Vol. 1, April 2, 1887

Page 1

 


Sailors' Snug Harbor

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters,” lead a life of peril, hardship and excitement that makes any home ashore a very haven of rest when, worn out and weather beaten, they abandon the sea. How doubly delightful then must it be to such men to find themselves heirs to a life estate in a palace by the salt water, fanned by sea breezes, and in full view of the shipping of a great harbor crowded with craft flying the flags of all nations. Such may be the happy lot of every sailor, of whatever nationality, who can prove that he has sailed for five years under the flag of the United States, and such also is the privilege, it is whispered, of some who have never seen a foreign port or sailed five years under any flag, provided they have what our local politicians call the necessary inflooence.

On the shore of Staten Island, within thirty minutes' sail of the Battery, stands a group of stately buildings surrounded by a group of stately buildings surrounded by handsome grounds and known as the “Sailors' Snug Harbor.” The closely shaven lawns are shaded by beautiful elms and dotted here and there with statuary. Old men stroll along the well paved walks, and beneath the trees a group of bronzed old tars may often be seen seated and listening, for perhaps the hundredth time, to well-spun yarn, in happy unconsciousness of the invention of the chestnut bell. Inside the building a comfort and elegance worthy of the exterior are maintained. The hard wood and encaustic tile floors are literally swept and garnished. A library is open to all, and across the hall is a reading room furnished with newspapers and current periodicals. The dormitories are clean and cool and each man has an iron bedstead and a comfortable bed to himself, though three or four generally sleep in a room. Long dining rooms, capable of seating nearly a thousand men, are kept scrupulously neat. Every man's seat is designated by a brass number, and should he desire to “go ashore,” as they put it, he unscrews this number and takes it to the governor, and it is kept until he returns. Two noble buildings serve as hospitals, and the sick have the best of medical attendance and nursing, and should they die they are buried in a cemetery on the grounds.

Occupations of the Inmates

The inmates of Snug Harbor are furnished with food, clothing, tobacco and the other necessities of life – among which grog is not counted – free of cost, and they are under no obligation to do any work whatever. Most of them do work, however, in order to obtain money of their own. Some want money to send to children or other relatives, and a good many want it to buy that one commodity not furnished by the management – rum. There is, however, comparatively little intemperance among them, as a habitual drunkenness would forfeit their right to their home. A number of the best informed inmates are employed by the management as guides, and they are paid by the institution for their service. These men show visitors over the buildings and grounds and courteously answer the many questions put to them. One of these guides, Mr. Storer, a man of New England birth, appears to have made a study of the institution, and he is as familiar with its past as with its present. Another set of inmates wait on those who are dining and receive monthly pay for their services. Others work on the farm, if so inclined, while a great many work at making baskets, mats, miniature vessels, hammocks, etc. The institution furnishes rooms especially fitted up for this purpose, and the men buy their own material. This at least was the custom, but the relation of employer and employed has grown up among them. Some of the men having the necessary capital buy palm, cane and cordage in quantities and make contracts to deliver a given quantity of goods to city dealers, and these hire others to work for them. Quite an industry of this kind has sprung up through a recently created demand in the fancy goods stores for doli hammocks. But though the relation of employer and employed has grown up, there is no conflict between labor and capital. If any man does not like his wages, he quits working for an employer and sets up in business for himself; though, of course, he has not so sure a market as has the “contractor” who has engaged to furnish baskets, hammocks or mats to a city store. No fear of want drives the workman to submission, and a few dollars of capital, easily earned, will set him up in business for himself. Neither is he confined to Snug Harbor in seeking opportunities for business or pleasure. He can walk out of the gate when he chooses, and has merely to give notice to the governor, and has merely to give notice to the governor, such as any member of a family would give to its head, in order to “go ashore” and stay as long as he pleases. When he is ready he goes back, sure that his bed and place at table are awaiting him. Some inmates, overcome by a longing for the sea, go off for a voyage and remain away a year or so, while the number absent on visits to friends or relatives is always considerable. Snug Harbor is, in fact, a true home, where inmates enjoy that liberty to come and go without which it would be considered a prison.

Not Paupers, But Heirs To An Estate

This liberty is not to be wondered at, when we remember that three men are not paupers, but the heirs to a handsome estate. During the revolutionary war a Scotchman named Randall, who had settled in New Orleans, then a Spanish colony, finding that port open for the sale of the prizes of Yankee privateers, entered actively into privateering as a business, and by the close of the war had amassed a moderate fortune, which he left to his children. Robert Richard Randall, his eldest son and principal heir, settled in New York, having exchanged estates with an old New Yorker, who found himself compelled to reside south on account of impaired health. In 1801 Robert Richard Randall called in Alexander Hamilton and Daniel D. Tompkins, not for consultation on some grave question of statesmanship, but for the purpose of making his will. After making numerous bequests to relatives and servants, he consulted the two lawyers as to the best disposition of the remainder of his property, and it is said that it was Hamilton who suggested that a fortune made on the sea might well be devoted to making comfortable the declining years of worn out and disabled seamen. Randall accepted the suggestion and underwent with appointing as trustees to carry out his purpose the chancellor of the state of New York, and the president and vice-president of the marine society, the president of the chamber of commerce, the senior minister of the Episcopal church and the senior minister of the Presbyterian church, in the same city. The selection appears to have been a wise one, as the purposes of the testator have been faithfully carried out, and the constitution of the board is such that it cannot become a self perpetuating body.

The Randall Farm

One would suppose that the estate bequeathed to these trustees was a truly magnificent one, if it enabled them to maintain in the style described a number of inmates increasing from 33, admitted at the opening of the institution in 1833, to 844, the number now in Snug Harbor. An examination of the property bequeathed must, however, have caused the first trustees to conclude that it would be some time before the income at their disposal would be sufficient to maintain the fifty sailors mentioned in the will as the proper number to start with. The principal property bequeathed to them was the farm of twenty-one acres on which the testator had lived. Anyone leaving New York for a stroll into the rural districts in the year 1800 would after a walk of a mile or so, have come to a pale fence at a point where Broadway and Astor place now meet, and he would, there have found the entrance to Randall's farm. On the property were a mansion house and stables. This farm was bounded on the north by the property of Henry Brevoort, on the east by what is now Fourth avenue, on the south by the Sandy Hill road, a portion of which is now part of Waverly place, and on the west by a run which disappeared many years ago beneath the then newly opened Fifth avenue. It was a good farm, however, containing an excellent orchard and market garden, and the prophetic eye of the real estate men of that early day saw that it was a gift not to be despised. The trustees managed the estate at first as executors of Robert Richard Randall, but the frequent changes in their personnel caused inconvenience, and in accord with one of the provisions of the will they applied to the legislature for an act of incorporation, which was granted February 6, 1806. The preamble of this act recites that “the said trustees have represented that the said estate is of considerable value, and if prudently managed will, in time, enabled them to erect such hospital.” The facts at the time appeared to warrant the hope, for the reported income from the estate in 1806 was $4,243; eight years later in 1814 it had increased to almost $6,000, and in 1817 it was $6,659.92. The growth of population from 1800 to 1810 had been more than fifty per cent, but the war of 1812 caused an actual loss of population, which from 96,373 in 1810 fell to 93,634 in 1816. This accounts for the failure of the income from the farm to increase much between 1814 and 1817. In 1820, however, the population numbered 123,706, and then began that rapid increase which soon caused the estate to advance greatly in value. This began to be so apparent in 1817 that the trustees applied again in that year for legislation permitting them to buy elsewhere less valuable land on which to erect their buildings. The petition was not granted until eleven years later, and during the intervening time the trustees had their hands full in defending their title to the estate, which by that time had clearly become a valuable prize, well worth fighting for. This great law suit largely absorbed the revenue of the estate, and it was not until 1830 that the United States supreme court rendered its decision sustaining the will. In May of the following year the trustees purchased a farm of 130 acres on Staten Island (the present site of the institution) for $10,000, and they subsequently added twenty-one acres with a water privilege at a cost of $6,000. The corner stone was laid in October, 1831, and the institution was opened Aug. 1, 1833.

Rapid Increase In Value

During the ten or twelve years of litigation that prevented the development of the estate, between 1817 and 1830, the population of New York had more than doubled, and by 1855 it had again more than doubled, that is to say, from 93,634 in 1816 it had increased to 515,547 in 1855, and hence it is not remarkable that the income of Snug Harbor estate had increased from $6,659.92 in 1817 to the handsome sum of $75,000 in 1855. As the population has since grown to nearly one and a half millions the advance in income has continued, and it has been further increased by judicious investments of the surplus funds. In 1870 the income of the estate was $127,000; in 1875 it was $262,808.31, of which $248,612.50 was derived from rents, and in 1886 it was $302,643.24, of which $276,196.71 was derived from rents. The annual report for 1886 is dated March 9, 1887, and has just been forwarded to the proper officers. It is as follows:

The annual report of the comptroller of the “Sailors' Snug Harbor in the city of New York,” showing the receipts and disbursements of the trust, from the 1st day of January to the 81st day of December, 1886; showing also the present state of the funds and an estimate of the income for the year 1887:

Receipts.

Balance of cash on hand Dec. 31,

1885………………………………………. ……….. $24,335 94

Amount of New York city bonds

maturing May 1, 1885………………. ……….. 54,500 00

Balance due on P. Whearty's

bond…………………………………………………. 8,000 00

Dividends on Marine bank

balance……………………………………………… 4,052 72

For sundries sold by the governor

of the institution for account of

the trustees and for the use of

the harbor, docks, etc………………………….. 3,965 18

For rents during the year……………………….. 276,196 71

For interest on investments, etc………………. 22,481 35

Disbursements

Purchase of $100,000 United States

4 per cent bonds………………………………….. $127,781 25

Improvements and repairs on the

institution buildings……………………………… 38,216 85

Expenses of the Institution for

maintenance of the inmates,

including taxes…………………………………….. 178,686 22

Balance of cash Dec. 31, 1886…………………. 28,847 58

____________ ___________

$393,581 90 $393,581 90

Statement of the Funds

Buildings and lots obtained by foreclosure of

mortgage, etc., at cost…………………………….. $362,367 74

Loans on bond and mortgage…………………….. 212,500 00

United States bonds, par value…………………… 150,000 00

New York city bonds, par value…………………. 50,000 00

Temporary deposits in trust company…………. 70,000 00

Marine bank balance………………………………… 20,263 60

Balance of cash December, 1885……………….. 28,847 58

__________

$325,092 50

New York, December 31, 1886.

THOS, GREENLEAF, Comptroller.

Meager Reports

In 1816, some difficulty having previously been experienced in ascertaining who were the senior members of the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, the legislature passed an act designating the rector of Trinity church and the minister of the Presbyterian church, then located on Wall street, as the clerical trustees of the corporation, and at the same time it added a clause requiring the trustees to make an annual report to the legislature of the state and the common council of the city of New York. That given above is the report made in obedience to this requirement for the year 1886. These reports appear to grow less explicit from year to year. That for 1875 specified certain buildings from which rent was derived and gave the ground rents in a separate item. The report just made puts all rents under a single head. The report for 1875 showed that there had been paid out for salaries $16,166.64, for wages $10,925, and for supplies $48,175.76; that for the past year lumps all of these items in a single line, “Expenses on the institution for maintenance of the inmates, $178,686.22.” A much more remarkable instance of official reticence is shown in the statement of the property held by the trustees. In the report for 1875 the dwelling houses at 8 and 10 Clinton place were mentioned and valued at $17,774.12; in the last report this item has risen to “buildings and lots obtained by foreclosure of mortgage, etc., at cost, $362,367.74,” and in neither report is any estimate given of the value of the ground in this city from which the trust derives its income, or of that on Staten Island on which the institution is situated. This policy extends to the withholding of a map of the company's property from the register's office, and to a general reticence about the extent and value of the property. Mr. Greenleaf, the comptroller of the corporation, positively refused to permit the writer of this article to have a copy of an interesting and curious map of the Randall farm before it was intersected by streets and cut up into building lots. He curtly declared, “It is our private property,” and said that no one outside of the company had any right to see it. It is not presumed that this reticence covers up anything that there is cause for concealing, unless, perhaps, a generous salary list, but it appears to be common to all corporations holding large blocks of real estate in this city. Trinity church, for instance, conducts its affairs with such absolute secrecy that even those county officers whose business it is to deal with real estate, are refused a copy of its maps, and no information whatever concerning the source, extent or disposition of the enormous revenue of the corporation can be obtained by any individual. In the interest of honest tax valuations, if for no other reason, the legislature ought to compel public reports and the filing of maps by all such corporations.

Accumulating Wealth

The last annual report shows that the income of the estate exceeded by more than a hundred thousand dollars the expense of maintaining the institution. Included in these expenses are not only the liberal salaries of the governor, chaplain, physician, steward and numerous other officers of Snug Harbor, but the wages of superintendence paid to the people who perform for the property in this city those duties usually undertaken by landowners and their agents in the management of private estates. The blind and confusing annual report of the trustees offers no clew for ascertaining the amount thus allowed, but the style maintained in their elegant offices in Wall street and the air of prosperity attending their servants indicates that such payments are not niggardly, and are sufficient to secure whatever ability is required for the successful management of a great property. Yet, despite such liberal expenditure, there is a steady and rapid increase in the company's property outside of and beyond its original real estate. The annual report for 1875 showed such property amounting in value to $279,449.93, but the report for 1886 showed that this species of property owned by the trustees had advanced in value to $893,978.92. As a corporation of this kind can have no object in accumulating property beyond what is necessary to yield an income sufficient to discharge its trust, the presumption is that such increase arises through mere necessity of the case, and that the inevitable tendency of land ownership is to bring about enormous aggregations of wealth. To this tendency, rather than to the possession of any unusual sagacity on the part of their possessors must probably be attributed the tremendous increase of values in the Astor, Rhinelander and other great estates.

Another obvious inference to be drawn from the great and ever increasing surplus of the Snug Harbor estate is that seafaring men are a notably thrifty class. It is true that this has not been the general opinion, but it appears that in this, as in many other matters, common opinion is wrong. How can it be otherwise when we find that, with such a delightful home as Snug Harbor open to all sailors who have seen five years of service under the American flag, a sufficient number do not apply for admission to absorb the current income of an estate devoted to that purpose; for, of course, the trustees would not keep any out with a view to increasing the capital at their disposal. That would be a breach of their trust.

The Lease System

The system of leases by which the trustees of the Sailors' Snug Harbor rent their lands is simple, and inures in the long run to the benefit of the lessors. The leases usually run for twenty-one years, and they stipulated, before the property was all covered, the character of the building to be erected. They generally contain a clause providing for renewal for a like term at their expiration, but at a new rental based on a valuation of the land made at the time of such renewal. In case of disagreement between the lessor and lessee, provision is made for a separate valuation of the land and the building by disinterested parties, and if the lessee refuses to pay the rent thus fixed upon he must surrender his building to the trustees at the valuation placed upon it by the arbitrators. Furthermore, if a lessee defaults on interest or taxes, which latter he obligates himself to pay, he, after a stipulated time, forfeits his lease, and his building is only worth to him what it will bring at a forced sale, which is substantially whatever the trustees choose to offer. It would seem that in these ways considerably over $300,000 worth of buildings have passed into possession of the trustees within the past ten years. The estate is therefore constantly becoming richer, not only by the increased value of the bare ground, but by this falling of buildings into the company's possession. So far as the trustees are concerned, they do not pretend to do anything to add to the value of the estate. Their policy is the safe and conservative one of ground rents, and hence the growth of land values through the pressure of population is admirably shown in this case. The fact that this increase is devoted to a worthy and generous public purpose only makes it more clear that the diversion of the unearned increment to public purposes in all cases would have an enormous influence for good, while the existence of such magnificent stores as the Stewart building and many others is a conclusive refutation of the theory that the public taxation of land values to an extent that would destroy speculative values would prove a bar to the erection of handsome and permanent buildings. The tenants of the Snug Harbor not only pay ground rents that increase enormously with each renewal, but they pay all the city and other taxes on the property they occupy, and yet the estate has been steadily improved and the temporary set back given it a few years ago through the removal of retail business uptown has already been recovered to an extent that promises further building operations.

Values And Population

That the increase in land values is due solely to the pressure of population is absolutely demonstrated in the case of this property. In 1790 the population of New York was but 33,131, and Mr. Randall obtained his twenty-one acres as a country seat at rural land prices. In 1800 the population had risen to 60,489, and when he came to make his will, a year later, it was seen that the property was likely to become valuable. The extent of the rise in value was not imagined, however, since it was the original intention to build the Snug Harbor on the farm itself. The relation between increase in population and the rise in the value of land after that time is shown as follows:

Population

Income from Estate

1805

75,770

1806

$ 4,343 00

1816.

93,634

1817

6,659 92

1855

515,547

1855

75,000 00

1870

942,292

1870

127,000 00

1875

1,646,037

1875

262,808 31

1880

1,296,590

1880

No report discoverable

1886 (estimate)

1,500,000

1886

302,643 24

These figures cover the eighty-one years that have elapsed since the growth of the city northward began to add to the prospective urban value of the Randall farm. During that time the population of the city has grown twenty times as great as it was in 1805, but the income of the Randall farm has become more than seventy times as great during the same period. Nor is this all. The system of leasing adopted by the trustees does not permit the estate to feel so quickly the result of this pressure of population as it is felt by property privately owned. There are doubtless today numerous leases having from five to ten years to run that will be renewed at a great increase in rent at their expiration, and that could be renewed now at a large increase if the property were for any reason thrown on the company's hands.

New York below Forty-second street covers 3,905 acres, which are, on an average, as valuable as the twenty-one acres on the Randall farm. Some of this area is owned by Trinity church and other large corporations or estates, but most of it is in private hands. It is not likely that its owners fail to get from it at least as high ground rent as is obtained under the Snug Harbor long lease system. It is 186 times as great as the Randall farm, and the ground rents derived from the remainder of this area, taking Snug Harbor's last year's receipts of $298,127.50 as a basis, would amount to $55,058,587. Here, after making all conceivable allowance for the unselfish good that the possessors of Trinity and other such estates would have us believe that they do with their money, is the evidence that private individuals are able to levy for their own use and benefit an annual tax of over $50,000,000 a year on the 813,076 people who occupy that portion of Manhattan island. They gather this tax not as hire for buildings erected by their enterprise, not in return for any service they have rendered to the public, and not, as do the Snug Harbor trustees, for any object of benevolence and public benefit, but they obtain this money as their reward for possessing land that over 800,000 people must use on almost any terms, and they spread it solely for their own gratification.

This illustrates the manner in which rent sucks the life out of a community, appropriating the fruits of labor and the interest of capital while rendering no return, depriving men in their prime of the just returns of their toil, and neglecting to make for them, when they become worn out, such provision is enjoyed by the old sailors at Snug Harbor, who, if they were engaged in the carrying trade of this port, did do something to add to that growth of land values of which they are now reaping the benefit. It is certainly vastly better that more than eight hundred old tars, who have in their time done their full share of the world's work, shall thus enjoy the benefit of the rise in value of Robert Richard Randall's twenty acre farm than that a few heirs, their successors and assigns, should live in luxurious idleness by means of the privilege of taxing for its use those who have given that land a value that has increased its capacity to yield income more than seventy fold in four score years.

What Snug Harbor Demonstrates

This hasty, and necessarily imperfect, study of the history of one of the many farms since covered by New York, demonstrates the folly of the existing system of land tenure and gives us a glimpse of the blessings attainable from the ownership of land by the people as a whole. Here we find a little farm, lying on the outskirts of the city fourscore years ago that was then worth less than many a potato patch or cabbage garden of equal area on Long Island is worth today. It fell, almost by accident, into the hands of trustees, whose duty it became to maintain the property intact and nurse its revenues for a specific purpose. They did not fertilize it or cultivate it. No use of the ground for agricultural purposes would have ever made it capable of supporting eight, much less eight hundred, men in comfort and idleness. Neither did the trustees attempt to increase its value by building on it or otherwise rendering it suitable for human habitation. It was the commonality of the city of New York, to use the expressive phrase of the city charter, who laid out the present streets, build beneath them the sewers necessary to health in a dense population, brought to the city pure water, lighted the streets and paid the police to preserve order. It was the whole people, acting through their municipality, that thus wrought the direct improvement necessary to make the Randall farm a compactly built portion of a great city. Again, it was the private activity and enterprise of these same people that caused the growth of business and crowding of population which brought the farm in demand for residential purposes.

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Lastly, it was the private capital and labor of these same people that built the dwellings on the property, the builders paying roundly for the privilege. At no stage of this growth did the trustees need to so much as raise a finger to promote the increase in the value of the land committed to their control. All they needed to do was to hold on. The city was bound to grow northward, and it must grow over the Randall farm. The trustees were in a position to block the way of that growth unless their terms were complied with. For not interposing such an obstacle; for consenting that the whole people should make their land valuable and that private individuals should, by their labor and capital, adapt it to human use, these trustees were enabled to demand the rents that now yield a splendid revenue beyond their power to spend in the discharge of their trust. In thus playing the dog in the manger and levying blackmail on the labor and capital of the whole people, to which, as trustees, they contributed nothing, these men but fulfilled their trust and obeyed the law. They deserve praise not blame for their conduct, and no one can censure the thousands of private owners of land who followed the same course, reaped where they had not sown and ate bread earned in the sweat of the faces of other men. It was the law and custom, and appeared, both to the oppressor and the oppressed, to be the natural order of affairs, as unquestionable and as fixed as then appeared the right of a whit man to own a “nigger.” Had the law been different; had the whole of taxation for municipal purposes been laid on land values, and had such tax been increased so as to appropriate the continued increase in land values for the benefit of the people who caused it, we should not perhaps have had this single institution for the benefit of the small and ever decreasing class, but we should have had something far better – the fairest and stateliest city on earth, dotted with parks, intersected by perfectly paved streets, connected with the main land by tunnels and with Long Island by numerous bridges, spreading over miles and miles of the adjacent country, and closely knit together by a perfect system of street transportation, owned and operated by the people for the public comfort and convenience. No private greed would have suggested the erection of vile tenement houses to be crowded to suffocation by miserable creatures, and no such abject poverty as now curses our people would have dragged down human beings into a willingness to occupy habitations unfit for dogs.

No debt of millions would now press upon the people occupying the territory over which the city would have grown, and though human nature might not have been changed, we may, at least, believe that a prosperous people, occupying individual homes and filled with a sense of a share in the common ownership of the soil on which they lived, would have been more public spirited and virtuous than a population partly scattered beyond the limits of their city and largely made up of those condemned to live in abject poverty amidst the most degrading surroundings.

That the money to make such a city was easily obtainable is perfectly manifest from a study of the growth in value of the Randall farm. The people who built upon and occupied that land paid not merely a ground rent, averaging five per cent on the valuations of the land at the time the lease was made, but they paid all of the city and state taxes on the property in addition. Had the whole of this gone to the public, to whom alone the increase in values was attributable, it would have been over seven per cent on the value, a tax which it appears that the tenants found themselves able to pay. Taking the Snug Harbor ground rents as a basis for calculation, it is seen that, omitting the revenues of that and all other charitable institutions, over fifty millions of dollars is paid annually for the use of the ground on this island below Forty-second street, and probably nearly as much is obtained for the use far greater area north of that street. Be this as it may, a tax on land values that would be sufficient to appropriate their gradual increase to public use would certainly yield something more than fifty millions annually, and perhaps as much as seventy-five or one hundred millions. In either event the receipts would be ample for the expenses of government paving, etc., leaving a surplus for improvement that would pay for a Brooklyn bridge in a single year, and lay car tracks on every street where they are needed, or accomplish any other desirable improvement. If the sum reached the larger figure many other desirable things might be accomplished.

Would People Build?

But, it is constantly asked, would people build on land practically owned by the public. To this it would be a sufficient answer that people will build themselves as comfortable homes as they can afford on almost any tenure that will assure them possession during the ordinary length of time in which a man expects to remain engaged in a profitable business. But the Snug Harbor experience is a practical answer to the query. None of the older portions of the city of New York is better built upon than the Randall farm. It is occupied by vastly better buildings than the properties immediately north and south of it. Any man who wanted to erect a house for himself could arrange to build it on the estate without spending money for a site for his dwelling. He was assured possession for twenty-one years, with an understanding that, if he would agree to an advance in rent at the time, based on the increased value of land, irrespective of the value of his house, he should have a renewal of the lease for twenty-one years or more. On these terms men were glad, forty or fifty years ago, to build substantial houses. The tenure was not in any way more secure than it would be under a system that established practical public ownership of the soil by levying a sufficient tax on land values. In the latter case the tenure would be perpetual, provided the tax were paid, without any fear that a satisfactory agreement could not be made at the end of twenty-one years. It is true that the revaluation would be more frequent, and probably from year to year; but this would subject the builder of the house to no risk that he does not now run. The increased assessments could only come on the value of the lot, while he is now, under the Snug Harbor leases, bound to meet the taxes on such annual assessments on both the house and lot. The question is one of fact, not argument. Stewart's up town store, the costly building at Broadway and Astor place, and the handsome residences on North Washington square, afford sufficient evidence that just as grand buildings are erected on leased ground as on land owned in fee, and, the land under the system here advocated, would not be leased ground, but land held in fee, and subject to a tax sufficiently high to give to the people the publicly created values now absorbed by individuals.

Land Values and Labor

The effect on labor of the constant expenditure in improvements of the public revenue derived from the ground rents and of the activity in building assured by the inevitable spreading the existing population over the unused ground now held in the grasp of speculation, will be manifest to all who will let their minds dwell upon it.

The growth in values of Randall's farm not only gives us a hint of the revenues that would thus be made available for public use and benefit, but the disposition of the Snug Harbor funds suggests a method of disposing of any surplus over and above that needed for public works. Every civilized state now recognizes its obligation to see to it that the old and infirm shall, if necessary, be cared for at the public expense. The conditions under which such aid has been extended have, however, been made such by the ruling class that its acceptance carries with it a disgrace often more dreaded than death by starvation. Yet men are not, under the circumstances, chary of receiving pensions. The United States government pays out millions annually to the soldiers in the late war, not one of whom feels any disgrace in accepting what has been awarded him. He has done the nation a service, for which his pension is, in part, the reward. Again, the inmates of Sailors' Snug Harbor do not account themselves as in any way humiliated by the acceptance of the bounty that the hand of a dead man gathers from a considerable number of the present generation of New Yorkers and freely hands over to them. They are no paupers, but the heirs to a great landed estate sufficient to provide them with all of the necessities of life. Have they not, too, through years of perilous toil rendered the state some service? Should the state of the future conclude to thus pension to the extent of its availability all who had reached a certain age, or fallen wounded or sick in the battle of life, why might not the shame-bearing word “alms” disappear from our legal vocabulary and such people accept pensions without loss of self-respect? What would become of the labor problem in a community where constant activity provided abundant work for all able-bodied men, where access to natural opportunities elsewhere took away all incentive to overcrowding, and where the old and the infirm were honorable pensioners upon a well filled public treasury, it is not difficult to imagine. The question is not, however, left to the imagination to settle. The labor problem of the world would be somewhat like the labor problem in Snug Harbor. Enterprising men would still become employers, as enterprising sailors now do there. The certainty of a market, the necessity of supervision or other causes would still make it profitable for many men to work for these employers, so long as the latter did not exact too much in return for their enterprise, sagacity or skill. If such extortion were attempted workmen would drop off from such employers to work for themselves, the most intelligent and skillful being naturally the first to leave, since they would be the men best able to set up in business for themselves, or to adapt themselves to the use of opportunities open to them elsewhere. On the other hand, if men demanded so much wages as to leave to the employer no compensation for his capital, sagacity or skill, he would go to work himself rather than yield. Thus the bargain of industry would be made fairly between equals, and not between an employer on one side who aims starvation as a weapon at the heads of the other parties to the bargain, while these others hold in reserve a threat to stop work which cannot, under existing conditions, be made good unless ultimately backed up by at least the suggestion of lawless violence. In short, Snug Harbor, while it is the outgrowth of a vicious system of topsy turvy political economy, which disinherits God's children of God's earth, and gives rule over many a fair and populous province to the mere whim of men whose eyes closed in death while such places were yet a wilderness, nevertheless is full of suggestions of a better condition of society, in which there shall be neither master nor slave, landlord nor tenant, where God's will shall at last be done on earth, and his disinherited children, restored to their patrimony, grow up in a race worth Christ's dying for – a race living joyously in a fair and fruitful land, in which the hopes and heroism of high patriotism shall be justified and Liberty's dream of the ages be fulfilled.

 


Large Farms in Connecticut

Hartford Examiner

The question, What becomes of the small farms, is answered by the Tenth census reports, which show that in the state of Connecticut the number of farms containing 100 or more acres was increased by 3,848 between the years 1870 and 1880. This proves that the advice of the New York Times for capitalists to invest in farms and rent them out to tenants, is being heeded and realized. It seems that the policy of Henry George could hardly be more detrimental, or seem so to those who fear it.

 


The New Crusade

Dr. M'Glynn's Address at the Academy of Music

The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man – the Religious Nature of the New Crusade – How the Observance of the Law of Christ Will Abolish Poverty.

Never, perhaps, did the Academy of Music contain a larger multitude of people nor witness such enthusiasm as when, on Tuesday night, Rev. Dr Edward McGlynn came upon the stage to deliver his lecture on “The Cross of the New Crusade.” People had waited in the bitter wind an hour for the doors to open, and at a few minutes past eight the great building was full to overflowing and large numbers were turned away. On the platform and in the stage boxes were representatives of every walk of life, amongst the most distinguished being Rev. Dr. Burtsell, of the Church of the Epiphany; Rev. James T. Curran, late assistant pastor of St. Stephen's; Rev. Father Mclaughlin, Rev. Father Riordan, Prof. David B. Scott, of the College of the City of New York; Rev. John W. Kramer, Dr. Henry C. Carey, Tom L. Johnson, James J. Gahan, of the Catholic Herald; Rev. Charles P. McCarthy, Dr. Samuel Dana, Michael Clarke, John J. Bealin and John R. Feeney.

When the reverend father, following Chairman John McMackin, came upon the stage, there went up frantic cheers which only subsided long enough to permit the chairman's introductory words to be heard. It was an animating scene, and many women wept. Then came the speech. Slowly and faintly came the words at first, and then, as the subject grew upon him the eloquence of the preacher was manifest. Strong words came freely, a glow of enthusiasm lighted up his countenance, and a thrill of sympathy went out to his listeners until, when he cried, “And now, last of all, I would appeal to all you men and women to take up the cross of this new crusade,” a mighty shout went up as if the vast audience accepted his trust.

The following is the full text of the address:

Ladies and Gentlemen: I stand tonight upon a not very familiar platform. It is true that I may have appeared once and again on this or similar platforms to plead what may not inappropriately be called a political cause. I have spoken occasionally to promote great public interests – of charity, of virtue, of temperance and of law. Yet scarcely one among you needs to be told tonight that I have been exceedingly more familiar with another place, and with another platform, and for many long years – it was twenty-seven years last Friday – I have been ministering before Christian altars and preaching from Christian pulpits. And if I am not permitted today to preach the truths that I preached only because I knew them to be truths, and to minister before altars before which I reverently bowed only because I believed them to be the altars of God, and to administer the holy sacraments, of the sanctity and beauty of which I preached, and the frequent receiving of which I inculcated, only because I believed them to be Christ's appointed medicine to man, I shall not so stultify myself as to permit any one to say that, because of this suspension from the faculty of preaching in Christian pulpits and ministering before Christian altars, I have changed one tittle or jot of my belief in those truths, or lost any of the reverence that I cherished in my heart of hearts from my youth for the beauty of the house of God and the place where His glory dwelleth.

And if I shall not be permitted to preach those truths from those familiar pulpits, I shall preach them as best I may wherever I may be permitted; and, while I shall not be guilty of the indiscretion or of the indecorum of obtruding upon a promiscuous audience the sacred and peculiar dogmas or the holy mysteries of the church that I love, yet, so help me God, wherever I stand, upon a political platform, whether I discourse of political economy or of great public interests, I shall never say anything contrary to the great leading truths of Catholic theology.

And while I do not admit that it is the province of the Christian church to minutely control – because of her custody of great general religious truths, and because she is the depository of priceless graces to men – the political interests of nations, or to define to them the complicated, the knotty, and what would almost seem the insoluble questions of policies, of politics and of political economy; yet, at the same time, I cheerfully give permission to whomsoever will to denounce me as a traitor to what I myself hold most precious, if on any platform I shall ever say a word against the truth that I have once taught, and that I shall teach, so help me God, as long as I shall live. For I cheerfully acknowledge that, while I may not obtrude upon a promiscuous audience the truths of the Catholic church that are not common to all in that audience, I am never free and desire no freedom to sin in the least tittle against any of her holy teachings. But I think I can safely say, without undue assumption – and I say it with modesty and diffidence – that I know enough of my theology to know what are the defined doctrines of that church, and surely dear friends you will not charge me with assuming too much if I say that I know my little catechism; and in order to justify what I have said as to my diffidence and modesty in making this assertion, I would add that the theology of the Catholic church cannot be so difficult, so abstruse, so almost impossible a science that men who have been supposed to be studying it for years can unconsciously, as it were, sin against any of its great and leading tenets. For this theology is but the science of revelation; it is but the science of revealed religion, and it is a part of the teaching of this theology that the dogmas that are taught by the church of Christ must necessarily have their origin and their sanction in the teachings of Christ himself and of His blessed apostles, and that any doctrine that the church would define as a Christian dogma – as a dogma of the church – would come just so many years too late, as the number of years that had elapsed from the day that the Book of Revelation was closed, if it were not in essence and in substance in the original deposit of the revelation of God, whether in the written book or in the spoken word through Christ and His apostles.

It was well, perhaps, to say so much, lest any one among the less intelligent or the willfully perverse should make bold to say that in announcing a lecture on “ The Cross of the New Crusade” I dared to come to say a word against the church of Christ, and that I should be so fatuous and so unhappy as to dare to raise my hand against the very ark of God.

The cross of the new crusade is not raised in hostility to the cross of Christ. The very thought of a crusade and of the honored badge of a crusade – the holy, ensign of the cross – is entirely borrowed from Him. The crusades of old, that brought a good thing, and with it a new name into the world, were inspired by tenderest reverence for the cross of Christ and affection for the places, even on the sea sands, on the mountain side, and at the city gates, where He had walked and slept and suffered and taught and died. It was the enthusiastic love of the cross, that fired the hearts of men and made them undertake and carry on for centuries the old crusades.

It was a man of God – a hermit – consecrated by peculiar sanctity of life, profession and practice to the service of Christ; who became the preacher of the holy war that took for itself the name of a crusade. The crusade was to ransom from captivity the tomb of Christ; to redeem thousands of Christian men and women who were enslaved under the hated ensign of the Saracen invaders; to emancipate individual men and women in countless multitudes from horrible chattel slavery. It was to restore to Christendom the possession of the places that had been made sacred by the life, the tears, the music of his voice, and the expiring cry upon the cross of Him who gave the name to Christendom.

These crusades that lasted for centuries accomplished no small portion of success, even while the seemed to be a failure. In spite of the jealousies, the shortcomings, the crimes, the internal dissensions of the crusaders, in spite of their permitting themselves too often to be diverted from the one holy purpose that at first actuated them, they accomplished a wondrous good for the future of Europe, for the salvation of Christendom, for the revival of literature and science. They saved Europe from a thralldom as bad as that under which the Grecian empire went down and is suffering to the present day. It was a man of God, a hermit, who became the preacher of the holy war. Under his miraculous preaching his hearers took on a nobler sense of dignity of Christian men and women and of the magnificent unity of Christendom. They forgot for a time their selfish cares; the noble for a little forgot to oppress the serf, and the serf for a little to curse the noble; the merchant for a little while gave over the sordid pursuit of gain, and the husbandman left his plow in the furrow.

The saintly hermit, coming like a being from some other sphere, with austere countenance, with haggard looks, bearing in his own person marks of the hardships of the Saracenic slavery, fired the heart of Europe. God spoke through him. Kings, popes, prelates, priests, knights, soldiers, and the husbandmen and the merchants of the cities recognized in him, as if by a common consent, a messenger of God, and all rushed, as if by an instinct of the Holy Spirit, to make war for the redemption of the sepulcher of Christ, to ransom the Christian slaves, to redeem the Holy Land.

When the first crusade was proclaimed at the council of Clermont the happy thought – no doubt inspired – seized upon the multitude of making the Cross of Christ, no matter of how rich or cheap material it might be, the badge of the holy war.

And so women rent their garments, and men took off their raiment, and making strips of them formed crosses with which to deck the breasts of the soldiers of the cross. And it was this badge of the cross of Christ, the ensign of the holy war, that gave to all our modern languages the word crusade.

And so the cross of a new crusade need not be any material emblem, but it stands for the acceptance by men and women, by whomsoever will hear, of the call, the trumpet blast, that invites them to forget themselves, to set aside their wretched strifes, to utterly renounce the injustice in which they may have been engaged, and to take on a new enthusiasm of humanity in believing, in working, in battling, in suffering, and, if need be, in dying, for the right, for a great truth that I shall not be guilty of the indiscretion of calling a new truth, for a truth that, like all great truths, must in its germ and in its essence be as old as God himself in eternity, and as old as the world, or the race of men in time. And so it is a new crusade, to which you are invited, for the proclaiming, the propagating, and the enforcing of an ancient truth – a truth that is eminently consonant with the great truth of Christianity itself – and, properly understood, resolves itself into the very essence, the very core of all religion, as taught to us by Him, who spake as never a man spake before or since, and in homely accents, and in simple parables, taught the poor, the lowly and the oppressed the comforting doctrine, so full of truth and light, of the fatherhood of one God and the universal brotherhood of man.

This new crusade then, while, to use a modern phrase, there is nothing sectarian about it, is necessarily a religious movement. And permit me to say, and I am not at all singular in saying of it, if it were not a religious movement you might at the very outset count me out of it; for I think that any cause, any movement, any object that enlists the thought of men and the affections of the hearts of men must have a religious inspiration, a religious justification and a religious consummation, or the cause is not worth wasting our breath, our time and our strength upon. It were useless to prate about truth and beauty and goodness and justice and humanity, and the brotherhood of man, if this truth and justice and goodness and beauty, and this universal brotherhood found not their source and their center, their type, their ideal, their justification, in God himself.

That all great causes must necessarily be religious was not hidden from the sages of pagan antiquity any more than it is hidden from us. For whatever fires the heart of man – in the sense in which the heart of man means affection, love, forgetfulness of self, enthusiasm for something outside of self – must come from a source that is not only outside of man, but above man.

When we talk of justice we must mean something more than mere abstraction, or else we are talking most unphilosophically. There must be a standard of justice. There must be a standard of truth. There must be somewhere an ideal beauty, an ideal holiness, an ideal justice, an ideal truth, and that ideal must be above all men and angels. It must be a source from which all men and angels shall in their measure partake of truth, of holiness, of beauty, of justice. And that for me is God. God is the perfect justice, the eternal, the infinite, the absolute purity, goodness, and truth.

And what distinguishes you and me from, as modern scientists would have it – and I have no quarrel with them tonight – the ancestral ape, is simply this, that some time, somewhere – if we have had an ancestral ape – God took that brute thing and made it stand erect in His own image. How? Not in the mere physical frame. That is but a clod of earth at best, as scriptures tell us, but because of the capacity with which that brute animal became endowed of looking up to heaven, and piercing with the eye of thought its furthest depths, and saying “Our Father who art in heaven;” because that brute thing became capable not only of knowing the truth, but, still better, of loving with intelligent affection, purity, truth, and goodness; because that brute thing became a moral being knowing how to distinguish between right and wrong, conscious of a law graven on its heart more effectually by the finger of Him who gave to it a moral and intellectual being than a law written upon tablets of stone given by any earthly lawgiver, telling of justice, of duty, of obedience to rightful authority, of respect for the image of God in one's self, of pure and holy living, of respect for the rights of others, by a consciousness of duty to give to every one what belongs to him, to do to others as we would have others do to us. This capacity to know the perfect truth, to love the perfect good, has its other phase in the capacity to admire and to be ravished by the perfect beauty. The fancy that is given to that brute thing is a wondrous faculty, now largely material, borrowing its images, even as the language that expresses our thoughts borrows its images, from material things, their shapes, their sizes, their motions and their relations, but still a spiritual thing that has the subtle alchemy to transmute these gross things into wondrous images that give us more than a glimpse of the unseen beauty of God himself; the capacity of art, the wondrous power of the sculptor to chip off what hides the sleeping beauty in the block of marble – the marvelous capacity of the artist to take the clays of the earth, and from them to mix pigments that shall make a mere canvass a thing of priceless loveliness; the capacity of that creature of apish ancestry to so twang the strings of metal or of eatgut that their vibrations shall be so measured, so proportioned, that they fill immortal souls with dreams as it were of some better land from which they have come, and of anticipiation of those things of which the apostle has said, “Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the mind of man to conceive the good things that God hath prepared for those who love Him.” And so wherever there is a man who is not entirely dead to the beauties of music, wherever there is a man who has at least a little music in his soul, wherever there is a man who is not such a clod as not to find something noteworthy in the wondrous canvas of a Raphael or a Titian, wherever there is a man – I care not how imbruted, low, criminal – who has at least some sense of justice, there is a nature that is bearing testimony to the great truth that there is a God of justice, of truth, of beauty, and holiness. And therefore it is that I repeat that, when we talk of justice, of truth, of humanity, all those who are not entirely unphilosophical must feel that the religious core of the cause would be worth the talking for. It would be solecism, a mistake, a blunder; it would be a contradiction in terms to keep talking and prating magniloquently about these things if we persist in, I shall not say, denying, but even ignoring the great religious truths that must necessarily underlie them.

And now, therefore, this is – if I need one at all – my excuse for having stepped forth from the pulpit to stand upon other platforms, and to talk of justice, of truth, of charity, of love to men who perhaps had little love for the church of which I am but an humble servant, to men who thought or thought they thought that there was no God. I felt that it was not amiss to take reverently, as if from the very ark of God, the precious truth and bring it out and scatter it broadcast among men, fearing not that it should ever be soiled or contaminated by coming into closer contact with the minds and the hearts of any of God's children. And I felt, if I needed justification, more than justified in this, by the thought of the example of Him, whether in the courts or the temple or by the wayside, or from the boat of the fisherman or on the summit of the mount; who taught to scribes and Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes; taught to priests of the temple, and to disciples of John, as well as to those whom he called his disciples, the great truths that are most precious, most simple, and most universal, of the essential relations of the minds and the hearts of God's children to their Creator, to their Father, to their God.

The reason why I have felt it almost a sin to refuse any invitation that came to me to speak for any great public cause of truth or justice or morality was just that. I feel that it is amiss for us to hide whatever light may be given to us under a bushel, but rather should we let our light shine before men, that men seeing may be attracted by the beauty of truth, and may perchance desire to know more of it, and may come in from the highways and the byways, and from halls where meetings are held that are political or social, or whatsoever you will, to learn more of that better way, to inquire if there be not other truths, if not so essential yet most important in guarding, in building up, in strengthening and making perfect the great essential truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

And now if you will permit I will let you into a little secret, and I am somewhat comforted in this indiscretion of telling you the secret, because I observe with some gratification that there are quite enough of you here tonight to keep the secret. The secret is this: It is my opinion – of course that does not add any great weight to it – but the secret is that it is my opinion that the Christian church would speedily gather in the whole world into the flock of Christ if she would preach more generously and more self-sacrificingly to men and women and children wherever they will listen to her, and would carry out with all her wondrously potent influences the blessed lesson of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. I may quote the authority of a gentle spirit, who, in a discussion in which I took part before the Nineteenth century club not very long ago, while he spoke on the agnostic side of the question under discussion – which was the alleged failure of agnosticism – yet said most tenderly beautiful things about the character of Christ, and professed the most tender reverence for that character, and told this great truth to the nominally Christian men and women who filled that hall: “If you and all Christians would but carry out the precepts of your Master, very speedily there would be but few agnostics in the world.” And what emphasized the lesson coming from such a source was the fact that he was neither by race nor training a Christian; he was a scion of the great old Hebrew race who spoke thus reverently and beautifully and truly of Him whom we call Lord and Master.

And I may say that during a certain political campaign that may, perhaps, be considered to have passed into ancient history – I believe it is actually nearly three or four months ago – not a few men said to me that they were attracted to the movement in which I took a humble part by the religion that they found in it; by the fact that it was bringing them back to God: that it was making them feel ashamed, as it were, of the bitterness that they had cherished in their hearts against the very name of God, because God had been presented to them as a monster, as an ogre, as a being who had made laws that necessarily resulted in the poverty, the degradation of his children; of an alleged father who did not know how to provide for his children, and who gave certain privileges to a chosen few of the children to impoverish, to degrade, to enslave, and to rob the greater part of their brethren.

When they began to hear of a man telling that God was the father who by beautiful laws of justice, by simple universal economic laws had provided admirably for his children, had provided a table so long and so wide and so well supplied with all manner of good things that there never could be too many at that table – never the slightest fear that the poorest and weakest need be crowded away from it – a man who came to preach, not so much a new political economy as to teach the old and the best political economy, that the more mouths that come into the world the more hands come with it to feed the mouths; and that the larger and denser the population, all the better for the country, because all the better for the country, because all the better the facilities of production and exchange: a man who taught them that Malthusianism, taking its name from an alleged Christian minister, was a blasphemy the Most High; and that while God's children come into the world with diversity of gifts, of physical strength, of intellect, of heart and fancy, yet they all come stamped ineffaceably with the same image of the Father and the King, His, and His alone the image, and His the superscription, and that, therefore, in spite of these inequalities of stature, or of wit, or of weight, or of brain, or of fancy, there is an essential quality that far transcends all these inequalities, the essential image of God in the capacity to know the truth, and to love the good and to do the right, and therefore an essential equality of all men as against all other men under the common, beneficent, just, wise and merciful rule of an all-loving Father.

And I confess that from very early years, as a boy and a very young man, and, a very young clergyman, I was tormented by these problems. I have been blessed, or cursed, as you will, from my earliest childhood with a decided enlargement of the heart. From a very early day I wondered and pondered and I tormented myself with the question, Why is there so much misery in the world? Why are there so many barefooted and ragged children? Why are there so many seeking bread and seeking it in vain? Why are there so many who look upon what we are told in the Scriptures is in some measure a curse – the curse of labor – look upon it as a priceless boon, and crave with intensest earnestness the mere chance to work even for a wretched pittance, as if in the very work itself they found something wonderfully good and tormented myself with the question why it was that so many who toil not, neither do they spin, are dressed in all that colors of the rainbow, and are actually sated with the good things of the world they begin to ask themselves: Is this pleasure? Is life worth living? Is the game worth the candle? And not a few of them say in the bitterness of their souls as they grow old, “It is a pretty tiresome thing, after all, for a man for seventy years every day to be pulling on and off his stockings.” That disease of mine of enlargement of the heart had a great deal to do with drawing or driving me into the priesthood of the Catholic church; because there I saw a ministry consecrated to the preaching of the highest truths, to a life of renunciation for the sake of the brethren, to the doing of gentle deeds of Christlike charity; and I repeat, and I shall never tire of repeating, that I find justification for loving every social cause, every economic cause, every political cause, whose object is the diminution – rather let us say the abolition – of poverty, for the diffusion of knowledge, for the refinement and the civilization of these images of God all around us – a cause which, as far as I can, I must speak and labor; and I never for a moment fancied on that, to me, most sacred day, when, full of reverence, I bowed before a Christian altar, to receive the consecration of Christ's priesthood, that I was to rise from that prostrate attitude any less of a man, any the less a citizen. I felt that the priesthood of Christ gave to manhood and citizenship a new grace and dignity, that in a spiritual sense it gave new loftiness to the man's stature and made him capable of being more unselfish, if he would not be recreant to the best interests of humanity – of aiding the poor, of comforting the afflicted – that it enabled the man, not entirely unaided by the supernatural lights and graces, to do something in his time to make the world appear more beautiful and more comfortable for the children of men. If we read history aright we shall see that all the great triumphs of the cause of Christ came where the Church sent out her missionaries to be the friends and fathers of the people, to teach them art and literature and science while teaching the priceless truths of religion.

The missionaries of Christ went out with the self-same spirit, lowliness, poverty and self-renunciation as the Master himself had gone out to teach man by example as well as by word how good a thing it is to deny ourselves, to labor, to do, to suffer and even to die for our brethren. The church did a great work when she began to teach to the downtrodden; when she taught the abject slave that was crushed beneath the chariot of a Roman conqueror that he was the child of God, but also taught the proud Roman emperor upon his throne that he was only a man who one day must stand wretched and miserable and naked before the throne of Him whose majesty he had outraged by oppressing even the least of the brethren who bore in their natures the image and impress of the King. The Christian church gained a magnificent patrimony, upon which it has been banking for centuries, and the allegiance of all the nations of Europe, by sending out her priests with the great lesson for men's hearts that it was to the poor and lowly and oppressed that they were sent, “For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

It was when they went out from this Christian church with the divine injunction to gather up the waifs and the strays and the fragments of humanity, the blind, and poor, and foundlings and insane, to gather up from the wayside all that suffer from tyranny and heedlessness, to gather them up with tenderness and reverence, even as they gathered up the sacred particles of the sacrament of Christ upon the altar, lest they should suffer profanation – it was when they went forth with such lessons in their hearts that they conquered the world.

They never went to apologize to the Roman emperor. They never went even to seek an interview. They went to preach the gospel. The Roman emperor gave orders that their heads should be cut off. And these Christian ministers, strangely enough, seemed to enjoy having their heads cut off. They actually at times foolishly went out of their way to have their heads cut off, and sometimes bounded unnecessarily into the arena to proclaim themselves Christians, when they could just as well have kept out of the way and kept their heads upon their shoulders. Why did they enjoy having their heads cut off? Why? They did not fear men as long as they followed the teaching of the Master. That man who has a great truth in him, in his head or in his heart, can preach the truth a hundred times better with his head cut off than with his head on his shoulders.

I think I can gather from your applause and from your cheering that you think you discover in that last remark of mine something of a parable not entirely inapplicable to myself.

I assure you that when I started out with the sentence I had not the slightest intention of making any personal application. At the same time if this very respectable jury finds in it any applicableness to my case I shall not be guilty of the indiscretion of questioning the verdict.

Now dear friends, what I have said thus far is something of an explanation and of a justification of the part of a Christian minister, of a Catholic priest, feeling it not amiss, thinking it even a duty to leave his sanctuary, to put off his gown, and even in secular attire, and before what may be called secular audiences, to discourse of justice and of truth; and it will be a sad day for the world when the strange and unnatural divorce shall have full sway between the altars of the church and the family altars, between the teachings in the school, in the market place, in the highways, and in the byways – and by this I do not mean for one moment to insinuate, but the very reverse – I do not, for a moment mean to insinuate that ecclesiastical authorities shall control politics and commerce and the development of nationalities, but that there shall be so truly religious a spirit permeating the minds and hearts of men that wherever they go they shall feel the unspeakable comfort of knowing that in the great causes they are promoting they have the sanctions and benedictions of sweet religion.

The crusade that we have chosen to call a “new crusade” is for the enforcing of one of those great truths of which I have already spoken to you – the truth that, with diversity of natural gifts, God has given an equality of essential rights to all His children just because they are His children; that for every mouth He sends into the world to be fed, He sends, with rare exceptions, a pair of hands to feed it; that He has made as land animals, and not fishes and birds, and therefore that He has made us to live upon the land and not to fly in the air or swim in the water, and that because He has made us land animals, and because He has made us at all. He has given us the right with these two hands somehow or other to dig for a living in order to feed these mouths; and that any man or set of men, who shall by law or in any other way deny, impair, diminish or restrain the equal right of every human being, to the possession of the general bounties of nature, the sunlight, the air, the water and the land, is guilty of blasphemy against the goodness of the universal Father.

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They are perverting under the name of law the right of men; they are desecrating the holy name of law to sanction a monstrous injustice. Under the name of right they are doing a horrid wrong; under the pretense of guarding the best interests of society, they are opposing the very germinal principle of rightly ordained society. They are guilty of the monstrous crime of making hundreds of thousands, yea, millions of God's creatures feel that this life is a wretched mistake, or worse than that, the joke of some most hateful fiend, rather than the gift of an all-wise and all-loving Father.

It was not for nothing that He who came to save the souls of men did so much to minister to the relief of their bodily wants. He healed their diseases; He raised their dead; He cured their distempers; He bore their sorrows; He felt compassion for the multitude; lest they should faint by the wayside, He miraculously supplemented the laws of nature and fed them with miraculous loaves and fishes in the wilderness. He did all this, because doing it He knew full well that the bodies of men as well as their souls are the creatures of God, and that their bodies and the capacities of those bodies are but signs and symbols of the spiritual things within, even as all the vast universe of God is but His garment, is but the sign and symbol and the thin veil that surrounds Him, through the rifts in which we catch on every hand glimpses of God and of heaven.

The heavens are telling the glory of God. There is a greater heaven here, vaster and more wondrous than the physical universe, in the intelligent mind and the affectionate heart of the least of God's creatures. All the multitudinous and multifarious beauties and glories of the physical world are not equal to the dignity and the sanctity of the mind and the heart of the least of God's children; and therefore it is that Christ tells us that at the very peril of our souls we must look after the bodies of these little ones; we must feed the hungry; we must look after the weak, the blind, the halt, and the insane. Is all this a mistake? No; it is a part of true religion, because it is the sign and the symbol of spiritual things. It is because of the proper care of the bodies of men, of the proper sheltering of them, that we make it possible for human nature to expand as a beautiful flower under the influence of genial warmth and refreshing breezes and showers, and so the lilies and the flowers of every virtue may the more readily expand if the mind and the heart of the child are able to look up and to feel that God the Father has not been entirely unmindful of the wants of the child.

This is the word of an apostle of Christ: “This is true religion – to visit the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and to keep one's self unspotted from the world.” So it is necessarily a part of true religion to insist on what is essentially the equality of man, regardless of the comparatively trifling differences in their gifts and acquirements. This is the political economy, the teaching and reducing of which to practice are the core and essence of this new crusade. All men, inalienably, always, everywhere, have a common right to all the general bounties of nature; and this is in perfect and beautiful keeping with the other law of labor that every mouth with which to feed itself, a necessary corollary of which is that these hands must have equal direct and indirect access to the general bounties of nature out of which to make a living. That is the whole of the doctrine of this new crusade in a nutshell, that the land as well, as the sunlight, and the air, and the waters, and the fishes, and the mines in the bowels of the earth, all these things that were made by the Creator through the beautiful processes of nature, belong equally to the human family, to the community, to the people, to all the children of God. The law of labor requires that these natural materials shall be brought into such relations with men that they shall afford to them food, raiment, shelter; for the erection of works not merely of utility, but of ornament; that out of these materials the children of men shall have equal, indefensible rights to pluck, to catch, to delve, in order not merely to satisfy the necessities of the animal body or to keep it from the inclemency of the blast, but to do more than this – to make the very shelter itself a thing of beauty, to make the home a kind of temple in which there may be a family altar; to erect great public works that shall serve not merely purposes of utility, but shall educate the eye and the fancy, and shall gladden the habitation of men during their brief temporal abode; to add something to the mere garments that shall clothe and preserve the body from the inclemency of the atmosphere; to make even the raiment of man a work of art; to give a charm and a grace and a dignity even to the mere feeding of the animal. All men then have this right; and it is a part of the gospel of this new crusade that while we may make such allowance for the ignorance in which these great cardinal truths are too often forgotten, the barbarism and the slavery in which because of might right went under and stayed under for centuries; while we may be very indulgent to the errors and even be willing to forgive in some measure the crimes of the past, we hold aloft the banner upon which is inscribed this truth, that ever and always in the past, the present and the future the earth and the fullness thereof were given by God, and therefore should belong to all the children of God.

The crimes and horrors of history are chiefly due to the forgetting of that great truth, because of the sordid passions of the few, who being stronger of mind and swifter of foot and more cunning of brain, used their gifts to enslave and to rob their brethren. But might never has made, and in the Book of God never can make right. You may find it prudent to surrender your purpose to the highwayman, but you shall never find it in your hearts to think that that surrender gives him any right to hold it. And you may, perhaps, think it a discreet thing if a man with a big sword in his hand stands ready to cut your head off if you want to speak a certain word, to keep your mouth shut and not speak that word until some other day. But at the same time, if that word happens to be the truth, the man with the sword ready to cut off your head does not make it a falsehood.

Now, what are we going to do about it? We have the cheek to start out to change all that. A French doctor, a quack, was called by a patient, and the patient was troubled with pretty much the same disease that I am troubled with, I believe, or thought he was, enlargement of the heart, and he said: “Doctor, I am afraid that my heart is in a very bad way.” The doctor began to thump here, one the right side. I need hardly inform this very intelligent audience that the heart is on the left side. So the doctor, being a very ignorant quack, go thumping on the wrong side, namely, the right side, and he thumped a little and he said: “Oh no; I don't think there is much the matter with your heart,” and the poor patient said in a kind of dubitative way, “Why, doctor, I used to think the heart was on the left side;” and the quack, quite equal to the situation, said, “Oh, yes, but we have changed all that.”

Now, there is a man living in this town, and there is a party of respectable numbers living in this town, and there is a priest or two, or several, I believe, in this town that have the check to think they are going to change all that. “But it is a pretty big job, isn't it?” Yes; we don't deny that it is a pretty hefty job. “It is pretty respectable work, isn't it?” Yes. Why, don't you think it is rather creditable in a lot of fellows to have the check to tackle it, anyway? “Lo you expect to finish the job during your brief lifetime, considering that you are already troubled with enlargement of the heart?” Well, we will do a fair share of it, and we may live to see a good many things if we live a few years. “What are you going to do!”

The first thing is to keep talking just the way I am talking tonight, at all times, in season and out of season, to any crowd that will listen to us who are supposed to belong to the labor party.

There are laboring men and laboring men. There are those who labor with their hands and those who work with their jaws. And one may work very successfully and accomplish many good things with the jaws. This class of men have been called by the handworkers – facetiously and somewhat contemptuously – jawsmiths. I have never done much with my hands, so I suppose I may consider myself as belonging to the jawsmiths; and, after all, I think the truth is imparted more by talking than by writing. Writing is all very well in its way, but there is a touch of magnetism about the human voice, about the expression of a man's countenance, that makes the spoken word much more effectual than the written. The best example of this is in the teaching of our Lord and Master. He taught by word of mouth. The command was to go and preach – to go and teach. So I want you to have respect for talking.

Then the next thing is to write; to circulate the truth by books, newspapers – any way that we can manage to dovetail it in: to wedge it in, to smuggle it in, to get it in any way. Now, if you can convince the majority of the people, especially of the ungentle sex, of this doctrine, of what they have got to do, then we are going to teach the majority of the ungentle sex by exercise of the right of suffrage to change their institutions so as to undo the wrong, and to bring man closer to God.

Cardinal McCloskey, the Lord rest his soul, by means of a message from Rome, about four years ago, got word that there were some heretical doctrines being preached, and he sent to me to inquire what all this was about. He had got a copy of a report of a speech of mine, and, although it was two months old, it was news to the good cardinal. “Why,” he said to me, “here, you want to divide up Manhattan island into little bit, and give each of us one of the bits.” I said, “Oh no; there is no such meaning there.” And then I proceeded to explain to him just what we want to do, as I shall now try to explain to him just what we want to do, as I shall now try to explain it to you. Take this whole island of Manhattan – what is it worth? Without the houses and buildings – just merely for agricultural purposes – not much; but for the sake of its capacity for building houses on it – say a thousand million dollars. Why is it worth that? Simply for its capacity to keep men and women and children from falling through into the center. All these people of New York must sit, lie down, work, eat and suffer upon Manhattan island.

What is it that gives this peculiar value? It is the aggregation of population; it is the density of population; it is the necessities of the million and a half of people here; it is because of the peculiar, subtle something – this ethereal, immaterial something, that this aggregation of population gives it. It is because of the touch of shoulder to shoulder, because of the nearness of man to man, because of the nearness of man to man, because of the wondrous multiplication of the productive powers of men and of the miraculous multiplication of the powers of exchange between man and man that are created by this density of population that the ground of Manhattan island takes on this peculiar and this enormous value. Now, who has the benefit of this? It is individuals who have inherited from grandfathers a few acres of land. It is our dense population which gives it its value. To whom does this belong? To those that made it. It belongs to society, it is the outcome of society; it is the very shadow of society that follows society just as the shadow follows the man who walks hither and thither. Take away the aggregation of the people and Manhattan island will be worth less than the $24 for which, I believe, at one time it was purchased.

How are we going to give back to the poor man what belongs to him? How shall we have that beautiful state of things in which naught shall be ill and all shall be well? Simply by confiscating rent and allowing people nominally to own, if you choose, the whole of Manhattan island, if it will do them any good to nominally own it; but while they have the distinguished satisfaction of seeming to own it we are going to scoop the meat out of the shell and allow them to have the shell. And how are we to do that? By simply taxing all this land and all kindred bounties of nature to the full amount of their rental value. If there isn't any rental value then there won't be any tax. If there is any rental value then it will be precisely what that value is. If the rental value goes up, up goes the tax. If the rental value ceases, then the tax ceases. Don't you see? It is as clear as the nose on your face.

So you don't, then, really want to chop up Manhattan island into little parts and give every fellow a little bit?” Well, do you think I look like a fool? I flatter myself, although I am a very modest individual, that I am not altogether a fool; or that, if I am a fool, I am not an utterly condemned fool. And so, therefore, I don't want to do anything so preposterous as that. What good would it do you or me to have a square foot of land on Manhattan island? We could barely stand upon it. If each of us had his square foot or two of Manhattan island, what in the world should we do with it? We would be, for all the world, like St. Simon Stylites on his column.

Suppose that all of this respected audience were joint owners of a painting of Raphael or of an enormously valuable race horse.

Now, wouldn't this respected audience be a very foolish audience if it should unanimously agree to divide that valuable painting of Raphael into about 5,000 pieces and give every man, woman and child a part? What would be the value of that wonderful race horse if we should cut him up into about 5,000 pieces and give a bit to every man, woman and child of this respected audience? Why, even if we were hippophagi, which means horse eaters, I don't think we would find much value in that little bit of race horse. Don't you see, we can put our race horse to some better use than cutting him into 5,000 pieces? How? By saying: Now, which one of this respected audience is a horse fancier? How many of you have very long purses – say $100,000 – that you don't know what to do with? Suppose we put this race horse upon the platform at auction and knock him down to the highest bidder, and suppose that race horse is sold for $75,000 or $100,000, and then that is distributed to all the members, don't you think that there would be a more reasonable proceeding? I do, and I am sure that your silence gives consent and you agree with me.

That is what we mean by taxing and appropriating rental value. We would simply tax all these bounties of nature, where there is a scramble for them, to the full rental value. In the new community, where the people are few, land is comparatively limitless; there is no such thing as rent; the land is pretty equally distributed; there is no choice; it would be a senseless thing for men to quarrel about it; there is land enough for all. What is the law of rent? Where there is competition for a larger or choicer portion of the common bounties, for a portion of land that is nearer a river, that is next to the junction of two great rivers, that is near to a great city, for a corner lot, say at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, or at Broadway and Twenty-third street, there rent exists. And how is the competition for the use of such land to be decided? Simply by allowing it to go to the highest bidder. Thus would be provided, through the exercise of the taxing power, a fund for the common treasury, a munificent fund growing with the growth of population and civilization, supplied by a beautiful providential law, a simple, economic law that works with the same simplicity and the same regularity as the law of gravitation itself – a magnificent ever-increasing fund to supply the wants of increasing civilization and increasing population.

This magnificent fund would go to support all public burdens; it would do a great deal more than is done at present by the tax levy; you would have larger, more beautiful and more numerous parks; you would be able to sweep away the greater part of the wretched rookeries that, under the name of tenement houses, are a sin and a shame, and a blot upon the fair name and fame of this beautiful city, and instead of those the best class of houses will be built, and we will have parks, with trees and flowers and the singing of birds, to make glad and beautify this island and God's children, and will thereby add enormously to the value of the surrounding land; and then it would no longer sound Quixotic to talk of building free rapid transit railroads on solid foundations, on which trains could travel at the rate of thirty miles an hour for twenty, thirty or forty miles into the suburbs, to give homes to all the people, from which they could come enjoy some of nature's life, by which they could get the sun and the air, green fields and flowers. This is no fancy sketch; it is entirely feasible and in every view it could be brought about if a majority of citizens, convinced of the truth of this doctrine, would carry it into practice and deposit their ballots in the ballot box in favor of this thing.

One of the greatest beneficial consequences of this just and necessary reform, of this restoration to all of what belongs to all, would be this: The artificial value that is now given to land, even beyond this enormous value which we have just discussed, would cease; the giving to individual men what God never intended they should have – the absolute ownership of land – would cease. If there was no individual ownership in land then there would be no such thing as speculative value in land. Then no man would be such a fool as to pay rent to keep land fenced in from year to year, preventing everybody else from doing anything with it. That man, if he nominally owned it, must pay the full rental value of it. Even if he were a fool, he would soon see there was no fun in that kind of thing, and he would give it up and let somebody else take it. You see what would be the result. There would be a consequent increase in the building trades; houses would spring up all over the city of New York, and the tenement houses would be depopulated, and the owners would be glad to sell them cheap to the city, so they could be destroyed to make breathing places for the people.

Capital will then find nothing to invest in except human labor and its products. Don't you see the general demand for human labor that will result? In every society there is capital, and it is the instinct of men not to keep capital lying idle if they can use it is by producing something, so that there will be a steady demand for labor comes from something else. It comes from the law of hunger, of cold, of the need to have some soft spot to lie down and sleep, and so whether capital employs labor or not, you may be sure, if labor gets a chance, it will employ itself. The average man is not going to lie down and die of hunger if he can get any kind of hunger if he can get any kind of fair chance to dig in the soil for food; the average man is not going to perish by the winter's cold if he can get a chance to provide himself shelter; nor to freeze if he can get access to raw materials to make clothes for himself. And so, in this beautiful condition of things there will always be a demand for labor, and then it will be strictly true and proper to say to any able bodied man or woman that comes begging: “Why, you are not sick – why should you beg?” “I can't find work.” “Oh, that is not true; in this community there is always enough work for all; there is always a demand for labor exceeding the supply.”

And that leads us to another beautiful consequence – high wages. Oh, that is a grand thing for us labor people. Oh, that is a grand thing for us labor people. How does that come about? Why, by a reversal of the terrible law that at present makes wages always keep tending down. Why? Because with the increase of population comes this increased value of land. Don't you notice how great fortunes are accumulating here, as they have accumulated in England and elsewhere? They are becoming amassed more and more in the hands of a few.

Now, all this will be changed; it will necessarily have to be changed by this beautiful and simple law that we have just spoken of. These enormous fortunes will be distributed, and wages will become higher. Why? Because then it will be the capitalist that will have to be running around after the laborer and begging him to be kind enough to work for him, and not the laborer that shall be running after the capitalist and begging him as if he were a divinity to give him a chance to live.

So, then, we laboring men shall enjoy this unutterably comforting spectacle of reversing the present order of things by seeing not seven poor devils of workmen running after one lord of a capitalist and begging him to employ them, but the seven poor devils of capitalists running after one workman and begging him to work for them. And he will put on lordly ways and feel that he is the lord of creation, the joint owner of the soil, and that he has something in his muscular and sinewy arms, in his well-preserved health, preserved by chastity, sobriety and healthy muscular exercise, that the poor capitalists have not; that he has got something more precious that these capitalists can't do without, and so he dictates his terms, and he says, “Now, how much will you seven people bid for my labor?” And one poor capitalist says, “Well, for a starter I will say $3 a day.” “No, no,” “$3.25,” “$3.50,” “$4,” “$4.50,” “$5,” and finally, when the capitalists begin to thin out in that competition, he knocks himself down to the man who will give him five, or six, or seven dollars.

What will be the proper wages resulting from that competition of the seven capitalists for the labor of that one man? Do you know what the wages will be? Just precisely what they ought to be – exactly, neither one cent more nor one cent less. How does that come about? By that law that works just like the law of gravitation. What are economic wages? In the very essence and nature of things what are wages anyhow? They are what the workman produces by his labor out of the materials to which he has legitimate access. What he has put into that raw material is his, and he sells it to somebody else, and for what should he sell it? For a perfect equivalent. And so the wages of the man will be an absolute and perfect equivalent for what he has done, for this transmutation of his nerves, of his brain, of his sinews, of his time into something new and strange, rich and rare, that he has put into that thing and that will determine itself as a matter of course, just as water finds its level. Directly or indirectly in a true system of economic government every man shall have absolutely his own, a free field and no favor, but absolutely justice to all, favoritism to none.

But in addition to these natural wages that this man shall get for what he has produced will come his magnificent share as a joint stockholder or owner in the common estate. He will be getting through the common treasury the use and the benefit of a rental in things that the mere man in the barbarous, rustic state has little or no conception of.

This leads us to that other consequence of this law of God that, instead of being afraid of having too many people in a city or too many people in a country, we shall be asking God to send us more of these good things, and we shall be saying we shall never have enough. Some of you gray-bearded gentlemen in this audience here are old enough to remember that there used once to be a common notion in this country of ours that we couldn't have too many people, and we used to think that every man that came into this country – every able-bodied man – was worth $1,000 to $1,500 to the country. In the southern portion of this country, not very many years ago, a man used to be supposed to have a well defined value. A man was worth his $1,000, his $1,200 or his $1,500, wasn't he? And every able-bodied man, every able-bodied woman, every healthy child that comes into this country, whether from Heaven or from Europe, is money in the pocket of the country. Why? For the reason that we have just explained, that density of population, thick population, creates this subtle something, this immaterial something that adds so enormously to the value of all natural bounties. Do you not observe that it is only where there are dense populations that you can have anything like civilization? Have you reflected upon the fact that the very word civilization comes from the same root as city – civitas. The very words civitas and civis are supposed to come from a word which means “coming together,” and it is logically, historically and philosophically true, as well as etymologically.

Coming together – you are coming together, shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, helping one another. That is civilization – facility of exchange. It has got to be a simile that there is nothing easier than falling off a log, but it might equally pass into some kind of a proverb that it is a mighty hard thing for any one man to move a big log, and hence the word that has some popularity in this civilized society “log-rolling,” where one man could not budge the log, but where four or five men coming together can take up that log and run away with it. That is the value of coming together. Within two or three or four square miles in this city you can practically go from Greenland to Patagonia, and from China to India, because you will find in shops within this territory all the products of every clime, civilized and uncivilized, of the whole globe. Is not that a magnificent advantage, that you can practically go to India and get your spices, or to the land of the Esquimaux and get your furs, or to Newfoundland and get your codfish? You can get all that kind of thing within two or three or four square miles of Manhattan Island. It is the bringing of these things here to this island that gives it that enormous value that we were speaking about. Here civilization will increase by density in population, and it is a crime against this economic law to be talking about the danger of overpopulation.

And that is in keeping with that other – forgive the remark – rot about overproduction. Overproduction of good things! Overproduction of clothes! Overproduction of food! “What fools these mortals be.” Overproduction! It is underconsumption, not overproduction.

I am going to prove to you now that there is not any overproduction. You just pass the word around that these things that have been overproduced, the houses that have impaired the real estate market – have broken down the market – and the glut of dry goods and silks and sealskins and groceries and things are going to be distributed free; that anybody that needs these things can come and have them for the mere trouble of taking them away. I want to know how long would that overproduction continue to distress our souls. Not very long, which proves to a demonstration that there is plenty of demand for these things. But the trouble is that the poor devils, who are suffering cold for the want of sealskins and hunger for the want of groceries, can't get at these things because they haven't the means with which to buy them.

So the trouble is not overproduction but it is the unjust arrangements of society by which so large a portion of the people either cannot get work at all or have to work at starvation wages. And because when there is a so-called overproduction and underconsumption there comes commercial depression – stagnation in trade – a large portion of the people are thrown out of work and in their misery are willing to then work for lower wages – for anything that will keep them from starving and from perishing. Then there is a revival in trade. Then people say: “Now is a good time to get in the goods, because they can be got so cheap – because labor is cheap. Now is a good time to build, because labor is cheap.” And so gradually there is a cessation of this commercial depression, and times begin to get a little better, and then they begin to get what is called good, and the moment the times begin to be good and business begins to prosper, then the man that is sitting there, neither working nor spinning, but eating and drinking, begins to say: “Ha, ha, times are good. Business is prospering. Real estate will go up.” And so it does. Land will go up. There is a need for more factories and land goes up, and so a large and constantly increasing portion of the profits of both capital and labor go to pay the unjust rent to the landlord. But when we shall have appropriated to the common treasury the economic rent, all that condition must necessarily cease, and as men will be able to get steady employment or steadily employ themselves, and will get the highest wages that the very law of wages itself will permit, they will not be so foolish when the wants of their bodies are admirably supplied as to work themselves to death, to continue to degrade themselves into mere working machines. And so with the increase of general wealth, the raising of wages, and the general well being will commence, voluntarily and naturally, a shortening of the hours of work. It doesn't require any law of the legislature, or any similar society to determine these things. Men will then be more free than they ever have been before, to work or not to work as they please; to work long hours or short hours, as it suits best their tastes, their desires and their convenience. If a man wants to work, very good. If a man does not want to work there will be nobody to coerce him, and so we shall restore in a great measure individual liberty. We shall restore what hitherto has been singularly characteristic of it – the magnificent individualism of Americans.

Let us be humble and acknowledge what is the truth that the boasted superiority of the American people in their inventive genius is the liberality that has presided over the forming of all their institutions. Things that have been hitherto characteristic of American men and women, and of American civilization, were not due, are not due, so much to any superiority of ourselves bodily or mentally as to the magnificent opportunities that, under the providence of God, came to this new people from what used to be considered the boundless and illimitable resources of this wide continent. The peculiar inventiveness of the American people came from the need on the part of a few men to subdue a continent, to make locomotion from one end of it to the other possible within a reasonable space of time. But these characteristics, and the homely virtues that were also characteristic of the American people, were due not so much to difference of race as to difference of condition, and now with the changing conditions many of these characteristics and characteristic influences and virtues have disappeared, and we are fast becoming assimilated to those older societies both in their criminal luxuries and in the horrible chasm that separates the rich from the poor.

And now, last of all, I would appeal to all you men and women to take up the cross of this new crusade. And, though you will not impress upon your forehead and wear upon your breast any material emblem thereof, let at least the mighty controlling thought take possession of your minds, the divine enthusiasm seize upon your hearts. Take, then, the cross of this new crusade of justice and truth for humanity. Do what you can to help us in what we are trying to do, in the words of the great Christian poet of England, “To justify the ways of God to men;” to give leisure to God's children from the “carking cares,” as the poet says, from imbruting and ceaseless toil, from degradation and want, and the wore degradation of the fear of want; to give them plenty, so that they shall say with glad and loving hearts their grace – not a mere form of words, but grace before meat and after meat – and feel that it is not a mockery to say, “Bless, O Lord, these Thy gifts which we are able to receive from they bountiful hands” — a mockery too often over the cup of tea and dry bread, which is the too common food and drink of the working women of this city today. Make room at the Father's table for all His children.

Go then, into the highways and byways. Not merely invite them, but compel them to come in and sit at the Father's table and feast and make merry and be glad in His presence. And give them leisure from this degrading, ceaseless toil to beautify their minds and hearts and worship their Maker, to glorify the Christ in humanity; to read books and to enjoy works of art, not depending for these upon individual charities, but with twenty or fifty art schools and Cooper unions, provided for out of the common treasury.

And when men's bodily necessities have been satisfied – when their minds shall begin to be cultivated, and they shall have begun to take on as a common thing the graces and refinements of culture and science and art, then you will by the doing of natural justice, by the following of God's economic laws a way prepared for the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Then will blasphemy cease upon the lips of the children of men, and man will recognize the handiwork of his Creator. Shall we not make some attempt to prepare the way for the coming of that better day foretold by the Master of old, who, as he gathered around him the faithful few, foretold that the little flock should grow and spread until it shall take in all the kingdoms of the earth? Shall we not do our share toward hastening the time that was foretold by the Master when He taught us to look up and say, “Our Father who art in heaven,” and then to say, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”

While, therefore, it is eminently proper for a Christian to teach the blessedness of suffering after Christ's example, and for His dear sake; to teach that there is a higher and better something beyond all this, yet at the same time it is a blasphemy against the Maker thus continually to make light of the sufferings of the poor. As if, forsaoth, if we should abolish poverty our occupation would be gone! that there would be nothing for us charitable people to do – as if it would be right to carefully abstain from purifying the whole system, and to persist in plastering a sore leg instead. It is by the doing of justice, by the inculcation of the law of equality, liberty and fraternity on earth that we shall prepare the way for the glorious millennial day when it shall be something more than a prayer, and in great measure a reality – “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Take up, then, the cross of this new crusade, and I, for one, dare to say here, before this vast audience, that I have taken it into my head and heart, and never shall I see the day as long as I live that I shall pluck it out from the one or the other. It were a sad thing indeed to think that any man or set of men should forbid you and me to believe these truths of God, to teach them, to preach them, to love them with a religious enthusiasm or to sacrifice even our very lives in the noble work of making them cheap and common among men; and I stand here and say, without fear of reasonable denial, that all that I have said tonight is eminently consonant with the highest Christian truth and the best Christian justice, and that no condemnation of this truth has ever been heard from the blessed lips of Christ, nor from the highest tribunal in his church. Nor is there any more danger or possibility of such condemnation of so clear and salutary an economic truth than there is of the condemnation of the proposition that two and two make four.

I will read to you as an appropriate summing of many of the things that I have said a poem by Charles Mackay, entitled “Clear the Way:”

Men of thought, be up and stirring night and day,

Sow the seed, withdraw the curtain, clear the way.

Men of action, add and cheer them as we may;

There's a fount to stream, there's a light about to beam,

There's a warmth about to glow, there's a flower about to blow;

There's a midnight blackness changing into gray;

Men of thought and men of action, clear the way.

Once the welcome light has broken, who shall say

What the unhidden glories of the day?

What the evil that shall perish in its ray?

Aid the dawning tongue and pen; aid it, hopes of honest men;

Aid it paper, aid it type; aid it for the hour is ripe,

And our earnest must not slacken into play,

Men of thought, men of action, clear the way.

Lo! the cloud's about to vanish from the day,

And a brazen wrong to crumble into clay;

Lo, the right's about to conquer! Clear the way!

with the right shall many enter, smiling at the dawn,

With the giant wrong shall fall many others, great and small,

That for ages long have held us for their prey,

Men of thought, men of action, clear the way.

 


How a Tariff Rewards Dishonesty

Minneapolis, Minn., March 21 – The St. Louis (Me.) El Comercio del Valle says: “There is a strong and growing opinion noticeable on both sides of the Rio Grande in favor of the abolition of all custom house restrictions between this country and Mexico. The notorious dishonesty of certain employees of the frontier custom houses, the toleration of wholesale smuggling by interested parties who should have the power to prevent it, added to the unreasonably excessive duties collected by the Mexican authorities, are sure indications of a revolution that will sweep these abuses out of existence. The sooner the better.”

This hits my idea of the tariff exactly. After a residence of about a year on the Rio Grande, at Del Rio and elsewhere, I cannot now recall any instance where anyone ever spoke of paying duties, but rather devised means of evading their payment; and I did not live among thieves either. Our doors were never locked, and the people there are as honest as any I have met elsewhere as they are along the Rio Grande certainly the entire system is only a “delusion and a square.” God speed the day when a premium is not offered for dishonesty – when a conscientious man need not lie to keep even with his competitors.

A. Dollenmayer.

 


The Albany “Express” Opinion

We do not know what Dr. McGlynn's ecclesiastical superiors may think of his letter on Mr. Beecher, but we feel sure that the great body of the American people will honor and respect him for having written it.

 


Funerals Without Tears

Fifteen of the Morgue's Tenants Thrust Into Their Trench.

New York Herald.

The dripping dead house at daybreak yesterday sheltered fifteen stark, upturned faces. Wind and snow and rain howled and swirled and splashed outside. The river whispered ghostly things to the swaying timbers beneath.

But in the dead house all was dry and silent, save for the thwack of a hammer that now and then drove a nail into a coffin lid.

It was funeral day. Funeral day, without tears and without dirges. A funeral day in which the breath of flowers and the sound of singing had no place. There were no mourners present to take a farewell look at well-remembered features and kiss cold lips. Joe Fogarty's heart is kind, but no heart is big enough to take in its sympathy the pauper and unknown dead of the great metropolis. So Joe leaned upon his crutches and watched with a critical, business eye the work of closing up the coffins. Nay, Joe whistled a merry air softly to himself.

For Joe is human.

Joe enjoys his breakfast.

What are those white brows to him?

Such a goal to which those fifteen travelers had been wandering all those weary years! Wrapped in coarse brown raiment, lay a young Italian boy with handsome dark features and raven black hair that curled in tangled ringlets about his forehead. Under what soft Calabrian skies was he born, and what fair meadows tempted his infant feet in the far away country beyond the seas? Upon the rigid bosom was pinned a penny picture of the Virgin.

His parents were too poor to bury him.

That's what Joe said.

But where was the father and where was the mother, while the unpainted boards were thrust forever between their boy and the bright world?

Ah! Human nature!

Too poor to weep. Too poor to pray. Too poor to get a wetting in the storm for love's sake. Down in gloomy, ramshackle York street, where he died, they shrugged their shoulders and made long faces. Well, well. Too bad. It was so rainy, you know. Yes, Salvator was a good boy. Everybody liked him. Buried, he? W-h-a-t? You don't mean to say they buried his clothes with him?

Beyond poor Salvator's coffin lay another box, where a middle-aged German was laid in a coarse, white shroud. He? Ho! ho! he's an unknown. They picked him up in an outhouse in the woods beyond High bridge. He was in rags, and his flesh was covered and his limbs were tortured with sores. But it was the face of an educated man, and his hands were soft and white. Probably some poor German gentlemen, driven from home for an unforgiven fault. Perhaps a venturesome immigrant, stranded and friendless in the big, selfish city.

Then there were old women and young women, old men and young men. But nowhere was there a sign of tenderness or mourning, except where the little picture lay upon the breast of the Italian boy.

A hoarse “whooo” from the steamer Fidelity is followed by the grinding of that vessel's bulwarks against the deadhouse dock at the foot of Twenty-sixth street.

How many?” yells the rough mate.

Only fifteen,” is the unsympathetic reply.

Two at the head and two at the foot. So the crew carried the coffins and piled them up on the deck. Then a sheet of canvas was pulled over the heap to hide the dismal array from the eyes of the passengers. Through the rain and snow the steamer plowed its way to the dock at the northwest end of Hart's island, where Clerk McCaffrey of the City cemetery (that's what they call it), read off a list of the dead and gouged with a keen edged instrument a number on each coffin. A hearse, with wide-tired wheels made to run over soft sand, stood close by. Into it the coffins were slid and then dragged up a splashy, recking hill between rows of sickly weeping willows to the lonely meadows where the dust of 40,000 paupers has accumulated since 1808.

There was a deep trench swimming with rain drippings. Eight or ten prisoners from the workhouse stood around with shovels in their hands. A coffin was slid from the hearse and lowered into the corner of the trench with much bumping and creaking.

Seventy-nine.”

Poor Salvator! That was his only epitaph.

Seventy-nine! In York street it is an empty sound. What is that number more than any other to the smiling girl who played with him before they came that night and carried away a heavy bundle from the room where he went to sleep.

Six inches of mud was laid like mortar on top of the coffin, and then another one was laid upon it, and another, and another, until the trench was well nigh full and the prisoners grumbled that it was nigh to dinner time.

 


How Growing Cities Are Strangled

Vacant Land in Burlington, Iowa – The Owners Will Neither Use it Themselves Nor Let Anybody Else Do So.

Burlington, Iowa, Evening Post.

In Burlington the proportion of laborers to the whole population is very large; larger, in fact, than any other city in the state; while the number of landholders is exceptionally small. But in the face of the fact that the laboring population of Burlington is proportionally very large, and that it is to the interest of our landholding class to have an increase here in the number of homeowners, it is well nigh impossible for the Burlington workingman ever to secure a home of his own here, from the fact that the property here is all carefully held just out of his reach; It appears to have always been the policy of landholders of Burlington to keep down the whole number of landowners here to as near a minimum as possible. They do this in the short-sighted idea that the fewer owners, the more renters. While this at first glance may appear to be good reckoning, there is no doubt but that it has driven a vast number of honorable and enterprising young men away from Burlington to try their fortunes somewhere else. It has also resulted in destroying the compactness of the town.

There are now not less than three thousand acres of vacant land within the corporate limits of the town held by men who have no use for it, who make no use of it, who are not willing to sell it at a reasonable price or on reasonable terms to people who could and would makes homes upon it – and lastly these owners pay little or no taxes upon this vacant land. Lots and parcels which they hold at five hundred to one thousand and two thousand dollars are down on the assessor's books at forty to sixty dollars. Such a tax is merely nominal, and is besides ridiculous, and is wholly in favor of the holder of the vacant lot, and is for the purpose of enabling him to hold it year after year until the natural increase of the population will justify him in erecting a tenement upon it. An examination of the records shows that a large number of acres – probably two thousand – of this vacant land within the city limits is not platted at all, and consequently pays no taxes.

Every Local Assembly Should Subscribe

Sacramento, Cal., March 19 – The members of our assembly are pleased with The Standard and seem to think that every local assembly in the country should subscribe for at least five copies.

John P. Brissell

Page 4

 


The New Crusade

The demonstration at the Academy of Music last Tuesday evening was an ovation to Dr. McGlynn, but it was also something more. It was a vindication of American Catholicism from the reproach its enemies have sought to put upon it – that of dangerous subjection to a foreign power in political affairs – and equally a vindication of the united labor party from any charge of lukewarmness in support of one who has so freely sacrificed himself in behalf of the principles it represents. Nor was this all. The immense throng that crowded the Academy on that evening was composed of men and women who were not drawn there by curiosity, but who went expected that Dr. McGlynn would declare the principles for which he has suffered, and who were fully prepared to sustain him in upholding them. They were not an audience of lecture goers gathered to listen to a discourse on some subject of passing interest, but men and women filled with the enthusiasm of a great cause and eager to declare their loyalty to it and to their leader. It was a mistake to speak of the address as a lecture. It was the impassioned preaching of the highest Christian truth to a throng of believers who then and there in their heart of hearts took the cross of the new crusade against the system that defaces God's image in man and drags humanity down to degradation, misery and despair.

That meeting was an epoch making event. It was largely composed of Catholics. A Catholic priest whose loyalty to his church and to his God no man has ever dared to question stood before a vast audience to reaffirm the social and political doctrines for advocating which he had been rudely thrust from the altar by ecclesiastical authority. Yet Catholic priests sat upon the platform to lend him their countenance and support, and other priests in stalls and boxes openly applauded his utterances. The audience, composed of people of all creeds, was from the beginning tense with emotion. When Dr. McGlynn appeared the excitement was well nigh delirious. Men cheered and women, weeping for very joy, stood and waved their handkerchiefs in expression of their delight at seeing once more the face of the beloved priest who had been so suddenly torn from the altar at which he had ministered for seventeen laborious years. Throughout the evening the same enthusiasm existed and the boldest utterances of the speaker were wildly applauded – none more so than his solemn declaration that when he knelt at the altar for consecration to the priesthood he never dreamed that he became one whit less a man or citizen.

The people followed with eager interest Dr. McGlynn's clear and eloquent exposition of the doctrine of the equal ownership of all in God's gifts to man, and responded with passionate fervor to his final invitation to them to take the cross of the new crusade to which he then and there in God's name consecrated the remainder of his life. No words can add to the impressiveness of such an occasion, and those who fail to see in it more than a passing incident are such as were long ago described as those who have eyes, yet they see not; who have ears, and yet do not hear.

The new crusade has begun, and the highest of all causes has found a worthy leader, who begins the contest by proclaiming the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and invoking heaven's blessings on the great struggle for the extirpation of poverty. No man of sense can fail to rejoice in having so powerful an ally as religion in this great work, while Christians of every denomination, and, above all, the Roman Catholic church, will in the future find cause for the most profound satisfaction that this deposed priest has been able to inscribe the cross of Christ on the banner of this peaceful revolution, and to incline the hearts of those who are suffering from the wrongs inflicted on the poor to feel that God and his church are on their side instead of among their foes. It was the failure of Catholic priests to render just this service to humanity that turned the French revolution into a godless and inhuman saturnalia of blood, and it is well, not only for Catholicism, but for Christianity in America, that such a man has, even through humiliation, sacrifice and suffering, stepped forth to teach the discontented that it is the statutes of men, and not the immutable laws of God, that have caused the misery against which they are beginning their struggle.

 


Wanted – A Few Stool Pigeons

The owners of large land tracts in Mississippi have devised a brilliant money making scheme. They are what is called “land poor.” That is, they own a great deal of land which they will not uses themselves nor let any one else use, and which consequently yields no income and has a low selling value. They propose to abolish “land poverty” among them by making their land worth five fold its present value, and the Evening Post of New York is helping along the enterprise as well as it can with free editorial advertising.

Their plan contemplates a gift by every one owning 500 acres or more, of fifty acres to any immigrant with a family who will settle on it. This proposition, as the Post truly says, “rests on sound business principles;” so does the proposition of the Astors and other landowners to contribute $80,000 to build and run a free elevator at the 116th street station of the elevated railroad; and that of the railroads that sell alternate sections, and that of the padrone who, in presenting a boy with a basket, told him to go begging and keep half he got. It would give a home free to about 25,000 immigrants, but the demand for land would not stop with them. Their presence in Mississippi would bring others, until it is not at all improbable that, as a local paper estimates, the scheme “would make the lands worth fivefold the present value.”

It will be noticed, however, that only the first comers, to a limited number, would get land free. All that followed would have to buy or rent of the land owners at an increased and increasing price. This is noticed by the Post, which observes that those who accept the generous offer it is advertising may not only “escape the evils of a landless condition, but by enriching themselves they will enrich the Mississippi land owners.”

Stool pigeons are valuable birds, and, for one with a family, fifty out of five hundred acres of valueless land is a modest price.

 


Anarchy in Stamford

In the neighborhood of Stamford, Connecticut, there are two kinds of land. In one kind potatoes grow, and in the other oysters and clams. That in which potatoes grow was granted a century or so back to various persons then living, whose descendants and their assignees hold it to this day, to the impoverishment of those who want to dig in it. But by a strange oversight the kind of land about Stamford in which clams and oysters grow was not granted to any one until this winter, when the legislature of Connecticut bestowed ten acres of the best of it lying under the waters of Long Island sound upon an enterprising gentleman named Crawford.

Now, this grant to Crawford was a perfectly orderly proceeding. True, he did not want to dig for oysters and clams himself. He only wanted the power to say who should dig for them, and to make the digger divide with him the result of his dig in greater or less proportion, according to competition for the privilege of digging. But to a great extent this is precisely the case with the owners of the land about Stamford in which potatoes grow. They do not want to dig for potatoes in it, nor to use it for any other purpose; they only want to say who shall use it and to make him divide his product for the privilege. But lo! and behold! When the grant of clam and oyster land was made to Crawford the people of Stamford were indignant. They had meekly submitted to exclusion from potato land, but when Crawford threatened to prosecute them if they attempted to dig in his clam and oyster land a perfect howl went up. And now the matter is in the courts.

This indignation on the part of the townspeople is most absurd. The only difference between Mr. Crawford's position and that of the owners of potato land is that his land is covered with water. What if the people of Stamford are to receive nothing for the clam and oyster land! Do the people of Stamford receive anything for the potato land which they must not go upon under penalty of the law?

Let the good people of Stamford be calm. If they want to dig for oysters and clams there is no necessity for interfering with Mr. Crawford's vested rights. There is plenty of oyster and clam land besides his. The waters of the ocean must cover thousands of square miles of such land. Then why should these disorderly people of Stamford worry Mr. Crawford, interfering with his sleep and forcibly disturbing his meditations and prayers? If they really want to dig for clams and oysters, and are not mere pestilent agitators, let them go to the waste places at the bottom of the sea, which have not yet been granted away, and there do honest digging. If they cannot find any clams there, that will be their misfortune. They will at least find plenty of work there; and after all, is it not work that workingmen want?

Go to, ye anarchists of Stamford. Leave Mr. Crawford to the enjoyment of his own. Covetousness is a sin, and in contentment there is much joy.

 


The “Herald's” Penal Colony

The Herald has a scheme for colonizing convicts in Alaska which well deserves candid consideration. The area of Alaska is equal to that of one-fifth of all the states and organized territories of the Union. Its average temperature is about 45 degrees, the lowest degree in 1884-5 being 4 above zero and the highest 72. Among its products are minerals, turnips, cabbages, potatoes, wild timothy and the red top; the country is well adapted to grazing, and the fur trade is, of course, a great industry, and may be increased. Means of communication with different parts of the country are lacking, however, and population is sparse. “Here,” says the Herald, “is the work for convict labor; work which does not interfere with the wage worker or factory hand; work which will be a permanent benefit to the thousands who will make the uninhabited land yield its fruits and disgorge its rock-bound mineral wealth to the profits of all men.” The Herald's proposition suggests a far-reaching and beneficent reform; but if penal settlements are to be substituted for prisons, all other conditions being preserved, it is hardly worth consideration.

The cruelty of our prison system must arouse the indignation of any man who knows anything about it. Its policy is to crush out manhood, to degrade and brutalize, and its method is torture. “Some instrument of torture,” said the principal keeper of Sing Sing to a reporter the other day, “is a necessity.” But the cruelty would not be less, it would be greater and more brutalizing, if convicts were herded under keepers in a distant colony. In prisons near at home humane influences may be made in some degree to penetrate granite walls and even into the granite hearts of wardens and keepers. But in Alaska, keepers would be beyond the reach of public sentiment and even of law so long as they kept on good terms with the military authorities; while the convicts would be as helpless as Russian serfs.

But if convicts were transported to Alaska and then left to themselves, subject to no other limitations of their liberty than confinement within its borders, a great deal might be accomplished, not only in the way of solving the convict problem, but also in the way of reducing crime, provided some system of land tenure were instituted under which the advantages of valuable land should go into a common treasury. The first convicts who went there would find all the free land they wanted. There is probably no valuable land there. And they would find it full as easy to make a living from the start as they would in Sing Sing, and as many of them would in the city of New York. After a time new arrivals and more civilized modes of production would give rise to towns, where land would acquire value by reason of exceptional demand for it, as such land did in England's penal colonies and in the free colonies of the western continent. If the first occupiers were allowed to call that land their own they would rapidly grow rich on the earnings of the others, and this would arouse the old criminal instinct in the less fortunate. But if the value of that land were paid into a public fund to give fresh arrivals a start in convict life and for the general advantage of the colony, all the convicts would be kept upon an equality. None would get richer than the others, except as the result of greater industry or providence, and none would have power over the others; consequently the criminal instinct would be continually repressed. If, then, while convicts were not permitted to leave Alaska, others than convicts were permitted to go and come on similar terms, and to bring in and take out products free of tax, the resources of Alaska would soon be developed, the competition of convict labor would cease, the convict would be raised to a higher manhood, and we should have one community in the United States where crime and pauperism would be unknown.

There are two objections to this plan, however. One is that our penal theory is vindictive rather than reformatory, and any proposition looking to a reform of convicts by giving them an opportunity to live respectably and honestly would encounter a bitter, and at present all powerful, prejudice. The other is that the prosperity of such a colony would be a standing menace to the institution of land ownership that in all colonies, penal or otherwise, breeds pauperism and crime. This institution is the Juggernaut of our worship, which, though it crush and mangle its devotees, must be worshiped nevertheless. Is the Herald prepared to brave the prejudice against convict reform and to pull a linch pin from the wheel of the Juggernaut by advocating a penal settlement that would give the convict a chance to renew life against no greater odds than nature has established? If not, it might better advocate hanging for crime. That would be as effective in removing the competition of convict labor as the kind of colonization it proposes, and perhaps a little less inhuman.

The Leader has undertaken a much needed and long neglected work in overhauling the operations of the health board. A series of investigations like this by the newspapers of united labor will sadly undermine society and place many of its saviors in unpleasant positions.

The officers of District Assembly No. 49, K. of L., who were arrested a few weeks ago in a civil suit brought by the Old Dominion steamship company, have filed their answers. These set up the facts in regard to the strike, or lockouts as it really was, as they were published in The Standard at the time. But beyond this defense the defendants have carried the war into Africa, asserting that the Old Dominion company is not a corporation and has no authority to sue. If this be true, the company which has invoked the law against people whom it has denounced as law breakers is itself a law breaker. The facts on this point, as set up in the answers, are that the character of incorporation was fraudulently obtained by citizens of New York from the state of Delaware for the purpose of escaping taxation, and also for the purpose of securing a special character which could not be got from the state of New York. The whole proceeding was an attempt to evade the laws of New York and as the charter requires the corporation to meet in New York city for the election of its directors and fixes its principal place of business in New York city, it seems like a bald effort on the part of Delaware to create a New York corporation. Every state, as a matter of interstate comity, recognizes the existence of corporations created in good faith by other states; but it is doubtful if New York is prepared to recognize corporate franchises conferred by other states on its own citizens for the purpose of evading its own laws, and which locate the corporation on its own territory. Should this view obtain, the Old Dominion will have no standing in court, nor anywhere else except as a partnership of its stockholders.

The Christian Union of March 24 contains an article on “The Tenement House,” in which “Mr. George and his fellow agitators” are accused of believing “that the state ought to bring about the time when each family shall have its own house and lot,” and are told “that even if the state did abolish the private ownership of land, it could not abolish the value of land.” They are then patronizingly informed, as if it were not a fact which they had iterated and reiterated, that “it would still be just as desirable to be near the centers of trade and industry, and people would still prefer to live in six-story houses near their work rather than in a one-story house on the other end of Long Island.”

This is a typical example of the objections to the taxation of land values. The writer needed but to examine the pages of “Progress and Poverty,” or the columns of The Standard, with an understanding mind and an honest heart, to discover that the value of land is the very thing which “Mr. George and his fellow agitators” propose not to abolish. He needed but to travel over the elevated roads with open eyes to see that there is ample room on Manhattan island to comfortably house every family now living on it.

But in place of reading and looking and thinking, he evolves a crude absurdity from his own consciousness, christens is “Mr. George's land theories,” and demolishes it out of hand. And this is the character of the opposition to the reform advocated by The Standard. Those who oppose it, like the horse with his tail to the locomotive, are frightened at what they cannot see. Never yet in the whole history of the movement has the man who would take the trouble to see for himself failed to reach the conclusion that the underlying cause of the poverty which curses and may yet ruin our civilization is the unjust law which proclaims that God made this earth in order that a few men might tax other men for the privilege of living on it.

We have before us a copy of Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost's sermon, advertised in another column. It is the sixth in the series of seven sermons which he recently delivered upon the relation of the land question to the labor problem, more or less full reports of which have appeared in The Standard, and one of which is now in use as a tract in the Land and Labor library. These sermons were heard by very large audiences, and naturally occasioned comment and criticism. In the pamphlet before us Mr. Pentecost explains his reasons for introducing the land question into the pulpit, in the course of which he makes a plain and startling arraignment of society and the church concerning their relation to the laboring poor. We will not epitomize the sermon, but refer our readers to the pamphlet.

 


Tax Notes

How Various Cities are Adding to Their Wealth – on Paper

The sales of real estate in Kansas City, Mo., have averaged of late about $1,300,000 a week. At Wichita, Kas., they averaged for two months about $2,000,000 a week; at St. Joseph, Mo., about $1,200,000 a week. Duluth, Minn., congratulates itself on having blocks of land extending from one to four miles around the edge of the city held on speculation at enormous prices. In Minneapolis, Minn., land on the great thoroughfare can still be had for less than land on Broadway, New York; while lots in San Diego, Cal., are so dear that business men who wished to settle there have been forced to go elsewhere.

Enlisted for the War

Philadelphia, March 30 – I want to go on record not merely as a believer in the doctrine that all taxation should be placed upon land values, thus practically appropriating economic rent to the use of the public which creates it, but also as one who is resolved to do all he can to support and advance that theory. My humble abilities may not allow me to do anything great or brilliant for the cause, but I can and will at least say a word, sow a seed of thought, advocate and defend it wherever and whenever an opportunity presents itself. I am persuaded that if all believers in this reform would thus contribute their mites its consummation would be hastened by a goodly number of years. My tardiness in joining the ranks has been caused, paradoxical as it may seem, by my very early enthusiasm in the cause. I was afraid I was being carried away by a sympathetic impulse, but the more I waited and the more I thought it over, the more was I convinced of the grandest reform man has ever battled for; it is the reform par excellence; the reform before which all other reforms sink into insignificance, and indeed cease to be reforms at all.

John F. Halbach

Landlordism in Kansas

Indianapolis, Ind., March 26 – Your paper of the 12th alt. contains an article entitled “Landlordism in Kansas.” I spent four years in Holton, Kansas, and knew all those “greedy land sharks”(as a noble woman called them at that time), and how they were using every means to secure the Pottawattamic reserve. They got their land in most cases by taking advantage of the poor farmers, who were in such straits after the grasshopper visitation that the land went for taxes, or, in cases where it was mortgaged, to put bread and butter into the mouths of their families. I wish the article could be spread broadcast in Kansas; it would lead to good results, for that state is the battle ground of freedom, and she will do wonderful things yet, for she has been purified by suffering.

An Observer But Not A Sufferer

Wages at Twenty-Five Cents a Day

Milwaukee, Wis., March 25 – I am a poor man working for others in my old age. I once saw better days, having had a business of my own, but, as the saying is, “the big fish eats the little fish,” and I had to succumb to superior capital. I have been out of work now since the first of November of last year. This has caused me to run in debt, which it will take me all summer to get out of. And there are hundreds of other men here like me. Wages are so depressed this winter that a grinding contractor offered me work at cleaning bricks at eighty cents per thousand bricks, I finding my own tools. I worked at it for two hours to see how much I could do, and I found that I had cleaned thirty-two bricks. At this rate how much can a man make in ten hours of hard work? Yet many seek this employment at less than twenty-five cents a day.

J.J. Buck

Monuments to Monopoly

Pittsburg Chronicle-Telegraph

The American and Empire oil works have been idle since they were purchased by The Standard. In consequence the large cooper shop in the Eighteenth ward has been shut down, throwing 200 men out of work.

 


The Week In Wall Street

On Friday and Saturday of last week the market began to show signs of waking. It rubbed its eyes and stretched its rested limbs, and gave a wakeful yawn; but whether it would get up and go to work or roll over and slumber a while longer was beyond the ken of anyone in Wall Street.

The bank statement showed a still further decrease, but the bulls agreed that as April 1 approached the monetary atmosphere would become less hazy, and that soon after April 1 money would flow back to New York in such quantities as to more than stem the present ebbing tide. Fears that the cliques would force another money squeeze like the one of last December seem to have been dispelled, the argument being that those who could corner money are anxious to empty their tin boxes, and that they care more to empty these at a good round profit than to make much less by a few days of high rates and short sales. So, if we are to have tight money it will likely come from the legitimate demands of trade. These demands, up to this writing, have been extremely strong, and a steady stream of currency has been flowing from the city banks to their country customers. The next bank statement will, in all probability, be a disappointment to those who think that the tight money factor has been eliminated. The “bulls” also rely upon the steady and well sustained railroad earnings, and the fact that during the past three months the market's undercurrent has been sufficiently strong to withstand several severe assaults of the bears. It is probable that the cliques will make one combined and superhuman effort to raise prices several points higher before another fortnight, though at each point gained large quantities of stock will be thrown upon the market by those who have long been waiting to get out even. The bears, however, have very good reasons for believing the stock market will sell off soon. It is true that trade continues fairly good, and the movement of merchandise shows little decrease; but this can be accounted for on the ground that jobbers and retailers are now stocking up preparatory to the higher rates expected from the operation of the interstate commerce bill. Then, again, contracts for future delivery, made during the brisk times last year, are now coming due, and this adds to the ordinary from day-to-day movement. This view of the case causes the pulse of speculation to beat rather unevenly. Certain it is that we do not hear so much of large contracts being made, and we do know that the iron market is reported, rather dull, while exchanges in thirty-six cities showed quite a decrease for the week, and the report of failures also indicates commercial stringency. The demand for dry goods and general merchandise has likewise fallen off.

The bull feeling of the past week was somewhat disturbed by the New York Central and the Lake Shore reports. Investors in Central thought that “operating expenses” were too large in proportion to gross earnings, being some sixty-eight per cent. Their uneasiness was, however, mollified when it was explained that $500,000 of these “operating expenses” were spent for new locomotives and other equipments. It is curious how much short-sightedness exists among railroad managers on this “operating expenses” question. Whenever dividends or fixed charges seem to be endangered the first thing done is to rake over and slash away at the salary list and reduce the trainmen and trackmen. A corner groceryman might increase his income by reducing wages, but a railroad cannot. At first it gains a little, but very soon net earnings fall to their previous level, as all the railroad statistics will show. And this is because a railroad is so gigantic a concern that it influences very considerably The Standard of wages along its line. It can raise or lower this general standard, and those roads whose managers are not continually scheming to see upon how small a sum of money the road can be operated are the most preposterous roads today and run through the most prosperous territory. What little is lost by a generous treatment of employees is more than regained by the excess of traffic provided by a prosperous community over that of one that is eking out a hand to mouth existence; and what little is saved, by reducing wages, is soon gobbled up by the owners of real estate along the line, so that, on the whole, stockholders are wise in not scrutinizing too closely this necessary and very considerable item.

One of the occasional episodes of stock gambling transpired late in the week on the mining board. This institution is run in the interest of the small dealers who wish to place anywhere from five to a hundred dollars on the cards, and almost every variety of opportunity is offered to those who feel like walking up and trying their fortune.

Las week the most intense excitement prevailed on the floor for a full half day. It seemed as though the brokers were engaged in a general row, and the noise, greater than that of a wild bull in a china shop, attracted an overflowing house of Broadway and New street loungers. But the obliging doorkeeper summed up the whole matter in three words: “El Cristo is busted.” “El Cristo” is a mine, said to have a location (which cannot be predicated of all the ventures foisted upon an innocent public by mine promoters), but the location is so inconvenient to the average New Yorker that no apprehension of an early examination seemed to be entertained by the engineers of the boom. The bank and broker office clerks and the waiters in the restaurants were all gratuitously and generously supplied with “points.” When it was selling for $5 everybody was told that it would soon reach $20, and the activity and strength of the stock as it rose majestically to $9 seemed to verify all the points given. Several of the big houses were said to be interested and to be backing the stock – and some of the big houses are not above going into these kite flying schemes when dullness prevails on the stock exchange. But the trouble with the mining brokers is that they have but little confidence in one another. Their living is a mighty precarious one. The most of them are ex-stock clerks or busted brokers of one kind or another, and when they see a certainty of making $200 and only a chance of making $1,000, the most of them jump at the certainty, though the chance may have developed into a pretty sure thing. This was the trouble with “El Cristo.” Those who bought all the way up from $5 to $9 grew very restless and anxious to scoop what profit the stock already showed. So at it they went, and in less time almost than it takes to tell it, the price had dropped $4 a share. A $4 drop in an $8 stock is a matter that cannot be contemplated with any degree of composure by a person “interested” in the property. So the tape recorded activity of “El Cristo,” and the tremendous cyclone that promised to blow the very hole out of the ground and reveal the whole fraud by delivering the hole on the floor of the board.

The government bond market has shown great strength during the week, the advance in 4s and 4½s being more than one per cent. There are but $20,000,000 of uncalled 3s, and the belief is entertained that the government will soon be in the market as a purchaser. Money, Tuesday and Wednesday, touched seven per cent, but for a short time only; still this was enough to unsettle the previously advancing markets and bring out large quantities of stocks.

The trunk line presidents have about decided to continue their old arrangements and let the interstate commerce commissioners come in and tell them what is necessary to be done under the new law. This will probably raise an issue, and a test case will be taken to the United States Supreme court where the constitutionality of the law will be argued. It may be that after all the constitution will need changing before these giants of the country will yield to what is evidently the will of the people.

X.Y.Z.

 


No One Is Taxed

A Place Where the Citizens Receive Instead of Paying Revenues

Exchange.

The El Dorado of taxpayers is the large village of Langenselbold, in the district of Hanau. It has a population of about 3,000 souls and a communal property of upward of $3,000,000, the annual income of which is about $100,000, nearly one-third of which revenue is derived from the rent of meadow land. The communal forests require the services of four foresters. The villages are not only fortunate enough to be entirely free from communal taxes, but they actually receive each year two cords of firewood and 20 marks of money. The gooseherd would scarcely swap places with many a village “dominie,” for his income is fully 1,000 marks. The streets of the village are lighted free of cost, and when one of the villagers closes his earthly career he or she is taken to the last resting place “free gratis for nothing.” In order, however, to check immigration into this new Canaan, the wise fathers have fixed the cost of acquiring the citizenship of the place at 500 marks.

Men and Women

Rev. James T. Curran, late assistant pastor under Dr. McGlynn at St. Stephen's church, was a few days ago transferred from St. Patrick's church, in Mulberry street of this city, to the charge of a church in Ellenville, N.Y., in reproof, his friends say, for his speech at Jones' woods recently, in which he endorsed the sentiments of Dr. McGlynn.

Rev. R. Heber Newton, who, several months ago, was compelled to ask for leave of absence from All Souls' church of this city, on account of ill-health, yesterday took leave of his many friends and sailed with his family for Italy. He will probably remain away until he has again recovered his strength.

Professor Thomas J. Middleton, principal of Mountain Peak academy, at Mt. Peak, Texas, is an ardent advocate of the new gospel, and by voice and pen improves every opportunity to teach the truth that the land belongs to all the people.

Rev. Dr. Burtsell Makes a Statement

Rev. Dr. R. L. Burtsell, pastor of the Epiphany church, has made this statement with regard to the case of Dr. McGlynn: Dr. Burtsell has reason to known on the best of authority that as late as Feb. 18 both Pope Leo and Cardinal Simeoni stated positively that neither of them had given any decision in the case of Dr. McGlynn, and much less a condemnation. Dr. Burtsell has considered always that this land theory is a matter of political economy on which any one is free to form his own opinion. With regard to Dr. McGlynn himself, his whole life has been devoted unceasingly to the welfare of the poor, and therefore he has very unselfishly exposed himself to misunderstandings of his doctrines, which by a more thorough examination might have been found in no way opposed to Catholic theology, much less to any definition set forth by the church.

Is There an Organ of Discontent?

New York, March 20 – A writer in last week's issue of The Standard stated that a Chinese scientist has discovered that discontentedness can be removed from the human mind by extracting a certain part of the brain, and in this way a model workman can be made. I have been very much interested in phrenology, but nowhere do I find such an organ or faculty as contentedment. It is not an organ of itself, but part of an organ. Then how can it be removed without destroying the reason? For instance, if a person having the organ of imitation highly developed is not allowed to exercise it, discontent arises; or, if instead of the woman he wishes to wed, a man with amativeness is presented with a woman he does not want, would he not be dissatisfied? And so each faculty might be considered. How then could discontent be taken away without wrecking the brain?

A Young American

Want a Donation of $200,000

The city of Memphis, Tenn., is asked to subscribe $200,000 to help build a railroad – the Midland road. Commenting on this request, the Memphis Sunday Times says: “The milk in the cocoanut of the scheme is this: A number of capitalists have bought large tracts of land in Tennessee which are practically valueless until a railroad runs near them. The Midland road is needed in order to boom these lands. That the capitalists themselves have little confidence in the new road, as an investment, is demonstrated by the fact that few or none of them propose to take any stock in it. This leads us further to suspect that they are simply interested in a plan to force their lands up to a fictitious value and then sell out at an immense profit. In other words, a number of speculators and millionaires are asking our county to donate $200,000 for the purpose of advancing the price of their real estate.”

Manly Words

Mr. O'Neill of Missouri in House of Representatives

If the government of the United States wants a military site near Chicago it is able to buy it and pay for it; and if these generous gentlemen who are proposing to donate 598 acres of land for a military site have more land than they want let them build homes upon it and donate it to the poor wretches around the streets of Chicago. If they will do this they will have less use for a military encampment there. And after doing this if they can donate a part of that magnificent tract numbering millions of acres granted to one of these gentlemen by the state of Texas. This tract alone would furnish homes for thousands of the homeless poor of Chicago. If that were done a shout of joy would go up throughout the length and breadth of that city.

The “Sun” of Dr. McGlynn

New York Sun

To say that the Rev. Dr. McGlynn's address at the Academy of Music on Tuesday evening was a remarkably intellectual performance is to do it imperfect justice. The address is entitled to rank with those great orations which, at critical times and from the mouths of men of genius, have swayed the course of public opinion and changed the onward movement of nations.

Page 5

 


The Week

If the comparative importance of things may be judged by the amount of space devoted to them by the daily press, the ocean yacht race has been decidedly the most important even that has occurred for months past, equaling in interest a sparring exhibition by John L. Sullivan or a six-day walking match. Mr. Bush, the owner of one of the yachts, states that his main object in entering her for the race was to enhance her market value. “She was just as good a boat,” says Mr. Bush, “before the race as she is now, but then she would not have brought anything more than the cost. Now, however, she is a very valuable property. She is for sale, and I have set the price on her of £30,000.”

The mistrial in the case of Cleary appears to have put a stop, for the moment, to the pursuit of bribe-givers and bribe-takers. Mr. Martine is tired; Colonel Fellows is sick; Mr. Nicoll is worn out; it is probable that the lawyers on the other side are somewhat fatigued, too, and indications are not lacking that the public is growing weary of the matter and wants a fresh sensation. The most remarkable thing about these “boodle” trials is the absolutely artificial nature of public sentiment regarding them. A foreigner reading the files of almost any one of our New York daily papers would imagine that for months the whole community has been in a fever of anxiety lest the “Broadway aldermen” should escape punishment. The district attorney has been praised or abused as he showed himself more or less eager to secure a verdict for the people. The juries have been told again and again how unrighteous it would be for them to do any but convict. The accused men have been held up for public abhorrence as villains, for whom state prison was an altogether inadequate punishment; and all the time nobody outside the newspaper offices has really cared much about the matter. It is safe to say that there are plenty of business men in New York of perfectly good reputations who would think it no more harm to buy an alderman than the Times would to buy a copy of a pending treaty; that there are plenty of officials, present and prospective, on whom the “boodle” trials will produce no effect, except to make them more careful about covering up the tracks of their corruption; and that there are plenty of voters who will support the regular ticket without asking or caring whether the candidates they vote for are honest or not.

The simple truth is, that so long as men are haunted by the dread of poverty, so long as they live in fear of being left behind in the struggle for the wealth by which alone the comforts and luxuries of life can be secured, so long will this tendency toward dishonesty exist and increase. It is the custom to talk as though it were confined to political circles; but it is difficult to read the daily record of defalcations, embezzlements, forgeries, adulterations and swindles of every kind without realizing that it extends to other conditions of life as well.

Governor Hill has signed the tenement commission bill. Hereafter not more than sixty-five per cent of a lot may be built on, no tenement in which two families live on one floor may have dark rooms, sanitation is to be attended to, and inspectors are to see that the law is compiled with. The governor, in giving his reasons for approving the bill, uses one very significant sentence. He says he is “convinced that a much more radical correction of abuses is possible and advisable.” So are we.

A bill has recently been introduced into the New Jersey legislature that is believed to have for its object the authorization of the grabbling of the Morris canal by the Lehigh valley railroad. The object is to still further concentrate the carrying business between the Pennsylvania coal regions and the city of New York. However corrupt the motive, it is probable that public interests will, in the long run, be advanced by its passage. The sooner that monopoly comes to have but one neck the easier will be the inevitable work of dispatching it at a single blow.

The full text of the report made to Rome by Cardinal Gibbons concerning the Knights of Labor gives some extracts not hitherto published, and which go to show that the American cardinal has had to give his Italian colleagues some elementary instruction concerning the condition of affairs in this country. To the objection that in such an organization Catholics mixed with Protestants, the cardinal responded that in this country such association must occur in nearly all of the relations of life, and he assured the pope that to suppose that the result of such mingling is prejudicial to the Catholic faith, shows ignorance of the intelligence and devotion of Catholic workmen in this country. Special emphasis having been laid on the violence arising out of some strikes started by organized labor, the cardinal replied that strikes were not invented by the knights, but were the means to which workingmen had always instinctively resorted to attain their rights; that in such a struggle between the monopolists and the poor, wrath and violence are often as inevitable as they are regrettable, and that so far as the knights are concerned they are no more responsible for such excesses than the church is responsible for the follies and crimes of some of her children, against which she protests. This common sense statement of truths obvious to every unprejudiced mind has startled the parti-colored court fool of the New York press into ridiculing and reviling the Catholic cardinal who has been a good enough American to preach the policy of trusting the people, not merely to a liberal pope, but to the most illiberal and reactionary members of the college of cardinals.

The natural resources of the United States – the God-given gifts of minerals and water power and advantageous locations for commerce are passing with startling rapidity into the hands of men whose sole object in securing them is to tax humanity for the privilege of using them. While one syndicate is buying up coal lands in Tennessee another is grasping at West Virginia, a third is operating in North Carolina and a fourth in Alabama. Every western city that shows signs of growth can point, and generally does point with pride – to acres upon acres of vacant land within its boundaries, held in the clutch of speculators. Louisville papers are congratulating their readers on “an unexpected and enormous increase in the volume of real estate transactions,” showing that “the city is on the eve of a burst of speculative activity.” Chattanooga sends the “good news” that a syndicate has purchased 25,000 acres of land in and around the city, the bulk of which lies along the river, immediately opposite Chattanooga, and nearly 15,000 acres embraces the famous coal and iron ore lands of Waldeth ridge, six miles due north of the city. New Orleans is glad because the sales of real estate in that city for six weeks exceed $2,000,000, at an advance of from twenty to twenty-five per cent, and the purchases of country real estate for three months, both government and private land, reach 2,650,000 acres, three-fourths of which is wild land, never yet cultivated. And so the work goes on.

The British ministry has produced its proposed coercion bill, and a most drastic measure it is. It proposes practically to abolish trial by jury in Ireland, and in certain cases it even goes so far as to provide for carrying accused Irishmen over to England for trial, a practice which, applied to Americans more than a century ago, was one of the declared causes of our revolution. Should such a measure pass, nothing but the certainty of the hopelessness of the struggle would excuse the Irish people for failure to meet it by armed rebellion. Mr. Dillon clearly apprehended this fact, and he declared in the house of commons that if he believed that the people of England were capable of sanctioning such a measure he would abandon forever the hope of seeing the Irish and the English shake hands. The Irish would be slaves if they submitted to it, and for himself he would either leave a country where no Irishman could live unless he lived as a slave, or else he would, if the Irish were willing, be proud and happy to lead them in battle.

The folly of dalliance with the traitors to the liberal cause is shown by the attitude of Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Hartington at this crisis. Both endorse the infamous measure, and all but ten or twelve of their followers will stand with them in supporting it. The bill is thus assured a majority in its favor. Precisely why these deserters wish to maintain the thin wall of false pretense that separates them nominally from the out and out tories is, at this distance, difficult to see. Perhaps it enables them to control votes cast by ignorant men who are more influenced by party names than by party principles, such men in fact as constitute probably a majority of the two old parties in the United States.

There is happily no question as to the attitude of the real liberals toward this last product of tory stupidity, hate and impotence. Mr. Gladstone, in the house on Tuesday, denounced the bill and demonstrated the absurdity of the pretexts put forth by the government for asking the passage of such a measure. He declared that the lessons of many years had taught the uselessness of attempting to solve the Irish problem by force, and he insisted that it is both safe and right to grant Ireland home rule, the mere promise of which by the liberal party had freed the island from crime and outrage.

Michael Davitt declares that the very stringency of the government measure has its advantages, but he is not prepared at this time to say what Irish manhood will demand when naked tyranny reigns in their land. One thing he did remark, however, and that was that under previous tory governments despots who had attempted to crush liberty in Ireland had themselves been crushed.

Meanwhile the local representatives of the government in Ireland have added fuel to the flame by arresting priests for refusing to betray the confidence of their rack-rented parishioners. The names of Fathers Ryan and Slattery have just been added to the growing list of those honored by persecution for their devotion to the new crusade against landlordism, and both were cheered by the populace as they were taken to jail. American papers that vilify and misrepresent the same movement in this country indulge in head-line hysteries over such outrages as this in Ireland.

There is a rumor in artistic circles that the French painter Meissonier is about to paint a second copy of his picture “1807,” for which the late A.T. Stewart paid an enormous sum of money; and it is said by dealers that the painting of this duplicate will render the original comparatively valueless. It seems, therefore, that the value of a Meissonier depends rather upon scarcity than upon intrinsic merit. There is a certain similarity in this respect between paintings and land values.

Though the chief energies of the British parliament are just now addressed to the task of silencing those members who do not believe that the surest way to make an Irishman happy and contented is to take away his bed and other belongings, there is still time found for the discussion of other measures of imperial importance. Notable among these is a proposal to rescind the duty of twenty-seven cents a ton now levied on all coal imported into the city of London.

The object of this duty is to reimburse the London authorities for the labor of measuring all coal brought into the metropolitan district. The authorities don't really measure any coal – they gave up about a century and a half ago – but they keep on collecting the duty just the same. And as the imports of coal into London amount to a little over 8,000,000 tons a year, the duty produces the comfortable sum of $2,174,000 annually, and the corporation of London and the metropolital board of works are fighting tooth and nail to have the duty retained. What the people of London – the hundreds of thousands of shivering wretches who suffer for want of coal – think about the matter we are not told. Most likely they don't think about it at all – and it wouldn't make much difference if they did.

The marquis of Hartington is a man whose utterances should be received with reverence, as those of one superior to the ordinary run of humanity. The marquis is no taller than other men; no stronger than other men; no wiser than many other men. But he is superior to other men for all that. He is a lawmaker of Great Britain, chosen by the people and by God Almighty. He sits in the house of commons now, by virtue of election, and he will sit in the house of lords by and by, by virtue of divine right, and if he would only come to New York we should fight for the honor of having him to dinner and fill the columns of our newspapers with descriptions of his toilet and personal habits, and generally prostrate ourselves before him. When a man like that speaks, the English speaking world at least should listen and believe – and to do the English speaking world justice, and goodly portion of it does so.

Well the marquis has spoken; he has delivered himself of the true theory of industry before the Young Men's Christian institute at the Polytechme, Regent street, London, England, and, as the Saturday Review remarks, the Polytechnic “cannot often obtain an audience to listen to a speaker of Lord Hartington's standing, and it probably never in its most favored times had more sense talked within its wall. Lord Hartington gave the Christian young men a great deal of hard sense, and even snubbed some of them who prematurely cried 'Hear, hear' to twaddle which his lordship quoted for the purpose of proving it to be twaddle.”

The twaddle which the marquis thus discredited, and which the ignorant Christian young men ignorantly applauded, is the foolish complaint about the vast sums of money spent in England and elsewhere for the maintenance of huge armaments whose only purpose is the killing of men and the destruction of wealth; and the hard sense to which the marquis treated his audience was a terse statement of the fact that “struggle of rival industries is a kind of war which does not even supersede the killing and wounding form of competition; that the peaceful war which kills by starving the loser cannot go on in safety except behind the back of the strong man armed with improved modern appliances for producing speedier extinction;” on which the Saturday Review remarks that “Lord Hartington's general proposition is a sound one, and stated a truth which is apt to be hidden in these latter days under much philanthropic rhetoric. Industry, and he might have added, voting, are, after all, substitutes for the breaking of heads.”

In other words, the only safety for organized labor is in “improved modern appliances for speedier extinction” – dynamite, for example.

This is strange doctrine for an hereditary legislator to be preaching, and we hope the Christian young men enjoyed it. Also we commend it to the attention of the Evening Post.

 


Queries and Answers

Land Titles and Crime

Fort Edward, N.Y. – In answer to your kind replies to my questions in The Standard of March 12, permit me to say further, that I think we agree so nearly on the first question and answer as to the functions of government, that it may be passed over at once.

In your answer to the second of my questions, which was in substance “that the protection of accumulated labor costs more than the protection of land;” you say in effect that were land titles abolished we should be freed from most of the crimes now committed against society, and consequently from one of the greatest branches of expense to government. I cannot see how this can be reasonably expected. Suppose we abolish all expense now incurred in registering titles to land, and all the cost of protecting them in courts, the saving would be a ridiculously small fraction. And I am unable to see how protecting land titles is so productive of crime. If land were free to anyone who chose to hire it of the government in the city of New York today, I do not see how it would reduce crime one iota.

Again, I do not see how “crimes are consequential upon the immoral enforcement of land titles,” nor “how it follows that land owners cause the greatest expense of government.” If all the land were free in New York city today, do you seriously believe the next year would show a greater diminution of crime? I can see no good reason to think so. What most men want is not more land. In the majority of cases they would spurn it in disgust in the speculative value were removed. They want the accumulated results of labor, the stored up “days' works” in the shape of food, clothing, houses, and luxuries of civilized life. Bare land is of no value to them.

How the “immoral enforcement of land titles” makes men gamblers, thieves, defaulters, keepers of brothels and gin mills; how it makes them frauds in trade, in religion, in politics, I cannot see. Had A.T. Stewart divided justly the profits of his business among those to whom they belonged, and died possessed of a single hundred thousand dollars, all who were dependent on him would have had enough, and more than enough, to supply every lawful want and every lawful luxury, while hundreds of families would have accumulated days' works of their own that are now struggling with the wolf only a few steps from a door. It is not at all unreasonable to suppose that this one man was in his lifetime the author of more crime, in the sense in which you would have us understand immoral land titles to be the authors of crime, than all the land titles in the city of New York.

M.W. Van Denburgh

You can readily understand that limitations of space make it impossible in this column to enter into discussions. We have been compelled, therefore, to reduce your letter to its inquiries. It is quite evident that you have given but scant attention to the subject, or you would not suppose that we aim to place every laborer upon a lot of ground and set him at work raising farm produce, nor fall into the absurdity of writing about free land which must be hired of the government. If you inquire sincerely, as you say and as we believe, you should read somewhat of the literature of the subject, and not depend on answers to special questions, which of necessity often presuppose elementary knowledge at least.

The expense of title registry and searching would be very largely reduced, because long chains of titles would lose their importance. But the greatest reduction of expense would relate to custom house and internal revenue offices which would be abolished, to diminution of litigation over real estate titles, and to the reduction of the cost of almshouses, of prisons, police stations and criminal courts, and of collecting taxes.

The protection of land titles produces crime by shutting people out from unused land to which they would otherwise have access, and thereby causing a scramble for a mere livelihood. Land is the natural store house of wealth. All wealth is produced by the application of labor to land. Give labor free access to this raw material, and there is no tendency toward crime; but shut labor out from it, and then offer its use to that laborer who will give the greatest proportion of his product for the privilege of using it, and immediately you have a competition among laborers which leaves to the producer but the minimum of his product. Then you have a large class in the midst of abundant wealth, who are in actual want or in constant fear of want. From this class criminals come.

If all the vacant land in New York were free today, and the owners of valuable land paid its value into a common fund, next year would show a total absence of all crime that is caused by poverty. It could not be otherwise. Professional criminals and men of unsound mind excluded, men do not commit crimes against property rights, except as they are impelled by poverty or fear of poverty; and, if business flourished, and men got honest pay for honest work, as would be the case if the parchment fences that now surround vacant land were pulled down, the incentive to the more familiar forms of crime would be removed.

Your allusion to Mr. Stewart indicates how very superficial your thought upon this subject has been. You say he was the author of more crime than all the land titles in the city of New York. You allude, no doubt, to the fact that but for the great wealth which he absorbed hundreds of families now in poverty might live in comfort. But he could not have absorbed all that wealth to the impoverishment of others if it had not been that all desirable land was closed in and homeless men were forced to beg for work. He had work to give, but he gave it at a price which kept them down and built him up. Had there been free land within reach the labor market would have been eased and Mr. Stewart must have paid his men what they earned. You hope for equitable profit sharing, but there can be no equitable profit sharing so long as men must beg for work.

When you say that most men do not want land but only the results of labor, you bring men down to the intellectual level of McKeever's hog, which “didn't care a continental for oak trees, since all it wanted was acorns.” Pray, how are men to get the results of labor without land? Bare land of no value to them! Of course not, in the sense in which you mean, although it is a very convenient thing to stand upon; but bare land and bare labor make a formidable combination. Separate them, and one is unproductive, while the other begs, steals or starves. Let them freely unite, and even the desert blooms. Land titles do separate them as by a wall, so that he who can set up a turnstile may grow rich.

A Policy That We Would Approve

Cuba, N.Y. – In one of your answers you say: “Constitutional government is established to promote the mutual interests of its citizens, and comprehends, but is not limited to, protection to person and property.”

Would it not be a better statement to say: Constitutional government was established to destine the individual property rights of its citizens and protect them in the enjoyment of them. And the people of the United States having established a constitutional government, did they not, in their sovereign capacity, ordain and establish private property in land, and in accordance with such ordination sell to individuals for a consideration full and satisfactory parcels of land to be owned and enjoyed by the vendee and his assigns forever, subject only to the right of eminent domain? And having ordained private property in land, and having ordered and provided in their constitution that private property shall not be taken for public use without due compensation, may they now violate that provision by taking the property that they have sold and received pay for in full, without rendering an equivalent, even to refunding the purchase price?

Does The Standard mean to commit itself to the support of such a policy?

A.H. Phelps

Your definition of constitutional government wholly ignores the function of protecting life and liberty; but that is not remarkable, since the saviors of society for many generations have inculcated the doctrine that property, however acquired and of whatever it consists – even when it consists of slaves – is more sacred than liberty or life. We have too high a regard for constitutional government to substitute your definition for our own.

If the government of the United States in framing a constitution had ordained and established private property in land it would have gone as far beyond the just powers of any government as if it had ordained and established private property in your grandfather and his descendants. If, in accordance with such ordination, it had sold “to individuals for a consideration free and satisfactory parcels of land to be owned and enjoyed by the vendee and his assigns forever,” it would have violated the natural right of future generations as completely as if it had sold “to individuals for a consideration full and satisfactory” the persons of your ancestors then living and all their descendants “to be owned and enjoyed by the vendee and his assigns forever.” And if they had so sold your ancestors, and incidentally yourself, and provided in their constitution that private property in the Phelps family should not be abolished without due compensation, the Phelps family of this generation, even though the Phelps family of a century ago had assented to the arrangement and enjoyed the purchase price, would have a perfect right to insist upon such a change of the fundamental law as would secure their freedom, without refunding anything. If their owners wanted compensation the family could justly respond, “You have had the benefit of our labor for three generations, for but a paltry price paid a hundred years ago, of which we got nothing; if anybody is to be compensated it is we, not you!” The Standard would not hesitate to commit itself to the support of the Phelps family in “such a policy.”

A Poor Man's Questions

Minneapolis, Minn., March 12 – What do you mean by “land values?” and how are they estimated? Will location make any difference in land value? If so, why, and for what reason should land values be more in one place than in another? You also say that railroads are the product of labor, and should not be taxed. If this theory is carried out would it not screen the rich from taxes and make the burden so much heavier on the laborer that occupies a small piece of land? You also state that the men that hoard their money or invest in “stock companies,” corporations, merchandise or bonds would have to pay their share of the tax on land values, although they did not own any land, for the tax would be paid from a common fund. How would this common fund be raised, or how would it accumulate to be on hand to pay the tax from?

D.M. Williams

By land values, we mean what economists call “the unearned increment of land,” and what real estate dealers call “ground values.” The value of a given piece of land is the price which people will pay for the privilege of using it. If you owned land near other equally good land which no one owned, your land would have no value, because any one who wanted land would resort to the other, which he could take for nothing, rather than pay you a price; but if all available land was owned, yours would have a value which would be governed by the market supply of land like yours relatively to the demand for such land. For example, there is lot on Broadway, 100 feet by 25, which two hundred years ago could have been bought for a trifle, because so few people wanted it and those that did could get so much land in the neighborhood for nothing; but now so many people want that lot and there are so few lots like it to be had, that it is worth over a quarter of a half million dollars. That vast sum is the value of that land. Land values are estimated, or arrived at, by competition for the privilege of using land. Land values are estimated, or arrived at, by competition for the privilege of using land. Land for which there is no competition has no value; land for which there is great competition has great value; and the reason that land values are more in one place than in another is simply that in some places the demand for land, relatively to the supply, is greater than in others. This demand may be on account of greater natural productiveness of the land, which makes the difference in value between adjoining farms, or between a farm and a mine; or it may be on account of greater social advantages, which makes the difference in value between farms and city lots.

To exempt railroads – that is, that part of railroads which labor produces – from taxation would not screen the rich from taxes. The basis of great fortunes is private ownership of land, even though those who possess them own but little land. Great fortunes are accumulated by appropriating the products of laborers without compensation. This is done by making laborers so dependent that they will beg for work on any terms. They are made thus dependent by limiting natural opportunities for labor. Abolish private land ownership and no one would work for less than he earned, and then no one could get what he did not earn. If any man actually earns a railroad he ought to be screened from taxation upon it. But you must not understand that we favor private ownership of railroads. A railroad requires a public franchise, and that should be given to no one. The state should not farm out any of its functions.

Nor would exemption of railroads from taxation make heavier the burden of the laborer who occupies a small piece of ground. The laborer who occupies a piece of ground which some one else owns would pay no taxes at all if taxes were placed on land values. He would pay rent as he does now; certainly no more, and probably much less, and his landlord would pay the tax out of that rent. If he were fortunate enough to own a small piece of ground, his improvements would pay no tax at all, and the tax on the value of his land would in most cases be less than he pays now, and in many cases nothing. You must not suppose that a land value tax would bear heavily on the small owner. It would fall chiefly on big owners in cities, on railroads and on mine owners. These are the classes that appropriate the greatest values in land.

The common fund to which you refer would not “accumulate to be on hand to pay the tax from.” When we say that merchants and other rich people who own but little or no land would have to pay their share of taxes on land values from a common fund, we mean that all land values belong to the community in common; that merchants and others own a share in that fund; and that when public expenses are paid out of that fund, they are of necessity equal contributors with everyone else. Suppose Brown, Smith and Robinson own a piece of land in common; worth $300 a year suppose Brown occupies it, paying Smith and Robinson their shares; and suppose the tax were raised to its full value – $300; then Brown would pay his joint owners nothing, but they would have paid as much tax as he did. In the same way merchants and others will pay taxes as well as landowners, because all taxes will be paid out of land values – a fund belonging in common to merchants as well as landowners. Indeed, it is landowners and not merchants that would escape taxation until taxes absorbed all land values, for until that time landowners would continue to appropriate the difference between the tax and the land value.

Whenever you are asked to think of the poor laborer who owns a little land and will be ruined by the land value tax, remember that while poor laborers are plenty, poor laborers who own a little land are amazingly scarce; and whenever you are told that railroads and rich people escape taxes, ask yourself why railroads and rich people are so bitterly opposed to this mode of taxation.

The Land Monopolists

Philadelphia, Pa – Supposing your land reform is accomplished. As I understand, under said circumstances, a person will have the right to use all the land he wants as long as he pays the imposed tax. Now suppose I am a capitalist. I take up a large tract of agricultural land, buy all the necessary implements, hire all the help I need, and produce big crops, which I can sell at a cheaper rate than the small farmer, for I possess all the necessary machinery to do my work, while the small farmer has either to hire the machinery, or, as in most cases, to get along without. Would not your land reform break the small farmers down?

M. Ch.

Carry your illustration to the extreme. Suppose, instead of taking up a large tract of agricultural land, you take up all the land in the United States.

If you use it all, your demand for workmen will be unlimited. You will have to scour the globe for help, and your demand for machinery and buildings will be so great that the prosperity of manufacturing industries will be phenomenal. Do you appreciate the significance of this? Do you understand the effect of a demand which exceeds supply? Can you not see that wages would go up with a bound and keep on increasing? Would there be any limit to them except the actual earnings of the laborers? And what about the unearned increment of the laborers? And what about the unearned increment of the vast territory you owned? Your help would want houses, shop and factories, and these must have a part of the earth to rest upon. Suppose you undertook to charge a ground rent. It would immediately taken from you in taxes. Suppose some of your men wanted to buy a piece of your land and offered a price greater than that upon which you were paying taxes. If you accepted, your empire would begin to crumble; if you declined, your taxes would be increased. Thus you would have to pay into the common fund all that you realized from your ownership of the land. You would soon be in worse plight than a king without a throne, and every one else would be independent and comfortable. But suppose you do not use all your land. Suppose you hire only enough men and employ only enough capital to give you an immense income, and keep all the rest of the land of the country out of use. Under present conditions you would impoverish your countrymen and breed a horde of criminals, paupers, parasites and sycophants. But if you were compelled to pay into a common fund whatever your land was worth, whether you used it or not, how different the situation would be. Your improved real estate would be appraised, the value of improvements deducted, and the annual value of the remainder taken away from you. Your vacant land would be sought by sixty million people; the price their bidding fixed would measure its value you would be taxed. How long do you think you could hold out? Why, the speculative value of that land would be so great that one year's taxes would bankrupt you, and all your land would be in market. If you sold one piece, that would be the beginning of the end, and before long you would give up every rood that you did not use, in which case, labor having plenty of free land to go upon, wages would go up and you would be unable to employ a single workman without paying him all it had cost in labor and time.

Now go back to your own illustration. If you owned a tract of agricultural land which other people wanted, it would have a value which would be the basis of your tax. That you would have to pay, not once for all, but every year so long as you appropriated the land. All around your tract would be other land, and beyond that other, and beyond that other still. If people wanted this it would have a value, and some one would occupy it on the same conditions that you occupied yours. They would want help as well as you would; and since, at some point not remote, there would be good land which no one used, and upon which any one might go free, you and the other owners would, for the help you needed, have to bid not only against each other, but also against the free land. How long would it be before you would have to hire your help on their terms instead of your own? Suppose you could sell cheaper than the small farmer, you could not deny him a living, and with a living assured he would not work for you unless you paid him well. But you could not sell cheaper. You would be so dependent on him and men like him for help that all the advantages that great capital would now give you over the small farmer would be more than made up to him by the high wages which every one who work, whether for himself or for another, would get.

The Real Estate Boom in the West

St. Louis, Mo – I desire to ask your opinion of the present boom in values in real estate now manifested throughout the country, especially in this city, Springfield, Kansas City, Fort Scott and Witchataw. Do you not think this activity is a good deal promoted by the general discussion of the land question according to your theory? And why greater activity in towns and cities generally than in country farms or in wild lands of the west? I do not belong to any labor organization, but am greatly interested in the welfare and prosperity of all laboring classes.

Geo. W. Hatch.

We do not think the present speculation in land values in the west is due to the general discussion of the land question. It is a prelude to lower rates of wages and interest in the west. Capital for better interest, and men for better wages, have been moving westward for some time, and land values there have been noticeably affected by the migration. This has aroused the speculation. It will be followed, no doubt, by a wave of commercial disaster, which, as it recedes, will leave a few in possession of the land, and carry great numbers into the sea of bankruptcy. As industry revives it will be on a lower plane. The laborer must take less wages and the capitalist less interest, while the landlord will take more rent; and he who is both laborer and capitalist, as the farmer, the storekeeper, and so on, must necessarily be satisfied with a smaller income for the benefit of rivals who include valuable land in their capital.

We have been through the experience here with the result of ruining thousands and of reducing interest fifty per cent and wages at about the same rate. This real estate “boom” in the west signifies the approach of “landlords' blight.”

The greater activity in towns and cities than in farming districts is because land values increase with so much greater rapidity in centers of population. Land values are due, not to the usefulness of land, but to competition for land, and competition is, of course, keener in cities than out of them, and is much more likely to intensify. Hence, town and city values rise rapidly, while farm values remain stationary. It is certain that in a few years very many more people will want a lot in St. Louis, while it is doubtful if a farm in the interior of Missouri will be in much greater demand then than now; therefore speculation in St. Louis lots is active when speculation in farm land is dormant.

Anxious About a Life Policy

Cincinnati, O – I have a policy in the Mutual Life insurance company for $20,000, on which I have been paying premiums for twenty years past.

Most, if not all, of the reserve of this company is invested in real estate or mortgages on real estate.

If your theory of the confiscation of land is put into practice, what will become of my provision for my wife and family?

W.H. Harding

We have no “theory of confiscation of land.” We are striving to abolish confiscation of rent. Rent is the price of a social privilege – of the privilege of living or working in a particular place on the earth's surface. It is a price that is of right due to the community in which the privilege is sought; but landlords confiscate it to their own use. We think they have done this long enough.

If, however, you want to know how the shifting of taxes to land values would affect your policy in the Mutual Life, we will try to tell you. If all the assets of that company are invested in mortgages on unimproved land, your security would constantly diminish as land values diminished, and after the lapse of a considerable time would be almost worthless. If they are invested in mortgages on improved land, that part of the security which rests on the value of the land would also diminish, and if the taxes were raised so as to absorb all land values, would be worthless; but that part which rests on the value of improvements would increase, if not in dollars, at least in the products of labor which dollars are used to buy. But the transition period would be extended, since our proposition contemplates a gradual process, and the Mutual Life would have ample opportunity to readjust its securities without serious loss. Your policy would be in far less danger from the adoption of this method of taxation than from a severe panic followed by stagnation, such as we periodically experience. Furthermore, the changed industrial conditions, to say nothing of common funds applicable to the relief of the dependent, would make your widow fare more secure than most life policies do; your children, when they grew up, would find ready work at good wages, which would make them comfortable and independent; and, as to yourself while you lived, your opportunities would be so much enlarged and your property so secure that an insurance policy would seem to you more like a wager on your life than a provision for your family in case of death.

Rev. Dr. Easton of Newark on the Problem of Poverty

At the First Reformed church of Newark, N.J., Rev. Dr. Easton recently preached a sermon on “The Problem of Poverty,” taking for his text the words: “The rich man's wealth is his strong city – the deconstruction of the poor is their poverty.”

The reverend gentleman gave a very exhaustive review of Judaism and the principles of that religion, whose care for the poor was the chiefest of its glories. He then gave a graphic description of the poor in large cities, and said: “Undoubtedly there are errors and mistakes which measurably account for the present deplorable state of things, which, if they only be distinctively seen and realized and then remedied, the way would be prepared for better times. What the greatest of these are I desire to point out – not to discuss them in full, and if I am successful in my humble endeavor I may do at least something toward the ultimate solution of the greatest problem.

Sociology is as yet in its infancy. The book of Henry George, 'Progress and Poverty' has been an effective force upon the brain of the American mechanic. The thorough organization of labor as a means of self-preservation against the avarice, greed and oppression of capitalists is but in its infancy and is merely a stepping stone to power when legislation will adjust existing wrongs. Let it be remembered that what the working classes require is ampler renumeration, not charity. Take the money that might be given to benevolent organizations and pay honest toil today a better price and you will soon render their existence unnecessary. The present ill-paid wage worker has a poor opinion of the man who has oppressed labor, and when death removes him gives enormous amounts to build colleges and theological seminaries. It is regarded, and often justly, by the wage worker as hush money on a death bed to quiet conscience over the injustice of the past and wrongs that were perpetrated upon his employees. While our public charities are in one sense our glory, in another they are our shame, for they proclaim the vice, injustice, stupidity and oppression that have rendered their existence imperative.”

Dr. Easton quoted several extracts from “Progress and Poverty” and, continuing, took up the limitation of the land ownership question. While he favored the views expressed by Henry George, still he very much doubted if a bill covering the subject could ever be enforced. The clergyman then referred to the blundering, indiscriminating methods of charity now in vogue, arguing that discrimination is imperatively demanded. In conclusion, he said that to a large extent the church has divorced herself from that work of charity which she received from her Lord. She has surrendered the field to huge organizations and does her charity by proxy. As a consequence, the reproach is taken up against her and diminishes the influence of the church on society.

Giving the Clergy a Chance

Columbus, O – At a recent meeting of the Henry George club it was unanimously resolved that the clergy of this city be respectfully requested to discourse from their pulpits at their earliest convenience upon the subject, “The land doctrines advocated by Henry George the solution of the labor problem.” Due notice of the time of such discourses is further requested, so that all who wish to attend may have an opportunity of doing so.

Charles F. Kipp, Secretary

Page 6

 


Rapid Transit and Land

The Elevated Railroads, Brooklyn Bridge and Real Estate Values

The Manhattan Stock More Than One-Half Water – The Brooklyn Bridge Has No Stock in Wall Street – Where Land Has Quadrupled is Price and Rents Have Steadily Increased.

If the city of New York had built and operated the elevated railroads on its own account, would it not have contributed in a greater degree to the welfare of its people than by permitting private corporations to do it? Notwithstanding the onerous tribute exacted from the community through the over-capitalization of the roads, is not a far greater burden legally laid on the people by the city's landowners whose property has been increased in value by rapid transit?

The system of elevated railroads in New York city consists of the New York elevated railroad, with lines on Third and Ninth avenues; the Metropolitan railway company, with lines on Second and Sixth avenues, and the Manhattan railway company, which owns no lines, but which on May 20, 1879, began operating the roads of the other two companies under a lease of 999 years.

In 1883, the state board of railroad commissioners made investigations as to the probable cost of the elevated railroad system, and from their report collated the following facts relating to the construction of the roads:

The Metropolitan Railway Company

Up to 1873 practically nothing had been done in the way of construction by the Metropolitan railway company, although the corporation had been several years in existence. During that year the New York loan and improvement company was formed, and a contract was made by which it was to construct and equip the road. It continued at the work until September, 1879, when the Manhattan company put an end to its operations. Some of the principal stockholders of the Metropolitan road were largely interested in the loan and improvement company. The books of the latter company. The books of the latter company showed that $10,885,983 had been expended by it; but the board refused to recognize items amounting to $999,292 as a part of the cost of the road. The Manhattan company also claimed to have expended $4,535,754 on the construction of the Metropolitan lines, but the board deducted $606,971 as improperly charged. The total cost of the construction of the Metropolitan road, as made out by the company, therefore stands $15,421,737, and as found by the board, $13,815,474.

The New York Elevated Company

The New York elevated railroad company did not run a loan and improvement company as a tender. It had another method of putting money into the pockets of its promoters. Its cost, as shown by its books, was $13,460,871, and this amount included $4,898,170 discount on its bonds. The board held special meetings at the time of its investigation for the purpose of taking evidence as to the necessity of selling these bonds at a discount, and invited the officers of the road to be present. “At neither meeting,” the report says, “has a word of evidence been given to establish the propriety or necessity of the foregoing discount suffered on the bonds of the New York elevated road. From such a state of facts the board concludes that the discount on the bonds cannot be treated as any necessary or proper part of 'capital actually expended,' or the cost of the road.” The bonds had been sold to stockholders at from 12½ cents on the dollar to par. Besides the discount, $4,898,170, the board thought that there were items not properly to be charged to construction, or overcharged, amounting to $1,363,261. Among them was an issue of stock and bonds of $524,970 for the extension of the road from Battery place to South ferry. An ex-secretary of the company testified that the extension could have been built for one-half the sum charged. The board was certain on investigation that it should have cost no more than $150,000. The Manhattan company represented to the board that it had expended for construction on the New York road $1,764,050, but the board believed that this was in excess by $95,710. The total cost of the New York elevated road, as made out by the Manhattan company, was $15,224,922. As found by two of the three railroad commissioners, it was $8,807,779.

The Cost of the System

The following, then, are the expenditures for the construction of the elevated railroad system of New York:

As claimed by the company –

New York Elevated, expended by themselves and Manhattan company

$10,326,752

Metropolitan company, expended by New York Loan and Improvement company

15,006,237

Discount on bonds of New York company

4,898,170

Discount on bonds of Metropolitan company

415,500

Grand total cost of construction

$30,646,659

Capitalized as follows –

Manhattan stock (nothing paid in)

$13,000,000

New York Elevated stock

6,300,000

Metropolitan Elevated stock

6,500,000

New York Elevated funded debt

8,500,000

Metropolitan Elevated funded debt

12,818,000

Total

$47,316,000

As found by the board –

Take amount for construction, as claimed by the companies

 

$30,646,659

Deduct items as shown not pertaining to construction –

   

New York company

$1,458,972

 

Metropolitan company

1,190,764

$2,649,736

   

$27,996,923

Deduct discount on bonds –

$4,898,170

 

New York company

415,500

 

Metropolitan company

 

5,313,670

Grand total cash cost

 

$22,683,253

The report was signed by John D. Kernan and William E. Rogers, but a minority report was made by John O'Donnell. Commissioner O'Donnell's estimate of “capital actually expended” for the New York road was $8,703,702, as he deducted from the figures in the company's statement $6,430,584, representing discount on bonds, legal expenses, interest, Manhattan lease accounts, etc. From the Metropolitan company's figures of $15,421,737, he deducted $1,873,911, leaving $13,547,826. He put the total capital expended for the construction of the system, as shown by the books of the companies, at $22,250,508.

The Probable True Cost

The Commercial Advertiser on April 29, 1879, published estimates that a double track elevated iron railway, eight miles in length, could be built, furnished with twenty first-class stations, and equipped with the very best rolling stock, ready and capable to transfer 100,000 passengers daily, for a great deal less than $4,000,000. This would bring down the total cost of the eighty miles of single track of the system to “a great deal less” than $20,000,000.

Of the $47,000,000 at which the system is recapitalized, Commissioner O'Donnell said: “This fraudulent aggregation of millions of stock is not in any sense the capital referred to in the general railroad act of 1850. On the contrary, it is only a pyramid of water on a pedestal of transparent fraud.” Mr. O'Donnell calculated that, on the “capital actually expended,” the net earnings of the New York elevated road were, in 1882, 16.14 per cent, and those on the Metropolitan 7.16 per cent, or 10.68 per cent for the Manhattan system. This “capital actually expended,” it is to be observed, is that shown by the books of the company as separated from various charges not properly connected with the construction account. What were the frauds in connection with the building of the roads there are no means of ascertaining.

Litigation and Corruption

The history of the elevated road companies has numerous chapters relating to litigation. Suits have ever since their inception been on the dockets relating to injunctions, taxes, receivers, damages, dividends, stock jobbing, annulment of charter, perversion of stock, etc. An attorney general and a justice of the supreme court of the state have been tainted by the suspicion of having been bribed by elevated railroad managers.

The history of these roads, as seen from Wall street, can never be written, any more than all the false plays over a “skin” faro bank table could be traced. One transaction may be noted here. The Jay Gould clique, after systematically depreciating the price of the stock in the summer and fall of 1881, turned up at the November election for officers, voted on 70,000 shares and took possession of the management of the road. It was currently believed at the time that the clique had bought the stock in their possession at an average of 20. When they ceased “hammering” it down it went up to 70. This represents a profit of $2,450,000 on the 70,000 shares. It was thought in Wall Street, however, that at least 100,000 of the total 130,000 shares were held by the Gould men, and that their profits were about $4,000,000 on the “deal.”

The Brooklyn Bridge

The act incorporating the company intending to build the Brooklyn bridge became law on April 10, 1867. The capital stock was fixed at $5,000,000, Brooklyn subscribing $3,000,000, New York $1,500,000, and the remaining $500,000 being distributed among forty-one incorporators, among whom were Tweed, Sweeney, Connolly, and others, who later became notorious as plunderers of this city.

During the first four years the history of the bridge was marred by complaints of fraud and downright dishonesty on the part of the builders, by investigations of accounts, and by savage attacks on the personal character of the officers. The construction account was early open to criticism, and it was discovered that men who were interested in the bridge company had also a heavy interest in the contracts for furnishing timber, stone, etc. Matters reached such a point finally that an investigating committee of fifty went to work upon the accounts and all the records of the directors. Their report, made in 1873, indicated a laxity in management and a neglect of the interests in management and a neglect of the interests of the two heaviest stockholders, the cities of New York and Brooklyn. The legislature of the following year took the matter in hand, and authorized the two cities to complete the structure, after extinguishing the title of the private stockholders by purchasing their shares in the company and reimbursing them in full. Under the new order of things the bridge became public property, Brooklyn paying for and owning 66 2/3 per cent and New York 33 1/3 per cent. Several investigations were made by direction of the legislature between that time and the completion of the bridge to determine the status of its affairs, and satisfy the public demand for information. The report of the committees showed reason for the completion of the bridge as soon as it could be done in safety. The bridge was opened May 23, 1883. Its cost was $16,000,000, and the period of building more than thirteen years.

The Two Systems Compared

The Brooklyn bridge was a public work; the elevated roads are a private enterprise. The building of the bridge may have been costly, but with its completion the opportunity it gave for stealing was ended, excepting what might be done in connection with repairs and in the management, and both these channels of expenditure are constantly open to publicity. The bridge draws no dividends on watered stock, it has no shares listed at the stock exchange, its officers cut no figure at Albany, and its managers cannot divert its revenues to their pockets. The elevated railroad system, on the other hand, exerts a power for corruption in the legislature, the courts, the stock market, and it levies a tax on the public more than double that necessary to yield ample returns on the money invested in it.

The Enrichment of Land Owners

The citizen of New York who is not an owner of land enjoys the benefits of the rapid transit system, inasmuch as by it he is transferred from point to point in a somewhat shorter time than he would be by the surface cars. Land owners, however, have been enriched by it far more than have all its promoters and stockholders. This was figured out before the roads were erected, and the knowledge of the gains thus to be made drew to the support of the proposed rapid transit system the owners of up town lands as a body. In 1875 the value of the real estate in the city of New York north of Fourteenth street, as assessed for taxes, reported to Mayor W.H. Wickham by Samuel B. Ruggles from official sources, was as follows:

Portions of the City above 14th st.

Number of Lots

Aggregate Valuation

Average of each

1. Between 14th and 26th sts.

9,986

$97,353,450

$9,749

2. Between 26th and 40th sts.

11,116

108,538,050

9,704

3. Between 40th and 59th sts.

14,942

120,597,938

8,071

4. Between 55th and 119th sts., east side Central park

16,608

57,048,550

3,480

5. Between 59th and 119th sts., west side Central park

12,320

24,262,080

1,969

6. Between 110th and 155th sts., north of Central park

24,276

41,022,115

1,689

 

89,248

$448,022,763

 

7. North of 155th st. to Spuyten Duyyll creek or Harlem river

30,720

5,860,500

184

Total

119,968

$451,483,463

 

Mr. Ruggles stated further that, judging from the progressive increase of the valuation for taxes of the real estate of the city north of Fourteenth street, it would be sufficiently evident that whenever 80,000 of the 119,968 lots north of Fourteenth street should be occupied by substantial buildings, the valuation of the 119,968 lots would probably be $800,000,000, and the actual money value to their owners at least $1,500,000. The Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth wards were not included in the statement and estimate.

This forecast was not far amiss, as may be seen by the reports of the commissioners of taxes and assessments for 1876 and 1886. The assessments of real estate by wards in New York for those years were:

Wards

1876

1886

First

$51,003,696

$78,790,763

Second

28,012,100

34,368,378

Third

32,692,000

38,385,429

Fourth

12,685,675

13,210,803

Fifth

38,562,459

45,997,412

Sixth

21,432,050

24,252,693

Seventh

15,986,300

16,965,446

Eighth

34,408,049

39,037,817

Ninth

25,919,730

29,246,990

Tenth

17,361,550

17,900,365

Eleventh

14,871,000

16,791,129

Twelfth

67,238,660

134,031,832

Thirteenth

9,769,800

16,366,415

Fourteenth

22,305,265

24,679,727

Fifteenth

51,718,250

55,838,241

Sixteenth

32,454,444

37,857,127

Seventeenth

31,704,700

33,885,094

Eighteenth

66,044,750

78,153,344

Nineteenth

119,156,555

204,918,453

Twentieth

36,984,850

45,641,676

Twenty-first

72,706,800

89,084,423

Twenty-second

66,449,640

103,728,440

Twenty-third

13,107,950

19,616,976

Twenty-fourth

9,683,760

11,194,090

 

$892,287,015

$1,208,941,065

Of the $312,000,000 (in round numbers) increased assessed value of real estate in the ten years, the wards lying north of Fourteenth street took more than $230,000,000. These were the Twelfth, Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-first and Twenty-second, the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth being omitted, as by Mr. Ruggles, from the calculations. Rapid transit increased the value of real estate in the First ward, also, making in the wards mostly affected an increase in the decade of $260,000,000 against $62,000,000 in all the rest.

The Advance In Rents

The New York Times of March 8, 1880, noted an advance of from 30 to 40 per cent in rentals in Harlem, based on the fact of the facilities for renting that section afforded by the elevated railroads. One real estate firm reported that it did not put bills upon small houses in its charge uptown, because it would be overrun with applications for them if it did. The Times noted a general advance of about 10 per cent raise in rents all over the city. The Astors had considered the advisability of a 20 per cent raise of their rents all around, but finally compromised by putting on 10 per cent in 1880 and deciding to put on 10 more in 1881. Accordingly, on Feb. 1, 1881, when the last quarter's payments were due, the Astors notified their tenants generally of an intended increase of from 10 to 15 per cent after May 1. In some instances, where three year leases fell due, the advance was 20 and even 30 per cent. The example of the Astors was followed by the Goelets, Rhinelanders, Stuyvesants, and other large owners of real estate. In Harlem there was another rise of 10 to 15 per cent in rents noted in 1881.

What proportion of increased value has gone to the land, as separate from buildings, of the city north of Fourteenth street cannot be ascertained. Yet it is certain that much more has done so than is indicated in the tables given. The “unimproved” land is assessed lightly, though held at high prices by owners, and the small increase made by the assessors on the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth wards has been made many times over by the owners. Suppose that New York city had, with $20,000,000, built such a rapid transit road as was reported possible by Commissioner of Public Works Allan Campbell to Mayor Smith Ely in 1876 – a depressed double track running from the City hall to the city's tracks on the New York Central road on Fourth avenue; – and suppose that the vacant city lots north of Fourteenth street had been common land, would not the city today be rich enough to buy out every street car line and gas company, and every other institution partaking of a public character, but which is now in private hands?

J.W. Sullivan

 


Who Owns The Ground Owns The Men

The Methods of the Almaden Mine – Vote the Company Ticket or Be Discharged

San Francisco Examiner

On Thursday morning the taking of testimony in the contested election case of Sullivan vs. Felton in the Fifth congressional district, was renewed before Notary Whitton in San Jose.

P.C. Moore, the first witness for the prosecution, testified as follows:

I have resided in this country for nearly twenty-five years. During nearly all that time I have gone to the Almaden mine several times a week, peddling vegetables and fruit among the employees there. I stopped going there about a year ago, because Mr. Boulware told me he was authorized to forbid me coming any more.

I presume the reason I was stopped was because other men had established gardens at the place, and for me to sell vegetables, etc., would cut down their profits somewhat. It was on this same principle that I have always been forbidden to bring anything in the grocery line to the miners, as groceries are sold at the store there, and anything which they had they declared contraband if I bought it. At times they were very peculiar, and would search my wagon to see what I had.

The miners were all compelled to purchase what they wanted at the store, risking discharge if they didn't. The prices charged there were so high, too, that some of them complained greatly; and the Methodist minister, Mr. Willis, had to leave the place on this account.

I was never allowed to carry passengers in my wagon to and from the mine because there was a company stage.

At election time there was always a company ticket fixed up in the office, and it was generally understood that if a man refused to vote it he would be discharged. I know of several who lost their places in that way. Mr. Keedy was one and Gus Aroscoe, a Spaniard, another. Gus voted the democratic ticket.

Then, coming back to matters of trade, they have what they call the boleto system at the mines. The miners are paid with these boletos instead of coin, and in buying things at the company store they are supposed to be as good as cash. But they are not, for they are discounted there at the rate of ten per cent.

The boletos used to read, 'Good for $1 at the store,' but after the butcher at the place had got several hundred dollars' worth on his hands at one time he sued the company, and compelled them to redeem them at par in silver, so since that time the boleto has read like this: 'Good for $1 in goods at the store.'”

At this point in the testimony a specimen boleto was produced, which substantially corroborated the witness' statement, reading, “Almaden store, deliver to bearer goods to the amount of four bits. Derby & Lowe.”

Continuing the witness said:

There wee some butchers and peddlers who got around the company by stratagem. A man named Hunt used to leave meat at the Last Chance saloon, a half mile away from the mine, and the workmen would come and get it after dark.

When Mr. Boulware stopped me from going up to the mine, I got permission from Superintendent Jennings to keep on for six weeks longer, in order that I might collect some bills which were due me. I also wanted to dispose of a stock of potatoes which I had on hand, but was not allowed to take my wagon up there any more, being compelled to go myself by stage.”

James Ready testified as follows:

I worked at Almaden during the Mayo administration, and at that time peddlers could come and go as they chose, and a man was not interfered with in casting his vote. But Randol, the present manager, changed all this as soon as he came in. When Greeley was running for president Ralph Lowe said to me that a man who had any honor ought to vote for him. I told him I wouldn't vote for any abolitionist, and after the election was over Feldler told me I would be discharged on the 15th of the month. I asked him why, and he answered: 'A man who won't vote as the Almaden people want him to, won't get the Almaden money.' I was reinstated that time, however, upon the petition of my wife.

At the last election I went to Almaden in the interest of Sheriff Branham, and I saw Ralph Lowe giving the miners, one by one, their register numbers and a folded ticket, and sending them to the polls to vote. Neil Anderson wrote the tickets, and I saw Boulware at the polls taking down the names of all who voted. The men were brought from the mine to the polls in wagons, each load under charge of a boss, and at this as on all other election days the bosses would bid the men vote for their 'bread and butter.' Mr. Randol, who lives in the city, always came around on election days.”

The Annexed District Feels the Pressure

New York Herald

The residents of the Twenty-third ward are up in arms against their landlords. Last year there was a rise of from seven to ten per cent in the rents on the east side above the Harlem. The rise was due to the opening of one mile of suburban “L” road. The tenants endured it because they expected to get late night trains and because they were told the advance in rents would end there. This month, however, there is another rise of from seven to ten per cent and no late trains, the midnight suburban train having been taken off some time ago. The horse cars, because of the long intervals between them, have long been a subject of complaint. Building is not as active in the Twenty-third ward as it might be.

 


Protection In France

What It Is Doing For The Land Owners Of The Republic

New Duties on Food of Every Kind – How Small Producers Will Be Injured – Emile Zola on the Social Situation

Bordeaux, March 19 – One of our most prominent European authorities on the subject says that, judging from the great strength of the protectionist party in the French chamber, as shown in recent divisions, there is but little reason to doubt that the proposed increase in the duties on imported agricultural produce will be agreed to, as that on wheat has been by the chamber already, in spite of the protests of the people of the towns. The charge will greatly increase the cost of the staple articles of food in France, and yet, important as the subject is, the information given in relation to it in the press has been of the most meager description. For this reason a brief statement of the duties at present levied, and of the new increase, will be interesting to many people in the United States.

Previous to 1885 the duty on foreign wheat imported into France was only 60 centimes per quintal (220½ lbs.), or about 3 cents a bushel. In March of that year, however, it was raised to 3 francs a quintal, or about 16 cents a bushel, while the duty on flour was increased from 30 cents to $1.50 a sack. At the same time new duties equivalent to 8 cents a bushel on rye, 6 cents on barley, and 5 cents on oats were imposed. Then in order that the poor should not indulge too freely in stimulating diet, the duties on live stock and meat were raised as follows: Fat cattle, from $3 to $5 a head; cows, from $1.60 to $2.50; store cattle, from $1 to $1.60; calves from 30 cents to 80 cents; sheep, from 40 cents to 60 cents; lambs from 10 cents to 20 cents; pigs, from 60 cents to $1.25; fresh meat, from nothing to 75 cents per cwt.; salt meat, from nothing to 86 cents per cwt. Even these duties failed to satisfy the French agricultural party, who at once commenced to agitate for further increase. Being powerful in the chamber, they had no difficulty in getting a commission appointed to inquire into the subject, and, after several changes, this body agreed to propose that the increased duties appended: Wheat, 26 cents a bushel; flour, $2.05 a sack; oats, 11 cents a bushel; maize, 15 cents a bushel; fat cattle, $7.60 a head; sheep, $1 a head.

These are heavy duties, and, if agreed to, they will affect consumers to a very serious extent. In 1886 France imported 26,024,520 bushels of wheat, the new duty on which will amount to $5,888,365. That, however, is only a small portion of what the duty would cost consumers, as the price of all the wheat sold in the markets would be increased. It is a well known doctrine of economists that the price of a protected commodity is increased at least by the amount of duty charged upon it, and that not only on the quantity imported, but on all sold. As a matter of fact, the price of wheat in France during the past year has been considerably more than the amount of existing duty in excess of the price in England. Now, the annual consumption of wheat in France, besides what is used for seed, is over 288,000,000 bushels, and the proposed duty on this quantity would amount in round figures to $76,230,000. This is a somewhat considerable item to begin with, as indicating the cost of protection to French consumers.

As to the other cereals, if we may assume that their prices would be higher by the various duties (some proposed to be increased and others to remain as at present) than under free trade, we find, in taking the average produce of each, plus net imports and minus seed, that the total would be about $35,090,000, thus bringing the cost of duties on cereals up to about $111,320,000 per annum. With respect to the duties on live stock and meat, there are no available data for determining their cost to consumers with any pretense to precision, as the amounts levied or proposed vary on animals according to age, and the exact consumption of each class is unknown. But after going into these figures somewhat closely I have come to the conclusion that these duties would cost French consumers at least $40,000,000 a year, and this brings the total prospective cost of protecting the agricultural interest up to $151,020,000.

This enormous exaction appears all the more monstrous when it is borne in mind that it is chiefly for the benefit of the large landowners. The tenants will obtain no advantage in the long run, as their rents will be raised, or prevented from falling, by the duties, while a large proportion of the peasant proprietors of the country, who grow less cereal produce than they consume, will be injured instead of being benefited. All the vine growers, the fruit growers, the market gardeners, and the small dairy farmers – a very numerous class – will also suffer, as they all consume more of the protected commodities than they produce. The productions of these classes are among the principal exports of France, and as the cost of production will be increased by the duties, it is easy to see that the export trade will suffer. Another important industry, that of the manufacture of semolina, macaroni and vermicelli, which has grown very rapidly in France, will be absolutely crippled, if not ruined, by the imposition of the increased duties.

Of late years there has been a tendency exhibited in England to praise the works of Emile Zola, and despite the fact that his pages are generally soiled by some moral blemishes, there undoubtedly exists beneath the surface a considerable amount of practical philosophy, and acquaintance with the inner life, pursuits and mode of thinking of the French laboring classes. The distinguished novelist, in a speech made some days ago, gave some curiously English utterances upon the working population, and more especially upon the miners of this country, in which he exhibits his great powers of observation and analysis of character. He asserted that the reason why strikes of French workmen never accomplish any results is because, as a body, they are totally incapable of organization. The lamentable weakness of the national character, the love of being governed, the distaste of thinking and acting for one's self paralyze the French proletariat. The mines of France are the property of great companies, the shareholders of which naturally enough don't want their dividends lessened. The miners turn to government for redress, but they receive only a rebuff, for some of the officers, and many of the shareholders, are deputies and senators. The fact that the government of France is republican does not help matters one whit, for so large is the republican majority in the chambers, and so many wealthy men have gone over to the republic, that the fortunes of France are now found on the left rather than on the right.

M. Zola thinks that there will be a great struggle, which will level this inequality, but that it will not begin in France. This country, he insists, is at bottom markedly monarchical. Frenchmen – even French workmen – prefer the glamor that surrounds royalty to the simplicity of republicanism. “If a man were tomorrow to declare himself king,” he says, “and were to parade through the streets of Paris with flags flying and music playing, he would have hundreds of faithful followers behind him within half an hour. This is the catholic element in the French character – the love of pomp and display. We like a dictator, a man we can look up to, who will defend us. We cannot shake off the old monarchical traditions. They still live in our heart, our mind, our blood.” He thinks that the numerous strikes which have occurred lately in France are the earthquakes which precede the burst of the volcano. M. Zola allows plenty of time – as much as a hundred years – for the gathering storm to accumulate the necessary force, but he thinks it quite within the range of possibility that the outburst may come in the next ten years. A new country like the United States, or an old nation England, that has long been accustomed to popular liberty, will see the first eruption. Zola clothes his opinions in the gorgeous apparel with which he adorns the characters in his novels, but his utterances, doubtless, bear a certain value, because he is man of the people, who has lived amongst them all his life, has worked amongst them all his life, has worked with them and studied them, and because they represent the judgment of a man who has made his name the property of the world.

Arnold Dickson

 


Correspondence

Mrs. Fannie G. Jackson of St. Francis, Ark., who, with her husband, owns more than two thousand acres of arable land, has addressed a letter to Rev. W.H. Black of St. Louis, who in a sermon discouraged the working people from attempting to ameliorate their social condition by radical measures. She says: “The three elements of life are land, air and water, and as the land is as necessary to man's existence as the air or water it should, therefore, be as free. How absurd it would be propose the individual ownership of air or water; and did such a state of affairs exist how many thirsting, suffocating human beings would yield up their last penny to the corporations who were fortunate enough to gain control of these elements? When the rent of land is taken by the people for public uses, while all improvements are non-taxable or transferable, then may the oppressed sons of earth be reinvested with the inalienable right of recourse to the soil, and every man have a home and 'worship God under his own vine and fig tree.' Then shall the poorhouse and the prison be superseded by institutions of learning, and want, 'like a dream's dim imagery,' shall flee from the face of a truly regenerated earth. Dr. Black says: 'Take the hope of a home out of a man's life and he becomes profligate, if not actually immoral.' But has the man whom the treadmill of life compels to work for one dollar a day in winter's storms and summer's scorching sun any such stimulus? 'Totally untrained,' as he may be, 'to think for himself,' he realizes that he is the bondman of the land shark who says to him, 'work or starve.' He knows that under the present system he can never own one foot of soil.”

Thomas R. Harrison of Portland, O., says that the doctrines promulgated by The Standard are finding ready acceptance in his locality, and the new party will find many adherents there.

John J. Brown of San Francisco confirms the course of The Standard, arguing that the only solution of the great social ills of this and all other countries lies in the recognition of the principle that every human being has an equal right to the bounties of nature, and the cry should be “The land for the people.”

Alfred Richardson of Philadelphia, sixty-seven years old, says he has but one object in view before stepping out, and that is to contribute his mite toward that grand result, the “nationalization of the Lord's land.” The fault of the majority of teachers and preachers of the day, he says, is that they do not seem to realize that “a radical change in the whole social system is necessary, but all their teachings are aimed at the improvement and elevation of man upon the system of things that prevail, and this, too, is the tendency of most of our so-called moral literature. The effect is to reconcile superficial minds with the principles of the existing social state, and to induce the employment of mere palliatives and anodynes for a deeply-rooted internal disease.”

The Light in the South

F.E. Harris, in the Ocala (Fla.) Banner, referring to the present system of levying taxes on improvements on land and all the various tools of industry, instead of placing all taxes on land values, says:

C.M. Brown, with an energy that should have been encouraged, erected a hotel in this town that should be, and perhaps is, the pride of the county, but he was punished with a tax so excessive that he was compelled to sell it at a sacrifice. The tax that he was compelled to pay upon it would have been a handsome profit. James A. Harris goes into an untaxed wilderness. He covers it with a blooming, fruitful orchard. The impetus he gave to the orange industry added to the wealth of the state many millions of dollars, yet he is annually punished with a fine, in the shape of a tax, added to the occasional visitations of drouth and frost, and other natural disasters that almost amounts to a confiscation of his property. Is this system of taxation right? Should a man's industry, and energy, and thrift, be punished with a tax? Follow the scale up or down, and the same injustice will be found in our system of taxation. The widow, with a single ox, or the orphan girl, with but a sewing machine, cannot escape this tax. The energy of our whole population, great and small, rich and poor, men and women, widow, orphan or what not, is punished with a tax. Is there a remedy for it, and if so, what is it? If all personal property and the improvements upon all lands, hotels, stores, banks, dwellings, barns, orange trees, vegetables and fruits of man's energy and toil, in all shapes and forms were to go untaxed, and taxes be levied solely upon land values, no man would buy more land than he could conveniently improve. No man would then be “land poor.” Those of us who live in Florida know that a man who is “land poor” is poor indeed. He is put to greater “straits” than the entirely landless. Intensive farming would everywhere prevail. A landholder's aim would be to make all of his land produce the largest given quality. Individuals would own fewer acres and more improvements. The “land poor” would part with his idle possessions to add to his comforts.

Wyoming Feels the Pressure of Landlordism

Rock Springs, Wyo., Independent

The fact is that labor adds to the value of not only the land upon which it is exerted but to all adjoining land, as well. What is it that makes the vacant lots on our front streets that a few years ago cost $35 worth $400, $500 and $600! Certainly not labor on these lots, for not a dollar's worth has been expended upon them. It is the labor on adjoining lots that has given this added value; the erection of stores and business houses of various kinds. This fact is taken advantage of by speculators and the man who wants to get something for nothing follows the pioneer, takes up adjoining land and grows rich on the labor of others. He keeps from this land men who would use it and add to the value of other settlers' land.

No speculator in the natural rights of his fellow man should be permitted to prevent American citizens from making homes upon land which he does not want to use; no landlord, alien or citizen, should be permitted to collect toll from American citizens for allowing them the privilege of using the natural and indestructible powers of our soil. The rental value of land, which results in all cases entirely from the presence, which results in all cases entirely from the presence, enterprise, virtue and industry of the whole people, belongs to the whole people, and should, as a matter of common justice, be taken for public use; and no tax or burden of any kind should be imposed upon commerce, agriculture, manufactures or other industries, or upon any products of human labor, as long as the rental value of land – which is the margin of production – shall be sufficient for public purposes.

 


Strikers Pardoned

Old English Law in Pennsylvania Courts

The Doors of the Workhouse Opened to the Monongahela Conspirators – The Events That Made Them Law Breakers

After months of tireless efforts on the part of labor organizations in western Pennsylvania, the twenty-four Monongahela miners who were convicted of conspiracy and sent to the workhouse for a term of eight months have been discharged. They were pardoned by Gov. Beaver, and Knights of Labor officials were given the unusual privilege of taking on the pardon papers. On their arrival at Claremont singular scenes awaited them. At the stone quarry a squad of ten set up a cheer when the visitors came in sight. Picks and crowbars were thrown aside, and the liberated men gathered around their friends. Dropping into line, the squad marched down to the stables, where James Newman was released. Then the barrel factory was visited, where another detachment was released. More were taken from the factory, and finally Samuel Carney and William Walton were called from their work at making brushes. Their personal effects were returned. Each one was given his pardon, and some few were paid small sums of money they had earned by overwork. They had served 120 days, having been out on bail several months while their case was pending before the supreme court. They sang hymns on the way to Pittsburg. A prominent clothing house paid their railroad fares, provided each with a new suit of clothes and a dinner upon their arrival in Pittsburg, and finally purchased tickets that they might reach their homes up the Monongahela valley.

The story of the offense and imprisonment of these miners illustrates the injustice of the conspiracy laws of Pennsylvania. During a strike in the fall of 1885 on one of the pools of the Monongahela river, a body of miners form one of the other pools came up in a steamboat with a brass band and paraded around the mines, while a committee urged the men who had remained at work despite the strike to come out and join them. While this demonstration was going on some collisions occurred and two or three of the men who had refused to join the strike were assaulted, though without serious consequences. This was made a pretext for a charge of conspiracy against the principal men in the strike. A large number of the men who had been active in organizing the strike were arrested, and those who could not give bail committed to jail. The strike proved a failure, the men being finally forced to return to work at the old price. But the companies were determined to take the opportunity to punish the ringleaders and vigorously prosecuted the cases, employing three lawyers for the purpose. The cases were tried at the county seat in the agricultural part of Washington county in May. The only miner on the panel was peremptorily challenged by the prosecution, and the jury was made up almost entirely of farmers who, in this part of the country, have a class prejudice against miners and miners' strikes, which reduce the market for their produce, and, as some of them think, increase the tendency of poultry, etc., to mysteriously disappear. The cases as to some of the men indicted were dismissed by the prosecution, the real reason being, it is said, that the men were of use politically, or owed money to the companies, and twenty-seven were put on trial. Against three of these no evidence whatever could be adduced, and in their cases verdicts of not guilty were entered during the progress of the trial by order of the court. One of the two men thus released had already lain in jail for fourteen weeks, another for seven weeks, and in the case of the third it was shown that he had been working in Ohio for nearly a year, and had only returned to Pennsylvania a few days before the grand jury had been inserted in the indictment without any preliminary hearing, and he had been taken out of his bed at midnight on a bench warrant and had lain in jail until the trial. Only two of the others were in any way connected by the evidence with the violence, but the theory of the prosecution, enforced in the charge of the judge, was that the violence was the result of a conspiracy in which all who took part in the miners' strike and meetings were concerned. It was proved as to some of them that they were not even in the neighborhood when the violence occurred, and that their counsels had always been against force or threats of force, and one of the things incidentally shown in the trial was that the strike in its inception had been encouraged by the principal mine owner, who at the time had a considerable stock of coal on hand. The twenty-four were, however, all found guilty in a body, and with one exception were all sentenced to eight months' imprisonment at hard labor. The exception was in the case of a man who was evidently in the last stages of consumption and who was condemned to six weeks' imprisonment in the county jail. Among the men thus sentenced were a number who bear the very highest character in their neighborhoods. One of them, a veteran of the war, in which he was wounded himself and lost his father and two brothers, and who has a wife and eight children dependent upon him, was connected with the conspiracy only by the making of a speech, in which, while he supported the strike, he had been careful to warn the men against any infringement of the law. Another is a Methodist local preacher, a devoted Christian and ardent temperance advocate. Such is the reputation of these men that the deputy sheriff who took them to prison to serve out their sentences allowed them, while waiting for a tram in Pittsburg, to go about the town on their promise of return. What they were readily convicted of was not violence or inciting of violence, but of participating in in a strike, which by fiction of the old English conspiracy laws is made to involve all who participated in it an offense which was only an incidental accident. After serving out about a month of their sentences a writ of allocatur was granted by Judge Clarke of the supreme court. The case was brought before that tribunal in October for review upon points excepted to by their counsel during the trial, but the judgment of the court below was affirmed.

In commenting on the release of the prisoners, the Pittsburg Commercial-Gazette holds up their imprisonment as a warning to the law breakers of the labor uions. It says:

The lesson of the conviction is not likely to be lost on the members of the trades unions, notwithstanding the pardon. The ground upon which clemency was granted is not that the trial was improper in any respect, or that the sentence was either unnecessarily harsh or unjust, but because the ends of justice have been more fully met by the imprisonment already imposed. There was a clear violation of the law on the part of the defendants, for which they were properly sentenced; but because peculiar circumstances of the case they were justly entitled to executive clemency. It is not to be presumed that any trades union advocate will construe this action as in any sense militating against the conspiracy laws.”

It does not seem to have dawned upon the Gazette that the working people of Pennsylvania might attempt the repeal of the conspiracy laws.

Page 7

Donald's Flitten

The following verses were written by Robert Dick of Thurse, in the extreme north of Scotland. Robert Dick was one of the most remarkable men that Scotland has in recent times produced. Though but a working baker, he was a geologist of great originality and research, whose contributions to that science won the acknowledgments and friendship of Hugh Miller and other distinguished men. He was an eye witness to the cold-blooded evictions which provoked this poem:

Eh, Donald man, they've served ye sair,

Yeer Hieland chief's an' a,

They've brought their sheep an' nowt and

deer,

And ye maun gang awa.

Ye focht for them, ye bled for them,

Sae lang's a sword ye'll draw,

An' though ye got but little for't,

Now ye maun gang awa.

Puir Donald man, where is he gaun,

His wife and bairnies twaf

Oh! fient care I, the Laird, said he,

So that they gang awa.

The wife sat by her cauld hearth stane,

She could na thole her fa';

She moaned and sighed and groaned and

gr'at,

She wadna gang awa.

The licht was set to theek and roof,

The fire ran up the wa'.

Alas! the Hieland mother now

Was forced to gang wa.

Oot ower the cot, upon a stane

She sat wi' bairnies twa.

Her heart was brak, she could but dee;

She could not gang awa.

He could not use his dirk the noo,

The Laird was right in law,

Sae Donald gave up house and hame,

And syne he gaed awa.

Across the seas he dreams o' hame,

Far off in Canada;

But grim and bitter Donald thinks

Of when he gaed awa.

 


A Mysterious Disappearance

Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” exclaimed Qui Fassett, throwing himself at full length on the lawn, “shall I ever be able to sell these lots?”

Mr. Fassett was a real estate lawyer, of the firm of Fassett, Peralium & Percy. His office was in the city, but his home during the summer was in the country. Mr. Fassett's father had been a lawyer, too, when he lived. While Fassett was a mere child the old gentleman bought a parcel of vacant land in the upper part of the city, which had until then been a farm, taking title in the name of his son, saying to himself: “When Qui grows up this may do him some good, and as it costs me so little I might as well tie up the title for the boy and let the land lie vacant.

On coming of age Qui Fassett (he always signed himself “Q. Fassett”) had an opportunity to sell his land for a great advance of what the elder Fassett paid, but the old gentleman advised against it. “There's nothing like real estate for investment, my son – nothing like real estate!” he used to say to Qui; and so Qui, although he had frequent offers for his land, always wanted a little more than any one would pay, a policy in which he was encouraged by the fact that every subsequent offer was higher than his previous demand.

When Qui Fassett threw himself on the lawn and made the exclamation with which this narrative opens, he had just refused the latest offer. An enterprising builder wanted the land and had offered Mr. Fassett $8,000 a lot. Although this was more than a hundred times what his father paid for the land, and twice what he offered to take five years before, and $1,000 more than he tried to get twelve months ago, Qui Fassett was not satisfied. He now wanted $9,000, “for,” said he, “if this property has increased in value $1,000 a lot the past year, why should it not increase $1,000 next year?”

But the builder was stubborn. “I am anxious to put up a row of houses there,” he said, “because I know they will sell readily, and as my capital is lying idle and most of the men I usually employ are out of work, I want to get at the job at once. But I can't afford to give more than eight thousand; even at that figure I take a big risk. Better let me have the lots.”

No,” replied Mr. Fassett; “nine thousand or no trade.”

All right,” said the builder, extending his hand, “then I must say 'good bye' and run along for the train. I'll have to hunt up some other lots.”

Don't believe you can do any better,” said Mr. Fassett, shaking the builder's hand. “No one will sell lots in such locations for any less.”

Perhaps not, perhaps not,” rejoined the builder; “and then I'll have to put off the job until things get in better shape. But I am sorry for the men, and that's a fact. Why, if I could get those lots, I'd have five hundred at work in a week.”

What a philanthropist you are, to be sure,” said Mr. Fassett good naturedly; and the two men parted, the builder to go to his train and Mr. Fassett to stretch himself on his cool lawn, and exclaim, “Oh dear! oh, dear! shall I ever be able to sell these lots?”

For a while Mr. Fassett mentally speculated in his vacant lots, but before he knew it he was watching the movements of a flock of crows in a neighboring field, thinking of their free and easy life, noting that the scarecrow erected to worry them did not frighten them at all, and wondering if they had any of the carking cares that worry men. In a moment, almost unconsciously, he said aloud:

I wish I was a crow!”

Well, you are,” came in crowing tones from the branches of the tree over his head.

What in thunder is that?” inquired Mr. Fassett, somewhat startled for a man usually so cool.

I'm a crow, too,” the croaking voice replied.

Oh you are, are you? Well, what do you mean?” asked Mr. Fassett.

You said you wished you were a crow, and you are,” was repeated.

It suddenly dawned on Mr. Fassett that he had fallen asleep, and the absurdity of his little dream made him laugh outright.

But what a laugh! It frightened him as he heard it. Instead of the round, hearty, whole-souled laugh to which his friends were accustomed, and which was not without music to his own ear, he heard nothing but a croaking – “aw! aw! aw!”

Mr. Fassett raised his hand to his face to assure himself that he was really awake, and from sheer awkwardness tangled his claw in his feathers. In extricating his claw and smoothing his ruffed coat, he saw himself as he was, and realized that he had indeed become a crow.

The crow in the tree had been watching Fassett's movements with amused interest, and now asked him if he would like to join the flock. Almost before he knew it Qui's wings were outspread, and he was fluttering upward. Alighting on the branch alongside his new friend, he asked what he was doing there.

Watching this tree,” said the crow.

What for?”

To keep crows from building nests here.”

Much obliged to you,” said Fassett, “for taking so much care of my property.”

Your property!” said the crow, “well I guess not! Aw! Aw! Aw! that is rich! Your tree! Why this tree belongs to old Jim Crow. He's down south now. Didn't come up with the rest of the crows. Too lazy to fly such a distance. Don't you know this is the best tree for building crows' nests in in all this section?”

It is, eh? Well, why in thunder do you keep crows from building nests in it, then?”

You are green. You don't seem to know as much as you did when you were Q. Fassett, Esq. I'm an officer of the law, I am; an officer of crow law, and old Jim Crow owns this tree, and if the law didn't protect him every crow would want to build a nest in its branches and not pay old Jim anything for it. That's why I'm here. I guess I know my duty. My number is 2061, and if you want to know anything about me you just go over to the station house. May be you'd like to build a nest here yourself. Well, you just try it on and I'll run you in so quick it'll make you dizzy.”

Well,” said Mr. Fassett meekly, “I thought I owned this tree, but if it belongs to Mr. James Crow I wish you would tell me how he came to own it.”

That's easy enough. He bought it from another crow. Ask me something harder.”

How did the other crow get it?”

His grandfather gathered twigs and built a nest in it once, and the family has kept a policeman here ever since,” replied the crow with an air that said as plain as could be, “that settles it,” and Mr. Fassett's knowledge of the law assured him that it did settle it.

The two crows were silent for a time. Fassett's thoughts reverted to his interview with the builder, and he had just begun to wonder whether he would ever sell those lots when his companion told him he mustn't be loitering there, but move on. So Fassett moved on. Spreading his wings he was surprised to find how easily he sailed through the air. Passing over the corn field he recognized his hired man and flew toward him, but his hired man let fly a charge of bird shot, which whistled past Mr. Fassett and assured him that his hired man made up in vigilance what he lacked in marksmanship.

Taking flight again, Fassett went in the direction of a large tree in the forest, where he expected to alight; but just as he reached it a whole flock of crows flew at him from the branches, croaking, “scab! scab! scab!”

Not understanding what this meant, Fassett continued in his course, when the crows rushed upon him, and but for the timely interference of two other crows, policemen, as he afterward learned, Mr. Fassett would have been denuded of every feather on his body. As it was, he nearly lost the use of one eye. But he had the satisfaction of seeing the ringleaders of his assailants taken before a magistrate, a half-demented old crow, who administered severe punishment, after lecturing the offenders on the freedom of labor and the criminality, not to say heartlessness, of preventing any crow from working for a living.

All this seemed very strange to Mr. Fassett, who was not yet familiar with crow usages, but he subsequently learned that the tree toward which he was going was a great manufactory of crow nest materials, and the crows that worked there were on strike. They mistook him for a scab, and hence the trouble.

By this time Fassett was quite hungry, and curiously enough his appetite suggested worms as a tempting bill of fare. So he flew down into a corn field, and was scratching away, when a flock of strange crows ordered him off.

But I'm hungry,” said Mr. Fassett.

No doubt of it,” said the leader of the flock; “but why don't you work for a living like an honest crow?”

Do crows work for a living?”

Of course they do. How do you suppose they get a living?”

Mr. Fassett thought a good many of them got by stealing his seed corn, but remembering that he was a crow himself he didn't say so. He only asked what they worked at.

Some of them make up nest materials, some gather the materials, some collect corn, some build nests, some guard the trees that belong to absent crows, and some guard worm preserves,” replied the crow boss. “If you are really an honest crow,” he continued, “and want to make a living, you can join my flock and I'll give you a job.”

What's the pay,” asked Mr. Fassett, falling in with the humor of this conceit.

A worm three times a day and a place to roost.”

Mr. Fassett accepted the job, and found that the principle duties of the flock were to guard the worm preserves of his boss from the invasions of other crows. He was required in addition to gather worms for the boss' meals, and whenever he found a grain of corn or other non-perishable food to carry it to the boss' warehouse in the trunk of a large tree in the forest. He came near getting into serious trouble once with the crow authorities by eating a grain of corn that he found; but the boss refrained from making a complaint on account of Mr. Fassett's ignorance of crow law. At night Mr. Fassett roosted with the rest of the flock on the limb of a tree, in which the boss and his family had a comfortable nest. Fassett found that the crow he worked for was not the worst of birds; but he got tired of three worms a day and nothing but the limb of a tree to roost on, in return for hard work, and one day he told the boss that he was going to leave and look after himself.

Better keep a good place while you've got it,” said the boss. “You are entirely unskilled, and you have been so improvident, eating up all your wages from day to day, that you have nothing to fall back on if you don't get work.”

Well,” replied Mr. Fassett, “if I can't get work for somebody else, I guess I can hunt worms and corn on my own account, can't I?”

Yes, if you can find a place to hunt them.”

Must be plenty of places. Why, I know all this country. It's full of cornfields and things, and I'm a poor sort of crow if I can't scratch up enough to live on.”

The boss crow was astonished at Mr. Fassett's simplicity.

Why,” said he, there ain't a cornfield in a day's flight where you'll be allowed to scratch. I hire this field; that one belongs to another crow; that one yonder to another; that one to a crow corporation, and so on. The trouble is that this country is crowded with crows.”

I used to think so myself,” said Mr. Fassett, “and I hired a man to shoot them; but since I've been a crow it doesn't seem to me that there are very many. Why, I never see any flock but ours in this field?”

Of course you don't. I have to pay old Roger Rook a good round sum of money for this field, and I would be a fool to let anybody but my own crows come here. And if you ain't going to work for me–“

Who is Roger Rook?” Qui interrupted.

Roger Rook! Roger Rook! Don't know Roger Rook!” exclaimed Qui's boss in astonishment. “Well, I declare! Why, Roger Rook belongs to one of the best families. He can trace his ancestry back ever so far. He owns all the best nest building trees in that forest, he and Jim Crow, and he owns corn fields till you can't rest. Inherited them, you know. But, say, if you ain't going to work for me any longer I want you to leave my property. I don't allow any tramps around here.”

Well,” said Mr. Fassett firmly, “I've had enough of this, and I shall leave.”

Where'll you roost tonight?” asked the boss. “Can't let you stay in my tree, you know.”

I'll find a roost,” replied Mr. Fassett; and saying goodbye in a friendly way to his boss, he rose upward and soared away.

In my eye, you'll find a place to roos,” croaked the boss, as he returned to his work of superintendending the operations of the flock in his field.

Poor Fassett! Little did he realize what he had done.

After flying till he was tired, he headed for a large tree in the middle of the forest. To his surprise he found its branches filled with crows. They looked suspiciously on him, and he overheard occasionally a word that sounded like “spy.” For a time no crow came near him, but after a little one old fellow walked toward him sideways along the limb of the tree.

Where'd you come from?” the stranger asked.

Just gave up a job,” replied Qui.

What at?” the other persisted.

Watching a worm preserve.”

Why'd you give it up?”

Got tired working for another fellow for grub and roost,” said Qui.

The conversation continued cautiously for a time on the part of the stranger, but after a while with greater freedom. Qui found that this was a meeting of crows, who, like himself, had quit working because they were not satisfied with the pay. They had managed among them to make up a little pile of corn, with part of which they hired the tree in which they were roosting and were living on the remainder.

But our funds won't hold out long,” said the old crow, “and as there are so many crows out of a job I am afraid we shall have to give in and go to work.”

Why do we want funds?” Qui asked.

Why do you want funds!” replied the old crow, “Well, we want funds because we've got to have something to eat and a place to roost.”

Surely you don't need funds on that account. You can scratch for worms and corn, can't you?”

Some of us can, but some of us only know how to build nests. Some can't even do that; they have gathered nest materials all their lives, and others have done nothing but make up the materials for the builders.”

That's all right,” said Fassett, “I think I can get you out of your trouble. Now if you”–

Hold on!” interrupted the old crow in excitement. “Hold on! Hallo, fellows, I say, here's a chap what says he can get us out of our fix. Shall we let him in and hear what he has to say?”

What's his line?” was croaked from the crowd.

Used to watch a worm preserve,” responded the old chap.

Naw, we don't want any o' them detective thugs among us.”

Tell them,” said Qui, “that I am a lawyer.”

Oh thunder, no!” spluttered the stranger. “They're down on lawyers worse'n the devil. Let me attend to this.”

Qui's new chum went among the flock, leaving Qui alone. There was a great commotion and croaking, but the old crow carried his point and Qui was invited in.

You mustn't think,” said Qui, “that I've got any new fangled inventions. I have only a single suggestion to make, and I don't understand why it hasn't occurred to you long ago. Perhaps it's because you are used to this sort of thing and I am not. Now this old crow tells me you are in great distress because you have lost your work and haven't any worms or corn, and when your lease on the tree expires you won't have any place to roost. At the same time he tells me that some of you know how to scratch for grub, that others know how to make up the materials, and others know how to build nests. What more do you want?”

Mr. Chairman,” croaked a crow of tender years on the edge of the crowd, “does this fool think we can scratch for grub without a field to scratch in, or build a nest without a limb to build it on?”

I was just about to speak of that,” Fassett went on. “I was going to ask, 'What more do you want than trees and fields?'”

That's so; that's all we want.” said some one in the flock.

Well, there are plenty of trees and fields – a good many more than enough for all the crows that have ever lived since the flood,” said Fassett.

Maybe so,” interrupted an intelligent looking crow, “but they're too far away and in a bad climate. Some of our folks emigrated last year and had to come back.”

I don't mean away off there,” Fassett replied, “I mean right here. This forest is full of trees in which there isn't a single crow's nest, and on each side of it there are cornfields full of worms in which you won't find more than one small flock of crows. Why don't you go to work scratching in these fields and building nests in these trees.”

We can't pay the rent!” was the reply in chorus.

Why should you pay rent? Haven't you as much right to scratch in these fields and build nests in these trees as any other crow?”

For a little while there was silence. Every crow was thinking. The quiet was broken by a voice from above. “Agitator! Socialist! Com-mew-nist! Robber! Thief!” it croaked.

Qui looked up and saw an angry crow, whose feathers were tipped with red. “That's Roger Rook's chaplain,” said Qui's chum under his breath.

Just then there was a great croaking among the flock at the appearance of another crow with red-tipped wings. To him the whole situation was explained, and turning to Qui he said:

My friend, I believe you are right. There are plenty of trees and plenty of corn fields here, and no crow need be hungry or without a nest. But some of these crows with the devil in them have called these trees and corn fields theirs, and the police keep other crows off, and so most of our crows have to work for other crows for almost nothing or starve. It's a shame and a sin, and if our impoverished crows knew their rights they would stop it.”

But, Father Caw,” one of the crows asked, “you would pay Roger Rook, and Jim Crow, and the rest of the crows that own fields and trees, wouldn't you?”

If I could,” said Father Caw indignantly, “I would confiscate every field and tree without one barleycorn of compensation to their miscalled owners.”

The anger of Roger Rook's chaplain when he heard this was beyond description.

We'll see about that, you villain! We'll see about that!” he fairly shrieked as he flew away. Pretty soon he returned with a crow whose breast was covered with red, followed by flock after flock, an immense throng of crows, all croaking and screaming, “They want to rob us!” “Call the police!” “Kill the anarchists!” “Society is in danger!” “Com-mew-nists!” and so on.

The crow with the red breast was very mild of manner toward Father Caw. “Such sentiments as Roger Rook's chaplain reports to me are unworthy of you, Father Caw,” he said. “There must be a mistake. Surely you would not take away a crow's property and let any other crow use it. Think of the labor that has been spent in building crows' nests in these trees and in gathering grub of different kinds. It would be robbery to take these away from their owners without pay.”

I did not say that, your redness,” replied Father Caw, humbly. “I said I would take away the trees and fields and let all crows use them to scratch for grub and to build nests.”

But it is the same thing” his redness responded. “No crow would scratch for grub if he didn't own the field, nor build nests if he didn't own the tree.”

Yes, he would,” Qui interrupted. “My boss didn't own the field; he only hired it, and not one of his flock had any interest in it.”

His redness glanced superciliously at Qui, and Roger Rook's chaplain exclaimed, “What imprudence!” at the same time twisting his neck first one way and then the other for the approval of the crowd.

When the excitement caused by Qui's interruption had subsided, Father Caw said:

Your redness, it is not necessary to own a forest of trees for the purpose of building nests in one. See all the empty trees, and see these poor creatures without nests! Nor is it necessary to own a whole cornfield in order to scratch for grub. See all the cornfields in our region – how few crows are allowed to scratch in them – and see these famished crows! It is one thing to own the grub you scratch, and another to own the field in which you find the grub. It is one thing to own the nest you build and another to own the tree in which you build it, or worse, to own empty trees in which you allow no other crow to build. Crows make nests and scratch grub, but crows neither make trees nor plant grub!”

That's so! That's so!” croaked several crows in the crowd.

Shut up, you fools!” shouted Roger Rook's chaplain; “what do you know about it?” and the fools shut up.

The red-breasted crow was as mild as ever, but his duty was plain. “Such irreligious sentiments strike at the very base of society,” he said. “A nest is part of a tree; grub is part of a cornfield. If a crow cannot own a tree or a cornfield he cannot own nests or grub – the greater includes the less. I beg you to retract.”

I cannot,” Father Caw answered.

Then you must bear the consequences,” said his redness; and forthwith Father Caw was seized, stripped of his feathers, and thrown to the ground.

Meantime Qui Fassett had been forgotten. But when Father Caw was disposed of the attention of the crowd was turned to the shameless agitator. He was arrested and carried before the same magistrate who had punished the crows that had called him a scab. When the charge was explained, the magistrate, with all the severity he could command, said to Qui:

I am surprised that a crow so intelligent should be a disturber, arousing discontent among the crows and preaching doctrines that no one ever heard of before.”

I was only preaching the doctrine I heard you teach,” replied Mr. Fassett.

What!” croaked the magistrate, half angry at Qui's imprudence, and half curious to know what he meant. “Explain yourself, sir!”

When I first became a crow,” said Qui, “I was insulted and attacked as a scab by a flock of working crows. The ringleaders were brought before you and you punished them.”

Yes; that's so; I remember it,” the magistrate mumbled, bobbing his head.

Well,” Qui went on, “when you punished them you lectured them.”

I always do,” said the magistrate.

You lectured them on the criminality and heartlessness of preventing other crows from working for a living.”

True enough,” said the magistrate; “but what has that to do with your case?”

This,” answered Qui. “When I went to look for work, I found that a few crows owned all the corn fields and all the trees, and they wouldn't let me scratch in the fields unless I would give them all the grub I got except three worms a day, and I couldn't get a place to roost except on a limb of the tree where my boss had his nest. And I found other crows in the same predicament. This, said I to myself, is an ingenious way of preventing crows from working for a living, and it is criminal and heartless, just as the good magistrate said.”

Ten days!” exclaimed the magistrate, and don't come here again.

So poor Qui was taken to the trunk of an old tree and pushed through a knot hole. After fluttering around the hollow trunk, he finally fell to the bottom among a crowd of filthy crows, who pecked at him, pulled out his feathers and made fun of him as the crow that wanted to divide up crow property.

At last Qui's term of imprisonment expired and he took to flight. He was a sad looking crow, and whenever he tried to alight on the limb of some tree that had a particularly deserted appearance a policeman crow would fly over to warn him off the property. Sometimes, forced by hunger, he would stealthily drop down into a corn field and scratch for grub; but he never got enough to satisfy him before the approach of a flock of crows from an adjoining field would warn him to leave. Having had many escapes from arrest for trespass, and not a few for stealing, and finding it utterly impossible to get a place to build a nest or a piece of ground in which he could scratch for grub on his own account, Qui hunted for a job; but to every crow to whom he applied his appearance was so repulsive, he was so evidently a mere tramp now, that all employment was refused.

Finally, one day, half starved, ragged, dirty and despondent, he was overjoyed at seeing his own house. Flying quickly toward it he alighted on the porch. There was his wife and little girl, but neither saw him. “I do wish,” he overheard the little girl say, “That papa would come back.” His wife made no reply. She only wept.

May, dear,” said Mr. Fassett, “papa is back.”

His wife and child started, and Qui was about to rush at them both with open arms, when the little girl exclaimed:

Oh, it's only an old crow, mamma; but how tame it is.”

All of Qui's joy forsook him. In the excitement he had forgotten that he was a crow, but his daughter's exclamation reminded him of his helpless condition reminded him of his helpless condition. His wife, still weeping, went into the house, while the little girl approached her father cautiously, lest he might fly away, and taking him in her lap smoothed his ruffled feathers. He tried to make himself known to her, but all his efforts to talk resulted only in croaks, intelligible enough to a crow, but meaningless to the child. To Qui's astonishment, however, the cat – his old pet cat – understood him, and her miaous were as intelligible to him as the dialect of the Swede who worked on his farm. While puss looked up at the crow, occasionally uttering a long drawn miaou, and the crow croaked, the child feared the cat wanted to dine off of her crow and that the crow was frightened; but that wasn't the case at all. The cat and Mr. Fassett were engaged in conversation, from which Fassett learned that he had disappeared some three months before, and that the greatest excitement had prevailed in the community, while his wife had suffered intensely.

And I have missed you very much myself, Mr. Fassett,” said the cat.

Qui learned a great deal from the cat about what had happened, but that was nothing to him beside the instruction it gave him in the way of becoming himself once more. “you cannot change back again,” explained the cat, “unless you go to the same spot on the lawn where you became a crow, and in the hearing of the last person you talked to while you were Q. Fassett, Esq., say aloud the last words you used before this spell came over you.”

Qui waited impatiently many days for the builder to come to his house. He was well fed now and had some thing better than the bare limb of a tree for a bed, for the little girl took excellent care of him; but often enough he feared that he would not see the builder until the family returned to the city and then he would have to remain a crow all winter. But one day, to his great joy, he saw the builder coming up the walk. His daughter had him in her hands at the time, for he feared the builder might get out of his hearing, and before she could grasp him tightly his wings were spread and he was away. Up over the tree he went and then down upon the lawn where he had thrown himself in the early summer. He lost no time, for he feared the builder might get out of his hearing, and opening his bill to the utmost he croaked:Is everything up and running?  Do you have the voice recogniaiton software yet?  Do you have a billing and reporting system set up with Cliff?  Is 6 hours a day still doable?

Oh dear! oh dear! shall I ever be able to sell those lots!”

But it was not a croak. It was the veritable voice of Q. Fassett, Esq., and there stood Qui in his own proper person.

My God!” ejaculated the builder.

Mr. Fassett's little girl never saw her pet crow again.

Though there are many mysterious disappearances recorded in the police archives, few are ever explained. Some attempts at explanation have been made, but they are mainly speculative. The most plausible speculation of this kind was elaborated by a journalist a few years ago, who attributed these disappearances to holes in space, into which the victims accidentally tumble, into which he victims accidentally tumble, and are forever afterward invisible, intangible, immortal and incapable of escaping. The mystery of Qui Fassett's disappearance is truthfully given here. His case may be an isolated one, but is it wholly improbable that transformations such as his occur, and that the victims are helpless for want of the aid of some intelligent and friendly cat?

Lewis Freeland

Taxing Land Values Would Relieve All This

Tyson, Vt., March 19 – Please send me some copies of The Standard, and I will try and get you a few subscribers. If I fail, it will be because the people are so poor they cannot afford it. This is one of the mountain towns of Vermont, where population and wealth are constantly declining, and where one can buy a farm “for a song,” and pay dearly at that. Nearly one-sixth of the farms are owned by non-residents, who rent them for one-half the produce. Of the remainder, three-fourths are mortgaged. We have a town debt of $21 per capita, and to pay it would take nearly $10 out of every $100 of taxable property as at present assessed. Under these conditions I think this as good a place as any agricultural town in which to teach the principles of “Progress and Poverty.” Yours truly,

Edgar Pinney

Going in to Work

Troy, N.Y., March 20 – I have just completed the perusal of “Progress and Poverty.” I have just completed the perusal of “Progress and Poverty.” I have never found any work upon the rights of man that so entirely coincides with my own views. If we could bring every laboring man to understand this principle of the “land for the people” it would soon create a desire on their part to strike off the shackles of partyism. I will use every effort to further these doctrines.

F.W. Morgan

Truth

Truth is great and must prevail!”

Trite the adage: how and when?

Trial tells another tale,

Truth has failed, will fail again

If not backed by truthful men.

Truth is man's maturest thought,

That the earnest grasp and try.

Who for truth has never fought,

Who lets falsehood known go by

Propagates himself the lie.

Truth through deserts leads the way

Like a guiding fire from God,

Those who know its beam, and stray

Far from where they're signed to plod,

Keep the paths of truth untrod.

To the plow then lay your hand!

Truth is nought when not embraced!

Look not back, nor listless stand

Where your line of work is traced,

Falsehood vanishes when faced!

Wisely said the Man of Love,

“Who not gathereth, scattereth!”

Truth's our mission from above,

Work alone can show our faith

Help is life, indifference death!

A.J. Ellis

 


Struggling Toward The Light

A Great Religious Paper Doing Its Own Thinking – Labor Organizations Necessary

Christian Union, March 17

… Where privileged classes and hereditary monopolies guaranteed by law exist, there can be no advance until these are abolished. As long as the freedom of one is at the expense of the freedom of another, the thing requisite is to do away with the privileged liberty of one which enforces servitude upon another. Each must have an equal chance…

Freedom to do anything is unfortunately freedom to go without work, to starve, on the side of the workingman; it is freedom to have millions of capital, the life blood of trade, locked up, or rendered useless… What, for example, the workingman wants is not merely the right to compete in the open market with his fellow laborer; he wants a secured right to work, to permanent work and to productive work. And until he gets it he will not be in any sense free…

How far does industrial freedom exist at present? How far, in other words, is industrial society really organized? One member of industrial society, capital, has got itself pretty well organized – so far as it can without including the other, labor. The characteristic feature of the present economic condition is the corporation. The corporation is in principle nothing but a joint stock company; and a joint stock company means so much capital organized for a common purpose. Any capital means, in so far as it goes, the suspension of the “law” of competition. A man with a thousand dollars is in command of so much fixed force; he is subject to competition from the other owners of thousand dollars, but the man who is dollarless does not compete with him. The joint stock company is much more a suspension of competition. The hundred men who own stock in the same company have agreed not to compete with each other; their competition is only with similar companies. The next step in the organization of capital is the “pool.” We have the railway pools; there is the match pool, the oil pool, the tack pool and the salt pool, and so on indefinitely. Capital, in short, has managed to organize itself pretty thoroughly. What is labor doing? In the first place, notice the condition of a laboring man who is not organically bound to other laborers. Such a one receives the whole brunt of the workings of competition. The competition of employers tend to lower his wages, not to raise them; for the employer who can command the market is the one who gets his work done at lowest rates. Only upon a rapidly rising and growing market does the competition of capital with capital help labor. But the competition of the laboring man with his fellow laborer is just what reduces his wages. The result is that the isolated, uncombined laborer is ground between the upper and the nether stone, as the history of labor in the early part of the century reveals. The “union” is the laborer's answer to the employer's corporation. It allows him to handle labor as one force, as the corporation combines capital. To the pool corresponds the amalgamation of trades unions, the combination of different trades in one organized force – the Knights of Labor, or whatever their name may be. To the lockout answers the strike. The “boycott” corresponds in the realm of labor to the “corner” in the sphere of capital, which, by the way, renders rather ludicrous the efforts of those journals which were the first to declare the inexpediency of regulating corners and speculation by law, and are now seeking to have boycotting declared illegal conspiracy. The employed, in short, are beginning to get fairly organized.

It is not difficult to see the meaning of the present widespread labor difficulties. It means that organized capital and organized labor are now coming into direct contact with each other. It is just what we should expect to find, the conflicts occurring where the organization is greatest – in steam and horse railways, in great factories, in mines, etc. Is this to continue? Is the last word of industrial society that these two great organized forces are to stand over against each other waiting any provocation for attack? The revolution will not go backward. The corporation and the trades union have come to stay. The only possible solution is more organization. Employers are organized; employed are organized. What is needed is the organization of employers and employed. The organization has only gone half way; and the present struggle is the evidence of its incomplete character. The logic of the movement requires that it be completed. When capital and labor are organized together, then industrial freedom will be a reality.

A Specimen Letter Out of Hundreds

Alden, N.Y., March 26 – I have read “Progress and Poverty” over and over, and am fully persuaded that every voter should study it. Nothing can be more certain than the foundation principle – that the earth belongs by natural right to all, and that no person or persons have any right to deprive the least of God's children of his birthright.

James C. Clark

Page 8

 


The New Party In New York

Movements of the District Assembly Clubs – Meetings and Entertainments

Thursday evening, March 24, was a gala night of the united labor party clubs of this city. Entertainments were given by the Fifth, Seventh and Seventeenth assembly districts. In the Fifth, singing, recitations and a lecture by William McCabe were the order; in the Seventh, in addition to singing and readings, Colonel Hinton delivered an address. The Seventeenth gave an excellent entertainment, interspersed with speeches by Augustus A. Levey, Colonel Hinton and Frank Ferrall, which lasted until after 11 o'clock, and then the floor was cleared for dancing. The hall, Wendell's large assembly room, was handsomely decorated; an illuminated legend at one end read, in letters two feet high, “United Labor Party – 17th Assem. Dist.;” another feature was a profusion of flowers depending from the chandeliers and arranged upon the walls. The Balfe club orchestra began the music for the grand march, and couple after couple took their places in line, and before the march was finished over one hundred were on the floor. Chairman Magee and Treasurer Hotchkiss, with their assistants, were in high feather over the success of the affair, and took great satisfaction in chaffing the republican and democratic leaders of the district, who appeared to be the reverse of happy over what they saw before them. Mr. Senator Plunkitt will probably not represent this district in the legislature next year; in fact, the candidates of the united labor party for assemblyman, alderman and state senator will more than likely sweep the district by over a thousand majority.

Last Saturday evening the Twenty-third district club met in their rooms, 105th street and Third avenue, and heard read a chapter from “Progress and Poverty.” This club is particularly fortunate. The headquarters are probably the most commodious and convenient in the city. A business meeting is held once a week, three nights are devoted to lectures or debates, and on the other evenings the hall is open to any of the members and their friends who may choose to drop in.

On Monday evening the united labor party club of the Fourteenth assembly district held their regular meeting at 257 East Tenth street. The principal business was listening to reports from the organizers of the various election districts. This system of organization has been nearly completed. The club holds a picnic at Sulzer's park, Saturday, July 30, and a committee of fifteen was appointed with power to make all necessary arrangements. The Germans of this district desire to form a division in which business can be carried on in their own language, subject, however, to the jurisdiction of the central club. They offered a plan, which was referred to a committee to examine. Primaries are shortly to be held in all the election districts to elect officers and members to the assembly district executive committee. The three committees will meet Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock, at Clarendon hall.

The Tenth assembly district club will give an entertainment and ball at Germania assembly rooms, Bowery, next Monday evening.

The Twenty-fourth district club met on Tuesday evening at their hall, 155th street and Third avenue, and completed arrangements for their entertainment and ball, which takes place next Monday night.

The Eighth assembly district club has engaged Walhalla hall for a ball on Thursday evening, April 14.

The Roslyn benevolent association give their annual ball at the Harmony rooms, Essex street, Saturday evening, April 23.

The Monarch social club will have an afternoon and evening picnic at Washington park on Saturday, April 9.

The meetings for the coming week are: This (Saturday) evening – Fourth district, 68 East Broadway. Monday, April 4 – Twentieth, 1058 Second avenue; Twenty-third, 1897 Third avenue (German branch); Twenty-fourth, 151st street and Third avenue. Wednesday, April 6 – Sixth, 412 Grand street. Thursday, April 7 – General committee, Clarendon hall; Fifth, Warren hall; Eighteenth, 235 East Thirty-fourth street. Friday, April 8 – Ninth, corner Hudson and Twelfth streets.

Labor

The list of employers who are sharing profits with their employees is increasing. The Springfield Foundry company is the latest addition to the list. Pillsbury, the Minneapolis flour man, has begun it.

Out of 10,952 coke ovens in the Connellsville region, 1,204 are idle. A million-dollar company has just been organized in New Orleans to build several hundred coke ovens in Alabama. Another million-dollar company is starting in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. A dozen concerns have completed arrangements to build coke ovens, some of them in the south, where blast furnace production is seriously hindered by the irregular and scant supply. The Connellsville region shipped 52,000 cars during January and February.

Minnesota has two new labor laws. One gives to labor the right of first lien on all property. The other forbids contractors for prison labor to manufacture articles in completion with the custom work done by artisan labor in the state.

The results of a year's experiment in profit-sharing in the Wardwell needle company's works in Lake Village, N.J., are thus reported by the manager: “Last spring we promised our employees to share equally with them whatever profits we might earn during the rest of the year, after paying a reasonable interest on the stock. This was accepted by them instead of the increased pay which they had asked. The result of the year's business has been highly satisfactory. After dividing 6 per cent to stockholders – which was about the average for the past fifteen years – there was a surplus, one-half of which was apportioned among the help, nearly in proportion to the wages of each, and amounted to about six per cent of their wages for the time being, and was nearly one-third in the aggregate of the dividend to the stockholders. It amounted to the same as though they had owned about 8300 worth of the stock each on an average. With one-third less help than for several previous years, our business has been more successful in the past year than in any previous year of our experience, and we attribute this largely to the plan of sharing the profits with the employees. We shall continue this arrangement, as we are satisfied it is the best for all.

The German imperial printing office at Berlin employs ninety-five artists and artists' assistants, and the workmen, apprentices, lads and girls number 770. The amount of work turned out there in the interest of the government is enormous. The different German and Prussian government offices absorb in common prints about 120,000,000 sheets; the post and telegraph, 13,000,000 sheets and 60,000,000 forms, cards, etc. The number of notes, etc., from the thousand-mark note down to the lowest-priced post stamp, printed during the last business year at the Imperial office amounted to 1,173,560,000, of the value of 2,059,900,00 marks, which gives an average of 7,700,000 marks per diem. All the people working in the “value departments” have to remain the whole day on the premises and to take their meals there, for which purpose a kitchen has been established, where they get their food at reasonable prices.

To One of the 68,000

If “One of the 68,000” will send his address to this office we will place in his hands a letter from a lawyer who will undertake to recover certain lands in Texas.

 


Real Estate in New York

Small House Properties Going Out of Date – A City of Landlords and Tenants

The neighborhood west of the park, between Sixty-fourth and 104th streets, which a few years ago was for the most part a dreary stretch of open lots, dotted here and there with an old manor house, a shanty hamlet or a market garden, is being slowly built up. Two classes of neighborhoods have started – one, the larger, of elegant dwellings, worth all the way from $20,000 to $80,000 apiece, with here and there a great apartment house; the other of tenements. At present there is no exact line of demarcation between these neighborhoods; vacant lots fill up the intervening spaces, so that the people in the tenements can look out at the fine residences in the distance, and for the present have plenty of light and air. There seems to be no chance of a small-house neighborhood springing up here.

The district was held out of use for many years ca speculation. Every one knew the land was valuable and would one day be more so. And in spite of the fact that building had not even begun, lots have for fifteen years been held at higher prices than on the other side of the park. Now that building has started, prices of lots are becoming a way ahead of what they were two years ago. The pressure for house room has had its effect. A good instance of the way land has risen in value there is that of the lots on Ninth avenue and Eighty-first street, by the elevated station. A builder erected six apartment houses and land included, 860,000. He sold out in eighteen months for $103,000, or say 71 per cent profit. The man who bought the corner house paid $25,000 for it. He now refuses $10,000.

As for the residences they are many of them magnificent. As remarked above, some of them are held at $80,000 apiece. The general custom is to build two, three or half a dozen, all different. The old style of building long rows of houses, one just like the other, which has given the East side such a gloomy look, is out of date. It is said that the good architects of New York have more business than they can attend to in the way of making plans for fine residences, and refuse to take more work unless plenty of time is given them. It is safe to say that the people who will live in the finer of these residences have incomes from $10,000 to $50,000 per year.

But the fact is that no small house neighborhood is springing up anywhere on the island. Says the St. Louis Age of Steel:

The following figures are significant. The estimated cost of new buildings of which plans were filed in the city of New York during the year 1886, was $58,479,653. The average cost, exclusive of land, exceeded $14,000 – none of these within the reach of persons of small incomes. The conveyances of real estate show an outlay of nearly $237,000,000, the average amount of each $21,000. In 1879 the average was only $9,500.”

The result is, of course, that New York is fast becoming a city of landlords and tenants.

The churches of the city in their corporate capacities have come in for a fair share of the profits made in late years in real estate transactions. They are doubly favored, for, in addition to their exemption from taxation, they have had in the past a habit of selling a piece of ground twice. First they laid out small burial grounds, generally alongside the building, and sold them in lots to suit. Any New Yorker who has lived here twenty or thirty years, however, knows how these graveyards have gradually disappeared, and are now the sites of buildings. They were resold by the churches, the proceeds going, not to the heirs and assigns of the people under ground, but to the church corporation, in most cases an entirely different set of people. The churches, too, in moving, almost without exception, have been able to locate in far finer spots than they formerly occupied. Take the Reformed church which owns the fine new building on 123rd street and Sixth avenue. They moved there after selling or leaving their old land and building over on Third avenue, which had grown very valuable. And the Episcopal church on Madison avenue and Seventy-first street – they were formerly over near Third avenue, too. Old Trinity's plan is not to sell, but to lease. The burial ground alongside this church on Broadway, opposite Wall street, would suffice to run the church if leased, but there is no necessity for that. “The Trinity church corporation,” as it is called, owns land all over the city, from 155th street down. They keep their affairs very close, but now and then an item in the papers shows where their property is. On Monday last a Trinity leasehold, Nos. 51 and 53 Morton street, a four-story apartment house, was sold. The ground rent is $600 a year, and the house contains eight flats, so that each tenant pays Trinity church $75 per year for the privilege of living. L.R. Green of Boston is now erecting a fine hotel on Broadway and Thirty-sixth street, and it appears that this valuable corner is owned by Trinity; he gets it on a sixty-three years' lease.

Now that the upper part of the city is being built up and streets are cut through, it is seen that, just as further down, many property owners have been left with little narrow strips or gores along the street – strips in many cases useless for building purposes unless joined to the property next them. Such strips have often been used by the owners to extort from the inside owner an enormous price, for not only is it to his advantage to have a front on the street, but the owner of the strip can, unless brought out, erect some very objectionable structure. A good case of this kind was in Fifty-third street, through which the elevated road runs. There was a row of private houses built some distance from the street, and a few years ago, right in front of a number of these houses was a big board fence right up to the parlor windows. The reason was that the owner of the houses refused to buy the V-shaped piece in front of him. So the owner of the piece built the fence, and succeeded in injuring the houses to the extent of many thousands of dollars. Another case is that of the man who built an apartment house on Eighty-second street, seven feet from Lexington avenue. This seven feet is owned by another man, and runs back along the avenue front 100 feet. When the owner of the strip found that his neighbor would not buy him off, he erected a four-story house, 7 feet wide and 100 feet deep, thus completely shutting off all light and air from the Lexington avenue side of the apartment house, and darkening the yard in its rear so that it is now one of the most undesirable of houses. Of course this sort of thing is nothing more nor less than extortion or blackmail; but there is really no remedy for it as long as the land tax is what it is now. A man certainly has a right to hold his strip and to build a fence on it, and to demand any price he chooses for it. How long it will last is another question.

From an Irish Catholic

New Haven, Ct., March 20 – I am of Irish birth and Catholic faith, and circumstances only prevented the desire of Catholic parents to fit me for the Catholic priesthood. I congratulate you on your noble defense of Dr. McGlynn against the vehement attack of Archbishop Corrigan and the pastor of St. Michael's. The conduct of those two men were both infamous and disgraceful to the Catholic church. When I hear the old cry of the church in danger I instantly perceive some plan to cover some rascality. If Archbishop Corrigan has seen his mistake, let him rectify it like a man. Inclosed find $1 for 500 copies of your land and labor literature.

Francis Dune

 


A Word From Scotland

The People are Fast Coming to Know Their Rights

Glasgow, Scotland, March 12 – The great vote on the side of social and political reform in the recent New York mayoralty campaign has frightened the monopolists on this side of the Atlantic. They are alarmed to see the big batallions on the side of such “wild theorizers” as the author of “Progress and Povery.” What is marked in the progress of the agitation here is the almost complete extinction of the old type of land reformer, the fellows who used to talk about “primogeniture,” “entail,” “free trade in land,” etc. They have all gone the way of the blessed. Only occasionally some landlord or land agent gives utterance to such doctrines. Reform, as popularly understood, now means the assertion in some way of the people's rights to the land, their natural inheritance.

Richard McGhee

The Landlords Want It All

Albany Letter to Brooklyn Citizen

One of the great secrets of the opposition to the plan for increasing the Brooklyn bridge railroad facilities is that nearly all the New York city officials are interested in real estate in the upper portion of New York city, which they are holding at very high prices. They fear that if better traveling facilities are given between Brooklyn and New York that Harlem's vacant lots will be depreciated and those in Brooklyn enhanced in value. For instance, lots in Brooklyn, within fifty minutes' traveling distance of the New York city hall, can be purchased at from $500 to $1,000 each, while vacant lots in Harlem within the same distance from the point named, are held at from $3,000 to $5,000 each. Consequently it can be stated with a certainty that the New York city senators will not vote for any measure to increase the facilities of the bridge railroad; and Mr. Ottendorfer's real motives for opposing the bill are not because the proposed enlargement of the bridge platform will injure his newspaper building, for it will not injure it in the least. The truth of the whole matter is that New York real estate speculators have become jealous of the growth of Brooklyn.

 

 

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