George’s land theory in the first place. The Roman Catholic church is infallible regarding moral law, and if a teaching infringes moral law the church will denounce it. A belief in the sacredness of the right of property is part of the moral law, and in the misconception of George’s doctrine it was understood that his theory attacked the right of property, while it was only a question of political economy — a change in the system of taxation instead of communism, socialism or anarchy.
“No one thinks that the doctor or Henry George is infallible or that they may not be mistaken in their beliefs. Nothing is infallible except the self-evident truths of revelation and doctrine. I do not believe the theory of Mr. George is infallible or a universal panacea, but I believe there is a great deal in it that is right. It is not a moral question, but a question of the best system of taxation, and I believe that every one should be allowed perfect freedom in the discussion of it. I would no more think of denouncing a man who proposed a land tax than I would a protectionist or free trader. No matter how much I am convinced of the truth of this doctrine, I ought to admit the possibility of a mistake.
“It would have been well had Cardinal Gibbons presented the letter of Dr. Burtsell to the pope. Though the cardinal had not been deputed to act as an intermediary when he had been asked to write to the doctor, why did he not present the doctor’s reply to the pope, who had asked him to write? It would have been only charity and the proper thing to see that the answer reached the pope. It would have helped to arrive at the truth, and that was what the letter was for.
“It was unfair to expect Dr. McGlynn to retract until the theories he believed in had been condemned. The most that could have been done was to ask him to be silent until the questions were decided. When asked to be silent he was silent. And afterward it was not the pope who took action in the matter, but Cardinal Simeoni. At the present moment the doctrines that Dr. McGlynn believed in have not been condemned, and until the doctrines have been condemned how can he be expected to retract them?
“I want to say something personal. I have no idea of rebelling against authority, and never had. I have no intention of being rebellious or contumacious. I lived with Dr. McGlynn for years, and a strong affection existed between us. I have felt that the question was misunderstood from the beginning, and that I would be an ingrate if I did not uphold him.”
An Australian Minister on the Right Track.
Ballarat, Australia, Courier.
The Rev. Dr. Roseby, pastor of the Dawson street Congregational church, has just shown that he can put together a very good political programme, as well as deliver interesting lectures and preach excellent sermons. In the course of a lecture on “The labor question from a Christian standpoint,” delivered by him on Tuesday last, in the lecture hall, Russell street, the reverend gentleman asserted that although modern machinery had increased the comfort and wealth of the richer class, it had failed to benefit the masses; but he thought the following reforms would have the latter effect if they were carried out: (1) The retention by the state of the absolute and effective ownership of lands still unalienated, allowing the holder the usufruct only. (2) Limitations in the case of land already alienated of the amount which any single proprietor may hold. (3) A substantial tax upon the unearned increment of land. (4) The abolition of entails, and a limitation of the extent of land which any single person can take by inheritance, the present laxity being an invasion, and a comparatively recent invasion, of common rights which most European countries still maintain. (5) The devising of some method by which “this land shall not be sold.” Speaking generally, there is not a genuine liberal in the colony who will not say “amen” most heartily to these proposals, which, although not new, gain additional attraction, force and promise from being now formulated by a minister of the gospel.
That’s Where the Mine Owners Can Get the Best of the Steamship Men — It’s Easy to Make New Steamships, But Only God Almighty Can Make New Iron Mines.
New York Tribune.
The transportation on the great lakes is becoming a very important and rapidly increasing factor in the commercial business of the country, owing especially to the rapid development of the mineral resources of the northwestern country. H. S. Benjamin of Milwaukee observed the other day: “Vessel owners on the upper lakes have been able to command their own prices during the last season. There was such an abundance of freight and such a scarcity of tonnage that they had mine owners at their mercy. Men who bought a ship last spring to engage in the carrying of iron ore could own the mine by this fall. They have been taking a dollar a ton out of the mines for ore shipments which belonged to the owners of the mines, and this dollar a ton was clear added profit on top of the thirty-three percent that ship men have been making in previous years on their investments. There will be some change next season, because several large lines of steamships are being projected for this trade.[”]
|United Labor PartyAppointments for Speakers in New York State|
|Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn and Everett Glackin, president of Typographical union No. 6, will speak as follows:|
|Oct. 3, SaratogaOct. 4, SchenectadyOct. 5, AmsterdamOct. 6, GloversvilleOct. 7, Little FallsOct. 11, WatertownOct. 12, Ogdensburg
Oct. 13, Oswego
Oct. 14, Svracuse
Oct. 15, Auburn (Messrs Glackin and Wilder)
Oct. 16. (afternoon) Flushing
Oct. 17, Ithaca
|Oct. 18, GenevaOct. 19, CanandaiguaOct. 20, RochesterOct. 21, LockportOct. 24, DunkirkOct. 25, JamestownOct. 26, Hornellsville
Oct. 27, Elmira
Oct. 28, Owego
Oct. 31, Port Jervis
Nov. 1, Middletown
Nov. 2, Newburg
Nov. 3, Glens Falls
Nov. 4, Whitehall
|Henry George will speak:|
|Oct. 3, RochesterOct. 4, CanandaiguaOct. 5, GenevaOct. 6, IthacaOct. 7, AuburnOct. 8, New BrightonOct. 10, Cohoes
Oct. 11, Whitehall
Oct. 12, Plattsburg
Oct. 13, Malone
Oct. 17, Kingston
Oct. 18, Poughkeepsie
Oct. 19, Albany
|Oct. 20. Sing SingOct. 21, YonkersOct. 24, UticaOct. 25, OgdensbtirgOct. 26, WatertownOct. 27, OswegoOct. 28, Rome
Oct. 31, Gloversville
Nov. 1, Amsterdam
Nov. 2, Schenectady
Nov. 3, Saratoga
Nov. 4, Hoosick Falls
|Rev. W. E. Lincoln of Painesville, O., will speak:|
|Oct. 22, BuffaloOct. 25, MedinaOct. 26, BataviaOct. 27, Penn YanOct. 28, CanandaiguaOct. 29, Geneva||Oct. 31, IthacaNov. 1, AuburnNov. 2, OswegoNov. 3, OgdensburgNov. 4, WatertownNov. 5, Rome|
|Victor A. Wilder of Brooklyn will speak:|
|Oct. 1, RomeOct. 14, Buffalo||Oct. 15, AuburnOct. 22, Pt. Richmond|
|Judge James G. Maguire of San Francisco will speak:|
|Oct. 8, Hoosick FallsOct. 11, Green IslandOct. 12, LansingburgOct. 13, TroyOct. 15, DunkirkOct. 17, JamestownOct. 18, Hornellsville
Oct. 19, Elmira
Oct. 20 Owego
Oct 22 Oneonta
Oct 24 Port Jervis
|Oct. 25. MiddletownOct. 26, NewburgOct. 27, NyackOct. 29, BinghamtonOct. 31, OleanNov. 1. CorningNov. 2, Penn Yan
Nov. 3, Seneca Falls
Nov. 4, Batavia
Nov. 5, Medina
|Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J., will speak:|
|Oct. 3, Sing SingOct. 5, PoughkeepsieOct. 7, NyackOct. 10, Port JervisOct. 12, NewburgOct. 17, Gloversville||Oct. 19, Cohoes. .Oct. 21. BinghamtonOct. 2S, PeekskillOct. 31, YonkersNov. 2, Stapleton|
|Dr. Alfred S. Houghton of Cincinnati and Robert Crowe of New York will speak:|
|Oct. 3, BinghamtonOct. 4, OwegoOct. 5, ElmiraOct. 6, HornellsvilleOct. 7. JamestownOct. 8, DunkirkOct. 10, Rome
Oct. 11. Medina
Oct. 12 Batavia
Oct. 13, Penn Yan
Oct. 14, Corning
Oct. 15, Olean
Oct. 17, Oneonta
Oct. 18, Nyack
Oct. 19, Hoosick Falls
|Oct. 20, Glens FallsOct. 21, WhitehallOct. 22 PlattsburgOct. 24; MaloneOct. 26. KingstonOct. 27, PoughkeepsieOct. 28 Peekskill
Oct. 29. Sing Sing
Oct. 31, Yonkers
Nov 1, Utica
Nov 2 Syracuse
Nov 3 Rochester
Nov 4 Lockport
Nov 5 Buffalo
|Mr. Louis F. Post of New York will speak|
|Oct. 1, YonkersOct. 3, Penn YannOct. 5, AlbanyOct. 6, PlattsburgOct. 7, MaloneOct. 8, Syracuse||Oct. 10, Seneca FallsOct. 13. UticaOct. 14 HudsonOct. 15. AmsterdamOct. 18 Herkimer|
|Mr. James P. Kohler of Brooklyn, will speak:|
|Oct. 1, YonkersOct. 3, Sing SingOct. 5, PoughkeepsieOct. 7, NyackOct. 8, New Brighton||Oct. 12, NewburgOct. 19, PeekskillOct. 22, Port RichmondNov. 2, Stapleton|
|Gaybert Barnes,Secretary State Committee United Labor Party,Room 28. Cooper Union, New York.|
LAND AND LABOR — The Central Committee has been organized for the purpose of carrying into national politics, by means of circulars, correspondence, lecture, etc., the principles of the United Labor Party of New York, as set forth in the platform adopted at Syracuse, Aug. 19, 1887.
Members of trade and labor organizations, and all citizens in favor of independent political action who are desirous of taking part in the formation of land and labor clubs are requested to address
Chairman Central Committee,
26 Cooper Union. N. Y. City.
Citizens of the following named states who indorse the principled of the United Labor Party and desire to lend active aid in the great movement now beginning for the emancipation of labor, are requested to communicate with the State Organizers of their respective states, as follows:
California—Judge James G. Maguire, San Francisco.
Connecticut—Robert Pyne, 284 Asylum St., Hartford.
Indiana—Warren Worth Bailey, Vincennes.
Kentucky—Henry George Club, 255 Vine St., Cincinnati
Louisiana—John J. Sullivan, 705 Fulton street; New Orleans.
Massachusetts (Berkshire county)—F. Harvey Lincoln, Box 115, Zylonite.
Massachusetts (Boston and vicinity)–Daniel H. Biggs, 61 Clarendon street, Boston.
Minnesota— Central Committee, United Labor Party, 42 Third St. south, Minneapolis. .
New York—John McMackin, 28 Cooper Union, New York city.
Ohio—Henry George Club, 258 Vine St. Cincinnati.
South Carolina— Benjamin Adams. Charleston
West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Northern Mississippi — Land and Labor Club No. 2. Rooms 9 and 10, Cotton Exchange, Memphis, Tenn.
Protection or Free Trade? An Examination of the Tariff Question With Especial Regard to the Interests of Labor
by Henry George
When this book was originally published, in May, 1886, it seemed to me that the tariff would be the first of the economic questions to come into political issue in the United States, and I looked to it as a means by which the underlying land question would be brought into general discussion.
But events then unforeseen are bringing the land question into the discussions of “practical politics” with greater rapidity than I expected, and it now seems likely that it will be an awakening as to the larger question that will lead the masses of our people to consider the smaller.
This gratifying change, however, instead of lessening the interest and usefulness of this book, gives to the matters of which it treats so much more immediate and practical importance as to call for the publication of a popular edition. It has already done much, and is I trust destined to do more, not only to place the tariff question in its true light, but to clear away confusions of thought that obscure the full scope and beauty of the simple measure, which securing equality with regard to natural opportunities, will emancipate labor and give free play to productive forces.
THE LAND AND LABOR LIBRARY.—
We are now publishing under the title of “The Land and Labor Library” a series of short tracts on various phases of the social problem. These pamphlets contain facts, figures and arguments expressed m concise, vigorous language easily understood. As a means of propaganda we recommend them to all who desire to help on the movement for social reform. Those who wish to have these tracts placed where they will do good but who are unable personally to attend to their distribution. can remit the price to us, as we have every facility for sending them where they are needed and will be read.
The following have already appeared:
No. 1. “First Principles.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 2. “Land and Taxation.” A conversation between David Dudley Field and Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 3. “The Right to the Use of the Earth.” By Herbert Spencer. 4 pages.
No. 4. “A Christian Minister on the Remedy for Poverty.” A sermon by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J. 2 pages.
No. 5. “A Sum in Proportion.” By T. L. McCready. 2 pages.
No. 6. “The Settler’s Nightmare.” By Louis F. Post. 4 pages.
No. 7. “New York’s Docks. The True Mode of Raising Revenue.” By. J. W. Sullivan. 4 pages.
No. 8. “Unemployed Labor.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 9. “Voices for Reform.” 2 pages.
No. 10. “A Mysterious Disappearance.” By Lewis Freeland. 6 pages.
No. 1l. “How to Increase Profits.” By A. J. Steers. 2 pages.
No. 12. “The American Farmer.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 13. “Sailors’ Snug Harbor and the Randall Farm.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 14. “The Collegiate Church and the Shoemaker’s Field.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 15. “Only A Dream.” By Abner C. Thomas. 4 pages.
No. 16. “The Anti-Poverty Society.” Dr. McGlynn’s address at the first meeting. 8 pages.
No. 17. “The Cross of the New Crusade.” A poem by David Rorty. 2 pages.
No. 18. “It Is the Law of Christ.” By Rev. S. H. Spencer of Henry, Ill. 4 pages.
No. 19. “My Landlord.” By John Jones. 4 pages.
No. 20. “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” An address by Henry George before the Anti-Poverty Society. 8 pages.
No. 21. “Christianity and Poverty An address by Father Huntington before the Anti-poverty society.” 4 pages.
No. 22. “Poverty and Christianity.” An address by Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the Anti-poverty society. 8 pages.
No. 23. “The Single Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 8 pages.
No. 24. “Hymns of the New Crusade”—No. 1. 4 pages
No. 25. “Hymns of the New Crusade”— No. 2. 4 pages.
No. 26. “Religion vs. Robbery.” Address by Rev. Dr McGlynn before the New York Anti-poverty society June 12,1887. 8 pages.
No. 27. “Back to the Land.” Bishop Nulty’s letter to the clergy and laity of his diocese. 16 pages. Price 5 cents.
No. 23. “Anti-Slavery and Anti-Poverty.” An address by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the New York Anti-Poverty Society, June 19. 3 pages.
No. 29. “Tenement House Morality,” Rev. J. O. S. Huntington in the Forum. 4 pages.
No. 30. “The Case Plainly Stated.” A speech by H. F. Ring before the Knights of Labor at Houston, Texas. 8 pages.
No. 31. “Questions and Answers” Questions by Rev. Howard Henderson of the Sixty-first street M. E. church of New York; with answers by Henry George. 2 pages.
No. 32. “Objections to the Land Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 4 pages.
No. 33. “Socialism—Its Truth and Its Error.” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 34. “Horse Sense.” W. C. Woods. 2 pages.
No. 35. The Syracuse Platform. 2 pages.
No. 36. “Citycus and Rusticus.” Tudor S. Jenks. 4 pages.
No. 37. “Taxing Land Values.” Henry George- 8 pages
No. 38. “God Wills It.” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 39. “What We Want.” Everett Glackin, president, Typographical Union No. 6. 2 pages.
No. 40. “Protection or Free Trade.” Henry George. Price 25 cents.
No. 41. The Syracuse Platform. (German.) 2 pages.
No. 42. “First Principles.” (German.) Henry George. 4 pages
No. 43. “Socialism—Its Truth and Its Error.” (German:) Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 44. “How John’s Father Saw the Light.” W. C. Woods, M. D., 2 pages.
No. 45. Platform of the United Labor Party. 2 pages.
prices, free by mail:
2-page tracts — 50 copies, 10 cents; 100 copies, 15 cents; 1,000 copies $1; 5,000 copies $4.25
four-page tracts — 25 copies, 10 cents; 100 copies, 25 cents; 1,000 copies $2; 5,000 copies $8.50
six-page tracts — 25 copies, 15 cents; 100 copies, 37 cents; 1,000 copies $3; 5,000 copies $12.75
eight-page tracts — 25 copies, 20 cents; 100 copies, 50 cents; 1,000 copies $4; 5,000 copies $17
twelve-page tracts — 25 copies, 30 cents; 100 copies, 75 cents; 1,000 copies $6; 5,000 copies $22.50
sixteen-page tracts — 25 copies, 40 cents; 100 copies, $1; 1,000 copies $8; 5,000 copies $34
Brooklyn. L. I.—As per your offer of five Standards during the campaign for $1.25 I inclose check and list accordingly. Don’t publish the list. My friends would no more be connected with the labor problem than a Brahman would associate with a Christian, but they are beginning to argue against the Georgean solution, and all that truth can ask for to insure its dissemination is argument.
The southern planters, by arguing before fighting, might have got truth through their minds instead of through their ribs, freed their slaves and saved their wealth.
I meet many successful men well informed as to Wall street, railroad accidents, the yachts, etc., who are as ignorant and bigoted regarding the main question of the day as were the southern planters thirty years ago. They shut up like an attacked clam if anything strange appears in politics or social science, and yet they swear “things ain’t quite right.”
Do they prefer the cunning of the ring politicians to the exact science of “Progress and Poverty?” the selfishness of evicting cool barons and factory Herods, rather than the social equity of the simplified tax — a just weight? Chas. Sibley May.
Mr. May is going the right way to work, and takes the right view of the way to advance our cause. All we need is discussion; contradiction, even if it be coupled with abuse, is bound to do us good.
It is encouraging to see how rapidly the friends of our cause all over the country are realizing and acting upon this truth. For one thing, they are making the pro-poverty press do good missionary work. John Smith writes to his county paper expounding the anti-poverty gospel, and requesting to be put right if he is wrong. The editor is only too happy to oblige — and, besides, it’s such an easy thing to do. The editor is perfectly at home on the subject — knows all about anti-poverty, united labor party, Henry George, Dr. McGlynn and all the rest of it, and has only been waiting for a good chance to knock the whole concern into a cocked hat. Ever read “Progress and Poverty?” Well, no; but, bless you, he knows the book just as well as though he had read every word of it; has read all about it a hundred times. And so Mr. Editor sits down, and triumphantly proves to his correspondent some such proposition as that even if it were possible to divide the land up so that every man, woman and child should have a piece, it wouldn’t be a week before some men would be selling their shares, and other men buying them; or, perhaps, like his grace Archbishop Corrigan, in his famous pastoral, he gives a lot of splendid arguments against the private ownership of land, and then claims that they prove private ownership to be altogether justifiable. In other words, he sets up a figure of straw, christens it Anti-poverty, and demolishes it triumphantly.
Now, this sort of argument rarely fails to recoil. Men read the paper and ask themselves if it really can be possible that hundreds of thousands of men — clergymen, mechanics, lawyers, doctors and storekeepers, men of every trade and occupation — can be deluded by such a transparently shallow theory as that which the editor has exploded in a single column article. And, just as a matter of curiosity, these men take up “Progress and Poverty” or The Standard, or begin to question their anti-poverty friends, and then — ah! then there’s a pretty kettle of fish! They see the truth — see it face to face for the first time, and, seeing it, they can’t help recognizing and believing in it.
Keep up the agitation, friends. Hunt around for contradictions. Force your neighbors to talk, and trust the future to make them think. And there is no surer way to do this than by sending them The Standard for the campaign. Nine times out of ten they’ll read it, if only to see how easily they can confute its arguments. And having read it, ever so carelessly, it won’t be hard work to make them talk; and when once a man begins to talk about our principles, be sure he isn’t very
far from accepting them.
Remember, you can send The Standard, beginning with this issue, up to the end of the campaign, to any five addresses in New York state for $1. If you have a dollar to spare, you cannot invest it better.
Danielsonville, Conn.—A sample copy of your paper, The Standard, reached me yesterday. It is an old one — Aug. 17, 1887. I am surprised and impressed. Although my list of papers is already larger than I ought to have, I am afraid I must add this to it.
Is The Standard the leading land and labor journal now published? This is number six of Vol. 2. Vol. 1, I suppose, is out of the question now. I would like to begin at the beginning of this new movement, and I will get a good deal of it, I suppose, inThe Standard. James Dingwell,
Pastor Congregational church.
We hope Mr. Dingwell will pardon us for publishing his letter. We do so for two reasons. First, because the ministers of Christ are the men upon whom, beyond all others, properly devolves the advocacy of the cause of God’s poor, and it is an inexpressible encouragement to every worker for that cause to learn that yet another clergyman is examining the subject; and second, because his case aptly illustrates the advantage of a steady and persistent sowing of the seed. It was a single copy — what, ordinarily, would be called a “chance copy” of The Standard, attracted Mr. Dingwell’s attention, and elicited the letter we quote. Suppose that at the same time his “sample copy” was sent out a hundred or a thousand were sent to other addresses, and that the other ninety-nine, or nine hundred and ninety-nine, produced no result? Is it not worth the sacrifice of a hundred or a thousand copies of The Standard to set a single clergyman to thinking on the most momentous problem of the century?
Keep The Standard and the tracts flying through the mails. Scatter them broadcast. Distribute them from house to house, among your friends, in the streets and market places whenever you can get a chance. If only one out of a hundred carries conviction, your work will be well repaid; and as a matter of fact, it is pretty certain that out of every five men who receive Standards or tracts at least one will, if nothing more, have his attention arrested and his mind set to working.
Murrayville, Morgan County, Ill.—Inclosed find postoffice order for $1, for which send The Standard for six weeks to the inclosed list.
Eleven men helped me thresh. Seven of them I know were in favor of the single tax, and a friend bets me that I am mistaken in not counting the other four. How is that for farmers? Wm. C— .
That is good for the farmers, indeed; and yet we confess it does not surprise us. Just as on a bare and apparently barren bit of land, when the warm breath and kindly showers of spring come to quicken it, the green grass will seem to fairly leap from the soil in a single night; so it is now with men. They are ready for the gospel of the new crusade. All unconsciously to themselves, the seeds have dropped into their minds, have slowly germinated there, and are ready to spring into life at the first quickening breath. Anti-poverty is last becoming epidemic. It is in the air. An hour’s conversation will make a convert now of the man upon whom, five years ago, a week of argument would have been wasted. But it is just that hour’s conversation, just that serious effort, first with this man, then with that, that you, good friend, must give, if you want our cause to triumph.
And we can triumph! Every hour makes it clearer. We can win in this campaign, if only every man will stand to his guns and do his duty. If only you, who read those lines and lay your Standard down a minute while your mind wanders off into a delightful dream of all that victory would mean for us; if only you will do the full measure of your duty, strain every nerve, exert every faculty, we can win, and we shall win.
How many voters do you know? A dozen? a score? a hundred? It is with them your duty lies. See to it that not one of them be left in ignorance of what we want and why we want it. Talk to them, distribute tracts among them, send them The Standard for the campaign; let your mind know no rest while one of them remains doubtful. You may not win them all; it would be a marvel if you did. But if you try for all, with all your might, you certainly will gain the majority of them. And bear this well in mind, that every one you do gain over will make the gaining of the next far easier.
Here is a letter from a man who doesn’t wait to be told what to do, but takes the first thing to hand and does that.
Amenia, N. Y.—Please send The Standard for three months and as many tracts as the balance will pay for; something of the kind that will interest and wake up these farmers. I do all I am capable of doing to forward the movement among them, but as my business is selling articles throughout the country I have not always the time to try and enlighten them on the “tax theory,” as they term it, therefore I would like a few tracts that would rid them of the idea that they would lose their farms if the united labor party got in power. Yours, respectfully, John Cairns.
If every man who believes in the principles of the united labor party, and whose vocation brings him in contact with men, will but constitute himself a committee of one for tract distribution, there will be such a sowing of the good seed as will insure a plentiful crop of votes by November. And no man need want for tracts who is willing to distribute them. The tract committee of the Anti-poverty society will furnish supplies to all who are willing to undertake the work but do not feel able to pay for tracts. All that is necessary is to write to Benjamin Urner, the chairman of the committee, No. 6 Harrison street, New York, and the tracts will be forwarded.
This is what a clergyman of the Episcopal church writes to us:
Your remark that what you are striving for in this reform is in sober truth a revival of the spirit of Christianity is one to which I can easily give full credit. In the limited study which I have had means of bestowing upon your movement, I have seen clearly that, whether of set purpose or not, you are assuredly moving in that direction. I rejoice exceedingly to know that so many of those foremost in this reform are sincere believers in Christ’s religion. It is to me the most hopeful feature of the case. Not that I fail to honor truth, even from unbelieving lips, but because I feel that the gospel has in its letter and spirit a cure for all human ills, and I rejoice to see that this, the most advanced social philosophy, comes nearest of any system I know to the teachings of the “God-Man.” It is, to my mind, a mighty advance upon the groping “development” system of Herbert Spencer, which practically abolishes love, and leaves man to develop along a hard, fatalistic, utilitarian line, into a civilized beast, whose highest hope, like that of the Buddhist, is to enter at last into annihilation! That your school, the latest of all, should so exactly accord with the spirit of Christianity, fills my heart with gratitude to the author of all truth, that He has so signally borne witness to the truth of His revealed word in the latest advance which the noblest of sciences has made. You give to us of the clergy another noble weapon for the defense of our religion.
And now I have something to tell you which I feel assured you will be glad to know. Knowing the bias of many religionists against your doctrines, as the teachings of “robbery,” etc., etc., I felt it my duty to talk with my bishop concerning my own views.
Judge of my delight when I found that the bishop entirely agreed with me. You may regard the Right Reverend — — —— as, like myself, “almost persuaded” to accept your system, “land theory” and all. We both see all the monstrous evils you so forcibly describe. We both are asking for the remedy. We are unable to refute your arguments on the “land question,” but we are lingering now on the festina lente10 principle. We have, neither of us, given the matter so much attention as its importance demands; but so far we feel that the result of our study will be to make us continued and avowed “disciples of Henry George.” You will certainly not find a Corrigan in Bishop —— . He has not authorized me to inform you of his views, and, of course, you will not make his name public without his consent. But I have little doubt that you may obtain that consent at no very distant day.
Rev. —— ——
“Almost persuaded;” “the limited study which I have had means of bestowing upon your movement;” “lingering now on the festina lente principle” — are these expressions which any man, least of all a minister of Christ, can justify, when used to denote his attitude toward this movement for emancipation. When human bodies and human souls are perishing by scores of thousands, and the question is whether a means proposed for their salvation will be efficacious or not, can any man afford to remain halting between two opinions?
Let this priest and this bishop consider the awful responsibility that rests upon them. Here is a political party in the field whose stated purpose is to abolish poverty and establish God’s kingdom upon earth. That party has to meet its opponents at the polls within a few weeks. It is within the power of this priest and this bishop to render it material assistance by avowing and defending their belief in its principles. Men who are now hesitating will be encouraged to declare themselves; men who have so far refused to think will be induced to look into the matter. It is by no means impossible that the result of the election should turn upon the action of these two ministers of God. Let them think this over.
Stony ground, stony ground. Alas! that there should be so much of it. Here’s a very stony patch indeed:
Hampstead, London.—I have for some weeks been receiving The Standard without having ordered and certainly without desiring it. I suppose I am indebted to one of your subscribers, whose enthusiasm certainly seems to affect their reason, to judge by the extraordinary letters which I have noticed published in your columns in the one or two numbers I have looked at before being quite disgusted by the almost raving style in which the whole paper is written. It is needless to say that I always throw the paper unopened into the waste paper basket. I must request you to desist from sending me any more copies.
- C. Drummond.
Yet who shall say that even to this poor benighted soul the sending of The Standard has done no good? At least Mr. Drummond knows now, what he evidently didn’t know a little while ago, that there is a movement on foot to emancipate industry by reasserting the right of all men to a share in the bounties of God; and though for the moment he is “disgusted,” yet the time may come when he will so far conquer his disgust as to think rationally on the subject for an hour or so; and then, who knows what may happen? Paul was a persecutor before he became an apostle, and lived to hear himself accused of madness for advocating the very views once most abhorrent to him.
This comes from an officer of local assembly:
Jacksonville, Fla.—I inclose subscription for The Standard, and hope to send a good list shortly.
The social agitation which has been going on for the past ten or fifteen years, resulting in the formation of various political parties and labor organizations, is typical of a vigorous turning up of the soil on the broad prairies of the west, as I have witnessed it. And the work has been well done. Seed time has now come, and The Standard is broadcasting the good seed, which must take root, spring up with the season, and yield a wonderful harvest. Political economists can everywhere be found who have earnestly, and in many instances eloquently, pointed out the manifold evils which beset the toiling millions of God’s children, but it has remained for The Standard to proclaim the remedy which, when applied, will at once and forever crush the machine that manufactures paupers on the one hand and millionaires on the other. The single tax on land, and government control of all systems of a collective interest, is the true doctrine and must prevail. J. A. Bodenhamer.
And here is a letter from Michigan which shows the sort of work that is doing there:
East Saginaw. Mich.—Please find inclosed $3 (postal note), for which send The Standard to the inclosed addresses. This makes sixty I have got in the last ten days, and oh! how the gospel is spreading. I have engaged a hall for one week from tonight to perfect our organization. There is great interest being taken in the Henry George fallacies now in our leading paper, as the Hon. R. G. Hoar has begun to publish letters showing where your theory is all wrong. After he has got through it will be our turn at the honorable gentleman. We all send greeting, and I hope to be able to send something more next letter. Henry Vick.
And now we must make room for a few letters from men who are striving to aid us in our fight here in New York. The first is from a newsdealer:
Salineville, O.—Find inclosed check for $2 as part of my penny collection. I am going to continue this collection until the close of the campaign. The sum is small, but as the Scotchman says, “Many a little makes a muckle.”
I am still adding to my order. The demand for your paper is increasing every week. I keep a supply of all your books on hand. While talking your paper up I sold two copies of “Progress and Poverty,” and the reading of them will create a fresh demand for Standards.
There are over a hundred eyes in this town watching and hoping for your success in New York. You will hear from me again soon.
Santa Fe, Kas.—Inclosed find $5 which I send for the recruiting fund. I think a dollar spent in New York state this campaign is worth five dollars spent elsewhere, because you are well organized in New York for the work, and because a victory in the greatest state of the union will give our cause an impetus that will soon end in victory. I hope the friends of the cause everywhere will contribute liberally to the New York fund. I shall send more by and by.
- V. Marshall.
San Jose, Cal.—Please find money order for $3.50 donated by the following persons: Charles Buttner, $1; John Wilson, $1; E. Bacquier, 50 cents; Lot Glaze, $1. Use it as you may think best in the campaign which is to be carried on in New York until the 8th of November, when the final blow will be struck for humanity. I hope it will be a stunner, as the pro-poverty people of this coast hold the impression that the united labor ticket will not poll the vote it did at the city election for mayor. They are to be excused for their ignorance, as the pro-poverty press, from
whence they gain their information, are very unreliable and misleading in their statements about the united labor party. May God bless you and be with you in the campaign, and crown your efforts in the fight for humanity. You will hear from me again soon. L. N. Glaze
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.—Inclosed please find postoffice order for $2 to go toward furnishing single land tax bullets to be used against the present unjust and radically wrong system which fines a man every time he makes a step toward improving his home in city, village or country, wherever he may live. Stick to the principles laid down in the platform of the Syracuse convention and you will not want for votes or cash when you come to storm the fortress of the old parties in the little state of Michigan. I pounded out another dollar on the anvil to pay my initiation fee and be enrolled as a member under the cross of the new crusade, never to leave it until victory nobly crowns our efforts. P. C. Sullivan, Blacksmith.
The recruiting fund now stands:
Previously acknowledged $1,002 13
Thos. Hyatt, Jefferson, Col 2 50
- Champion, Toledo 2 50
Jas. Stephenson, Pittsburg, Pa 10 00
- L. 1 00
- H. L 60
Thos. Dougan 2 00
- V. Marshall, Santa Fe, Kan 5 00
Chris. Buttner 2 00
John Wilson 1 00
- Bacquier. 50
- N. Glaze 1 00
- C. Sullivan, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. 2 00
- O’Connor, Lakeland, Fla. 1 00
Mrs. Tener and Mrs. Maine 1 00
- Cann . 65
- Harvey 2 75
- Winier 1 10
- L. Pearce 1 00
’Ammer, ‘ammer, ammer 1 00
Mrs. Tener and Mrs. Maine 1 00
A friend 5 00
- S. Ralston 1 25
- Scanlan 1 00
- W. Calloway. 2 10
Total to date $1,050 08
Don’t forget the recruit subscriptions merely because we haven’t room to say much about them this week. If you have a friend whom you are anxious to gain to our side but cannot talk to, let him get The Standard for six weeks and see if that won’t fetch him. If your clergyman is unconvinced, push The Standard at him; six numbers will do much for his conversion. If you are anxious for the speedy success of our cause, see that all of your neighbors get a chance to read The Standard. We send it for six weeks:
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $2.
The “Standard” for the Campaign.
The Standard, beginning with the issue of Sept. 24, will be sent to any five addresses, within the state of New York, up to the end of the campaign, for $1.
These campaign subscriptions will afford land and labor clubs, local assemblies, trades unions and other organizations means of doing efficient campaign work, and placing the issues squarely before their neighbors, at a very trifling cost.
Anti-Poverty in St. Louis.
An enthusiastic meeting of the newly formed Anti-poverty society of St. Louis was held Sunday evening, Sept. 25, to perfect its organization and outline a plan of action for the propagation of Anti-poverty principles. One hundred members were in attendance, and the utmost cordiality prevailed in their deliberations. By unanimous vote Dr. McGlynn was elected honorary president; William Harmon, active president; George Bonnell, vice-president; Charles M. Wilson, P. O. box 416, St. Louis, secretary; S. D. McCullough, treasurer, and Charles Bovard, S. M. Ryan, J. B. Dempsey and George Bauer, executive committee. It was resolved to initiate an agitation similar to that of the society in New York, and on Sunday evening next a public meeting will be held in Excelsior hall, southwest corner of Ninth street and Franklin avenue, to which the people of St. Louis have been earnestly invited.
THE CAMPAIGN FUND.
Standard readers, there is need of money for this fund — urgent, imperative need. The money is wanted now, and if it doesn’t come the work of the campaign must languish.
Two hundred and twenty-seven dollars is your contribution for this week. All honor to those who have sent it! All honor, too, to those whose hearts are enlisted in the cause, who long for its success and do what they can to forward it, but can’t afford to send any money.
But there are considerably more than a hundred thousand readers of The Standard; and the contributors for the week are fifty-four in number.
There needs no comment. The man to whom the comment should be addressed can do his own commenting, and we are much mistaken if he doesn’t blush — just a little — as he makes it.
Men and brethren! The battle we are waging here in New York is a battle for all mankind. It is a battle to save human lives — to rescue human souls. You know as well as we that it cannot be fought successfully without expense. Consider your duty in the case. If you have the money to spare, send it now, before the time shall have passed in which it can be of use.
The fund now stands:
Boston Post chapel 3 00
Jas. H. Green, N. Y. C . 5 00
- Y. Z. 25
- E. C. Covington, Ky., 1 00
Charles Des Roches, N. Y. city 5 00
Sam’l Woodman, San Francisco 10 00
Boston Herald chapel (fifth contribution) 10 00
Herman F. Slatimer, Brooklyn 2 00
Nantucket (R. I.) land and labor club 7 00
Reading (Pa.) land and labor club 5 00
Worker in the cause, Philadelphia 1 00
- P. Adams 50
Frank Scanlan, Philadelphia 2 00
John M. Beath, Atlanta, Ga 25 00
- E. Davis. 1 00
- Lucas 1 00
- P. K., Kingston. Canada 50
- Richardson, Philadelphia 1 00
Anti-povertyites, Webotuck farm, Sharon; Conn 50 00
- Brown, Philadelphia 1 20
Clifford Beaubien, Meaderville 3 00
- T. Young, Tuckahoe, N. Y 5 00
Alex G. W. Walls, Milwaukee 1 50
- A. Keasey, Richmond, Ind 3 75
By John D. Dempsey, St. Louis, Mo.
Ignatius E. Harvey $1 00
- M. Ryan 1 00
- E. Helmle 1 00
- E. Lewis. 1 00
John H. Dyerson. 50
- D. Shaw. 1 00
- P. Alexander. 1 00
- Russell. 5 00
- C. Bohannon 5 00
Total. $16 60
- H. G 1 00
Some Bevler Miners. 2 00
- J. Boyd, Washington, D. C 5 00
- F. 1 00
Weg, Lansing, Mich 2 00
Oswald Earp, Melbourne, near Derby, England 2 40
Dr. H. S. Hadsel, Maynard, Ia 1 00
Nicodemus III 5 00
John B. Boyd. 2 00
Louisville 12 50
Alex George. 1 00
- E. R. De Robert, Torrington, Conn 1 00
- Van Dyke, New York city 1 00
Al Pierson and James Walker, Jacksonville; III. 3 00
A few believers in Ashtabula, O 20 00
By A. G. Groh, Cheyenne City, Wyo.:
- G. Groh 2 25
Burke Eyres 50
Richard Carr 25 3 00
Daniel Munn, New Auburn, Minn 1 55
- H. Howes 1 00
Thos. Dougherty 1 00
total 227 05
Previously acknowledged 1,295 30
Total to date 1,522.35
Ben Butler Gives the Same Advice, Though In More Cautious Language .
This is the advice given by Col. W. E. Hutchinson to the Wichita, Kansas, Daily Beacon’s “Lounger”:
What is the quickest way to make money? The only way to accumulate more than the comparatively small profits on labor and interest on its surplus earnings, is to find some method of making the necessities and labor of other people accumulate for you. There is no other way to make a great fortune. For instance, three years ago North Main street lots were not worth over $500 in the third block. Today they are worth $11,000. It is not the product of the industry of the owners of those lots that has increased their value twenty-three times in three years, but it is the necessities of twenty odd thousand people who have been added to our population. As population increases the value of the uses of land also increases. If you get a few lots near the center of this or any other rapidly developing city and put yourself beyond contingencies by paying for them you have no need to fear results. The natural laws underlying the increase of population and necessities of that increase will make your fortune if you but hold to your land. The only safe gambling today is to bet another the price of a choice Wichita lot, in cash, that the necessities of 40,000 more population in the city will in three years raise it to ten or twenty fold in value. The increasing population certain to come will see that you win.
Anti-Poverty in Boston.
The Anti-poverty society of Boston held a large meeting in Horticultural hall last Sunday
evening. Mr. D. H. Biggs of the Central labor union called the meeting to order, introducing Mr. John R. Roche as chairman. He said:
We are here to start a great movement in Boston. Tonight the Anti-poverty society comes to the surface as a new shoot — and not a delicate one, I am happy to say — from the vigorous plant which has grown up in New York within a few months. Its great president, who is now known better than any man in this country, or at least as well, Dr. McGlynn, has raised the cross of a new crusade which I believe is destined to sweep over these United States. We meet tonight as the disciples of Henry George, because we believe in the justice of his principles, and that they are bound to prevail. Our purpose is the abolition of poverty, the wiping out of that wan specter that stalks in our midst today, that deposits its spawn in the rotten heart of our social system. The right way to do it, we believe, is through the truth propounded by Henry George and so nobly upheld by Father McGlynn. (Great applause.)
The Rev. John A. Hayes was introduced as the principal speaker, and took for his text Jeremiah, viii, 22: “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?”
Is it not strange, said the speaker, that in a country rich as ours human beings should die of want? No wonder that in their bitterness some conclude there is no God. But, my friends, whatever may be the cause of poverty, it is not the fault of our Father in heaven. He has made for us, in this land, a plentiful provision. There is something wrong either with us or with our social system. (Applause.) Is the individual at fault? Preachers and editors say that in a country like this there is no reason why any industrious, moral man may not obtain enough for his wants without depending on others. Then the man of the greatest industry and highest moral character will be the greatest producer. All that any man produces, the preachers and editors admit, belongs to him, and, they say, he has it. Then what he has is the measure of his industry and morality. If he has nothing, it is his fault, and the remedy is for him to become more industrious and moral. Then if men have coal mines and railways, great blocks of buildings and vast tracts of land, it must be chiefly on account of their moral superiority. If so, we have little appreciated the signal examples of moral worth which our millionaires afford us. (Laughter.) Is hero worship dead among us? Else, our sensibilities are so blunted that we cannot recognize true greatness. If these individual aggregates of wealth are the result of superior morality, then every charity is a premium on immorality. No, man is not poor because he won’t work. There are thousands of men who cannot get work — robbed by giant monopolies (applause), and by that greatest of all monopolies, the monopoly of land. (Great applause.) The cause of poverty is not in the individual, but in the environment. (Applause.)
Mr. D. H. Biggs then urged that Boston should endeavor to equal other large cities in its enthusiasm for the anti-poverty cause. There is no movement, he claimed, worthy of so much respect as one that aims to abolish involuntary poverty. For it is poverty that drags down the noblest and makes honest men dishonest, and it is poverty that has erected all the gallows throughout the country. It therefore behooves those who esteem happiness and respect virtue to lend their assistance to this worthy cause.
The chairman declared that no fair statement of Mr. George’s land tax theory had ever appeared in a Boston paper. He added that what was wanted was not an equality of money, but an equality of opportunities to acquire a livelihood, and to use our heaven-given faculties without paying toll. He was gratified to state that the collection amounted to $23.13. Twelve new members were added to the roll, and the exercises closed with short speeches by Mr. Andrew McCarthy, president of the first land and labor club in Boston, and Mr. E. M. White.
The Correct Way.
New York Sun.
“Pa,” inquired Bobby, “how is platform spelled?”
“It depends on what kind of a platform it is. An ordinary platform is spelled with one ‘t.’ The Saratoga platform should be spelled Plattform.”
In Other Words, the Best Way to Combat Them Is to Vote the United Labor Ticket.
The best way to combat Mr. George’s theories is to remove the evils which have given rise to the discontent that resulted in the organization of the united labor party.
Display ads follow, including:
REV. EDWARD McGLYNN, D.D., PRESIDENT.
The twenty-third public meeting of the society will be held at the
ACADEMY OF MUSIC
SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 2.
On this occasion a grand public reception will be tendered to
HON. JAMES G. MAGUIRE,
Judge of the Superior court, San Francisco,
who came across the continent to take a hand in the campaign fight of United Labor in New York state.
In anticipation of a great crowd the committee has engaged NILSSON HALL for an overflow meeting. The entrance to the hall is on Fifteenth street, between Irving place and Third avenue.
JUDGE MAGUIRE, DR. M’GLYNN AND HENRY GEORGE
Will speak in both halls. Singing in both halls by
Under the direction of
MISS AGATHA MUNIER.
Admission free to all parts of the Academy, except the boxes and orchestra chairs.
Seats in circle boxes and orchestra chairs, 25 cents each; in proscenium boxes, 50 cents.
Box office open Sunday.
Tickets on sale from Thursday in the Anti-poverty society office, 30 Cooper union.
Admission to Nilsson hall free.